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’s role as a resource for our community, I began volunteering my time as a Provider Education instructor and as a member of NAMI’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.
Director of Programs
I am ecstatic about the opportunity to work for NAMI; everyday 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 have a background that includes management, sales, marketing, and promotion. I have represented a wide variety of leading companies, working on management and development. I maintained and expanded businesses within the Florida, Puerto Rico, and Caribbean territory while creating new partnerships. My diverse responsibilities included planning, staffing and developing business through exciting events with guest presenters. In addition, I worked for event planning companies where I experienced directing, coordination operations, hiring, supervising, and motivating.
I am thrilled about using my skills to give back to the NAMI community. I had reached out to NAMI in the past and received amazing support, education, and advocacy. But most of all–understanding, compassion, and empowerment, through the Family to Family course, volunteering, and more.
My role is to coordinate and create the major NAMI events throughout the year along with maintaining relationships with participants, volunteers, donors, and anyone interested in getting more involved with our organization.
I have over 19 years’ experience working in the field of Human Services throughout Palm Beach County. For 11 years I have administered five Supportive Permanent Housing programs that served the homeless population in Palm Beach County. During this time, I managed a staff of twenty-one, and a homeless population of 135, who live with mental illness, substance use, developmental delays and or physical disabilities.
In 2009 I was asked to take the NAMI Provider Education Class at work and I was so impressed by the NAMI presenters that I began volunteering with NAMI PBC. Within a few months I became certified to instruct the Provider Education Class and in June of 2017 I am happy to say that I joined the dedicated staff at NAMI as Program Coordinator of the Teen Mentoring Program. I am honored to work for such a great organization and to be part of a team that is dedicated to help those who live with mental illness.
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 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 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 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.
Membership Contact / Administrative Assistant
I’ve been working with NAMI/PBC since June of 2012 between my time as a volunteer and as a staff member and am now serving as the Membership Contact and Administrative Assistant. My favorite parts of my job are the fun work environment and how great the people I work with are. Also being able to do the many social activities that NAMI offers and making new friends. When I’m not here, I like spending my time on watching sports, playing video games and sleeping.
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.