Vicki McCoy

Vicki J. McCoy, MA

Vicki J. McCoy is the Chair of the Board. She is an organizational development and communications consultant who specializes in developing high-functioning leaders and teams that communicate powerfully to get results. As president of her own consulting firm, McCoy Communications and Training, LLC, and cocreator of a comprehensive development program called Raising the Bar: Empowering Greatness in Individuals and Teams, Vicki is a sought-after executive coach who counts among her clients several leaders in government.

In 2010, Vicki was introduced to IFS by long-time friend and certified IFS therapist Stewart Brown, PhD, at a retreat where she discovered first-hand the healing nature of the Model. “This is therapy that works!” Vicki relates. “I also knew from the get-go that IFS was more than a therapeutic model.” She recognizes that IFS has the potential for a broad and growing reach that will help heal the world and create peace within that will be reflected without, whether with adults or children. “To have the opportunity to participate in the effort to take IFS as far out into the world as we possibly can—into schools and hospitals, into peacemaking and community-building, into self-awareness training, and into the arts and sports—is an exciting adventure and a great privilege,” remarks Vicki. Of her new role, she says, “It is an honor to become part of the Foundation Board, a group of dedicated, accomplished, and humble people who clearly have a great time working together.”

Chair's Letter to Community


Requina Barnes

Requina Barnes, LICSW

Requina Barnes, LICSW, recently joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team. She is the owner of Strength, Inc., a private practice where she provides outpatient therapy services to individuals and couples, primarily with people of color focusing on relationship challenges, work obstacles, and trauma in Boston, MA. Requina has worked across populations from young children, adolescents, adults and families, in school settings, court settings, residential settings and mental health clinics for over ten years.

She was introduced to the Model in 2011, has become an active program assistant (PA), and enjoys being part of a great community. Her first PA experience, in collaboration with Black Therapists RockTM and The Center for Self Leadership, was earlier this year in Silver Springs, Maryland. She has seen the power of the Model and appreciates that it allows individuals to uncover deep-rooted parts of themselves and to begin the healing process. “I look forward to being a board member and contributing to community initiatives, research, and diversity,” Requina says of her new position. During her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, doing yoga, and listening to Audible books. 


Stewart Brown, PhD

Stewart Brown, PhD

Stewart Brown, PhD is a clinical psychologist who spent most of his life working in the Dept of Veteran Affairs Readjustment Counseling Service / Vet Center program where he provided direct service to combat veterans and their families. He was responsible, as a Vet Center director, for the administrative component of his team to include fiscal and personnel oversight. For the last four years of his VA tenure, he moved to a regional office where his responsibility was expanded to include clinical oversight of 42 sites in a ten-state area. Since retiring from the VA in 2011 he has maintained a part time private practice in Boulder, Colorado.

Meeting IFS Founder Richard Schwartz, PhD, and being introduced to Internal Family Systems work in 2001, Stew gradually shifted his orientation and methodology to an IFS perspective. Today he believes that the IFS process offers greater depth, quicker pace of progress toward healing, more respect for clients, and a spiritual conceptualization that other orientations lack. Additionally, its non-pathologizing stance is welcoming and facilitative. He hopes to make this process available to military-related providers specifically, while at the same time generally seeking a wider dissemination of IFS principles. 


Kelly Profile

Kelly Gaule, CAP

Kelly Gaule served as the Foundation’s Senior Development Advisor and Associate before joining the Board. She is leading principal with PROMUS+, a development consulting practice driven by a passion for the ability of diverse nonprofits to change lives and the possibility that they can secure funds for doing so through thoughtful and well-executed plans. Kelly has operated successfully in the development space for two decades and directed development and marketing programs with social-impact-conscious organizations.

For her, the engagement with the Foundation is well-aligned with her personal interest of doing work that has significant social meaning and deep impact on our world and humanity. When she was introduced to the model, she was "immediately struck by how simple the concept was – to change the world, we needed to look no further than ourselves." "Little did I know," she added, "I was about to begin a journey that has no end, just a continuous commitment to the health and well-being of Self."



Toufic Hakim

Toufic M. Hakim, PhD

Toufic M. Hakim, PhD, supports the Foundation presently as Executive Director. Previously, he served a Executive Director for Operations and Communications and Executve Advisor since the Foundation's activation. He is currently Senior Managing Principal of Group i&i Consultancy, a firm dedicated to developing organizational capacity, assessments, and funding. His former contributions were in the domain of higher education, where he served as Professor of Physics and Engineering, Assistant to the President, and Senior Research and Grants Officer. He also led two large professional societies as elected president and full-time executive officer. Toufic is drawn to IFS and the work of the Foundation, for which he has provided strategic advice since its reactivation. He continues to be fascinated with systems and interactions, intrigued by language and imagery, and deeply committed to peacemaking.



Chun Ren

Chun Ren, MBA, CPA

Chun Ren, MBA, CPA has navigated the intricate world of finance as a Financial Analyst for over 15 years. Her expertise lies in modeling, dashboard development, funding justification, and beyond, honing a skill set that ensures informed decision-making in every financial endeavor.

Chun was introduced to the IFS model by a trusted friend; she is a firm believer in Self-leadership, advocating for curiosity, creativity, and responsibility in both personal and professional realms. Beyond her professional pursuits, she recognizes the importance of community and is actively engaged with various groups including the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), supporting youth and families, and leveraging her skills and experience to make a positive impact. In essence, Chun seamlessly blends financial acumen with a passion for leadership, embodying the ethos of a well-rounded leader.



Tara Unverzagt

Tara Unverzagt, MBA, CFT, CFT-I

Tara Unverzagt, MBA, CFT is President and CEO of South Bay Financial Partners. She began her career in software programming and computer systems design. After ten years in the computer business, she turned her attention to the financial industry. She has now been working in financial planning, investment advice, and tax preparation/planning for over 25 years. Her specialty is in multigenerational financial planning, which includes raising a family, having a successful retirement, generation wealth transfer, charitable giving, and financial coaching for younger generations.

As a certified financial planner who holds a certification in financial therapy therapist, Tara specializes in integrating financial therapy into her work. Her company focuses on clients’ beliefs and behaviors and how they are helping them move forward to financial wellness or holding them back. Tara has found the Internal Family Systems (IFS) modality to be ideally suited for this work. Her IFS exposure involved completing the IFS Online Circle and IFS Level 1 training, reading of many IFS books, participation in IFS study groups, and attending the 2023 IFS Annual Conference. She also works with an IFS therapist/practitioner and uses the parts paradigm and practice daily. 


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