Mental Health America (MHA) of Greater Houston announces that its board of directors has selected Renae J. Vania-Tomczak as the organization’s next president and chief executive officer. Tomczak, who most recently served as the president and CEO of Mental Health America of Lake County (MHALC) in Indiana—an organization focused on prevention and early intervention efforts of families with children ages 0-5—will succeed Susan Fordice, the company’s previous leader, on July 16.
“After thorough succession planning and a comprehensive search process, the board is pleased to have found the best individual to assume leadership of this first-class team and organization,” said Dr. Stephen Linder, board chairman of MHA of Greater Houston. “Renae has a track record of strong leadership and exceptional performance in turnaround and high-paced organizations. This combined with her deep industry knowledge makes her uniquely qualified to lead MHA successfully into the future.”
“I’m honored, and I’m grateful to the board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of creative, dedicated and talented professionals,” said Vania-Tomczak. “MHA of Greater Houston produces innovative, relevant and insightful programming that improves the wellbeing of people every day, and our service impacts the area and far beyond where we live. This is a terrific opportunity that any leader would welcome.”
Prior to her to her leadership at MHALC, Vania-Tomczak served as the Chief Planning and Development Officer at a community mental health center where she led efforts in the development of a 60-unit permanent supportive housing project, based on the Housing First model, serving the needs of people who are chronically mentally ill. Overall, she has more than 15 years of executive level non-profit leadership experience, 10 years of entrepreneurial business experience, and 5 years as an independent consultant to non-profit organizations.
Vania-Tomczak holds a bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is trained in the Continuous Quality Improvement better decision-making model for health entities. She is a co-founder of the Indiana MHA Executive Roundtable and an active member of the Healthy Families Indiana Think Tank, the Lake County Systems of Care Consortium, and the Indiana Balance of State Continuum of Care Board to reduce homelessness. In 2017, Vania-Tomczak received the honor of being named Northwest Indiana Influential Woman, Nonprofit.
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Mental Health America of Greater Houston is the area’s longest serving mental health education and advocacy organization driving community solutions to promote mental health for all people and communities in the areas of children and education, integrated health care, women, suicide prevention, and veterans. We actively work to replace misperceptions and misunderstanding about mental illness with compassion; link people to mental health services; provide education and training for key sectors of the community; remove barriers to mental health care by facilitating change in systems and advocate for legislative solutions that address the vast unmet need for public mental health services.