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Leadership Team

Lorna W. Mattern, Executive Director

In cooperation with the Board of Directors, Lorna plans and directs agency operations. Her responsibilities include: program planning and development, staff supervision, financial planning, resource development, policy development, community liaison, and contract negotiations.

Lorna joined UCS in 1990 and immediately contributed to the growth and development of intensive and wraparound services for children, youth, and families. In 2004 she became the Director of the Youth and Family Services Division and was responsible for the clinical and administrative oversight of the agency’s system of care for children and families. Lorna was appointed Executive Director of United Counseling Service in 2016.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Counseling and a MEd. in Rehabilitation and Counseling with a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Psychology. In addition to being a member of the Vermont Care Partners Centers of Excellence Committee and Project Catalyst, she serves as a member of the United Health Alliance Board.

Leslie Addison
Leslie Addison, Human Resources Director

Leslie directs all aspects of the human resource function for the agency, including employment, employee relations, wage, salary and benefit administration, health and safety, affirmative action, and compliance. Leslie has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the College of St. Rose and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.

She began working in Human Resources in 1983 as an Employment Counselor with Northeast Career Planning in Albany, New York, and continued as a Program Manager and as Director of Employment Services. As Director, she managed and promoted employment and youth transition services for individuals with disabilities; directed compliance oversight of Medicaid standards, mental hygiene law, and funding guidelines; and ensured fiscal accountability, human resource management, achievement of outcomes, program development and customer satisfaction.

Dawn Danner
Dawn Danner, Director of Developmental Services

Dawn has worked at UCS since 2014 when she started as a case manager. In her short time at UCS, she has helped to strengthen the Shared Living Program as a Program Manager and Program Coordinator. She has also overseen the Employment Program, been an advisor for Peer Support, a teacher of DBT skills, and a CPI instructor.

Dawn received her Bachelor’s Degree from MCLA in Elementary Education and her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Fort Hayes State University. Prior to coming to UCS, Dawn was a teaching assistant for individuals with autism.

Paul DiIonno, Director of Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Paul is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and has worked for UCS since March of 2013. He was hired as the Substance Abuse Coordinator and Manager of CRASH, then became the Manager of Substance Abuse Services. Paul developed the  Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Intensive Medication Assisted Treatment (IMAT) Program. Paul’s responsibilities include supervising our outpatient mental health and substance abuse programs, including Universal Access, Eldercare, Rocking Horse, Reach Up, IPLAN, Blue Print, Spoke, EAP and IMAT.

Paul holds a BA degree in Environmental Studies from Johnson State College and a MA degree in Elementary Education from the College of St. Joseph. He has a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont and spent ten years in public education as a licensed teacher and principal. Paul has been in the field of humans services for 23 years and is a member of the Vermont Association of Addiction Treatment Providers and the Vermont Youth Treatment Enhancement Program.

Jill Doyle
Jill Doyle, Finance and Operations Director

Jill is responsible for fiscal control, clinical records, budget management, financial program planning and development, utilization and management of agency information systems, as well as fiscal policy development and implementation. She also supervises administrative support services.

Jill has been with UCS since 2000 and has held key posts within the financial division. She has held increasingly responsible supervisory positions for large and complex companies since 1988. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from State University of New York at Plattsburgh and a Certificate of Accounting from Siena College.

Lavonne Freeman, Youth and Family Services Director

Lavonne is responsible for the clinical and administrative oversight of the agency’s system of care for children and families.

Lavonne has more than twenty years of experience in Social Work and Managed Care and joined United Counseling Service in 2017. She received her Bachelor Degree in Human Services from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and a Masters of Social Work from the State University of New York in Albany.

Heidi French, Community Relations and Development Director

Heidi works with the staff and board members to profile UCS programs and achievements and to promote greater awareness of the developmental and health services available at UCS. She coordinates news and information and directs the annual giving campaign.

Heidi received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Washington and has a strong business background in marketing and development.


Julie Pagliccia, Director of Northshire Services

Julie is responsible for the clinical and administrative oversight of the agency’s Northshire Office located in Manchester. The programs offered include Adult Outpatient and Substance Abuse services and Youth and Family Services. Julie is also responsible for all of the agency contracted School Based Services with the Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union, Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union and the Southern Vermont Supervisory Union. The office is home to the Northshire Head Start program and Big Brother Big Sisters. Providers from the CRT program and the Developmental Services programs have recently increased their presence to provide more services to people in this area.

Julie joined UCS in 1999 as a school based clinician moving to the position of Community Services Manager in 2005 and is a member of the Local Inter Agency Team (LIT) and the Integrated Family Services (IFS) Team of Bennington County. She has a BA in Sociology from Clark University and a MA degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Stetson University.

Julie has enjoyed working in the social service and mental health realm for almost 30 years in both State and private agencies.


Betsy Rathbun-Gunn
Betsy Rathbun-Gunn, Early Childhood Services Division Director

A former teacher, Betsy is responsible for developing and implementing the four major components for the Head Start Program: health, education, social services, and parent development. Her additional duties include budget development, local and statewide community networking on early childhood programs, and supervision of The UCS Infant Toddler Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bennington County.

Alya Reeve, M.D.,M.P.H., Medical Director

Dr. Reeve is responsible for overseeing clinical psychiatric services and providing guidance to clinical staff. The Medical Director assures that agency patients receive appropriate evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, medical screening and medical or psychiatric evaluation. In addition, the Medical Director is the liaison for UCS with community physicians, hospital staff, and other professionals and agencies associated with psychiatric services.

Dr. Reeve has served in multiple professional and academic roles at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Pediatrics. Dr. Reeve earned her M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, with residencies in psychiatry at the Dartmouth School of Medicine and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She also spent time as the Registrar in the Epilepsy Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital in London, UK. Dr. Reeve was a fellow in the clinical brain disorders branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Washington, D.C. She earned her M.P.H at the University of New Mexico, and originally a B.A. in French and Zoology from Connecticut College.


Allah Rakha Sheikh, Director of Information Technology

Allah Rakha  Sheikh is the IT Director for UCS and is responsible for IT strategy, infrastructure, services and IT compliance. He joined the UCS team in 2017.

Sheikh brings to this position IT leadership experience providing Project Management, Service Management, Product Strategy, Development Roadmaps, Governance, and Execution in Healthcare, Manufacturing, Insurance and Telecommunications. Before coming to UCS he served as IT Manager for Pekin Insurance in Illinois. Prior to that he worked for several Fortune 500 companies, including GE and Unisys.

Sheikh has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and is a member of Information Technology Service Management Forum (ITSMF), Prosci-Change Management and serves as a Corporate Executive Board (CEB) member.


Shawn Thibodeau rev
Shawn Thibodeau, Director of Facilities and Safety

Shawn joined UCS in 2008. Shawn is responsible for maintenance, grounds, facility renovations and project development, telecommunications, security and safety at the 16 UCS facilities located throughout Bennington County. He oversees the safety of clients and staff, chairs the Health and Safety Committees at UCS, and supervises the agency’s fleet of vehicles and its transportation requirements. Shawn ensures full agency compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and local, state and federal mandated requirement.