Meet Our Team
Robert Segal, M.A., CEO, co-founded HelpGuide in 1999 and has been its leader as the organization evolved from a local Santa Monica Rotary Club project into one of the world’s top 10 mental health websites. Robert has over 60 years of experience in management and leadership. In 1955, he completed an innovative 5-year program to earn a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering. The next year, he became the Project Leader of a fast track missile simulator that was part of the U.S. missile defense system. Later, he developed a unique identification friend-or-foe (IFF) video processor for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory that was patented under Robert’s name. He switched career paths in 1974 and earned an M.A. in Educational Psychology. In the late 1970s, Robert and his wife, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., coordinated a groundbreaking series of holistic health conferences for the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP). In the 1980s, Robert began a successful career in commercial real estate development and management. Robert is very active in the Los Angeles nonprofit community, including nine years on the Board of Directors of the California Community Foundation and 34 years on the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.
Melinda Smith, M.A., Executive Director, sets the strategic vision for HelpGuide, in collaboration with CEO Robert Segal, and oversees content operations and organizational outreach and development. She leads a diverse team of writers, editors, content producers, SEO experts, and web developers and has been a key driver in HelpGuide’s growth into an internationally-acclaimed website that reaches over 50 million people a year. She holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in psychology.
Ken Vader, Projects & Operations Manager, has a B.S. in Computer Science and over 10 years of experience in IT administration and support. Ken assists in maintaining HelpGuide.org’s quality as well as providing technical support to the HelpGuide team.
Chris Saranchock, Media & Marketing Manager, creates and produces HelpGuide’s video content and audio meditations and oversees digital marketing. He has been a practicing Buddhist for over 20 years, and studied mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He holds a degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, as well as a certificate in cinema production.
Lawrence Robinson, Senior Editor, has over 20 years of experience writing about health and fitness. For the last 8 years, he’s been committed to bringing HelpGuide’s empowering message to more and more readers looking to overcome mental health challenges. He is also a published author and has edited several books on psychology.
Adrian Tarango, Lead Web Developer & DevOps Manager, has over 20 years experience in IT management, web application, and mobile app development. For the last 12 years, he has been responsible for transitioning HelpGuide through various stages of web innovations and technologies while preserving the essence of our content. He is devoted to enhancing and expanding the presentation of HelpGuide’s unique reader experience.
Mike Weber, SEO/Analytics, Editorial Research/QA & Data Management, brings a Physiology B.S., collegiate Certificates in Media Arts, and 22 years of environmental assessment experience to HelpGuide. He performs SEO, assesses site analytics, oversees content quality assurance for the website and maintains organizational records and databases.
Kai Lundgren, Social Media Manager, was born and raised in Dana Point, CA, and holds a B.A. in English from UCLA. As our resident social media maven, he is responsible for growing HelpGuide’s social media presence and engaging with our online community.
Kisa Rozenbaoum, Illustrator, is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. She currently studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Board of Directors
Shirley Fredricks, Board Secretary/Treasurer, is a long-time trustee of the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation and a founding board member of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. Shirley has been engaged in virtually every important movement in the country to educate and inspire family foundations dedicated to supporting the public good.
Stephanie Mihalas, PhD, NCSP, ABPP, is a licensed and board certified psychologist, as well as a nationally certified school psychologist. She is the founder of The Center for Well Being in Los Angeles, CA. Mihalas provides psychotherapeutic services to children, teens, adults, and families; as well as parent, executive, organizational, and chronic wellness coaching. Her speciality areas include: bullying, trauma, anxiety, chronic illness/rare disease, intergenerational issues, and working with marginalized populations.
Robert Segal, M.A. Earned a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and focused on holistic health as a facilitator and conference organizer. Robert founded commercial development / property management firm. He is an active board member in numerous non-profit organizations. He’s been HelpGuide’s technical and operations manager since the website was launched in 1999. He is currently the CEO.
Monika White, Ph.D., Board Chair, is a nationally recognized author and lecturer in the field of aging. Dr. White was the president and CEO of the Center for Healthy Aging and an adjunct professor of gerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. She has concentrated her emphasis on care management for older adults and their families.