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Meet the team

DAPS thanks its team of leaders for their continued passion and efforts towards the fulfillment of our mission in providing free resources and classes to the Parkinson's community in the Dallas Metroplex. 

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Leisha Phipps

Executive Director

Leisha comes to DAPS with over 20 years in the nonprofit sector, as a social worker, board member, volunteer and most recently, Curator at The Heritage Village at Chestnut Square in McKinney.  Her love for nonprofits began at The Turning Point (Rape Crisis Center) in Plano where she was the Clinical Director for services to those impacted by sexual assault.  After retiring from the clinical field, Leisha applied her skills to the administrative side of nonprofits where she served on the Board of Directors at The Turning Point in several positions.  It was here that she discovered that her passion for helping others could be used to develop, grow and manage small nonprofits. When the opportunity to expand her skills and experience presented itself at DAPS in 2019, Leisha jumped at the chance to be a part of such an important community. 

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Andrea Carter

Office Manager

Andrea comes to DAPs with eight years of experience in office administration. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Dallas Baptist University in 2015. She freelances as a voiceover artist as well as a proofreader and editor for small businesses. When not writing spec scripts, she enjoys traveling and watching films.  She is excited to be part of the team at DAPS and hopes to make a positive difference. 

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Belyne Bland-Xochihua, MPH, LBSW, CRRT

Community Liaison and Advocate

Belyne Bland-Xochihua (pronounced Bae-Lynn Bland So-chi-wa) is a 38 year Veteran Medical Social Worker. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University and a Masters from City University London while currently working on her Doctorate.  She is licensed in Grief and Trauma using Rapid Resolution Therapy and traditional counseling. Belyne has facilitated the Care Partner Support Group in Duncanville and most recently, has taken on a new role at DAPS:  Community Liaison and Advocate.  In this position, Belyne provides information, education, awareness and outreach to those in the Dallas and surrounding areas, while continuing to support members of DAPS. She serves on several Boards, is active Chair Person of her local Chamber of Commerce and Community Ambassador of the Local Lion’s Club.  She is an Author, Mental Health Advocate and previously hosted an Internet Radio program called “True Talk”.  She has co-written and published a book of poetry and currently working on a book of inspiration through her near-death COVID experience. 

Newsletter Team

Pam Michel, Production Editor

Bemax Group, LLC  

Board of Directors

Martha Bonilla - President
Robbie McCullough - Vice President
Marcie Salamone - Treasurer

Chuck Stewart - Secretary

Jim Armington

Mike Braitsch - Ex officio

Jared Caplan
Stephen Holman

Beth Jacobs

Harold Kellogg

Jo Klein
Steven Markel
Michael McGiboney
Greg Rector

Marcie Salamone

Chuck Stewart

Medical Advisory Board

Michael Braitsch, PT,
Shilpa Chitnis, M.D., Ph.D.

Richard B. Dewey, Jr., M.D.

Rasheda El-Nazer, M.D.

Mazen Elkurd, D.O.

Thomas D. Franklin, Jr., Ph.D.

Richard L. Fulbright, Ph.D.

Dwight C. German, Ph.D.
June Levitt, Ph.D., LDT, CCC-SLP
Bradley McDaniels, PhD, CRC,  DPT

Aashoo Mentreddi, M.D.

Padraig O’Suilleabhain, M.D.

Nirav Pavasia, M.D.

Alexander Peralta, M.D.

R. Malcolm Stewart, M.D.

Gary L. Tunell, M.D.