Sylane Mack — President, Principal Speaker, Lead Counselor, Author
Coming from a background of horrendous emotional, physical and sexual abuse, Sylane is unflinchingly convinced that GOD is greater than our greatest pains, shames and fears. With passionate strength, vulnerability, wisdom and humor Sylane shares her own life journey, opening up the power of Scripture — God’s living and active Word — for all who will hear, or read, what God has given her to tell!
Sylane first began sharing her faith publicly as a teen at Lay Witness Mission events in the early 1970′s. From the 1980′s through early 2003 Sylane ministered and worked professionally in private counseling agencies and teaching in public schools. Her academic work has earned her Degrees and Certificates in various areas:
- Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, Psychology and Spanish — Keuka College and State University of NY at Potsdam, 1980
- Master of Science Degree in Education/Learning-Reading Specialist — California State University at Fullerton, 1990
- Counseling Certificates: Individual, Family, Crisis Intervention, Group Dynamics and Substance Abuse Intervention — NY State
- Teaching Certificates: Spanish, English, Social Studies, Reading Specialist (She has taught French, too!)
During these years, God grew Sylane in her love for Jesus, her love for people, and her knowledge, understanding and passion for God’s Word. Often invited to tell her story — God’s story --Sylane spoke at retreats, conferences, pastoral/leadership programs and outreach events. Wherever she lived — NY, France, CA, PA, NJ — Sylane led (and still leads) weekly Bible studies.
On February 5, 2003, God called Sylane to take an unexpected step (jump!) of faith as she prayed with and heeded the counsel of two wise and loving Pastors: She should develop her own Incorporated Ministry — tied to no specific denomination, but solidly and powerfully rooted in the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the testimony of God’s Word. Through God’s plan, power and love the ministry of Transformed by Grace was born! By March 6, 2003 TBG was incorporated, established with a full and fabulous Board of Directors!
Sylane also currently serves as Assistant Chaplain on the National Board of Advisors for the Black African-American Association of Christian Counselors (BAACC).
It is with love, conviction and passion that Sylane lives out her God-given calling to tell others the truth — crossing denominational, cultural, economic, gender, age, ethnic and linguistic boundaries — about the unlimited, unfailing love and transforming grace of Jesus Christ!
Sylane and Tim (married since 1980!) live in Princeton — nicely situated between two great cities: Philadelphia and New York. Their two grown daughters, Erin and Julia, both live and work in Manhattan. Travel, hiking, biking, eating and being at the ocean are favorites for her — and always enhanced by the presence of close family and friends! In November 2009 Sylane’s first book was published: Convinced!
Read more about Sylane
Rachel Mack — Conference Speaker
During Rachel’s senior year in college she met Jim at church. They married in 1999, and now reside in Holland, PA.
After graduating from Trenton State College, Rachel taught for 5 years as a classroom and itinerant teacher of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in grades K through 12. Rachel resigned from that position due to a promotion to . . . Mom. She has the great blessing of being a stay-at-home mom to Levi, who fills her days with his funny, curious and sensitive ways.
On April 13, 2006, their lives changed forever. Jim, at 39 years old, had a massive stroke after he was hit in an ice hockey game. Their son was 2. Jim was hospitalized for 2 months, and, now, almost 3 years later is still in outpatient therapy. God’s sustaining grace upheld Rachel and her family through this season of their lives. Although still very much in the midst of these dramatic life changes, Rachel and Jim know that it is from here that God wants them to share the story of His love and their hope.
Rachel enjoys reading historical and Biblical fiction. The Bodie and Brock Thoenes A.D. Chronicles Series are among of her current favorites, as well as, anything from Lori Wick. Rachel’s creative flare is deep-and-wide and poured into a variety of areas – from scrapbooking, sewing, knitting and crafts in general . . . to always looking for a great recipe to try (preferably a dessert with chocolate). Rachel has also written a children’s book and is now working on a devotional/inspirational book.
With the blessing of being able to work at home, Rachel enjoys playing with Levi every moment she can. In all that she does, Rachel considers sitting with her husband, Jim, in their rocking chairs on the front patio as her most precious time.
Teresa Warren — Counselor, Conference Speaker, TBG Board Member
Teresa grew up in Northern New Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from Rutgers University and worked in the financial service industry for a number of years. She earned a Master of Science in Christian Counseling from Cairn University.
She has enjoyed a second professional career in Counseling, in the management of holistic health practices and Life Coaching. She serves on the Transformed By Grace Board of Directors and speaker team. In her church, she volunteers with the Women’s Ministry and mentoring. Out of her love of reading, she has also volunteered as a literacy tutor.
Teresa has personally experienced the power of God’s transforming grace and is passionate about helping people to access this same power and victory through Christian counseling and life coaching. She is the proud mother of one daughter and son-in-law. In addition to reading, she also enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.
Patty Arvanites — Counselor
In Arizona, Patty started over and received her Master of Counseling degree. Her professional path moved to working with adults. She worked as a counselor at a sexual assault center, and moved into work with adults diagnosed with Serious Mental Illnesses. She has also done a great deal of work in addictions. Most of Patty’s work with adults has consisted of counseling and life-skills training in out-patient psychiatric settings. She moved into Private practice working with couples, individuals, adults, youth and families before moving to PA in August, 2008. Patty was blessed to be able to take time away from her professional life to help her two teen-aged children adapt to their new home and community.
