Kitsap Mental Health Services names new director

Kitsap Mental Health Services (KMHS) has named a new executive director to replace Larry Keller, who founded the agency in 1978.

Joe Roszak, currently executive director of Oswego County Opportunities Inc. in Fulton, N.Y., will assume the position in January, immediately after Keller’s scheduled retirement.

“Joe has the experience of heading an agency with 600 employees,” said KMHS Director of Development and Community Relations Rebecca Wilson. “He is adept with the funding mechanisms that we deal with and will make an excellent addition to our mental health community.”

Roszak now supervises a human services agency comprised of eight divisions, including mental health, delivering services to 24,000 clients annually at 62 work sites. He previously served as executive director of Riverside Center in Winston, Ore., for 16 years.

“I am looking forward to the privilege and the challenge of heading an agency with the reputation and prestige that KMHS enjoys in its community and in the state of Washington,” Roszak said. “And I am looking forward to being back in the beautiful Pacific Northwest again.”

A native of Wisconsin, Roszak received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, where he was named to “Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.”

He obtained his graduate degree from Southern Illinois University.

Roszak currently holds seats on the boards of the New York Community Action Agencies Association, Integrated Community Planning, and Oswego County Workforce Investment, and is the Chair of Government Relations for the Oswego County Chamber of Commerce, as well as former state president of the Oregon Employers Council.

Keller founded Kitsap Mental Health Services 30 years ago and has served as its only chief executive. During his tenure, the agency has grown from a small agency serving a few hundred clients to an organization employing nearly 400 and serving more than 5,000 clients in five locations around Kitsap County.

“It’s hard to leave an agency where I have spent virtually all of my career,” Keller said. “However, the decision is made so much easier knowing that it will be in Joe’s capable hands. The board of directors has made an excellent choice.”

Kitsap Mental Health Services is the primary provider of mental health services for Kitsap County. While access to most KMHS services is dependent on Medicaid eligibility or eligibility for other state funding.

Emergency services are available to all regardless of income.

For more information, call (360) 405-4010.

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