NAMI COLORADO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Executive Board

        


Margaret Elmer -Board President



Margaret joined NAMI in 2002 after taking the Family-to-Family class. She has experience as a volunteer for NAMI in three signature programs in Illinois, Texas and Colorado. Margaret has a Master’s degree in Education Counseling from Southeastern Louisiana University, and a Juris doctorate from Northern Illinois University. "I support NAMI because of its solid programs providing support, education and advocacy in the interests of people experiencing mentillness, their families and loved ones




Babu George Mathew -Vice President 




Babu grew up in India, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Diploma in Graphic Arts & Printing. Before moving to the U.S.A. in 1994, he had over 2 decades of experience in Sales & Marketing as a Sales Executive and a Business manager in India. His life however, would change forever back in 2010, when his daughter was diagnosed of Anxiety & Depression. It would take the next 5 years for him to make sense of the darkness of mental illness during which period, he was collaborating with the support groups of Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). During the mental health month, May 2015, Babu found “a home” in NAMI and ever since, had the blessings of being part of the local Family Support group in Littleton, CO. After the Family-to-Family training, he is now a certified Teacher for the Family-to-Family program and also has completed the Mental Health First Aid training. Babu has attended two NAMI National Conventions, 2016 in Denver & 2018 in New Orleans. For 2 years from 2014, he led a Refugee Mentoring Project from his church in collaboration with the Lutheran Family Services & the Denver Rescue Mission. He has been a member of the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness (INMI) from 2015, who promotes mental health awareness and support to interfaith communities. He loves to spend quality time with his only daughter and son-in-law (who are trained “In Our Own Voice” presenters) & “grand puppy, LEVI”, who with his energy and unconditional love, is a tremendous source of joy, peace & HEALING!


Anna Bennett -Secretary/Grant Writer          

Anna Bennett joined NAMI in 2008 when she first took the Family-to-Family (F2F) class. In 2013 she completed training to become a F2F teacher and has taught the class twice so far, once in 2014 and once in 2015. She is a member of NAMI Aurora where she was active with the FaithNet committee from 2014 to 2016. Anna retired in 2008 from a professional  career in adult education, vocational and professional training and development and in writing, implementing and managing grants and sponsored projects, skills which may be useful to the NAMI Colorado Board.

Jordan Chisholm -Treasurer

Jordan joined the Board of Directors in 2018. “NAMI provided my own family hope, education and support during an incredibly terrifying time. I am honored to be a part of an organization whose mission is simple yet critical: to shed light on the struggle that is mental illness and provide help to those it affects - while at the same time, dispel the stigma that it is assigned by society.” Jordan has a B.A. from the University of Colorado in International Spanish for the Professions with a minor in Business Administration. She works in the financial industry as an AVP and Relationship Manager. Jordan is trained as an "In Our Own Voice" presenter.

Mitch Kusick- Member at Large

Mitch first became exposed to NAMI in 2014 after attending an In Our Own Voice (IOOV) presentation. After hearing the recovery journeys and what an impact this organization had made in the lives of the speakers, he wanted to lend assistance to NAMI. In January 2015, Mitch became a contributing member to the Walk Committee. Recently he’s assumed the role as the Outreach correspondent for the annual fundraiser. Additionally, Mitch became an IOOV presenter this past Summer and has shared his story about a dozen times in order to provide hope to those who were once in his shoes. His most recent venture with NAMI, and something that he’s extremely passionate about, is the Ending the Silence (ETS) program. As the Coordinator for the program, Mitch has recruited potential presenters, gotten in touch with high schools, and offered insights that will shape the program for the foreseeable future. Mitch graduated from MSU-Denver with a degree in psychology and currently works in Human Resources for UPS. In his spare time, he enjoys running and cooking to fuel his active lifestyle.

Jay Borgman- Member at Large

Jay works well with diverse populations and is a strong advocate for the Mental Health Community. He recognizes stigma is an ongoing battle for every community and is aware of the importance of education in helping reduce stigma. Jay is an active member of Frontier House in Greeley and is also on the Board of Directors at North Range Behavioral Health. Jay is a peer specialist, a NAMI Connection Facilitator and serves on the NAMI Colorado Board of Directors. He facilitates leadership support for the local affiliate and is currently helping develop a new local NAMI affiliate. In 2006, Jay was asked to be on the Colorado Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council (which later became the BHPAC) where he served for three years as co-chair of the council. He also served on the recovery, membership and legislative committees and is active in legislative issues on the state and national level. He served on the council for over 12 years and was term limited in June 2018. Jay graduated from McCook College and Elkins Institute earning a First-Class FCC Operators License.  He spent 25 years as a broadcast engineer, operations manager and air personality at radio stations in Kansas and Colorado.

