Mark Richardson, Ph.D. – Executive Director
Mark A. Richardson, PhD is the former Director of the K-12 Collaborative at the University of Richmond and the founding Chief Executive Officer of Communities in Schools of Petersburg. Dr. Richardson’s previous experiences include tenures as Assistant Professor at Virginia State University in the Department of Teaching and Learning and Coordinator for Programs for Adults in Vocational Education (PAVE) at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, where he directed and managed the development, evaluation and implementation of post-secondary vocational programs for students with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Richardson has had a longstanding commitment to working with students and adults with mental illnesses. Prior to joining the team at NAMI Central Virginia, he worked as a Supported Employment Counselor, Community College Connection Specialist and Behavioral Consultant with Richmond Public School and Virginia Commonwealth University. His research interests include African American mental health, ex-offender rehabilitation, the disproportionate disability labeling of minority students, universal design for instruction in the classroom and the effective use of special accommodations in post-secondary environments.
Jeff Conley – Program Coordinator
Mr. Conley attended Christopher Newport University and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. Jeff joined NAMI-CVA in 2013 after learning that some of his friends and acquaintances were personally affected by mental illness; some dying by suicide. Since joining NAMI-CVA, Jeff has completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), NAMI Smarts Advocacy training, Youth Mental Health First Aid Mentor Training, and the Duke University non-profit management Certificate offered thru the Cameron Foundation. Jeff has provided mental health and suicide intervention presentations at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Occupational Therapy, Elephant Insurance, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Managers Association, the Health Planning Region IV Peer Recovery Conference, and many other venues. Today, Jeff coordinates consumer and family members programs and represents NAMI-CVA at stakeholder meetings, local health fairs, and regional health summits.
Alison Carlin – Administrative Assistant
Alison Carlin received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. Prior to joining the staff at NAMI Central Virginia, Alison worked for animal welfare nonprofits in Virginia for nearly nine years. Her work’s focus was on the people part of animal shelters: managing various operations-driven departments from volunteer programs to event planning to humane education and more. Alison’s passion for charitable work and commitment to her community led her to NAMI-CVA, where she is now responsible for providing administrative support to the group.