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Board of Directors Announces Departure of Dr. Valerie Grdisa, CEO CMHA SCB

June 3, 2024 Barrie, ON: The Board of Directors, Canadian Mental Health Association, Simcoe County Branch (“CMHA SCB”) announces that after 4.5 years of service as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Valerie (“Valerie”) Grdisa has decided to step down from her post, effective August 5, 2024 to pursue an exciting opportunity, as the CEO for the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). Valerie will remain with the organization throughout August 2024 to ensure a seamless transition.

“Everyone at CMHA SCB is grateful to Valerie for her outstanding service and her many achievements,” Dr. Ayodele Akenroye, Chair of the Board of Directors, CMHA SCB, said in a statement released on Monday. “We recognize the significant impact made by Valerie in leading our organization, managing a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers through challenging times, and creating our ambitious strategic plan and then meeting its countless deliverables. Her tireless efforts were admired and highly valued, and her exceptional leadership earned CMHA SCB exemplary status following the March 2024 Accreditation Canada survey. There would be a further occasion to thank Valerie more fully and to wish her well, but I can say now that she will be much missed.”

“After several years of consistent growth and building partnerships across Simcoe County and within local communities, I feel this is a good point to hand over leadership,” said Dr. Valerie Grdisa. “I want to thank all the amazing people at CMHA SCB, our community partners and the CMHA Ontario/National family for their collegiality and support throughout the years. I will work with the management team and the board to ensure a smooth transition and I will continue to be a champion of the profound impact that CMHA services and supports have on individuals’ mental health and well-being across the nation.”

In line with the board’s established succession planning process, Dr. Jennifer Fillingham, currently serving as Director, Service Operations at CMHA SCB, will be stepping into the interim CEO role effective August 6, 2024. A search committee within the Board of Directors will oversee the process of finding a successor CEO.
We wish Valerie well in the future as she embarks on her new national leadership role as the CEO role for CNA and we look forward to working closely with Jennifer in the coming months.

Board of Directors CMHA SCB

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