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Barbara Ricci has been involved with NAMI-NYC Metro for over 20 years. After a close family member was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she started to attend NAMI’s support groups for family members of those with mental illness. Through her participation as an active advocate and fundraiser for mental health, Ms. Ricci was asked to join the Board of Directors of NAMI-NYC Metro six years ago. She also serves as a primary benefactor for NAMI-Lancaster County. Practicing philanthropy together, Ms. Ricci and her mother, Hiltrud Lu, worked to provide housing and funding for the volunteer-run mental health drop-in center ICAN in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ms. Ricci joined Deutsche Bank in 2009 as a Managing Director in the Global Markets Division. She is a founding member of Deutsche Bank's CB & S WN, Corporate Banking & Securities Women's Network. Prior to this, Ms. Ricci worked at UBS where she was National Sales Manager for Real Estate and Securities. Ms. Ricci is an active member in the Dalton School community. She graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a BA in Geology. Ms. Ricci is proud and humbled to lead such a wonderful organization as NAMI-NYC Metro. She understands the vital role the organization plays in the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. She is looking forward to the work ahead as NAMI continues to reach more New Yorkers and establish a community where healing and hope are made real everyday.

Vice President
Nathan Romano joined NAMI-NYC Metro in 2006 with a desire to help reshape society's negative view of mental illness and those it affects. As the only child of a single parent with bipolar disorder, Mr. Romano watched his parent struggle with the illness and its related social and economic issues. He also learned firsthand of structural issues inherent in a medical establishment that did not always have consumers' best interests at heart. Mr. Romano is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse. Prior to this position he was a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns & Co. and worked at Bain & Company in their private equity practice. He received his MBA with honors from the WhartonSchool at the University of Pennsylvania and his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, where he was a walk-on for their nationally ranked tennis team. Mr. Romano currently serves on the board of Integrated Textile Group, an international textile group in the home furnishings industry, and acts as an advisor to On-Ramps, a recruiting and consulting firm specializing in workplace innovation.


Vice President
Jessica Hunt.
Ms. Hunt is senior vice president, life sciences, at the Gerson Lehrman Group, which operates a network of more than 250,000 experts who provide consultant services to financial services firms, consultancies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. She manages a business providing scientific, clinical and commercial expertise to life sciences companies. She previously held positions in the company’s new markets and healthcare divisions. Prior to this work, Ms. Hunt was a teaching assistant at Yale University and a consultant at the Leakey Foundation, where she provided fundraising and business planning services. Ms. Hunt has a B.A. in biological anthropology from Duke University and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Yale. She has a family member who has struggled with mental illness.

Kimberly Tate-Brown. Ms. Tate-Brown is a graduate of the City University of New York School of Law. As an attorney for the Mental Hygiene Legal Service, Ms. Tate-Brown advocates for the rights of people struggling with mental illness. She is a member of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, serving on the Mental Health Law Committee and singing with the City Bar Chorus, a pro bono musical outreach group. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Tate-Brown enjoyed a 15-year nursing career. As a registered nurse on a cardiac unit, she developed an interest in the psychological ramifications of physical illnesses, co-leading a support group for patients and their families. Ms. Tate-Brown then earned a master's degree as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, working in both research and private practice. Ms. Tate-Brown's involvement with NAMI-NYC Metro stems from her dedication to her clients and to the community reintegration of people with chronic mental illness.

Eric Leventhal, LCSW. Mr. Leventhal is a psychotherapist in private practice at Park West Associates.  He specializes in the treatment of adults in individual and group treatment.  Additionally, he is a senior social worker in the outpatient psychiatry department at BellevueHospital.  Prior to working as a psychotherapist, Mr. Leventhal was a certified public accountant and business consultant in the emerging business services department at what was formerly Coopers & Lybrand.  He has a B.S. from the University of Virginia, an M.S. from the Columbia University School of Social Work, and a certificate in psychodynamic psychotherapy from the NYU Psychoanalytic Institute at NYUMedicalCenter.  He received his clinical training at New YorkPresbyterianHospital and the EAP Consortium, an employee assistance program for the employees of five constituent hospitals.  His interest in advocating for and treating mental illness is based on his personal experience with his older brother Paul’s mental illness.  Mr. Leventhal has been an instructor for NAMI’s Family-to-Family Education Program.  In addition, he has lectured about the effects of schizophrenia on families.

