Michele Veenker - Executive Director

Michele was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mother of five children for 16 years before starting on a winding career path that included working her way up from a part-time bank teller to a branch manager, working in the parts department of a car dealership, doing landscape maintenance, and creating pressed flower pictures that she sold at area art shows and harvest fairs.  During this time Michele was an avid volunteer doing work that has included volunteering at the local schools, with her church, as well as for the Organized Citizens of Sandy, Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees, the Morrison Center for Children, and Executive Women International, among others.  

After several years watching both her ex-husband and her daughter struggle with severe mental illness, she started volunteering for NAMI Clackamas, first serving as their Public Policy Liaison and later as a board member.  In the process, she realized that she had finally decided what she wanted to be when she “grew up” and started taking nonprofit management and development courses at Portland State University’s Institute for Nonprofit Management where she earned certification in both.  In 2010, after receiving their first grant and doing an extensive search, NAMI Clackamas hired Michele as their first employee.

Under her leadership, NAMI Clackamas has more than doubled membership; greatly increased program attendance, volunteer engagement, and community outreach;  added several new programs and classes including Basics, Peer-to-Peer Wellness classes, Parents and Teachers as Allies, the Open Minds Open Art Studio, and Peer Resource Connection. She has also been instrumental in bringing In Our Own Voice presentations into area high schools; increasing the number of locations for support groups into Sandy, Milwaukie and Molalla; as well as securing 1200 feet of donated office space for the organization.

Gary Marschke - Outreach & Development Coordinator

A native of Buffalo NY and Portland resident since 1985, Gary has lived in the Concordia neighborhood since 1988. After more than 25 years in media, publishing, and consulting; he launched an encore career in 2000 recruiting volunteers and managing community projects. He launched an encore marriage in 1989, has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren.

A chronic volunteer since being called to service as a fundraiser for “Jerry’s Kids” at the tender age of 8, Gary has been engaged in community service at a variety of levels from picking up trash and planting trees to wrangling volunteers and chairing boards ever since.

Armed with a prolific contact network combined with a passion for making a difference, Gary serves on the Board of Colored Pencils Art & Culture Council, is a founding Executive Team member of the Aging Artfully Initiative, and a member of the newly formed Portland Police Training Advisory Committee along with the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and Age Friendly Portland.

Angie Gallagher - Peer Resource Coordinator

Angie Gallagher is a mental health peer who is ecstatic with the opportunity to accept the position as a Peer Resource Specialist. She has successfully assisted many family members and peers with resources and continues to carry the excitement of assisting in the future. Mental Health is a top priority in her own life and she truly enjoys advocating for others. Angie was our Peer Resource Coordinator previously and found this work truly rewarding and is honored to fill the position.

Angie has received her Peer Specialist Certification. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and camping with great. She has lived in multiple states throughout the years. She resides locally with her family.

America Barazza - Volunteer Coordinator

Native to Oregon, America Barraza has spent her life as a passionate volunteer engaging in critical issues related to hunger, homelessness, and poverty. America is fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language and thrives on sharing her knowledge and love for languages and cultures. Her personal mission is to elevate awareness, and promote involvement and engagement within our community. America is an avid traveler and enjoys all things outdoors. She frequents her favorite trails and summits year-round with her faithful K-9 companion, Bailey.

Gisela Foster - Latinx Outreach Coordinator

When communities connect the sense of life in society change, it is important that we all work together to develop the ability to perceive awareness about mental health.  Gisela’s passion is connecting people through education and public health. She supports communities suffering through a trauma or stressful experience.

Gisela joined NAMI in 2018 and she is coordinating outreach efforts in Clackamas County to provide education about mental health to hundreds of families. Growing up in Central America she embraces  culture and diversity.  Gisela’s background includes a B.A. in Education, experience in mental health, many years as a project manager and teacher in United States. She pursues her passion and dedication to communities providing classes, training and coordinating events for NAMI.

Sierra Blair - Mental Health Awareness Coordinator

Sierra is a recent graduate from Portland State University and received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology this past spring. She has had several years of experience volunteering within her community which gave her the strong ability to connect with a variety of individuals. She volunteered at Providence Milwaukie Hospital in the Senior Psychiatric Unit for 6 months. She was able to assist nurses with patients and connect with the patients on a personal level. Sierra also finished an 11-Week mentor program with the UNCF Portfolio Project in which she was a mentor to high school students and helped prepare them for college applications, and present to professionals. During her time throughout college, she has had the opportunity to hold several different roles that gave her an immense amount of exposure to children, adolescents, teens and adults and their behaviors.


After studying Psychology for 5 years and having a passion for Mental Health Awareness since high school, she was able to host an event in April 2018 that was raising awareness for Mental Health in the Black community. Her excitement to connect with health professionals for this particular event led her to opportunities such as having this role with NAMI-Clackamas County. 


