December 5, 2014

Toni Navarro

Toni Navarro to replace Jesse Duff as new Executive Director at Tri-City Mental Health Services

Antonette (Toni) Navarro, Director of Clinical Program Services at Tri-City Mental Health Center for the past six years, has been selected Executive Director by the Tri-City Governing Board. Navarro, who assumes office Dec. 8, will succeed Jesse Duff, who is retiring.

A licensed marriage and family therapist, Navarro has been providing community-based mental health services to underserved and high-utilizing populations for more than 25 years in a variety of capacities and settings. She has extensive experience in direct service to clients and families, clinical staff supervision and training, and program development and implementation.

Navarro, a graduate of UCLA, received her master’s degree in education from UC Santa Barbara and joined Tri-City in 2008. “I look forward to continuing my service to the three cities we serve in this position,” Navarro said. “We have accomplished much in the six years I have been on board and, while there is much more work to be done, I recognize the close relationship that Tri-City has – both with those it serves, the mental health community and the community at large.” She added that Tri-City is doing more than providing mental health services to the community – it is continuing to work within its service area to end the stigma surrounding mental health. “Ending the stigma clearly will go a long way toward helping us reach our goals,” Navarro said.

As Executive Director, Navarro will work under the direction of the Governing Board and the California Department of Health Care Services to plan, direct, coordinate, manage and implement comprehensive local community mental health services for the agency. Duff, who joined the agency as Interim Executive Director in 2007 and was officially appointed to the top position in 2008, will serve as a consultant during the transition until the end of the year. Recruitment is under way for a new Director of Clinical Program Services.

Jess DuffDuff, a long-time resident of La Verne, served as City Manager for the City of Duarte from 1986 to 2004 and, following his retirement, served as interim city manager briefly in Claremont and Irwindale, and interim community development director in Rosemead. During his tenure at Tri-City, the agency has grown from a smaller outpatient clinic employing 50 staff members into a comprehensive system of care with 160 staffers providing services to the community through multiple venues.

Highlights of his seven years with Tri-City include:

  • Directed the organization’s emergence from bankruptcy
  • Negotiated and implemented a Medi-Cal provider contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
  • Oversaw the re-organization of the agency’s Governing Board and Mental Health Commission
  • Established a robust California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) delegate and stakeholder process to ensure involvement of the community in identifying new mental health programs needed to reach unserved and underserved residents
  • Submitted and obtained approval of new MHSA programs (including community services and supports, prevention and early intervention, workforce and education and others required by state law)
  • Established and implemented the agency’s permanent supportive housing plan under MHSA
  • Established a “Wellness Center” serving the community
  • Developed a strong community partnership with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and the local school districts
  • Completed the agency’s first permanent supportive housing project with three additional housing projects under way

Tri-City is the Mental Health Authority for the cities of Pomona, Claremont and La Verne, receiving funding directly from the California Department of Mental Health. For more information, contact Tri-City at (909) 623-6131 or visit the web site at

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