Surid Lasso Blanco
Surid joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2021 and serves as the Latino Program Specialist, facilitating the agency’s Spanish-language programs. In her spare time, Surid enjoys riding bikes with her husband, playing the piano and singing.
Amy joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2018 and serves as a Parent Peer Advocate in the Little Chute Area School District. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and an English Language Learner (ELL) Certification.
Amy taught in Connecticut early in her career, in addition to teaching in the Kaukauna and Appleton school districts. She lives in the Village of Harrison with her husband and two children. Amy enjoys gardening, biking, running and spending time at her cabin.
Holly joined the NAMI Fox Valley team in 2022 and serves as a School Outreach Specialist, preventing mental health education in school classrooms. Holly holds a Associate’s Degree in Accounting and Business Management from Fox Valley Technical College. In her spare time, Holly enjoys spending time up north with family, where you’ll find her four wheeling on the trails, sitting around the campfire or relaxing on the lake. She also enjoys trying new baking recipes and reading self-care books.
Louise joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2021 and serves as a Peer Companion for the Iris Place program. Louise holds a Bachelors of Science Secondary Education and BSE in Broadfield Natural Science for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, with a minor in biology. She also is also a Certified Peer Support Specialist. Essential to maintaining her own mental health, Louise enjoys connecting with people and nature. She enjoys cooking and/or baking, alpine skiing, camping, kayaking, wildlife viewing, gardening, and particularly native landscape gardening to help struggling populations of birds and pollinators.
Vivian joined NAMI Fox Valley in 2017 and serves as the Family Program Coordinator. Vivian holds a degree in human growth and development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a teaching certification for early childhood and grades K-6. She taught 4K for 30 years in the Kaukauna School District.
When not working or volunteering, Vivian enjoys getting exercise, spending time with friends, and following the academic and athletic pursuits of her grandchildren.
Alex joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2022 and serves as a Peer Companion for the Iris Place Program. Alex is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in Drama. Alex also also received an Associates degree, with an emphasis in psychology, education and drama from UW Oshkosh. In their spare time, Alex enjoys binge watching Netflix, art and theatre, hanging out with friends and playing card games. Alex uses they/them/their pronouns.
Kay joined the NAMI Fox Valley team in 2022 as the agency’s Outreach Specialist, bringing mental health education throughout the community. Kay holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. In her spare time, Kay enjoys spending time with her family (especially at their cottage), walking her dogs, reading, and being outside.
Patrick joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2018 and serves as a Peer Companion for the Iris Place program. Patrick is a Certified Peer Support Specialist. In his spare time, he enjoys gaming and studying Japanese.
Megan joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2014. She has served a variety of roles at the agency, and currently serves as the agency’s Parent Peer Advocate for the HOPE program (Neenah Joint School District). In this role, she helps parents with children with mental health challenges navigate their family’s journey.
Megan holds a Masters in Education from North Carolina State University. She is the state trainer for NAMI’s Ending the Silence program, and co-creator of Mental Health Chat. A Minnesotan who has lived all over the U.S., Megan currently divides her time between Appleton and Madison. Along with her position at NAMI Fox Valley, Megan also serves as the program coordinator for NAMI Wisconsin.
Morgan joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2017 and serves as Marketing & Development Coordinator. As part of her role, Morgan oversees the agency’s annual 5K event, NAMIWalks Fox Valley. Morgan holds Associates Degrees in both marketing and business management from Fox Valley Technical College. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters (Grace and Evelyn), and her dogs.
Maren H. Peterson
Maren joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2015 and serves as the agency’s Executive Director. Maren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Grinnell College and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law. She is a 2017 graduate of the Nonprofit Leadership Institute at Fox Valley Technical College.
In her spare time, Maren loves taking advantage of the many local gems of downtown Appleton, where you’ll often spot her reading or, come football season, cheering on the Packers.
Vicki joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2016 and serves as the agency’s Peer & Family Program Director. In this role, Vicki oversees peer and family support and education programs.
Vicki received her Bachelor of Science in psychology and human services from Upper Iowa University and her LGBTQ Mental Health Certificate from the University of Milwaukee. She and her wife, Lydia, have four children and a granddaughter. In her spare time, Vicki enjoys photography, gardening, and walking her three dogs, Pepper, Kenda, and Sammie.
Christy joined the NAMI Fox Valley team in 2023 and serves as the agency’s Parent Peer Advocate for Menasha Joint School District. Christy holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Carroll University and an Education Specialist degree in the field of school psychology from UW-La Crosse. Christy has worked directly with youth and families for the past 18 years in both the school and private practice settings. In her spare time, Christy enjoys reading, hiking, photography, and spending time at the lake with her two amazing kids, Olivia and Ethan.
Jason joined the NAMI Fox Valley staff in 2021 and serves as a Peer Companion for the Iris Place program. Jason is a Certified Peer Support Specialist, and in his spare time he enjoys collecting comics, toys, and records.
Maria joined the NAMI Fox Valley team in 2023 and serves as the agency’s Finance Manager. Maria received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from St. Norbert College, and is a CPA and CMA. In her spare time, Maria enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three adult children.
Paula officially joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2012 after many years as a devoted volunteer. She has served in multiple positions at the agency and currently serves as the Iris Place Program Director.
Paula is a Certified Peer Support Specialist and holds a Bachelor of Science in education and human services and a Masters in social work, both from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In her spare time, Paula enjoys outdoor activities, arts and crafts, and music.
Courtney joined the staff of NAMI Fox Valley in 2020 as a Peer Companion for the Iris Place program, and became the Iris Place Assistant Program Director in 2022. Courtney enjoys sewing, baking, day trips, cats and laughing at her own jokes. Courtney works at Iris Place so that maybe someday her story can be one of the many building blocks for someone else’s recovery. “Healing is not linear.” is her favorite quote.
Megan joined the NAMI Fox Valley team in June 2018 and serves as the Outreach Program Director. Megan holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Community Health Education from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Megan discovered early on in her professional life that she had a passion for working with non-profit organizations and underserved populations. Megan’s personal hobbies include spending time with her husband, Jon, and sons, Cain and Crew, and hiking with her chocolate lab, Oakleigh.