Letter from Barbie Collins Young: Transition in Leadership

Transition in Leadership at NAMI Eastside – Barbie Stepping Down as Executive Director

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Executive Director at NAMI Eastside on February 28th. This decision was not easy to make, as I have a deep love and passion for the organization and the work we do. However, after over two years of dedicated service, I have come to the realization that is time for me to step down and make room for new, fresh leadership.

As a leader, I understand the immense responsibility that comes with this role, and I also recognize the importance of taking care of myself and my loved ones. My son is graduating high school this year, and feel it is important for me to be emotionally available to him and my family during this exciting time. Additionally, after working tirelessly to make a difference in our community, I feel that it is now time for me to prioritize some much-needed self-care.

I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished at NAMI Eastside over the past few years. When I joined the organization in 2020, our budget was $250,000 and now, two years later, it has grown to an impressive $822,000. One of our greatest accomplishments was achieving Platinum transparency on Candid. This shows our commitment to transparency and accountability, and I am proud to have been a part of this transition. Additionally, we brought our financials in-house, which allowed us to have greater control over our financial operations and make better informed decisions. Our organization was honored to receive the prestigious nomination for Washington Organization of the Year in 2022, validating that our work in the mental health field is recognized. Another proud moment was the creation of new specialty positions, designed to develop programs for underserved communities. This has allowed us to address important issues and make a positive impact on the lives of those who need it most. Finally, I am proud of the strong strategy we developed to future-proof the organization. By focusing on sustainability and growth, we have ensured that NAMI Eastside will continue to make a difference for years to come.

I hope that you can understand my decision and that I will be remembered as a dedicated leader who put the needs of the organization and its mission first. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served this organization and for the support I have received from everyone involved. Marc Oommen will be serving as the Interim Executive Director starting on Marc 1, 2023. He can be reached at Marc@nami-eastside.org. We will also be hiring a Director of Development & Operations if you know someone who would be a good fit. Job Description I will be supporting Marc in any way I can to ensure that the organization stays strong during the transition. We will work together to ensure a smooth and stable future for everyone involved.