After 6 years of being on NAMI Seattle’s board of directors (and 4 of them as treasurer), it is with bittersweet sentiment that I announce by the end of 2020, I will reach the end of my term limits in accordance with NAMI Seattle’s bylaws that were in place when I began board service.

Our team has accomplished much over the past six years. As the Seattle branch of the largest grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the nation, we serve thousands of individuals and families in King County affected by severe mental illness by providing support, education, and mental health support lobbying efforts.

As an educator, friend, and family member of many individuals affected by mental illness, being on NAMI Seattle’s board has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life and is an experience I highly recommend to others. I am proud of the milestones the teams I’ve served on have accomplished (including but not limited to screening and hiring NAMI Seattle’s first Black executive director and launching our new corporate mental health education program) and am excited to see what they will accomplish in the future. I am very happy to say that I am leaving board leadership with one of the strongest boards we’ve had since I’ve joined, including but not limited to Eli Lieberman, my friend and colleague on the finance committee who will help ensure the transition from my departure from the board will be as smooth as possible.

Even though my term limits are up, my work with NAMI Seattle has not ended. I have already given the current board my assurance that I will continue to be a resource for them as a nonvoting board emeritus to prevent NAMI Seattle from losing the institutional knowledge that I’ve gained over the past decade as a volunteer. I will also volunteer and fundraise in various other capacities as needed, as we all have seen the need for our mental health services increase exponentially with the pandemic.

Thank you all again for your support for NAMI Seattle and what we do.

Laura Umetsu

Treasurer, NAMI Seattle

Laura Umetsu is a local attorney and educator who was on NAMI Seattle’s board of directors from 2014 to 2020. She is excited to continue to assist in fundraising for NAMI Seattle, both individually through using Facebook’s fundraising tool (which helped her raise hundreds of dollars in just a few hours for Giving Tuesday 2020) and collectively through corporate trainings. As an educator, she is excited to continue to collaborate and partner her communications course with NAMI Seattle to capture and publish stories of the wonderful ways that NAMI Seattle is impacting the community. If you are interested in volunteering with Laura, see NAMI Seattle’s get involved page.