Additionally, she has had experiences with people close to her struggling with Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. With these experiences she became aware of signs and willing to send any assistance and resources when needed. Her energy and willingness to encourage shows she is ready to continue to raise awareness within her community. 


In Sierra’s spare time she practices makeup artistry and will be hosting workshops once a month starting in 2019 that cover self-care, body positivity, self-worth and a live demo of makeup application, she also enjoys traveling when she is able to.

Add some more info about this item...

Please reload


Judge Robert Selander​ - Board President

Senior Circuit Court Judge

Retired as Presiding Judge of Clackamas County, Judge Selander has been instrumental in bringing Mental Health Court to Clackamas County, the first such court in Oregon. A longtime resident of Lake Oswego and proud graduate of the Willamette University College of Law, he is currently Adjunct Professor at George Fox University and principal of Selander Mediation.

Judy Steele - Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy

Nathan Trimpler - Treasurer

US Bank Portfolio Monitoring Analyst

Ashley Carroll - Secretary

Domestic violence and disability program specialist at Multnomah County 

Ashley Carroll was born and raised in Gladstone, Oregon. Ashley struggled with depression, suicidality, self-injury, and bulimia through high school and found the mental health system (even circa the early 2000s) to be desperately lacking in resources for both herself and her family. Falling through the cracks in a broken system ignited a lifelong passion as a mental health advocate. Ashley began her social services career as a volunteer in a domestic violence shelter in 2009. From there she began facilitating a weekly support group through Clackamas Women’s Services and started an internship with Clackamas County – Children, Youth and Families Division. During her four years with Clackamas County, Ashley administered multiple federal grants, managed many service contracts

Members at large:


Laura Canida

Realtor - Sotheby's International Realty

Laura Canida is a new member of the NAMI-Clackamas Board as a Member At Large. She works as an Oregon Realtor® at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty. In 2013, Laura’s son became ill, and ended up in the emergency room for observation.  Three days later, he was admitted and eventually found his way into the mental health system. While trying to navigate through this highly stressful situation, Laura was directed to NAMI for help and guidance. The struggles she has seen her son and many others go through as they travel through the current system have ignited a passion in Laura to support the mission of NAMI so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.

Mary Clark

Retired from Oregon Department of Human Services

Mary Clark grew up in California and attended Willamette University. She has lived in Clackamas County for more than 35 years. Mary recently retired from the Department of Human Services where she worked in direct services, administration and community development for 40 years. The families Mary served experienced many challenges including mental illness, domestic violence, substance abuse, and learning needs in addition to poverty. Mary continues to work as a community volunteer for the Youth Service Provider Network, Hispanic Interagency Networking Team, Children of Incarcerated Parents Committee, and recently joined the board of NAMI. Mary firmly believes that the more collaborative we can be the better we are able to serve our citizens.


Lee Eby

Jail captain at Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

Monica Ford

Social worker specializing in children's services, administration and training

Judie Jamison

Retired worker's compensation claim adjuster at SAIF Corporation


Pamela Blackwell

Transactional Attorney, NAMI Clackamas Volunteer Teacher, Facilitator, & Presenter

Pamela grew up on the east coast. She attended St; Andrews University, Scotland and earned a UK law degree at London Metropolitan and a US law degree at Lewis & Clark. A long-time resident of Clackamas County, Pamela has three children. She has learned to navigate the special education process at local schools.



La'Verne Lynn Adams

Outpatient Quality Manager, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare

La’Verne Lynn Adams was born and raised in New York City to teenage parents in a Domestic Violent relationship where she witnessed the violence and was abused by her mother who also suffered from substance misuse issues. La’Verne herself was diagnosed with Major Depression and Anxiety in 1990 after being hospitalized for a suicide attempt and decided to pursue a career in mental health after her stay on the inpatient unit in which her voice and the voices of the other patients were not being heard.


La’Verne received an Associate’s degree in Community Mental Health from Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY, Bachelor’s degree in Liberals Arts from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA, and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.  La’Verne has worked as a Therapist and holds a license as a Licensed Professional Counselor before moving to the Portland/Clackamas Area in July 2018 and currently works at Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare as an Outpatient Quality Manager.

Eric Blumenthal

Associate vice president  - finance at Portland Community College District

Eric Blumenthal is a financial officer, consultant, and higher education administrator who has served colleges and universities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Oregon. He is past chair of the Pioneer Educator's Health Trust, which is an Oregon Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) providing medical, dental, vision and prescription benefits to employees and their covered dependents at seven local area colleges and universities. In addition, Eric is a site team academy member for the Council on Chiropractic Education and has served as a peer evaluator for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Cathy Bankson

NAMI Clakamas Volunteer Teacher, Facilitator, & Presenter

Nathan Trimpler - Treasurer

US Bank Portfolio Monitoring Analyst

Call us:


Email us:

Find us: 

10202 SE 32nd Ave., Suite 501

Milwaukie, OR 97222

Office hours: 10am - 6pm

© 2015 NAMI Clackamas