The Board of Directors of the Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) is pleased to announce Mark A. Lancaster, General Counsel at Grassroots Analytics, as the organization’s newest board president.
Lancaster is a Maryland native with personal experience caring for loved ones with mental health disorders and navigating the foster care system. In his role as Board President, he brings a deep commitment to offering all Marylanders the opportunity to thrive, regardless of the challenges they and their families may face.
With a JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law and a B.S. from Morgan State University’s Honors Program, Lancaster’s extensive experience as a civil litigator and organizational consultant combined with his four years of prior experience serving on the MCF board make him a tremendous asset to the organization at a critical time. In 2023, MCF served 4,603 families, a 33% increase from the previous year, and nearly 70% were families with children who have mental health challenges.
“We are so fortunate to have such a dynamic and committed leader to advance the work of MCF,” said outgoing board president Laura Kimmel. “Mark Lancaster understands the sensitivity and the urgency of our work to support families and break down the stigma surrounding behavioral health challenges.”
The MCF board recently approved a bold strategic agenda that focuses on leading the field of family peer support, increasing statewide presence and visibility, and expanding education and advocacy efforts in support of all Maryland families.
“I see nothing but opportunity to further MCF’s mission and strive for even greater community impact using our personal experience caring for loved ones with behavioral health needs and advocating for effective systems designed to support them,” said Mr. Lancaster. “I am particularly excited about the decision of our Executive Director, Christi Green, to add Dr. StephanieHutter-Thomas to the MCF leadership team.”
Hutter-Thomas, MCF’s new Director of Peer & Organizational Development working with over 60 family peer support specialists across the state, is a socio-behavioral research scientist, community educator, peer support specialist trainer, and harm-reduction advocate and the former Director for the Buprenorphine Implementation Research & Community Health project (BIRCH Project) at WVU School of Medicine. She previously served on the MCF board of directors.
“I am extremely passionate about MCF and thrilled by the opportunity to contribute my expertise to support MCF’s crucial services to families including emotional support, resource connection, systems navigation, and activities to strengthen communities and build resiliency among people and families impacted by behavioral health challenges.”
Please join us in welcoming Mr. Lancaster and Dr. Hutter-Thomas to their new roles advancing MCF’s mission!