CEO of statewide mental health care provider to step down next month


The president and CEO of Sweetser, which supplies community-based psychological well being care providers all through Maine, will step down from her function in September after greater than 20 years with the Saco-based nonprofit.

Debra Taylor will depart Sweetser so as to relocate exterior Maine together with her husband, a spokeswoman instructed Mainebiz on Thursday.

“I’ve made the choice to cross the baton to new management after serving the group in lots of capacities all through the years,” Taylor stated in a information launch. “It has been my absolute pleasure to work with our workers members, donors and volunteers offering providers which are wanted now greater than ever earlier than.”

Jessica Demers, chair of the Sweetser board of administrators, stated the board has begun a seek for Taylor’s successor. Within the meantime, Chief Program Officer Jim Martin will assist the transition and lead day-to-day operations.

“We’re appreciative of Deb’s management and contributions to Sweetser all through the years,” DeMers added.

Taylor, who was honored in 2016 as one in every of 4 Mainebiz Ladies to Watch, is a Sanford native who was educated at Maine universities, joined Sweetser in 2000 and labored her method up from director of affected person accounts to controller after which vice chairman of finance. She held that function for seven years. In 2014 she was named president and CEO, after the retirement of Carl Pendleton, who had served in that place for greater than twenty years.

In a earlier interview, she instructed Mainebiz she was not initially on the observe to turn into CEO, since that was a place historically held by well being care professionals.

“Once I began right here, it was unthinkable that anybody from a finance background would find yourself within the CEO seat,” she stated on the time of her Ladies to Watch choice.

Management roles at Sweetser and different care suppliers modified as medical insurance, Medicaid and different programs demanded extra accountability, in accordance with Taylor. In 2016, Sweetser had 700 staff and an working price range of $55 million.

Sweetser was based in 1828 by Cornelius Sweetser and for years ran orphanages. At the moment, it operates a community of dozens of web sites that serve 20,000 shoppers yearly in areas together with psychological and behavioral well being, mental and developmental disabilities, restoration, and training. Sweetser can be the biggest supplier of cell disaster providers in Maine.