Meet our People
The Story Of HeadQuarters
We were founded in 2014 by Christina M. King, a licensed professional counselor practicing in Aspen, Colorado, as a response to Pitkin County’s suicide rate—which is three times the national average.
At first, we were a group of volunteers who produced Hike Hope Heal, an annual fundraising event to support the Mental Health Fund founded by Lawrence Altman. Eventually, we became a 501c3 nonprofit of our own, and blossomed into an organization connecting our region’s mental health resources to promote Mental Fitness.
To do this work, we rely on a strong team of dedicated staff, and the leadership and guidance of our Executive Board, and Leadership & Advisory Board.
Jeff moved to the valley from the U.K in 2000. Jeff has a background in the restaurant business & currently works in human resources. When he isn’t teaching spin, you can find him running trails, skiing up or down a hill or road biking. Spending time outdoors helps keep a healthy mental balance so he can strive to be a better husband & dad.
For over 14 years, Andrew Pollesel dedicated himself to working with adults with disabilities, with a specialty in autism. The Chicago native earned a degree in Special Education from Fontbonne University in St. Louis and went on to work tirelessly for people with disabilities, devoting himself to everything from Special Education to coaching Special Olympics. He moved to Aspen seven years ago for a job, met a girl (his now-fiancé), and decided to stay. “I decided to make a career change and real estate is something I’ve always been passionate about,” he says. “I’ve always worked in human services and I view this path as another avenue to help people facilitate their wants and needs. This is just another way for me to implement my background; the bottom line is still about helping people.”
Georgina Melbye is an attorney at the law firm Kalamaya | Goscha. Her practice focuses on family law and other types of personal disputes. Originally from Boulder, she graduated from Cornell University and pursued a law degree at the University of Colorado.
Shortly after graduating in 2014, she moved to Aspen to begin her legal career. In her practice, she often works with professionals in the mental health field to assist on disputes relating to child custody. Recognizing the great need for mental health support in the valley, she is excited to serve Aspen Strong and support the greater community. When not on the slopes or in the office, Georgina can be found mountain/dirt biking, hiking and camping.
Andy is a husband, father, wealth advisor, and coach who has lived in the Aspen area for the past 45 years. Having arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley under very unusual circumstances, surviving a plane crash in 1974, he strives to make every day count by helping others in any capacity that he can. The quote from James Taylor’s song the Secret of Life “is enjoying the passage of time” resonates with him as a constant reminder that we all need to live within the moment and give back.
He has recently produced a documentary called “3 Days 2 Nights” that chronicles his experience and serves as a guidepost for people trying to move on from traumatic events.
Paddy O’Connell (but you can call him PaddyO) works in the outdoor industry as a word nerd and a professional chit chatter—which essentially means he is a freelance writer, creator, storyteller, voice over talent, and multimedia producer. PaddyO believes in the power of storytelling as a vehicle for connection and positive change. Much of his work and his every day reflects the theory that laughter is the soundtrack to a happy life. He loves to use humor to arrive at poignancy in his work, while also focusing on cause-based storytelling and reporting, most notably and personal to him are suicide prevention and mental health, addiction, alcoholism, and recovery, equity and inclusion, and stories of a dark past being transformed into a hopeful future. PaddyO draws inspiration from his own path toward positive mental health and recovery. When he’s not practicing Footloose inspired dance moves, Patrick Swayze-esque hair flips, and grooming his mustache to resemble Tom Selleck’s lip caterpillar, PaddyO can be found in the mountains—mostly likely being a bit loud and doing something a lot weird. He is based out of Carbondale, Colorado.
Fascinated by the human condition, my career path has consistently been very people centric. From studying English literature and psychology in school, to managing upscale French restaurants, and for the past 27 years, brokering real estate transactions in New Jersey, the Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY, the low country of Charleston, SC, and now in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley with Engel & Völkers. I’ve specialized in relationships and believe they are crucial to maintaining mental fitness which is why I am giving back on the Aspen Strong Board.
Eric Abrahamovich is a lifelong Roaring Fork Valley Local with a deep appreciation for what makes this valley so irreplaceable. The outdoors have always been paramount to his mental health and overall wellbeing, causing him to move back to the valley after 8 years away in Texas and Boulder. While in Texas, Eric graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Economics and a minor in Business Management. After a short stint in commercial real estate while living a lifestyle he was unhappy with, he sought out an all men’s retreat in Steamboat, CO called The Foundry. He spent two months at the Foundry learning about mental health, addiction, physical health, emotional wellbeing, and an overall spiritual education that brought him out of a destructive way of life and into one of deep gratitude and appreciation for the life we all have in front of us despite what our pasts may look like. Yoga was a big part of The Foundry’s curriculum, and after leaving, Eric moved to Boulder, CO and began instructing yoga at an all men’s rehab facility called Choice House with men who were deeply struggling and fresh off of a destructive life path, just as Eric was a year prior. This experience created a deep yearning to help those in need of guidance and established a desire to be involved and give back to the community.
