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Aurora, IL 60506



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© 2020 by 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. 

Regina Harris, JD

Attorney at Law, Sycamore, IL

Regina has been a practicing Illinois attorney since 1989.  She previously worked as a public defender in Kane and DeKalb Counties. She is now in private practice in Sycamore. Regina volunteers with several local organizations and has volunteered with NAMI KDK for over 10 years.

Dianne McLaughlin, RN, BSN, MSN, DNP

Service Line Director for Behavioral Health at Presence Mercy Medical Center

Dianne McLaughlin is currently the Service Line Director for Behavioral Health at Presence Mercy Medical Center, and has been a nurse for over 35 years. Her clinical areas of expertise are psychiatric nursing and nursing leadership. Ms McLaughlin has held many leadership positions during her career, including Manager, Director and Chief Nurse Executive. Throughout her career she has demonstrated strength in developing cutting edge, innovative programs and systems with a strong emphasis on clinical excellence.  She has demonstrated skills in the area of strategic planning, finance, staff development and continuous quality improvement.  She assisted in the schematic design development and the functional space planning for a 92 bed free standing Center for Mental Health.  Ms. McLaughlin also has clinical and management consulting experience, and is currently a candidate in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program at Rush University.

Karen Beyer, MSW, LCSW, MBA

Executive Director, Ecker Center

Karen Beyer MPA, MSW, MBA is the CEO of the Ecker Center for Mental Health, a Joint Commission accredited community mental health center. Her current interests are public policy and government relations. She has master's degrees in business administration, social work and public administration. Her work experience is in mental health; child welfare; individual, couple and family therapy as well as elder services and divorce mediation. She has worked for government and non-profit organizations and has had a private therapy practice, She is a licensed clinical social worker and a former AAMFT approved supervisor with a certificate in family therapy from Northwestern University's Family Therapy Institute. Karen was the therapist who successfully defended her client's right to privacy in the 1996 U.S. Supreme Court case Jaffey vs. Redmond and the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Karen is a Rotary International club member and a Paul Harris Fellow. She serves on the boards of the Elgin League of Women Voters and the Network for Social Work Management. She is also a member of the Northern Illinois University Masters in Public Administration Board of Advisors and a City of Elgin Planning and Zoning Commissioner.

Doug Rashkow

CIT/ESO: Aurora Police Officer

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.

Jessica Isaacson

Engaged Community Member

As the former Executive Director of NAMI KDK, Jessica joined the Board of Directors to remain involved in the exceptional work that NAMI KDK is doing. Jessica brings years of experience in the nonprofit sector and graduate level education in nonprofit management to the board. In 2017, Jessica was named one of Kane County Chronicle's Best under 40, an award given to Kane County professionals under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to their profession, company and community. She is also certified in Mental Health First Aid and participates as a committee member helping to plan the annual NAMI 5K.

Kate Fish

Owner and Clinical Therapist, Graceful Therapy, LLC

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.

The Honorable Judy Brawka, Ret.

Judge, Kane Co. 16th Circuit- Retired

Judge Judith M. Brawka (ret.) started her legal career in the Kane County Public Defender Office in 1978, where she remained until her appointment to the bench as an Associate Judge in 1991.  She was elected Circuit Judge in 2002, retained in 2008 and 2014, elected by her peers as the first female Chief Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit 2012-15, and retired from the bench in July, 2016.  She first developed an interest in mental health legal issues while defending the indigent in criminal, juvenile, and mental health courts, and later gained additional perspective while presiding over such cases as a judge and administrator.  While Chief Judge, she served as the chair of the Kane County -16th Judicial Circuit Mental Health Coordinating Council.  Brawka is grateful for the opportunity to serve such a worthy community organization as NAMI-KDK.

Liz Eakins, BA, Human Services, Judson University

Retired Executive Director, Lazarus House

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.​

Linsday Liddicoatt, LPC, CADC

Supervisor with Kane County Court Services

Lindsey Liddicoatt joined the board in May.  She is currently a Supervisor with Kane County Court Services assigned to the Elgin Probation Office. Prior to this promotion, she was the Coordinator for the Treatment Alternative Court (TAC), the county’s mental health court for 5 years. She has been employed with Kane County Court Services for almost 8 years. Lindsey earned a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and currently holds two professional licenses, LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor), and is currently in the process of obtaining her LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor).

Besides working in the criminal justice field,Ms. Liddicoatt has experience working in an outpatient mental health setting, and has worked for close to a year as a Behavioral Health Advocate with Linden Oaks Outpatient Clinic in St. Charles providing substance abuse counseling in both group and individual settings. Lindsey has experience volunteering at a domestic violence shelter as well as experience working on an inpatient substance abuse unit.

Ms. Liddicoatt is excited to be on the NAMI KDK board in order to continue to work towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health. One thing that she tries to do in her current line of work and in her everyday interactions is to advocate for those who cannot necessarily advocate for themselves

Buzz Hays

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.

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

Honorary 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.

Jim McNish

Honorary 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.​

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. in the Conference Room in the INC Board Office Building at 400 Mercy Lane, Aurora, IL 60506 







27, 2019

24, 2019

22, 2019

26, 2019

2018, No meeting

28, 2020




Annual General Meeting

25, 2020

24, 2020

28, 2020

May 12, 2020


26, 2020


23, 2020

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