Centerstone’s Mary Ellen Kardong Retires

Mary Ellen KardongRichmond, Ind.
—Centerstone’s Vice President for Human Resources, Mary Ellen Kardong, will retire on March 31, 2010 after 27 years of dedicated service. Kardong is a native of Wayne County, Ind., who graduated from Hagerstown High School, and then earned both graduate and undergraduate degrees from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. She launched her career as a teacher; and then joined Dunn Mental Health Center in 1983, serving in a wide variety of positions that included: education consultant, chief of special services, chief of employee services, alternative chief executive officer, and after Dunn Center’s merger with Centerstone, vice president for human resources. Former Dunn Center Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kay Whittington, Ph.D., believes Kardong is far more accomplished than mere titles can convey.

“She was absolutely vital to any meeting we had—helpful in strategic planning; she understood the complexities of Medicaid and other contracts, the Division of Mental Health, and the political aspects involved in decision-making. She’s also a wonderful historian who compiled an historical perspective of Camilla B. Dunn to commemorate Dunn Center’s beginning for the 50th anniversary of the organization. Mary Ellen is someone you don’t want to lose because she has such a rich institutional memory of why things happened the way they did and how they affected the community. She has touched literally thousands of lives and will be sadly missed by them.”

Debbie Cagle, Chief Executive Officer of Advantage, a company of Centerstone, noted Kardong’s contributions during the recent merger: “Mary Ellen has been invaluable in our merger transition. Her years of human resources knowledge, exceptional leadership demeanor and compassion for her fellow employees brought about a seamless transition in the recent merger activities. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her over the last year.”

Kardong maintains a keen interest in her field, serves as a caring advocate for employees, and remains actively involved in many professional organizations. A sampling of her professional associations include: memberships in both the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers Marketing and Public Relations Committee and Human Resources Committee; chair of the ASPIN Human Resource Committee; marketing committee chair for the United Way of Wayne County; chair of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee; member of the Wayne County Coalition Against Drug Abuse; and member of the Neighborhood Development Committee for the City of Richmond Urban Enterprise Project.

Mary Ellen will remain active in her retirement, spending time with her family and friends including her husband David, two daughters—Josey Siegenthaler (husband, Mark) and Amber Dagit (husband Jason)—and new granddaughter, Eva. Centerstone wishes the best to Mary Ellen and is very grateful for her years of dedicated service. For more information, contact Amy Williams (812-314-3413; amy.williams@centerstone.org).

Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization, offers a wide range of mental health and addiction services to more than 24,000 people of all ages each year. Formed through the merger of Center for Behavioral Health, Quinco Behavioral Health Systems and Dunn Center, Centerstone has been serving Indiana residents for more than five decades. The organization has more than 60 facilities across 17 Indiana counties and operates the Foster Care Select program in 24 counties. It is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). For more information about Centerstone, please call 800-344-8802 or explore our website. www.centerstone.org.