Board Members

Patricia L. Thaar-Tocco, MA, LPC, NCC, Founder | CEO – Executive Director

My goal is to create a safe and supportive therapeutic environment in which a client can become more aware of themselves and how to use their strengths to overcome the obstacles that contribute to pain and dysfunction in their daily life. I am most influenced by Solution-Focused techniques which empowers a client to move past where they have been and embrace where they would like to be in their lives.
The passion that I feel for understanding people is matched by the joy I feel when people start to see the changes within themselves.
My goal is to help by being a motivator for change in thoughts and behaviors, so my clients can explore themselves and find the strength to be the person that they strive to be.

Diane Johnston, MA, LPC, NCC, Vice-President | Secretary

My goal is to meet you where you currently are in the process of change and healing. I will provide you with a safe, trusting, and honest therapeutic environment. I specialize in development with teens, college students, and after college transitions. I assist adults with anxiety, ADHD and epression. Additionally, I specialize in working with women on building self -esteem, relationship challenges, trauma, health issues, and life transitions. I am motivated to assist you in creating positive life changes through a holistic and therapeutic approach.

Together we can tackle the challenges you face to improve your personal strengths. Using therapy as a tool, we can focus on growing the positive patterns and releasing the negativity from your life. We can learn what you can control and what you can not to gain freedom from anxiety and depression.

I am additionally trained in EMDR Therapy, yoga, yoga trauma, and meditation instruction. I use these additional tools to connect you to your best self when appropriate. I provide counseling services within the Metro Detroit area with my main office in downtown Rochester and additionally in Troy, MI. Together we will work as a team, at your pace, to bring out your best self.

Dawn Wagner, Treasurer – Sterling Heights – Director of Operations

Dawn L Wagner is an Office Manager at a Manufacturing company and a part-time bookkeeper at a Tax and Accounting firm, both located in Madison Heights. She is a Notary Public and has an Associates degree in Accounting with over 35 years of small business experience. After losing her best friend and several family members to suicide, prevention and mental health awareness became her passion. A former hospice volunteer and advisory board member, Dawn is committed to helping the people in her community heal, thrive and love to live their lives. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew, meeting/talking with people, working and watching football. “Be happy for this moment, it is your life.”

Marketing Team

Donna Shiner – Volunteers, Sponsors, Donations

I am a passionate volunteer coordinator and event manager with experience in a variety of nonprofit settings. I am skilled at recruiting, training, and coordinating volunteers, and I have a proven track record of success in planning and executing successful events and fundraisers.

I am passionate about using my skills to help others and make a difference in my community. I believe that everyone has something to offer, and I am committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact me at I would be happy to discuss our volunteer opportunities and find the right fit for your skills and interests.

Please contact me via email at to volunteer.

Marcie Deriemacker –  Events, Community Outreach

Linda Olejniczak –  HR / Marketing

Advisory Board 

Ashley Karas, MA, LPC, CAADC, NCC, Advisory Board

I am a graduate from Oakland University with both my BA in Communications and my MA in Counseling. I have a passion for non-profit counseling agencies in the community.

I have 16 plus years of experience in the counseling field with 12 years of experience in management positions and marketing. Along with working full time, I also volunteer, provide supervision to LLPC’s and have been active in state and community organizations.

Dante Dasaro -Advisory Board

Hello, I’m Dante, a proud father of 19 years and a member of Thaar Care’s advisory board. I have always found a way to be involved in helping others my whole life. In 2012, I decided with a few friends that there were simply too many stray dogs in Detroit, and something needed to be done about it. This ended up developing into what is now known as Detroit Dog Rescue today and from 2011-2015 I was full time media management and a field photographer for the organization. Today, still, I raise funds for the organization and occasionally help out at events whenever I can. A photographer for 16 years, my work has been featured in Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, and many local Detroit news outlets. Along with the dog rescue I have also made many other endeavors in helping others in many different places. In 2015 and 2016, I took two trips along with my son and many friends to assist those in need in the Dominican Republic. With the help of everyone, we were able to successfully provide many necessities of the people and help them to the best of our ability. Recently, I was accepted into the Shelby Township Lions Club, and hope to help others even more through them. Ultimately, helping others is the main priority, and Thaar Care is the place for doing so.

Dominic Dasaro, Advisory Board

Hi, I’m Dominic but most people call me Dom and I am a member of Thaar Care’s Advisory Board. I am 19 years old and currently studying Business at Grand Valley State University. I have always been around giving people my whole life, and that has rubbed off on me immensely through the years. A good majority of my time in my life I have been involved in some field regarding helping others. Whether it was raising dogs for Detroit Dog Rescue in its early goings, taking mission trips to the Dominican Republic to dig wells and provide other aid for its people, or personally going out to help the homeless with my father, I have always tried to devote my time to help others. What I lack in age I make up in experience. Mental health problems are an epidemic that I’ve seen my entire life throughout my generation, and I hope to bring a perspective of someone who sees these issues firsthand everyday among my college peers. Through my daily experiences and perspective as someone who resides in one of the biggest suffering demographics, I can better help everyone understand what it is like in its environment. At the end of the day, it is always about helping others live their best lives.

Bruce Dunton, CSW, MS, RSST, Advisory Board

Bruce Dunton is the Director of Crossroads Clubhouse, a psychosocial program that provides supports to adults with mental illness to strengthen social skills, establish a meaningful routine and improve daily functioning.  Bruce started working in the mental health field in 1985 while attending Eastern Michigan University as a student athlete on the Swimming and Diving Team. In 1988, Bruce was a NCAA diver on EMU’s swim and diving team that established a National record for the most consecutive conference titles.   In 1996, Bruce received national recognition with National Association of Counties (NAC0) for developing a housing program that served people in mental health recovery. Bruce enjoys spending time with family, and in his spare time working on cars, owning a classic 1956 Chevy Belaire and the owner/operator/ driver of Dunton Racing.  Bruce Can be reached at

Jennifer Lutostanski, LBSW, Advisory Board

Jennifer Lutostanski earned her Bachelor of Psychology from Michigan State University in 1993.  Jennifer has been working as a Licensed Social Worker (LBSW) for Macomb County Community Mental Health for 25 years.   Jennifer has made a lifelong career in the area of Psycho-Social Rehabilitation, specifically working within the Clubhouse Model.  Through her work, Jennifer has been committed to helping adults with mental illnesses to overcome stigma, battle depression and anxiety disorders and other stressors that affect all of us at some time in our lives.  Her passions include dog rescue, travel, gourmet cooking and spending time with her family.

Jeanninne Marthen