Leadership Team

Alison Thayer, LCPC, CEAP

Executive Clinical Director

Alison Thayer is honored to serve as Urban Balance’s Executive Clinical Director. Alison is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional with over 20 years of leadership and clinical experience within various settings in the mental health field.

Alison joined Urban Balance in 2011 after multiple supervisory and leadership roles with her previous employers, ranging from a community-based mental health agency to an employee assistance program and behavioral health care management company. Shortly after joining UB, Alison began assisting UB’s founder with operational support, which then evolved into serving as UB’s Director of Clinical Operations, leading hiring and clinical services, for eight years. 

 

Alison was drawn to UB’s mission to provide accessible and affordable therapy services, while also encouraging staff to maintain a strong work/life balance. Alison’s business and clinical acumen creates a unique approach in empowering UB clinicians to individualize their treatment approaches with autonomy.

She is responsible for the vision, goals and strategic planning of the organization, while supporting the various departments and leaders in continuing to strengthen UB’s client services. Through her roles over these years, Alison has strived to create diverse work cultures that encourage trust, communication and collaboration to foster positive, healthy and productive workforces. In her free time, Alison strives to “walk the walk” through physical activity, cooking, reading, organizing anything that needs to be organized, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Kim mcmanus, lcsw

associate Clinical Director

Kim McManus is the Associate Clinical Director at Urban Balance. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Illinois/Colorado) as well as a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Health Coach. Kim has over 25 years in the field of mental health. She has extensive experience as a direct clinician as well as holding supervisory/leadership roles in a multitude of settings including: child welfare, school social work, employee assistance programs and behavioral healthcare, community mental health, weight loss programs, and private practice.

Kim joined Urban Balance in 2013, gravitating towards UB with its organizational mission towards affordability and accessibility for clients and promoting a healthy work/life balance for clinicians.

Kim feels extraordinarily fortunate to be part of an organization that utilizes a “growth mindset” and strives to foster and promote a healthy, safe, and supportive environment for clinicians and clients. As a leader, she is also committed to ensuring that the culture, policies, and best practices support diversity, equity, and inclusion, through deep humility and open and honest communication.

Kim is responsible for the day-to-day oversight and execution of clinical services. Kim also works closely with Urban Balance’s HR department to recruit, hire and support new hires in alignment with UB’s mission. She is grateful for the opportunity to have transitioned to the Denver area as part of Urban Balance’s expansion and spends as much free time hiking and enjoying the mountains as possible.

dorothy payne-polk

director of human resources

Dorothy Payne-Polk serves on Urban Balance’s Leadership Team as the Director of Human Resources, while also providing Certified Life and Career Coach services to UB clients. Having over 10 years of Human Resources experience with specializations in recruitment and training, Dorothy formulates strategic processes and procedures that support our organization’s mission and vision. For most of her professional career, Dorothy has work in nonprofit and healthcare sectors, such as Northwestern University and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Her professional mission with UB is to maintain supportive collaborations with the teams while developing and implementing systems that promote the company’s progression and meets employee needs.

 

As a Certified Life Coach, Dorothy partners with clients to help transpire life advancements through creating action-driven objectives and providing measurable tools and motivation to usher performance-driven outcomes. Obtaining her certification through the International Coach Federation in 2018, Dorothy’s provides lifestyle and career coaching for people from all walks of life. Integrating activation techniques into her practice, Dorothy offers step-by-step guidance and encouragement to create effective and long-term change. Her coaching sessions and workshops have been administered in various settings such as women empowerment forums, professional leadership trainings, and community advancement initiatives. Her creative edge is most sought out by people looking to be inspired and transformed from the inside-out.

