Community Mental Health Association Replaces Lobbyist

Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs bids farewell to Bobby Green, welcomes Andy Smith as new legislative liason

February 24, 2010 -- “Andy’s combination of personal integrity, broad experience in state and local government and his knowledge of people and issues make him an invaluable member of our team”, said Gina Nikkel, Executive Director of the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs. 

Andrew J. Smith is an attorney by training and is an active member of the Oregon State Bar. After attending Stanford on a Naval ROTC Scholarship and serving as a Commissioned Officer aboard the USS Reasoner during Operation Desert Shield, he graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1997. He is married to Jeaneth Villegas and has three children, Maili (8), Jerred (6) and Jaden (4). He is a native of Wausau, Wisconsin. 

Following his tenure as the Constituent Services Director for the Chief Executive of Multnomah County, Andy served as the Legislative Committee Administrator for the 2007 House Human Services and Women’s Wellness Committee. He has since served in the Executive Branch as Legislative Coordinator for the Addictions and Mental Health Division of DHS, Deputy Human Services Policy Advisor for Governor Kulongoski, and in Local and Government Relations for the Oregon Commission on Children and Families. 

“Andy has a proven track record of being able to translate the realities on the front lines to the world of legislative and executive policy making. He knows how to build relationships with policymakers, how to help strengthen and sustain collaborations, and how to get results,” said Nikkel. 

“With the 2011-13 revenue picture so uncertain, we must be prepared to work very hard to advocate for and invest in Oregon’s community mental health, addictions and developmental disabilities services,” added Nikkel. 

“I am tremendously excited to join Gina and her team. I feel especially fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many talented and committed Mental Health Directors who for years have had to ‘MacGyver’ solutions at the local level in response to very limited and very volatile funding,” said Smith. 

“I think we have the right yardstick for our work here at AOCMHP: ensuring that the needs of our customers and their families are met. With our limited resources, the only way we can succeed is the through the collaboration of state and local governments, the people we serve and their families, service providers and advocacy organizations. All of our partners have a role to play and I look forward to working with legislators to find solutions,” added Smith. 

Andy will assume the role of Bobby Green Sr., who recently accepted a position with the Oregon Health Authority, where he will serve as the Director of Local Government Affairs. “AOCMHP owes Bobby a great deal of gratitude for his dedicated service. With Bobby’s extensive County experience, AOCMHP is now very fortunate and proud to have the opportunity to work with him in his new role at DHS and to continue to strengthen our state-local partnership,” said Nikkel.

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