The Team

Kristie Knights

Founder

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Kristie Knights is the Founder and CEO of iRise Leadership Institute, a Licensed Psychotherapist in private practice, Professional Speaker, Author, and former Vice President of Global Sisterhood, a Non-Profit 501 (c)(3).

In her private practice, she guides hundreds of clients to lead a life of joy and purpose from here, locally in the U.S., and as far away as Israel, England, Australia, Germany, India, and Switzerland. Kristie currently sees clients in her Pittsburgh office.

iRise Leadership Institute provides leadership training, educational resources, financial support, and awareness in suicide prevention.  Soon after the founding of iRise, Kristie wrote a book titled, UnSung Heroes: Deconstructing Suicide Through Stories of Triumph. It provided a platform for those who had contemplated or attemped suicide to share their stories so they may inspire others to live. She has also written 100+ articles for a variety of web-based companies on self-growth. Kristie is the co-author of Inspired Entrepreneurs: A Compilation of Women's Triumphs in Business and Life.

She is a member of the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, International Coaching Federation, Pittsburgh Professional Women, National Board of Certified Counselors, National Speakers Association, American Counseling Association, Women of the North, and graduate of Women's Leadership Academy and B-School.

Kristie is committed to serve and lead others from a place of leadership, love and vulnerability. For additional information, visit Kristie at kristieknights.com.

Paula Miles is a graduate of Clarion University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication. She is a leader in multiple education and religious sectors.  Having spent years cultivating her skills and relationships through family, friends and Christian faith; iRise Leadership Institute allows her to apply her connections and many difficult life experiences to help eradicate suicide.  Most recently, Paula was a contributing author to the anthology, Unsung Heroes; Deconstructing Suicide Through Stories of Triumph, published in December, 2016.

Paula Miles

Vice President

Bill Halle is the Founder and CEO of Grace Youth and Family Foundation (GYFF), a 501(c)3 Domestic Nonprofit Corporation, located in Butler. He started GYff in January, 1993, and it serves as an outreach organization to those families and youth experiencing serious problems and/or needs. Bill's ministry is built upon the concept, “youth don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you really care.”  Through the years, GYFF has learned by consistently demonstrating unconditional love, acceptance, and simply being willing and available to engage each youth in conversation in a nonjudgmental manner, youth and their families openly and honestly share the realities of their life experience. Bill developed a simple approach that has enabled GYFF to help literally thousands of at-risk youth and their families.  He also is a Leader in Collaborative Nonprofit Program Development.

Bill Halle 

Executive Board Member

Katherine Leech Vollen

Executive Board Member

Katherine (Katie) Leech Vollen, Esquire, is a founder partner at the law firm of Humphrey, Vollen & Anderson, LLC. She represents clients in all areas of family law, including divorce, equitable distribution, child custody, alimony, child support, Marriage Settlement Agreements, Prenuptial Agreements, paternity, and Protection from Abuse (PFA) Matters. She is skilled in litigation, and is also traind in Collaborative Law, an alternative to litigation. Katie was chosen as Super Lawyer 2016, and was named a Super Lawyer "Rising Star" for 2013, 2014, & 2015.

Katie is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) and the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA), serving on several committees. She was one of the youngest elected members of the ACBA Judiciary Committee. She also is an elected member of ACBA YLD Council and is an elected member of the ACBA Family Law Section council. She previously co-chaired the Family Law Section Public Service Committee.

Katie is dedicated to serving the community through her pro-bono work and volunteerism. She is a young fellow of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, and serves on the Board of Directors for Neighborhood Legal Services Association. She has served on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Partners Board since 2008, and has been co-chair of the board since 2103.

Katie obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dorothy Kurylo 

Executive Board Member

Pirooz Abir

Advisory Board Member

Dorothy Kurylo DNP, RN is an assistant professor in the graduate nursing administration program at La Roche University. She has been a nurse in pediatrics for 36 years and has held many varied positions as staff nurse, nurse educator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and nurse administrator. Dorothy obtained her undergraduate nursing degree from Indiana University, her master’s degree in pediatric clinical nurse specialist at the University of Pittsburgh and most recently her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Carlow University. For the past 16 years, Dorothy has dedicated herself to teaching and preparing students to provide safe, compassionate care and to be strong leaders in the nursing profession.

As a nurse, Dorothy is dedicated to serving the community through membership and volunteering with non-profit organizations who are striving to improve the health of the community members. As a pediatric nurse she has provided care for far too many adolescents who have attempted suicide. Therefore, Dorothy has joined the iR;se board to uphold its mission to eradicate suicide and remove the stigma of mental illness in our society.

Highly regarded as an industry thought leader, Pirooz Abir is an accomplished entrepreneur, senior executive, and consultant with more than 27 years of success within the information technology industry. Leveraging extensive experience working within the IT sectors of banking and finance, brokerage, healthcare, legal, and manufacturing; he has led successful initiatives to drive revenues, push sales, and implement technical solutions. Pirooz is passionate about getting to the root of his clients’ problems and empowering them to achieve their desired growth.

 

Pirooz co-founded his own business, Printmail Solutions, Inc. (PSI) and served in a combined role of Principal, CIO, and CTO. PSI provided high security, transactional data print, mail and electronic delivery of statements for community banks. Of all his accomplishments, Pirooz is most proud of PSI going from startup to over $23 million annual revenue, enjoying a growth rate of between 6-15% per year.

 

Personally responsible for closing over 75% of total sales, Pirooz developed all the IT infrastructure. His IT infrastructure experience encompasses all technical customer service, software development, project management, implementation and high-speed highsecurity network systems.

 

Pirooz has founded his latest start-up, LiquidInvoice LLC, for equipping small to midsize businesses with the same payment service advantages of large companies.

 

Pirooz holds a Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

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Kristie Knights

128 N. Washington Street

Butler, PA  16001

kristie@kristieknights.com

Tel: (724) 816-7431

Fax: (866) 404-2239

Suicide Hotline:

800-273-TALK (8255)

© 2016 iRise Leadership Institute