Johanna Kandel (She/Her) founded The National Alliance for Eating Disorders (formerly The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness) after recovering from a ten-year-long battle with various eating disorders . Since founding The Alliance in October 2000, Johanna has brought information and awareness about eating disorders to hundreds of thousands of individuals nationally and internationally. In addition, she facilitates weekly support groups, mentors individuals with eating disorders and their families through their treatment and recovery, and helps thousands of people to gain information and find the help they need. As a passionate advocate for mental health and eating disorders legislation, Johanna has spent a lot of time meeting with numerous members of Congress, and was part of the first-ever Eating Disorder Roundtable at the White House.
Johanna is a proud member of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) Meeting under the Department of Health and Human Services, a member of the Board of Directors for the Eating Disorders Coalition, and a member of the Eating Disorders Leadership Summit. She has received many awards for her ongoing outreach and advocacy work, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service©, Academy for Eating Disorders’ Meehan/Hartley Leadership Award for Public Service &/or Advocacy, and Harlequin Enterprises’ More Than Words Award. Johanna has appeared on national television programs including NBC Nightly News and The Today Show, and profiled in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Glamour Magazine.
Johanna’s book, Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder, was released by Harlequin Nonfiction in September 2010.
CLICK HERE to email Johanna.
Dr. Joann Hendelman (She/Her) is the Clinical Director of The National Alliance for Eating Disorders (formerly The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness). She is also Clinical Director of The Alliance Psychological Services which provides therapy for those who are uninsured or underinsured, those who historically have not had access to care. The program is staffed by Postdoctoral Fellows under Dr. Hendelman’s supervision. Dr. Hendelman also trains and supervises Alliance Support Group Facilitators and groups that are currently held across the country.
Dr. Hendelman is author of “Eating Disorders: A Maladaptive Coping Mechanism,” in Stress in the Modern World, published 2017. Dr. Hendelman has spoken on many areas of eating disorders to professional and lay audiences nationally and internationally since 1981.
Dr. Hendelman is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Registered Nurse. Dr. Hendelman is a Fellow in the Academy for Eating Disorders (FAED). She is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS), a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Nurse (CEDRN) and an iaedp Approved Supervisor for those seeking certification. Dr. Hendelman maintains a private practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Hendelman.
McCall Dempsey (She/Her), founder of Southern Smash, is an eating disorder survivor and passionate recovery advocate. After a 15-year battle, McCall sought treatment in December 2010. Since then she has made eating disorder awareness and prevention her life’s work and passion. McCall travels the country, sharing her story of hope and healing with audiences everywhere. From high school auditoriums to treatment centers to corporate meetings, her message of authenticity and embracing your inner-uniqueness transcends all ages.
McCall also writes the popular blog, Loving Imperfection. Her writing has been featured in various national television, print and online publications, including Today Show, Women’s Health, Southern Living and Huffington Post. A Louisiana native, McCall now resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with her husband, Jordan, and her two children, Manning and Marjorie.
CLICK HERE to email McCall.
Niurka Lluveras-Hernandez (Nikki She/Her) is passionate about organization, structure, and policy. Nikki graduated from Palm Beach State College with a Bachelor’s in Supervision and Management with a concentration in Health (B.A.S). She worked in retail management while going to college. Post-graduation she transitioned into Operations Management in various organizations including a medical lab, debt consolidation company, and most recently in local government. While working in local government she realized that her passion for operations and health, specifically mental health, was the next step she wanted to pursue in her career. Working within an organization that gives back to the community is important to her.
After finding out about The Alliance’s mission and services provided to the community Nikki realized it was the perfect fit. She wants to help the organization grow and keep the organization/structure that she so much loves so the team can keep giving back to the community.
During her free time, Nikki loves to travel and explore the wonders of the world. She has two wonderful cats (Jelly Bean and Robin) that are a huge part of her life. Nikki is currently engaged and hoping to get married in the near future.
