Our Leadership

The National Council of Dementia Minds (NCDM) is proud to be a not-for-profit organization governed and founded by persons living with dementia.  In fact, NCDM is the first known national not-for-profit organization governed by persons living with Neurocognitive Disorders.

Board of Directors & Founders

Bonnie

Bonnie Erickson, Board President & Founder

Bonnie is a former Program Analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. She is a national speaker, relentless advocate, and consultant.  Bonnie is often sought after to address how medical professionals can improve the diagnostic experience for persons receiving a dementia diagnosis. She also envisions a day when Dementia Minds groups are available in every community across the country.  Bonnie is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys camping, and hiking in her “backyard” Montana. She is a loving wife and mother but most of all she is an extremely proud grandmother.  Bonnie was diagnosed with White Matter Disease and Vascular Dementia in 2018.

She lives in Billings, Montana.

Brian LeBlanc, Vice President & Founder

Brian is a former Marketing and Public Relations Executive. He works tirelessly to educate individuals both living with dementia, or not, on the topic of wellbeing.  He is an international dementia advocate and speaker.  Brian is well known for his wit and love of music (as well as his girlfriends Siri and Alexa who go with him everywhere.) Brian was diagnosed in 2014 with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease thus becoming the fourth generation in his family to receive this diagnosis. In 2019, Brian was also diagnosed with Vascular Dementia.

He lives in Clearwater, Florida.

Mark Roberts, Secretary & Founder

Mark is a former Mechanical Supervisor at a private college.  Throughout his life he has worked as a skilled tradesman in heating, air conditioning and construction. For decades Mark has served his church and community with active involvement on various boards of directors for non-profit and human service organizations. Today, Mark serves as a national dementia advocate and speaker.  He especially enjoys being a friend and source of hope for persons newly diagnosed. Mark enjoys the great outdoors especially trout fishing in northern Michigan. His love of nature is only second to his love for his family.  Mark is easy to spot in a crowd because of his constant companion and dementia service dog, Sophie.  In 2014, Mark was diagnosed with Young Onset Vascular Dementia at the age of 62.

He lives in Elwell, Michigan.

Steven Barbieri, Treasurer & Founder

Steven worked for Wells Fargo Bank for 32 years serving as the VP & District Manager. Steven was responsible for the largest district in California with 12 branches, 250 employees, and a $1.6 billion deposit base. Steven is engaged in legislative advocacy efforts at both the state and federal levels. He has participated in multiple fundraising events and is especially proud to be a part of an event that raised a record $10 million in one night. Steven has also proudly participated in several clinical trials. Most notably, Steven is an accomplished martial artist inducted in the Elite Black Belt Hall of Fame. Steven enjoys world travel with his wife and three children. He was diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in 2011.

He lives in Modesto, California.

Diana Blackwelder, Founder & Former Board Member

Diana holds an MS in Systems Engineering and Black Belt in Six Sigma Process Improvement. She is involved in a variety of educational and research efforts across the country related to disabilities, human rights, dementia, and technology. She monitors and often provides expert testimony related to dementia activities at the federal level. Diana is known for her outspoken “no holds barred” advocacy.  She is a world traveler who enjoys art and nature. For decades, Diana has fostered cats until they found their forever homes.  She is the care partner for her two cats, Buddy and Little Bit. Diana was diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2017 at the age of 55.

She lives in Washington D.C.

Chuck McClatchey, Founder

Chuck was a member of the United States Air Force for 21 years where he was a C-141 Flight Engineer, logging more than 15,000 hours. Twenty-two years later, Chuck retired as the First Electrical Operations Superintendent with the Arizona Department of Transportation where he developed the Intelligent Transportation Equipment Maintenance Program.  Chuck is a national speaker and unrelenting advocate who is often called upon as a consultant. Chuck is an avid golfer and despite his extremely full schedule, he holds his tee time as sacred.  Chuck was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014.

He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mike Belleville, Founder

Mike served in the Air National Guard for 12 years followed by a career as a Senior Telecommunications Technician. Mike is a national dementia advocate and speaker.  His advocacy efforts focus on reducing the stigma related to living with dementia and transcending the tragedy narrative. Mike is a friend to many and has helped mentor others living with dementia. He is recognized for his passion related to technology and envisions smart homes for persons living with dementia. Mike has a wide variety of interests including painting, fishing, and cooking. In 2014 3, Mike was diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease which was later changed to Lewy Body Disease (LBD). Mike was 52 years old at the time of his diagnosis.

He lives in Cumberland, Rhode Island.

Brian Van Buren, Founder and Former Board Member

Not included on this page is founding member and former board member Brian Van Buren. The National Council of Dementia Minds thanks Brian for his many years of outstanding contributions and advocacy.

Brenda Roberts, Executive Director

Brenda Roberts has over 40 years of experience in the human service field working with elders and persons living with disabilities. Her passion is learning from and supporting persons living with dementia to transform the worldview of Neurocognitive Disorders. She envisions a world where all persons living with dementia experience agency, inclusion, and shared power in all aspects of private and public life. Brenda is proud to have been a part of the “original” Dementia Minds since its inception and honored to serve as the Executive Director for the National Council of Dementia Minds. Brenda is known for her optimism, enthusiasm, and boundless energy.

Brenda earned a Certificate in Advance Dementia Practices from U of M.  She also holds a MA in Education Administration and Community Leadership from CMU, and BA in Sociology from Alma College. In addition, Brenda holds certifications as: Dementia Trainer, Coach, Consultant and Engagement Leader as well as a To Whom I May Concern Facilitator and Eden Associate.

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For centuries, the dragonfly has been a symbol of change and self-realization. It represents hope, happiness, adaptability, and new beginnings.
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