about NAMI KDK

In 1990, a small group of parents from Geneva and St. Charles came together looking for support and information after their children were diagnosed with a mental health condition.   This small group became the nucleus of NAMI KDK which incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1993.


NAMI KDK has grown to become a strong affiliate whose mission is to provide mental health education, support, and advocacy for individuals, family members, and communities in Kane-so, DeKalb, and Kendall counties. All programs are provided free to the public, and are facilitated by an individual living with a mental health condition,  their family members, or their significant others. 

BOARD OF Directors

Regina Harris, JD: President

Regina has been a practicing attorney since 1989. She commenced her career advocating for the indigent in the offices of the Public Defender in Kane and DeKalb counties, developing interest and expertise in defending the mentally ill. She is now engaged in private practice in Sycamore. Regina volunteers her time with several local organizations, significantly NAMI KDK, which she has served for over a decade. 

liz eakins: vice president

Liz has professionally addressed the needs of the disadvantaged of Kane County since 1995.  Her Human Services career began with Two Rivers Head Start Agency followed by The Tri City Corps of the Salvation Army.  Beginning in 2005 she has since served the homeless and those at-risk through her work at Lazarus House, having assumed her current position as Executive Director in January, 2011.​

Dianne McLaughlin, DNP, RN: treasurer

Dianne McLaughlin has been a nurse for over 40 years. Her clinical areas of expertise are psychiatric nursing and nursing leadership. Ms. McLaughlin has held several leadership positions during her career, including Manager, Director and Chief Nurse Executive. Throughout her career she has demonstrated strength in developing programs and systems with a strong emphasis on clinical excellence. She has demonstrated skills in the areas of strategic planning, finance, staff development and continuous quality improvement. Ms. McLaughlin is thankful to be given the opportunity to serve on the NAMI KDK board.

Judge Judith M. Brawka (retired): secretary

A graduate of Northwestern Law School, Judge Brawka began her legal career in the Kane County Public Defender’s Office in 1978 until her appointment in 1991 as Associate Judge. She was elected Circuit Judge in 2002 by the voters of Kane County, and as Chief Judge in the 16th Circuit by her peers in 2012. During her legal career, Judge Brawka was involved in hundreds of cases where mental health was an issue, and grew to appreciate the important work of NAMI while Chair of the Kane County Mental Health Coordinating Council. Judge Brawka has served on the Board of Directors of NAMI KDK since her retirement from the bench in 2016.

Kathryn Mazurek, PhD, MPH

Kathryn Mazurek joined the Board of Directors in 2019.  She is an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at Northern Illinois University in the College of Health and Human Sciences.  Professor Mazurek also serves as Director of the NIU Survey Research Lab and is involved in various funded research projects including those funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Her research interests encompass areas of health services research and health economics, but the primary focus of her work is in evaluating outcomes and health care utilization for those with depressive disorders.

Kate Fish, L.M.F.T

Kate Fish joined the board in early 2019. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has years of experience utilizing evidence based therapy techniques with young children, families and individuals. She joined the board in hopes of bringing the prospective of a young adult, mental health provider, and a community member who desires to serve individuals with mental illness and their family members. She recently received a Maternal Mental Health Professional Certificate to help women, and mothers especially, who are faced with mental health conditions.

Kim Buckheister

Director of Crisis and Outreach Services

The Association for Individual Development

Kim Buckheister joined the board in May. She has worked in the mental health field for the past 15 years in a variety of areas including crisis assessments and community engagement. She earned her Masters in Public Health from Northern Illinois University and most recently her Masters of Science in Education (Msed) from Northern Illinois University. She recently passed the state exam to hold her professional license of LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). ​Kim joined the NAMI KDK board to continue impacting other’s lives and bring awareness and assistance to individuals and the community.

OFC. Doug Rashkow

Aurora Police Department

Doug has been with the Aurora Police Department for 23 years and has served in Patrol, Community Oriented Policing (12 years) and as a founding detective in the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit.  Doug brought the Crisis Intervention Team to Aurora PD in 2008 and serves as a CIT and CIT Liaison, and has been through the 40 hour CIT Basic,  both 40 hour Advanced CIT  for Youth and Adolescents and Veterans, the 40 hour FBI Basic Crisis Negotiations and PACT Intermediate Crisis Negotiations courses.  Doug is also assigned to the Special Response Team as a Crisis/Hostage Negotiator and serves on the Kane County Mental Health Coordinating Council, The DuPage County Criminal Mental Health Task Force, The Kane County Hoarding Task Force, the Illinois Crisis Negotiators Association Board, and is the president of the Southeast Kane County Triad and Kane County CIT Officer’s Association.

