Ronnie Susan Walker MS, LCPC
Founder & Executive Director
Director of Public Relations & Fundraising
We are grateful to our trained team of forum moderators. We often say “they put the hope in the Alliance of Hope.” Each moderator is a suicide loss survivor who understands the challenges faced by survivors. They have reached a point in their own grief journey where they have integrated devastating loss into their lives. They honor – but are not dominated by the past.
Each moderator volunteers hundreds of hours a year in support of new loss survivors. They bear witness to people’s stories, provide information, and extend hope for going beyond just surviving.
Board of Directors
Melanie Kenderdine (Chairwoman)
Melanie Kenderdine is former director of the U. S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Policy and Analysis. In 2014, the National Journal named her one of the top five women in Washington shaping energy policy. She recognized the value of the Alliance of Hope’s services following the loss of her brother, Russell, to suicide. (Washington, DC)
Brian Bruzda, CFA
Brian Bruzda, CFA, manages pension plans for unions. He lost his brother, Kevin, to suicide in 2013, and has been an advocate for suicide loss survivors ever since. He has spoken courageously about his personal experience, opening the door for others to receive support. Brian also serves on the board for Neighborhood Connections in Cleveland, and supports a charity that helps special-needs cats. (Cleveland, OH)
John L. McIntosh, Ph.D.
John L. McIntosh, Ph.D., is a well-known author and researcher in the field of suicidology, and a pioneer in the field of suicide postvention. He has contributed to eight books on suicide, including the seminal book: “Grief After Suicide: Understanding the Consequences and Caring for the Survivors.” He is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Indiana University – South Bend, and Past-President of the American Association of Suicidology. (Louisville, KY)
Paul McMickle specializes in organizational development and project management. A Vietnam veteran who served in the Special Forces, he understands the profound impact of military suicide. After returning from war, 10 of his 12 team members ended their lives. (Chicago, IL)
Jennifer Shadur is an interactive marketing expert specializing in search engine marketing and analytics. She has worked with numerous Fortune 500 clients in digital media management roles. She is an active volunteer in her own community and has volunteered her services to the Alliance of Hope since its inception, ensuring that loss survivors can easily find our website and forum. She lost her stepbrother to suicide in 1995. (Evanston, IL)
Heather Shadur is a seasoned public affairs professional who has worked on leading issues of the day. Her expertise includes strategic communications, coalition building, media relations, fundraising, and grassroots organizing. She has been involved with the Alliance of Hope since its inception and oversees the organization’s external relations and organizational development. (Kauai, HI)
Steve Shannon is a Sr. Manufacturing Engineer and dedicated family man. In 2012, he lost his son Patrick to suicide. He was an active participant on the Alliance of Hope forum, served as a moderator, and provided support to other survivors. He and his wife Tina started a survivors support group in their home town. Steve is also a child advocate who facilitates trainings about child sexual abuse, awareness, and prevention. (Grandhaven, Michigan)
Donna Soule lost her son, Jonathan, in 2009, and was one of the first members of the Alliance of Hope forum. She has a degree in Psychology and did psychiatric research at Texas Research Institute of Mental Sciences. She has worked with children with neuropsychological disabilities and in school health. Since Jonathan died, she and her beautiful Golden Retriever, Yuki, provide dog therapy sessions at psychiatric hospitals.
Ronnie Susan Walker MS, LCPC
Ronnie Walker MS LCPC, Alliance of Hope founder, is a licensed clinical mental health counselor with extensive training in trauma and loss. After losing her stepson to suicide in 1995, she recognized a void in accessible, quality support for the bereaved. Her vision is that no suicide loss survivor goes without support. (Evanston, IL)
Friends of the Alliance of Hope
These individuals have graciously donated their time and talents to help our organization.
Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.
Former Facilitator, Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico
Former Alliance of Hope board member (2014-2017); Co-lead, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention – Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force
Sr. Manager, Strategic Partnerships, American Heart Association, Nat’l Center
Senior VP and Director, M+R – New England Office
Aaron S. Kase
Esquire, Kase Law LLC
Executive Vice President, Kurth Lampe Worldwide
Gina Lobaco, CFRE
Associate Director for Philanthropy, The Palmyra Program at The Nature Conservancy, Hawai`i Chapter
Director of Policy, Chicago Department of Public Health
Former Alliance of Hope Blog Editor and gun safety advocate
Katherine A. Rush
Executive Director, Partnership to Educate and Advance Kids (PEAK)
Freelance Graphic Designer
Communications Director, The Americas at Order of Malta Worldwide Relief, Malteser International
IT and Innovation Specialist, Dexis Consulting Group
We are committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination in employment and opportunity because of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age.