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NAMI Missouri names Gena Terlizzi new executive director

Mental illness advocacy group working to expand service to Missourians with mental illness and related conditions


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Aug. 15, 2017) The Missouri chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has named Gena Terlizzi incoming executive director, effective immediately. NAMI Missouri Board President Les Joslyn announced the decision after an extensive search from a large pool of qualified candidates.

“In selecting Gena as the next NAMI Missouri Executive Director, we want individuals with mental illness and their loved ones to know we selected someone who will be a strong advocate for all who are served by NAMI and its mission,” Joslyn said. “Her professionalism, compassion and optimism, plus a proven track record of successful organizing and management experiences will serve our organization well as we continue to focus on providing service in this sensitive and high-need area.”

The announcement comes as NAMI Missouri works to expand services related to suicide prevention, opioid abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others, for affected individuals and their families.

“For individuals living with mental illness, NAMI serves as a beacon of hope and a resource to turn to in times of need and crisis, and I’m honored to join this team,” Terlizzi said. “In keeping with NAMI’s core mission, I will work to sustain and expand outreach and services to individuals facing a wide array of mental illnesses and related challenges. I look forward to working with the individuals, staff, partners, volunteers and supporters who make up the NAMI community.”

Terlizzi proceeds Cindi Keele, who led NAMI Missouri for more than two decades as executive director before retiring earlier this year.

“Cindi has worked tirelessly for more than 25 years to support NAMI’s key mission and improve access to services and quality of live for Missourians living with mental illness across the state,” Joslyn said. “We are deeply grateful for her decades of service and for the many contributions she has made in growing and serving the organization over the years.”

Most recently, Terlizzi served as Director of Communications for the State Auditor’s Office. She has also held leadership positions for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Prior to entering public service, Terlizzi worked as a journalist covering the legislature and public policy in Springfield, IL and Topeka, KS.

NAMI Missouri is a 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization with a focus on eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness through education, advocacy and counseling and support services.

Become a member of NAMI Missouri with your donation of $40 ($60 for a family membership.) For individuals facing financial hardship, our $5 open door membership provides affordable access to NAMI membership benefits. Join here or donate.



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