National Employment Counseling Association

Editor’s note:
Information for each candidate, including biographical information, qualifications and reasons for seeking office is published below and in the December issue of Counseling Today. Online voting for all ACA, division and region elections will begin Dec. 1. The following answers are published as the candidates submitted them. They have not been edited.


President (effective 7/1/2018)

Lynn Downie

As a ten-year career counseling professional with GCDF certification, I am an instructor for the online NECA GCDF course “Working Ahead, Moving Forward” and have served for the past three years as a trustee for NECA. Through this time working with other NECA leaders, I have learned that there is much we can do to build strong career coaching and counseling skills for a changing world. NECA has the opportunity to collaborate with other divisions and regions, as well as community, local, state, and national agencies to promote healthy career development throughout the lifespan, not only when seeking employment, but from early career formation and with workplace skills. My vision is to continue the growth in training availability through NECA's "Working Ahead, Moving Forward" course and the new YELD (Youth Engagement and Leadership Development) certification program, as well as explore ways to build opportunities for additional counselor continuing education training in Career Counseling, for NECA members and in partnership with other divisions and regions. I currently work as the Assistant Director for Career Development and Internships at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. My community involvement includes volunteering for leadership development and career-building programming for at-risk youth in the local community, and a leadership role in developing a new intercultural program for international students in partnership with local community members to build cross-cultural relationships.

Governing Council Representative

Seneka Arrington

The governing council (GC) of any organization exists to provide strategic leadership, oversee the overall mission/vision and establish accountability systems to ensure strategic priorities are accomplished. For these reasons and the aforementioned tasks, it would indeed be an honor to serve on the Governing Council of ACA. I admire the values ACA encompasses, including a strong emphasis on ethics, professional development, and advocacy. I especially find it honorable to serve as a liaison for the very important divisions that make up ACA while simultaneously upholding the integrity and mission of the organization. The mission of ACA is to “enhance the quality of life in society by promoting the development of counselors.” I have experienced, first hand, the opportunity to be embraced by seasoned counselors within the organization who guided graduate level counselors through this developmental process using applicable education sessions, influential keynote speakers, focused divisions, and exciting networking experiences. In my community and within my division I have worn many hats: all with the underlying intent to effect change and enrich lives. I have served as a therapist, education coordinator, and program manager in Central Florida to equip individuals and families with the tools needed for self-sufficiency. Likewise I have had the opportunity to serve professionals in various occupations as secretary, executive board member, and President of a career and employment counseling organization. My work, along with the contributions of so many passionate advocates, has empowered communities to be the change they wish to see in this world. I am seeking the office of Governing Council Representative to uphold the interests of the divisions and that of ACA. Divisions give counseling professionals the opportunity to make an impact in a specific specialty area. Together we can make a difference that is both heard and felt. GC is that bridge.


Cheryl West

I have had the privilege of serving as President of the National Association of Employment Counselors in the past. My vision, values and professional experiences continue to be consistent with NECA's mission. As a president, I worked closely and collaboratively with the Board of Trustees; hence, I am aware of the role and function of this body. Also, I have served on other nonprofit boards over the life of my career. I feel that my accumulated experiences would be an asset to the NECA as a board member. From a leadership perspective, my philosophical, pragmatic, and practitioner approach aligns with existing executive and board leadership. With that said, Cadre Consulting and NECA entered into a partnership to offer a new professional development certification. The Youth Engagement and Leadership Development Facilitator (YELD) Online Certification consists of youth-focused competencies, evidence based youth curriculum, effective facilitator practices, and techniques that respond to youth issues and challenges. YELD is an example of collaborative leadership and strategic thinking and basis for my belief that I would be an asset to the NECA Board.

Lisa Fulton

I have been a school counselor for 20 years. Currently, I work at the Eastern Lebanon County School District serving as the school counselor for grades 8 and 9. I held various leadership positions throughout my career, including Treasurer of NECA, President of the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association (PSCA), PSCA Conference Registrar, and PSCA Region Representative. I am currently an Instructor for the Working Ahead Moving Forward, Global Career Development Facilitator training and the Youth Engagement and Leadership Development Online Facilitator Certification. I have presented at various school counseling conferences as well as hosting an American School Counselors Association (ASCA) webinar. One of my passions within school counseling has always been career education. Career development is an essential piece in schools today, and it is imperative that we help to guide our students to explore their interests and to learn how to turn their passions into successful future employment. I hope to serve in the role of NECA Trustee so I can bring my passion and experience to the organization. Thank you for your consideration.

