NAMI Virginia’s staff works hard to provide support, education, and advocacy to improve the lives of all those affected by mental illness.
Executive Director: Kathy Harkey
Kathy Harkey is the Executive Director at NAMI Virginia where she works to ensure people get the care and services they need and deserve. Kathy embraces the World Health Organization principle, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being… The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”
Kathy joined NAMI in 2006 after her family was personally affected by mental illness. She is passionate about creating stigma free communities, NAMI programs, and advocacy for solutions that create positive change.
Prior to joining NAMI Virginia, Kathy was the Executive Director at the Substance Abuse Addiction Recovery Alliance (SAARA). Kathy has served as a board director for NAMI Virginia, board President of NAMI Central Virginia, and board President of Hanover Community Support Services. Kathy brings effective leadership, advocacy, visionary, and strategic thinking skills to NAMI Virginia. She is a trainer of numerous programs including: Family-to-Family Education, Advocacy, Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and Mental Health First Aid Youth. Kathy holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and undergraduate degrees’ in Psychology and Multidisciplinary Studies with business management and education cognates. Kathy has a certificate in non-profit management from Duke University and she completed an extensive internship in biogenetic research at Virginia Commonwealth University. Kathy is the recipient of several awards including the CIT International advocate award.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 200
Assistant Director: Sarah Wilson
Sarah Wilson, MSW, has worked for NAMI Virginia since 2009 after interning with the organization. Sarah has served in a variety of roles for the organization include Director of Adult and Family Programs, Director of Children & Youth Programs and Director of Events and Outreach. In these roles, she has had her hand in almost every aspect of the organization, and in recognition, took on the role of Assistant Director in 2018.
Sarah received her Master’s in Social Work-Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and has her Certificate in Volunteer Administration from the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. Sarah completed the Emerging Nonprofit Leadership Program through VCU and the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence in 2012.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 203
Accountant and 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.
Acting Director of Programs: Mary Beth Walsh
Mary Beth, MSW, is currently serving as our Acting Director of Programs. She oversees all NAMI signature and non-signature programs for youth, adults and families. Mary Beth joined the NAMI Virginia team in August of 2013.
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, policy, and education. Mary Beth received her Master’s in Social Work-Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice from Virginia Commonwealth University and is excited to be able to incorporate her social work passion with an issue that is close to her heart.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 206
Development Manager: Portia Chan
Portia Chan joined the NAMI Virginia team in July 2019 as the development manager. Portia has 11 years of experience in development, and she has worked at the VCU School of Social Work, St. Mary’s Catholic School, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Foundation, and the College of William and Mary. She is also the former chairwoman of the board of directors at Nurture.
As an advocate for maternal mental health and wellness, Portia has written about her experiences as a contributing writer for April Magazine. She holds a B.A. in art history from Wellesley College, a M.A. in teaching and educational psychology from Emmanuel College, and a certificate in psychology and counseling from UC Berkeley. She has studied prenatal, birth, and attachment psychology with Elsa Asher and Chanti Smith at the Prenatal, Birth, and Attachment Clinic in Berkeley, California.
Portia is a research assistant at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Lab at VCU, where she works on the Family Expression and Emotional Life Study (FEELS). Her research interests include health disparities that impact birthing parents in labor and delivery and overall perinatal mental health and support, as well as the role of racial and/or ethnic minority status in parenting practices, children’s identity development, and socialization. In addition, Portia has been trained as a peer recovery specialist.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 205
VFN Program Administrative Assistant: Nicole Anjum
Nicole is the Virginia Family Network (VFN) Program Administrative Assistant and works under the direction of the Director of Children & Youth Programs. Nicole is responsible for supporting the social media presence of VFN, the VFN Advanced Parent Leadership Program coordinating training and alumni, and VFN resource development.
Nicole has gained experience through her personal and family lived experiences with mental illness. She is also a Family Support Partner with United Methodist Family Services. Her experience at UMFS has given her a strong desire to spread the movement of mental health advocacy and awareness.
Phone: (804) 991-8716
Program Assistant/Helpline Coordinator : Chloe Sanders
Chloe Sanders, the NAMI Virginia Program Assistant, excitedly joined the team in September of 2019. Under the direction of Adult and Family Programs, she is responsible for supporting the goals and activities for both the Adult and Family and Children and Youth Program Departments of NAMI Virginia. Among other support activities, she leads communication between affiliates and volunteers and NAMI Virginia as it relates to planning for, hosting and reporting on program logistics, coordinates volunteer and program data entry, and manages the HelpLine.
Receiving her first Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia, she has further grown her passion for mental health support, education, advocacy, and eradicating the mental health stigma through her personal lived experiences and those of family, friends, and former students. Having previously been a Volunteer Coordinator in her hometown of Williamsburg, VA, and holding a second Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Studies from George Mason University, she cares a lot about encouraging people to help others and the power and change that can come from sharing stories and diverse representation.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 209
Youth and Young Adult Coordinator : Anna Shaw
Anna Shaw is the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator at NAMI Virginia. She joined the team in January 2020 and will oversee a number of NAMI signature and non-signature programs that focus on supporting youth and young adults. Her primary role is to support youth and young adults in gaining the skills to guide their own care and feel empowered to advocate for mental health policy and programs related to their unique needs and experiences. She plans to support and promote the expansion of these programs throughout diverse communities in Virginia.
Anna graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019 with a B.A. in Global Development Studies and East Asian Studies. She has worked and conducted research related to healthcare accessibility in a global setting in Nepal, Jordan, and Chile. Through this process her focus on public health, specifically mental health, has grown and become her primary passion. Anna believes that those with lived experiences, especially youth and young adults, should guide and inform systems of care and policy. She values coalition building to fight mental health stigma and promote greater resource allocation and program development. Outside her role at NAMI, Anna enjoys practicing with new art mediums and spending time in nature (or on the water).
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 204
Development and Special Events Coordinator: Mary Ryann Clary
Joining us as our new Development and Special Events Coordinator, Mary Ryann spent two and a half years working as an Adoption Counselor at the Richmond SPCA , where she gained experience in event planning and implementation through community off-site adoption events within the greater Richmond area. In May of 2017, Mary Ryann graduated from James Madison University, where she majored in sociology with a minor in women and gender studies. Her educational and professional background, coupled with her lived experience with mental illness, provides her with a perspective that will complement the mission and goals of NAMI Virginia.
Phone: (804) 285-8264 ext. 211