Our Team

Johanna Kandel

Founder and CEO

Joann Hendelman, PhD, RN, FAED, CEDS-C

Clinical Director

McCall Dempsey

Director of Southern Smash

Maureen Phelan

Director of Resource Development

Rachel Rifkin, LMHC, CEDS

Associate Director of Support Groups

Allie Weiser, PsyD, CEDS

Associate Director of Helpline Services

Monica Alomia

Operations Manager

Laurie Yurchuck

Outreach & Marketing Manager

Alicia Chatterton, LMHC

Psychological Services Therapist

Nic Coppage, RCSWI

Helpline Specialist

Ally Emig, LCSW, CEDS, RYT

Education Specialist

Allison Ford, LMHC

Psychological Services Therapist

Victoria Knoll, MSW, RSW

Helpline Specialist

Paije Nobles, RD, LDN

Outreach & Education Coordinator

Amy Sullivan, LPC

Helpline Specialist

Charlotte Tchividjian

Development Coordinator

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.

Maureen Phelan (She/Her) has over 25 years of combined experience in senior leadership roles and as a consultant for such leading organizations as UNICEF, Toronto International Film Festival Group, CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), United Way, Goodwill, Sunshine Foundation, London’s Grand Theatre, Nature Conservancy Canada and Shanghai American School, where she served as a senior volunteer for three years. Previously, Maureen started her career in sales and marketing for global corporations in the publishing and television industries.

CLICK HERE to contact Maureen.

Rachel Rifkin, LMHC, CEDS (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 is the Associate Director of Support Groups.

CLICK HERE to contact Rachel.

Dr. Allie Weiser (She/Her) is the Associate Director of Helpline Services 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.

When an organization needs… organization, they call Monica Alomia (she/her).  Ever since she was a child in her native Peru and throughout her 20-year career in Florida, Monica thrives on making sure operations run smoothly. And she can do it in two languages! Monica is a Business Administration graduate with extensive experience managing client-centric office operations in Health, Financial and in Public Sectors. She truly prides herself on making everyone around her look good, especially top-level executives.

Working for local government is where Monica found her passion for helping others. In her down time, she volunteers and gives back to the South Florida community she loves so much. That’s why Monica is so excited about joining the National Alliance for Eating Disorders. When she’s not helping those in need, you’ll find Monica crafting, attending music concerts – or just soaking up the sun on one of Florida’s many beaches.

CLICK HERE to contact Monica.

Laurie Yurchuck (she/her) is the Outreach & Marketing Manager at the National Alliance for Eating Disorders. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in Psychology from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. Laurie has been involved with The Alliance for over a decade in many different capacities. Her lived eating disorder experience, as well as having utilized The Alliance’s services firsthand, has been instrumental in the various roles she has held over the years.

When she’s not working, you can probably find her drinking coffee and re-watching Grey’s Anatomy for the millionth time.

CLICK HERE to contact Laurie.

Alicia Chatterton, LMHC (She/Her) is a Psychological Services Therapist for the National Alliance for Eating Disorders. Alicia obtained her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University in IL and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida. Alicia has provided therapy services in community mental health settings, gaining experience with individuals facing health condition-related stigma. Additionally, she has provided mental health services within a competitive arts education setting.

Alicia is passionate about helping others find their self-worth apart from external measures. She strives to provide individuals with a non-judgmental space to discover inner wisdom, healing, and beauty unbound by conventional standards. When not working, you can find Alicia watching movies with her husband and kitty cats, sipping a latte, or dabbling in her interests of home décor and makeup artistry.

CLICK HERE to contact Alicia.

Nicole (Nic) Coppage, MSW, RCSWI (She/They) graduated with her Master’s of Social Work from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. She obtained her Bachelor’s in English and Communications with the intention of becoming a teacher, but realized after her own experience with an eating disorder that her passion actually was in mental health and advocacy for those in marginalized identities. Nic’s areas of interest include eating disorders and LGBTQIA+ issues, and she takes a social-justice and trauma-informed perspective when working with clients.

