Thad Cardine, MA

Executive Director

Thad Cardine moved his family from Virginia to Texas four years ago when he felt compelled to return to the non-profit/ ministerial sector of work. He joined Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries in August 2015. Thad has been active in a variety of non-profits and religious ministries throughout his young and adult life. He spent years traveling throughout the United States volunteering and working with the Baptist Home Mission Board. He worked in domestic violence shelters, inner-city homeless missions, with Cambodian refugees, and he was involved in the cleanup of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska. After receiving his undergraduate degree in English and Russian Linguistics he lived and worked in Moscow, Russia for a year before realizing he left his heart in Arkansas. He returned and married his sweetheart, Jamie, in 1999.

After receiving his graduate degree in education and curriculum design, he began a career in education and taught English in both private and public schools for twelve years. He has been active in church ministries, teaching C.C.E., and the Knights of Columbus. He became a Master Catechist through the Arlington Diocese of Virginia in 2009.

While he enjoyed the intrinsic benefits of being an educator, Thad continued to seek an opportunity to merge his love of his faith and non-profit work. He feels exceedingly blessed to join the Shield Bearer family and participate in the front-line battle to restore marriages, heal hearts, and help build and strengthen the communities throughout the greater Houston area.

Thad and Jamie homeschool their five children: Francesca, Lucian, Jacinta, Elena, and our bonafide Texan, Imelda.

Michelle Kohl

Office Manager

Michelle comes to us with over 20 years of business services, human resources, payroll and data entry experience from a broad range of industries.  She was born in Ohio but was raised in Tomball and is a proud Texan by choice.  Those who interviewed or met her have expressed how warm and unflappable her personality is. She enjoys spending time with family, reading a good book in the sunshine and Zumba in her spare time. She believes her role is one of support and service to those of you on the front lines in meeting the mission of the organization.

Tanya Parker, MBA

Client Relations Specialist

Tanya received her BA and MBA in Communications from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas. After many years of working in music marketing, she decided she wanted to be more hands on and make a difference in her community. She became a member of Real Life Ministries of Texas and may often be found volunteering with KidsLife. She enjoys spending her free time exploring all that the city has to offer with her family, including her dog Astrid. She is proud and honored to be a part of the Shield Bearer team in service to you.

Pam Cosart, MA, LPC-S, CART

Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor

Pam holds a Business degree from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Counseling from Liberty University. She is a veteran facilitator of women’s bible study groups and oversees the Soul Care Counseling Ministry at Cy-Fair Christian Church. Pam specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression, grief and loss; she provides individual, adolescent, children, couple and family counseling, including pre-marital and marriages in distress. She journeys with women who are navigating through transitions of life. Additionally, she is a certified anger resolution therapist. Her theoretical orientation includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and existentialism from a biblical perspective. Pam is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, the Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors, and the American Counseling Association.

Pam married her husband Al in 1975. They have three adult children: Audra, Jordan and Alex. In her spare time, she likes to read and walk/jog for fitness. She enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with their grandchildren.

Joyce Finch, Ed.D. MA, LPC, CSC


Joyce holds a Bachelor of Science in Education at the University of Houston, a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling at Sam Houston State University, a Doctorate in Counselor Education at Texas Southern University. She was a school counselor for 23 years – 10 as an intermediate and 13 as a high school counselor. Joyce is an assistant professor at Texas Southern University and teaches school and agency counseling. She specializes in the treatment of grief and loss, depression, and anxiety and provides Christian, adolescent, and individual counseling. Joyce is a member of the Texas Counseling Association and Chi Sigma Iota (International Honor Society for Counseling Majors on the Graduate Level). She married her husband Robert (Bob) in 1969, and they have two adult daughters and six grandchildren. In her spare time, she plays tennis, exercises at the gym, walks, and swims. Joyce enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with their grandchildren.

