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Meet Our Team

The HelpGuide team is a passionate group of people dedicated to providing you with balanced,
responsible, helpful, and motivating mental health information, resources, and tools.

Robert Segal, M.A.

Robert Segal, M.A.

Chief Executive Officer

Melinda Smith, M.A.

Melinda Smith, M.A.

Executive Director

Ken Vader

Ken Vader

Operations Manager and Lead Web Developer

Chris Saranchock

Chris Saranchock

Media and Marketing Manager

Lawrence Robinson

Lawrence Robinson

Senior Editor

Savi Labensart

Savi Labensart

Executive Secretary

Kai Lundgren

Kai Lundgren

Social Media Manager

Kisa Rozenbaoum

Kisa Rozenbaoum

Illustrator

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Monika White

Monika White, Ph.D.

Board Chair

Shirley Fredricks

Shirley Fredricks

Board Secretary and Treasurer

Stephanie Mihalas, Ph.D.

Stephanie Mihalas, Ph.D.

Board Member

Janice Burrill

Janice Burrill

Board Member

Robert Segal, M.A.

Robert Segal, M.A.

Chief Executive Officer

Robert Segal, M.A.

CEO

Robert 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

Melinda 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

Operations Manager and Lead Web Developer

Ken leads the web development team and manages the day-to-day operations of the HelpGuide team. He oversees the development of the website and manages HelpGuide’s IT group. Ken has a B.S. in Computer Science from Cal State Monterey Bay.

Chris Saranchock

Media and Marketing Manager

Chris 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

Lawrence 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.

Savi Labensart

Executive Secretary

Savi Labensart supports HelpGuide with her skills in bookkeeping, personnel, and communications. Savi has been involved in the non-profit community for many years. She worked as Executive Secretary for the Rotary Club of Santa Monica from 2008 to 2021, and volunteered for the Santa Monica Junior Chamber of Commerce from 2011 to 2018, taking on the presidency in 2012. Savi leads a double life as a musician and vocalist with over 20 years in the music industry, including performance, recording, song writing, stage management, and music services.

Kai Lundgren

Social Media Manager

Kai 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

Kisa is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. She currently studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design.