• about us

About Us

The Open to Hope Mission:
Helping people find hope after loss.

Our Vision:
To provide an online forum to support people who have experienced loss: to help them cope with their pain, heal their grief and invest in their future.

Website Definition:
OpentoHope.com is an online website where people can share inspirational stories of loss and love. We encourage our visitors to read, listen and share their stories of hope and compassion.

Our team

Board of Directors

Dr. Gloria Horsley, Ph.D., M.S. C.N.S.
Dr. Gloria Horsley is the Founder and President of the Board for the Open to Hope and is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years.  Gloria co-hosts the syndicated internet radio show, “Open to Hope,” which is one of the top ranked radio shows on the Internet. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a member of the Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and media spokesperson.

Gloria has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including The Today Show.  In addition, she has authored a number of articles for professional journals and written several books including Teen Grief Relief: Parenting with Understanding, Support and Guidance; Real Men do Cry: A Quarterback’s Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss; In-Laws:  A Guide to Extended Family Therapy; The In-Law Survival Guide; Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society:  Bridging Research and Practice; and Open to Hope – Inspirational Stories of Life, Loss and Love. Gloria earned her degrees at the University of Rochester and Syracuse University. She is the bereaved parent of Scott, 17.

Executive Director
Dr. Heidi Horsley, PsyD, LMSW, MS
Dr. Heidi Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, licensed psychologist, social worker and bereaved sibling. She co-hosts the weekly award winning television series and podcast, Open to Hope. She is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and in private practice. Dr. Heidi speaks throughout the country, on finding hope following trauma and tragedy.

Dr. Heidi has appeared on the ABC television show 20/20, has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, and has been on hundreds of radio shows and quoted in dozens of media publications, including: The Metro World News, Washington Post, Time Magazine, Money Magazine, and New York Daily News. She is also the author of numerous articles and academic book chapters.

Dr. Heidi has received many awards, including the National Hometown Media Award, WAVE Award and CreaTiVe Award, for best public access T.V. series. She has also received the Soaring Spirits Service Award, Healing Hand Award, and First Candle Award for her contributions in the grief and loss field. She was featured in the critically acclaimed audio series Grieving the Sudden Death of a Loved One, and Walking Through Grief. She has been recognized as a VIP in the Marquis Whose Who of America, Madison Whose Who, and Whose Who of American Women.

Dr. Heidi is an award winning author, and has co-authored eight books, including the President’s Award Winner, Real Men Do Cry; A Quarterbacks Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression & Surviving Suicide Loss, the eLit Gold award winner, Finding Hope After Loss; Spouse Loss; Fresh Grief; Inspirational Stories for Handling the Holidays After Loss; Hope for Grieving Parents; Teen Grief Relief: Parenting with Understanding Support and Guidance; and Signs and Hope From Heaven. 

Dr. Heidi serves on the National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends. She also serves on the National Advisory Boards for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS), the National Advisory Board for the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, and the National Advisory Board for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation.

For ten years, Dr. Heidi was a principal investigator on a clinical research team with the FDNY-Columbia University Family Guidance Program, studying traumatic loss over time in families who lost firefighters in the World Trade Center.

Dr. Heidi has a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Loyola University, in New Orleans, where she graduated with honors. She holds a doctorate degree in psychology from the University of San Francisco, where she was a graduate merit scholar, and wrote her doctoral dissertation on the sudden death of a sibling.

Vice President of the Board of Directors
Beverly Chantalle McManus
Beverly Chantalle McManus serves as Vice President and Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Open to Hope, and heads the finance committee.  She has over 25 years of experience as a marketing executive for professional services organizations, including some of the world’s largest legal, accounting, health care, architecture and engineering firms.  She has edited and co-written numerous published books and professional articles across a range of topics.  After the death of her husband Steve in 2003, she began focusing on grief and bereavement support, and for the past eight years, has been a bereavement facilitator and core team member of the Stepping Stones on Your Grief Journey Workshops.  She is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of loss and grief, and is one of the featured writers of the Open to Hope website.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Waldorf School and is active in community, arts, and civic enhancement initiatives.  She earned her B.A. from the University of California at Davis and M.B.A. credits at San Francisco State University.

