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Collene Alexander will leave Family Counseling Service of Northern New York

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Collene D. Alexander confirmed Thursday that she will resign as chief executive officer of Family Counseling Service of Northern New York by month’s end.

She said she gave the agency’s Board of Directors notice a few months ago.

“It’s not for a bad reason I’m leaving; I’d really like to do something in quality improvement,” she said. “I’ve been able to do some of that at Family Counseling Service, but it’s a very exciting time in health care.”

Mrs. Alexander was hired to Family Counseling Service’s top position in February 2010, as a part-time employee, working 24 hours per week. She said she will now seek full-time employment elsewhere.

Now also is a good time to leave the agency, Mrs. Alexander said, because “the agency is in a good place.”

Her decision to leave the nonprofit agency comes at a time when it has begun to improve its stability through community partnerships and fundraising. Under her direction, Family Counseling Service has tripled its monthly client counseling visits, from 380 three years ago to 1,000 now.

The agency also has expanded program offerings and its physical space on the fifth floor of 120 Washington St.

All of Family Counseling Service’s accomplishments throughout her tenure, she said, have been made possible with the help of community members, community agencies, Jefferson County government, and agency staff.

Calls seeking comment to Board President Thomas H. Hefferon were not returned Thursday.

Mrs. Alexander did confirm Thursday that Family Counseling Service’s Operations Director Jennifer Meagher would serve as interim CEO.

Her Family Counseling Service departure marks the second nonprofit executive position she’s left in the last 14 months. In October 2012, she resigned as executive director of the North Country Family Health Center, then known as North Country Children’s Clinic. She held that position while maintaining her part-time post at Family Counseling Service.

Prior to joining the agency, Mrs. Alexander had been Carthage Area Hospital’s administrator for quality and strategic growth, a community development specialist for the now defunct Rural Health Care Alliance, and held various other agency jobs since 1981.

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