Home | Annual Meeting – 2024

Annual Meeting – 2024

DBSA Boston 2024 Annual Meeting

Tuesday, June 18, 7 p.m. ET

Annual Meeting Notice and Candidates for the Board of Directors

The nominations for our leadership positions for the upcoming 2024–2025 year closed on March 20. The candidates will be announced in the May 2024 Polars’ Express, and candidate statements will be posted on our website.

Our ballots will be sent out by email on Monday, June 3, and need to be returned no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 16.

Only current DBSA Boston members as of June 1, 2024, are eligible to vote. If you are unsure of your membership status, please email office@dbsaboston.org. You can join DBSA Boston or renew your membership on our website. Membership page

Our DBSA Boston Annual Meeting is on Tuesday, June 18. at 7:00 p.m. The results of the election will be announced at this virtual meeting on Zoom. Please email our Nominations Chair, Marissa Cremin, with any questions at Marissa@dbsaboston.org.

Nominations Chair: Marissa Cremin

Zoom link for annual meeting: 6178550001
Send an email to ZoomInfo@dbsaboston.org for the passcode.

If you do not receive an auto-response please check your spam or junk folder. Email TechHelp@dbsaboston.org if you still need assistance.

Slate of Candidates for the Board of Directors

The election slate approved by the Board of Directors is as follows:

President: Joe Battenfeld* (One-Year Term)
Vice President: Lillian Cravotta-Crouch* (One-Year Term)
Vice President: Dr. Martin Petracchi* (One-Year Term)
Secretary: Meach Cravotta-Crouch* (Two-Year Term)
Treasurer: Susan Reynolds* (Two-Year Term)

Nominees for Three Director Positions (Two-Year Terms)
Joseph DeAlmeida
Jennifer Frantz*
Caitlin Walsh

*Have served on the board.

Joe Battenfeld – President

Hello, I’m Joe Battenfeld and I’m running for President of DBSA Boston.

As Vice President for the last two years, I chaired the Share Care Committee and helped increase and strengthen our Zoom and in-person groups, making them a safe and welcoming place for all our members. My goal as President will be to build on the success of the last two years, increase DBSA Boston’s visibility, and recruit new members to bolster our excellent fundraising position.

We are well positioned over the next few years to become the leading place to go for mental health support in the Boston area and beyond and I’m very proud of the success of our groups, thanks to the empathetic and caring people who attend them. I personally attend the groups myself and am continually amazed at the strength and courage of our members.

As President, I plan to continue to expand our presence online and hope to even return to our home at McLean. And finally, I especially want to thank each and every one of you who participates in our groups. It’s because of you that we are such a success. Please know you can reach out to me anytime – I plan to be very accessible and give more decision-making power to our members. Thank you for listening and I ask for your vote.

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Lillian Cravotta-Crouch – Vice President

Hi, my name is Lillian Cravotta-Crouch and I am running for Vice President of DBSA Boston. I’ve been on the board in different capacities over the years. It has been a pleasure to volunteer for DBSA and I have enjoyed working with so many dedicated members.

As a board member I’ve worked hard to secure our financial future so that we will have a solid foundation going forward. I am chair of both Fundraising and Activity committees. One of my favorite ways to fundraise has been as Captain of the NAMIWalks for the past nine years. It’s given me the opportunity to work along with members from all different groups. As the activity committee chair, we have had many social events such as holiday gatherings, summer picnic, ice cream socials as well as our 30th Anniversary party. This year we will start planning for our 40th Anniversary which will be held in 2025.

Please consider me for the Vice President position so I can continue to help DBSA Boston grow.

Thank you! -Lillian

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Dr. Martin Petracchi – Vice President

My Name is Martín Petracchi. It is an honor and a privilege to be a first-time candidate for the position of Vice President of DBSA Boston.

I was born and raised in Argentina, and lived and worked in Switzerland for 6 years, before finding my home here in the States, when I relocated with my family 20 years ago. I’m a proud father of three beautiful children.

Aside from being a medical doctor by training and having worked in the life sciences field for the last 30 years, I am a person who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 2 only three and a half years ago, even though I’m pretty sure I started dealing with this condition early in my childhood. But, first and foremost, I am a person. Not a diagnosis. A person who loves and hurts, laughs and cries, thrives and struggles, and cares for others.

I’ve been involved with the organization since December 2020, first as a tech buddy, then as facilitator, and then as director on the board, where I’ve served for the past 2 years. I believe in the positive power of the human connection. For people like me, like you, like us. All of us. That’s why I believe DBSA Boston is for anyone and everyone who wants to participate in it.