Michael L. Birnbaum, MD. Dr. Birnbaum is an attending physician in the Department of Psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York. He works as the Program Director for Zucker Hillside’s Early Treatment Program (ETP), a state-funded clinical and research initiative for adolescents and young adults in the early stages of psychosis. Before his role at Zucker Hillside, Dr. Birnbaum was attending physician at St. Luke’s- Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City where he developed and directed the P.E.E.R. program for youth struggling with early stage schizophrenia. Dr. Birnbaum is co-founder of the Young Associates Committee (YAC) whose mission is dedicated to raising awareness and destigmatizing mental illness. He has also served as a committee member of the Office of Mental Health (OMH) First Episode Psychosis Leadership Group.  This is a statewide initiative that aims to develop and implement first episode psychosis programs in New York State. Dr. Birnbaum has dedicated his career to improving behavioral health services, raising awareness and destigmatizing mental illness. He has received clinical and research grants to support service development, explore components essential for successful early intervention, reduce the duration of untreated illness and improve engagement and patient satisfaction. Dr. Birnbaum is currently the principal investigator of several research projects and is the co-author of numerous publications Dr. Birnbaum received his BS in Psychology and Doctor of Medicine from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He then went on to become Chief Resident and complete his Child and Adolescent psychiatry fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.

Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, a board certified psychiatrist, is the CEO/Medical Director of Holliswood Hospital and the host of WLIW21’s award-winning mental health series, Healthy Minds. He is a graduate of Harvard University and New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Borenstein is the chair of the Mental Health Services Council of New York State and serves on the Commissioner’s Medical Advisory Panel of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. He is editor of Psychiatric Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal, and editor of the New York State Psychiatric Association Bulletin. He serves as the chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Communications and has served as the president of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems. Dr. Borenstein is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the chair of the Section on Psychiatry at the Academy.


Erica Hutchins Coe. Ms. Hutchins Coe is an Associate Partner in McKinsey & Company's New Jersey office. She serves clients in the payor, provider, public, and social sectors. She has been most active with payors, where her experience spans both commercial health plans and governments, focusing extensively on driving strategic and organizational change. As part of this work, she has been integral in building the firm's knowledge of health reform and modeling the market impacts of reform. In addition, she has also served health-focused private foundations and hospital systems.  Prior to joining McKinsey, Erica worked for a boutique strategy consultancy serving pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic industries. She also worked at Massachusetts General Hospital, collaborating on clinical trial research with a child psychiatrist and assisting in management of a mental health advocacy nonprofit.  She has collaborated with NAMI-NYC Metro on its analysis of the impact of NY's Timothy's Law, which led to the publication of a groundbreaking study in the journal Psychiatric Services.  Erica holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and an M.P.H. in health policy from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In addition, she received an A.B. in sociology from Harvard University. She is a strong supporter of a family member coping with a mental illness, which has inspired her commitment to mental health advocacy.  The experience has made her intimately aware of the challenges surrounding mental illness, the shortcomings of our mental health system, and the profound stigma that exists.  She is grateful to have the opportunity to join NAMI-NYC to address such an important cause.

Lisa Dixon, M.D., M.P.H. recently moved to the New York State Psychiatric Institute where she directs the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) and is in the process of being appointed as a Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. As CPI director, she oversees key activities for the Office of Mental Health in implementing evidenced based practices for persons diagnosed with serious mental illness. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the NIMH-funded Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode Implementation and Evaluation Study (RAISE-IES), which has developed and fielded an innovative model, the Connection Program, designed to improve outcomes and reduce disability for the population of individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis (FEP). Dr. Dixon is also leading the statewide FEP initiative that aims to implement the Connection Program throughout the New York State. Until April, 2012, Dr. Dixon was a Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Division of Services Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Acting Director of the VA Capitol Health Care Network MIRECC. Dr. Dixon is an established health services researcher with continuous funding from NIMH, VA, and foundations since 1992. Her grants have focused on improving the quality of care for individuals with serious mental disorders with a particular emphasis on services that include families, reducing the negative impact of co-occurring addictions and medical problems, and improving treatment engagement and adherence.  Dr. Dixon’s work has joined individuals engaged in self-help, outpatient psychiatric care, as well as clinicians and policy makers in collaborative research endeavors. In addition, Dr. Dixon is the current editor of a column in Psychiatric Services dedicated to Public-Academic partnerships. She has published more than 180 articles in peer-reviewed journals and received the 2009 American Psychiatric Association Health Services Senior Scholar Award, as well as the Wayne Fenton Award for Exceptional Clinical Care.