Kelly Holiday

Hello! My name is Kelly Holiday. I’m a 53-year-young single parent (nearly an empty-nester!) who lives in the Seattle area. I’ve logged 55,000+ hours of licensed counseling and supervision, primarily in Florida and Washington State, providing home-based support to low-income rural and urban clients at hospital, agency and private practice settings. I’ve also worked as a charter school teacher and guidance counselor. Pre-counseling, I earned my B.A. in journalism and enjoyed freelance writing, public relations and on-air work at several radio stations. My LinkedIn profile is here: To borrow from The Beatles, a long and winding road has led me to your door as a NECA Trustee candidate. I’m now in my 50s, in a period of profound personal transition, and like so many of us, am terribly concerned about the vital issues of the day. I’ve been trying to figure out what actions I can take to evolve robustly into older adulthood while continuing to grow and serve as a counseling professional at both the micro and macro levels. Happily, I recently completed NECA Past President Dr. Michael Lazarchick’s GCDF “Working Ahead, Moving Forward” credentialing course, which helped me gain some perspective and forward motion with these concerns. As a result, I’m studying for my Psy.D. through Cal Southern, and have accepted Dr. Lazarchick’s kind NECA Trustee nomination. What I enthusiastically offer as your NECA Trustee is my profound desire to represent your needs, concerns and suggestions, and if desired, I’d love to use my journalism, public relations and tech skills to help expand awareness of NECA and highlight your vital daily round as career counseling professionals. I am CERTAIN that all the NECA Trustee candidates are well-qualified, so you will be wonderfully represented regardless of the election outcome. Thanks for your consideration!

Catherine J. Eaton

Catherine “Cathie” J. Eaton, LCPC, NCC Eaton is a licensed clinical professional counselor, an approved clinical supervisor and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She owns and operates Upcounty Pastoral Counseling Services, a private counseling practice with offices located in Germantown and Gaithersburg, Maryland. She received her MS in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in 2011 and her BA in Social Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1992. She has successfully grown her private practice from a handful of clients in 2014 to full time caseload addressing career counseling as well as major mental health concerns. She currently holds the position of President-Elect for the Maryland Counseling Association, (MCA) and has been an active member since March of 2014. She was instrumental in coordinating Advocacy Day in February 2017 for MCA, held in Annapolis, Maryland. She recently completed training to become a certified global career development facilitator (GCDF) with a recommendation to continue training to become an instructor. She has presented at numerous community events and has had leadership positions in her church for over twenty years. She is an active member of ACA, ASERVIC, AADA, ACC, NECA, MCA, MASERVIC, and MALGBTIC.

Sujata Ives

Dr. Sujata Ives, PhD is a highly qualified educator and mediator who advocates for and empowers incarcerated women at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women in Jessup, Maryland. Sujata works diligently to restore the self-worth of individuals who have lost their path during their life journey. Her transition courses are in high demand where women benefit from learning about 21st century job readiness skills and life skills. If individuals truly want to transform this world then they must change their thinking. Sujata is motivated due to her own East Indian experience and diversity. Sujata is highly educated and has over two decades of instructional expertise where she utilizes her knowledge of brain science to remove internal barriers that impede achievement and success. Sujata has a BA degree in the Biological Sciences from Goucher College, MA degree in Educational Communications and Technology from New York University, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from Walden University. She holds a Post-graduate Certificate in School Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University, and Post-graduate Certificate in Mediation from Harvard University School of Law, Program on Negotiation. Sujata’s latest publication was a paper that she wrote for “Career Planning and Adult Development” Journal in the Winter 2016 issue, where she shared the work of incarcerated populations. Sujata has been mediating conflicts since 1999 and is certified in mediation by Community Mediation Maryland and the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution. Sujata has served as Board President for the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center, and Community Mediation Maryland where she served as Board member. Sujata holds a Humanistic worldview and has an earnest passion for innovation and social change. She is a caring problem-solver who is efficient and organized. For these reasons and more, she wishes to serve as trustee for NECA.