Co-Founder of United STEPS with my wife Barb. Devout Christian and believer in our Lord Jesus Christ. If there is an outdoor job, chances are, I’ve worked it! Including racing Standardbred Harness Horses for over 25 years. (retired from that now)!

My main focus and attention now belongs to United STEPS and Stomping Out The Stigma surrounding suicide, via educating our communities and teaching suicide prevention workshops. (LivingWorks) safeTALK.

Barb Searle 


Co-Founder of United STEPS with my husband Breck. Born Again Christian. Earned my CDA credential in early childhood education. I have been a Center Director of a prominent daycare and have years of experience as a pre-school teacher. I am now a 15 year veteran and office manager at an Outpatient Counseling Center serving all of Mid-Michigan.

To relive some of the worldly stresses, I really enjoy doing multiple craft projects.

Julie Cortright


Diane Peters


Wife to Andrew Peters, and mom to Jenna, Matt, and Adam. Born-Again Christian. Estate planning attorney for 28 years. Avid bicyclist, Traveler, Dog-lover.

I wanted to work with United STEPS because suicide makes me uncomfortable! I’m good at a lot of things, but talking about suicide is not one of them! That’s why I support those who can. Breck and Barb are passionate about educating others and spreading the truth. I am thankful for their heart, and for their courage.

Melanie Johnson


daynan brown

Director/Life-Line Counselor

Child of God, Wife, First responder, and Social Worker. I joined United STEPS because I care deeply about the cause. Suicide is something that infiltrates the lives of most people, whether it’s them personally or someone they may know. I believe with my experience as a First Responder and my graduate-level counseling education, I can make a positive difference in the lives of those suffering from the effects of suicide.



Teri has spent a lifetime working with at risk children in various capacities. She is very proud of the impact that she has made on the young people in her life. In may of 2022, she was hit with a blow she never saw coming, with the loss of her beloved son to suicide at the young age of 29. She spent months struggling with, the “what if’s”, “what did I miss”, and the feeling that while she had helped many other people’s children, she had missed that her own child was struggling. A friend pointed her in the direction of United STEPS, hoping that she could find comfort there. She has embraced the mission of United STEPS with enthusiasm, and sees it as a way to continue her passion of helping others, just in a more difficult role, while finding hope for herself at the same time.

William Vallance

Advisor/Tech Support

Shawn Sutherlin

Bereavement/Life-Line Counselor

I believe we are all called to love people well, and the mission of United STEPS is ready to do just that! My hope is to assist in creating awareness, provide support, and helping to promote an open dialogue, so that together, we can work towards reducing the stigma and offering help to those in need. Every life is valuable, and suicide prevention efforts contribute to creating a compassionate and understanding world, where mental health receives the attention it deserves.