Patty has experienced in many very challenging life situations, the peace that is possible through holding a true faith in God. Children adjusted, too much idle time at home, Patty began to pray for guidance; For God to help her build a more intimate relationship with Him and to show her where she is needed to serve. And Transformed By Grace was set on her path, an answer from God which in faith she embraced whole-heartedly.
Allison Taite-Tarver — Counselor
Allison is from Del City, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City. She has lived in the Philadelphia area for almost 10 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College before serving as a Teach for America Corps member in Washington, DC, where she taught first grade and earned her Master of Arts in Teaching. In 2005, she received her Master of Social Service from Bryn Mawr College, with a concentration in Policy, Practice and Advocacy and a specialization in working with children and families.
Allison is passionate about serving vulnerable populations. She currently provides school-based individual, family and group counseling to middle and high school students, including immigrant youth, some of whom are refugees and asylees. Her experience also includes counseling in an alternative school, outpatient and community settings, as well as providing case management and educational advocacy for children with disabilities and their families.
Allison loves the Lord, and she lives out her faith through seeking opportunities to allow the Fruit of the Spirit to grow in all domains of her life. She is active in her church’s missionary and historic societies, and she participates in outreach with other area ministries. Gratitude for God’s grace and mercy in her life is the lens through which she operates. She is “honored to be a part of Transformed by Grace.” The mother of one, “joy” for Allison is “Mommy and Me” time with her daughter, reading and visiting family and friends.
Linda Donohue — Counselor
Linda grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She holds a Masters Degree in Counseling from Rider University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from LaSalle University. Linda is also a Certified Guidance Counselor. She currently resides in Holland, Pennsylvania with her husband of 18 years, John, and their four children, Kristin age 13, Kelly age 11, Jack age 6 and Nicholas age 3. Linda enjoys learning to deal with the new adventures of the teenage years while still being able to appreciate pre-school activities. She has a passion for her family and has followed God’s lead when making her family and career decisions.
Linda’s 20 years of experience involves working with many different facets of the mental health field. She began her professional career working as a court advocate with sexually abused children. From there she moved on to work with the chronically mentally ill in community and inpatient settings. Linda then focused on family issues, such as counseling with children and adolescents, developing treatment and behavioral plans for children and families, dealing with the parent-child relationship as well as marital and individual issues. She also has experience collaborating with schools, criminal justice, mental retardation and other systems and has worked in various school systems performing individual and group counseling and mental health assessments.
Linda has coordinated the nursery at Grace Point Church since 2006, while working closely with and under the guidance of Pastor Steve Johnson. She also oversees Kidsafe -- the child abuse prevention program for all volunteers working with children at her church.
Some of Linda’s favorite activities are spending time with her family at the beach, doing aerobics, reading and having coffee any time of the day.
Linda is honored to be part of Transformed by Grace and is excited for God to use her in helping others. Most of all, she is blessed to be able to combine her number one passion, God, with the love she has for counseling.
Heather Chabin – Counselor
Heather Chabin grew up in Massachusetts where she lived until she moved to
Pennsylvania to go to college in 1997. It was there that she met her husband and has
been married since 2001. Heather attended Philadelphia Biblical University where she
earned her BA in the Bible and studied youth ministry. She then went on to complete
her Masterʼs degree in Christian Counseling and is now licensed as a Therapist in the
state of New Jersey where she works full time as a therapist in a partial day program in
Trenton. It is there that she has gained experience working with grief and loss, family
issues, drug addiction, trauma, and persistent mental illness.
Heather has worked for the past 15 years in the counseling ﬁeld and has worked with
children, youth, and their families doing wrap around treatment, and has worked in the
Trenton school district as a school based therapist. She also was the coordinator of
clinical services at a crisis pregnancy ministry working with women facing unplanned
pregnancies and offering them hope and support. Heather and her husband served as
the youth leaders in their church for the past 10 years.
Heather is a mom to 2 beautiful boys. As a family they enjoy spending time in the
outdoors and share a love for music. Heather has experienced ﬁrst hand the pain that
comes from depression, loss, and abuse. She can also attest to the fact that God is so
much bigger than all of this and has enabled her to share with others the freedom that
comes from His amazing grace.
DeAnne Harland – Lead Administrative Assistant, Founding Member on Board of Directors
DeAnne has served as Administrative Assistant for Transformed by Grace since March of 2005. She first joined the ministry at its birth in 2003 as a founding member of the Board of Directors-and continues to serve faithfully in this capacity.
DeAnne’s background is in education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Education-both from Purdue University. DeAnne has experienced great rewards and challenges while working with Special Education students in church and public schools.
DeAnne is married to Ron, has four children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law and five grandchildren!
Spending time with her family, playing flute and piano, and horseback riding are some of DeAnne’s favorite activities.
Cathy Buser — Book Keeper/Administrative Assistant
Cathy joined the ministry team of Transformed by Grace in 2007 as our second Administrative Assistant in answer to her own prayer to faithfully serve God. She was also an answer to prayer for TBG!
Cathy grew up in Lewisburg, West Virginia in a family of six (sister and two brothers). After graduating Cum Laude from Bluefield State College with a B.S. in Business Administration, she held management positions at JC Penney. Cathy married John Buser in 1996, and moved to Sarasota, Florida, Coral Springs, Florida and Hartford, Connecticut due to his work. Cathy and John have resided in Pennington, NJ since 2002 where Cathy also works as a part-time legal assistant.
In her spare time Cathy enjoys her two Golden Retrievers and gardening.