News Article Details

Mental Health America of Northwest Indiana names new leader

Times - 8/3/2018

Aug. 03--Mental Health America of Northwest Indiana has a new leader.

Andrea Sherwin will serve as the president and CEO of the Hammond-based social services agency.

"One of my biggest goals is to make Mental Health America of Northwest Indiana a household name," she said.

She said many people are aware of the programs her organization operates -- Healthy Families, Parents as Teachers, Empowering Teens as Parents, Early Start, Baby & Me Tobacco Free -- but not Mental Health America of Northwest Indiana itself, which has served the community for more than six decades. The agency did more than 15,000 home visitations last year.

"We focus on early childhood development and empowerment," she said. "We do really good work, and I want people to know about it so they can take advantage of our services or support our services to help continue our mission."

The group was previously known as Mental Health America of Lake County and is looking to expand its reach, such as partnering with agencies in Porter County.

Sherwin previously served as director of marketing for Centier Bank and for four years on Mental Health America of Northwest Indiana's board. She replaces previous President and CEO Renae Vania-Tomczak, who left to lead Mental Health America of Houston.

In 2014, Sherwin was honored as the Influential Woman of the Year in Marketing & Media by the Northwest Indiana Influential Women Association. She also has been a member of the Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly Editorial Board and a volunteer art instructor for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana.

For Sherwin, leaving the corporate world for the nonprofit world was personal.

"I went through a lot in the last four years, around the time I was serving on the board of Mental Health America," she said. "During that time span, I had family situations that arose that needed community services. You realize that in a moment of crisis or need you don't know what your next step is, where you're supposed to go. A lot of people came out of nowhere -- it's not nowhere -- to say, 'I'm so and so. I'm here to help. This is your next step.'"

Sherwin, a lifelong resident of Northwest Indiana, is a graduate of Indiana University and the School of Bank Marketing in Boulder, Colorado. She lives with her family in Schererville.

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(c)2018 The Times (Munster, Ind.)

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