Mary Russo appointed CEO of Mental Health Association

Mary Russo has been appointed president and chief executive officer of The Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County (MHA). Until recently she served on the same position on an interim basis.

“The board is excited to have Mary join us,” said in a press release Michael Moeller, board president. “Mary has displayed tremendous leadership during her interim role and brings extensive nonprofit management experience to us. Her passion and dedication to our mission will position our organization for an exciting future ahead helping us serve more people in our community.”

Previous to her joining MHA, Russo served as the chief financial officer at the Jewish Community Center. She brings more than 15 years of service in the nonprofit sector.

Russo will focus on expanding programs and services offered at the MHA, with a grand reopening of its newly renovated Life Skills building scheduled for this September.

“The Mental Health Association has been promoting mental wellness through a spectrum of culturally competent services for more than 30 years,” said Russo. “Thanks to our dedicated staff, board members, volunteers and generous donors we have been able to provide excellent services and programs in the Rochester community.  I am excited to build and expand on that great work,”

Russo will draw on her professional and her life experience to lead the organization. “Growing up in the city of Rochester with a single parent who was diagnosed with paranoid Schizophrenia allowed for me to experience compassion in foster homes and appreciate family.  Understanding that mental illness is not a choice allowed me to understand that my mother’s inpatient stay was not a choice of abandonment, but rather an opportunity for her to gain the support necessary to rebuild our family” said Russo.  “My employment here at MHA is my opportunity to support others in the community of where I received so much assistance over my lifetime.”

Photo: Russo