Board of Directors | Mental Health America

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Board of Directors

Mental Health America (MHA) is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of mental health and business professionals, affiliate leaders, people with lived experience, and advocates for our mission. Meeting quarterly, the Board directs the strategic objectives and policy of the organization. Get to know our national Board of Directors below. 

Chair of the Board

Tom Starling, Ed.D.
CEO
Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee
Tennessee

Chair-Elect

Peter Carson
Managing Director, Public Affairs, North America
Weber Shandwick
Washington, D.C.

Immediate Past Chair

Reginald Williams
Senior Vice President
Avalere Health
Washington, D.C.

Secretary/Treasurer

Jennifer L. Bright, MPA
President and Founder
Momentum Health Strategies
Virginia

Directors

Laura Bay
Immediate Past President
National PTA
Washington State

Susan Bergeson
Principle
Recovery, Resiliency, Engagement and Activation Partners, LLC
Illinois

John Boyd, Psy.D, MHA
System Executive for Mental Health Services
Sutter Solano Medical Center & Sutter Center for Psychiatry
California
 

Lacy Dicharry, MS, MBA
CEO
Kevin & Margaret Hines Foundation
Louisiana

Daniel B. Eisenstein, JD
Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee
Retired Judge
Tennessee

Susan Fordice
Executive Director
Hackett Center for Mental Health
Texas

Dwight Hollier, LPC, NCC
Vice President of Wellness and Clinical Services
National Football League
North Carolina


Amy L. Kennedy
Education Director
The Kennedy Forum
New Jersey

Tim Livengood, MSL
Chair, Awareness, Engagement, and Education Committee
Resource Coordinator
Acadia Healthcare
North Carolina

Stephen McCaffrey, JD
Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee
President/CEO
Mental Health America of Indiana
Indiana

Fatima Mncube-Barnes, Ed.D, MPH, MSIS, MBA
Executive Director
Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library
Washington, D.C.

 

Marie Morilus-Black
Chief Executive Officer
MBI Health Services, LLC.
New York


Linda Olson Nemia
Chair, Marketing and Development Committee
Marketing Consultant
New York

Luis B. Perez, LCSW
Chair, Affiliate Relations Committee
President and CEO
Mental Health Connecticut, Inc.
Connecticut

Andrew Rubin, JD
Retired Attorney
California

Danielle Schlosser, Ph.D
Lead Clinical Scientist
Verily Life Sciences
California

Rusty Selix, JD
Advocate
California

Michael Thornsbury, CDM
Interim Executive Director
Mental Health America of Louisiana
Louisiana

Tom Starling
 

Tom Starling, Ed.D is currently on the board of directors of Rolling Hills Hospital, a UHS psychiatric hospital. In Franklin, TN. He has also served six years on the state board of Community Health Charities of Tennessee, where he was the Board Treasurer for one term. He has served three years as the statewide public policy chair for the Alzheimer's Association of Tennessee, and he served two years as the statewide public policy chair for the United Ways of Tennessee. Dr. Starling has experience in leading nonprofit mergers, as he led efforts to consolidate four chapters of the Alzheimer's Association into a large, multi-state chapter that could leverage its assets. He recently relocated an MHA affiliate to a collaborative office complex where they share amenities with eight like minded nonprofits. He has experience in turning around financially distressed nonprofit organizations. Dr. Starling has served as the Education Director for the TN nursing home trade association, he has served as an administrator at Tennessee's largest retirement community, and he has taught at undergraduate and graduate institutions.

Peter Carson
 

Peter Carson leads the Public Affairs Practice in North America for Weber Shandwick, bringing with him more than a decade of experience on Capitol Hill and in political campaigns, as well as more than 17 years in strategic communications.

Peter’s work with clients includes: corporate reputation and recovery; crisis communications; third party advocacy; federal and state coalition building; and, CEO visibility. He also has extensive experience with integrated marketing, advertising and communications teams on behalf of companies as well as trade associations and coalitions.

His career began in 1988 with former Representative Christopher Shays (R-CT). Over the course of his career with the congressman he served as Legislative Assistant, Legislative Director, and for the last five years, Chief of Staff.

Peter received a BA in English from Kenyon College.

