Board of Directors

A trauma informed or responsive approach can ease some of the  traumas experienced by our community throughout this pandemic and beyond.  What we learn as a community can continue to be applied to trauma prevention and trauma response once the acuity of the pandemic is behind us.

Developing a trauma responsive culture is challenging, but by adhering to the six core principles of a trauma responsive approach, we can transform our community in positive ways. Through dedication, community understanding, and support at all levels, the Board of Directors embrace these ideals so that Frederick County can become a trauma responsive community.

Inga James, PhD
President and CEO

Inga James has been Executive Director of Heartly House since 2014 and has more than twenty-five years working within the human services and nonprofit sectors. Dr. James sits on several boards dedicated to family violence, including the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, for which she is the immediate past President. In 2019, she was appointed to the Governor’s Workgroup to Study Visitation and Custody Decisions When Child Abuse or Domestic Violence are Alleged and, in 2021, she was named to the Governor Commission for
Trauma Informed Care. In 2020, in response to the pandemic crisis, Dr. James founded, and now chairs Trauma Responsive Frederick. Dr. James has a master’s degree in social work, and an MA and PhD in organizational psychology.

Mary Lynn Hinde
Vice President

Mary Lynn Hinde has been an active resident of Frederick County for 20 years. She and her husband Ed, are also active in the community, driving several projects, all for the good of the County.
In early 2012, Mary Lynn’s passion for her community led her to become a volunteer for several organizations that supported homeless adults and families. In 2013, she, her husband, and several other residents created a non-profit organization, SHIP of Frederick County. Upon retiring, she joined Trauma Responsive Frederick and now sits on the Executive Board. In addition, Mary Lynn is a member of the Coalition for a Healthier Frederick Mental Health Workgroup, continuing her advocacy for education and advocacy for ending the stigma and misconceptions about mental health and trauma.

Geoff Seidel

Geoff prides himself on his 45+ years as a RN. Over the last 22+ years, he has worked for Leidos Biomedical Research. He currently has project management responsibility for $100M+ national and international Precision Medicine clinical trial. Geoff has been an Adjunct Clinical Instructor in FCC’s RN program and is an Adjunct Professor at Mount St. Mary’s University in their MHA program. He served on the Carenet Pregnancy Center Board of Directors and has been on the Board of Marriage Resource Center of Frederick County since 2014. Geoff is completing his Doctor of Organizational Leadership at Hood College. His research involves Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), Trauma Informed Training, Potentially Traumatic Events, and Clarity of Self in Nurse Managers. Geoff is a scholar-practitioner and brings this knowledge and experience to the TRF organization. His wife of 45+ years is also an RN. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Teri Heger
Member at Large

Teri Heger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-C) 20+ years of experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Teri is currently employed at Frederick Health Hospital where she is the Social Work Manager for Behavioral Health Services. Teri manages the Emergency Department’s Crisis Management Services and the social work services in the Behavioral Health Unit and Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization Program. Teri also manages and provides clinical services for the Frederick Health’s Employee Assistance Program. Teri is also a private practitioner serving adults with trauma, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, domestic abuse and psycho-spiritual issues. Teri’s approach to treatment is trauma informed and holistic, and her passion is helping others to achieve optimal levels of well-being in body, mind, and spirit. Teri received trauma training by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.. Teri also received training in Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Teri’s professional journey included serving as managing partner at Associated Family Counseling where she served adults, children, and adolescents. Teri was appointed to the Board of the Maryland Legal Services Corporation from 2009-2014 and served on the Frederick County Commission for Women in 1997-1999. She is member of the National Association of Social Workers. Teri earned a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work; and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Law and Society from Hood College. Teri is married with two sons and one granddaughter and a Coton de Tulear, who is trained as a therapy dog.

Maria Herrera
Member at Large

Maria Herrera is the Executive Director of the Spanish Speaking Community of Md. Inc.; a non-profit organization that strives for equality and sustainability for the most vulnerable international families so that they may be able to reach and enjoy the socio-economic level necessary for self-sufficiency. As an immigrant
from Cuba herself, she oversees the organization’s wide-range of offerings such as victims of abuse support, food needs, health care, education, housing, employment and immigration services for low-income families. Ms. Herrera is a frequent speaker on Hispanic affairs, education and immigration at events, public school forums and conferences. She has served as a member of the Public Health and Human Services Transition Team for Fitzwater. She currently serves or is a member of the DEI Advisory Board for the City of Frederick, Frederick County Health Care Coalition, DVCC Victims Services,
Frederick Community Health Center, the Committee against Hate and Violence for Montgomery County, Coalition for the Homeless (FCCCC), Latino Liaison Committee, Truancy Reduction Counsel (TRC), Victim’s Services
Subcommittee (DVCC), and the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). She has been awarded the HEART SHERO Award by the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, Local Hero by Representative from Maryland, Jamie Raskin, and Census Champion by Census Maryland. Ms. Herrera has served in key technology and strategic Executive roles at a top 100 global law firm including the position of Global Chief Information Officer.  She also served as an executive member of the mergers and acquisition team, and advisor to complex litigation cases.

Shira Kundinger
Member at Large

I am a Mother, Widow, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Trauma Survivor and advocate for de-stigmatizing trauma in our culture.  When my 32 year old husband died unexpectedly and traumatically – leaving me and our 14 month (at the time) old child to live this life without him – I truly believed our life was over.  If it wasn’t for my therapist, I would have never known that I was suffering with PTSD due to how I lost my husband.  This knowledge changed the trajectory of my grief journey and gave me a name for why I was feeling the way I was feeling.  It helped me to feel like I wasn’t alone.   Thus, my healing journey began.

Being on the board of Trauma Responsive Frederick allows me a space to practice my advocacy and passion for informing the community about trauma and how it can show up in our behaviors and how we show up in this world.  Understanding my own trauma and how it has impacted me and my child Benjamin, has given me a new perspective on how I see other humans.  When I see a person behaving in a negative way, I now ask myself “What’s happened to them?” Instead of “what’s wrong with them?”.  This has helped me to lead with compassion first and emulates this for Benjamin as well.

My hope is that sharing my story will help people feel less alone.  Everyone has lived through trauma and the more we can educate people in the community about what trauma is – the quicker we can collectively begin to heal and live our authentic life.

Barbara Pinnock
Member at Large

Barbara Pinnock, at the helm of the Community of Grace Organization (COGO) as its Founder and Executive Director, brings a deeply personal understanding to her advocacy for those in recovery, having herself overcome substance abuse, domestic violence, and childhood trauma. In her role as a Peer Recovery Specialist, she employs a blend of holistic techniques, including Reiki, massage therapy, and sound healing, to aid and empower individuals overcoming addiction, with a particular focus on easing their reintegration into society post-treatment or incarceration. Her dedication to this mission is rooted in her experience in local government and a profound commitment to support and elevate individuals in their journeys of recovery, aligning with her work with Trauma Response Frederick.

John Ponnala
Member at Large

Pastor John Ponnala serves as the Family Advocate Program Coordinator and Surgery Chaplain at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. In this capacity, he navigates the complexities of dealing with level one trauma, victims of gun violence, and families facing situations involving brain death and cardiac death. As a Board-Certified Chaplain through APC, John makes significant contributions to the field. He plays an active role as a Member on the Commission of the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. and serves as a dedicated Board of Director for the Association of Professional Chaplains. John’s professional drive is fueled by a profound passion for advocacy, particularly in promoting the rights of marginalized groups. This commitment translates into active advocacy for Asian American communities and the promotion of Trauma-Informed Care in Maryland.