Meet Our Board

Mark DeRubeis, President 2019-2022

Mark DeRubeis has been a Board Member of NAMI Blair County PA since 2016. Mark’s employment history has spanned the continuum of care in the mental health field. He has over 25 years of experience as a provider behavior modification programming, mental health therapy, and clinical services to children, families, schools, support systems and stakeholders. Since 2013 he has been primarily employed at the Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 as an Educational Consultant where his primary duties include interagency coordination, behavioral consultation, and the provision of technical support to schools on the implementation of state initiatives in the areas of behavior and mental health. Mark is also an adjunct professor at the Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Mark possesses a number of credentials. He holds Master’s Degree in Community Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. Mark is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Board Certified Behavioral Analyst. In the state of Pennsylvania, Mark is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Behavioral Specialist. Mark is also a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer, Non-Violent Crisis Prevention trainer, and Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention trainer. In addition to his professional obligations and spending time with his family, Mark is a volunteer youth sports coach and avid runner.

Amanda Doehrer, Vice President 2021-2024

Amanda is an advocate for reducing mental health stigma and a mother of two. She has 7 years experience as a direct mental health care provider and administrator. She has lived experience in her own mental health journey while walking with various members of her family in theirs.

Currently, she is serving her first term ad Vice-president of the NAMI Blair County board, and second year as a board member. She volunteers as a teacher for our Family to Family course and co-facilitates the Family Support group.

Christina Light, Secretary 2022-2025

Christina has been a volunteer with NAMI Blair County since 2018, serving as secretary since 2020. She has previous experience supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She spends her free time outdoors participating in various activities and she loves to read.

Pamela Townsend, Director 2018-2021

Pam Townsend has worked in the mental health field for the past 26 years. She has worked at an inpatient unit at Bon Secour Hospital. She also worked with adolescents who suffered from behavioral health conditions through skills. Pam currently works at Peerstar as a certified peer specialist and field supervisor. She is also currently serving as the executive director of the Hope Drop-In Center in Blair county, established in 2014.

Pan has a bachelors degree in psychology from Penn State and a masters degree in pastoral theology from Kingswood University. Pam is the lead pastor at The Cord Church. She has served on the NAMI board of directors since 2015. Pam is a facilitator of the following NAMI programs: Peer-To-Peer Course and In Our Own Voice and is mental health first aid certified. She is currently active with CSP as past co-chair.

Christine Benzel, Director 2019-2022

Christine is a life long resident of Blair County and has worked in the mental health field for 20 years. The majority of her career was as a crisis clinician with UPMC Altoona. She is a graduate of Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in Education and is a certified teacher grades Kindergarten through sixth grade. Her most recent employment opportunity is as a Co-Responder with the Harrisburg City Police where she rides with police officers responding to behavioral health calls. Christine loves spending time with her family and friends.

Julie Waite, Director 2021-2024

Julie Waite has been a Board Member of NAMI Blair County PA since 2021. She has over 23 years of experience in the mental health field wearing many hats as a direct care professional and Supports Coordinator for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, a Crisis Counselor, and a Program Director for Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS). Julie began her career working as a direct care worker for Skills of Central PA for several years while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University. Upon graduation, she began working as a Supports Coordinator for Northstar Support Services helping to develop plans and resources to aid in people living an everyday life. Julie worked as a Crisis Counselor for 13 years as well as on the mental health inpatient unit at UPMC Altoona. Since 2019, Julie has been employed as the Program Director for IBHS at Blair Family Solutions where duties include administration of the program, interagency/school collaboration, and implementation of state regulations regarding IBHS. Julie has a background and training in Disaster Crisis Outreach and Referral Team (DCORT) and Trauma First Aid. She’s been a front-line responder to many incidents in Blair County since 2005. Julie resides locally with her husband and three daughters. She’s actively involved in their sports, boosters, and other school activities.

