Honorable Mary F. Foster Named President of MHA Board of Directors
Mary F. Foster

MHA is pleased to announce the recent appointment of the Honorable Mary F. Foster, CPA, retired partner from Deloitte, and former Mayor of Peekskill, to the role of President of its Board of Directors. A long-time, dedicated member of the MHA Board of Directors since 1992, Foster has held a number of positions on the Executive Committee, including Treasurer and Vice President, as well as President of the Board in 2005 and 2006. 

“Our recent 75th anniversary has inspired many occasions during which we reflected on our rich history and our exciting future,” said MHA CEO Charlotte Östman, LCSW-R. “With this new year comes a pivotal period of transformation for our agency, and we are deeply grateful to have Mary Foster at the helm of our Board as we expand not only our services but the geographical regions in which we provide them. Just one of several new programs and services debuting shortly at MHA, our Driving Toward Resilience project will help us reach additional communities in Westchester and Rockland through innovative, customized behavioral health mobile units. This spring, we will also open the doors of our new White Plains clinic, co-located with a Federally Qualified Health Center offering primary medical and dental care. Additionally, our Court Appointed Special Advocates have recently increased their scope to Putnam County, where they will advocate for the needs of children in or at risk of placement in foster care. Mary’s commitment to MHA, which spans three decades, is a testament to her dedication for improving behavioral health services in our community. We are sure to benefit enormously from her leadership expertise as MHA continues to be renowned for its work and innovation.” 

Foster takes on the role after a four-year term held by Meryl A. Allison, who continues to offer her leadership and strategic planning experience as Treasurer. Executive Board leadership includes Vice Presidents Jeanette L. Fairhurst, Jennifer L. Kasoff, Nicholas R. Pirrotta, and Tracey Wilmot; and Secretary Ann Mandel Laitman, M.D. Committee leadership includes chairs Wilmot (Human Resources); David Flemister and Sean Mayer (Development); and Mary Jo Bramson and Ann Mandel Laitman (Programs). 

“I believe 2022 will be a crucial year for all behavioral health organizations to meet the unprecedented need in our communities,” said Foster. “I am heartened to hear and see public acknowledgement of the importance of mental health and the awareness of the emotional burden many families and individuals are carrying. I look forward to working with MHA’s talented staff and leaders in meeting that need.” 

Foster received her Bachelor of Business Administration and her Master of Business Administration degrees from Pace University. She was a partner in the Accounting Practice at Deloitte from 1987 through 2007, served as Mayor of the City of Peekskill from January 2008 through 2013 and was a Managing Director at Grant Thornton from 2010 through 2016. Through her professional career, Foster has worked with universities, international nonprofits, community nonprofits, health care providers, startup organizations and publicly-held companies. She has assisted companies in their expansion and merger plans, innovation strategies and compliance programs. As Mayor, Foster shepherded the City through the great recession while launching ambitious public investment projects.