Dr. Samocki became the executive director of the National Network of Depression Centers on November 2023. Prior to this, Matt served as the executive director for the Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership, which is a non-profit collaborative designed to advance anti-stigma and community culture, expand workplace mental health programs, and enhance mental health provider access. Matt was formerly an administrator with the Science, Mathematics, and Technology Center at Central Michigan University. Prior to that, he served 13 years in public education as an educator and as an assistant principal. Matt earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in interdisciplinary social sciences and a minor in psychology, plus a master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Michigan State University. He earned his doctoral degree in educational leadership from Central Michigan University and published his dissertation titled, The Effects of an Experimental SEL-Based Alternative to Out of School Suspension Program for Middle School Students. Matt joined the NNDC in November 2023.

Email: [email protected]


Dr. Parikh serves as Medical Director for the NNDC, overseeing the implementation of strategic initiatives supporting innovations in the areas of Education, Access, and Research, as well as supporting national and international collaboration efforts. He is currently the John F. Greden Professor of Depression and Clinical Neuroscience, and Professor of Psychiatry, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he also serves as Associate Director of the University of Michigan Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg and Family Depression Center. Dr. Parikh is also a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, where he was on staff full-time from 1994-2015. In Toronto, he served as Director of Continuing Mental Health Education and Head of General Psychiatry, and at Toronto’s major hospital grouping, the University Health Network, he completed two terms as Deputy Psychiatrist-in-Chief and served as President of the Medical Staff Association and as a member of the Board of Trustees. Previously, he was head of the Bipolar Clinic and Director of CME at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. Dr. Parikh’s education spans both the US and Canada, as a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover; Columbia University (Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering); and McGill University Faculty of Medicine (M.D, C.M.). He trained in Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and at the University of Toronto, and subsequently completed a two-year Research and Clinical Fellowship at the University of Toronto. Dr. Parikh joined the NNDC in April of 2015.



Soule brings more than 20 years of experience and passion to the organization and has dedicated the last three and a half years advancing regional and mental health initiatives with the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and the Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership to create positive change in the community. The voice behind the organization’s iMatter Anti-Stigma Campaign, she has a long-standing commitment to advocacy, reducing stigma and is passionate about supporting the need for further awareness of mental health. Prior to her role with the Alliance, Soule was the managing editor of a community publication and worked in several aspects of community development. She also had a 15-year career at Dow that spanned public affairs, government affairs, public policy and corporate strategic development. Courtney joined the NNDC in February 2023.

Email: [email protected]



Brad provides administrative and financial support for the NNDC. Brad brings over 30 years of experience in accounting, finance, and administration from a variety of industries. His prior role was that of Business Manager for a non-profit entity for the past 17 years where he oversaw all support and back-end operations for a $7 million entity. Brad has a bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Spring Arbor University. Brad joined the NNDC in July 2022.

Email: [email protected]



Mary provides project administration and program support for the NNDC. She earned a BS degree in Health Systems Management from Ferris State University. She has more than 30 years’ experience in strategy development for businesses and non profits; project leadership; executive communications; and technical and professional writing. She is actively involved in mental health education and awareness and is passionate about helping traditionally underserved populations and people most in need. Mary joined the NNDC in August 2023.

Email: [email protected]



Bailey provides research and media support for the NNDC. She earned her BS in Psychology from Michigan State University in 2023 and will be continuing her education by pursuing a PhD this year. She is actively involved in psychology research outside of the NNDC, is passionate about mental health advocacy and ending the stigma that encompasses mental illness in the United States. Bailey joined the NNDC in July 2023.

Email: [email protected]



Rob Vallentine is a National Mental Health Trainer for The National Council for Mental Wellbeing and is certified to teach Adult, Youth and Workplace Mental Health First Aid. Over the past three years, Rob has trained more than 1,000 people from 45 global corporations, universities, community nonprofits and government entities.

Rob’s corporate career at Dow, a Fortune 50 company, spanned more than 30 years. During that time, he held various executive roles in business management, community leadership and corporate philanthropy. He retired in December 2019 as president of the Dow Company Foundation to work full-time to advance mental health and break the stigma of mental illness by sharing his own story of hope, healing and growth with thousands of people around the world. 

As owner of Heart Leadership, LLC, Rob is dedicating his time to speaking, coaching and consulting. He currently partners with corporations and non-profits to develop business strategies, fund development programs and creative storytelling platforms with a goal of building resilient communities. He recently completed a 3-year assignment as an Executive in Residence at Saginaw Valley State University. 

Rob serves on the National Advisory Board for the University of Michigan Depression Center and the National Advisory Council for the National Network of Depression Centers.  He also serves on the Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership Steering Team and is a member of Huntington Bank Advisory Board.

Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a master’s degree in business administration from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Email: [email protected]