NAMI COLORADO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Executive Board

        


President - Margaret Elmer  



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




Vice President - Babu George Mathew




 

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!


Secretary - Anna Bennett            

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.

Treasurer - Jordan Chisholm

"I know about NAMI because the Family to Family Program gave my parents education and support during an incredibly terrifying time, when my own struggle with mental illness began. I was diagnosed when I was twenty one years old, and it has now been 12 years since my last hospitalization. During the last decade, I have progressed in my career, fostered a strong independence, traveled extensively, developed a full and supportive social circle, and created a balanced lifestyle – all in spite of the unexpected setback and struggle my illness initially presented to me. Ironically, the self-awareness and growth that my recovery has required from me has resulted in a fulfilment, peace, and undeniable appreciation of my health, myself and life. I am thrilled to be a Board member of NAMI, and to contribute to this essential and incredibly effective organization. I hope to bring my life experience and perspective and perpetuate a message of hope in the face of stigma.” Jordan has a BA in International Spanish for the Professions. She works in the financial industry as an AVP and Relationship Manager. Jordan is trained as an "In Our Own Voice" presenter.


Member at Large - Mitch Kusick





 

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.


Member at Large - Jay Borgman

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-

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 NorthGlenn 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 (NorthGlenn 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 Fox-

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-

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- 

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-

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-

"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 amore 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.

NAMI Colorado By-Laws.pdf  

NAMI Standards of Excellence.pdf

NAMI National Board of Directors Operating Policies and Procedures.pdf