The Sharing Kindness team is an amazing group of committed and passionate individuals, sharing the ability to connect with others and demonstrate empathy. All board and staff members receive education and certification, as appropriate, around grief and suicide, and bring personal connections and motivation related to their own stories of suicide and/or grief.
The people in this list reflect the community at greater risk. Our backgrounds are diverse, but we share a common purpose of supporting those affected by grief and suicide on the Cape & Islands.
- Identify as white, Black and Native American
- Identify as straight, gay and queer
- Have received a range of formal education, from high school to master’s and doctoral programs
- Include small business owners, bankers and accountants, attorneys, physicians, filmmakers and tradespeople
- Have personal stories of grief and loss, but also joy (we know it’s not one or the other, they co-exist!)
Kim Mead-Walters, M.D.
Co-founder, Executive Director
Kim Mead-Walters, M.D., co-founded Sharing Kindness, along with her husband Davis, following the death from suicide of their youngest son Jeremy. Although Kim was raised on Cape and returned nearly 30 years ago to work as a family physician, when Jeremy died, she and her family still felt isolated, marginalized and alone. Determined to fill the lack of grief support and combat the stigma of suicide, Kim and Davis created Sharing Kindness only months after Jeremy’s death. They established the organization as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2018.
When the Walters family realized that Jeremy’s friends were suffering in a similar fashion, they came together to found the Cape & Islands Suicide Awareness Walk. Born of the shared devastation of suicide and grief, the walk has become an annual event to promote suicide awareness and provide support to suicide loss survivors, at the same time honoring the lives of those we have lost to this epidemic.
Although Kim had experience running a medical business (she co-founded and managed a primary care office for 17 years), she did not have a nonprofit background. So she attended the Institute for Nonprofit Practice, Core Program, Tufts Tisch College in 2018 to learn what a healthy nonprofit organization is and how it can grow.
Sharing Kindness is now a vibrant nonprofit organization, raising mental health and suicide awareness and promoting grief support for the Cape & Islands. The organization envisions a center for grief and healing, providing grief-informed professionals and trained volunteers to educate our community and create a cultural shift in how grief and suicide are addressed on Cape Cod. Kim is committed to creating a safe space for healing after loss — the center her family wished for following Jeremy’s death.
Director of Clinical & Community Services
Kathleen Shine-O’Brien, LMHC, has a private practice specializing in grief counseling and is the lead clinician at Sharing Kindness. In her former roles as the assistant director of health services at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the program director for the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant, she found suicide prevention work to be one of her passions. Kathleen facilitates peer support groups and co-facilitates movement and journaling workshops for grieving families. Our programs reflect Kathleen’s training in The Dougy Center Model, an internationally recognized peer grief support program for children, teens, young adults, and their families. Kathleen has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Elms College and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University.
Tracy Berto Taylor
Executive Board Chairperson
A native Cape Codder, Tracy Taylor earned her undergraduate degree from UMass Boston, and today is an assistant vice president at Cape Cod 5 Cents Savings Bank. Outside of work, she can be found walking beaches near and far, collecting sea glass and supporting her favorite musicians. Tracy also supports her community as a foster mom, and acknowledges the importance of providing a safe place for children in crisis. One of Sharing Kindness’s founding board members, Tracy has a personal connection to the cause: she survived the death by suicide of her brother Chris as a young adult, and knows the devastation associated with Chris’ death was worsened by the stigma associated with suicide. She is thankful to be a part of this organization as it actively works to decrease the stigma that surrounds mental health, suicide and grief.
Executive Board Secretary
Alex has been with Sharing Kindness since the beginning. After graduating with honors from Northwestern University, she became a music educator in Chicago Public Schools, and has since moved back to Cape Cod to follow her passion for nonprofit work. Alex volunteered with Americorps VISTAs, and currently works as the development and communications manager for Helping Our Women and the program coordinator for the Outer Cape Community Solutions Rural Health Network. Originally from Orleans, she is thrilled to be applying her diverse skills from teaching and arts administration to creating a healthier and safer Cape & Islands community.
