Our board of directors team is a "working board", as each member is actively engaged with our signature programs. Besides our time, we each financially contribute to NAMI Jacksonville.
Tara Wildes - President
Tara Wildes worked for over 30 years throughout the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, primarily in the correctional environment. She retired in 2016 with the appointed rank of Director of the Department of Corrections, managing three correctional facilities and the Jacksonville Reentry Center, with over 3400 incarcerated persons, 800 employees and a budget of over 90 million dollars. She is certified by the state of Florida in both corrections and law enforcement, and as an instructor by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission of Florida. Tara is currently employed as a consultant on corrections issues with Wildes Investigations, LLC and as an adjunct instructor with Florida State College at Jacksonville. She also serves on the boards of Disability Rights Florida and StopTB USA, representing the rights of the incarcerated population and is an advocate for criminal justice and mental health reform.
Jerry Weedon - Vice President
Jerry Weedon has practiced law with Marks Gray since 1976. He is a member of the Jacksonville Bar Association, The Florida Bar, the American Bar Association, and the Florida Defense Lawyers Association, where he served as a member of its Board of Directors from 1995-2002 and as President of the organization from 2000-2001. Mr. Weedon was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in 2007 and reappointed by Governor Charlie Crist in 2009. He has served on numerous Boards of Directors to include the Ronald McDonald House. Mr. Weedon has been named a Best Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report and one of Florida magazine’s Super Lawyers® consecutively since 2006. He attended the University of Florida where he received his J.D., with honors in 1976. Mr. Weedon is a Distinguished Naval Graduate from the Naval O.C.S. He served as a U.S. Navy Aviation Intelligence Officer from 1971 to 1974 and as an active reservist in the U.S. Navy Reserve until 1996.
Dr. Laura Lane - Treasurer
Laura Lane worked for JCCI (Jacksonville Community Council Inc.) for 15 years. In 2013, she managed Unlocking the Pieces, a 3-year initiative to improve community mental health services in Northeast Florida. Her commitment to improving community mental health and eradicating homelessness began then. She served as Chief Operations Officer at Mental Health America of Northeast Florida and now works on contract with local human services agencies. Laura is currently working toward becoming a Certified Recovery Peer Specialist and volunteers with Changing Homelessness.
Ebony Benjamin - Secretary
Ebony is a Graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20 years of experience working in the mental health field, and is currently the Program Coordinator for the Jacksonville Mental Health Intensive Case Management program of the North Florida South Georgia Veteran’s Health System. Ebony is also a past-President of NAMI Jacksonville.
John is from St. Louis, Missouri. He practiced real estate and land use law in Jacksonville for 32 years before joining the Hutson Companies as vice president of real estate operations in 2013. He and his wife Joyce have three sons and two granddaughters. They joined NAMI in 2012 after taking the Family to Family course.
Dr. Colleen Bell
Dr. Colleen Bell, a Board Certified Psychiatrist, has dedicated her career to working with the underserved. She completed a fellowship for Community Psychiatry in at the Center for Public Service Psychiatry in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the Medical Director of Behavioral Health at the IM Sulzbacher Center in Jacksonville, where she manages a diverse staff in terms of licensure, is engaged in homeless outreach as well as clinic visits, and administrative functions that includes growth and development of psychiatric programs and services.
Tory Wilcox, LMHC, MBA joined the Board in early 2017 and is the Assistant Director of Behavioral Health at Sulzbacher Center’s FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center), where she has worked for over 9 years. She previously gained 20 years of progressive management experience in financial services, ending as a Senior Vice President at Bank of America. Tory became involved with NAMI in 2014, and has hosted the Peer to Peer class several times. Tory has a passion for helping others improve their quality of life through her counseling work, and outside of work enjoys her two sons, golden doodle, and the outdoors.
Toni is currently the Physician & Provider Relations Director of the Mental Health Division for Memorial Hospital of Jacksonville. She earned her Bachelor of Science at Voorhees College, and her M.Ed. at the University of Phoenix.
I am a retired registered nurse who spent most of my career in clinical research. I grew up in a loving family in Illinois with four siblings and a big extended family. After college my husband and I moved to Florida to escape Illinois winters. I have been married to the same guy for 42 years.
I am interested in improving the public's recognition of symptoms of mental illness. With proper education, I believe the public can make a difference in helping those who suffer. As education improves and patients find proper care, I expect the stigma will decrease. Mental illness should have no more stigma than physical illness, and access to care should be no different.
Suzanne Mailloux is an attorney with over 18 years of experience in business and technology law, graduating from the University of Florida with a JD and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. She is a mother of 2 loving girls and wife to a good and supportive husband. During her life journey she was faced with a mental health crisis with a loved one who struggles with schizophrenia leading her to redirect her passion, career, and caregiving to support her loved one and others challenged with mental illness.
She is now the Program Director for the non-profit organization the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Jacksonville Florida, promoting education, support, and awareness to those living with mental illness. Through her compassion for others, sharing of her life experiences, and bringing awareness to all the challenges of mental health care, she hopes to help tear down the stigma surrounding mental illness and bring awareness for the need of communities to help those living with mental illness to lead valuable and rewarding lives.
Kelly Anderson joined NAMI Jacksonville Florida in January 2018. She was previously a Case Manager at Changing Homelessness where she discovered her passion to advocate and support those living with mental illness. Kelly is dedicated to working exclusively with for purpose organizations. Away from work she enjoys the outdoors and wildlife photography.