Laurie Flynn has been involved in mental health policy for 25 years. Having a daughter with serious mental illness, Laurie has been inspired to change the conversation about mental illness in America. In 2001, Laurie was recruited by Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry to translate research on youth suicide prevention into services for teens and families. Under her leadership and vision, TeenScreen grew to become one of America’s largest adolescent mental health initiatives. Prior to joining Columbia, Laurie served for 16 years as the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). During her tenure, NAMI emerged as a national leader on mental health issues. Laurie has established herself as a well-respected thought leader on the national stage. She has served as a member of President Barack Obama’s Health Policy Advisory Committee and was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. For eight years, Laurie also served as an advisory committee member of the Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland NIMH funded Research Center on Services for Persons with Serious Mental Illness. She was elected chair of the Foundation for Accountability and served on the Interdisciplinary Advisory Board of the American Psychiatric Association's Journal on Psychiatric Services. Throughout the years, Laurie has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Commendation and Patient Advocacy Awards by the American Psychiatric Association, the Mental Health Section Award of the American Public Health Association, and the McLean Hospital Award. Laurie has also received honors from the American Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and NAMI-NYC Metro for the Parent Partners Program.

Cindy Freidmutter. Ms. Freidmutter is principal of CLF Consulting, a full-service consulting firm for nonprofit, foundation, and government clients. She provides strategic and business planning; program design, implementation and evaluation; grant writing and fundraising; project management and other services to not-for-profit organizations, including the Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Institute for Community Living, and Brooklyn AIDS Task Force. Prior to opening her consulting firm, Ms. Freidmutter served as vice president for external affairs at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), president of the Brooklyn Public Library Foundation, and president and chief executive officer of Managed Care Innovations, Inc., a nonprofit managed care organization comprised of 27 mental health providers in New York City. Under Governor Mario Cuomo, she served as director of housing development/associate commissioner in the New York State Office of Mental Health.  She is most proud of helping to launch the NY/NY program, which has provided services and housing to tens of thousands of homeless New Yorkers with serious mental illness since its inception. Ms. Freidmutter has a B.A. from Brooklyn College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She has been an active supporter of a sibling coping with mental illness, as well as an advocate for her son, who was diagnosed with special needs at age two.  Ms. Freidmutter is a lifelong Brooklyn resident, and currently resides in Park Slope with her 11-year-old son Daniel, whom she proudly reports is now thriving in public middle school with the help of supportive services.

Juliann Garey, MA. Ms. Garey is a renowned journalist with 18 years experience writing and editing for over a dozen national publications. Her specialties range from health writing to arts coverage, finance, lifestyle & culture, parenting, women’s issues, personal essays and film and book reviews. Ms. Garey has also worked in book publishing as a senior editor for a publishing company specializing in health and wellness where she was also responsible for website content. More recently, Ms. Garey has begun mental health advocacy work, writing op-eds and essays and speaking to groups across the country in an effort to educate and eliminate the stigma that exists with regard to mental illness. She is currently designing a course on Narratives of Mental Illness which she will teach in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies Dept. through the NYU Medical school. She has sold original screenplays and television pilots to several studios and networks. Her first novel, Too Bright To Hear Too Loud To See was named one of NPR’s “Best Books of 2013.” Ms. Garey has contributed work to The New York Times, Marie Claire Salon, Elle, New York Magazine, L.A. Times, Parenting Mirabella, Village Voice, Reader’s Digest, More, and Huffington Post. Ms. Garey has received fellowships in creative writing and has also taught writing at the college level. She graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and has a Master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Alison Kaplan, MFA, JD. Ms. Kaplan is a 2013 graduate of Pace University School of Law, Alison McKay Kaplan has been aware of NAMI-NYC Metro’s work for many years. Ms. Kaplan became personally involved with NAMI-NYC when she joined the NAMIWalks MHLS team in 2012. The Walk inspired her to do more for the organization and contribute to its mission in advocating, supporting and educating families and individuals affected by mental illness. Ms. Kaplan has background in grassroots organizing through her experience as a past Board member of Transportation Alternatives and as an Executive Committee member at the NYC National Lawyers Guild, Pace University Law School chapter. Prior to law school, Ms. Kaplan worked as a fundraising consultant to organizations in need of strategic and development planning. Ms. Kaplan plans to work as a legal services attorney on behalf of the elderly and those affected by physical disabilities and mental health issues. She is passionate about utilizing her expertise to raise the public’s awareness about mental illness and to shape the national public policy landscape for individuals and families impacted by mental illness. Ms. Kaplan received her BA in Literature from Purchase College and MFA in Arts Administration from Columbia University. Recent awards include the Vanessa H. Merton Public Service Award and the Public Interest Law Center Pro Bono Justice Award for extraordinary pro bono service.