 Darryl Brown- Certified Trainer

Darryl's background includes a history of strong leadership and interpersonal skills demonstrated by his work a restaurant manager and Specialty services Representative for New York State Electric and Gas. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics at Binghamton University and pursued his Masters level credits toward Early Childhood education. Teach for America gave Darryl the opportunity to work as an elementary teacher. He presently works at the North Glenn location at Parry's Pizzeria and Bar which is also the Training Store for all new management employees as a Certified Trainer and part time marketing rep. Darryl works extremely well within a group to facilitate goal achievement. He volunteers his time for various organizations which include: Math Counts of Colorado, Salvation Army and Christmas Crusade through CPAAN (North Glenn Police Volunteer Association.) He is looking forward to being trained as an "In Our Own Voice" presenter for NAMI Colorado. He also is a sitting council member of Behavioral Health planning and the Advisory Council of Colorado.

Rebecca FoxDirector of Nursing at Behavioral Health at Denver Health and Hospital

Becky has her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in nursing from Regis University. She has worked 20 years as a psychiatric nurse earning a Psychiatric Nurse Certification in 2013.She earned her Nurse Executive Certification in 2015. She is currently the Director of Nursing at Behavioral Health at Denver Health and Hospital. As a parent of an individual with a mental health condition, Becky has participated in NAMIWalks for four years, and in the past, has volunteered at PTA and Little League. Becky lives in Indian Hills where she enjoys part time farming.


Jennifer Longtin- Attorney

Jen is an attorney who has worked for the Colorado State Public Defender's Office. She earned her B.A. in drama from Ithaca college, and M.A. in International Politics from Loyola college in Chicago, and her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She currently has her own law office of Jennifer Longtin LLC, and works with the Alternate Defense Counsel regarding mental health around the state of Colorado. Jen has also been on the board of the non profit group, New Genesis. "I am a passionate mental health advocate who is very active in the community, and I adore what NAMI does on all levels."


Laura Harvell- Attorney

Laura is an attorney in Grand Junction, Colorado who represents indigent clients in criminal defense and respondent parent cases. Laura was raised and educated in South Carolina moving to Denver with her husband in 2014. Before moving to the Western Slope, Laura's legal career began as a Municipal Public Defender for the city of Denver. Later in private practice as a criminal defense attorney, she represented clients in misdemeanor and felony cases as an associate in a firm specializing in representing those with mental health diagnoses. Laura also represented client's at Denver's Outreach Court (an on-site court for those living on the streets of Denver.) In every stage of her legal career, Laura has advocated for many clients with mental health diagnoses and challenges, and has worked with clients and families to set up strategies as well as treatment solutions for long term success and stability. "The goals of the criminal justice system cannot be met without addressing the needs of those whose mental health brings them within the ambit of the courts...the majority of my clients first steps towards health and stability is addressing mental health diagnoses, gaining access to service and stable medication regimes, and treating the underlying trauma and stigma so often associated with mental illness."


Andrea Rojas- Crisis Community Clinician

A native of Bogota Columbia, Andrea Rojas came to the U.S. with a full golf scholarship in 2006. Andrea earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Southern Nazarene University in Deland, Florida and now pursuing her Doctor of Psychology degree online from Southern California University. Andrea's diverse experiences encompass the treatment of eating disorders, addictions, depression, autism, anger management, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD and other personality disorders. Currently, Andrea is a crisis community based clinician for Tennyson Center for Children working in families homes, schools and in the community in crisis situations. Previously, she worked as a juvenile delinquency clinician visiting juvenile's homes where she was able to implement different innovative techniques to help them with different maladaptive behaviors.


Andrea has 7 years experience as an Eating Disorder Therapist working with people who struggle with mental health, eating disorders and substance abuse in an inpatient level. She is also a Clinical Hypnosis Practitioner and opened her private practice Lone Tree Hypnosis LLC and uses hypnotherapy for a variety of treatments including motivation, smoking cessation, weight loss, reducing anxiety, depression and stress, substance abuse, eating disorders as well as healing and performance modalities for professional athletes.


Andrea is developing recordings on hypnosis in English and Spanish to the public on ways to improve motivation, spirituality, self-esteem, body language and image and stress and anxiety reduction. She has created "Glow" where she promotes healthy living using psychology and dance that helps to connect the mind and body with the goal to empower women and promote positive body image and self-esteem. Andrea has been featured on television and radio giving talks about mental health topics, especially in the Hispanic Community. She is also developing her own Estrella T.V. show exclusively to educate the Hispanic Community on positive mental health, and has been a dedicated proponent of funding her projects.


