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Board of Directors

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.

Dr. Colleen Bell - President

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, Integrated Health at the 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 and medical programs and services. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville.

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.

Zachary Rossley - Treasurer

Zach earned an MBA from Harvard and a BS from the United States Military Academy.  He is the current President and COO of KIPP Jacksonville, Inc. and also a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville. Zach is willing to provide his accounting and business acumen to the board and has a special interest in assisting veterans. 

 

Leigha Tipley - Secretary

Leigha earned her MBA from Jacksonville University and a BA in Business Administration from Westminster College. She works as a Talent Acquisition Partner and focuses on HR project management for The Haskell Company. Currently, she is an active member of the Junior League of Jacksonville and a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
As a presenter for our Ending the Silence program, she has been able to reach many of our youth with her message of recovery. She is looking forward to expanding her role with NAMI Jacksonville.

 

Hayes Basford

Hayes has returned to return to the board after his “retirement” in 2018.  He and his wife Norma have been the guiding lights for this organization for decades; there’s no one with better knowledge of the history of our local affiliate.  His degree in Economics has assisted NAMI Jacksonville over the years with his networking and gift for fundraising. 

Ebony Benjamin 

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.

 

Toni Callahan

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.

Thelmecia Cason

Thelmecia is currently employed with Novitas-Solutions, a subsidiary of Florida Blue and has been employed there for 32 years. She is currently a Senior Operations Analyst. Her position requires her to lead meetings, train and develop work instructions for the users. She, too, is deeply concerned about the stigma that keeps individuals and their families from seeking the help they need.

Tracy Dixon 

Tracy has an MBA and a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from UNF.  She works as a manager and technology consultant for Centric Consulting and is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and is also on the board of the Child Guidance Center. She is willing to use her technological skills to work on reducing the stigma of mental illness. 

Casey Gilbert

Casey has a BS in Psychology and Counseling from Toccoa Falls College.    She is a long-time member of NAMI in Virginia and Florida and is one of our In Our Own Voice trainers and presenters.  She works in many volunteer capacities, including becoming a therapy dog handler and providing herpetological services.  Casey has been instrumental in expanding our local NAMI’s outreach.

Dr. Laura Lane 

Laura Lane worked for 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.

Kent Rutherford

Kent a Graduate of North Dakota State University, served our country for 38 years in the US Air Force as a Fighter Pilot and was the Director of Operations and 125th Operations Group Commander.  He retired from the Florida Air National Guard as Director of Staff Air, and works currently as a consultant and subject matter expert.  He has continued to serve since his retirement from the military as a working advocate for mental health issues, currently on the board of Clay Behavioral Health and coordinating our family support groups.

Kent is a past-president of NAMI Jacksonville.

Tara Wildes - ex officio

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 was certified by the state of Florida in both corrections and law enforcement and continues to an instructor by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission of Florida.   Tara is currently employed as the Reentry and Mental Health Coordinator for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, a consultant on corrections issues with Wildes, Bowen & Associates and as an adjunct instructor with Florida State College at Jacksonville.  She also serves on the boards of Disability Rights Florida, Prisoners of Christ and StopTB USA, representing the rights of the incarcerated population and is an advocate for criminal justice and mental health reform.

Suzanne Mailloux - Executive Director  

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 Executive 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.