Elgin's Ecker Center for Mental Health names new CEO
Elgin's Ecker Center for Mental Health and its board of directors are pleased to announce that Dr. Daphne Sandouka has been appointed as chief executive officer.
Former CEO Karen Beyer retired in June after serving for 19 years at the helm.
"We knew we already had a strong internal candidate in Daphne," board chairman Alan Kirk stated in a news release. "But as we conducted our nationwide search it became more evident that what we had right here was the best. Dr. Sandouka is strong clinically and understands the economy of running a nonprofit."
Prior to her joining Ecker, she worked as a professor at Argosy University, where she educated and mentored master's and doctorate level counselor education students.
Since joining Ecker in 2014 as the community counseling supervisor, Sandouka quickly demonstrated her leadership skills and was promoted to therapy director in 2016 and clinical director in 2017.
She has successfully represented the agency with mental health funders, community partners and at fundraising events, as well as being a consummate advocate for individuals with mental illness.
Her responsibilities have included oversight of the Psychiatry and Nursing, Psychiatric Emergency, Crisis Residential, Therapy and Psychosocial Rehabilitation programs.
Sandouka graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. In 2001, she earned her master of science in counselor education from Western Illinois University, followed by her doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Northern Illinois University in 2007.
In addition to achieving her LCPC license in 2004, Sandouka fulfilled the requirements of the Elgin Area Leadership Academy earlier this year.
"I am very excited to accept this role as CEO," Sandouka said. "I am wholeheartedly invested in the mission of the Ecker Center and have an unwavering commitment and dedication to the betterment of our clients and community."
Daphne resides in Elgin with her three children and husband, Dr. Loay Sandouka, who works as a psychologist for the state of Illinois.
Ecker Center for Mental Health is a private, not-for-profit organization with more than 60 years of service to the community in Cook and Kane counties. Every year, Ecker serves more than 4,000 low-income individuals with mental illness. It provides professional 24/7 crisis intervention, case management, psychiatry, nursing, therapy and residential services.