Meet Our Team

Donors & Contributions

Our mission would not be possible without the support of these organizations, companies and people who support us on so many levels each year. Thank you for your generosity!

Board of Directors & Leadership Team

Our board of directors team is a "working board" as each member is actively engaged with mental health in our community and NAMI’s programs. In addition to our time, we each contribute financially to NAMI Jacksonville to help ensure the success of our organization.

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Dr. Colleen Bell

President

Dr. Colleen Bell, a Board Certified Psychiatrist, has dedicated her career to working with the underserved. She completed a fellowship for Community Psychiatry in at the Center for Public Service Psychiatry in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the Medical Director, Integrated Health at the Sulzbacher Center in Jacksonville, where she manages a diverse staff in terms of licensure, is engaged in homeless outreach as well as clinic visits, and administrative functions that includes growth and development of psychiatric and medical programs and services. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville.

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Dr. Linda Pittenger

Vice President

Dr. Linda M. Pittenger is a leading expert and thought leader on Human Capital and certified executive coach. She has had a successful career as an executive in academic and large corporate environments, and conceptualized, launched and sold her business to a Fortune 100 company. Currently, Dr. Pittenger is a tenured Associate Professor of Organizational Leadership at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and consults with executives of Global 100 companies.

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Zachary Rossley

Treasurer

Zach earned an MBA from Harvard and a BS from the United States Military Academy. He is the current President and COO of KIPP Jacksonville, Inc. and also a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville. Zach is willing to provide his accounting and business acumen to the board and has a special interest in assisting veterans.

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Dr. Laura Lane

Secretary

Laura Lane worked for Jacksonville Community Council Inc. for 15 years. In 2013, she managed Unlocking the Pieces, a 3-year initiative to improve community mental health services in Northeast Florida. Her commitment to improving community mental health and eradicating homelessness began then. She served as Chief Operations Officer at Mental Health America of Northeast Florida and now works on contract with local human services agencies. Laura is currently working toward becoming a Certified Recovery Peer Specialist and volunteers with Changing Homelessness.

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Ebony Benjamin

Ebony is a Graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20 years of experience working in the mental health field, and is currently the Program Coordinator for the Jacksonville Mental Health Intensive Case Management program of the North Florida South Georgia Veteran’s Health System. Ebony is also a past-President of NAMI Jacksonville.

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Toni Callahan

Toni is currently the Physician & Provider Relations Director of the Mental Health Division for Memorial Hospital of Jacksonville. She earned her Bachelor of Science at Voorhees College, and her M.Ed. at the University of Phoenix.

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Thelmecia Cason

Thelmecia is currently employed with Novitas-Solutions, a subsidiary of Florida Blue and has been employed there for 32 years. She is currently a Senior Operations Analyst. Her position requires her to lead meetings, train and develop work instructions for the users. She, too, is deeply concerned about the stigma that keeps individuals and their families from seeking the help they need.

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Tracy Dixon

Tracy has an MBA and a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from UNF. She works as a manager and technology consultant for Centric Consulting and is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and is also on the board of the Child Guidance Center. She is willing to use her technological skills to work on reducing the stigma of mental illness.

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John Metcalf

John earned his BA in Economics from the University of Missouri. Following, he attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University MA and all requirements for PhD except dissertation/Economics 1974. He also attended the University of Miami Law School JD 1981 ( John M. Olin Fellow in Law & Economics). John is a returning Board member and has been of Service to NAMI Jacksonville for many years.

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Vance Meyer

As a former corporate communication executive, Vance is now promoting and advocating for mental wellness and acquiring skills to be of service to others in the future. These efforts are inspired by 30 years of personal and family experience with chronic depression and anxiety, as well as by more recent significant progress in managing his symptoms through lifestyle change.

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JD Moorehead

J. D. earned his B.A. at Vanderbilt, his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at Yale and his M.S.W. at the University of South Carolina. As a therapist, he is particularly interested in how mental/health problems affect individuals and families and is concerned about how stigma leads to shame, mistrust and isolation.

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Michelle Pargman

Michelle, an active member of her community, received her Masters and Specialists degrees from the University of Florida in Counselor Education. Since 2012, she has been serving as the New Directions EAP & Wellness Clinician, dedicated to Florida Blue employees and their household members. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Michelle recognizes that mental health support and treatment is not a one size fits all and that there are many different pathways and entry points to assist each individual's personal journey. From the time she learned about NAMI, she has amplified NAMI's programs in professional and personal settings as an important support option that can change lives for the better and help people recognize that they are not alone and there is hope.

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Mandi Stewart

Mandi is the Director of Business Development at Riverpoint Behavioral Health and is passionate about raising awareness about the importance of mental health while advocating to correct the stigma too often associated with mental health challenges. Mandi has over 20 years of community relations and business development experience with over 8 years in the mental health field. Mandi graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelors degree in Sociology and Regis University with a MBA in management.

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Leigha Tipley

Leigha earned her MBA from Jacksonville University and a BA in Business Administration from Westminster College. She works as a Workforce Development Specialist and focuses on HR project management for The Haskell Company. Currently, she is an active member of the Junior League of Jacksonville and a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. As a presenter for our Ending the Silence program, she has been able to reach many of our youth with her message of recovery. She is looking forward to expanding her role with NAMI Jacksonville.

