Rob Weiss has been the executive director of Mentis (formerly Family Service of Napa Valley) for more than five years, but he’s worked at the nonprofit for a total of two decades.
“We make a big difference in the lives of people we serve,” Weiss said. “We’re making Napa County a better place to live. It makes me want to get up and come to work every day.”
1. How did you get into this business?
It was a calling; it ran in the family. My grandmother was the founder of what became a huge nonprofit in Los Angeles called Portals. My mom was also a therapist. The desire to be of service in the community and work for social justice led me to become a social worker.
2. What’s a common question you get about your work?
The most common is “What do you do?”
Mentis is a professional and bilingual provider of mental health services in Napa County, to people of all ages, stages and income lives.
3. What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Seeking ways to generate enough financial resources to meet the increasing demand for mental health services while simultaneously developing our organizational infrastructure, which is a key component of ensuring that people have timely access to care.
4. Who do you most admire in the business world?
People that have built their business with vision, creativity and a desire to assist local communities where they live. I really respect business leaders that re-invest in making local communities better, healthier places to live, work and play.
5. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
Complete a long-distance race that involves physical endurance such as a marathon, triathlon, bike ride, etc.
6. If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
The availability of more financial resources to help people access the mental health care they need when they need it without having to wait. In the world of drug and alcohol services we talk about the importance of getting people into care immediately as soon as they are ready, it should be no different for Mental Health services.
7. What’s your next event at Mentis?
We have an open house on Wednesday, July 27, from 4 to 6 p.m.
We have a long history (as Family Service of Napa Valley) and we are well known in the nonprofit community, but I want there to be greater awareness in the general community and why our work matters and the impact it makes.
8. What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I used to enjoy surfing in high school and college when I lived near the beach in Southern California.
9. What was your childhood ambition?
To be a professional basketball player.
10. What’s your favorite team?
The first half of my life, in L.A., it was the Lakers. The second half of my life, it’s the Warriors.