BENNINGTON >> United Counseling Services has announced the hiring of a new executive director, who will take over the position when the current director retires at the end of October.
Lorna Mattern, who has been with the organization since 1990, has been selected to fill the shoes of Ralph Provenza, who announced in March that he would be retiring at the end of October after serving as executive director for 13 years.
"After conducting a national search, we were pleased to find that the best candidate was already among us and we can be assured of a smooth transition in leadership," said UCS Board President Bob Thompson, "Lorna has a proven commitment to the agency, its clients and its staff. She is well prepared to lead our organization and to insure that UCS remains a valuable asset in the community."
Mattern has been the director of UCS' Youth and Family Services Division since 2004. She holds a bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation and Counseling and a master's degree in Rehabilitation and Counseling. She also serves on the board of the Vermont Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth, the Vermont Care Partners Outcomes committee, and is a member of the Alliance for Community Transformations. In addition, she is a recipient of the Peter D. Scully Memorial Award, which is awarded at the UCS annual luncheon to the staff member who most demonstrates the qualities of professionalism, dedication, and sincerity, and was named a Vermont Youth in Transition Culture Competency Champion.
"Mattern has been actively involved in the agency's efforts to become a center of excellence and has helped shepherd the organization's transition to increased utilization of technology and social media," said UCS Director of Community Relations and Development Heidi French, "She plans to continue to build on the agency's mission to build a stronger community by empowering individuals and families to live healthy and meaningful lives."
Provenza is a veteran of the mental health field with over 40 years of experience. Prior to joining UCS in 1988, he was director of a private mental health agency in Newton, Massachusetts. He is originally from New York City and received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the City College of New York before going on to get his master's degree in social work at the State University of New York at Albany, where he began to work with children and families.
Provenza's accomplishments include growing UCS's budget from $2 million in 1988 to the current $18 million as well as expanding the staff base from 120 to 300 people.
"We thank Ralph for his exceptional leadership and guidance during interesting and challenging times for community mental health organizations like ours," said Thompson, "We all wish him well as he settles into a well-deserved retirement."
"United Counseling Service provides excellent service not only to our clients, but to the community as a whole," said Mattern, "Ralph has led us with vision and integrity these many years and I look forward to continuing our efforts to make UCS a great place to work and get care."
Contact Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.