CLICK HERE to contact Nikki.
Lisa Murano (She/Her) is a lifelong community activist. Her volunteerism began at a young age, helping disenfranchised girls access education and healthcare services. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida, Lisa served as founder and president of one of the university’s largest student organizations and piloted a grant-funded peer-education program.
Lisa has worked for community health-focused nonprofit organizations and political organizations, collaborating with elected officials and community leaders to make healthcare coverage a reality for millions.
Realizing that enacting policy is simply not enough to ensure access, Lisa became a licensed insurance agent to assist hundreds of families in accessing affordable healthcare. She transitioned into marketing and programming services with the agency, but eventually realized community-building work is where her heart lies.
Moved by the direct care and various services The Alliance offers, Lisa returned to nonprofit work to reconnect with communities in need. She is passionate about growing our services and reaching more people who are experiencing and recovered from eating disorders.
Lisa is a native Floridian and spends her free time sitting on the board of several organizations. She also enjoys live music and spending time with her dog, Rico.
CLICK HERE to email Lisa.
Ximena Ringer (She/Her), better known as China, is a Peruvian native who studied marketing and business administration. At the start of her career China worked in the tourism and hospitality industry. Later on transitioning to the Events and Marketing industry with all of the previously learned knowledge. China’s specialty is project management. During her career as a Project Manager and Events Producer she has worked on various high profile entertainment events such as the Pan American Games, Live Nation Concerts, and one of the Cirque du Soleil performances. As China has grown within her career she discovered a passion for giving back to the community which led her to working on a project that brought sports and cultural courses to underserved communities.
During 2020, China visited the States to see her long distance boyfriend. While visiting COVID lockdowns began and she was unable to return back to Peru. As she waited for the lockdown to end the relationship became more serious and she got married to Eric! Now they live happily in South Florida with two golden retrievers – Violet and Pretzel. Ximena has joined The Alliance to bring her skills and expertise to the eating disorder community. When she’s not working, China enjoys traveling, family quality time, and exploring new cuisines.
CLICK HERE to contact China.
Nina Taylor (She/Her) graduated from Lesley University with BA in graphic design, from George Washington University with an MPH and is a candidate for a PhD in Public Health from Oregon State University.
Since completing her undergraduate degree, Nina has been involved with program development, evaluation and dissemination to improve health outcomes among underserved populations. During her PhD, Nina’s research has been focused on weight stigma and disordered eating. More specifically, Nina’s research aims to understand how social and cultural norms impact weight bias and influence disordered eating behavior, especially among adolescents and young adults. When not working, you can find Nina teaching yoga or swimming in ocean.
CLICK HERE to contact Nina.
Dr. Allison Weiser (She/Her) is the Education and Resources Manager at The Alliance and a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She earned her Masters and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Weiser completed two years of post-doctoral residency at The Alliance’s Psychological Services. During time, she gained experience in providing evidence-based psychotherapies and administering psychological evaluations to a wide-range of diverse individuals and families across the lifespan. Dr. Weiser’s passion for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders was solidified during her time at Psychological Services and at a South Florida hospital, where she worked as a member of the multidisciplinary eating disorders treatment team. Dr. Weiser also has a special interest and specialized training in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. Dr. Weiser looks forward to continuing to advocate for all individuals experiencing eating disorders, providing education to community members and providers, and connecting individuals/families to treatment. In addition, she maintains a private practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. When not working, you can find Dr. Weiser at the beach.
CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Weiser.
Mark Kruntorad (He/His) is the Training Supervisor for Psychological Services of the National Alliance for Eating Disorders (formerly The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness). He brings with him over thirty years of experience as a licensed psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders work and marriage and family therapy. Mark is also a licensed supervisor for the state of Florida. He has been supervising and training future psychotherapists for over twenty-five years.
Mark received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Covenant College and his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Reformed Theological Seminary.
Mark is a native Floridian, but you will find him hiking in the mountains at every opportunity.
