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 Board of Directors

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Todd Crooks - Executive Director, Co-Founder 

Chad's Legacy Project

Mr. Crooks is the Executive Director of Chad's Legacy Project, established late in 2016. Along with his wife and CLP co-founder, Laura, they were bestowed the 2018 Hero Award by the Washington Council for Behavioral Health for CLP's comprehensive work in the improvement of the Washington Mental Health System. He also serves on the national Advisory Board for the Mental Health Literacy Collaborative, an organization dedicated to advancing mental health education in schools across the country. In 2023, he served on the School-Based Behavioral Health & Suicide Prevention Legislative Subcommittee for Washington State while leading a state-wide effort to mainstream the Washington Mental Health Advance Directive. In addition, he has spent the past 17 years in the field of real estate. 

Laura Crooks, OTR, EMHA - Co-Founder

CEO - Children's Village, Yakima, WA

After a successful 25 year career at Seattle Childrens Hospital rising from Occupational Therapist to Senior Director of Patient and Family Experience, she continues her journey as the first CEO for Children's Village of Yakima, leading that organization in new growth, serving children of need in Central Washington and beyond. Ms. Crooks is the Co-Founder of Chad's Legacy Project and has been instrumental in bringing Youth Mental Health First Aid into the mainstream in the Seattle Metro area and, with Todd, sits on the Washington State Mental Health Summit Advisory Council where they help to ensure the Vision and Mission of that state-wide resource. She also serves as the Vice president of the Board of Directors for Rod's House in Yakima, as well as serving on the Boards for Triumph Treatment Centers and Coordinated Care.

Melissa Carter

Partner/Managing Attorney, Adler | Giersch ps

After graduating from UW, Ms. Carter attended law school at Suffolk University in 1999. As current managing partner and Adler Giersch, Ms. Carter has received several accolades including a 10 point "Superior" rating with AVVO Ratings as a top rated personal injury attorney, as well as the highest available Peer rating through AV Preeminent. She has also volunteered extensively with the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington.

Roberta Romero

Executive Producer - Facing Race, KING 5 News

Roberta Romero is an Emmy nominated reporter who spent the majority of her career reporting for KING 5 (NBC) news. Since 1992, she has covered major news events in the Puget Sound Region, from the Nisqually Earthquake to the Boeing Dreamliner debut to Seafair. She now acts as the Executive Producer for Facing Race on KING5 News in Seattle as well as volunteers at many different organizations including, Seattle's Children's Hospital, Forefront (Suicide Prevention), Nordstrom Latina Summit and Seattle Public Schools. She also acts as the MC for the Washington State Mental Health Summit series.

Kristin Cruse

Operations Administrator, Adler | Giersch ps

Kristin Cruse is a University of Washington graduate and currently holds the title of Operations Administrator for the law firm of Adler Giersch ps.  Previous to joining the CLP board, Kristin served on the board for the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (formerly Brain Injury Association of Washington) for 15 years. There, she served in many roles including Board Secretary, Fundraising Committee Chair, and Gala Chair.  She is honored to be apart of CLP to help raise awareness in Mental health and lend her fundraising expertise to the organization. 

Anita Canonica

Deputy Regional Administrator for Home and Community Services, Washington State Dept. of Social and Health Services

​Anita Canonica is a senior leader with the Department of Social and Health Services, working for the betterment of our state's underserved. Her passion to improve the landscape of mental health in Washington State and beyond is not only informed by her position at DSHS, but she was also Chad's loving aunt. Anita was there with the loss of Chad, and she has been there, tirelessly, with every step as CLP has grown to it's leadership role in mental health advocacy.


Alanna Coyote

Business Administration/Project management, Seattle Childrens Hospital

She volunteers and organizes for other national suicide prevention advocacy non-profits, as well as being a powerful voice for Chad's Legacy Project. Her expertise has been utilized may ways for us, including a leadership role in making Unmask the Night, our signature gala event, a growing success each year.

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