As a provider of social services, I was aware of NAMI’s information and referral services, so when a family member first experienced mental illness more than 10 years ago, I contacted them to obtain information and to find out about local resources. I became involved with NAMI PBC in 2010 when I took the first Provider Education class offered by them. Immediately thereafter, my husband and I took the Family-to-Family class. The importance of connecting with people who live with similar traumatic life experiences cannot be overstated. Realizing the importance of NAMI PBC’s role as a resource for our community, I began volunteering my time as a Provider Education instructor and as a member of NAMI PBC’s Board of Directors. Being selected to serve as Executive Director of this amazing organization has been a tremendous honor. I am excited to be able to devote my time to helping to improve the lives of individuals living with mental illness and the lives of the people who love and support them.
My past experiences include developing and managing programs for individuals with neurological issues, developmental disabilities, cystic fibrosis, and adult and juvenile justice issues. My passion is utilizing grant writing, program development, and professional and family skill building to develop resources for individuals who have multiple diagnoses and complex needs.
Kelly Garvis is the Development Director at NAMI PBC. She oversees aspects of fundraising, including the annual Destination Dinner, annual luncheon and the annual NAMIWalk. Previously, she worked in the development office of the Diocese of Palm Beach and Maltz Jupiter Theatre. She currently is pursuing her certificate from Boston University in Professional Fundraising and studied Theatre at the University of Maryland, College Park. Kelly is excited to work with an amazing team to support the good work of NAMI PBC for mental illness in the community. When not at work, Kelly enjoys seeing theatre productions, going to country concerts, hanging out with friends and traveling with her husband.
Family Support Specialist
It has always been important to me to work in a field where I can help people. Offering hope, resources and information is invaluable when someone is in need of services. As mental illness has touched my life with my own family members, NAMI PBC is a perfect fit. I have been fortunate to have worked for, and with, many talented and inspiring people along the way. Previously, I worked for Jeff Industries as a vocational instructor, and at Gulfstream Goodwill Industries as a Program Coordinator. I have volunteered with Palm Glades Girl Scouts and at the Hospice of Palm Beach County (summer) Teen Bereavement Camp.
I am excited to be working at NAMI PBC with a team who really knows that education, awareness and hope are needed in our community, and who are all dedicated to removing the stigma associated with mental illness.
I’ve been working with NAMI PBC since June 2012, between my time as a volunteer and as a staff member, and have served as the Membership Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. My favorite parts of my job are the fun work environment and how great the people I work with are, as well as being able to do the many social activities that NAMI PBC offers and making new friends. When I’m not here, I like spending my time watching sports, playing video games and sleeping.
Director of Programs
I am ecstatic about the opportunity to work for NAMI PBC. Every day, people share their incredibly positive experiences with the organization and I am honored to join the team. I am a community educator with experience working with diverse populations. I earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Outside of work, I enjoy attending cultural events including theater, concerts and art shows.
I am happy to serve as the NAMI PBC Advocacy Coordinator. Formerly, I worked as an assistant federal public defender with specialties in habeas corpus, extradition and federal criminal appellate practice. I founded the first ever project in Virginia to examine conditions in Virginia’s prisons and mental hospitals and, with a team of dedicated volunteers, won a federal class action lawsuit compelling the Virginia Department of Corrections to provide adequate health care to women inmates in the state’s largest prison medical center. I was also a 2002-2003 United States Supreme Court Fellow. During my year with the Supreme Court, I acted as a spokesperson for the Chief Justice and worked the State and Justice Departments to train ex-patriate Iraqi judges in criminal appellate practice prior to their return to Iraq.
As an Episcopal deacon, I have served three parishes, in Massachusetts, Washington and Florida. I developed a specialty in church and congregational development and oversaw programs serving the homeless and children in educationally challenged neighborhoods. I have also worked with a church-based advocacy network to compel city officials to make improvements in these neighborhoods. For three years, I served the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts as the Executive Director of a project to support congregations on Cape Cod and the islands in developing mission and outreach within their communities.
Thanks to a grant from Allegany Franciscan Ministries, I have been working with NAMI PBC to develop a state-wide advocacy network of NAMI affiliates. The grant supports several NAMI Smarts for Advocacy trainings, as well as the formation of NAMI Advocacy Groups throughout the state.
I have a passion to do meaningful work that creates positive change in the world. With a breadth and depth of experience delivering high-quality results in project and program management, marketing, communications, public relations, and operations — and with experience spanning government, private, nonprofit and military organizations — I hope to make a positive impact through my work at NAMI PBC.
With an innate sense of compassion and empathy, and a well-honed sense of intuition, I hold a natural ability to coordinate people to work together toward common goals. While I spent the five years prior to joining NAMI PBC in a human services focused nonprofit, my role was in communications leadership. I am thrilled to be turning in a direction where I can make a more direct positive impact on the lives of others — especially those who have a background of trauma or who are experiencing mental health challenges.
Meditation and energy work are important parts of keeping my life balanced, and I am a certified and registered yoga teacher, Reiki Master, therapeutic sound practitioner and holistic coach. An occasional, unplugged immersion into nature is critical to the nourishment of my being. I especially love the mountains.
Whenever there is any time left over in my busy schedule, I sing with my old band mates, paint on canvas, and bake Swedish breads and pastries from old family recipes.
Bringing my experience in hospitality and event coordination to my role at NAMI PBC, I am excited to apply my skills to the many and varied administrative tasks of the organization. I grew up in Palm Beach Gardens and have always been passionate about being a part of my community. This is my first time working in a nonprofit and I am eager to contribute to mental health awareness and the elimination of stigma.