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Beacon by MC Team

Molly Carmel

Molly Carmel, LCSW-R

Founder and CEO
Laurel Mercer

Laurel Mercer, LMSW

Behavioral Coach
Elizabeth Hale-Rose

Elizabeth Hale-Rose, LCSW

BEHAVIORAL COACH
Alexandra Wilt

Alexandra Wilt, LCSW

Behavioral Coach
Eileen Vandemark

Eileen Vandemark, MSW

Behavioral Coach
Meghan Polacek

Meghan Polacek, LMSW

Behavioral Coach
Amorette Rojas

Amorette Rojas

Office Manager
Teresa Vella

Teresa Vella

Billing Specialist
Molly Carmel

Molly Carmel
LCSW-R

Founder and CEO

“Molly’s enchanting wisdom and unwavering faith in her clients has unequivocally been the solution to my doubts and fears.” —CM

Molly has made it her life’s mission to help people find a sustainable solution to the battle of obesity and related eating disorders. After battling an eating disorder for over 20 years and finding no solution in available treatment, she began her professional path towards creating The Beacon. Molly has a personal dedication to helping you create change and find solutions that work for you. She molds your treatment at Beacon to fit your specific needs and lifestyle.

Molly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Cornell University and her Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s School of Social Work.

She believes that the skills and theories of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Wise Mind are the keystones to help people to live their very best lives. In addition to her extensive training in Substance Use and Eating Disorders, Molly is intensively trained in and has an undying love for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She is also a trained shaman, Reiki healer and certified tibetan bowl singing practitioner.

Molly is best known for her irreverent, “straight talk no chaser” attitude – it’s been said that she punches as hard as she hugs. She runs The Beacon with wisdom and passion – rigorously training staff, developing programming and helping clients break through barriers hindering success and into a life of recovery.

Molly’s work has been featured on The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Dateline NBC, Anderson Cooper 360, and Extreme Makeover as well as in People Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.

Laurel Mercer

Laurel Mercer
LMSW

Behavioral Coach

"Laurel has guided and supported me every step of the way. She has a way of helping me to see and process things like I never have before. I am so grateful for Laurel and for Beacon and am excited to see where this journey leads me." - CL

Why I’m obsessed with my job

What makes this job so enriching for me, are the people I meet, the stories I hear, and the beautiful healing I see unfold. Each day feels novel and challenges me towards my own personal growth. I get to have days that feel connecting, vulnerable, fulfilling, and challenging all at the same time. It’s seriously magic making.

My favorite song to dance to: 

“One Dance” by Drake….but honestly, put on any Drake track and I’ll be dancing. #obsessed.

My favorite BUWS meal 

A big yummy salad with blackened chicken, avocado, portobello mushrooms, lots of veggies, and my fave green goddess dressing. 

My favorite “right now” skills 

Putting on my essential oil diffuser. I have that thing running all day! 

My favorite “long-lasting” skill

Walking outside in nature, either by myself as I listen to a podcast or, along with my husband. 

Elizabeth Hale-Rose

Elizabeth Hale-Rose
LCSW

BEHAVIORAL COACH

Why I’m obsessed with my job

It is an honor to be a part of clients’ freedom from food addiction and diet trauma. Witnessing people grow into lives they could only dare to imagine at the start of their journey with Beacon is a true joy! My clients inspire me to learn and grow every day. I’m incredibly fortunate to be a part of a team with so much wisdom, commitment, and generosity.

My favorite song to dance to: 

Hey Ya! by OutKast. Literally unable to sit still during this song… shaking it like a Polaroid picture never fails to put a smile on my face.

My favorite BUWS meal 

Burrito-No-Bowl with shredded chicken, rice and beans, avocado, and chopped tomatoes. YUM!

My favorite “right now” skills 

PACED BREATHING!

My favorite “long-lasting” skill

Daily cultivation of self-compassion, radical acceptance, and gratitude through meditation.

Alexandra Wilt

Alexandra Wilt
LCSW

Behavioral Coach

“Alex is an exceptional coach - she brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and is able to combine that with a deep level of empathy, so that she can teach strategies to manage a challenging problem in a way that is effective AND totally comforting." -BG

Why I’m obsessed with my job

I get to do what I love every day- it doesn’t feel like a job! It’s the most rewarding thing to support others in experiencing true freedom from dieting and sugar addiction. Not to mention, my friends and colleagues at Team MC are the absolute best work crew I could ask for.

My favorite song to dance to: 

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked- Cage the Elephant

My favorite BUWS meal 

Mediterean bowl with shrimp, greens, grains, tomatoes, hummus, and tzatziki!

My favorite “right now” skills 

Doing DIY home improvement projects

My favorite “long-lasting” skill

Dog walking!

