After serving Kitsap Mental Health Services for more than four years as chief operating officer, Monica Bernhardt will move into the CEO position left vacant by the retirement of Joe Roszak, the organization announced Monday.
“I’m really excited about it,” Bernhardt said Monday, adding that she will continue the work the agency has already contributed to the community.
“The CEO before me, Joe Roszak, left quite a legacy to follow… I don’t see us doing anything completely new. What I see us doing really builds on a lot of the great initiatives that have already started here,” Bernhardt said.
The board of Kitsap Mental Health Services selected Bernhardt after a national search, unanimously agreeing that Bernhardt’s nonprofit leadership experience and business acumen made her the “ideal person” to lead the agency, KMHS board president Patty Lent said in a statement .
“Monica has a heart for our clients and a deep gratitude for the staff members and partners who bring hope and healing to our community,” Lent said.
The position, sponsored by Washington, D.C.-based Valtas, a firm that specializes in executive recruitment for nonprofit organizations, attracted more than 100 applications, according to KMHS.
Bernhardt joined Kitsap Mental Health Services in 2018 as the agency’s director of development and also served as the chief financial officer and chief operating officer of KMHS before assuming Roszak’s position. Roszak retired on July 5 after leading the agency for 14 years.
Read more:Kitsap Mental Health Services Executive Director Joe Roszak will retire in July
During Bernhardt’s time at KMHS, she led the community partnership that created Pendleton Place, Kitsap County’s first permanent supportive housing facility built for chronically homeless people struggling with serious mental health or substance use disorders. substances. After spring move-in dates were delayed due to fire safety concerns verified by the city of Bremerton, the 72-unit apartment complex is now home to 68 people.
Bernhardt said the agency expects Pendleton Place to be fully occupied by the end of the month and that residents are receiving primary care and behavioral health services provided at the apartment.
“We hear a lot of positive feedback from the residents themselves that it’s a life-changing experience, … they can’t believe they have the opportunity to live there. So, I’d say we’re definitely headed in the right direction,” Bernhardt said of the suite’s work.
“Blessings to this community”: Newly completed Pendleton Place is ready for tenants
Bernhard has also led some projects, including contracting with managed care organizations and implementing a call center and centralized scheduling to better serve the agency’s clients, according to KMHS.
Her other nonprofit leadership experience includes serving as Director of Housing and Community Services for Kitsap Community Resources and Executive Director of Bremerton Foodline. Bernhard previously spent 15 years in the private sector, according to KMHS.
Originally from Bremerton, Bernhard graduated from Bremerton High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in finance from Seattle University.
“We serve the most challenged people in our community, and we do so with an open heart and a commitment to hope and healing,” Bernhardt said. “I know we’re going to do great things together.”
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