CMHNetwork Advisory Council member Eliot Brenner named new CEO for Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut

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eliotFollowing a national search, the Board of Directors of the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, Inc. (CGC), announced Wednesday that it has chosen a new president and CEO who will succeed current leader Sherry Perlstein, who’s led the organization for nearly 30 years.

Eliot Brenner, Ph.D., has been selected as the next President and CEO for the organization, calling him “the ideal choice to build on the success of CGC and move the organization forward as an integral and critical service and program provider of mental health services for children and families in the region.”

Brenner will begin his duties on Jan. 4.

“We are very fortunate to welcome Dr. Brenner to CGC. As a proven leader, his skills and experience will help the Child Guidance Center continue to provide critical mental health services to nearly 3,000 children each year” Board Chairman Jay Sandak said in a statement. “Only with a strong staff and capable leadership can we meet the needs of local children in such challenging times.”

Brenner will succeed Perlstein, who has served as president and CEO since 1986. “Sherry’s leadership over nearly three decades is astounding. She has fostered a tremendous amount of growth, introducing mobile services and new community locations. Our programs are more responsive to the community’s changing and urgent needs” Sandak said. “Her influence will remain with us as a significant part of the agency’s history.”

Earlier this year Perlstein announced her retirement.

“I am incredibly proud of what our highly committed and skilled staff and Board have accomplished together at CGC. Though parting from a wonderful organization is difficult, it is made easier knowing the leadership will be in the very capable hands of Dr. Brenner,” Perlstein said in a statement. “While his credentials and accomplishments make it clear he is eminently qualified, the time I have spent with him through the early phase of our transition has convinced me he has the passion required to excel in his role.”

The executive transition and search process was conducted by Third Sector New England’s Executive Transition Program with Transition Consultant Michael J. Negron.

Brenner is a psychologist with clinical and executive experience. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University, and Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Chicago. His professional experience includes leadership positions with Casey Family Services, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Brenner served for 11 years at Casey Family Services, the direct services agency of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, as the Director of Clinical Services and then Deputy Executive Director Operations; and oversaw all programs and a $36 million budget for the multi-state agency that provided child welfare, mental health, and family support services for more than 4,000 vulnerable youth and families annually.

Brenner serves on the advisory boards of the Children’s Mental Health Network and the Praesidium National Advisory Council, and was formerly on the board of the Southwest Community Health Center.

CGC serves children, from birth to 18, in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan with a clinical staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other clinicians who work with nearly 3,000 children annually. For more information about professional mental health services, call CGC at 203-324-6127 or visit www.childguidancect.org.

This article originally appeared on patch.com.

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