Reggie Williams
 

Reginald Williams provides clients with research, analytic, and project management support on evidence-based medicine and healthcare quality improvement issues. Prior to joining Avalere Health, Reginald was a member of the health policy team at the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). At NASI, he was responsible for research and policy analysis related to the long-term future of the Medicare program. Reginald also served as Howard R. Swearer Public Service Intern in the Rhode Island Department of Health's Office of Minority Health.

Reginald holds an A.B. in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University.


 

Jennifer L. Bright, MPA, is a business strategy consultant with over twenty years of accomplishment in healthcare policy, issue management, patient advocacy and executive leadership. As President of Momentum Health Strategies, Ms. Bright amplifies client efforts to change policy and practice related to high-impact issues, including integrated behavioral and primary healthcare, patient engagement, quality improvement, and infection prevention.

Prior to starting her business, Ms. Bright was Executive Director of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), a non-profit medical society representing physicians, nurses and researchers. Under her leadership, the organization advanced scientific and public policy action on antimicrobial stewardship, vaccination and healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention. Her experience also includes leading policy initiatives and coalition development at the state and local level for the National Mental Health Association (now Mental Health America), and providing state public policy issue analysis and management for corporate clients at several government relations consulting firms.

She currently serves on the National Quality Forum Patient- and Family-Centered Care Committee.

Ms. Bright earned her degree in political science from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. and her Masters in Public Administration from The George Washington University, concentrating on policy analysis and program management.

She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and three children, where enjoys volunteering as a tutor, serving as a city election official, and rowing competitively with the Alexandria Community Rowing club.

Laura Bay
 

Laura Bay is the immediate past president of National PTA, a nonprofit association dedicated to making a difference for the education, health, safety and well-being of every child. In her role as the president of National PTA, she focused on whole child initiatives and expanding the PTA’s platform to deliver more relevant programs to local schools. Ms. Bay serves as a coordinator for assessment and instruction for the Bremerton School District in Bremerton, Washington. Ms. Bay is the mother of three adopted children and lives in Poulsbo, Washington.

Susan Bergeson
 

Sue Bergeson is a person with the lived experience of behavioral health. All her family members live with behavioral health issues. Her beloved sister died by suicide. Sue is the Principle, Recovery, Resiliency, Engagement and Activation Partners, LLC and works with a wide range of for-profit and non-profit clients who are seeking to build or improve consumer activation and engagement support programs and services. She is also called on to help consumer groups learn how to work with managed care.

She served for over eight years as the National Vice President of Consumer and Family Affairs for Optum Health, the behavioral health arm of United Health Care, a large managed care company. At Optum she developed peer support services as a billable service and set up training and systems to help peer run programs contract with managed care. She also developed consumer activation tools and services, many in partnership with consumer run programs such as the WRAP App.

She served for over eight years as the Vice President, then CEO of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, the largest mood disorder specific non-profit in the country. Under her tenure DBSA grew to serve over five million members per year, offering over 30+ self-care and health literacy products and over 1,000 support groups in all fifty states.

Sue has been on The View, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS news, NBS news, CNN, and public television; She has been quoted in Newsweek, the LA Times, the Washington Post, among other national print media and has been a regular on WGN radio. She has served on many national workgroups, research studies and national consumer initiatives. She is a frequent speaker on consumer centered issues and concerns.

Among many honors, Sue is a recipient of the Clifford Beers Award, Mental Health America’s highest honor, considered by many to be the nation’s highest award for an advocate with the lived experience of mental health.

John Boyd
 

John Boyd, Psy.D, MHA, is Sutter Health’s CEO for Mental Health Services. John has an extensive background in healthcare administration including mental health. John has been appointed a commissioner by Governor Jerry Brown for the State of California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and currently serves as Vice Chair. John currently serves on the board of Mental Health America and the Steinberg Institute. He established and chairs the National Behavioral Health Council with over 40 health system participants. Dr. Boyd has served in other appointed capacities including City of Sacramento Planning Commissioner. He earned his MHA at University of Southern California and his doctorate in psychology at CSPP and completed his APA accredited pre-doctoral internship at University of California Davis Children’s Hospital CAARE Diagnostic and Treatment Center- working primarily with children in foster care who have suffered severe abuse and neglect.

