Meet Our Administrative Team

Shannon Smith

Director – Client Access Team

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Shannon loves walking side by side with people in their journeys with mental health. She feels like the more we discover things about ourselves and find tools to help with difficult situations, the more we are able to normalize the false beliefs people can have about mental health.

Shannon says, “I think Ellie has an amazing family atmosphere, and the humor that plays a huge role in growth and wellness is perfect!”

Education
Bachelor of Fine Arts – Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Beth Topliff

Training and Development Manager – Client Access Team

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Beth received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Religion, from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.  Beth is a Certified Resiliency Trainer through the Global Resilience and Inner Transformation Institute. Beth has a passion for helping people to rise to their highest potential, helping employees and teams function at their highest level of ability, the destigmatization of mental health, and integrative and holistic approaches to healthcare. What Beth loves most about Ellie is their innovative approach to health and wellness which enables them to help people easily gain access to the services they need most.  Beth also appreciates Ellie’s dedication to a workplace that helps employees thrive and comfortably come to work as their authentic selves each and every day.

When Beth is not at work, she enjoys hiking, travel, photography, writing, listening to music, time spent with family and friends and hanging out with her two awesome dogs, Kirby and Lady.

Christina Schreiner

Lead – Client Access Team

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In today’s world with all of the social media platforms, we can easily be influenced by the amount of “likes” someone receives on a photo of themselves. I want people to know that generating a certain amount of likes, or lack there of, does not make you any better or worse of a person. I want people to realize and understand their self worth. That feeling fear, doubt, and uncertainty are not diminishing to experience and it should not be “taboo” to speak about.

I am excited to work at Ellie because I consider myself to be an overly empathetic person. I am very passionate about raising mental health awareness and I take pride in being a very good listener to my friends and family and strangers alike. I think Ellie will help me grow personally as well as professionally.

Education
St. Cloud State University

Bella Brakefield

Sr. Client Access Specialist

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Bella was born and raised in the Twin Cities area and has been inspired to become a mental health advocate after seeing how it improved the lives of her friends at a young age. Her favorite thing about Ellie Family Services is that they have a friendly and non-formal approach to healthcare which helps destigmatize getting help. She believes that everybody can improve their lives by attending therapy.

When she is not at work, Bella enjoys cooking and baking, thrift shopping, and spending time with her husband and their dog, Kylo.

Desiree Abhriam

Sr Client Access Specialist – Community

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My interest in mental health is strong with the desire to help people find solutions for life challenges they may have. As we continue to grow stronger in ourselves we can continue to strengthen our families and communities. I’m honored to be able to play (even a small) part in assisting clients in the best way I can.

I am excited to be part of a dynamic group of professionals working together to help communities and individuals grow stronger in their mental and emotional lives.

Brittney Green

Client Access Specialist

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Brittney is known for a positive outlook on life while wearing a smile to greet you! Whenever she talks to clients she tries to relate to their story and strike up a conversation if they want but she can also tell who is having a hard day and try to brighten their spirits! 

Brittney enjoys being a part of administrative support where she can meet and surpass expectations. She can show the customer how important he or she is  in a friendly, helpful and positive way. She is very detailed oriented and able to carry out every task that is assigned to her carefully. She is genuinely interested in her work and tries to understand each aspect of the job that she has been entrusted with.

Outside of work, Brittney enjoys spending time with her husband and kids creating memories. They are usually busy with traveling sports and chasing their 2 year old around! She hunts deer every year with her husband and they just recently signed up to be foster parents for dogs in need of rescue. She is an animal lover but hasn’t foster failed YET! 

Emily Giannobile

Client Access Specialist/Complex Family Systems Assistant

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Our mental health affects all areas of our lives and is a deeply personal experience for each individual. Everyone should have access to the support that they need to live a full life and improve their wellbeing.

Ellie offers a wide range of services that give people the resources they need to face life’s complexities. It can be difficult to seek help from others, especially when we are not at our best. I appreciate being a part of a team that makes taking that step easier and doing so in a caring and empathetic way.

Candi Havok

Client Access Specialist

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Prior to joining Ellie, Candi has experience in customer service ranging from bartending, retail, call centers, and family planning clinics.

Candi is excited to be a part of a group of people whose goal is helping people. Candi is interested in family mental health and teenager mental health.

Outside of work Candi enjoys adventuring with her daughter, eating and snacking, binging a good series (Animal Crossing is her new obsession).


Emily Jacobsen

Client Access Specialist

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Managing and being aware of our mental health is unbelievably important in this unpredictable and challenging day and age. I know how challenging this can be, but knowing you have people filled with understanding and compassion to support you and join you on your path is incredibly important to me. I believe everyone is on their own journey with their mental health and having the opportunity to be a small part of that journey has always been of great interest to me.

I am excited to be a part of Ellie as the organization’s values so closely align with what is important in my own personal life. Everyone seems so passionate and enthusiastic about what they do at Ellie and I look forward to working with like minded individuals!

Education
BA in English -Creative Writing
Minor – Business Administration
University of Wisconsin: Green Bay

Certifications
Project Management


Sofia Kaut

Client Access Specialist

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Managing our mental health is part of the human experience and I understand how hard it is for us to ask for help when we need it. Being met with compassion when we take that step and reach out is vital.

I’m excited to be part of a team that is so grounded in their values and dedicated to breaking down barriers so that everyone can access the support they need.

Education
St. Olaf College – BA, Gender Studies and Music

Emmalee Kulas

Client Access Specialist

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With how constant things are shifting in day to day life, putting mental health and removing the stigma for anything that people struggle with is important. Mental health struggles are slowly becoming destigmatized and people receiving the care they need and having a support system behind them to help come to terms with their own personal struggles is important to me.

I am very excited to be joining Ellie, as an organization their values match up with my own and how I live my day to day life. I look forward to joining a team of passionate individuals who care so much about mental health.

Education

Lakeshore Technical College- Associates: Administrative Professional

Christian Russell

Client Access Specialist

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The many avenues that mental health offers to begin the process of healing interests me greatly. Knowing that healing shares both the emotional sides of pain and joy, reminds me that we are all in a constant state of growth.

I am excited to be apart of a community, team and environment that truly focuses their energy and love in taking care of the clients that walk through our doors each day. Also super excited to be working closely with folks that care about mental health and make it part of their everyday lives.

I am proficient in conversation Portuguese (Brazilian).

Education
Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN – BA

Noah Topliff

Client Access Specialist

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As a person who has lived with ongoing mental health in the form of Depression with symptoms of Bi-Polar and Anxiety. working with those who have had and and currently living in similar situations is something I am very passionate about. It’s what drove me to my last job and it’s what drove me to working here now. My personal experiences with mental health have allowed me to have lead me to have a strong empathy, understanding, and relationship to those with similar experiences.

I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that promotes, allows, and makes space for all of its employees to be their true authentic selves. This promotion and inclusive attitude carry over well into their patient care and I’m honored to be a part of that.

Education
I am currently working towards a BFA in Creative Writing with a Minor in English from Hamline University and will be graduating Spring of 2021.

Greta Wenzel

Client Access Specialist

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Through teaching trauma-sensitive yoga and meditation for a number of years, I have peripherally been involved with accessibility to services across a broad spectrum of the community including people experiencing homelessness and those impacted by the criminal justice system. I’m thrilled to be helping clients connect with the range of services available through Ellie.

I am excited to be part of a group of creative and collaborative problem solvers. When the behind-the-scenes of a service provider is this fantastic, you know that will be reflected in a positive client experience.

Education
College of St. Benedict – BA Psychology