Kelli Strother- Mental Health Advocate

"My passion for mental health advocacy and NAMI comes from both personal and professional experience. I have been working in the Mental Health Policy and Advocacy fields for several years, and because of my experience in this filed and my interactions with passionate advocates, I am now better equipped to respond appropriately since both of my teenage children were diagnosed. I feel that NAMI Board membership is the perfect intersection of personal and professional interests. I have had the pleasure of working with NAMI State Chapters and affiliates throughout the Western US on many policy issues and events making me even more interested in a more formal role on the board with NAMI Colorado. I have many more years of non-profit board experience, so I am well aware of the key priorities, obligations and challenges that come with board membership. I bring my collaborative positive attitude as a tireless champion for the great work this organization does for our communities.


LaQuetta Walker- Social Worker/African American Health

LaQuetta works for the non profit center for African American Health as a Community Health and Wellness navigator. This position allows her to live her passion to educate and bring awareness to the healthcare needs to the African American community. She is also a subcommittee member of the Colorado Blueprint to end hunger. LaQuetta believes the best way to help meet the needs of others is to ask the population you serve for input and perspective. LaQuetta has a masters in social work an training in suicide prevention, mandated reporting, navigation while being a certified mental health First Aide instructor. LaQuetta believes that her experience with advocacy and working in the non profit sector will add much value to the NAMI board. Her passion is also to work with the African American black counselors and psychologists to help build relationships with faith-based organizations and churches. In her own words, she states " I want to be an active NAMI Colorado board member fulfilling the mission and enhancing efforts to support individuals and families affected by mental illness."

 

 Hannah LenzLGBTQ rights, Mental Health and Homelessness Advocate

Hannah is a student at the Auraria Campus in Denver where her degree focus is on paralegal studies, philosophy, and political science.  She was first introduced to NAMI in 2013 when she attended an "In Our Own Voice" presentation at her college in Minnesota.  Hannah worked with vulnerable adults with dementia and Alzheimer's as well as young adults having mental health issues before moving to Denver, and she continues to be engaged in mental wellness issues.  Having her own mental health issues, Hannah knows first hand the struggles people are facing every day.  Her goal is to work within her community to promote mental wellness, LGBTQ rights, and homelessness advocacy.  


Jennifer Bierbauer- Mental Health Advocate/Systems Analyst

Jennifer Bierbauer is a Colorado native and spent most of her life in Jefferson County.  She has a BA in Anthropology from CU Denver, a Masters of Basic Science with Physics emphasis from CU Denver, and a Masters in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering from Colorado School of Mines.  She has been working for Lockheed Martin for over 15 years as a survivability engineer.  Jennifer learned about NAMI through a therapist at Jefferson Center for Mental Health to help support her son.  Jennifer started walking with NAMIWalks for NAMI Jeffco.   Starting in 2018, Jennifer started volunteering for NAMI Colorado with developing a process for In Our Own Voice stipends, performing the communications for the NAMIWalks Colorado 2019 through the year, and encouraging affiliates to use social media, encouraging affiliates to keep current with their attendance in NAMI360.  Jennifer has also helped in 2019, NAMI Jeffco transition their website to NAMI Easy Site, and NAMI High Country keep their website current.

Dr. Jadon Webb- Neuroscience

Jadon Webb is currently the Chief Medical and Mission Office for the Denver YMCA. He is board certified in both adult and child psychiatry and maintains a part-time private practice. He is also an assistant clinical professor at the Yale University Child Study Center. Dr. Webb obtained an M.D. and PhD in neuroscience, and has published peer reviewed neuroscience and psychiatric research that has been presented at national conferences, television, radio and major printed publications.

Jonathan Culwell -Attorney/Psychiatric Advanced Directive

Jonathan is an attorney practicing at the law firm of Glatstein & O’Brien, LLP. He focuses on probate matters in guardianship and conservatorship, mental health law, estate administration, and drafts estate plans for individuals and families. He is a member of the Trust & Estates and Elder Law Sections of the Colorado Bar Association, serves as the chair of the Mental Health Subcommittee of the Elder Law Section, and chairs the Quarterly Mental Health CLE. He serves on the board of directors of the Colorado Guardianship Association, and he fields NAMI Law Line phone calls. Jonathan earned his juris-doctor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and his dual bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Communication at the Univ Colorado, Boulder.

NAMI Colorado By-Laws.pdf