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A Cape Coral resident with deep experience in the behavioral health field has been named the new president and CEO of the Collaboratory, a philanthropic nonprofit that began as the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

Dawn Belamarich will start Sept. 5 in the position Sarah Owen held for nearly 12 years. Owen announced in March she was stepping down. Former FGCU president Michael Martin served as the interim president and CEO.

Belamarich, originally from New Jersey, holds a doctorate in business administration and leadership and master’s degrees in sociology/criminology and mental health counseling, according to a press release from the Collaboratory. She’s also served in leadership roles at Lee Health in the behavioral health division and Recovery Centers of America, a national addiction treatment provider, the release noted.

“Dawn has a lot of national experience and recognition in her field, as well as in recovery work and coalition building, so she understands the culture here,” said Gail Markham, chairwoman of Collaboratory Board of Trustees in the release. “She is committed to civic engagement, letting every voice be heard and reaching consensus for the best way forward and then facilitating that.”

Said Belamarich in the release: “I look forward to using my transformational leadership to drive successful outcomes for Collaboratory and continue the groundbreaking work this organization is committed to regionally.”

Under Owen’s leadership, the Collaboratory announced an ambitious goal to coordinate the solving of all of Southwest’s Florida social problems within two decades.