Board of Directors
The Mental Health Association of San Francisco (MHASF) is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with a diversity of professional and personal skills relevant to the organization’s success, and encourages interest from individuals with personal lived experience of mental health conditions and consumers of mental health services in San Francisco.
Board Members share a commitment to promoting mental health and wellness within the community, advancing supports and resources to counter public stigma, discrimination, and unjust treatment of people with mental health conditions, and supporting the mission, vision, and values of MHASF.
Vivian Imperiale, MA, Board President
Vivian's mental health advocacy goes back to the 80s. Vivian sat on the Consumer & Family Member Task Force that worked with both Community Behavioral Health and UCSF to create the first peer positions. She was President of both the local and state National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
The Psychiatric Foundation of Northern California chose her as their first non-psychiatrist board member and brought her to the attention of the American Psychiatric Association who then presented Vivian with an award for breaking down barriers between consumers, family members, and professionals.
While president of NAMI-SF, the organization received NAMI National’s award for “Outstanding Public Education by an Affiliate.” Her passion led her to a 20-year career in vocational rehabilitation. Vivian was attracted to MHASF for its potential to display strong, visible advocacy in the community and to become the go-to agency for the media and public.
David Elliott Lewis, PhD, Vice President
San Francisco Community Activist and Trainer
David Elliott Lewis, Ph.D. was trained as an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. Working as a consultant to large organizations, he created software to assist in executive performance assessment. He has taught Masters level courses in the Human Resources and Organizational Development program at the University of San Francisco.
From 1984 to 2000, he founded and ran Strategic Edge, a database software development, publishing and consulting company. After several serious life setbacks including bankruptcy and divorce, he suffered a disabling depression. This led to a period of homelessness. In 2006, he gained housing and started rebuilding his life. Since 2007, he has found mental wellness by engaging in political writing, event photography, activism and volunteering to improve his community.
Resulting from his own mental health struggles, David is focused on improving access to mental health services and services for the homeless. He served two full terms for the Mental Health Board of the City and County of San Francisco.
David also serves on the San Francisco Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Advisory Council, the Board of Directors for NAMI SF and The Community Housing Partnership. He also serves on the SFPD Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) Working Group and works as a police CIT trainer. Additionally, to help those who live in single room occupancy (SRO) hotels, he works with the Central City SRO Collaborative.
John L. Cooper, JD, MBA, Secretary
John Cooper is the senior member and founder of Farella’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group where he has personally trained and mentored many leading trial lawyers. He regularly represents technology companies in complex patent actions and in cases addressing the confluence of intellectual property and antitrust issues. Mr. Cooper received his MBA from University of Chicago and JD from University of Colorado.
Maga Kisriev, CPA
Maga Kisriev is tax director at Hood & Strong LLP, a San Francisco-based accounting firm. Maga has 15 years of public accounting experience at various exempt organizations. Prior to moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010, Maga worked for national accounting firms in the Washington, DC area. Mr. Kisriev also has first-hand experience working directly for a nonprofit, serving as a field officer for the International Red Cross during the war in Chechnya. Mr. Kisriev holds a Master’s Degree in Accounting from East Tennessee State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Administration from King College. He is CPA licensed in California and Virginia.
Cassan Phelps, ACSW is a Program Director for a Crisis Residential Facility for a Non-Profit Mental Health Agency in Solano County, California. Cassan graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver, Colorado with an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Sciences and a Minor in Women's studies. Cassan went on to attend the University of Southern California and obtain a Masters of Social Work degree prior to moving to Napa, California in 2016. Cassan will become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Califronia by June of 2019.
Niket is a co-founder at Nexla and is an engineering leader with over 15 years of experience in technology product development, design and architecture, and team building. Prior to Nexla, he held engineering roles at Nokia, Qualcomm, Mobsmith, and Rubicon Project.
Niket has extensive nonprofit leadership experience. He served on the board of JDRF San Diego and has played various volunteer roles towards the organization of large scale fundraisers, problem-solving through the development and effective application of technology in the nonprofit sector, and volunteer management. Niket holds an MS from UCLA.
Alicia Wang, MBA
Alicia is a product, strategy, and operations leader with more than 15 years of experience in emerging technology. She has held product and strategy roles at Twitter, Microsoft, Disney, Playdom, Keepsafe, Swaylo, and Intralinks. Her industry experience includes financial services, SaaS, gaming, digital marketing, and mobile. Alicia holds an MBA from the Wharton School.