Howard Center’s Chief Client Services Officer Catherine Simonson to retire

Howard Center announces the retirement of its Chief Client Services Officer Catherine Simonson, LICSW who has been with the agency for 27 years.

Catherine Simonson has dedicated her career to the wellbeing of Vermonters. She joined Howard Center in 1994 and spent more than 22 years as a social worker leading and expanding child and family programming, beginning with a program delivering school social work services that has expanded into a team of more than 60 clinicians working in every school in Chittenden County.

During her tenure as Chief Client Services Officer, Catherine has been responsible for the oversight and management of all Howard Center Client Services including more than 50 clinical programs and a range of other lifesaving supports for mental health, substance use, and developmental disabilities that support the 19,000 people the agency helps each year. She has embraced our mission to help people and communities thrive and has worked steadfastly to ensure our clients, friends, and neighbors have access to high-quality care when it is needed. Catherine most recently led an initiative to embed cultural liaisons into the agency’s access and intake process to ensure readily available, accessible care for our refugee and immigrant communities.

Bob Bick, Howard Center CEO says, “It isn’t possible to do justice to the significant professional leadership role and contribution Catherine has played in the creation, evolution, and development of every one of the fifty-plus programs at Howard Center during her tenure. Her positive influence and commitment to our clients is present in every program, policy, and practice and her leadership and counsel will be sorely missed. It is only fitting that at this year’s KidSafe Collaborative Awards Celebration on April 26, Catherine will be honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Catherine has served on many interagency teams, committees, and boards during her long tenure. She currently serves on the University of Vermont Health Network Home Health & Hospice Board, another way she has worked to keep the needs of our entire community at the forefront.

Simonson says, “My heart is heavy as I care so much about the agency’s work and deeply believe in its mission. We are fortunate to have a talented group of committed leaders and staff at Howard Center who will continue our critical work in the community.”

The agency has engaged Gallagher Flynn to support its recruitment efforts and will conduct an interview process with engagement from our clients, staff, board, community partners, and members of the community. Bick says, “We will work to bring forward a leader who can continue to keep faith with Catherine’s commitment to our mission, vision, and values.”