Help Hotline head offered top job at county mental health board

By William K. Alcorn


Duane Piccirilli, longtime executive director of Help Hotline Crisis Center, has been offered the same position at the Mahoning County Mental Health Board.

The board, at its meeting Thursday, which included two closed sessions totaling more than an hour, approved 6-1 a motion to accept the recommendation of its seven-member search committee that Piccirilli be offered the position.

Atty. James Callen, who cast the dissenting vote, said he favored a nationwide search rather than one limited to the state.

The board also approved a motion to develop and forward to Piccirilli a proposed comprehensive compensation package.

If he accepts the job, Piccirilli would replace Ronald Marian, who has been with the agency for 40 years, the last 36 as executive director. Marian said he expects to retire by the end of April.

Piccirilli, who has been with Help Hotline for 22 years, said he is excited about the prospect of leading the mental health board.

He said he is a member of many boards and has been involved in numerous projects and knows the community well.

“To be a part of the county mental health agency and be involved in helping social services agencies grow would be exciting and an honor,” Piccirilli said.

The board received about 30 applications for the position from around the state, said Atty. Nomiki Tsarnas, a member of the board and the search committee.

Tsarnas said the committee reduced the number of applicants to five who were to be interviewed. Two of the five withdrew their applications just before the interviews, and three were interviewed.

The three interviewed were Piccirilli; Toni Notaro, administrative director of the Mahoning County Mental Health Board; and Beth Williams, deputy director of finance and operations for the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties.

Those who withdrew their names for consideration after interviews were scheduled were Kathy Regal, chief executive officer of the Community Counseling Center, Ashtabula, who said she had accepted a position elsewhere, and Howard Merritt, director of finance for the Mahoning County Mental Health Board.

Search committee members are Laura Lyden, former mental health board chairwoman; county Treasurer Daniel Yemma, board chairman; Barbara Orton, board member; Edgar Manning, board member; William Gambrel, board member; Tsarnas; and Jack Palermo, former board member.

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