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Chelsea Gulden

Chelsea Gulden, MSW
President & CEO

Chelsea Gulden is a longtime HIV advocate, service provider and inspiring national speaker. She joined the RAIN staff in 2010 after creating and implementing the first comprehensive program serving HIV-positive youth in North Carolina, Empowering Positive Youth (EPY). EPY regularly receives national attention for its peer leadership model. The program has served over 1,000 positive youth through individual case management and support groups.  
Gulden began working in the HIV service sector shortly after her own diagnosis. She is an expert in HIV service delivery, programming and prevention. She brings 15 years of experience in coordinating programs for optimal health.  
Recently, Gulden spoke at the national virtual Ryan White conference and was a co-presenter on Intersectional Stigma and HIV for the National Institute of Health. She is currently Co-Chair of the Ryan White HIV Planning Body for Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Union, and York Counties.  
She is a presenter at national conferences, college campuses and a frequent guest on radio/television broadcasts. In 2006, she was a panelist on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Gulden has conducted prevention work in Ghana Africa and participated in the U.S. Executive Summary Report advocating for Comprehensive Sexual Education in schools.   
Gulden has received numerous honors including features in POZ Magazine and HIV Plus.  
She holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research focused on the intersection of intimate partner violence and HIV. She has additional training in trauma-informed care. 

Darlena Blackwell, MA, M.Ed
Director of Client Relations


Jacki O'Dierno, MA
Director of Administration

Jarmel Smith
Director of Outreach

Nathan B. Smith
Vice President, Philanthropy


Jazmin Cedeno
Benefits Manager

Jay Hayes, LCMHCA
Bilingual Mental Health Therapist

Da'Ron Henderson
EPY Peer Navigator

Laurita Lezama
Bilingual Medical Case Manager

Beverly Mitzel, M.Ed
Benefits Manager

Maria Jose Mulgado
Data & Quality Specialist

Valetta Rhinehart,

Behavioral Health Therapist

Laurenzo Surrell-Page
EPY Peer Navigator

Demetrice Whiteside
Medical Case Manager

Sarah Yum, MA, LMFT
Outpatient Therapist


Diana Barrera
Bilingual Peer Retention Specialist

Lityra Bruce-Matthews
Retention Facilitator

Devin Cokley
HIP Program Manager

Crystal Kiser
Bilingual Peer Support Specialist

Deion Pendleton
HIP Lead Coordinator

Ronald "RJ" Sharrow
Peer Retention Specialist

Stephanie Sherard
Investigation Specialist

Terrell J. Thibeaux, MS
Peer Support Specialist


Joyce Brooks, MHA
Grant & Donor Relations Manager