Renee Jafari, MA, LPC


Renee Jafari was interested in Counseling and psychology long before she made the decision to get her degree in Counseling. She loved reading about human behavior, thoughts, feelings and underlying motives. As she studied at a Biblical College, she added a theological perspective to her understanding of human condition. As the opportunity to receive a formal education in Counseling arose her interest in psychology made a full circle and resulted in the master’s degree in Counseling through the Houston Graduate School of Theology. Upon completing her practicum at a grief support center, Renee counseled clients with dual diagnosis such as mood disorders and substance dependence. This work was followed by counseling clients with serious/severe mental illnesses and mood disorders. Renee is passionate about helping clients work through their traumatic experiences, anxieties, difficulties in relationships and life change related adjustment, grief/loss and other conditions drawing on Existential, Cognitive-Behavioral, Emotion-focused and other relevant therapeutic modalities.

Carrie L. Martinez, MS, LPC


Carrie is a Licensed Professional Counselor that holds a Master of Science Degree in Human Services/Clinical Counseling from Bellevue University.  Carrie also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Northwest Missouri State University. Carrie was a graduate intern at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Eating Disorders Clinic.  Carrie also holds a National Mental Health Award from Rosalyn Carter, Solution Focused Consultation Certification, SAMA, PMAB, Adoption Certification for Children with Special Needs, and Psychotropic Medication Certification.

Carrie has worked in the mental health field for many years, and her caring and compassionate demeanor allows her to establish quick rapport with all age groups. Carrie is passionate about helping people by giving them the tools to help overcome life’s challenges that may be standing in the way of their personal happiness.

Carrie has been married since 2005 and has two young daughters.  In her free time Carrie enjoys spending time with her family, reading, swimming, and attending church.

Tiffany Annamalai, MS, LCSW


Tiffany earned her undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Social Work at Illinois State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with her master’s degree in Social Work from St. Ambrose University. Tiffany spent several months in various international and national locations throughout her academic career, including Spain, the Dominican Republic and New Mexico State University. Following graduation, Tiffany worked as an elementary school counselor in Davenport, Iowa for two years before moving to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Tiffany worked with migrant families in Harlingen, TX before moving to McAllen to spearhead an outreach organization for adolescents, college students, and young professionals for 5 years. She then started a mentoring, education, and life skills program for teen parents and families, incorporating community members, churches, businesses, and local leaders’ participation. Tiffany has experience working with eating disorders and is a member of Houston Eating Disorder Specialists.

Tiffany has three young children and enjoys relaxing with her family and traveling internationally.

Heather Powers, MA, LPC


Heather graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston-Downtown. She provides individual, adolescent, couple, and family counseling. Her special interests are working with clients dealing anxiety and stress, life transitions, marriage and family conflict, and survivors of abuse.

Heather has been married since 2012. She enjoys doing puzzles, watching movies, and spending time with family, extended family and close friends. She and her husband love to help out at their church in various areas. Her hobbies are playing board games, and resale and thrift store shopping.

Urissa Hunter, MS, LMFT


Urissa Hunter graduated with a B.S. from Prairie View A & M University and Master of Science in Human Services with a specialization in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy from Capella University. Currently, her work includes being a business teacher and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her experience in secular and Christian education has expanded over 20 years.

She has been married over 30 years to Terrence Hunter and has three sons, two daughters-in-law, 6 grandsons and one granddaughter.

Graduate Student Interns

Shield-Bearer is proud to be an internship/practicum site for new professionals who desire to help us meet our mission of high-quality services without regard to ability to pay. Very few applicants are selected to become a part of the Shield-Bearer family. Graduate students selected have typically been those who have life and field experience in addition to their formal education and who fit well with our values and mission. Being counseled by a graduate student provides the most current evidence-based approaches with weekly (sometimes daily) supervision by credentialed onsite and graduate school supervisors. We are proud to have been a part of facilitating the ongoing training of new counselors in conjunction with the following graduate programs:

  • Baylor University, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Houston Graduate School of Theology, Counseling Department
  • Houston Baptist University, Christian Counseling Department
  • Liberty University, Counseling Department
  • Sam Houston State University, Education and Counseling Departments
  • University of Houston, Psychology, Education and Social Work Departments
  • Texas Women’s University, Family Therapy Doctoral Program
  • Ashland Theological Seminary, Pastoral Counseling Department
  • Dallas Theological Seminary, Christian Counseling Department


A conversation with a few of our team – The Importance of Shield Bearer