Linsday Liddicoatt, LPC, CADC


Elgin Probation Office Kane County Court Services

Alternative Court, Kane County’s mental health treatment court for the last 5 years. She has been employed with Kane County Court Services for almost 9 years. Lindsey earned a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and currently holds two professional licenses. Besides working in the criminal justice field, Lindsey has professional experience on an inpatient substance abuse unit, in an outpatient mental health setting providing substance abuse counseling in both group and individual settings, and volunteer experience at a domestic violence shelter. Lindsey is committed to work towards ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, and to advocate for those individuals who cannot advocate for themselves.

Jim mcnish

Honorary & Advisory Board Member

Jim was a founding member and past President of NAMI KDK. He has also served  on the NAMI IL Board of Directors. The main focus of Jim's advocacy work has been to create legislative improvements in Kane County. His energy and leadership has contributed to the creation of the Treatment Alternative Court and the beginning of Crisis Intervention Training for local police officers.​

Phyllis Graeser, B.A., M.A.

Honorary & Advisory Board Member

Phyllis is a founding member of NAMI KDK and served as treasurer, president and vice president throughout her time on the board. She retired from the Board of Directors in May 2018 after having been an active member since 1994.  She is a retired school teacher and has years of personal experiences caring for a loved one with a mental illness.

Buzz hays

Honorary & Advisory Board Member

First join NAMI in the 1980s while living in Lake County where she served as affiliate President.  In the early 1990's Buzz moved to Kane County and joined the NAMI KDK BOD as well as the NAMI IL BOD.  Buzz has been an outspoken advocate for mental health throughout her years with NAMI.

Future Board Meetings
Executive DIrector

Laura Martinez

Executive Director

NAMI Kane-south, DeKalb, and Kendall Counties


Laura is bilingual in both English and Spanish. Laura began with NAMI KDK at the end of November 2019 as the Ending the Silence Program Coordinator.  She became the NAMI-KDK Executive Director in February 2020.  She is bilingual- Spanish and English.  Her past experiences serving the community includes a 15-year tenure with Amita Mercy Medical Center as Supervisor of Interpreting and Translating Services and Language Access to Healthcare Program. At Amita Health, she served as Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Vice-Chair of the Patient and Family Experience Council and as a member of the Foundation Special Events Committee. Her community involvement includes: Compañeros en Salud (Partners in Health), United Way, Latino Resource Council, Dominican Literacy, Waubonsee Community College, and Interpreting Leadership Council. She created SHINE (Support for Healthcare Interpreters & Network Enhancement).  Laura has been a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for 9 years.  Laura is a passionate advocate for children and mental health.  

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Program Coordinator

Annie Fish

Program Director/Coordinator

NAMI Kane-south, DeKalb, and Kendall Counties


Annie began with NAMI KDK in August 2019 as an intern involved in support groups, Ending the Silence, Community Outreach, and Volunteer Coordinating.  She became the NAMI-KDK Program Director in March 2020. Annie is earning her MSW at Aurora University and earned her Nonprofit Management, Religious Studies, and International Studies degrees at the University of Iowa. She has been passionate about helping nonprofits, communities, and individuals thrive since she was young. Most recently, she was a Fundraising and Philanthropy Chair fundraising for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for two years while at Iowa. She worked with Student United Way as an ambassador to bridge a gap between the Iowa City Crisis Center and the students that attend the University of Iowa for three years. She currently participates as an active member of the Fox River Valley Initiative, School Community Resource Collaborative for District 308, Department of Equity and Inclusion Board for District 308, and of the Kane County Workgroup for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. Annie is passionate about bringing resources to the community and connecting people to get the support that they need. 

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Business Handshake

Board meetings are open to the public. Please contact us if you wish to attend any one of our future meetings. 

Meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month in the
Conference Room located within the 
INC Board Office Building at
400 Mercy Lane, Aurora, IL 60506 

June 23, 2020

July: No Meeting

August 25, 2020

September 22, 2020

October 27, 2020

November 24, 2020

December: No Meeting

January 26, 2021

February 23, 2021

March 23, 2021

April 27, 2021

Annual General Mtg: May 11, 2021

May 25, 2021

June 22, 2021

No matter what climate the world is in, mental health and wellness is our priority, time and time again.
Antonita King, Outreach Liaison.