Secretary of the Board of Directors
Christina Gallagher Nelson
Christina Gallagher Nelson is Secretary of the Board of Directors and heads the Legal Committee for the Open to Hope.  She is a partner with Greene Radovsky Maloney Share and Hennigh, LLP, a San Francisco law firm specializing in estate planning, trust/probate administration, commercial and transactional expertise.  Tina is a member of the American, California, and San Francisco Bar Associations and a former director of the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation.  She is a liaison representative and active member of the USF Law Assembly and previously has served on the Board of Governors of the University of San Francisco School of Law.  Tina graduated with a B.S. from the University of New Mexico, and J.D. with honors from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she was Editor of the the USF Law Review.  Tina periodically conducts seminars on estate planning at the request of the University of San Francisco and government agencies.

Treasurer of the Board of Directors
Phil Horsley
Phil Horsley was the founder of Horsley Bridge Partners, a leading manager of private equity investments for institutional investors.  The firm is located in San Francisco with offices in London and Beijing.  Prior to founding Horsley Bridge, Phil served as vice president for investments at the University of Rochester with responsibility for managing the university’s endowment fund.  He has served on the board of trustees of the Eastman Dental Center, The National Advisory Council of the University of Utah and several private equity boards.  He has been on the board of directors of Paychex, Inc, a  payroll services company, for 28 years.  Phil earned a B.S. degree from the University of Utah and an M.B.A from Cornell University. He currently serves as treasurer of The Open to Hope Foundation.

Karla Wheeler
Karla Wheeler co-heads the Public Relations & Marketing Committee for the Open to Hope. A former newspaper reporter and editor, she is Founder and President of Quality of Life Publishing Co., a national publishing firm specializing in grief support books and a growing number of publications to help hospices provide their multidisciplinary care. Quality of Life is the publisher of the physician newsletter, Quality of Life Matters; and booklets for families, “When Death Is Near: A Caregiver’s Guide;” and “When You Are Grieving: A Guide to Understanding Loss.” Karla is the author of grief support books for adults and children and bereavement columns for newspapers and magazines across North America. Several of Karla’s family members have experienced a “good death,” thanks to hospice, including her 54-year-old husband. Following his death, their daughter Jenny wrote a teen-to-teen book, Weird Is Normal When Teenagers Grieve.Karla and Jenny enjoy bringing their messages of hope as a mother-daughter team traveling nationwide, speaking at professional grief conferences and to community groups. A longtime hospice volunteer in Southwest Florida, Karla has visited with hundreds of dying patients, providing bereavement follow-up care to grieving families.

Rick Haskins
Rick Haskins is the Executive Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy for The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation. Prior to joining The CW, Rick served as Executive Vice President/General Manager for Lifetime television.Previously, Rick helmed his own marketing consulting company, The Haskins Group, from 1996-99. He held a variety of positions for The Walt Disney Company from 1988-96, including Vice President, Marketing, Buena Vista Television and Director of Development, Reality Programming. From 1982-88, Rick was a brand manager with Procter & Gamble. A published author, Haskins co-wrote Brand Yourself in 2000. A graduate of Utah State University, Haskins has a bachelor of science in psychology.

Howard Winokuer
Howard R. Winokuer, PhD, is the founder of the Winokuer Center for Counseling and Healing in Charlotte, North Carolina where he maintains a full-time clinical practice. He is the co-editor of Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice that was published in 2011 by Routledge Press and the co-author of Principles and Practices of Grief Counseling that was published in 2011 by Springer. He completed his PhD in 1999 at Mississippi State University where he developed the first course in Grief Counseling Skills. As the founder of TO LIFE, a not-for-profit educational and counseling organization, he was the associate producer of seven PBS specials and helped pilot one of the first teen suicide prevention programs in the Southeast. He has taught numerous courses and been a guest lecturer at many colleges and universities including: New York University, Rochester University, The University of North Alabama, Queens University, Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina.

