NAMI Connecticut Board of Directors

Marisa Walls, President

Katherine Nicoletti, Vice-President

Michele L. Bankowski, Treasurer

Cynthia Randolph, Secretary

Morris Bell, Ph.D.

Torry Bernard

Christina DeFranco

Howard Drescher

Marvin Elbaum

Maybelle Mercado-Martinez

Laura Noe

John Pendleton

Anthony Pierlioni

Howard Reid

Dr. Gary Rhule

Karen Rolen

Otto Wahl

Justyna Wawrzonek

Laura Noe


Some quotes from our Board Members:

As an active practitioner in the field of psychology and mental health, I feel strongly in achieving change in the perception of the public in regards to mental illness. I have embraced that challenge and enjoy the opportunity to apply my knowledge and long experience, along with a deeply felt passion and enthusiasm, in a manner which is beneficial to NAMI Connecticut, its stated aims and our community.  

- Dr. Maybelle- Mercado-Martinez


I chose to serve on the NAMI board because I have witnessed the significant impact that mental illnesses can have on someone’s life.  I am choosing to be the voice for those individuals that cannot advocate for themselves.  I will assist NAMI in reaching out, educating and supporting individuals, families and communities affected by mental illness. Reducing the stigma that is associated with mental illness is a common goal for NAMI. I am honored to be on the NAMI board while serving an important population.

- Kayla Cortes


I am delighted to serve on the board as a representative of the strong link between the mission of NAMI Connecticut and the Yale University Department of Psychiatry.   

- Morris D. Bell, Ph.D., ABPP


I vowed at the start of 2013 that I was going to become an advocate of mental health, behavioral health services and suicide.  My primary focus would be education: educating the public on mental health, the wide spectrum of disorders and the lack of quality mental healthcare for everyone.  My hope is to end the stigma – one person at a time.  NAMI Connecticut can multiply my power of one.  NAMI Connecticut can help me spread the word.  I can become a more meaningful advocate for those who have not yet found their voice with NAMI Connecticut.  Together we can educate the general population, improve access to mental healthcare and help those who need us most.  Together, we can make changes to end the stigma.  Together, we can advocate for those with mental illness. 

- Michele L. Bankowski