Jon Gordon, who has served as the executive director for the Center for Mental Health for the past 20 years, has announced his retirement. Gordon was named executive director in September 1996.
The center has thrived under Gordon's guidance, growing from a small community mental health center to a vital community resource and a strategic partner to many agencies and organizations. With Gordon's desire to take mental health to the people, he has been instrumental in shaping integrated services as the practice model for the optimal delivery of mental health services across our communities. Through Gordon, the center has partnered with and integrated into schools, private healthcare practices, health and human services agencies, school-based health clinics, two federally qualified health centers, and the four jails in the region. Services span the six counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel with clients numbering more than 6,000 each year.
During his tenure, Gordon has represented the center, and mental health in general, at both the state and national levels serving on numerous boards and committees. It has been Gordon's determined advocacy for so many years that has led to many of the benefits that clients of the mental health system currently experience. Under his leadership the center was ranked the highest performing mental health center in the state of Colorado two different times -- in 2002 and again in 2006.
Gordon has set a vision for the future that will allow the Center for Mental Health to thrive beyond his tenure. His leadership has been extraordinary and because of that leadership, the center is well positioned for continued success.
Sharron Baldwin, president of the board of directors for the center said, "Jon is a steady and forward-thinking leader, understanding how important comprehensive mental health care is. His commitment to mental health care, substance use intervention, and integrated services across the six counties of western Colorado has been motivating to his staff and the board of directors."
Of his retirement, Gordon states, "It has been my great honor to serve an organization that is so very deeply committed to the well-being and recovery of individuals dealing with mental illness and substance use disorders. The staff at the center are on track to carry these services well into the future. They are dedicated to work to advance the mission, vision, and values of this organization and to continue to serve the region with outstanding behavioral health care."
Gordon gave the board members an adequate amount of notice so they were able to conduct a nationwide search to find the next leader of the organization. That search led them to Shelly Spalding who will be joining the Center for Mental Health on July 1. The board is excited to have found such a highly qualified candidate to fill the position. The center, the board and the region are privileged to have the experience and talent Spalding will bring. She is a proven leader who is very familiar with the mental health system in Colorado and excited to join the center staff in providing behavioral health care to the area. She comes to the center from the chief executive officer position at Behavioral Healthcare Inc. in Aurora. Gordon will stay on through September to ensure a smooth and successful transition for the new leader.