Mental health adovcacy group in Baltimore names new executive director

The Baltimore affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore, will name Kerry Graves as the organization’s new executive director Thursday morning.

Graves, whom will start Nov. 15, is succeeding outgoing executive director Sherry Welch, who joined NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore in 2014.

Identified after a national search, Graves has been the vice president for development for the DC/MD/VA chapter of the ALS Association.

“Given Kerry’s experience working for organizations with a focus on health advocacy, she is uniquely qualified to continue to foster NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore’s reputation as a leading agency in the Baltimore area for outreach and community service,” said Lawrence S. Conn, president of the affiliate’s board of directors, in a statement. “There’s never been a greater need for our services than now, and Kerry’s strategic fundraising experience will be critical in taking NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore to the next level.”

Graves will manage the organization’s day-to-day operations and serve as the chief liaison with government officials, media, community organizations and others.

During her tenure, Welch oversaw a doubling of the number of people served by the mental health advocacy organization and quadprupled the number of volunteers.

“Sherry put her heart and soul into NAMI, and the organization has seen significant growth as a result of that,” Conn said.

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