Chief Executive Officer
MINES and Associates
Location: Littleton, CO
Dani Kimlinger will be the first to acknowledge that it can be hard to ask for help.
“It is even harder to ask for it when there are barriers to access care,” she said. “It can feel impossible.”
That is what Kimlinger, CEO of MINES and Associates, strives to address for every client, every day.
Providing behavioral health and organizational psychology services in all 50 states as well as internationally, MINES and Associates has a network of 23,000 providers ranging from behavioral health facilities, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and facilities.
Kimlinger planted her roots at MINES after finishing college. Working at MINES alongside a homeless youth shelter, Urban Peak, she immediately fell in love with the field. Kimlinger said the connection was strong because of her childhood struggles with poverty and having family members impacted by substance use. Through her experiences working at Urban Peak, MINES, and serving on social service boards, she has gained multiple perspectives and applications of mental health. She stepped into the role of CEO at MINES at the age of 30 in January of 2017.
Making several moves in the last couple of years to make their mental health services more accessible, Kimlinger also saw the significant need for subnetworks such as for emergency responders and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“These positioned us to respond effectively to events in 2020 and have reasonable growth in sales during a trying time,” Kimlinger said. “MINES has a strong collaborative and well-being-oriented culture.”
She said that her five-year vision is that MINES will be a place that is known to and attractive to talent and will be viewed as the thought leader in behavioral health organizational psychology. Her Titan perseverance will undoubtedly make this happen.
While Kimlinger has a lot to be proud of, she said her greatest success is the culture that has been created at MINES.
“I cannot say that I accomplished that but hopefully, I have contributed and modeled it. I am proud of the way that we help each other, the way we treat each other, and everyone that we serve and work with. I am convinced that our team is our success.”
It is under Kimlingers’ leadership that MINES has prospered through change, and she is quick to point out that leading through positive change and change with adversity can look quite different.
“Regardless, leading through change is a true opportunity for growth. I felt that I grew the most as a leader and faced the greatest adversity leading change especially during COVID,” she said. “In a time where I did not feel that I had control of most things, I did have control of how and what I communicated. I had control over how I supported my team. Change often happens so fast and decisions consequently need to be made immediately, therefore, recognizing who can help you make sound decisions under pressure and implement is imperative.” She added, “I was privately so scared that during COVID when we had clients closing down or cutting costs that I would have to consider letting staff go.”
Kimlinger recalls writing down everyone’s names and what they bring to the table, only to decide it was not an option to let anyone go. “It energized me to find different ways to bring revenue in to support keeping our team whole,” she said.
Still, she said, measuring success for herself as a leader has never felt straightforward or tangible.
“I measure my success by a complex set of measures. These include retention of employees, clients, and partners,” she said. “Other measures include the lives we impact and save each year and how we adhere to our vision and mission.”
Kimlinger said that the biggest piece of advice she can offer is to begin your leadership career by assessing your strengths and your vulnerabilities, then ongoingly reassess as you grow and move through your role.
“Surround yourself with people who have strengths where you have vulnerabilities. Let them know that is your purpose and be vulnerable with them, let your team members know where they complement your team as a whole and how they complement you as the leader,” she said. “Pick mentors who are different than you and might be hard for you to work with. You have to be uncomfortable to grow and you will grow!”
Providing experiences to disabled athletes is Dani's passion. She volunteers through the Lockwood Foundation and brought the first wheelchair user to the tallest peak in CO, Mt. Elbert!