Sandra McGuire, MBA, Takes Helm at Howard Center

BURLINGTON, VT —Sandra McGuire, MBA, became Howard Center’s CEO on June 1. McGuire has been at Howard Center for 25 years, starting in Intensive Child Services and spending the last ten years as chief financial and operations officer.

“I’m humbled to be entrusted with the role,” said McGuire, who is embarking on a summer listening tour visiting with community partners, clients and families, donors, and friends of the agency. “Howard Center reaches into so many parts of the community, I’m excited to gather perspectives and good ideas and bring them back to Howard Center to help us prioritize and plan for the future.”

McGuire succeeds Bob Bick who retired in May. “Bob leaves a remarkable legacy of numerous accomplishments as CEO and as a state and national leader, visionary, and innovator,” said Kelly Deforge, president of the Howard Center Board of Trustees. “Sandy knows this agency and the issues our community faces so well, she’s the right leader to pick up the baton and expertly guide Howard Center through the coming years.”

Howard Center is Vermont’s largest provider of mental health, substance use, and developmental supports and services, helping more than 19,000 people every year.

McGuire takes the helm at a time when Howard Center is facing a well-documented national mental health crisis combined with an increasingly dangerous mix of available street drugs. Although it isn’t as well publicized as overdoses and mental health issues, the prevalence of complex needs among young people with developmental disabilities is also rising.

“We have serious challenges, but I’m encouraged by the amazing things that continue to happen here every day,” said McGuire. “Clients are receiving treatment, support services, engaging in therapy and counseling, and taking steps in their recoveries. We’re at a critical juncture as community needs rise and outpace available resources, but with a focus on providing services where the need and our impact is the greatest, we’ll continue our legacy of responding to the mental health, substance use, and developmental needs of those we serve and our community.”

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