Carl J. Sheperis is the interim President and CEO of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates (NBCC) and its division, NBCC International (NBCC-I). Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, the NBCC is the preeminent certification agency for professional counselors in the United States. It has certified more than 64,000 counselors and provides licensure examinations for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Dr. Sheperis completed his undergraduate studies at Kutztown University of Pennsylvia, earned a Master of Science in Education in 1994 from Duquesne University and his doctorate in mental health counseling in 2001 from the University of Florida. He is a board certified counselor (NCC), Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC), Master Addictions Counselor (MAC), Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), as well as a past NBCC Board Chair.
Before joining the NBCC full time in April 2018, he was Program Dean for the College of Social Sciences at the University of Phoenix, and earlier served at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he was Chair of the Counseling and Special Populations Department and led the largest state university system counseling program in the United States. Dr. Sheperis has been President of the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Counseling and Development, as well as serving as Editor of the Journal of Counseling Research and Practice. He also has worked with the American Counseling Association (ACA) as Chair of the Research & Knowledge Committee.
In addition to service, Dr. Sheperis is the author of several textbooks, has contributed chapters to other textbooks and written numerous academic journal articles and reference volumes. He received the David K. Brooks, Jr. Distinguished Mentor Award from the ACA in 2016, and has served as an expert to media outlets in pediatric and family mental health.
Wendi K. Schweiger is Director of NBCC-I. In this position, Dr. Schweiger organizes and facilitates NBCC’s collaboration efforts with counselors and counseling organizations outside the United States that are taking steps to professionalize, and she is assigned to lead collaboration efforts with entities in Africa and Latin America. She also administers the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program worldwide. She has worked for NBCC in a variety of capacities and was named to her current position in August 2013.
Dr. Schweiger has been an NCC since 1998. She is an LPC in North Carolina and an inductee of the Chi Sigma Iota honor society. She travels, presents, and trains worldwide, and she has co-authored publications inside and outside of the U.S.
Dr. Schweiger completed her undergraduate studies at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She earned her Master of Science and Educational Specialist degrees in community counseling in 1997 and her doctorate in counselor education in 2008 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Andreea Szilagyi is currently serving as a Director of NBCC-I. Former VP of NBCC-I, Dr. Szilagyi organizes and facilitates counseling professionalization outside the United States. She began her work with the NBCC and NBCC-I during her appointment as NBCC-I’s first international counselor-in-residence (2004–2005), and served as President of NBCC Romania and as Chair of the European office of NBCC-I, EBCC, located in Lisbon, Portugal. For several years, Dr. Szilagyi was heavily involved with the counseling professionalizing efforts in Europe. She is currently working closely with educational and business organizations in Asia interested in supporting the development of the counseling profession.
Dr. Szilagyi was an executive member of the International Association for Counseling. She is a founding member and at present is Vice President of the Association of Romanian Counselors (ACROM). She is also a visiting professor with University of Bucharest, with a full teaching load in counseling. Dr. Szilagyi is one of the first counselor educators in Eastern Europe, and her expertise is oriented toward the practice of career counseling, school counseling, counselor education, development of the counseling profession, supervision, and certification across borders.
Raised in Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania, Dr. Szilagyi earned her degree in education at the University of Bucharest in 1995 and her PhD in Education at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi. Her doctoral program was the first in Romania to have a counseling focus. Dr. Szilagyi is an NCC, as well as a registered Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) International Master Trainer, Certified Supervision Professional (CSP) Master Trainer, and MHF Master Trainer. She also maintains membership in several counseling associations internationally.
J. Scott Hinkle is the Editor of the academic counseling journal, The Professional Counselor. He has been a counseling professor, professional development coordinator, organizational consultant, and global mental health specialist for 32 years. Dr. Hinkle is the author of over 100 journal articles, books, and book chapters, and he has presented numerous papers at international counseling conferences, including mental health proceedings in China, Australia, and India. He is the co-developer of the MHF project and co-directs international counseling institutes.
University accreditation in the discipline of counseling is one of Dr. Hinkle’s specialties, and he has chaired 28 accreditation teams in the United States. He also evaluates other types of university programs, such as business administration, where he recommends various aspects for improvement. Dr. Hinkle is a cofounder of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors and the founding president of the North Carolina Association of Marriage and Family Counselors.
Dr. Hinkle has taught numerous graduate courses, including psychopharmacology; psychopathology; marriage, couple, and family counseling; psychometric testing and assessment; ethics and law; and group counseling. Prior to becoming a university professor, Dr. Hinkle worked in three inpatient facilities and two mental health centers where he treated people with severe and pervasive mental health problems. He has maintained a limited private practice for over 30 years and is an evaluator for fitness for duty for the North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor Board. Dr. Hinkle has worked part-time as a psych preceptor for the University of North Carolina Family Practice Residency in Greensboro, North Carolina, and has published medical papers with the residency faculty.
When not working, Dr. Hinkle plays and records music, kayaks, snowboards, fly fishes, and mountain bikes. His hobby is photography, photographic printing, and photographic touring consultation. Many of his photos are in people’s homes and one photo hangs in the Palace of Bhutan.
Eugenie Yang first joined NBCC-I in 2014 as a graduate assistant and is currently the division’s program manager. In this position, Ms. Yang manages the MHF program by communicating with partners, organizing training materials, and maintaining program data. She also coordinates the institutes program’s initiatives through collaborative efforts with partners and participants. Additionally, Ms. Yang is involved with country-specific certifications.
Although she spent a portion of her childhood in China, Ms. Yang was raised in Houston, Texas. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and earned her Master of Science in counseling with a specialization in college counseling and student development from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ms. Yang has been an NCC since 2015.
Rita Catarino Caeiro initially joined EBCC as an executive assistant in 2012. In her current role, Ms. Caeiro supports the chair and the business development director in coordinating the GCDF, MHF, and CSP programs in Europe and globally.
Ms. Caeiro served on the team of experts that adapted the GCDF-Portugal curriculum, is a registered GCDF-Portugal, GCDF-Portugal Trainer and Master Trainer, and a registered CSP.
Ms. Caeiro graduated from the University of Évora, in Portugal, in 2010 with a master’s in organizational psychology. She has developed her professional background with social and community projects that serve socially and economically disadvantaged youth and adults. Ms. Caeiro also has experience in delivering personal, emotional, and social skill development training courses, as well as mental health promotion programs. She is a registered MHF.
Helda Parreira is a native of Portugal, raised in the village of Sintra.
Ms. Parreira holds a bachelor’s degree in English and German languages and literatures and a specialization in teaching and education, both from Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal. She has experience in teaching primary and secondary school, developing educational and social programs for adults, and coordinating training departments for multinational companies.
In her current role, she provides administrative support to the EBCC staff and represents EBCC with partners or third parties as indicated by the Business Development Director.
Ms. Parreira has been a registered GCDF since 2016.