Nic completed her master’s internship at a non-profit for those who are unhoused, performing case management and individual psychotherapy. She also serves as mental health staff for the Florida-based, LGBTQIA+ nonprofit CampOUT Florida which is a week-long youth summer camp for LGBTQIA+ youth and allies. She not only provides mental health support in this role, but also taught workshops to campers on body positivity and provided basic training on eating disorder awareness and non-dieting approaches to staff.

CLICK HERE to contact Nic.

Ally Emig (She/Her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS), and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) in Kentucky and Louisiana. After graduating with her Masters in Social Work from Boston College, she moved to Chicago and began her career as a clinician in a fast-paced Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization Program for Eating Disorders. She has over a decade of leadership and specialized experience working in the field – from managing an Eating Disorder Partial Hospitalization Program, to being an Outpatient Therapist, to most recently managing the East Coast and Midwest Clinical Assessment Team at Eating Recovery Center. Since she has settled back into her home state of Kentucky, she is now offering outpatient therapy in her private practice. Ally is passionate about providing highly specialized therapy to individuals of all ages experiencing eating disorders.

Ally is also dedicated to providing education to professionals, schools, community organizations, hospital systems, students, families and more. She believes that increased education leads to early detection and intervention which improves outcomes for all. She’s been involved with The Alliance since 2018 and in addition to her role as an Education Consultant, can also be found regularly co-facilitating their free clinician-led virtual support groups.

CLICK HERE to contact Ally.

Allison Ford, LMHC (she/her) is a Psychological Services Therapist for the National Alliance for Eating Disorders. Allison obtained her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, FL. She has gathered experience through different levels of care in community mental health, residential eating disorder treatment facilities, crisis stabilization, and private practice. Allison specializes in eating disorders and has worked closely with Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD).

Allison emphasizes therapy as a safe space where difficult concepts can gently be explored. She is passionate about the healing process and helping guide people back to themselves. When not working, you can find Allison at the dog park with her pup, in yoga class, or enjoying the Florida sunshine with friends.

CLICK HERE to contact Allison.

Victoria Knoll, MSW, RSW (she/her) graduated with her Master’s of Social Work from Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, FL. She received her Bachelor’s of Social Work, with a Minor in Psychology, from Toronto Metropolitan University. Victoria is committed to promoting equity and inclusion, while working from an anti-oppressive framework in practice.

Victoria has experience working in case management within the mental health space. She became passionate about working with those affected by eating disorders while completing an internship at the National Eating Disorder Information Center (NEDIC), located in Toronto, during her undergraduate program. During this experience, she worked in the Outreach and Education sector, where she learned about the importance of eating disorder awareness and early intervention. Victoria is driven to promote a non-dieting philosophy, and increase access to treatment to support the recovery process. Victoria is currently working in the Resources Department as a  Helpline Specialist at The Alliance. When not working, you can find Victoria at the beach!

CLICK HERE to contact Victoria.

Paije Nobles, MS, RD, LDN (she/her) is the Outreach and Education Coordinator at the National Alliance for Eating Disorders and a Registered Dietitian that specializes in eating disorders and disordered eating. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Arizona State University and her Master of Science in Dietetics from Auburn University. Paije began her career in the field of eating disorders in 2020 and has since then started her own private practice. She enjoys working with clients and educating others to reduce the stigma around eating disorders and to spread awareness.
In Paije’s free time you will find her at the beach with her dog Klaus, dancing, or relaxing on the couch catching up on her favorite tv shows and movies.

CLICK HERE to contact Paije.

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 helpline 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.

Charlotte Tchividjian (she/her) is the Development Coordinator at the National Alliance for Eating Disorders. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University in May 2023. Prior to working with The Alliance, she completed a 6-month internship at a nonprofit organization called netGRACE. During this internship she worked and fell in love with the field of donor relations/management.

In Charlotte’s free time she can be found at the beach and spending time with both her dog/BFF and her soon-to-be husband.

CLICK HERE to contact Charlotte.