Mental Health Association CEO Shannon Aleshire Announces Retirement

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
– A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

Frederick, MD, March 15, 2024 – Shannon Aleshire, whose 25-year career with the Mental Health Association Frederick County included serving the past ten years as the organization’s CEO, has announced her retirement, effective June 30, 2024. Aleshire’s passionate dedication to MHA created a legacy of impactful initiatives through transformative leadership.

Under Aleshire’s guidance, the Mental Health Association of Frederick County has experienced remarkable growth and success in advancing its mission to prepare resilient children, secure vulnerable families and stand with those facing crises. Her strategic vision, unwavering commitment, and tireless dedication have been instrumental in shaping the organization’s growth and service to the community. During her tenure as CEO, the Mental Health Association has achieved numerous milestones, including:

•  Successfully expanded the organizational budget, elevating it from $2.3 million to $8.9 million, while concurrently increasing the staff size from 60 to 120.

•  Achieved CARF accreditation and reorganized Counseling Services programs, turning a $74,000 loss in fiscal year 2015 into a surplus in fiscal year 2022.

•  Enhanced the accessibility and scope of the Walk-In Crisis Center, transforming it from a 40-hour per week service to a 24/7 operation and introduced valuable additional services such as navigation support, peer recovery services, and urgent medication appointments.

•  Successfully broadened the reach of the Child Care Choices program by extending its coverage to include the five Western Maryland counties.

•  Achieved greater representation and diversity on the Board of Directors ensuring a more inclusive reflection of the community being served.

Aleshire joined MHA in 1998 as a Training Director for MHA’s Child Care Choices program, before moving into managerial roles. She was appointed CEO in 2014. Through her visionary leadership, the Mental Health Association of Frederick County has expanded its reach, enhanced its programs, and strengthened its impact, touching the lives of countless individuals and communities.

“After 25 years of service at this incredible nonprofit, I am not saying goodbye, but rather turning the page to a new chapter where another leader can continue to create a positive impact in our community,” said Aleshire. “My heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated team of staff, volunteers, board members and passionate supporters who will continue to carry on MHA’s mission. As I step away, I carry with me the organization we’ve built and the unwritten stories yet to unfold in the hands of those who continue making a difference.”

The Board of Directors expresses its deepest appreciation to Aleshire’s for her exceptional leadership, dedication, and service to MHA. Her legacy will endure as an inspiration to all who have had the privilege of working alongside her.

“For the past 25 years, Shannon has been an integral part of not only the Mental Health Association, but also of the Frederick and Maryland community,” stated Scott McCaskill, board Treasurer. “While I am saddened to see her go, I wish her well as she begins this new chapter in her life. She will always be a beloved member of our MHA family.”

As the Mental Health Association of Frederick County embarks on this transition, the Board of Directors will initiate a comprehensive search for Aleshire’s successor. The Search Committee will be led by Scott McCaskill and former board member Guy Fletcher. Both have served MHA in a variety of capacities and are strong advocates for mental wellness in the community. The organization remains committed to its mission and will continue to uphold its values.

The Mental Health Association invites the community to join in celebrating Aleshire’s remarkable contributions and wishes her a fulfilling and well-deserved next chapter.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact Rebecca Layman at 240-674-1135 or

The Mental Health Association of Frederick County builds a strong foundation of emotional wellness for the whole community by preparing resilient children, securing vulnerable families and standing with people to face crises together.