Board of Directors and Staff
Board of Directors
Josephine Carlson (She/Her) - Chairman of the Board
Growing up, I learned early that I was surrounded by people who felt things deeply but had an equally deep sense of pride in their ability to appear unflinching. I watched in awe as my strong and sturdy family waged noble and hard-won battles on behalf of everyone – human rights were indivisible…inalienable…and always, always worth fighting for. As a kid with a hand-crafted picket sign clenched in my little fists, standing firm on the portico of the Wyoming State Capitol, I felt in my element.
Where I did not feel in my element was basically everywhere else. School was hard, life was hard, friends were hard…by 16 I was booted out of high school and had no idea who I wanted to be. At 21 I owned and operated my own business, but when I was 22 I became a suicide survivor. By 28 I survived near-fatal domestic violence and credit being able to graduate college for the first time that same year, to my decision to stop drinking.
I have embraced being a late bloomer. I have graduated college three times now, most recently with a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology (someone pinch me). But if I am being honest, the accomplishments that have meant the most to me include becoming a wife to a unicorn and a mom to a darling person I never get enough of. I love my work as a consultant and grief recovery specialist, and it is never lost on me how different this all could have been.
Once upon a time I just wanted to fit in and be perfect. My late father would tell me, “From jail to Yale, Josephine. From the outhouse to the Whitehouse…people everywhere struggle. They just don’t talk about it.”
“Talking about it” has become my mission. Appearing perfect and unflinching just isn’t something I could do. Disclosure is my armor. Being vulnerable is my superpower. Humility took the place of pride on my list of virtues, and I am profoundly grateful to be serving on the board of directors of Grace For 2 Brothers.
Rick Boheler - co-Chairman of the Board
Rick Boheler is the Board Co-Chair for the Grace For 2 Brothers Foundation. He has served on the Board in various capacities since it attained a 501 (c) (3) designation from the Department of the Treasury on March 3, 2011.
Boheler was previously employed by United Parcel Service at that organization’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta, GA. He retired in 2002 after serving on the management team for 25 years in various locations around the U.S. He is currently the President of PSI Energy Production Services. Since 2012, PSI Energy has provided equipment and expertise for flowback and coil operations for various energy producers operating in Northern Colorado, North Dakota and throughout Wyoming.
Boheler graduated from Cheyenne Central High School in 1972 and from the University of Wyoming in 1976.
Niki Kottmann- Secretary
Niki Kottmann is a native of the Chicago suburbs who landed in Cheyenne after working for a weekly newspaper in Sarasota, Florida for three years. She’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and now holds the title of Features Editor for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
Throughout college, Niki developed a passion for mental health advocacy and awareness, especially after serving as an Active Minds mental health peer educator. After graduating, she served on several fundraising committees through National Alliance on Mental Illness Sarasota County and as a peer volunteer for Coastal Behavioral Healthcare’s Compeer program.
When she’s not writing, editing, or doing volunteer work, you can find Niki listening to showtunes, eating an excessive amount of cheese and/or hiking with her boyfriend.
Jesse Carter- Treasurer
Jesse is a proud father of two boys and currently serves in the United States Air Force. After learning about GF2B in 2018 and its resources for suicide prevention and postvention, he wanted to get involved. Since then, he’s become a board member and an Hour of Grace Grief Support Group facilitator. In 2002, Jesse’s only brother died by suicide, and back then he wasn’t familiar with loss resources like what GF2B offers today.
Jesse says that “GF2B offers a community to support and talk with those that have been affected by suicide, which will hopefully prevent suicides by diminishing the stigma.”
When Jesse is not working or volunteering, he enjoys reading, listening to music, practicing piano and violin, cooking, and learning (just about anything).
Steve Smyth was born and raised here in Cheyenne and decided to raise his family here as well. Steve is a father of 3 amazing kids, one of them is in college and the other two attend East High School. Steve has had the honor to work for one of the best companies in Wyoming- Taco John’s Intl. for the past 14 years. Taco John’s continues to be a leader in the state by assisting Suicide Prevention efforts throughout Wyoming.
Steve spends much of his summertime on the ball fields coaching girls fast-pitch softball or on the golf course. Steve likes spending winters skiing with his family.
Steve had served on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years.
