National Council Names New Regional Directors

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 2, 2024) — The National Council for Mental Wellbeing today announced the appointment of newly elected members to its board of directors.

“I want to thank the outgoing members for their work and dedication. Serving on the board requires a major commitment of time and effort, and I’m deeply appreciative for their service to the National Council and our members,” National Council President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia said. “I also want to welcome our new board members. I look forward to working and collaborating with this impressive group of leaders.”

Five new regional directors were elected:

  • Debbian Fletcher-Blake, MSN, APRN, FNP, will return for a second term as regional director for Region 2 (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands). Fletcher-Blake is CEO of VIP Community Services (Bronx, New York).
  • Dimitrios Cavathas, MSW, LCSW, was elected as regional director for Region 3 (District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia). Cavathas is the CEO of HealthPort (Salisbury, Maryland).
  • Melissa Larkin-Skinner, MA, MBA, LMHC, was elected for a second term as regional director for Region 4 (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee). Larkin-Skinner is president of CASL, Inc. in Sarasota, Florida.
  • David Ley, PhD, ABPP, will serve a second term as regional director for Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas). Ley is executive director of New Mexico Solutions in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Richard Whitaker, PhD, was re-elected for a second term as regional director for Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska). Whitaker is CEO of Vera French Community Mental Health Center in Davenport, Iowa.

In addition, Kyle Kessler, MPA, was re-elected as the 100% State Association representative to the board. Kessler is the executive director of the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas (a 100% Association member) in Topeka, Kansas.

We are also grateful to the following individuals — who completed their terms on the National Council board on June 30, 2024 — for their contributions and service:

  • Carl Clark, MD, who served as an at-large director. Clark is the president and CEO of WellPower in Denver.
  • Mark Fontaine, FADAA, who served as an at-large director. Fontaine is an executive advisor to the Florida Behavioral Health Association in Tallahassee.

The terms for all newly elected members of the board of directors began July 1, 2024.


About The National Council

Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,400 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 3 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.

Media Contact

Sophia Majlessi
Media@TheNationalCouncil.org 202-621-1631