As the nation’s first not-for-profit organization founded and governed by persons living with dementia, the National Council of Dementia Minds is proud to announce the appointment of two new board members.
This is a momentous occasion for the National Council of Dementia Minds as we expand our board of directors beyond our founding members. Our new board members, Monica Downer and Dr. Arnold Beresh will help us continue to build our legacy and achieve our vision, “People living with dementia transforming the worldview of Neurocognitive Disorders.”
Monica and Arnie have been active participants in Dementia Minds groups as well as national advocates. Monica is a member of the Black Dementia Minds group and serves on the advisory committee for the National Institute on Aging IMPACT Collaboratory. Arnie is a participant in both A Brotherhood of Dementia Minds and Doctors with Dementia. He was a volunteer and advocate with the Alzheimer’s Association for years prior to his diagnosis.
Monica is a graduate of Georgia State University and was a dedicated special education teacher for 19 years. Monica continues to capitalize on her educational skills as a national dementia educator and advocate. She works tirelessly to debunk the stigma and myths associated with dementia, especially the myth that only older people get dementia. Monica is an avid reader and enjoys cooking. She is married and has two sons. In 2016, Monica was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) at the age of 45. Four years later, Monica was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). In 2022, Monica was informed that her diagnosis was not FTD but undetermined dementia.
Monica lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
Arnold (Arnie) Beresh, DPM, is a former podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon. Throughout his career, Arnie served in a variety of leadership roles including a fellow to the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and National Board of Podiatry Examiners as well as serving as the president of the Virginia Podiatric Medical Association. Arnie utilizes his leadership skills as a state and national dementia advocate and educator. He monitors drug trials and research and provides expert testimony at the state and national levels. Arnie is particularly passionate about educating future medical providers about dementia. He is also known for both his humor and generosity. He and his wife have had a life-long love for pets and now enjoy a variety of animatronic pets. In 2015, Arnie was diagnosed with MCI and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) at the age of 62. In 2022, he was diagnosed with mixed dementia.
Arnie lives in White Lake, Michigan.
Congratulations Monica and Arnie!
Board President, National Council of Dementia Minds