As McHenry County looks for new Mental Health Board director, board member retained for third term

County Board members hoped his experience would be beneficial as the Mental Health Board searches for a new director

Flags attempt to fly on a relatively still day at the McHenry County Administrative Building on Monday, July 26, 2021 in Woodstock.

As the county looks for a new executive director for the Mental Health Board, members of the McHenry County Board’s public health committee are recommending the retention of one Mental Health Board member for a third term in hopes of keeping continuity during the search.

Mental Health Board member Ray Lapinas’ term on the board expires at the end of 2021, but he is seeking appointment for a third term.

A financial consultant in his professional life, Lapinas currently serves as the Mental Health Board’s treasurer. During this time of transition for the board following the departure of Executive Director Scott Block earlier this month, Lapinas said he is the right person to help guide the board into a new era.

“I’ve been very active in helping steer the board. I was part of the board before Scott Block came on, so I do have a unique set of skills where going through this transition we are now, I will be able to really help the board,” Lapinas told committee members Thursday.

Block left the board to take a job with the Illinois Supreme Court as the state’s first statewide behavioral health administrator. He had served as the board’s director for over seven years and was a popular figure in McHenry County government.

County Board members particularly liked Lapinas’ financial background.

“What the hole and the need is the financial [knowledge] he brings to the table,” said County Board member Paula Yensen, D-Lake in the Hills.

County Board member Carolyn Schofield, R-Crystal Lake, said “that consistency does have value” when it comes to Lapinas’ knowledge of the Mental Health Board and how he can help find the right director and get them familiar with the board.

Lapinas was among three candidates considered for the position.

Also considered were Emily Kunash, a mental health counselor from Woodstock, and Danielle Mains, a marketing coordinator who cited her experience with her husband’s post-traumatic stress following his service in Iraq and as a firefighter as something she wanted to bring awareness to as a board member.

Lapinas’ new term will run for four years through 2025.

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