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Dr. Romans has been the Executive Director of NAMI SA for 13 years. During this time, he has increased NAMI SA’s capacity and reach through expansion of NAMI signature programs and increase staff and volunteers. In addition to his role as Executive Director, Dr. Romans has trained NAMI volunteers and staff throughout Arizona in NAMI SMARTS for Advocacy since 2010. He is recognized as an objective spokesperson and expert whose opinions are frequently quoted by the media. Dr. Romans’ education, professional and personal experience make him particularly well suited for the role of reducing stigma and promoting mental health literacy among middle and high school age students. His son was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 16 in 1979. Since that time his family struggled with many of the issues that come with a close family member living with a serious mental illness. From 1982 to 1995 Dr. Romans served on the Board of Directors of Project Hope (a NAMI precursor in northern New Jersey) where he gained insight concerning the availability and delivery of mental health services. Shortly after arriving in Tucson in 1995, Dr. Romans joined the Board of Directors of NAMI Southern Arizona. He served for twelve years on the NAMI Arizona Board of Directors, and has served on the Board of Directors of Mental Health America of Arizona since 2012. Dr. Romans holds a PhD in chemical engineering and has over twenty years of project management experience in major corporations and in his own businesses. He is also an adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Pima Community College.
In her current position, Ms. Cohen is responsible for leadership of Family and Community Medicine’s outreach programs and initiatives. Ms. Cohen has substantial expertise in disability related law and policy including in the behavioral health area. Prior to joining the University of Arizona, she was the executive director for over ten years of the Arizona Center for Disability Law, Arizona's protection and advocacy system for persons with physical, behavioral health and developmental disabilities. For many years, she has served as a consultant to organizations in Arizona and nationally on a wide variety of strategic planning, organizational management and substantive disability issues. She has previously served as President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD); Board President, Primavera Foundation; Board Member, Linkages Arizona and ArSOBO Arizona Sonoran Cross Border Projects for Inclusion.
Following ownership in two Tucson marketing, advertising and public relations businesses, Ms. Godwin played a key role in starting up both for-profit and nonprofit mission-based organizations, including StrengthBuilding Partners, a nonprofit training and coaching organization that works primarily in schools, and Mrs. Green’s World, a multi-media educational resource on environmental sustainability and social justice. For the past two years Ms. Godwin has consulted with NAMI SA, first on creating a marketing plan for the organization, followed by taking a leadership role in the development of the Stigma Reduction and Improved Mental Health for Youth Initiative. She is the mother of a woman with both mental and physical illnesses, and brings her understanding of the challenges family members face in helping their children. As a volunteer Board member, Ms. Godwin chaired the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona Community Investment Team in 2008 when it funded three collaborative groups, each working to create systemic change, in what became the first use of the Collective Impact model of social change in Southern Arizona. Currently she is a member of the Rotary Club of Tucson and a fellow in the Public Voices Fellowship sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona.
Arcelia (Arcy) Cornidez, MBA, has over 11 years of experience in social services, having worked in case management, intensive home visitation, and respite care. She also has over 17 years experience in education, including out-of-school time and during school time settings, and has worked with children, youth and young adults. She has provided training and guidance to community partners on youth friendly referral systems and has presented nationally on engaging youth in foster care and transforming curriculum. Her goal is to help educate and empower children, youth and young adults so that they may live a fulfilling life. Arcy believes that because the youth are our future, it is our responsibility to encourage them to use their voice and recognize the value of impact they can have on the future.
Emily Rorke is a nonprofit professional and advocate with experience working with school-based health centers and person-centered medical homes. Prior to joining Help & Hope for YOUth, Emily was a consultant for NAMI Connecticut working on the Alliance for Children's Mental Health. Emily graduated in 2010 from the University of Arizona's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Originally from Connecticut, she loves living in Tucson and spending time with her grandparents. Emily is a member of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Oro Valley.