Kimberly Knake

Executive Director

Kimberly Knake is the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Metro Suburban Chapter. In this role, she leads the affiliate’s work to provide improved community services, educational programming and a focused advocacy agenda for the region.

Kimberly joined the NAMI Metro Suburban team as Executive Director in June 2011 after getting involved with the organization’s Family to Family Program to receive support around her daughter’s bipolar condition. Recognizing the substantial impact NAMI Metro Suburban had on her own life, Kimberly repurposed the skills she developed throughout a two decade career in management consulting and took on the role of the organization’s Executive Director.

Under Kimberly’s leadership, NAMI Metro Suburban has expanded its programming to include Bridges of Hope faith-based initiatives, Ending the Silence in-school presentations, three Living Rooms, one drop-in center, and more. During Kimberly’s time as Executive Director NAMI MS has also gone from $100K in annual funding to

$2.5M, demonstrating a clear need in the community and recognition of the organization’s increased initiatives. 

Before joining NAMI Metro Suburban, Kimberly served as the Vice President of Sales at Maritz Performance Improvement. Kimberly held positions with Matriz for two decades before pivoting her career to the mental health sphere.

NAMI Metro Suburban is a grassroots family and consumer self-help support, education and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of people, families and communities affected by mental illness in the western suburbs of Cook County, Oak Park, River Forest, Lyons Township, Proviso Township, Riverside, Berwyn and Cicero. Since 1992, NAMI Metro Suburban has fought for families and individuals impacted by mental health conditions through promoting community wellness, breaking down barriers to mental health care and providing support and expertise for families, professionals and individuals. Through their helpline they serve the community seven days a week, connecting individuals, families and providers with the right resources for mental health support. The affiliate also operates three extremely successful Living Rooms, which serve as alternatives to hospitalization for individuals in mental health distress or crisis and drop-in centers where people can learn more about mental health care options. In 2020, 338 people accessed the Living Rooms services and 94% of guests experienced a reduction in distress. 


  • Bachelor of Communications, Florida Atlantic University
  • Facilitation Certificate, DePaul University

Available for comments on:

  • Advancing a strong mental health system in the Chicagoland area, with an emphasis on suburban Chicago
  • Promoting community wellness
  • Addressing mental health stigmas
  • Increasing mental health awareness

For more information or to book an interview with Kimberly, please contact Caroline Wellford (; 901-216-7657).