Cross Cultural Innovation and Engagement Award – Winner: Babu George Mathew
Babu has been serving on the NAMI Colorado Board Directors from October 2018 – as Vice President in 2019 and as President from January 2020. He is also serving his second term as Secretary on the Executive Committee of the NAMI State Presidents’ Council. Since January 2019, he has been serving as a member of the national Advisory Group of the NAMI Faithnet initiative.
Babu grew up in India. Prior to moving to the U.S.A. in 1994, he had over 2 decades of experience in Sales & Marketing in the Graphic Arts & Printing Industry and, later from the U.S. in Prepress Systems and Semiconductor Packaging Supplies to the Asian Subcontinent and Far Eastern countries.
His lived experience as a family peer from 2010 has given him the calling to be a passionate Mental Health Advocate. Before getting to NAMI in 2015, Babu had collaborated with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), connecting with their Support Groups in the region. Since then, the local NAMI Family Support Group has provided lifesaving support and safe sanctuary for him on this ongoing recovery journey. He is a certified NAMI Family-to-Family teacher and Program Leader for the NAMI Family & Friends. He has completed the Mental Health First Aid training, as well. Babu has been attending the NAMI National Conventions from 2016 and has attended the 2020 CIT International Conference.
For 2 years from 2014, he had led a Refugee Mentoring Project from his church in collaboration with the Lutheran Family Services and the Denver Rescue Mission. He lives in Morrison, Colorado with his wife of 40 years.
Joyce Burland Inspiration Award – Winner: Mary Kay Battaglia
Mary Kay Battaglia, Executive Director of NAMI Wisconsin, graduated with a BS from Texas A&M University. She pursued her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Texas in Houston, while working as a research coordinator at Baylor College of Medicine. She continued her public health career as a Clinical Research Associate for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. While taking a pause from paid professional career to raise three children, her family moved to Alaska and in 2000 landed in Madison, Wisconsin where she became very engaged in volunteering throughout her community. With family members who live with a serious mental illness and her passion for volunteering, NAMI was a perfect fit. Starting in 2016, Mary Kay began her work with NAMI as the Program Coordinator providing support to affiliates, coordinated state training’s and developed several programs. In the fall of 2109, Mary Kay was promoted to Executive Director. Since that time the state organization has grown from 4 to 11 staff, doubled and diversified their budget, while keeping a keen focus on program and advocacy development throughout the state.
Lionel Aldridge Champions Award – Winner: Wendy Bundy
Wendy, a native of Virginia, currently works in state service. Her previous experience includes being a 911 dispatcher for almost 7 years and a dispatch/first responder spouse for over 15 years. She has lived experience with mental health and trauma, some of which comes from her time spent in 911. Wendy holds master’s degrees in criminal justice and library science. Her first master’s degree thesis focused on PTSD and dispatchers. She is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) and state trainer in Virginia for that class. She is active with NAMI as a volunteer, trained to lead/present in many of their programs. She is also a Certified Personal Medicine Coach (CPMC) and trained in Digital Peer Support, Crisis Counseling Assistance, and Stress First Aid, just to name a few. Passionate about advocacy, she enjoys sharing her story/experiences with others so they know they are not alone. Even after leaving the 911 field, she continues to give back to those on the frontlines whenever she can, especially when it comes to promoting the importance of mental health awareness/resources for public safety professionals, especially dispatchers. She just started doing a live monthly recurring segment about wellness on a podcast, Let’s Talk Dispatch, which is geared toward dispatchers. She was recognized earlier this year by the disAbility Law Center of Virginia as an Impact Award Recipient for her advocacy related to this population. When not working or volunteering, Wendy enjoys spending quiet evenings at home with her husband, 4 dogs, and 4 birds.
Outstanding NAMI Affiliate Award – Winner: NAMI Big Island
This award honors a NAMI Affiliate that demonstrates exceptional leadership, strong community presence, outreach to diverse communities and exemplary stewardship of the NAMI mission and Standards of Excellence.
Outstanding NAMI State Organization – Winner: NAMI Missouri