In her free time, Dorothy enjoys cooking with her family and mandatory “Self-Care Sundays” that have been implemented within her home.

andria emerick brown

director of intake and insurance operations

Andria Emerick Brown is the Director of Intake and Insurance Operations at Urban Balance. She is responsible for the success, accountability, and oversight of UB’s intake and insurance operations processes. Andria joined the Urban Balance team in 2010, after achieving her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and holding various positions with social service agencies in the Chicago area. Her compassion, organizational skills, and social services background were a perfect match for UB and the needs of the business at that time. As UB expanded, Andria joined forces with UB’s Leadership Team to improve processes and to create a comprehensive, progressively growing department. Now leading a team of ten uniquely talented individuals, Andria continues to build processes designed to strengthen the quality and efficiencies in services offered through UB. She closely supports her team on a daily basis, who serve as the first point of contact for all prospective clients seeking services.

 

Andria believes that therapeutic success starts with connecting with “the right fit”, and that begins during that initial outreach for support and services. As an essential part of the success of Urban Balance, she and her team are dedicated to providing excellent, compassionate services to prospective clients and support to all UB staff. When Andria is not at her desk, you can find her playing with her beautiful son or clowning around with her husband. She has a background in dance and performance, so she enjoys watching live performances and hopes to dabble in it again herself in the future. She loves to get outside for fresh air and take vacations away from the city to reconnect with nature whenever possible.

Lisa Streitmatter

Operations Manager

Lisa Streitmatter is the Operations Manager at Urban Balance. Lisa is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations, office needs, as well as purchase and vendor relationships across the practice. Lisa provides support across all UB business units, with emphasis on Human Resources, the Executive Clinical Director, and the Leadership Team. She oversees all office functionality across our locations, ensuring comfort, accessibility, and efficient processes are in place for our clients and staff. In addition, Lisa manages ongoing needs within UB’s technology systems, including providing direct support to staff for our health record system.

Lisa joined Urban Balance in 2016 after many years of experience as an Office Manager and Executive Assistant in both for profit and nonprofit. After working in a mental health recovery facility, she realized that is where she felt most connected and purposeful. Seeing the positive impact that therapy had on clients confirmed her passion to continue working in the mental health arena.

Lisa appreciates balance professionally and personally. She finds comfort spending time with her family, which includes “furry children” (1 cat, 2 dogs and fish). She also enjoys cooking and mini weekend getaways with her husband.

Taejah Vemuri, LCPC, MPH

Director of Communications and Marketing

Taejah Vemuri is the Director of Communications and Marketing at Urban Balance. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and has Master’s degrees in Public Health and Counseling Psychology.

Taejah is responsible for Urban Balance’s branding and marketing efforts, the company’s presence at conferences and networking events, as well as website and social media content and oversight. She also manages internal and external communication, builds referral relationships with our community partners, and provides hiring support. As a member of the Leadership team, Taejah ensures that the work, strategy and vision of the practice is captured in our social media presence and online communications.

Taejah joined Urban Balance in 2017 as a clinical intern while pursuing her degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. Prior to her work at Urban Balance, Taejah was the coordinator of an HIV prevention research study at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In this role, she was responsible for recruiting and retaining over 400 adolescent participants, as well as conducting mental health risk assessments in the community, probation centers, and detention facilities. She has experience and substantial skills in networking, coordinating and planning events, social media engagement, as well as working in the community.

Taejah deeply values balance and fulfillment as a clinician and as a person. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, is a voracious reader, and she loves movies and television. Taejah is also active in the barre fitness community and has a background in singing and dance.

Taejah joined Urban Balance in 2017 as a clinical intern while pursuing her degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. Prior to her work at Urban Balance, Taejah was the coordinator of an HIV prevention research study at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In this role, she was responsible for recruiting and retaining over 400 adolescent participants, as well as conducting mental health risk assessments in the community, probation centers, and detention facilities. She has experience and substantial skills in networking, coordinating and planning events, social media engagement, as well as working in the community.

Taejah deeply values balance and fulfillment as a clinician and as a person. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, is a voracious reader, and she loves movies and television. Taejah is also active in the barre fitness community and has a background in singing and dance.

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Urban Balance prioritizes the safety of our clients and staff and will provide teletherapy counseling services. Please click here for our updates regarding COVID-19.
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