Shannon Flanagan, Director 2021-2024

Shannon Flanagan, LSW has been a Board member of Blair NAMI since 2021. She has a 15 year background working in the mental health field. She holds a degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State and a Master of Social Work from Temple University. She has worked several positions through Blair Family Solutions throughout the years including: Therapeutic Support Staff, Mobile Therapist, Behavioral Specialist Consultant, Outpatient Therapist, and IBHS Clinical Director. She has extensive experience working in a school setting with students, staff, and families having led a Community and School Based Behavioral Health program. She is certified in Sand Tray Therapy as well as Trauma Focused CBT. Shannon recently accepted a position as a District Social Worker for Tyrone Area School District. She resides in Altoona and enjoys spending time with her family and vacations to the beach.

Sunday Leaper, Director 2022-2025

Sunday A Leaper is currently working in a powder metal plant in Clearfield County. She is also a Pennsylvania certified peer specialist. She volunteers for Central Pa Autism community and NAMI Blair county PA. She is trained in NAMI Family-to-family and Peer-To-Peer courses. Sunday is currently taken a course to become a volunteer crisis counselor .

Sunday has struggled with mental health herself since 2005 after being in Torrance state Hospital. She has come such along way and learned what it is like to grow in the mental health systems and how broken it can be. She wants to be able to give back to her communities and help others in need and share her story to give them hope and courage to walk the path to recovery from mental health . Sunday wants to be sure that no one to feels like they have no support. She wants to help fix the broken systems with in the communities and educate others about Stigma within the mental health.

Sunday is a wife and mother of three special needs children and a step mother. She enjoys spending time not just with her family but also attending charity events. She loves taken care of her family and her animals. She enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband and friends.

Nikki Coleman, Director 2022-2025

Nikki B. Coleman is a passionate advocate for the betterment of all people. She has over 30 years of experience working with and in the community in various capacities

Nikki is a newly elected member to the NAMI PA Blair County Board of Directors. Miss Coleman has been volunteering with NAMI PA Blair County for over a year and currently seeking training for the Peer-to-Peer and Family-to-Family courses. Nikki brings to the table, her experience working on the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation Board of Directors, a community-based and board driven, Non-Profit organization whose main goal is to get as many people in the community as possible to participate in efforts aimed at physical revitalization, an improved economy, and strengthened well-being. During her time there she was able to create and implement a summer reading program for the youth in the community. She also served and exhausted her term on the Child Advocates of Blair County’s, a private, nonprofit, community-based organization founded in 1982 that provides high quality programming focused on the total needs of the family, Policy Council. During her time on the Policy Council, she served on various committees and participated in event planning.

Coleman is a mother of one adult daughter that has struggled with mental health issues since the age of 5 years old, her partner, William also struggles with various mental health issues & she is recently diagnosed with mental issues. She is excited about this new chapter in her life and wants to normalize conversations surrounding mental health issues.

Coleman holds two Associate Degrees from South Hills School of Business and Technology. Both are in business administration, (Administrative Professional 2011 & Business Administration—Management & Marketing). She is currently working on her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership (B.S.O.L.) from Saint Francis University.

Joshua Krider, Director 2022-2025

Josh is a first-time board member and is excited about helping others with mental health concerns. Josh has a duel diagnosis of mental illness and substance use. He has been walking on a path to recovery, during this journey, Josh was able to obtain his certification to become a Certified Recovery Specialist. He is the father of three children and has lived in Blair County his whole life.

Josh is passionate about the homeless and recovery communities in Blair County and spends a lot of time doing outreach and connecting others with services. He is the Deputy Director of BEN Blessed, a homeless outreach ministry in Altoona. He also runs the day-to-day operations. Josh is the Central Pennsylvania Representative for the PA Harm Reduction Network. He takes pastoral classes at Kingswood University. Josh also loves to spend time with animals, particularly his dogs

Are you interested in becoming a member of our Board of Directors? Click here to download a a board member application: NAMI Blair County Board of Directors Applications Return completed applications to NAMI Blair County PA PO Box 3155, Altoona, PA 16601 or email it to