Prior to joining Sutter in 2008, he served as Assistant Administrator, for Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center. Prior to that, he worked eight years for Shriners Hospitals for Children, both domestically and internationally. During his tenure he served in both local and system-wide capacities. Additionally, he has worked as both an inpatient and outpatient therapist in several organizations throughout his career.

John is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Lacy Dicharry
 

Lacy Dicharry, MS, MBA, is an internationally known expert in youth engagement. Her expertise spans beyond the application of lived-experience to systems transformation to include child welfare, mental health, adoption, leadership, social marketing, organizational behavior, consumer engagement, program evaluation, and workforce development. Lacy was a 2014 VOICE award recipient for her work in mental health advocacy, is an established international speaker, consultant, author, and a Director on the Boards of national and international organizations. She was appointed to the CMHS National Advisory Council in 2012 by Secretary Sibelius, interned for Senator John Kerry, and has testified in State and Federal Congressional hearings about the needs of young people in transition.

Lacy is a trauma survivor, person in recovery, and an alumni of the foster care and mental health systems.

Daniel Eisenstein
 

Daniel B. Eisenstein, JD, retired as a Judge in Nashville, Tennessee in 2014. He presently is designated as a Senior Judge and serves as a Judge as needed. During his tenor as an elected Judge from 2004 until 2014, Eisenstein was the Presiding Judge for the Davidson County, Tennessee Mental Health Court. Prior to his election as Judge, Eisenstein practiced law in Nashville, Tennessee after he graduated from Memphis State University Law School in 1977. He also has a B.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1970) and an M.A. from Vanderbilt University (1972). Eisenstein has membership in the Nashville Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, American Bar Association and American Judges Assocition. He has participated and served as President on the Boards of numerous nonprofit agencies, including those involved in mental health work. He is a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Association and a past participant in the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court. Eisenstein has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Tennessee NAMI. He was recognized for his volunteer work by the Nashville Jewish Service, receiving the "Chesed Award."

Eisenstein has been married to his wife Jill since 1971 and has two married adult daughters and three grandchildren.

Susan Fordice
 

Susan Fordice is the executive director of the Hackett Center for Mental Health, a permanent operating program of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.

She previously served as the president and CEO of Mental Health America of Greater Houston. Since she took the helm as president and CEO in 2012, the organization established a regional center for school behavioral health; a state-recognized veterans’ behavioral health program that serves Texas’ first felony veterans’ treatment court; and a state-level community of practice for medical schools focused on integrated health care.

Mrs. Fordice grew up in the Midwest and graduated from South Dakota with a degree in psychology. She resided in Los Angeles and Chicago before moving to Houston. She worked in development at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University before joining Mental Health America. She is married to Jim Fordice and has three daughters, a stepdaughter and a stepson. She is the grandmother to ten grandchildren.

Dwight Hollier
 

Dwight Hollier, LPC, NCC, is a National Board Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor with extensive experience working with adolescents, families, and adults around a variety of clinical and non-clinical issues. Dwight is currently the Vice President of Wellness and Clinical Services for the National Football League working in the Player Engagement Department overseeing the Total Wellness Initiative.

Dwight’s mission and goal is assisting current and former NFL players in achieving Optimal Wellness. During his time at the NFL Dwight has worked to enhance awareness and education around important psycho-social issues and has been a champion of reducing the stigma surrounding the help seeking behavior of athletes. Prior to joining the NFL Dwight worked with athletes and other individuals at Mind Over Body at Southeast Psych a private practice in Charlotte committed to assisting individuals achieve success in all areas of their lives.

Mr. Hollier developed his passion for assisting individuals reach their maximum potential through his experience as an elite athlete. He went on to obtain a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in Davie Florida, where he worked on and completed his Masters Degree and Practicum work in Mental Health Counseling while playing football for the Miami Dolphins. In total he played professional football for 9 years including a stint with the Indianapolis Colts.

