Rising Star: Britni Farber

Britini Farber in detail

Age: 38.

Job title/occupation/place of employment: Executive director, NAMI Dubuque. Owner/artist, Britni Farber Beauty and Art.

Volunteer activities:

  • NAMI Dubuque board of directors 2014-2017.
  • NAMI Dubuque chairman/president 2018-2022.
  • NICC Nursing Advisory Council, NAMI representative.
  • Mental Health America, NAMI representative.
  • Sharing Beautiful Ministries, vice president, board of directors.
  • VNA Junior board, 2019.
  • Brain Health Committee, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in speech communications, University of Dubuque. Graduate coursework, clinical psychology, Grace College, 2012-2015. Capri College, 2008. Makeup Designory Schools, 2008.

Family: I have a very big and blended family, and two children, Hudson and Cruz.

Person most inspirational to me and why: My brother Dustin has always been inspiring to me. Even from the time as children, he has been thoughtful, kind, introspective, protective, giving, mentoring, supportive and edifying to me as a person through all of my endeavors. His giving and efforts within the community are inspiring, and I respect his work ethic. I have met some valuable and lifelong friends on account of him and his lovely wife, and I am thankful for their forever love and friendship.

Favorite thing to do outside of work:

  • Play the piano.
  • Paint.
  • Travel.
  • Go out for dinner or coffee.

One word to describe me: Dynamic.

What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I can be quite introverted and really like musical theater.

Greatest fear: I don’t really have a greatest fear, besides hot lava and quicksand.

What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: Being connected to my core person and having the capacity to encourage others.

Britni Farber, NAMI Dubuque/Britni Farber Beauty and Art

Involvement in the nonprofit world and focusing on mental and brain health lends itself to a lot of behind the scenes work, according to Britni Farber.

So the Rising Stars award helps puts her work with NAMI Dubuque into perspective. She got involved with the chapter around 2013, shortly after someone close to her was diagnosed with a “chronic mental health condition.”

“The person I love and care about very much, of course, had to go into the hospital like a lot of people do when they’re in crisis,” she said. “And I can remember sitting on the hospital floor, outside of this person’s room thinking to myself, ‘How do I help this person that I love, and how do I help myself? How do you pick up your pieces and how do you start over and how do you define a new normal?’”

Farber first sat on NAMI’s board of directors before becoming chairman and in May was named executive director. One of her biggest goals when she became chairman was to get volunteers “out from behind the desk.”

Nicole Gantz nominated Farber, noting her business acumen with Britni Farber Beauty and Art, her NAMI involvement and her experience on movie sets.

“Britni’s high level of emotional intelligence has led her to intervene when she sees signs of mental health issues, such as anxiety, panic attacks, etc. and doubles as a counselor, aiding an actor through a brief moment of pain, getting them back to set,” Gantz said in her nomination letter.

In her first year as NAMI chairman and president, Farber spoke more than 50 times about brain health and mental health education.

“You have to be transparent and credible and authentic in your intent and reasoning for why you’re so engaged in an organization to really speak truth to the cause and really get people to listen to what you’re saying,” Farber said.