The History of the "CAP"


In The Beginning:

The Council of Affiliate Presidents was an concept presented to the Affiliate Presidents of NAMI North Carolina in April of 2017. The premise was to create a more stable meeting platform along the lines of the then "Consumer" Leadership Council. The Council of Affiliate Presidents or CAP, as it became to be called, would have its own elected Executive Committee and a permanently appointed member to the North Carolina State Board of Directors. In doing this, the Affiliate Presidents would now have a permanent advocate and a bigger hand in addressing the problems of the individual Affiliates, their Consumers and their Family Members with NAMI North Carolina.

A Year of Frustration and Fruition:

The Council of Affiliate Presidents officially began with an election of the first Executive Committee on July 3, 2017. The first act of the new Executive Board was to individually contact all the sitting Affiliate Presidents and gauge their feelings about the CAP and the state of NAMI North Carolina in general. It was not an auspicious start. Many of the Affiliate Presidents were dubious of the mission of the CAP as the relationship between the Affiliate Presidents and State Office/State Board of Directors was contentious at best.

All this would begin to change in Spring of 2018. With the Presidents being heard through the CAP and a number of NAMI North Carolina veterans forming the advisory group, "The Friends of NAMI", a new State Board of Directors election was held and a new State State Executive Director was also appointed. The new administration put a great emphasis on repairing the disconnect between the Affiliates and the State.

Finally, at the State Conference of October of 2018, the Council of Affiliate Presidents was officially codified into the by-laws of NAMI North Carolina and a CAP representative was now a permanent member of the State Board of Directors.

Re-Certification and Re-Organization of 2019:

NAMI affiliate re-certification was a process that was suppose to have been all but completed by the summer of 2017. It was not! NAMI North Carolina had 30 Affiliates in the Summer 2017. Many of these Affiliates were in danger of becoming extinct because of a combination of lack of information and lack of interest by some to keep these affiliates viable. Many of those involved in the "Standard of Excellence" program from 2014 were beginning to become involved with the CAP and the Friends of NAMI. The overwhelming consensus of the Presidents was to unite to help each other and save NAMI in North Carolina.

Re-Certification became the Number One priority of the CAP. The monthly meetings were dominated by discussions on the subject. Working with the State staff and the State Board the information needed was getting out to the Presidents. It was the Presidents from some of our smaller and younger Affiliates that stepped up and sat on the phone, or on the computer or went to the Affiliates in person to assist. The final push came at the Fall Leadership Conference. Many of the CAP members worked information stations and spurred on those Affiliates that were lagging behind.

After all the hard work by State Staff, CAP Members, Friends of NAMI and with assists from NAMI in Arlington, NAMI North Carolina started 2019 with 25 strong Model A Affiliates!

Our Continuing Mission:

Community Inclusion, Organizational Growth, Strategic Planning and re-tooling of Signature Programs are just a few the the projects that our Affiliates will be facing in 2019 and beyond. As the Council of Affiliate Presidents, our continuing mission will be , as always, to be the champions of NAMI North Carolina's most dedicated volunteers...The Affiliate Presidents!

Diane Krisanda

NAMI South Mountains, NC

President 2018 - Present

Richard A. Callahan

NAMI Johnston County, NC

Vice President 2017 - Present

Mary Ann Widenhouse

NAMI Haywood, NC

Secretary 2019 - Present

Alicia Graham

NAMI Durham

CAP President 2017-2018


Diane Krisanda

NAMI South Mountains, NC

CAP President 2018 - Present