Desiree Woodland, Board President, lives in Albuquerque with her husband Gary, They have two children, Michelle, and Ryan. After Ryan’s suicide she wrote a book called, I Still Believe. After 19 years, she retired from teaching in the Albuquerque and Rio Rancho public schools to co-create and present the use of the Breaking the Silence NM curriculum, which teaches students mental illness and suicide awareness. She also serves on the Board for Survivors of Suicide Albuquerque. She facilitates a mother’s survivor group. Desiree holds a master’s Level Certificate in Grief and Loss and writes on suicide loss and grief.
Renetta Torres, Board Vice President, retired from Bernalillo County Government after 38 years of service where she held the positions Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer and Deputy County Manager of Administrative Services. She spent the last 17 years of her career as the Bernalillo County Human Resources Director. She is active in her community with issues of social justice. Renetta served on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Multicultural Council for 18 years as well as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Committee. She is a founding member of the Hispanic Women’s Council. Renetta is honored to be part of the very important work being done in the area of mental health awareness and to contribute to the eradication of the stigma associated with mental illness.
Philip Varnum, Board Treasurer, lives in Bernalillo with his partner Richard Valenzuela and their Great Pyrenees Keeva. Philip retired in 2019 after a 25-year career in nonprofit management and relocated to Bernalillo from Portland, Oregon. His family has lived in New Mexico for more than 100 years. He served as the chief financial and administrative officer at The Lemelson Foundation, a private family foundation, headquartered in Portland, Oregon for 12 years. In his nonprofit career, Philip also served as the chief financial officer for an Cascade AIDS Project, a grants manager for the Ryan White AIDS CARE Act, and as the chief financial officer for Portland State University Foundation. In his corporate career, Philip served as senior vice president for two commercial banks and a financial institution consulting firm.
Philip served as the Board treasurer for Quest Center for Integrative Health in Portland. Quest’s mission is to provide integrative healthcare services, education, and inclusive community support to people seeking a wellness-focused approach to fully living. He also served as the Board treasurer for p:ear which mentors Portland’s homeless youth to affirm personal worth and create healthier lives and communities. p:ear’s first step with a new homeless youth is to create a safe place. At present, Philip serves on the boards of the Bodhi Manda Zen Center in Jemez Springs and Norlha, a company headquartered in Tibet that that provides livelihoods and social services for Tibetan nomads.
Philip is a passionate supporter of educating youth about mental illness and mental health services, particularly LGTBQ youth. He thinks about how different his life would have been if he had the support of an organization like Breaking the Silence when he was a youth.
Bella White, Board Member, has held a number of accounting roles from Controller to CEO for the past 35 years in both the private and public sector. Her latest focus has been supporting Breaking the Silence NM to improve outreach and long term business planning through her contributions as Board Treasurer. As a mother of four and grandmother of five, her passion is helping children and parents in dealing with today’s complex world and pressures. She currently serves the community as a facilitator, trainer, panelist and serves on a number of committees focused on mental health and homelessness
Rebekah Floryance, Board Member, is an Assistant Principal with the Albuquerque Public Schools. She has worked for APS for over 20 years and is currently at the Career Enrichment Center and Early College Academy High School. Rebekah is passionate about the future of our youth and community education. She believes in supporting student’s wellbeing through our city networks and organizations. Raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rebekah serves as a community builder, connecting youth with local resources to support the whole child and bring mental health awareness into schools and communities.
Scott Melton, Board Member, joined Bosque School in 2016 as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity. He is currently serving as full-time faculty for upper school English 11 and Film. Prior to Bosque, Scott taught English, IB German, and IB Theory of Knowledge at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, FL. He was formerly at Florida Atlantic University where he taught German. From 1997 to 2003, he served AARP as an issue expert on independent living, long-term care, end-of-life, caregiving, and aging workforce issues. He has a passion for teaching and for the social emotional well-being of his students. “Taking care of the whole person allows for emotional, spiritual, and intellectual growth and is paramount in their individual and community success. “
Jodie Hix, Board Member, trained as a lead facilitator with Breaking the Silence New Mexico in 2012. As the result of her compassionate work with BTSNM in middle and high school classrooms, she trained to present Professional Development to counselors, teachers, and school based health centers in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe. Because Jodie has multiple family members living with a mental illness, she is strongly motivated to educate youth and adults about mental illness and suicide and to offer resources to people who are struggling.
Dan Frampton, Board Member, has been an activist and an organizer for 30 years; and has worked on issues ranging from students’ rights while in college back in Pennsylvania to issues with homeless youth and homeless veterans here in Albuquerque.
Dan has been a school social worker since 2011 and has worked with at-risk youth for over 20 years. He has undergraduate degrees in Government and Sociology from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and completed his MSW at New Mexico Highlands University in 2011.
Since 2010 Dan has been a leader with Albuquerque Interfaith and is chairperson of AI’s Behavioral Health action team. Dan is also secretary of the board for the Southwest Educational Partners for Training.
Wayne Moore, Board Member, was born and raised in Alamogordo, NM and is currently the Director of Bistro Operations for Lescombes Family Vineyards. He has been in the restaurant industry for 30 years.
Having dealt with depression and anxiety for most of his life, Wayne feels strongly about wanting to help others feel comfortable having a conversation about mental health.
He lives in Albuquerque NM and is happily married to his wife Shauna. Wayne and Shauna have 3 terrific kids, Tristan, Kylee and Grayson.