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2022 C-SUITE Honoree Luis Perez

Luis Perez President and CEO Mental Health Connecticut Size of organization: 220-plus employees Education: Master’s, University of Connecticut/School of Social Work, licensed clinical social worker
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Luis Perez helps to create initiatives that leverage Mental Health Connecticut’s expertise in mental health education and training to the public.

As a speaker and panelist for many events over the years, he is often brought in to provide insight and perspective into the ways groups and individuals outside of the mental health field can prioritize the social determinants of health and a community-based approach to care.

Often a convener, Perez looks for opportunities to educate legislators, business leaders, academics and others to ensure that the future of health care is rooted in respect for the condition of being human.

What have been your biggest professional accomplishments over the past year?

Two weeks before everything shut down because of the pandemic, I led an all-hands-on-deck effort to prepare the agency for shifting from 95% in-person services to 75% virtual to support our 220-plus staff and hundreds of program participants who rely on our agency for housing, community-based support services, access to food and other basic needs.

By the time Connecticut had begun its pandemic response, we had already created a new infrastructure, secured necessary supplies and put in new procedures and programs to support the physical, emotional and interpersonal safety needs of our staff and program participants.

Guiding business principle: I always say, ‘we are in the business of humans and we are also a business.’ It’s this thinking that has allowed MHC to improve its stability while continuing to reinvest in best practices, deepen our impact and attract opportunities that will benefit more individuals outside the social service system.

In what ways are you involved in the community?

I have served on more than 20 boards, task forces and committees over my career including the Mental Health America Affiliate Relations Committee and vice chair of MHA’s Anti-Racism, Equity, and Social Justice Committee. I also serve as board chair for the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance.

Personal side

City of residence: Avon

Favorite way to relax: I enjoy relaxing at the beach and listening to the waves.

Hobbies: Cooking and enjoying lovely meals

Second choice career: Architecture

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