Amy Kennedy
 

Amy L. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Science in Environmental Education from Nova Southeastern University. As part of her training, Amy has also obtained certification as a highly qualified instructor in the subjects of Science, English and History. She is an educator at heart, with over 15 years of experience working in public schools in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Amy is a New Jersey native who has always had an interest in local politics. As a resident of Atlantic County, she currently serves on the Academic Advisory Board for Holy Spirit High School. She also served as a board member of the Northfield Education Foundation, and was the Northfield representative for the National Education Association’s Pride Committee. Amy is also the mother of four children. She utilizes her experiences as a parent and her background in education to promote the importance of social and emotional learning in the development of mental wellness for children and adolescents. On a global level, her research interests include focusing on the early identification and intervention of mental health concerns in children and adolescents, the use of brain fitness and mindfulness within school systems in order to foster and improve mental wellness, and to develop prevention programs that utilize and promote student social and emotional learning. She is currently the Education Director for The Kennedy Forum in which she provides consultation services that emphasize evidence-based research and programming to facilitate policy change in the areas of education and mental health.

Amy and her husband, former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, are dedicated to educating others on the importance of providing not only every American with universal access to mental health supports and services, but our fellow citizens around the globe as well.


 

Timothy Livengood is an accomplished health care marketer and a previous healthcare administrator. He currently serves as Resource Coordinator for Acadia Healthcare. After beginning a successful career in real estate, Timothy realized his passion for mental health and healthcare administration. He then transitioned from the real estate industry to a career in behavioral health. Timothy currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Mental Health America of Eastern Carolina and on the Board of Directors for the national organization, Mental Health America, in Washington DC. Timothy’s work with community outreach and business development has brought him to work with the National Association of Mental Illness, Mental Health America, various national businesses, and non-profit agencies throughout the Southeast. He graduated from Catawba College with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and a Master’s in Leadership from Pfeiffer University. He is also pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration from East Carolina University. Timothy has a passion to make a difference in people’s lives. Often getting weird looks for thinking outside the box and assimilating make-shift “armies” to get things done, Timothy is on a mission to help people realize their full potential, and help others connect with people to make things happen.

Steve McCaffrey
 

Stephen McCaffrey, JD is the President and CEO of Mental Health America of Indiana and Principal with The Third House, LLC. Stephen is a recipient of a Sagamore of the Wabash Award, Indiana’s highest honorary award. He serves as the Chair of the Indiana Division of Mental Health Advisory Committee and Chair of the Treatment Committee for the Attorney General’s Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse. He also serves as a member of the state team for Indiana Evidence Based Decision Making as well as the Board of Directors of Managed Health Services. Further, Stephen serves on the board of the National Institute for Public Safety Health.

Fatima Mncube-Barnes
 

Fatima Mncube-Barnes, Ed.D, MPH, MSIS, MBA is the executive director of the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library at Howard University. Dr. Mncube-Barnes is responsible for the management and administration of the library and all other Health Sciences Library services, with a special focus on academic programs and related requirements of the health sciences.

Prior to the appointment of her current position, Dr. Mncube-Barnes served as the associate vice president, Instructional Technologies, at Meharry Medical College in Nashville as well as assistant professor in graduate and research studies, library director and bioinformatician.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in 1998, Dr. Mncube-Barnes completed an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation and Education at Harvard University in 2000. She holds an MPH in Public Health & Public Health Informatics from the University of Illinois and an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from Tennessee State University. In addition, she has an MSIS in Information Science from the University of Tennessee, and an MBA in Healthcare Management from the Western Governors University (WGU).

Dr. Mncube-Barnes has authored and collaborated extensively on peer-reviewed publications, and frequently serves as a conference and workshop presenter on health-care research methodologies and technology. She is an expert in instructional design, knowledge management and technology integration.

Marie Morilus-Black
 

Marie Morilus-Black has an impressive array of clinical, administrative, leadership, and human services skills gained over more than two plus decades in the mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice arenas. She was recently the Deputy Director of the Office of Well-Being at the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Administration (CFSA). She has served on the National Advisory Board of SAMHSA’s Adolescent Division, and the Council of Collaboration and Coordination (the CCC).


 

Linda Olson Nemia is a marketing communications consultant and mental health and parity advocate. Thirty years experience in marketing, public relations and fundraising and executive management positions in healthcare on both the East and West coasts. Founder of Olson Advertising, corporate clients included IBM, Columbian Mutual Life, and CAE-Link. She has won numerous awards including the NYS Small Business Person of the Year award from Gov. Mario Cuomo and the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Anvil. In 2000, she raised almost $2 million to found the Imaginarium, an evidence-based treatment Center for children, adolescents and adults with AD/HD and disruptive behavior disorders. Supporters included national researchers, educators and scientists: including AD/HD guru, Dr. Russell Barkley; Senator Hillary Clinton; Congressman Maurice Hinchey and the US Department of Education.

