The board of directors of Family Service of the Chautauqua Region recently announce the appointment of Jim McElrath, LCSW-R as the new executive director as of April 1. He is replacing Donna Vanstrom who will retire at the end of March.
McElrath came to work for Family Service of the Chautauqua Region in 1999 following a career as a social worker with Chautauqua County Office of Mental Hygiene in charge of case management and then therapeutic foster care and as a social worker in a private psychotherapy practice. He has over 20 years of experience in the mental health field and 15 years of experience in staff and program management.
"It is my hope that the variety of experiences I have had the opportunity to be involved with at Family Service of the Chautauqua Region to date combined with my prior experiences in local mental health will help us to continue to be an important part of the local system of care. We have a unique ability to address barriers to service in our agency and I am excited to be able to carry this mission forward. I am fortunate to have a wonderful staff to work with moving forward and to have had the steady leadership of Donna Vanstrom as we make this new transition as an agency."
"The board of directors is extremely excited about the appointment of James McElrath as our new executive director," said Joelle Washer, board president. "Jim is very much in tune with the organization, our community needs and the future direction of Family Service of the Chautauqua Region. We look forward to Jim's leadership, expertise, and passion for the organization," Washer said.
Jim is a graduate of SUNY at Buffalo with a master's in social work. He is licensed and certified to practice by New York State Department of Education. He lives in Bemus Point with his life partner, Myriam Mayshark and two sons, Brandon and Kevin.