President’s Column
Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D.

Continued from home page...

Simply put, she is not replaceable. Carol has been the face of LACPA — the one who answers the phone or email when you contact LACPA and the one who greets you at Convention — for so many years. She is an amazing memory bank of LACPA’s recent history. She can tell you who spoke when, which president started what, and how long you have been a member.

Carol joined LACPA at the same time as did Patricia Fricker, in August 1991. Pat had assumed the director role and recruited Carol for a part-time position to help her. Back in 1991, LACPA did not have its own office, instead renting space from a past president. There were about 650 to 700 members at that time. In 1999, Pat and Carol moved to LACPA’s first official office space. It was from here that they oversaw the growth of the organization to its height in membership of 1,300 members. They moved to LACPA’s current office in 2015 and Pat died in 2017. Since 2017, Carol has served LACPA as Operations Director.

It is hard for me to imagine LACPA without Carol, and I am sure any of you who have interacted with Carol share the same view. I know I will miss working with her. And yet, our organization will move forward. Our fabulous operations assistant Adriene Ghiasian will fortunately continue to work for LACPA. I have spent a good part of my acting-presidential year and my presidential term ensuring the continuity of LACPA. With the help of several key individuals, I have led a search for a new director which has yielded a wonderful candidate to whom I look forward to introducing you soon. I am grateful to the work of the ad-hoc director’s search committee — Carol Torcello, Adriene Ghiasian, Lynne Steinman, David Laramie, Gretchen Kubacky, David Glass, Jaz Robbins, Stacy Reger, Evelyn Pechter, Anthony Zamudio — as well as the LACPA Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

My presidential theme, All Bodies, All Voices, reflects the importance of centering diverse voices, and our upcoming calendar reflects this theme. Our diversity committee under Harpreet Malla, Ph.D. has assembled a fabulous lineup of speakers including Deb Burgard, Ph.D.; Shawn Giammattei, Ph.D.; Kiere Eichelberger, Ph.D.; and Alette Coble-Temple, Psy.D. And our convention keynote speaker, APA’s President, Thema Bryant-Davis, Ph.D., has announced her topic: Liberation Psychology: Healing the Wounds of Racism. I am also grateful to have the opportunity to expand on the all bodies part of my presidential theme in my article on Unpacking Our Weight Stigma.