Our Team

Chris Lunsford, LCSW

Chief Executive Officer

Chris Lunsford (she/her), LCSW is the Chief Executive Officer for Empathic Workplace, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Improv Mental Health Association and Chief Operating Officer at Sanctuary Counseling of WNY and Improv Therapy Group. Chris’ work with these organizations focuses on providing trauma informed and inclusive healing modalities to diverse populations within Western New York and worldwide.

Chris has over 15 years of experience in organizational development and leadership, clinical counseling, supervision, program development, and is a skilled facilitator and trainer. Chris is also certified Dare to Lead ™ facilitator, an EMDR Certified Clinician and Consultant in Training, and a yoga teacher. She leads grounded in her value of courage; this value drives her clinical work and her work in leadership development. Chris uses the tenants of Dare to Lead™️ to build trust in teams using the lens of social justice, inclusion and belonging.

Chris believes in the power of improv and has personally experienced the power of “Yes, And “ in her life. She is passionate about connecting others to this powerful modality whether it be for clinical, professional, or leadership development. Chris works to help others show up in the world authentically and courageously. She supports others in building emotional intelligence and psychological flexibility in order to facilitate personal and collective healing. She believes that the practice of improv helps others to build compassionate connections with ourselves and within our communities.

Angela Nino, CFI

Founder and President

Angela Nino, MSW, CFI (she/her/hers) is Co-Founder of Improv Therapy Group; Founder and President of Empathic Workplace, Co-Founder and President of Improv Mental Health Association, and Treatment Coordinator (therapist) at Suncloud Health, an integrative residential treatment center for substance use, eating disorders, mood disorders, and trauma.

As the CEO of Improv Therapy Group, Angela led the digital transformation during the pandemic to bring improv to therapists and helping professionals all over the world.  She regularly develops and leads the implementation of improv programs in various settings ranging from treatment centers to corporate environments.  Angela is a graduate of the Second City Training Center improv program and has performed in several Second City Training Center shows. 

As the Founder and President of Empathic Workplace, Angela brought her experience with behavior interpretation, interviewing techniques, investigations, and difficult conversations and combined that with her values of authenticity, intention, and emotional intelligence to help organizations create and maintain an empathic workplace culture. 

Angela is a highly experienced and dynamic public speaker.   Angela has spoken at numerous conferences and given several keynote presentations. She is a veteran instructor and has influenced private enterprises, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Her techniques include the use of games, exercises and storytelling as a tool for building trust in a conversation.