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NAMI Virginia Staff
Executive Director: Mira Signer
Mira joined NAMI Virginia as the Executive Director in July 2007. Along with public policy, grassroots advocacy, program development, and nonprofit expertise, Mira brings her personal experiences, challenges, and lessons learned of friends and loved ones' with mental illness, which is part of her motivation to reduce stigma of mental illness and improve Virginia's mental health system. In her role as Executive Director, Mira provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of NAMI Virginia's mission and philosophy.
Mira received her Masters in Social Work-Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from VCU. In 2011 Ms. Signer was recognized as one of Style Weekly's Top 40 Under 40. Mira received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University where she was a varsity student-athlete and active in JMU’s Community Service-Learning program. Mira is originally from Arlington, Virginia.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 x 200
Administrative Assistant: Danny Aldred
Danny Aldred has been the Administrative Assistant at NAMI Virginia since 1998. Danny serves as point of contact for general NAMI operations and is responsible for office administration, donor and member database and relations, as well as many other tasks necessary to maintain the flow of communication between the organization, affiliates, and community partners. Danny has received specialized training from Virginia Commonwealth University, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and the Nonprofit Learning Point.
Danny is the point of contact for membership questions or updates, changes/uplates to affiliate leadership, updates to affiliate leader contact information, questions about dues, and general NAMI Virginia questions.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 x 201
Director of Programs: Sarah Steadman
Sarah Steadman, MSW joined NAMI Virginia in June of 2009 as the Program Coordinator. In this role she is responsible for promoting affiliate growth throughout the state, primarily through the implementation of NAMI signature programs. Before coming to NAMI, Sarah managed a Suicide and Crisis Hotline, worked as a phone case manager in the emergency services department of a Community Services Board, coordinated a visiting service for isolated seniors and worked as a community organizer for a personal care association. Sarah received her Master’s in Social Work-Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from VCU's L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 x 203
Program Assistant: Mary Beth Walsh
Mary Beth is the Program Assistant for NAMI Virginia. She is responsible for overseeing and managing education and support program course offerings throughout the state, including logistical support, ensuring program integrity, and managing data collection.
Mary Beth also manages NAMI Virginia's HelpLine program. In this role she is responsible for responding to and triaging calls and emails.
Mary Beth graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Theater. After graduation, she spent 4 years acting in educational shows for children across the country. Although she loves theater, her other passion lies in community outreach and education. She is excited to be able to incorporate those interests with an issue that is close to her heart.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 204
Director of Events and Communications: Farleigh Fitzgerald
Farleigh was introduced to NAMI in 2007 when she participated in NAMIWalks Virginia- NAMI Virginia’s annual fundraiser and walk to raise awareness, educate people about mental illness, and celebrate hope and recovery. Farleigh discovered the Walk while she was trying to locate support and resources for her mom. Farleigh is now responsible for managing and coordinating NAMIWalks Virginia, NAMI Virginia's E-Newsletters, the annual convention, and other projects that arise throughout the year. Farleigh graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2001 with a bachelors in Psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience. After graduating, she worked at a non-profit residential treatment center for adolescent boys in Evergreen, CO where she helped oversee educational and recreational activities. Farleigh is dedicated to connecting with others whose lives have been impacted by mental illness, and helping them realize that there is hope and help available.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 202
Director of Children and Youth Policy and Programs: Stephany Melton Hardison
Stephany recently relocated to Norfolk from Boston, MA, where she had been working in mental health advocacy and support for many years. She began working with NAMI Virginia in February 2011 as a consultant for the NAMI Virginia/VA CIT Convention, and is excited to be officially joining the NAMI Virginia team as the Virginia Family Network Project Director. She is a longtime member of NAMI, beginning her career at NAMI Massachusetts. Most recently, Stephany was at the Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PAL), the Massachusetts state chapter of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.
Stephany’s experience as a daughter of a mother with a mental illness has motivated her to dedicate her career to support families living with mental illness and advocate for an improved quality of life for all individuals affected by mental illness. At PAL Stephany managed the training, technical assistance, public education, and communication efforts, including developing numerous trainings. She also served as the project director for the Statewide Family Network grant in Massachusetts, providing monthly training and ongoing technical assistance and support to the family support specialists and family partners in the state.
Prior to PAL, Stephany worked for the Massachusetts State Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) managing numerous projects including NAMI Walks and serving as the Director of Affiliate Development. Stephany holds a Master’s of Social Work degree with a concentration in Community Organizing, Policy, Planning, and Administration from Boston College.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 206
Virginia Family Network Youth Coordinator: Amanda Long
Joining our team in February 2013, Amanda's passion for mental health has stemmed from both personal and community based experiences. She holds a Masters in Social Work Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice and a Bachelors of Social Work with a minor in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining the NAMI team, Amanda worked as a Special Events Assistant at United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, and as a Classroom Behavioral Counselor at UMFS. She brings a wealth of knowledge in working with individuals who have both cognitive and physical disabilities, through her experience as a personal care attendant and volunteer at Max’s Positive Vibe Cafe. Over the past 4 years Amanda has also participated in outreach efforts for residents of low-income housing and remains a staunch advocate for this and other vulnerable populations throughout the region.
Email: email@example.comPhone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 211
Virginia Family Network Program Assistant: Diana Donnelly
Diana joined NAMI Virginia as the Virginia Family Network Program Assistant in November of 2013. In this role, she assists with programs, events, and trainings, and is responsible for the VFN monthly e-newsletter and website page. She also serves as the point of contact for parents, Board members, community stakeholders, and anyone who wishes to be involved with the Virginia Family Network. Wearing her parent hat, she co-facilitates a support group for parents of children/youth with mental health needs. Diana holds an MSW from Catholic University, and has worked as a clinical social worker and school social worker. Her personal experience raising children with mental health needs inspires her work with NAMI. She earned her BA in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia and an MA in Religion from Catholic University.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 207
Accountant, Director of Finance: Deborah Michael
Deborah Michael has worked for NAMI Virginia as Director of Finance since 2006. In this capacity she is responsible for conducting invoice activities, paying vendors, assisting with budget preparations, managing payroll, and various related tasks related to the financial health of NAMI Virginia. Prior to that she served on the Board of NAMI Virginia as Treasurer. She has also held the offices of President and Treasurer of the affiliate, NAMI Central Virginia. Her volunteer work includes many years with the Historic Richmond Foundation, presidency of the William Byrd Community House Junior Board and tutoring at George Mason elementary school. Deborah received a B.A. in math from Sweet Briar College and a Certificate in Accounting from VCU.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MSW Program and Policy Intern: Nicky Zamostny
Nicky Zamostny is the MSW Program and Policy intern at NAMI Virginia. As an intern, her role is to actively engage in organizational practices and develop skills around program development, implementation and support, policy analysis, legislative advocacy, grant writing and following bills through the General Assembly.
Nicky is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work with a Social Work Administration, Planning and Policy Practice concentration from Virginia Commonwealth University. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. During her time at Virginia Tech, she volunteered as a phone counselor for Raft Crisis Hotline, where she developed a strong passion to serve individuals experiencing mental illness.Email: email@example.com
Phone: 804-285-8264 x 209