Linda Lee. Ms. Lee is the associate executive director of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc., founded in 1973 as New York’s first community-based organization focused on the Korean community. The organization provides community services, including after school programs, an adult center and ESL classes; programs for the aging through three senior centers; and public health and research services, with centers focused on diabetes, hepatitis B, immunization and tobacco control, among others. Prior to this position, Ms. Lee worked in operations for the New York State Health Foundation and as a social work intern in the North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System. Ms. Lee, who holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a M.S.W. from Columbia, has a close relative living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, MPH. Ms. Martinez Garcel is the senior program director at the New York State Health Foundation, where she plays a lead role in developing and managing the grant-making activities of the Foundation and the strategic and creative development of leadership and capacity-building programs with community-based organizations throughout the state. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the director of the Northern Manhattan Community Voices Collaborative, a network of over 35 community-based organizations and institutions in Central Harlem and WashingtonHeights. Ms. Martinez has also managed programs for Alianza Dominicana, Beginning with Children, among other organizations serving the needs of economically disadvantaged communities. Ms. Martinez received her bachelor's degree in human development from CornellUniversity and a Master's of Public Health from ColumbiaUniversity. Working with NAMI-NYC Metro provides the opportunity to advocate for policies that increase access to culturally responsive mental health care for all racial and ethnic groups.

Ilene Margolin has over four decades of experience working in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors of the health care and human services fields. She most recently served as senior vice president, public affairs and communications, for EmblemHealth. Ms. Margolin had served in that capacity with GHI, now an Emblem Health Company, since 2000.  Prior to her work at GHI, she held numerous senior human service management positions.  Ms. Margolin served as senior vice president, marketing and strategic development, at ValueOptions, a large privately owned national managed behavioral healthcare company, and chief operating officer at FEGS, a not-for-profit human services corporation that provides a full range of mental health, developmental disabilities, educational, welfare-to-work and skills training services. Ms. Margolin served in the administrations of New York Governors Carey and (Mario) Cuomo. In the Cuomo Administration, she was deputy secretary to the governor for human services, charged with overseeing the development and implementation of the governor’s human service agenda, which included critical initiatives in health, social services and services for the elderly.  In addition, Ms. Margolin led the development and implementation of policies to create new residential and community based programs for individuals with mental illness and individuals with developmental disabilities.  Ms. Margolin began her career as a psychiatric social worker and held a variety of clinical, management and program development positions in the New York State mental health system with special emphasis on the development of new programs for children.  Ms. Margolin is a member of the board of directors of the United Neighborhood Houses and the New York Business Group on Health, and is chair of the board of the New York State Health Plan Association. 

Andrew P. Monshaw. Mr. Monshaw is a retired global executive with a broad general management and financial background in high technology manufacturing, development, sales/marketing and services environments. After 30 years at IBM, he now consults and advises on the boards of several companies and community organizations. For over 5 years a close family member has suffered from Dual Diagnosis; Bi-Polar and Drug addiction and he wants to apply his business skills working with an organization that is making progress with awareness, advocacy, education and addressing stigma. Mr. Monshaw holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Finance from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  He has been a member of the New Fairfield Historical Society since 1994. He enjoys family, travel, outdoor sports, and reading. He is also a former trustee & Helping Hands volunteer at the Congregational Church of New Fairfield, and an active member of Preserve New Fairfield, an historic preservation organization.  