Dana Thompson is an Emergency Rental Assistance Program Case Manager for the Wyoming Institute of Population Health. She has also previously worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. Her public health experience includes housing stability, harm reduction, disaster preparedness, stigma reduction, global health, and sexual health. Dana obtained her Bachelor’s in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, camping, and spending time with her family. She is so excited to take on a leadership role in an organization whose mission she cares deeply about. She has almost lost multiple people in her life to suicide so she will be approaching this issue from a personal and professional lens.
Mike is a first born American and Cheyenne native. He believes in partnerships and knows not one person or group can achieve missions or goals without additional resources. As issues arise among communities, it is the effort of many that help accomplish these missions. Mike also speaks Spanish in which he uses to assist those seeking community services.
Mike is a Cheyenne Police Detective with 15 years of experience in the criminal justice field. He has been active in bridging the gap between police and mental health services and has earned a
Law Enforcement Associates degree from the Laramie County Community College (LCCC) and Criminal Justice Administration Bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix. Mike’s obtained over a hundred hours of mental health and substance abuse training in an effort to assist those who are challenged from such issues. Mike’s currently a co-coordinator with the Cheyenne Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team. As a part of this team, it has been Mike’s mission to train officers in crisis response and de-escalation. He has also been a part of two crisis response teams in an effort to assist those in need alongside mental health providers.
During his time off, Mike enjoys family activities and volunteering his time to anyone or any organization in need. He’s spent several years volunteering his time for Wyoming Special Olympics and has
recently joined forces with Ringside Sports in an effort to support Cheyenne youth athletics.
Jeremy Bay (He/Him)- Executive Director
Jeremy is a native of Cheyenne, WY, returning home after completing more than two decades of service in the United States Navy, and is a retired, disabled veteran.
He has earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with additional post-secondary education in human development and adolescent education. He is completing the final requirements of a graduate degree in Military and Emergency Responder Psychology
Jeremy is committed to social equality, particularly in the areas of affordable housing, food insecurity, and restoration. He is dedicated to removing barriers to care and bringing community assets together through formal partnerships and education. He is invested in expanding radical upstream approaches to suicide prevention through community involvement and innovation. Jeremy is an advocate for “And”, believing that “WE” can help a person experiencing challenges such as substance use disorders, domestic violence, homelessness AND address suicide and mental health concurrently.
Jeremy’s experience with suicide prevention includes personal struggles related to his military career, transition to civilian life, overseeing the Wyoming Army National Guard’s suicide and substance abuse prevention programs as a contract employee, and serving at the Executive Director for Grace For 2 Brothers.
Johnna Dieters (She/Her)- Executive Assistant
Johnna grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She brings forth fresh concepts in social media marketing, and a passion for fundraising.
Johnna is passionate about addiction studies and its ties to mental health in our communities. She believes that we need to destigmatize people and provide support for all walks of life. Shes dedicated to providing resources and support to anyone in need.
When she’s not at the office you can find her enjoying time with her family, snuggling her dogs, or spending time outside enjoying fresh Wyoming air.
Cecelia Bay, MSW (She/Her)- Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy
Cecelia’s passion for advocacy and policy has lead her to interagency work with Grace For 2 Brothers advocating for
upstream approaches to Wyoming’s suicide rates.
Cecelia works to bring suicide safer communities to
empower Wyomingites to find meaning while choosing positive life changes and improving mental health outcomes. Cecelia’s dedication to social justice, advocacy, and community awareness is
evidenced by her dedication to causes such as socio-economic insecurity, disparities in healthcare, racial, religious, and LGBTQIA+ issues, and housing insecurity, which all can lead towards Wyoming’s suicide crisis.
Cecelia’s passion for suicide prevention stems from her personal struggles and work in various organizations in Arizona and Wyoming. Cecelia is always willing to listen, offer resources, and
lend a helping hand.
In Cecelia’s spare time, she can be found practicing self-care (outside when the weather allows) with her husband, teenagers, and animals.
Dan Hedrick (He/Him)- Grief Support Coordinator
Danno is a past member of the Board of Directors for Grace for 2 Brothers. He currently is Grace for 2 Brothers Suicide Grief Support Coordinator. Danno was responsible for starting the Suicide Loss groups in both Laramie and Wheatland.
He facilitates the Laramie Wyoming Hour of Grace Suicide Loss support Group, that meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Danno currently is the Director of the Laramie County LOSS Team (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors Team) with a outstanding group of volunteers. Danno lost his younger brother to suicide in 2011.