Executive Director for NAMI Rochester
I joined NAMI in the spring of 1990 when my daughter was a senior in high school. I was seeking information, support and resources and I found it through this network of family members who understood what I was feeling and what I needed.
Currently, I am the Executive Director and oversee this powerful organization composed of a small staff and over 70 dedicated volunteers who deliver our numerous support and education programs in the community. I work for NAMI in order to give back and help others who are starting the journey I have been on for over 25 years. It is very rewarding to be able to offer resources, support, coping skills and hope to others. Since its beginning in 1981, the organization has seen tremendous growth in the areas of members, volunteers, programs, resources and recognition in the community.
When I am not busy at NAMI, I enjoy time with family and friends, including my now 46-year-old daughter who is living and coping with her diagnosis of schizophrenia. She has never given up on her hopes and dreams and I admire her courage and strength.
I have been married for 49 years and have two grown daughters and two teenage grandchildren who I enjoy spending time with when I’m not involved with NAMI. I find great satisfaction and inspiration working with the thousands of individuals and family members who have benefitted from NAMI of the last 20 years.
Director, Community Education, Outreach, Training, Grants
I am celebrating my 10th year with NAMI Rochester in 2018. During that time, I have held many positions and responsibilities within the organization. Working in a small not-for-profit requires the ability to handle anything that may come your way and as a result, it provides opportunity for knowledge, understanding and growth.
I wasn’t certain what I could possibly offer to NAMI Rochester when I first joined. I had come from a career in the for-profit world, and I knew working with NAMI ROC would be different. And different it was and is!! I love working for NAMI Rochester and the people with whom I work. It is an environment in which I feel I can make a difference in the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. There is no better feeling than assisting someone to work through a crisis situation, providing outreach into the community so that others learn about who NAMI Rochester is, what we do and educating as many people as possible to understand more about mental illness, how it affects society, and what can be done to reduce stigma related to mental illness.
I’m proud to do what I do each and every day, and I am proud to be a part of NAMI Rochester!
I began working as the Program Coordinator for NAMI Rochester in July of 2015, but was no stranger to the organization. I spoke at the NAMI Rochester Quarterly Meeting in August of 2010, where I shared my experience of living with mental illness and my journey to recovery. As Program Coordinator, I schedule all of the presentations NAMI Rochester gives in the community, and report statistics to our state office.
I work for NAMI Rochester because I’ve seen firsthand the impact this organization has on our community. Through support, education, and advocacy, NAMI Rochester helps countless individuals and families affected by mental illness.
I returned to Rochester in 2013, after living in Chicago and performing for the renowned comedy theatre, The Second City. I am very active in the Rochester Arts community, where I am a founding member of the sketch and improv comedy groups, Thank You Kiss and The ManShee Chronicles. I am also a freelance writer, with articles published in Rochester Magazine, Rochester Woman Magazine, and the Democrat & Chronicle.
I live in Penfield with my husband and comedy partner, Marc D’Amico.
I'm the special event coordinator for the agency, including the NAMIWalks Rochester, The Jessica Henderson Memorial Event, and other smaller fundraising events. Additionally, I'm an Ending the Silence educator and In Our Own Voice presenter. I came to work for NAMI a couple years ago during the first year of my recovery of bipolar disorder. I'd volunteered for the agency for years prior with the walk, and when the opportunity to run the walk came up, I was thrilled at the opportunity! Working for NAMI is my opportunity to spread the word of the incredible work done there, in addition to raising funds to support it. Being trained to lead Ending the Silence and work with the young people has been a life-changing experience for me, and an honor to help them understand mental health, suicide prevention and how to get help.
When I'm not talking mental health, I love being a doggie mama, foodie, writer, athlete and explorer. My family and friends are integral to my life, and I love spending time with them as much as possible.