The Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties (MHACGC) announced the election of their new Executive Leadership Team for the Board of Directors at their Annual Meeting on Monday, June 20th. Thomas Hess has been named President of the Board, replacing long term President, Jeff Barrett. Joining Tom in the Executive Committee are Richard Washburn, Vice President; Jay Aronson, Secretary; and Sean DuBois, Treasurer.
The new President, Tom Hess stated "The new executive team is ready to provide the necessary leadership to continue guiding the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene through the uncertain times ahead." The Board will focus on quality assurance, the effectiveness of mental health services, the escalation of needed mental health issues in our communities, and the ongoing stigma(s) associated with the treatment of individuals seeking services.
MHACGC will strive to continue improving connections with other community agencies and professionals to better ensure comprehensive services are received and no person in need may fall through a crack in service. MHACGC will continue to expand their efforts to improve communication, collaboration and coordination of services within the community. Mr. Hess also stated that the Mental Health Association "is currently taking steps to enhance and expand the internal organizational infrastructure to provide more efficient delivery of services at reduced costs to the community."
Thomas Hess has dedicated his forty year professional career to developing, implementing and monitoring federal, state, regional, local, and organizational specific programs toward the goal of reducing trauma and improving outcomes for child victims of severe abuse and/or neglect. He developed and provided oversight for all Child and Family Safety Programs funded through the NYS Office of Children Families Services as well the Federal Children's Justice Act Program. Mr. Hess has served on numerous national, Federal, State, and New York City task forces and committees.
Richard Washburn is a career public servant having over thirty-two years with the State of New York in the Human Resources, technology and engineering fields. He is Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Ethics, former seat on the County Environment Management Council, and is trained in National Incident Management System (NIMS) for disaster preparedness and recovery.
Mr. Washburn serves as Chaplain to the Hudson Police Department, Greenport Fire Department, and multiple civil and community organizations in the county. He is also an active volunteer firefighter and certified as a peace officer with training in Fire Police Squad operations.
Jay Aronson has dedicated her professional career working for students, families, and members of the community as an integral part of the Hudson City School District Guidance Office. She brings over 34 years of experience in prevention and intervention activities, advocacy and social/emotional and career development. Her strong commitment to the total development each child she worked with is reflected in her approach on serving as a member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Aronson is also a Moderator in the Canaan Congregational church (United Church of Christ).
Sean DuBois is the Southern Region Executive, Vice President of Commercial Lending at the Bank of Greene County. With over 30 years of experience in Banking, Mr. DuBois has developed extensive experience in analyzing financial statements, corporate structure and strategy for businesses of varying sizes. He has assisted many businesses throughout the Hudson Valley in all phases from startup and growth to winding down or selling.