Kevin Oliver, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Kevin founded Phoenix Counseling in 2003 and serves the agency as Chief Executive Officer. Phoenix Counseling is a non-profit agency, providing a wide-array of behavioral health crisis, residential, and outpatient services throughout Gaston, Cleveland, and Lincoln Counties. He is a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist with over 30 years of experience in the behavioral health field and throughout the years he has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including residential/detoxification treatment, opiate maintenance services, and outpatient treatment services.

Kevin received his Master of Arts in Counseling from Gardner-Webb University and a Master in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Kevin currently serves as a member of the North Carolina Mental Health Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Commission and is the Chair of the Rules Committee.

Celine Villax, Chief Financial Officer

Celine serves the agency as the Chief Financial Officer and has been with Phoenix since 2017. She is responsible for overseeing the agency’s financial resources and supporting managers achieve their revenue and budget goals. Celine manages the agency’s financial risks and is focused on building and maintaining strong internal controls. She also prepares all financial statements and helps the Board of Directors and Leadership Team make sound financial decisions aligning with the agency’s strategic goals.

Celine has been working in the behavioral health field since 2002 and has extensive experience working with private providers, managed care organizations (MCOs), and non-profit agencies.
Celine graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a Master’s degree in Project Management. She also has an Associate’s degree in accounting.

Chief Clinical Officer

Kim Jonas, Chief Quality and Compliance Officer

Kim serves the agency as the Chief Quality and Compliance Officer and has been with Phoenix since 2022. Kim is responsible for direction and oversight in the areas of Quality Improvement, Health Information Management, Health and Safety, Customer Services, and Compliance.


Kim began her career in the public school system supporting children on the Autism spectrum; she later held positions in the private practice environment and eventually transitioned to the non-profit arena, where she worked for Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disability provider agencies. Kim spent two years working for the State of California as a Transition Specialist; she was responsible for coordination of care for individuals transitioning out of an institutional setting and into community living. Upon returning to North Carolina, Kim served as the Director of Quality Management and Training for UMAR Services, Inc. for six years. 

Kyle Button, Chief Operations Officer

Kyle serves the agency as the Chief Operations Officer and has been with Phoenix since 2017. Kyle is responsible for new program development, program effectiveness and efficiencies, information technology, utilization management, grant administration, and marketing. Prior to taking over as the agency COO, Kyle worked in the Phoenix finance department and in various clinical departments.


Prior to beginning a career in the behavioral health field, Kyle was employed as a Relationship Manager with Wells Fargo Bank’s Technology Group in CA. Kyle also proudly served eight years in the United States Army.


Kyle is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science.
He also completed his Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Gardner-Webb University. Kyle is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in the state of North Carolina.

Phoenix Counseling Center Directors and Managers

Director of Nursing – 


Mobile Crisis Management ManagerAllieta Elmore

Cleveland Crisis and Recovery Center ManagerMisty Hill

Gaston Crisis and Recovery Center Manager Veronica Cheek

Shelby Outpatient Manager – 

Gastonia Outpatient ManagerMary Branch

Lincolnton Outpatient ManagerCathy White

Gaylain’s House of Hope ManagerChasty King

Tailored Care Management ManagerMercida Banks


Guardianship Services ManagerNikki Washington



ChairpersonPamela Poteat

Ms. Poteat has served the Phoenix Counseling Center Board of Directors since August 2020 after retiring from 30+ years of work in the mental health field. She previously worked at Broughton Hospital in Morganton, NC, Gaston Lincoln Area Mental Health, and Mecklenburg Area Mental Health. Ms. Poteat continues to be active in the local community serving her church, volunteering with law enforcement for Crisis Intervention Training, and is active member of her Community Watch Group. She also serves on the board of The Friends of Gaston County Library. Ms. Poteat earned a Masters Degree in Psych/Mental Health Nursing from UNCC.


Member Benjamin McKinnon


Member – John Waters

Mr. Waters has served the Phoenix Counseling Center Board of Directors since January 2023 after retiring from a 45+ year career in professional social work. His experience includes direct service with individuals, families, and communities, teaching in higher education, and administrative experience in governmental and private nonprofit organizations. Mr. Waters has an ongoing interest and involvement in social justice issues. 


MemberMichael Coone

Mr. Coone has served the Phoenix Counseling Center Board of Directors since October 2023 and currently serves as Assistant Director of the Gaston County Department of Social Services. Prior to his current role, he served as Administrator of Adult and Aging Services for Gaston County for eight years. Mr. Coone has an additional 16 years of direct care and management experience working in adult, child, and geriatric behavioral health in inpatient and community treatment settings. He completed undergraduate studies at Western Carolina University and holds a Graduate Certificate in Health Care Administration from East Carolina University. Mr. Coone is on course to graduate with a Master of Public Administration from East Carolina University in the spring of 2024. 


MemberJeffrey Ledford

MemberJerry Ragan



The Client Handbook contains helpful information about Phoenix services, programs and therapies. It also outlines your rights and responsibilities as someone who uses our services. We encourage you to keep this guide handy for reference.

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Please tell us how we’re doing.

If you’ve had a great Phoenix experience, we’d love to hear about it.  And if your experience was unsatisfactory in any way, please contact us — we’d really like to hear about that too. Your feedback is important because it helps us to provide the best care possible.

Please contact us:

Email: kim.jonas@phoenixcc.us
Or call: 704-682-9884

Phoenix Counseling has the right team and resources you need to
get to where you want to be in your life

Additional Services We Provide

Mobile Crisis Management Services

Mobile Crisis Management Services

Outpatient Services

Facility Based Crisis Services

Facility Based Crisis Services

Women’s Residential Services

Women’s Residential Services