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.
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.
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.
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.
Donna Colonna. Donna Colonna joined Services for the UnderServed, Inc. (SUS) in January 1997 and was appointed president/CEO in January 2002. Ms. Colonna has dedicated her entire career to creating opportunities and services for individuals with disabilities, having begun her career in 1974 as a live-in house parent for Catholic Charities in a group home for individuals with mental retardation from the Willowbrook State School. For eight years, Ms. Colonna worked for the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability and then the New York City field office of the New York State Office of Mental Health, as part of a small team of individuals who created the beginnings of community-based services for individuals with mental retardation/developmental disabilities and individuals with mental illness. She served as chief operating officer of human services nonprofit PSCH, where over 12 years she developed $35 million in services, including specialty health and habilitation clinics, day programs, employment programs, residences and in-home case management and habilitation services. Her many years in statewide and NYC industry leadership positions include service on the boards of the Association for Community Living; the Mental Health Association of New York State; the New York State Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services; the InterAgency Council of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Agencies; and her current role as the vice president of the Coalition for Behavioral Health Agencies.
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.
Wendy Jones-Hayes. Ms. Jones-Hayes lends expertise in several areas of marketing and communications. Ms. Jones-Hayes’ professional background has given her exposure to working with large broadcast groups and advertising agencies by creating, negotiating, and executing multi-platform advertising campaigns. Ms. Jones-Hayes has been employed at Katz Media Corporation (Katz Radio Group) for 15 years. Katz is the largest national broadcast rep firm in the country. She oversees the national sales efforts of Cox Radio Group as Vice President Director of Sales and has created training programs that are used nationally to train sales managers across the country. Ms. Jones-Hayes is committed to sharing her communications expertise with NAMI and getting the message out to those who are not aware of the organization’s services and support. The loss of Ms. Jones-Hayes' brother to schizophrenia has motivated her to help individuals and families in need to find resources and services.
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.
Diane Lightbourne is a lifelong advocate and activist for the oppressed and underprivileged. She is the founder of several grassroots coalitions and newsletters. Since 2003, she has volunteered at NAMI-NYC Metro in their general office and in their Kenneth Johnson Memorial Research Library. From 1998 through 2006, she worked as a peer director and coordinator for Project Us Psychosocial Club, where she instituted a safer, healthier, and cleaner environment. Under her innovative direction, she increased attendance, and introduced several services including tax preparation, Saturday breakfasts, arts and crafts instruction, conflict mediation, a food pantry, a clothing bank, and chaperoned excursions, which she arranged. Ms. Lightbourne organized committees and petitions for consumer rights. She has the distinction of being the only person named as Director Elect in the club’s fifteen year history. Prior to joining Project Us, she worked as an editorial assistant at Street News in NY and was an Eligibility Specialist for the New York Department of Social Services. She has also volunteered as a New York City Public Library Literacy tutor. Ms Lightbourne is an amateur writer, artist, and singer.
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.
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.
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.