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Jerry Weedon

Jerry Weedon has practiced law with Marks Gray since 1976. He is a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association, The Florida Bar, the American Bar Association, and the Florida Defense Lawyers Association, where he served as a member of its Board of Directors from 1995-2002 and as President of the organization from 2000-2001. Mr. Weedon was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in 2007 and reappointed by Governor Charlie Crist in 2009. He has served on numerous Boards of Directors to include the Ronald McDonald House. Mr. Weedon has been named a Best Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report and one of Florida magazine’s Super Lawyers® consecutively since 2006. He attended the University of Florida where he received his J.D., with honors in 1976. Mr. Weedon is a Distinguished Naval Graduate from the Naval O.C.S. He served as a U.S. Navy Aviation Intelligence Officer from 1971 to 1974 and as an active reservist in the U.S. Navy Reserve until 1996.

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Tara Wildes

ex officio

Tara Wildes worked for over 30 years throughout the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, primarily in the correctional environment. She retired in 2016 with the appointed rank of Director of the Department of Corrections, managing three correctional facilities and the Jacksonville Reentry Center, with over 3400 incarcerated persons, 800 employees and a budget of over 90 million dollars. She was certified by the state of Florida in both corrections and law enforcement and continues to an instructor by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission of Florida. Tara is currently employed as the Reentry and Mental Health Coordinator for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, a consultant on corrections issues with Wildes, Bowen & Associates and as an adjunct instructor with Florida State College at Jacksonville. She also serves on the boards of Disability Rights Florida, Prisoners of Christ and StopTB USA, representing the rights of the incarcerated population and is an advocate for criminal justice and mental health reform. Kent is a past-president of NAMI Jacksonville.

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Suzanne Mailloux

Executive Director

Suzanne Mailloux is an attorney with over 20 years of experience in business and technology law, graduating from the University of Florida with a JD and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. She is a mother of 2 loving girls and wife to a good and supportive husband. During her life journey she was faced with a mental health crisis with a loved one who struggles with mental illness leading her to redirect her passion, career, and caregiving to support her loved one and others challenged with mental illness.
She is now the Executive Director for the non-profit organization the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Jacksonville Florida, promoting education, support, and awareness to those living with mental illness. Through her compassion for others, sharing of her life experiences, and bringing awareness to all the challenges of mental health care, she hopes to help tear down the stigma surrounding mental illness and bring awareness for the need of communities to help those living with mental illness to lead valuable and rewarding lives.

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Sarah Grant

Program and Volunteer Coordinator

Sarah Grant is a peer in long term recovery with a mental illness. She is a military spouse with two young children and is currently stationed in Jacksonville. Sarah Grant has many years’ experience with mental health non-profit organizations as a peer, volunteer, and employee. She began her journey of peer support in 2008 with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (“NAMI”) and has continued to build that relationship wherever her military journey has taken her. She is a state trainer for NAMI Connection, Peer educator for Peer to Peer, facilitator for NAMI Connection, and presenter for NAMI In Our Own Voice. She has coordinated volunteers and programs as a paid employee at NAMI San Diego and volunteer coordinator for NAMI VA. She came to NAMI Jacksonville as a volunteer helping to get NAMI Jacksonville's first virtual NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group off the ground. Sarah continues to volunteer additional time as a program leader for NAMI Jacksonville and also volunteers with Guardian Ad Litem as a child advocate.

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Beata Hunter

Office Administrator

Beata Hunter has been the NAMI Jacksonville Affiliate Administrator since Summer 2021. Beata is a seasoned military spouse and proud parent of two. An immigrant herself, she is concerned with the stigma and challenges that keep those in immigrant communities from seeking mental health services. She enjoys providing support to the NAMI Jacksonville team and brings back to her community much of what she learns about mental health. She advocates for individuals who reach out for help with resources and mental health services. Beata plays an integral role to the NAMI Jacksonville organization.

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Leilani Dullas

Youth Coordinator

Leilani Dullas has just started her role as Youth Program Coordinator with NAMI Jacksonville. Leilani is a recent college graduate, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Human Services this past spring. She completed her internship with NAMI Jacksonville and was offered a position upon completion. As someone who has struggled with mental illness throughout her teenage years, Leilani is very dedicated to helping empower and support those around her. She especially enjoys engaging in outreach programs on behalf of the NAMI Jacksonville team. She strives to advocate for individuals, especially those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, or from other marginalized cultural groups who may be struggling to find resources and other available mental health services. Leilani is using her creativity and voice to provide a new perspective to the NAMI Jacksonville organization.  

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Deanna Brown

Family Navigator

Deanna Brown has recently accepted the Family Navigator position with NAMI Jacksonville. She is a mother of three active boys and a wife to a supportive and loving husband. Accompanied by several years of professional and personal experience with mental health conditions, Deanna is an influential leader within her community. Making a large impact on local non-profit youth sports organizations, her passion for mental health advocacy has led her to recently earning a bachelor’s in science in Human Services with a concentration in Mental Health. She understands the importance of mental health advocacy, and the need for services and resources not only for individuals living with mental health conditions but for their families as well. In this role, she plans to work with individuals and their families to provide additional information about NAMI Jacksonville Family / Peer Programs. Deanna will strive to end the stigma surrounding mental health and advocate for knowledge expansion of mental health programs and services available to the local community, including the surrounding rural areas.

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OUR MISSION
The mission of NAMI Jacksonville is to support and improve the quality of life for family members and those living with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance abuse through compassion, education, and advocacy.

NAMI Jacksonville Florida
40 E. Adams St., Ste. LL05
Jacksonville, FL 32202

NEED HELP IN CRISIS?
CALL: 904-724-7782
EMAIL: HELPLINE@NAMIJAX.ORG

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