I’m also convinced that it’s essential for DBSA Boston’s leadership to always have new perspectives, to continue growing the organization, by reaching and touching the lives of people affected by mood disorders. If elected, I pledge to serve with respect, compassion, and an open mind; but also with creativity, passion, and a speak-up attitude.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, I’m committed to continue working with all of you, together with our leadership, in a transparent way, to ensure that you’ll always find a safe space in this community, where everyone feels included, respected, and supported.

Finally, I want to remind you that you can always reach out to me. My email address is martin@dbsaboston.org. Thank you, and Godspeed!

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Meach Cravotta-Crouch – Secretary

Hi, my name is Michaela Cravotta-Crouch. Most of you may know me as Meach.

I have been a member of DBSA Boston for over 14 years.

DBSA has done so much for me. I have met lifelong friends, found a supportive environment that I love, and DBSA has saved the beautiful relationship I have with my mother today. I have met so many amazing people throughout all the different groups.

I have been a member of leadership in many roles over the years, as well as being the DBSA Boston Office Manager.

I am excited to run for Secretary, as this will be a new way for me to get involved and give back to an organization that has given so much to me and my family.

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Susan Reynolds – Treasurer

Hi! I’m Susan Reynolds and I’m running for treasurer for DBSA Boston. I have been an active member since 1999: as a share care participant, facilitator, editor of the Polars’ Express, and as a board member: 8 terms as secretary, ½ term as treasurer.

I have been in accounting and financial reporting for 50 years, in schools, hospitals, banking, and public accounting. I have been the treasurer for another nonprofit for 9 years. I had to resign as treasurer for DBSA Boston in 2019, when my husband and I moved to Arizona. Now that so much can be done remotely, I am eager to take on the role again.

It has been 25 years since my mom and I walked into our first MDDA Boston meeting… distraught, confused, and feeling totally lost. The understanding, caring, and support this group has given is extraordinary. You are the main reason our family has managed to stay together throughout the turmoil of affective disorder. I am profoundly grateful and try to give back as much as possible.

I hope you will support my candidacy for treasurer.

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Joseph DeAlmeida – Director

My name is Joseph DeAlmeida. I have asked to run for a board of director position at DBSA Boston. Currently I’m a facilitator for DBSA Boston normally at the Mania and Bipolar group on Wednesdays at least once a month.

I enjoy going to the Open-Mic and Poetry night at DBSA Boston. The first time I had read any of my poems outside of school was at one of these events. Many people have come to support us at these events.

When I first found DBSA Boston, over two years ago through a CPS, I didn’t know what to expect. But now it is part of my own recovery. The shared experience and support is incredible. I love how from week to week that you can ask the same question and still receive more support. When I facilitate, I tend to say during the course of the meeting that you shouldn’t be afraid to bring the same topic or question next week. I feel it is important for everyone to be listened to and get what they need from the support group.

Thank you for taking time and caring about what happens to DBSA Boston moving forward.

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Jennifer Frantz – Director

My name is Jennifer Frantz and I am running for the DBSA Boston Board of Directors. It has been my privilege to serve on the Board of Directors for the last two years. Many things have been accomplished in that time, and I am proud to be a part of some of those things. I was on the committee to redesign the website, and also instrumental in finding a temporary location for in-person support groups. I also serve as Chair of the Tech Committee and enjoy volunteering in many other ways for DBSA Boston. I am looking forward to serving another two years representing you on the Board of Directors. Thank you!

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Caitlin Walsh – Director

Hi everyone, my name is Caitlin. I’m excited to be a candidate for DBSA Boston’s Board of Directors this year.

I joined DBSA Boston 3 years ago. I’ve been volunteering as a tech buddy for the Young Adults group for 2 years. I’m a poet and you may have seen me read at open mic. I am a presenter with NAMI In Our Own Voice. This year I co captained DBSA Boston’s NAMIWalks team. I’ve worked in the legal advocacy nonprofit space for 6 years. I’ve lived half my life with mental illness but I wasn’t diagnosed as bipolar specifically until I was 30.

Early on I knew this was a place for me. A peer led, peer affirming space. That meant so much to me when I was too scared to talk “mental health stuff” with my friends, afraid they’d be put off. Whenever I had mental health flares it felt as if I was the only one having those experiences.

But that’s not true. Everyone at DBSA Boston gets it. We use our lived experience as shorthand to bond, no matter where we are, who we are, what our diagnosis is. I’m glad that I’ve made friends through DBSA, and I’m more comfortable talking about my own experience, something that was hard to imagine when I started this journey. I know this community is special and I want to give back to it. Along the way I’ve donated and become a member of DBSA Boston.

Now I hope to do something more active by serving on the Board. Please consider voting for me. I hope to bring more queer and young adult representation to the Board of Directors. Thank you!

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Last updated: 05/29/2024