Cerini Nonprofit Connection – CEO Transitions
Join Ken Cerini and guests Colleen Merlo and Micheal Stoltz from Association for Mental
Health and Wellness for our monthly nonprofit webinar series!
In this webinar, we will discuss best practices for transitioning CEOs effectively and smoothly.
More about our Speakers:
An experienced, dynamic and committed non-profit leader, Colleen Merlo, a licensed social worker and a Rocky Point resident, has worked for more than twenty years in the not-for-profit sector, focusing on issues of violence, mental health, gender equity, and poverty.
Ms. Merlo is the CEO of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW), where she provides strategic leadership to the organization. MHAW Based in Ronkonkoma, the Association for Mental Health and Wellness is a not-for-profit organization that provides programs, services, and advocacy for people in Suffolk County who face mental health challenges, with an enhanced focus on service to veterans.
Prior to assuming the leadership of MHAW, Colleen Merlo had spent more than six years as executive director of L.I. Against Domestic Violence, which provides an array of support services to both male and female victims of domestic violence. During her tenure, she expanded the organization’s scope of services and introduced a number of programmatic innovations.
Before that, she was executive director of the Mental Health Association in Suffolk County (MHA Suffolk) where she provided direction to drive the mission and vision. Ms. Merlo’s strength in building effective collaborations, her advocacy, and tirelessly efforts to bring public attention to the issues facing Long Island’s most vulnerable, greatly enhanced the effectiveness of local programming.
Colleen Merlo earned a master’s degree in Social Work at SUNY Stony Brook’s School of Social Welfare. She received a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
She is a past co-chair of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Long Island, serves on the board of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, as well as the Suffolk County Teen Pregnancy Advisory Board. She is a past board member of MHAW as well as the Suffolk County Family Violence Task Force, chairing the Prevention Sub-Committee. She was honored two consecutive years by Long Island Business News, receiving the Top 50 Women in Business award in 2019 and the Non-Profit Leadership Excellence award in 2020.
Michael Stoltz has been a social worker for over 40 years. He was the first and only Executive Director of Clubhouse of Suffolk since its inception in 1990. Clubhouse merged in 2014 with the Mental Health Association in Suffolk and Suffolk County United Veterans and re-branded as the Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW). The organization has grown under Mike’s stewardship to serve over 5000 Suffolk County residents each year with 200+ employees and a $18m annual budget until he retired at the end of 2020. MHAW has been the recipient of many awards, most recently including NEWSDAY’s Top Workplace (twice in mid-size category), HIA’s Business Achievement (Non-Profit Category), and the PSEG Foundation.
Mike served on, and often chaired or co-chaired many non-profit Boards of Directors, public-private coalitions, and workgroups on Long Island and across New York State. He has served as speaker, presenter, and panelist on hundreds of conferences and webinars on topics of mental health, organizational development and change, and poverty and health issues.
He is also a proud Rotarian for over 30 years, following his Dad into that international service organization. In his retirement, Mike continues to work as a consultant to local organizations, instructs Mental Health First Aid classes, and as a clinical social worker in private psychotherapy practice. He enjoys golf, exercise, biking, and sings with the Harbormen, a local barbershop chorus. He and his wife Robin enjoy RV travel, including 49 states and many National Parks and monuments. They also proudly carry on their daughter Leah’s work with a global non-profit she founded and chairs, Curvy Girls Scoliosis Foundation.