Press Releases

Texan Chosen for Additional Term as NAMI President

Connecticut, Ohio Advocates Elected to National Board

Jul 07 2000

Arlington, VA - Delegates to the national convention of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in California on June 14-18, 2000, elected two new members to the organization's board of directors, as well as re-electing the organization's incumbent president.

The new board members, Betsy Smith and Gloria Walker, will serve for three-year terms, while NAMI President Jacqueline Shannon will serve an additional year-long term.

Shannon, a former educator from San Antonio, Texas, has served on NAMI's Board since 1995. The mother of a son diagnosed with schizophrenia 15 years ago, Shannon is a for appropriate treatments and adequate mental health services. As president, Shannon helps to shape NAMI's public policy agenda and the organization's advocacy efforts.

"I am honored to serve another term as president, and to welcome two exceptional advocates as new members to NAMI's board," Shannon declared. "We now face major challenges for the future. NAMI's members and leadership will benefit greatly from the collective experience and perspectives that each of bring to our cause."

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots organization dedicated to research, education, advocacy and support of persons with mental illnesses. With more than 210,000 members and 1,200 affiliates nationwide, NAMI's board consists of a total of sixteen directors.

The New Directors:

Betsy Smith of Sharon, Connecticut: Governor's appointee on the State Board of Mental Health and Addiction Services, member of the Connecticut Mental Health Planning Council, and former President of NAMI Connecticut, Smith is the mother of a daughter with mental illness. She currently acts as NAMI-CT's representative on Connecticut's Task Force on Seclusion and Restraints, and as a new board member of PLAN of Connecticut, which assists families of the disabled with estate-planning. In the past, Smith has held a position on the board of Prime Time House and served for eight years on her county's mental health planning council, three of those years as chairman. A writer by profession, Smith also is the author of a dozen published books for young adults.

Gloria Walker of Cincinnati, Ohio: President of NAMI Ohio, and mother of a son with mental illness, Walker has served as a NAMI Ohio Board Member for nine years. She has served on the board of QCM Mental Health Services in Cincinnati for ten years, the past four as vice president. She is also a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Pauline Warfield Lewis Center, a state hospital operated by the Ohio Department of Mental Health. After a twenty-one year career with General Electric, Walker created her training firm, GW Consulting & Education Services, which designs and conducts human resource training and development. She is a leading member of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Institute for Small Enterprise (CISE).