Other Boards include Families Together of NYS, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, where she was Vice President and co-founded the Bell of Hope Project.

Luis Perez
 

Luis B. Perez, LCSW is the President and CEO of Mental Health Connecticut. He has a proven track record in leadership positions, both in the private and public sectors, with particular expertise in the areas of behavioral health outcomes based management, strategic planning, network development, and public policy. Broad background includes age specific clinical and cultural competencies for working with child, adolescent and adult populations and their families.

Andrew Rubin
 

Andrew Rubin, JD graduated from Occidental College and Stanford Law School. He was a criminal defense lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. who often represented persons who had severe mental illnesses. Since he was 29, he has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations that provided services to, and advocated on behalf of persons with mental health problems. These agencies included National Mental Health Association, Mental Health America, The California State chapter and the Los Angeles and the San Bernardino chapters of NMHA, Mental Health Advocacy Services, Step Up on Second, and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. He plays golf to a 5 handicap, was once ranked 62nd in the U.S. in men's 50 and over tennis singles, and has traveled extensively outside the United States despite being unable to speak any language other than English. He loves polar bears from afar and his two yorkies from up close.

Danielle Schlosser
 

As a Lead Clinical Scientist for the Mental Health team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), Danielle Schlosser's work is focused on developing a next generation measurement-based care platform that will enable a holistic and personalized approach to mental health treatment. Prior to joining Verily, Danielle was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF and the Director of an NIMH-funded translational neuroscience lab. Her research focused on investigating cognitive and psychological determinants of motivation, and translating findings into new digital therapeutics to treat individuals with schizophrenia and depression. Danielle's work culminated in the development of PRIME: a mobile platform designed to target the motivational system and enhance the drive to improve one's quality of life and health outcomes. The benefits of PRIME have been tested in several clinical trials and continue to be evaluated in academic and health system settings.

Danielle holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology, with advanced training in cognitive neuroscience, early detection and intervention of psychosis, and digital health research.

Rusty Selix
 

Rusty Selix, JD, was the original co-author (with Darrell Steinberg) and leader of the Proposition 63 Campaign - the November 2004 California ballot measure, which is transforming California’s public mental health system. He did this work as the Executive Director and legislative representative of the California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies - a statewide association of non-profit publicly funded mental health providers which he has served since 1986 and which is now known as the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CCCBHA). He also served as the Executive Director for the Mental Health Association in California (also known as Mental Health America of California) from 1993 until 2014 and has worked with every major mental health organization in California.

He has been a leading expert in mental health policy and finance for the past 30 years and state and local government policy and finance for 40 years. He began his career as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Sacramento working primarily in land use, environment, housing and public works issues from 1975 to 1978. He then became a lobbyist at the State Capitol for the League of California Cities continuing to focus on land use, environmental, transportation and housing issues. During this time, he also was elected to be the chairman of the State Bar’s Committee on Environmental Law.

When he left the League of California Cities in 1984, and started his own business called Creative Problem Solving, he initially provided consultation, advocacy, mediation and other services on behalf of dozens of organizations before mental health advocacy became his exclusive focus.

He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Northwestern University and a JD degree from the University of California at Davis.

Mike Thornsbury
 

Michael Thornsbury is a fundraising professional who has been working with local and national nonprofit and membership organizations for 20 years. In 2005, Mike was diagnosed with his first mental illness following leaving New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Since then, he battled with many variations of depression, anxiety and panic disorders. In 2010, after an unsuccessful suicide attempt and a short stay in a mental health facility, Mike moved on. Noticing the lack of care in the facility he was in and the huge lack of awareness and stigma around his disease, he decided to get involved. After sharing his story with family, friends, colleagues and then more and more people, he has become a strong advocate both locally in the D.C. area and nationally.

He currently resides in New Orleans, LA.

500 Montgomery Street, Suite 820
 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968


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