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Board Members and Officers – 2018

Meet the Nami West LA Board of Directors

Joe PicJoe Conrad

Joe Conrad has provided exceptional service to NAMI for more than ten years. In addition to serving as President of the San Fernando Valley affiliate for two years, Joe served as President of LACC for three years. Joe and his wife Lynn successfully increased membership of the San Fernando Valley affiliate, and the number of Family to Family courses from an average of three per year to six, and built a foundation that that affiliate has propelled it to become a leading affiliate in LA County.

Joe has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of NAMI WLA since January 2014, and was elected as a Vice President.

Sharon Dunas
VP Membership

Sharon has unselfishly provided leadership and exceptional services to the community via NAMI WLA for more than twenty years, having taught various NAMI courses to hundreds of members of the community, as well as teaching new teachers. She took the lead in reorganizing NAMI WLA in 2007, recruiting seven people to serve on the initial Board as well as a dozen or more to fill subsequent vacancies. Sharon has also recruited two speakers every month for our Speaker Meetings for ten years.

In addition to chairing the Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013, Sharon served as President of the affiliate from its reorganization until 2013, and also served for several years as our representative to the Los Angeles County Coordinating Council of NAMI (LACC), and served as its President for three years. Sharon has been the top “Team Captain” fundraiser for the annual NAMI Los Angeles County Walk for many years.

Shelley Hoffman

Shelley is the Manager of NAMIWalks Los Angeles County — the signature fundraiser and anti-stigma campaign for the 12 local affiliates of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the County. She came to NAMI in 2001 and soon became a Family to Family Teacher, Support Group Facilitator, Provider Education Course for Clinicians Teacher, and a State Trainer of Teachers for the Provider Education Course, and Coordinator of many Provider Education Courses held throughout the County. In addition to working full time as NAMIWalk Manager, she runs a Parent Support Group for Daniel’s Place, a program of Step Up On Second. Shelley previously served on the NAMI Westside Los Angeles Board of Directors starting in 2005 for many years, as Treasurer and then Secretary.

Dorit Haroni

Dorit has established NAMI Los Angeles Instagram profile. She’s responsible for the profile maintenance and daily updates.  In a very short period of time NAMI Instagram profile has surpassed a thousand followers with hopes of rapid growth in the future.  Dorit is dedicated to helping raise money for NAMI and awareness about mental illness.  Happily married wife and a mother of four children, Dorit immigrated to the US at the age of 14. She graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and proceeded to get her Masters in Structural Engineering from Stanford University.

a-02-nye-2003Duane Bentzen

Duane has been a NAMI member for twelve years, served on the Board of NAMI Ventura county  for five years and was Board President for three years.  He teaches NAMI Family-to-Family and Provider Education classes and is a NAMI Group facilitator.

He also performs IT support and does Website development for a number of non-profit organizations in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties including The Client Network, NAMI Westside, NAMI Ventura, Musicians on a Mission, Rock for Recovery and Feed America Now.  Duane is excited to have the opportunity to be a member and to work with Joe and Lynn Conrad, Adaline and Ralph Fagen, Sharon Dunas, Mitzi Wright, Robin Broidy and David Wright, and to work to restore and increase the level of services to the Westside community.

Adaline Fagen
Chair of Fundraising

Adaline Fagen has been involved with NAMI WLA since 2007. Adaline is chair of the Fundraising Committee which is responsible for our annualGala. She and her husband Ralph are Family-to-Family teachers. She is committed to growing the membership of the affiliate and effecting major change in her communities attitude toward brain illness. She has taken the pledge to fight stigma.

Cynthia BrownCynthia Brown, PsyD, LMFT

Cynthia is and has been a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist for individuals, couples and families since 1991.  She works in private practice in Santa Monica, California.  Additionally, since 2007, she provides intensive psychological treatment and case management for people diagnosed with trauma, and severe, persistent mental illness at the residential psychiatric facility, Bridges to Recovery. NAMI became an essential support for her and her family during her son’s psychotic break in 2010 and later during his recovery. Cynthia welcomes the opportunity to give back to NAMI and provide her expertise in whatever capacity can be best used.



mitziMary Sue Wright

Mitzi Wright has been a member of NAMI WLA for 15 years and was one of the seven individuals who completely reorganized and revitalized the NAMI WLA affiliate in 2007. Mitzi previously served as a member of NAMI WLA Board for six years, and served as a Walk Captain 11 years. Her team has always been one of top fundraisers for LA County.

Mitzi represented Westside LA on the NAMI WALK committee for four years, and organized Kick-off Luncheons with other team captains. Mitzi completed training to be a support group facilitator, and has served as a facilitator for 5 years. She also served on a committee that organized Luncheon and Fashion Show in 2013 that raised over $20,000.

Frances Tibbits

Frances is 2nd Vice President of NAMI WLA. She joined NAMI 15 years ago. As a Board member of NAMI California for six years, she served as Vice President, Treasurer, and on the legislative committee. Frances is a retired attorney, who has been active in local environmental causes.


Ralph FagenRalph Fagan

Ralph has been an active member of NAMI Westside LA since 2007. Ralph has been a Family-to-Family teacher since 2008 and has assisted over 100 individuals to better understand, cope with, and support loved ones afflicted with mental illness. He has mentored new Family-to-Family teachers while leading a number of family support groups.

Ralph became a Smithsonian Laureate in 2000, for his work with at risk children.