The expansion increases the director count from 10 leaders to 17.
“The pandemic has created a significant need for mental health education and support in Hillsborough County,” said Executive Director Natasha A. Pierre. “Expanding our board allows us to increase our organizational capacity and better align with our mission.” NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. The nonprofit organization provides free advocacy, education, support, and public awareness necessary for all people affected by mental illness to build better lives. Assuming the role of Board Chair is Mandi Clay, a Tampa Bay attorney, and vocal mental health advocate. “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead NAMI Hillsborough especially during a time of elevated stress and uncertainty,” Clay said. “We want to ensure our programs are available to everyone in need of support.” Completing the Executive Board is Demetric Watkins as First Vice President, Charlotte Fernee Kelly, Esq. as Second Vice President, Alisha Ozmeral, CPA as Treasurer, and Karen McAllister as Secretary.
Additional Board members include past presidents Patrick Heidemann and George Thomas, Nakisha Humpheries, Keith Jacobs, Dr. Kristin Kosyluk, Sammecia Bagley, Valerie Rash, Jamaa Cinque, Gretchen Cothron, Esq., Patricia Lalande, Mike Muzyka, and April Cobb. These board members will inform and direct committees such as Programs, Advocacy, Board Development Membership, and more.“This is a really exciting time for NAMI Hillsborough,” Pierre said. “For the first time in our history, we have an Executive Director and a board equally comprising family members and people living with a mental illness. We look like our county. We share the experiences of our county, and we are here to serve and to support Hillsborough County.”