Our Staff

Our diverse team of highly skilled professionals collaborate to provide evidence-based, state-of-the-art services.

Cristi Canepa

Cristi Canepa
Executive Director

After eight years of service as the Finance Manager and Administrative Assistant, Cristi returned to us in December 2018 as Executive Director. Her unique knowledge of our clientele and programs, office environment and staff, and the community we serve, makes her a perfect fit to lead our clinic into the future.

Prior to her Mind Matters career, Cristi spent over twenty years working in the medical field as an office manager and insurance biller. She graduated Valedictorian from Andon Medical Vocational College. Married into a sixth generation Calaveras County family, Cristi has raised her daughters here, and enjoys spending time with them and her grandchildren. Cristi is also a well-known local photographer, and loves hiking the beautiful Sierra Nevada.

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Charlin Lumia, LMFT
Diagnostic Clinician & Therapist

Charlin Lumia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who provides consultations and counseling for individuals and families affected by ADHD, autism and learning disabilities.

Charlin comes to Mind Matters after several years of working and supervising in-home and clinic based behavioral therapies for individuals with autism or related concerns. In this role, Charlin completed assessments, developed treatment plans, monitored progress and worked on analyzing problem behaviors as well as drafting Behavior Intervention Plans. Prior to this role, Charlin worked as a play therapist for children who had experienced trauma, a family therapist for the Livermore Police Department and a counselor in a juvenile detention facility.

Charlin thrives on developing a close therapeutic relationship and helping clients with their whole picture, the client, their family, their social circle, school/ work, by attending IEPs and coordinating care with other service providers. Charlin uses a blended approach of CBT, mindfulness, SFBT and process-based therapy.

Charlin earned her BA in Psychology at the University of California, Davis and her MS in Counseling Psychology from California State University, East Bay and currently has a private practice in Brentwood. Charlin was born and raised in the east San Francisco bay area. She and her family recently moved to the foothills and enjoy hiking around local lakes and exploring the area.

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Sally Kaplan
Educational Services Coordinator
& Social Skills Instructor

Sally came to the clinic through her service with the Calaveras Youth Mentorship Program where she has mentored a ‘special needs’ child since 2012.

Sally began her work at Mind Matters teaching Fast Forward. She is also the Clinic’s Social Skills instructor. Sally attended two conferences in the Bay Area where she trained in both Executive Function and Social Thinking. Social Thinking (also known as Social Skills) is a curriculum developed by Speech Language Pathologist Michelle Garcia Winner and is intended for students with social learning disabilities. Its focus is on teaching students to think about how others perceive them.

With a B.A. from Hampshire College, Sally brings years of experience as a teacher in specialized fields. She has taught video to school children in NYC, filmmaking to college students at NYU, UCLA and the Naropa Institute, and writing classes at Manzanita Writers Press and Gold Rush Writers Conference.

In addition to her work at Mind Matters, Sally is the co-producer with her husband David Vassar at Backcountry Pictures, a production company they founded in Los Angeles in 2001 and relocated to Murphys in 2012.

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Sarah Krutsinger, LCSW

Sarah Krutsinger, LCSW, provides counseling for individuals and families. She received her Master’s in Social Work with specialization in Health from USC. Sarah received her undergraduate degree in sociology and psychology from Biola University in La Mirada, CA. During the licensing period, she worked at a group home for teenage youth in Santa Ana providing counseling and support to the clients and their families. At Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Sarah worked in the Emergency department, NICU, as well as other areas in the hospital providing case management and crisis and grief counseling.

Sarah has also worked at a geriatric psychiatric hospital and has done volunteer work with youth in the Orange County area. Sarah recently moved with her husband and young son from Orange County to the Sierra Foothills and enjoys spending time in the local mountains and lakes with her family.

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Donna Vial, MA
Learning Specialist II

After graduating with a BS from UCD she began her 50+ year teaching career on Donner Summit in a 2-room school. She then obtained her Master’s degree from UOP and continued teaching at the college level. Elementary grades, and Jr. High math and science is where she finished her full-time career.

Prior to moving to Calaveras County, Donna was an ostrich rancher for 10 years, and developed 8 USDA labels for this specialty meat which she sold at Farmer’s Markets and restaurants. The past 15 years has been devoted to preparing students for their GED and teaching enrichment classes at the K-6 level in: coding, 3D printing, Maker Space, personal finance, and archery.

Donna enjoys cycling, downhill skiing and volunteering. Such sites include: Africa, Nicaragua, Vietnam, France, Hawaii, Catalina Island and the San Juan Islands. She is currently Board Secretary of CHIPS, and Blue Mountain Electric Company who is working to build a 3-megawatt biodiesel plant in Wilseyville in the near future. Many family outings with her 2 sons and grandsons take up lots of time and bring many pleasures. Her dream is to establish a summer camp for Dyslexic students in our area.

David Adams

David Adams
Learning Specialist II

David discovered Mind Matters while volunteer tutoring the Barton Reading System, and volunteer teaching the Art-in-Action program at both Hazel Fischer and Albert Michelson Elementary Schools. David and his daughter moved to Bear Valley from San Diego 4 years ago, and they now live in Murphys. He has enjoyed year-round activities in the High Sierra and The Bear Valley Music Festival since his childhood and is grateful to be able to share them with his daughter.

David was born and raised in Piedmont, CA. He is a third-generation educator, earning his BA Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Human Development and a K-12 Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential at San Diego State University. An entrepreneur at a young age with experience in the resort and hospitality industry, and a long-time property manager with strong organizational and communication skills, David feels happiest when teaching.

Starting as a Barton tutor at Mind Matters, David is an advocate for early childhood reading development. He teaches across cultural barriers, believes in creating a safe learning environment that encourages students to share their ideas, and is intentional in identifying educational needs and teaching to individual learning styles. David feels that the Barton System offers children a strong foundation in language development that can act as a cornerstone for becoming powerful readers and writers and overcoming innate reading challenges.

Denise Turco

Denise Turco

Administrative Assistant

Denise and her husband moved to Calaveras County from the Bay Area fourteen years ago. While raising their children Denise enjoyed many years volunteering in the classrooms and working as a Resource Aide. For the past ten years she has been working as a personal banker. She has also volunteered for the Resource Connection and the Taylor Family Foundation. Denise is delighted to be part of the Mind Matters team!