Meet Christina Bickelmann: New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Arizona (NAMI SA) is happy to announce that Christina Bickelmann was appointed to the position of Executive Director on April 16.
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Bickelmann had served in the role of NAMISA’s Communications and Events Director for nearly seven years.  One of her major responsibilities in that role was to plan, execute and handle all activities related to Southern Arizona’s annual NAMIWalks. The annual walk is the organization’s largest fund raiser. Walk revenues have increased by 33% since the first walk she oversaw. During that same time, in-kind donations from local businesses and non-profit organizations increased by more than 4000%. These increases reflect Ms. Bickelmann’s success in generating community support for NAMI SA.
In addition to her NAMIWalks responsibilities, Ms. Bickelmann has been responsible for grant writing, event planning, the organization’s monthly newsletter and educational materials.
Before coming to NAMI SA, Ms. Bickelmann worked in the field of water conservation in both the public and private sectors. Her public service experience included nearly 18 years with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). In her role there, she was responsible for program development, public events, community outreach and the development of educational materials. In addition to her work for ADWR, Ms. Bickelmann also founded and then chaired or co-chaired the annual Earth Day Festival in Southern Arizona for the first 17 years.
Former Executive Director, H. Clarke Romans, said “Christina’s efforts on behalf of NAMI Southern Arizona have been impressive. She was able to accomplish significant upgrades for our office on East 22nd Street for free or at significantly reduced costs. Her efforts reduced our utility bills and made our tight-quartered offices more efficient and pleasant for staff, volunteers and program participants. Her NAMIWalks and other fundraising efforts have been critical in the face of funding reductions by the State of Arizona.”
Board president, David Delawder said, “The Board is confident that Ms. Bickelmann will lead the organization, its staff and volunteers with a steady hand. Her compassion for the community we serve and her fundraising experience are her greatest strengths. When Covid 19 made it impossible for NAMI to hold this year’s fundraising walk, Christina transformed the event into a virtual walk. Much-needed pledges continue to come in for the May 30 virtual event.” Go to for event details.
In reflecting on her appointment, Ms. Bickelmann said, “In the years I have worked with NAMI SA, I have been incredibly impressed with our hard-working staff and volunteers. They are NAMI SA’s biggest asset. To support their efforts to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and to support their efforts in advocating for those who use our services, I will make training and development opportunities a priority. Of course, the development of increased funding and new revenue sources will continue to be a critical priority as well.”

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