National Advisory Council

Michele Neff Hernandez
Michele Neff Hernandez is the founding President, and Executive Director of the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation.  Soaring Spirits is a non-profit organization committed to providing resources and peer support to people grieving the loss of a loved one, with a special focus on those who are widowed. Michele is the creator, and Director, of the Camp Widow Program; a first of its kind event bringing together widowed people from across the country and around the world who are seeking to recreate their lives in the aftermath of the loss of a spouse or life partner. In addition to her work with the foundation, Michele inspires people as a motivational speaker and freelance writer.  She also works as a member of the Bereavement Training Team for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and is a regular contributor to various websites, blogs, magazines, and collaborative book projects. Michele was privileged to be the wife of Phillip Hernandez, until his death in August of 2005.

Eric Hipple
Eric Hipple was a former National Football League (NFL) quarterback for the Detroit Lions from 1980 to 1989. Hipple’s accomplishments include two playoff bids, a divisional championship, and the most valuable NFL player award in 1981.  From 1995-2000 Hipple hosted an NFL pre-game show in Detroit.  His life took a tragic turn when his 15-year-old son Jeff died by suicide. Hipple has since devoted his life to building awareness and breaking down the stigma surrounding depressive illnesses. Hipple received the prestigious 2008 Lifetime Achievement award given by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He also received a presidential citation at the American Psychological Association’s 2006 Annual Convention for his six years of national community-based work combating adolescent depression and suicide prevention.  He is the author of Real Men Do Cry: A Quarterback’s Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression and Surviving Suicide Loss and co-author of a study looking at depression among retired football players in the April 2007 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  Hipple is an outreach coordinator for the University of Michigan Depression Center and also serves on the board of the Mental Illness Research Association and the American Association of Suicidology.

Bonnie Carroll
Bonnie Carroll is the President and Founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the National Veterans Service Organization providing peer based emotional support, grief and trauma resources and information, casualty casework assistance and crisis intervention for all those affected by the death of a loved one serving in, or in support of, the armed forces.

Ms. Carroll currently serves on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, the Board of Directors of the Association of Death Education and Counseling, the Department of Defense (DOD) Military Family Readiness Council and she recently co-chaired the DOD Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide in the Armed Forces.  Ms. Carroll served in Baghdad, Iraq as the Deputy Senior Advisor for Programs in the Ministry of Communications. She continues to work with Iraqi surviving families facing traumatic loss.  Before going to Iraq, Ms. Carroll was appointed to be the White House Liaison for the VA in Washington, DC.

Ms. Carroll founded TAPS following the death of her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, in an Army C-12 plane crash in 1992. She is a trained Critical Incident Stress DE briefer, member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the American Association for Death Education and Counseling. She has authored numerous articles on grief and trauma and appeared on CNN, FOX, NBC’s the Today Show and other programs speaking about military loss. Ms. Carroll was featured in People Magazine "Heroes Among Us" and received recognition as "Washingtonian of the Year." She has also received the "National Citizen for 2010" award from the Military Chaplains Association.

Dianne Gray
Dianne Gray is the President of Hospice and Healthcare Communications, an international firm focused on furthering advocacy projects and education/communications initiatives involving all aspects of end-of-life and palliative care.  She is the President of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation as well as a board member of International Children's Palliative Care Network, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's Pediatric Leadership Council. Dianne is a nationally recognized speaker, and an award winning writer/journalist, filmmaker. Dianne sits beside with the ill and the dying, and still sees her family's ten-year pediatric hospice/palliative care experience with her son, Austin, (who died in February 2005) as the gift of a lifetime.

Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer
Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., heads the Professional Community Committee of the Open to Hope.  He is a professor and Director of Psychotherapy Research in the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Since completing his doctoral training at the University of Nebraska in 1982, he has conducted extensive research on the topics of death, grief, loss, and suicide intervention.  Bob has published 25 books, including Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society:  Bridging Research and Practice (Routledge), Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss, Lessons of Loss: A Guide to Coping, and Rainbow in the Stone, a book of contemporary poetry. The author of over 350 articles and book chapters, Bob is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process, both in his published work and through his frequent professional workshops for national and international audiences.