Leadership team

Amber Anderson


Early Intervention Coordinator for Universal.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Child Development from Appalachian State University.  Amber has worked with children and their families for over fifteen years.  Amber also currently serves as the Chair of the Burke County Local Interagency Coordinating Council (LICC) and is a member of surrounding county LICCs.  Amber enjoys spending her time with her husband and two daughters, Joleigh and Layla.

Leslie Cothren


Information Technology Director for Universal. A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Practioner (HCISPP) who completed his B.A. in Computer Information Systems at Lenoir-Rhyne University and an M.B.A. with a marketing emphasis from Strayer University. Leslie has over twenty years of diverse experience in the Information Technology field. At Universal, he is responsible for all facets of the IT arena, from computers and servers to privacy and policy. He works tirelessly to ensure that all users in all Universal offices have access to all needed equipment and information systems. 

Ingrid Freeman


Human Resources Director for Universal. She has many years experience working with office support, accounting, and clinical supervisors. She is dedicated to creating a cohesive thread between clinical practice and employee recruitment, retention, and engagement. Ingrid is dedicated to ensuring that all offices are operating efficiently and in accordance to Human Resources Regulations, Company Policy, and CARF Standards.

Tracy Frye


Continuous Quality Improvement Director for Universal. With over 35 years of experience in the state, county and private sectors of the mental health field, Tracy is highly regarded for her knowledge of the quality improvement arena. Tracy is responsible for accreditation, endorsements, audits and other quality improvement strategies. She is actively involved in the Quality Council for local MCOs, a faithful volunteer with North Carolina Special Olympics, and heavily involved with homelessness awareness. With Tracy at the helm of the Continuous Quality Improvement Department, Universal is sure to provide quality services. 

Drema Greer


Training Director for Universal Mental Health Services. She obtained her B.A. in Therapeutic Recreation from Clemson University and her M.A. in Health and Physical Education from Tennessee Technological University, and has over 22 years of experience in the staff development field. She is responsible for all facets of the Training Department - creating curricula for state-mandated and internal trainings, facilitating state-wide training schedules and data entry. Drema also volunteers as an Instructor Trainer for the Western North Carolina Territory of the American Red Cross. Prior to her success in staff development, Drema coached collegiate women's basketball for 15 years. Being an educator at heart, Drema says, "Training here at Universal is all about strategically guiding employees to assist the people we serve to achieve their potential to live, work and grow in their community." 

Zsa Zsa Johnson


Administrative Director for Universal MH/DD/SAS. She joined Universal in 2008 as the Office Assistant for the Raleigh office. Zsa Zsa has a BS degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience in the field of office administration. Zsa Zsa has a wealth of knowledge in the areas of office management, audits and accreditation reviews and processes, and ensuring all agency files are maintained based on agency requirements. Zsa Zsa has a lifelong desire to help others and provide the training and supports needed to help them shine. 

Patra Lowe


Clinical Director for Universal. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Social Work from Western Carolina University and the University of South Carolina. Patra is a licensed clinical social worker. She has work experience with Hospice, juvenile justice, and therapeutic foster care. For many years, she has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental illnesses. Patra's goal is to continue relationships in NC to foster growth while providing excellent professional person served services. 

Marilyn Porter


Universal's Eastern Regional Director. She has over 30 years of experience working with the IDD/MH/DD/SAS population in the Mental Health field. She obtained her BA in Psychology and BA in Justice and Public Policy from NC Wesleyan College. She has a lifelong dedication to the Mental Health field. She spends most of her time advocating for members in her region to ensure their needs are being met. Marilyn’s long-range goals includes continuing to advocate for her members in the eastern region and across the state of NC. 

Garry Wiley


Universal's Regional Director for the Central Region. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master’s in Social Work from Western New Mexico University along with a graduate certificate in rural social work services. Garry has worked with various populations within the behavioral health field since 2000. Garry is actively involved in provider councils and community boards for local MCOs in his region. Garry is also heavily involved in community service organization within his home town of Burlington, NC. Garry’s goal is to continue to provide the best possible supports to families and persons we help to support.