Steven M. Garran
Executive Board Treasurer
Steve Garran is a native Cape Codder and graduate of the former Provincetown High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, and an MBA in Accounting from Suffolk University. Today, Steve owns and manages a CPA firm on Cape Cod, and serves on the boards of numerous community organizations, including the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League, the Orleans Athletic Association (if you are fortunate enough to see a home game, he’ll be the announcer!), the Eastham BSA Troop 83, the Provincetown Lions Club and the Masonic Building Association of Provincetown, to name a few. He and his wife, Rhonda, have raised three children and in their spare time, enjoy traveling around the globe. Steve brings his strong fundraising skills and financial acumen to the board, and feels honored to be a part of Sharing Kindness and working toward the common goal of making the world a better place.
F. Davis Walters
Board member, Co-founder
Davis co-founded Sharing Kindness with his wife, Kim, in 2018 after the death of their son, Jeremy by suicide in 2016. Originally from Westfield, NJ, Davis has bachelor’s degrees from Syracuse University, majoring in anthropology and religion, and UMass Amherst, majoring in civil engineering. Currently working as the building commissioner for the town of Brewster, Davis loves spending time with his family, including his two-year-old grandson, Jacob Jeremy Wheeler (‘JJ’). He has served on the board of directors of the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod Baseball League, and has been both a summer league host parent and Fresh Air Fund host parent. Davis is focused on reducing the stigma and shame associated with suicide, and helping find the funding necessary for Sharing Kindness to create a grief and healing center on the Cape.
Korrin’s family moved to the Cape in 1939. Her grandmother, Rose Stocchetti, founded Rose’s Restaurant in Dennis (the first restaurant on Cape Cod to serve pizza!). After graduating from Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, then attending the former Mt. Ida College in Newton, she followed in her grandmother’s footsteps by becoming a small business owner on Cape Cod: Korrin has owned and managed The Pin Cushion on Main Street in Hyannis since February 1994. Korrin is a constable for the town of Dennis, serving her second term; she is also an agent for the Department of Revenue, a notary public, and most importantly, the mother of an amazing daughter, Kiarra. Korrin has supported family members as they have struggled to find appropriate support and resources to improve their brain health, and she loves the Sharing Kindness mission and everyone connected with it.
Melissa was raised in Watertown, New York, but has called the Cape home for many years. She attended the State University of New York (SUNY) Oswego, and obtained a certificate in accounting from Cape Cod Community College. Currently Melissa works as a bookkeeper for Nauset Marine. Melissa loves spending time with her family, especially her nephew and twin nieces. Melissa joined Sharing Kindness as a volunteer, serving as the youth coordinator of the annual Cape & Islands Suicide Awareness Walk, and became a board member in 2018. Melissa’s involvement was inspired by the death of her best friend Paul by suicide, and she is humbled and honored to be a part of such an incredible organization.
Gwynne Guzzeau, J.D., M.S., was raised on the Cape, and graduated from Wellesley College in 1988 and Georgetown Law School in 1999. Gwynne is the executive director of Helping Our Women (HOW), a nonprofit serving women with chronic or life-threatening health conditions in the Outer Cape towns of Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown. In addition, her nonprofit positions have included: executive director of the Gestalt International Study Center in Wellfleet; research associate at the Wellesley Centers for Women, where she served on a national work group focused on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; and consultant for the Barnstable County Healthy Aging Project. Gwynne’s legal career started in Washington, D.C., then transitioned to Cape Cod where she ran her own estate planning and elder law practice. Previously, she worked as a teacher, director, researcher and consultant to school-age childcare programs in urban and rural settings. Gwynne lives in Orleans and is adjusting to life as an empty nester. A founding board member of Sharing Kindness, Gwynne contributes her strong and diverse skillset to the board, along with a commitment to our community to establish a grief and healing center for families.
Originally from Philadelphia, Christian attended UMASS Amherst, where he majored in Physics and was a member of the nationally ranked UMASS Cycling Team. He gained an early understanding of business and customer service, in addition to physics, when he developed a small, high-end bicycle manufacturing company, Rhygin, that he founded as an entrepreneurial college senior.
With over 25 years in real estate — mainly in Cambridge Massachusetts — Christian has been featured in national and local media, including segments on “This Old House” on PBS and in the New York Times and The Boston Globe, among others. Christian has lived in the Boston area since 1993. He and his wife Marni love their trips to the Cape. When not working, Christian can be found coaching his son Isaiah’s soccer team or tinkering in the garage on a vintage car or motorcycle. Christian brings his business acumen to the Board to support Sharing Kindness as we work towards developing our Grief and Healing Center.
