NAMI Central Texas is pleased to welcome our new slate of board members, elected by the membership. A Nominations Committee comprised of Board Members Julie Almendral, Manuel Quinto-Pozos, Leo Paterra as well as Executive Director, Karen Ranus, interviewed several qualified candidates to fill two first-term vacant positions on the Board of Directors. In addition, two current directors who were appointed to fill mid-term vacancies are also on the slate as first term candidates, and they are joined by two current directors who are on the slate as second term candidates.
First Term Candidates
Jorge Almeida, MD, PhD
Jorge is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Medical School and director of the Bipolar Disorder Center at UT Health Austin. He joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Medical School in 2017 and does neuroimaging research focused on the use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to investigate biomarkers of mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder. At the Bipolar Disorder Center, he oversees a specialized, coordinated and competitive out-patient-centered care team that is evidence-based and outcome-driven to achieve higher levels of health care value at a lowest cost. Jorge is a native of Brazil where he completed his medical degree, psychiatric training and a doctorate focusing on neuroimaging. He completed his psychiatric residency training at Brown University.
Courtney Bailey, BA
Courtney is the Director of Issues & Engagement at Leadership Austin where she works to bring diverse people together in meaningful and inclusive ways to address civic issues impacting the Greater Austin region. When she is not leading class dialogues, workshops and panels, Courtney enjoys lending her facilitation and community engagement skills to a number of organizations and initiatives including the Travis County Sheriff Office Building Bridges Community Dialogues (Host/Presenter) and Sundara Yoga Therapy / Overcoming Anxiety Clinic (Faculty). She currently serves on the NAMI Central Texas Board of Directors and was appointed to complete a mid-term vacancy. Courtney is a first-generation college graduate. She received a BA in Political Science and Community Development from Howard University, a historically Black university in Washington, DC.
Michael Cox, MA, LPC
Michael is a Level 2 Certified Restoration Therapist in private practice, a National Trainer for the National Council for Behavioral Health in Mental Health First Aid and has a master’s degree in Counseling. In 2018 he co-founded Whole Life Priorities where he partners with his wife to conduct marriage seminars, coach couples in preparation for marriage and support families seeking to live healthy lives. Additionally, he was ordained into ministry in 2001 and has served as a Youth Pastor, Domestic Missionary, Lead Pastor and as an advisor to and presenter for the Bridges to Hope mental health faith training developed by NAMI Central Texas. Michael received his MA in Counseling from Wayland Baptist.
Brianna McKinney, BA
Brianna is the founder and president of Bloom Communications, an integrated communications agency bridging the gap between the marketing, market research and public relations disciplines. Since 2012, Bloom has provided strategic consulting services exclusively to organizations making an impact in their communities. She currently serves on the NAMI Central Texas Board of Directors and was appointed to complete a mid-term vacancy. Additionally, Brianna serves on the Board of Directors of AGE of Central Texas and is investing her professional volunteer time on two marketing task forces – one for the National Psoriasis Foundation and another for Hand to Hold. In addition to serving in these capacities, she is an active member of Ballet Austin Guild. Brianna went to school to learn how to change the world. She received a BA in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, magna cum laude.
Second Term Candidates
Leo J. Paterra, MBA, CPA
Leo is currently the Director of Accounting & Financial Reporting for the Texas Workforce Commission. Leo has held executive leadership positions in higher education, a publicly traded company and nonprofit organizations. He is experienced in strategic planning and successfully leading organizations through business system improvements and implementing shared services, while maintaining high quality customer service. Leo is passionate about being involved where he can make a difference through time, commitment and leadership. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Paul Trylko, BBA
Paul has more than 40 years of leadership experience in mission-driven organizations and recently retired as President and CEO of Amplify Credit Union. During his tenure with Amplify, he was named “Best CEO” by the Austin Business Awards and “CEO of the Year” by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. Paul served 12 years on the Board of Directors of the Cornerstone Credit Union League, including a term as Board Chair. He was inducted into the Cornerstone Hall of Fame in 2020. Paul is an active Board Member of NAMI Central Texas and a volunteer in other non-profit organizations. Paul is passionate about mental health, having personal family experience and a vision for how communities can better support those with mental illness.