Joanna Linden

  • Name
  • Joanna Linden
  • Title
  • Executive Director
  • Organization
  • Austin Clubhouse
  • Years as Executive Director
  • I am the new Executive Director at Austin Clubhouse. For over 20 years I have been serving the greater Austin community in nonprofit management roles for health and human services organization such as Easter Seals Central Texas, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & South Texas, and most recently, the Central Texas Food Bank. My leadership expertise is in organizational development and comprehensive fundraising.

  • What does your organization do?
  • Austin Clubhouse exists to provide acceptance and empowerment so adults living with mental health diagnoses can pursue personal goals and play a meaningful role as co-workers, colleagues, family members, neighbors and friends.

    Austin Clubhouse believes reaching your greatest potential is possible through hope, respect and community. Through an evidence-based model of wellness, community and independence -- we believe recovery from mental health diagnoses is possible.
  • How did you become interested in this work?
  • I grew up in a family that was very community oriented. From a young age my parents were champions for vulnerable populations. They taught us early on about acceptance, love, and generosity. When I became a teenager I traveled to Peru, South America on a missions trip to serve a community in poverty. The experience opened my eyes to human suffering and the disparities around the world. It was there I dedicated my life to helping others reach their full potential.
  • What drives your passion?
  • My own journey has been filled with hardship and tragedy and if it wasn't for the support of a loving family and generous community I wouldn't be where I am today. I will never forget the early days of struggle and what it meant to have people there who cared about me. Those experiences have driven me to give back and help others.
  • Did you have a mentor or role model?
  • I strongly believe in mentorship and the impact it has had on my life and career. I had a handful of key mentors along my journey who invested their time, talent, money and energy into my development. It wasn't always easy, but the lessons were invaluable. My role models have always been people who exemplified leadership, generosity and resilience.
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?
  • Helping the community understand, accept and support people with mental illness.
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?
  • Self-care.
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?
  • 1. Make decisions or decisions will be made for you.
    2. Strive for simplicity.
    3. If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.

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