Nichole O’Neil is a management consultant with a global consulting firm. A Virginia native, Nichole earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from Virginia Tech. In early 2021, Nichole relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley – seeking a change like most do when moving to a small mountain town. While she loved the immediate access to the outdoors, learning new sports and exploring her new home, other parts of building a life in a new place felt challenging and isolating. She used the provider directory on our website to find a local therapist and began looking for ways to volunteer. Nichole wants to serve our valley in a greater capacity and is passionate about mental fitness, early prevention and equitable access to healthcare. Nichole is humbled and honored to serve on the board for HeadQuarters. Small local communities have so much to offer and she hopes she can help people find their place here as she continues to work on finding hers. Nichole can be found biking, hiking, running and skiing, practicing yoga, tackling her reading list, using her art materials and continuously trying to stay hydrated at altitude. She’s always up for a hike, a coffee and a real conversation.
Leadership & Advisory Board
Christina M. King
Christina is a licensed professional counselor specialized in cognitive behavioral therapy. A Philadelphia native, she graduated from Penn State University and West Chester University with her masters in Clinical Psychology. Christina began her therapeutic career in community mental health directing acute and partial programs hospital programs. She is the founder of Aspen Strong and co-founder of Changing Brains, Changing Lives Symposium. She sits on the Pitkin County Board of Health. She is a member of the Denver Speaker Bureau and has been recognized for her leadership and advocacy in mental health on various panels and magazines including Aspen Peak Magazine’s 2015 Woman of Influence. Christina loves to hike, ski, and spend time with her Australian Shepherd, Adie.
Lawrence is a successful trader of over 28 years – Trader X Aspen. Lawrence started the mental health community fund to financially support community members of the valley in seeking mental health treatment when they could otherwise not afford to do so. He is the co-founder to Aspen Strong. He is passionate about helping the community of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley in overcoming their struggle with mental illness.
Resa Hayes is a licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Glenwood Springs. She provides psychotherapy, mediation, parent education, and forensic services to families throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. She has a strong commitment to community service which is shown through her positions on boards throughout the valley, as well as her volunteerism for community projects and events.
Karin has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 27 years. She is an Addictions Counselor in private practice with Counseling Connections, LLC. She is also a nurse with 36 years experience currently working with Aspen Ski Company and Valley Settlement as a Child Care Health Consultant, and with the Pediatric team for Home Care of the Grand Valley. For fun and relaxation, Karin loves teaching yoga and traveling.
Angilina brings passion for mental health to the Executive Director position based on lived experiences and is devoted to being a part of the movement to change the conversation around mental health & wellbeing. Before making the switch into the nonprofit sector Angilina had 17 years of business strategy and development experience leading and inspiring teams in the product creation market both as a corporate leader and an entrepreneur.
Lindsey joins HeadQuarters with a passion for helping others and an excitement to change the way we view mental fitness. Lindsey sat on the Aspen Strong board for several years before joining the team as their Program Director. She had been in the finance industry for eighteen years before realizing her passion for the mental health sector. She strives to bring focus to the youth in our valley while not forgetting about the parents. Lindsey states, “Oftentimes, we are so focused on our children that we forget to take care of ourselves. It’s a joint effort and we cannot overlook the mental health of either parent or child. We are only as strong as the others in our household, and if one is suffering, so will the others. Living in the mountains, we are extremely conscious of living a healthy lifestyle, yet most people do not focus on their mental fitness.”
April is a Roaring Fork Valley native. She attended Yampah Mountain High School and received a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado Mountain College in Sustainability Studies. April’s undergraduate research centered around climate change adaptation, equity, and community building and structure, and she has also worked in various nonprofit settings over the past several years. She is thrilled to be working for a mission-driven organization that provides important educational resources and funding opportunities for people that need assistance accessing vital behavioral health services. She looks forward to connecting with supporters, providers, and clients alike in her role as Development Coordinator. In her spare time, you can find April volunteering for the City of Glenwood Springs, on an outdoor adventure with family and friends, or relaxing with a good book.