Jay Neugeboren, a NAMI-NYC Metro board member since 2002, currently chairs the Communications and Library Committees. He is the author of 17 books, including two about mental illness: Imagining Robert: My Brother, Madness, and Survival, a New York Times Notable Book of 1997, and Transforming Madness: New Lives for People Living with Mental Illness, recipient of a Ken Book Award from NAMI-NYC Metro in 2000. His latest novel, 1940, was published in the spring of 2008. He has received many other accolades for his novels and short stories. In addition, he serves on the boards of several organizations, including Columbia University's Center for Prevention of Homelessness, Pathways to Housing, Genesis Clubhouse (Worcester, MA) and the Family Diversity Project. He was, for many years, professor and writer-in-residence at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, but now lives in New York City, where he continues to be active in projects that educate the general public about mental illness, and that advocate for those, like his brother Robert, who suffer from long-term serious and persistent mental illnesses.

Timothy B. Price. Mr. Pice is an industry-leading executive in digital advertising. He has built numerous media businesses that have touched millions of consumers and amplified the influence of the world’s top brands. Mr. Price is a pioneer in digital media and in-game advertising. He has consistently led innovation across several digital platforms beginning with DoubleClick in 1996, standardizing the way we consume digital media today. His passion for games and entrepreneurship resulted in founding several businesses including Butter, Inc. a mobile rich-media ad solution which was acquired by the SMS powerhouse 4INFO in 2010. He currently holds the position of VP, Mobile Sales & Strategy for Zynga, the largest mobile and web game publisher.  Mr. Price is the founder of The Life is Priceless Foundation (The LIPF) a not for profit dedicated to the research and treatment of severe depression and suicide prevention. After tragically losing his brother to suicide in October of 2011, Mr. Price realigned his entrepreneurial spirit by being the “voice for those who haven’t found theirs yet.” His weekly blog talks very plainly about depression and the impacts of suicide and reaches over 8,000 readers a month.  The LIPF holds several awareness and fundraising functions annually. Their most recent featured talks from leading depression advocates and TED Talks speakers, JD Schramm and Kevin Breel. The LIPF is an official charity partner of NYC’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour, the worlds biggest bike ride. The foundation has raised over $350K since its inception in November of 2011, and has been the recipient of numerous health activist awards.  The LIPF recently issued their first grant to NAMI-NYC Metro in support of their #IWillListen anti-stigma campaign. He is an avid snowboarder, cyclist and competitively races a J/111 sailboat on team Andiamo in Western Long Island Sound and along the Eastern Seaboard. He lives in New York City.

David B. Spanier, Esq., Vice President & General Counsel, Dextra Baldwin McGonagle Foundation, Inc., has been specializing and practicing in the employee benefits and tax-exempt organization fields since 1970. He has participated in the audit and self-correction of both employee pension and welfare benefit plans throughout his career, practicing with both private law and benefits consulting firms, including Curtis, Mallet, Prevost, Colt & Mosle, Greenberg Traurig, LLP and William M. Mercer, Inc. He is actively involved in ERISA litigation and administrative hearings, mergers and acquisitions and advice to ERISA plan fiduciaries, and, most recently, ERISA compliance related to HIPAA. His experience also includes corporate, estates and trusts and real estate transactions.  He has been a frequent contributor to chapters and articles in Employee Benefits Law, Employee Benefits Handbook, Health Care Benefits Law and the Journal of Compensation and Benefits. His interest in NAMI-NYC Metro is based on his personal experiences with mental illness and those of family and friends. Professionally, he has advised clients since the early 1990s in regard to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 and various related health laws (both state and federal) that have an impact on employee benefit plans, particularly with respect to the provision of healthcare benefits.  In addition to serving on the NAMI Board since 2005, David is a member of the Boards of Trustees of Premier Health Care/National Institute for People with Developmental Disabilities and the McGonagle Foundation.





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