Meet Our Board & Staff
Sheila Harris, NAMI Alaska Volunteer Executive Director
For over 20 years, Sheila has worked and volunteered with NAMI Alaska. In August 2017, she was appointed as Volunteer Executive Director. In addition, she continues to serve as the state-wide Program Manager, and handle the finances to ensure that NAMI Alaska can fulfill its mission of support, education, and advocacy. Sheila is a lifetime Alaskan and owns a small bookkeeping business that supports non-profit mental health organizations throughout Alaska. Sheila has a particular passion for NAMI's work as she has personally experienced the devastating impact that untreated mental health disorders can have on people directly affected, their family, friends, and loved ones. She hopes that her work as Volunteer Executive Director can lead NAMI Alaska to a place where they can hire a full-time Executive Director.
Dick Fagnant, Board President and Treasurer
Dick came to Alaska in 1971 as a Jesuit Volunteer teacher where he met his wife, Debbie. After 40 years of teaching, he retired to pursue other passions including volunteer work, travel, teacher mentoring, and ceramics. Dick and Debbie have three wonderful children and often go south to visit them and their grandchildren. Dick is a NAMI Family-to-Family teacher and state teacher trainer. He is committed to helping build community awareness, support, and compassion for those struggling with mental illness, knowing that there is hope for them to live fruitful and meaningful lives.
Shirley Holloway, Board Vice President
Longtime Alaska educator whose career includes teacher, teacher of the deaf, principal, superintendent, college professor and president and a former State of Alaska Commissioner of education. Dr. Holloway continues to provide consulting services through her business called Leadership for Excellence. Her passion for education, support, and advocacy for individuals living with mental illness and their families is based on her lived experience and the loss of her beloved daughter Kathleen.
Lily Werts, Board Secretary
Lily Werts is a lifelong Alaskan resident. As a person who experiences mental illness, she is honored to have the opportunity to give back to her peers. When she's not attending board meetings or coordinating training sessions, Lily designs sound for local theatre productions, enjoys creative hobbies, and plays a variety of games with friends.
John Hartle, Board Past President
John was a lawyer with the City and Borough of Juneau for many years before retirement. His work with NAMI Juneau has focused on advocacy and he is committed to ensuring that those persons who are impacted by mental illness have access to adequate treatment and resources. John serves as the Advocacy Chair and is the past Board President of our state organization, NAMI Alaska.
Sharon Denton, Board Member
Sharon is an advocate for peers after experiencing the debilitating effects of bipolar disease when she turned 60 yr. old. After ten years, through the help of doctors, family, friends, NAMI, and her own research, she's in recovery and able to reach out to her peers. She is the secretary of the Peer Council, Alaska's representatives to the NAMI Peer Leadership Council, and a facilitator for the biweekly Connection Support Group. She taught elementary education for 25 years and had to retire because of her illness. She's now working part-time teaching elementary students who struggle with reading. She especially enjoys being with her three grandsons and exercising almost every day. Wellness is wonderful!
Nicholai Hoefferle, Board Member
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