Board of Directors


Mike Tanner

Mike Tanner has served on the board since 2016. He is retired from careers in the law and in ministry. For 10 years of his pastoral education and ministry, he worked with and among people living with disabling mental illness, most of the time as their pastor and director of a day center offering enrichment, services, and community. He and his wife Cozette are parents of five adult children. He currently serves as a part-time hospital chaplain and supply clergy.


jane Alexander
Vice President

Jane came to NAMI High Country in 2018 from NAMI of Greenville, South Carolina. She was a NAMI Family Support Group Facilitator in Greenville and is now serving as a Family Support Group Facilitator here in NAMI High Country. Jane is passionate about helping family members cope with mental health concerns.

Aaron Ratcliffe

Aaron Ratcliffe is an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at Appalachian State University. Prior to that, he worked was an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at UNC Greensboro after completing his PhD at UNC Chapel Hill Kenan-Flager Business School. He became involved with NAMI in 2010-2011 in Orange County (Chapel Hill) where he completed the Family to Family class and was inspired to volunteer more of his time toward mental health advocacy. His research interests are primarily in healthcare operations management and he has worked on research projects related to management of mental health facilities and access to community mental health services with the UNC School of Public Health. While completing his graduate education, he worked with UNC Health Care System in various roles related to revenue cycle management, systems analysis, outpatient access and clinic efficiency, and state public health surveillance.


Lexie Danner

Lexie Danner is a mental health counselor at Blue Mountain Center for Integrative Health in Boone. She has worked in the community through such organizations as Blackburn Community Outreach, Mountain Peacemakers, Creative Peacemaker Center, Turchin Center for Visual Arts Outreach Program, and Elkland Art Center.


Murray Hawkinson

Murray Hawkinson has been a NAMI HC Board Member since 2015, and has been involved with the field of recovery since the 1970’s.  He is a Boone, NC native, and graduated from Watauga High School in 1970, then from Davidson College in 1974 with a degree in Psychology, and then completed a Masters in Clinical Psychology from UNC Chapel Hill in 1982, eventually finishing his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology there in 1991 after making his own recovery from two bouts of cancer.  After working over 30 years with New River Behavioral HealthCare he has been the Center Director for Daymark in Watauga County since 2011. Murray is an enthusiastic supporter of recovery efforts, has provided several presentations for NAMI HC meetings, and has been encouraging the development of a peer support center in this area.


Ed Rothstein

Ed Rothstein has been the Peer Specialist for Daymark in Watauga County for the last four years. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from San Francisco State University. Ed has been involved with NAMI for 28 years on the state and local levels in Atlanta, GA and Murfreesboro, TN. He was the Chairperson for the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Association and managed a Peer Support Center in Murfreesboro, TN for 13 years.

High Country Volunteers


Karen Gross

Karen Gross is the High Country’s representative to the NAMI North Carolina Peer Leadership Council. She extends herself to a number of other rolls including being our liaison to The Consumer and Family Advisory Committee. Karen has devoted much of her life to advocating for her community and is even a Certified Peer Support Specialist and has made herself available to provide support to individuals with mental health or substance use disorder.