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Head of Community Health Awareness Council resigns suddenly

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto ends tenure as executive director after eight months

The head of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) resigned late last week after serving as the nonprofit agency's executive director for less than a year.

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto quietly left her position as head of the agency on March 23. The CHAC board of directors announced the appointment of Paul Schutz, CHAC's development director, as the interim executive director on Friday.

Sandy Bergan, CHAC's board chair, said Nakano-Matsumoto announced her decision to resign at the board meeting last week, and that the board is still figuring out how to kick off the search for the next executive director. She said it was Nakano-Matsumoto's decision to resign, and she couldn't comment further on a personnel issue.

Schutz said he'll be filling in during the shift in leadership, and that CHAC is in a "bridge period." Schutz has served for 16 years as development director at CHAC, and said he has served as chief financial officer for other organizations as well.

"I know how to run an organization -- enough to keep things going until new leadership is on board," he said.

Nakano-Matsumoto joined CHAC in July 2015 after serving for 10 years as executive director of West Valley Community Services. She was selected to lead CHAC following the retirement of Monique Kane, who served as the executive director of CHAC for decades.

The Voice was not immediately able to reach Nakano-Matsumoto for comment.

CHAC is a Mountain View-based nonprofit organization that provides counseling and mental health services for children, teens and families, including affordable care for psychatric services using a sliding pay scale. CHAC has more than 80 interns, mostly psychology graduates and marriage and family therapists, who provide counseling for students in 33 schools in the area.

Nakano-Matsumoto told the Voice in November that leading CHAC involves lots of planning and resource allocation to make sure the organization doesn't get stretched too thin serving so many schools in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Los Altos.

Bergan said clients should see no change in the quality of service at CHAC, as the organization will continue to run smoothly through the transition process.

"Most of our staff has been there for decades. They know what to do, they know how to do it," Bergan said. "We're financially healthy, everything is going well, it's just a change in leadership."

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