FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2017
Karen Gromis, Deputy Director
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts Names New Executive Director
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts, (NAMI Mass), one of the State’s leading voices on mental illness, announced this week that it has selected Cheri Andes as the organization’s new Executive Director. The announcement follows a rigorous six-month search undertaken after previous Executive Director Laurie Martinelli’s announcement that she was stepping down. NAMI Mass Deputy Director Karen Gromis assumed the position of Acting Director since Ms. Martinelli’s departure at the end of May.
“We are delighted to have found a new Executive Director with the leadership, commitment and executive experience of Ms. Andes,” said Tom Scurfield, President of the NAMI Mass Board of Directors. “This is a critical time in our state and in our nation when it comes to our mental health care. We are confident that Ms. Andes can work with our Board, our staff, our volunteers and affiliates to help fight for true mental health parity and the de-stigmatization of mental health conditions.”
“NAMI Mass has a long history of education, support and advocacy on behalf of all those affected by mental illness in the Commonwealth, and I cannot wait to join this dynamic team,” said Ms. Andes. “It won’t be easy to face the challenges confronting people with mental health diagnoses in the 21st century, but I feel confident that NAMI Mass is the organization to lead this effort and I couldn’t be happier to be part of their mission, vision, and values.”
“Ms. Andes has the background and acumen to lead and strengthen a membership-based, grassroots organization such as NAMI Mass,” continued Tom Scurfield. “She led the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) for nine years and is widely credited with spearheading the organization’s significant contribution to passing health care reform in the State. She is also credited with leading a grassroots process for defining what affordable and quality coverage would look like for the state’s poorest residents.”
Most recently, Ms. Andes has worked as the Director Of Organizing Strategy with Leadership for Educational Equity, helping to found and mentor new educational equity organizations in New York, Connecticut, and Boston. She holds a BA in English from Bucknell University and an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College. She will assume her position as Executive Director of NAMI Mass on November 8, 2017.