Mary Ruiz, MBA is the first of the 25 amazing community “Wonder Women” that we will be highlighting over the next 25 days. Mary is the CEO of Centerstone of Florida, (formerly Manatee Glens), a 60 year old organization that provides mental health services, substance abuse treatment and intellectual development disability services.

Mary grew up as the oldest of six children and left her hometown of New Orleans to attend New College of Florida. She met and married a Bradenton boy, and she’s still here. Mary is the first Latina to serve as CEO of Manatee Glens, now known as Centerstone of Florida, our community behavioral health hospital.

In recognition of her contributions to her field, Mary Ruiz was awarded the 2014 Advocacy Leadership Award by National Council for Behavioral Health and 2012 Behavioral Health Champion by Behavioral Health magazine. She was named 2011 and 2002 Leader of the Year by the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association. She is a lifetime Fellow of the Florida Council for Community Mental Health.

Mary’s passion and dedication to helping those in our community with mental health problems and drug and alcohol addiction is unparalleled and she continues to be at the forefront of the efforts provide services in our community. Thank you Mary.

Thank you Bradenton Herald for sponsoring this series.