Dr. Katie Mittelstaedt (She/Her) earned her Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University. A passion to work with folx with eating disorders fueled her professional path. Her research focused on the impact of weight stigma on physical and mental healthcare, as well as on how adherence to gender role norms relates to disordered eating behaviors. Dr. Mittelstaedt is passionate about combatting weight stigma and sizeism, particularly in medical settings. Prior to coming to The Alliance, Dr. Mittelstaedt completed an APA accredited internship with the National Psychology Training Consortium- Great Lakes Region. At this residency, she gained experience working as an integrated Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC) within two primary care multidisciplinary teams. In addition to this internship, Dr. Mittelstaedt has experience providing BHC care in an urban medical clinic, neuropsychological assessment services within a forensic practice, and low-income outpatient therapy in a community setting. Overall, Dr. Mittelstaedt aspires to create a supportive and collaborative therapeutic environment in which clients feel safe to experience difficult thoughts and feelings while moving towards their values.
CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Mittelstaedt.
Rachel Rifkin, LMHC (She/Her) is a licensed mental health counselor, specializing in eating disorders within the LGBTQ+ community. She received her dual Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, with a certification in Sexuality, Women, and Gender studies. Her clinical training includes experience as a therapist in eating disorders treatment facilities, and working in her own private practice. As a Queer clinician with lived eating disorder experience, she is passionate about increasing access to care and reducing stigma about mental health.
Rachel has been involved with The Alliance since 2013, and now wears a few different hats for The Alliance. Outside of her role as a Psychological Services clinician, she is a co-facilitator for The Alliance support groups, and one of our referral specialists.
CLICK HERE to contact Rachel.
Rachel Huber, RD (She/Her) is a Referral Specialist at the National Alliance for Eating Disorders and has been a Registered Dietitian (RD) / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) for over 16 years. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Loma Linda University. Rachel has expertise as a specialist in eating disorders and throughout her career as an RD has had experience working in eating disorder treatment at the outpatient, intensive outpatient, transitional living, day treatment / partial hospital program, and inpatient levels of care. In addition to her work with individuals from all walks of life who are struggling with eating disorders, she has worked with diverse populations of individuals in the inpatient, outpatient, and community settings.
Serving individuals who are experiencing eating disorders is something that she is passionate about. She is excited to have the opportunity to connect people who struggle with eating disorders and their loved ones with eating disorder treatment resources in her role as a Referral Specialist for the National Alliance for Eating Disorders.
CLICK HERE to contact Rachel.
Amy Sullivan (She/Her) received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Texas A&M University in 2015. During her time in college she interned in New York City in the fashion industry and continued to work in the field after graduation. Through recovery from her own eating disorder, Amy realized that while she will always love fashion, the eating disorder field is where her heart truly lies. Amy graduated with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Texas Tech University Health Science Center in 2021.
She joined McCall and the Southern Smash team in October of 2017 and has been part of The Alliance family since 2019. Amy was integral in helping to coordinate Southern Smash events and working alongside Director McCall Dempsey. As a referral specialist, she helps connect individuals and loved ones to specialized care and provides psychoeducation. In addition, she helps co-facilitates The Alliance’s virtual support groups. Amy currently resides in College Station, TX where she works as a therapist. In her free time, Amy loves shopping and chasing after her niece and nephew.
CLICK HERE to email Amy.
Laurie Yurchuck (She/Her) has always been passionate about helping others. Laurie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in Psychology from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. She first became involved with The Alliance in high school after attending their adolescent support group. Through her own recovery, she took on a part-time role as Project Coordinator, managing findEDhelp, The Alliance’s interactive referral website, as well as The Alliance’s social media accounts. After graduating, she took on a full-time role as The Alliance’s Administrative + Technology Coordinator.
Laurie plans to go on to get a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. When she’s not working, you can probably find her drinking a nice cup of coffee and watching Grey’s Anatomy (…again)!
CLICK HERE to contact Laurie.