Carlos Peinado is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and completed an undergraduate degree in filmmaking and cultural anthropology at Dartmouth College. Carlos has pursued careers as both an actor and a filmmaker—his documentaries include Harry’s House and Waterbuster—in addition to teaching at the high school and college level. Carlos and his wife Daphne recently relocated to New England. Carlos supports the Sharing Kindness message and the critical need for courageous conversation, whether the topic is brain health, suicide or grief. Carlos brings his skillset as an educator and filmmaker to our organization, as we seek even more creative avenues to reach those in need of resources and education.
David Samuel was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated from Syracuse University in 1984 with a B.A. in History. Dave spent his college summers living and working on the Cape, and has continued to visit as often as he can since. While his friends and colleagues appreciate his incredible fund of knowledge, particularly history, Dave’s day job is as a gaffer (on a set, that’s an electrician!) for movies and commercials. His work is frequently based in New York City, but has taken him around the world. Dave and his wife, Maura, have an adult son, Dylan, and love spending time together reading, cooking and traveling. Dave has been a supporter of Sharing Kindness since its inception and a board member since 2020. Looking through the lens of his own life story, Dave acknowledges the traumatic loss of friends and aquaintances to suicide and is committed to the nonprofit’s mission and vision.
Having lost his young brother-in-law to the public health crisis of youth suicide, Jason has been an involved with Sharing Kindness as a volunteer since 2017. A professional baseball player at the time, Jason carried his devotion to suicide awareness into his career by launching a successful suicide awareness event at his AAA ballpark. After a call to the big leagues, followed by a season in the Korean Baseball League, he returned stateside and started law school. Graduating from Boston College Law School in 2021, he joined Holland & Knight in Boston, where he has provided pro bono work for nonprofit organizations. Jason and his wife, Maddie, often visit family on the Cape with their two sons. As a member of the board of directors, Jason hopes to reach young Cape Codders, including student athletes, to raise awareness of suicide.
Advisory Board Member
Susan Andersen works with people who have experienced loss and are grieving through yoga and movement. She is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher with certifications in Vinyasa/Hatha, Yin Yoga, Trauma Informed Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Yoga Warriors International, and founded Sue Andersen Yoga with a mission to share the healing attributes of yoga with people of all skill levels. Sue has worked closely with Kathleen Shine-O’Brien, LMHC, on innovative grief curricula for Sharing Kindness community programming. Sue is also a member, and current board president, of the Samaritans on Cape Cod and Islands.
Advisory Board Youth Representative
Kate is a Nauset High School graduate and an undergraduate student at Wheaton College. She is a friend of Jeremy’s and a founding member of our organization. Kate is neurodivergent, something she had in common with Jeremy, and she is passionate about brain health. Kate has remained involved with Sharing Kindness because, in her own words, “Like all the other wonderful people in this organization, I strive to make the world a better place, starting here on Cape.”
Grief Resource & Suicide Awareness Coordinator (AmeriCorps VISTA)
Heather Jystad is an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Sharing Kindness. She has a career background in human resources and volunteer coordinating, and an Associate of Arts in sociology with a focus on childhood poverty. Heather holds certificates from INELDA (International End of Life Doula Association) and the Conscious Dying Institute as a Conscious Dying Coach, Sacred Passage Doula and Pediatric Death Doula. The death of her youngest daughter to drug and alcohol poisoning brought to her to this work. She is passionate about being present with death, grief and loss, and believes these things should not be hidden, but part of our everyday lives. Heather is the wife of a high school math teacher, mother of four, stepmother of two, and grandmother to six. She likes yoga, meditating, photography, reading, baking, hiking, traveling and a good cup of tea.
Staff - Digital Marketing Manager
Lannan is a local freelance writer, editor and social media manager whose work has appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout Massachusetts and New England. As digital marketing manager, Lannan curates content on the Sharing Kindness website and social media pages, sharing the nonprofit’s message and promoting its work in suicide, grief and mental health awareness and support. In the summer, you’ll also find her in the window of Seafood Sam’s: Fish on the Fly, a food truck run by her and her husband.