Margaret Elmer - Executive Director
Margaret joined NAMI in 2002 after taking the Family-to-Family class. She has experience as a volunteer for NAMI in three signature programs and in Illinois, Texas and Colorado.
Margaret has a Masters degree in Education Counseling from Southeastern Louisiana University, and a Juris doctorate from Northern Illinois University. "I support NAMI because of its solid programs providing support, education and advocacy in the interests of people experiencing mental illness and their families and loved ones."
Cheri Bishop - Program Director
Cheri discovered NAMI Colorado in 1999 when her 21-yr. old son became ill with schizophrenia. She felt NAMI saved her son’s life and wanted to give back by helping other families living with mental illness. In 1999, she took the Family-to-Family teacher training, the first one ever offered in Colorado. Cheri is also a Family-to-Family state trainer. Twenty years later she is still teaching Family-to-Family. She also facilitates a NAMI family support group twice a month. In 2004 she was hired by NAMI Colorado for the position of Family-to-Family and Colorado Visions Coordinator and was soon managing 9 NAMI Signature programs and 2 NAMI CO programs. Cheri has 2 adult sons diagnosed with mental illness. Her passion lies in assisting and supporting families and individuals living with mental illness and providing them with the knowledge that there is hope for recovery. Contact Cheri at email@example.com.
David Garrity - Volunteer Engagement Coordinator/Social Media
David is the Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at the NAMI Denver affiliate. He is also active answering phone calls for the Helpline and the NAMI Law Line which was re-introduced to Colorado back in July 2017. David handles all of NAMI Colorado's social media endeavors and is an active advocate for mental illness. David is an active "In Our Own Voice" presenter, Connections Facilitator and State Trainer for NAMI Connections. He also helped to spearhead the NAMIWalks campaign in 2018 and 2019 in addition to playing drums with his band during the event. He is an ordained minister and holistic energy practitioner in addition to being an artist and musician. David was diagnosed 6 years ago with Complex PTSD, Dissociation Disorder and severe depression. In addition, he had a 9 lb. thymoma tumor removed from his chest 4 years ago. Since that time, he has battled back and joined NAMI as a part-time employee in February 2017. He is passionate about helping people get well and live a life of their choosing instead of being hopelessly saddled with trauma and mental illness. He loves writing stories, poems and screenplays as well as playing music in 2 bands.Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Athena Kabylafkas- Bookkeeper & Administrative Assistant
Athena has over 20 years of work and volunteer experience in the non-profit, public and private sectors. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from North Carolina State University with a concentration in Finance. Athena decided after battling with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD in her own life, she wanted to give back. She became a volunteer with NAMI Colorado in 2017. She then became part of the staff, and a NAMI Connections facilitator in 2018. She is currently working on authoring a book about manifesting a new life after a crisis. Her commitment is to empower others to successfully achieve their individual ambitions and aspirations. She is especially dedicated to encouraging individuals with mental health challenges, their road to recovery and their families. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois and now lives with her family in Denver, Colorado. Athena’s passions are writing, the arts, photography, animals and spending time in nature enjoying the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Contact Athena at email@example.com.
Brenda Magsamen- Development/Special Projects Coordinator/In Our Own Voice Coordinator
Brenda Magsamen is the current In Development/Special Projects coordinator/Our Own Voice Program Coordinator at NAMI Colorado. She has been involved with fundraising, grant research and reaching out to the community educating about mental health and stigmas as an In Our Own Voice presenter. Before this role, Brenda worked on multiple successful startups for MRI, CAT scan and diagnostic radiology. In Brenda’s spare time she enjoys volunteering for many causes, listening to multiple styles of music, travel and visiting her three incredible children. Contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristin Jones - Assistant Program Director
Kristin has a bachelor's degree in mass communications from Ohio State University. She spent several years in health care sales and marketing, and was then transferred to Colorado; a dream of her's since childhood. Once in Colorado, she became a ski bum and left corporate America to become a professional ski patrol specialist, EMT and also obtained an explosives permit so she could create avalanches before they became a major danger to the public. She volunteered for NAMI for years including working as a co-coordinator of the In Our Own Voice program in Santa Clara, CA. Kristin is now an IOOV (In Our Own Voice) speaker, Connections Facilitator and Peer to Peer Leader in Colorado. She hopes to bring NAMI programs into the state prison systems as mental health is so prevalent among the inmate population there. Kristin loves to travel, is an avid scuba diver and enjoys her first love which is skiing in beautiful Colorado. Contact Kristin at email@example.com