Vanessa Fernandes, SHRM-CP DirectorNAMI Board of DirectorsEmail Vanessa Fernandes, SHRM-CP, is a NAMI National Board Member. She serves on the UTD Diversity Advisory Council at the University of Texas at Dallas and is a member of a D&I task force for the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce. Having recently survived the tragic loss of two family members, Vanessa is also a national suicide prevention advocate. She is an advocate for diversity, inclusion, equity and community engagement. She has spoken on these topics in various settings, including KERA 90.1’s Mental Health Listening Session and the Dallas Maverick’s Women of Mavs Empowering Network (W.O.M.E.N) inaugural Women’s Symposium. Vanessa was also recognized for Corporate Philanthropy while serving on the United Way Women’s Leadership Council and United Way Board in Austin, TX, in 2014–2015. Prior to moving to the U.S. 20 years ago, she lived in India, where she was born and raised. She started her career there in public relations with Ogilvy & Mather, representing IT companies such as Informix and SAP. She is a SHRM Certified HR Professional and contributes to the SHRM Certification program at Collin County College in Plano, TX. She is a graduate of Osmania University in India and studied Mass Communication, PR and Journalism at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. For the 2021–2022 Board year, she serves on the Finance & Audit Committee.