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State Officers

Sitaniel J. Wimbley, Executive Director

NAMI Mississippi welcomes Sitaniel J. Wimbley as its new Executive Director. In this role, Sitaniel will continue to work with the NAMI Mississippi Board of Directors, affiliates, community partners and sponsors to improve the lives of persons living with mental illness as well as their families.

Wimbley received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi and went on to obtain her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix in 2006. Wimbley is very knowledgeable of NAMI Mississippi; she has served as Account Manager, Walk Manager, Program Director and Interim Executive Director. Over the last three years, Wimbley has gained extensive knowledge of NAMI and the mental health system. In her learning journey, she has also networked and promoted NAMI Mississippi in many meetings to gain valuable allies along the way. Mrs. Wimbley is devoted to applying her skills, experience, and knowledge to help NAMI Mississippi continue to grow and stop the stigma of mental illness.

Prior to NAMI Mississippi, Wimbley spent years in the banking industry, but she knew that was not her intended calling. Today, she helps to promote mental wellness all over the state of Mississippi. Mrs. Wimbley specializes in helping individuals living with a mental illness to overcome the stigma associated with mental illness. She is no stranger to mental illness and the stigma surrounding it as she was born to a mother who lives with bipolar schizophrenia. She considers herself a proud symbol of her mother’s determination to overcome the stigma.

A native of Natchez, Sitaniel and her husband Jonathan reside in Brandon with their two daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, helping her daughters in various extracurricular activities, and actively learning to practice self-care.

 

 

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Joy Amerson, Account Manager

Joy Brashears Amerson joined NAMI Mississippi as Account Manager in 2019. She graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and from Millsaps College with a Master of Business Administration.  She has 20 years’ experience as an office manager working in her family’s businesses.

As Account Manager, Joy is responsible for the following duties: accounts payable, bimonthly payroll, distributing affiliate reports, membership processing, remitting payroll taxes, processing grant reimbursement request, assisting team members in NAMI Mississippi event planning and production, and attending weekly team meetings.

Joy is a professional actor who has appeared in numerous plays at New Stage Theatre and has been featured in movies and on TV. She also enjoys traveling and photography.

 

Kawanna Jenkins, Education Outreach Volunteer

Kawanna’s professional background includes working with Tyson Foods and The Coca-Cola Company for more than 20 years.

Kawanna has been volunteering with NAMI Mississippi for six years providing assistance to those in need of mental health resources and more. She compiles complete monthly reports to the Mississippi Department of Mental Health that update them on how the organization is meeting annual goals. She is also responsible for various administrative duties in the office.

Kawanna’s hobbies include caring for stray and feral animals, and doing pilates.

 

 

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Claire Keil, Youth Engagement Specialist

Claire Keil, a native of Brandon, Mississippi, is an active member and advocate for the National Alliance on Mental Illness where she currently stands as Mississippi’s State Youth Engagement Coordinator. She actively visits the System of Care sites along with maintaining video and conference calls. She stands as our liaison between the Department of Mental Health and System of Care sites in Hattiesburg and Meridian. She is certified to administer Mental Health First Aid for both Youth and Adults. Since 2006, Claire has been serving as an active volunteer and counselor for the Mississippi Burn Camp Foundation. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology, and is preparing to continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree. Claire is passionate about improving youth mental health and increasing their success rate of overcoming traumatic life experiences.

 

David Shumpert, Office Volunteer

David Shumpert is originally from Itawamba County, Mississippi. He was married for 26 years and fathered three beautiful children. David is currently on worker’s compensation and has agreed to volunteer at NAMI Mississippi through the Ascent Return to Work Program. David is completing a six-month alcoholic recovery program.  He has found that NAMI’s program pairs perfectly with the 12-step programs of Alcoholica Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. David is greatly honored to represent the struggle of suffering with both substance abuse and mental illness, also known as dual diagnosis. The awareness and importance of these issues will be a personal goal of his to bring to light – that there are resources available for anyone impacted by these unfortunate problems.

David answers the phones, checks messages, and sits at outreach tables for the State Office.  He also performs other tasks assigned by the office team.

 

 

Latasha Willis, Peer Community Outreach Specialist

Latasha A. Willis is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics with an emphasis in computer science from Tougaloo College, an Associate of Science degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in media design from Full Sail University. She currently serves as a Community Engagement Specialist for NAMI Mississippi, where she is responsible for graphic design work, web development and social media management.

Latasha was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression in 1999, which led to her becoming a NAMI member in 2005. She was a NAMIWalks team captain for The Church Triumphant Global every year from 2007-2017. She became a NAMI Peer-to-Peer Leader in 2017 and a NAMI Peer-to-Peer State Trainer in 2018.

Latasha works as the social media web services coordinator for the Jackson Hinds Library System, where she is responsible for graphic design work, web development and social media management in addition to press releases and media coverage of library programs.

Latasha is also an entrepreneur. She has operated her graphic design business, Reason to Live Studios, since 2005, and she is transitioning it into a graphic design consulting and education firm. She also owns an online store called The Spinster’s Shoppe, LLC, where she has been selling home décor, jewelry, accessories and more since 2014.

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