Eileen Vandemark

Eileen Vandemark
MSW

Behavioral Coach

Bio

Eileen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University and her Master’s Degree from New York University’s School of Social Work. Eileen has been working in this field since 2015 when she co-founded a non-profit for brain cancer research. From that venture Eileen began to work with Oncology patients to help them abstain from sugar, given the links between tumors and their preference for energy caused by insulin. After implementing this research into her practice, it became clear that the path to sugar abstinence is not always linear or simple, realizing her passion is working with people who struggle with their relationship with food. Eileen also has experience working with substance abuse clients pre and post in-patient treatment. Eileen is trained in DBT and CBT and utilizes both interventions in her practice, and continues to stay updated with new research. Eileen is also trained in helping people heal their issues with codependency and codependent behaviors, she is also trained in breathwork and the tapping technique, or the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

Why I’m obsessed with my job

I get to work with amazing people, both co-workers and clients, every single day. I get to continuously learn and grow and witness beautiful stories. Everyday is collaborative and has a purpose and for that I feel so lucky.

My favorite song to dance to: 

Dancing Queen by ABBA

My favorite BUWS meal 

Chipotle! A salad bowl with chicken, brown rice, guacamole, and tons of veggies.

My favorite “right now” skills 

Paced breathing and yoga 

My favorite “long-lasting” skill

Journaling and making gratitude lists!

Meghan Polacek

Meghan Polacek
LMSW

Behavioral Coach

Bio

Meghan received her Master’s in Social Work from Stony Brook University and has experience helping people with emotional eating, processing trauma, building relationships and boundaries, strengthening communication skills, and building self-esteem – most recently working with people with severe mental illness and addictions. She is also certified as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Meghan has always had a passion for helping others, and knows what it’s like to struggle and feel alone. She feels honored to be able to support and help guide clients while they heal, grow, and learn about themselves. Working as a clinician has allowed her to find purpose and connection, while also allowing her to learn and grow as a person.

Why I’m obsessed with my job

There have been multiple times when a stranger has started talking to me about their life and struggles at a wedding reception or the clearance aisle in Marshalls… Luckily, I love to listen and help others. I have found my home as a Behavioral Coach where I am able to play a part in the stories of my clients and work with them to help them recognize their own ability to heal and thrive. I count myself lucky to be a part of the wonderful Beacon by MC team!

My favorite song to dance to: 

As a Zumba enthusiast, I will dance to anything by Pitbull. As a former Irish step dancer, I’ll be on the dance floor if the DJ happens to play a jig!

My favorite BUWS meal 

A burrito bowl with quinoa, spinach, shredded chicken, black beans, guacamole, and tomatoes.

My favorite “right now” skills 

Taking a step back, closing my eyes, and focusing on my breath. 

My favorite “long-lasting” skill

Moving my body to music. I love to dance!

Amorette Rojas

Amorette Rojas

Office Manager

“When the elevator doors open and I see Amorette’s smile from around her computer, I feel welcomed. Her calm spirit is a balm.” -JW

Why I’m obsessed with my job

I’m passionate about helping people with LOTS of love and kindness, so problem solving is my God given art!  At team MC, our tribe contributes to the magic of giving support to all warriors who are determined to be a happier and healthier self with food; it brings me joy knowing I get to be a part of that support, as well as the core support for my team. Who wouldn’t be obsessed working with a like minded team that’s in agreement with creating a beautiful customized space to offer guidance and skills to a new relationship with food and yourself!

My favorite song to dance to: 

My fav song to dance to is Feels Right by Biig Piig #alwaysfeelsright

My favorite BUWS meal 

My fav meal that nourishes the soul and satisfies my latin cravings is Avocado Shrimp Ceviche with oven baked plantain chips – YUM! Such a DELICIOUS and FRESH option for lunch or dinner  🙂

My favorite “right now” skills 

My fav “right now” skill is taking a few mins to relax by petting my cats and/or dog, or writing my gratitude list for the day

My favorite “long-lasting” skill

My fav “long-lasting” skill is walking with my wife and spending time to share what’s on my mind and setting goals for the week

Teresa Vella

Teresa Vella

Billing Specialist

"I dreaded the idea of having to deal with bills and insurance companies. But at Beacon you’re not alone. Teresa knows how to navigate through all of the red tape and she’s by your side through it all.” - A. B.

Why I’m obsessed with my job

I am a strong believer in self-improvement and growth at all stages of one’s life. I love knowing that I am a part, along with our dedicated team, in helping others achieve their goal to a better, healthier, happier life.

My favorite song to dance to: 

One of my favorite songs to dance to is “If You Wanna Be My Lover” by the Spice Girls.  When my daughters were small they were Obsessed with The Spice Girls. They may have grown out of that, but I HAVE NOT!

My favorite BUWS meal 

My newest  favorite food is Quinoa. I only found out about this versatile, healthy grain about 3 years ago and now I eat it all the time.  I add it to my salads, soups and often have it as a side with dinner. I am always looking for new ways to serve because it is just so good for you! 

My favorite “right now” skills 

My favorite “right now” skill is doing a quick meditation (sometimes only 5 or 10 mins- whenever I feel stressed or frazzled. It really helps me to get recharged and focused      

My favorite “long-lasting” skill

My favorite “long-lasting” skill is keeping a journal and going back and looking at my past writings. It makes me feel so good when I see what I have accomplished!

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