Vail Place is Excited to Announce their New Executive Director!

Vail Place is Excited to Announce their New Executive Director!


For Immediate Release

Vail Place

Karina Forrest-Perkins to join Vail Place as its Newest Executive Director

Hopkins, MN – September 12, 2022 – After an exhaustive search to replace legacy leader, Vicky Couillard, the Board of Vail Place has selected Karina Forrest-Perkins as the organization’s newest Executive Director, effective October 3, 2022.

Vail Place Board of Directors Chair, Amy Browne stated, “We are thrilled to have Karina join Vail Place. Her experience and proven leadership will help to further build upon our strong foundation. Karina brings energy and a passion to serve that will help us achieve our mission of helping people with serious mental illness avoid crisis, achieve stability and pursue active, fulfilling lives based on their individual abilities.”

Forrest-Perkins has over twenty years of experience in the mental, chemical, and behavioral health fields and thirty years in business management. She is known as an executive leader, national speaker, consultant, and advocate on trauma responsive systems improvement. Her previous roles include leading the People’s Center Clinics and Services in Minneapolis, MN and Wayside Recovery Center in Saint Louis Park, MN. An international consultant in trauma-informed care, Forrest-Perkins has also served as a staff member or appointee in health and human services for four Governor’s Administrations in Oklahoma and Minnesota. She joins Vail Place from Heartspring, a Wichita-based non-profit organization serving children with special needs and developmental disabilities, where she served as President and CEO from 2020-2022.

Karina Forrest-Perkins’s connection to Vail Place dates to her time as the CEO of Wayside Recovery Center, where she worked closely with Vail Place as a referral partner. According to Forrest-Perkins, “During my time at Wayside, I always viewed Vail Place as a highly esteemed community-based provider, and I developed a deep respect for their mission, for Vicky Couillard, and for the community of members and residents they served.”

Ms. Forrest-Perkins moved to Kansas during the pandemic but has always planned to move back to her home state of Minnesota when the right role came along. “The opportunity to join Vail Place is a perfect fit,” said Forrest-Perkins, “Vail Place naturally aligns with my three decades of professional experience and the chance to work with an organization I already knew and deeply respected. This informed my decision to apply to—and eventually accept—the position.”

Karina Forrest-Perkins is known for being a responsive and innovative leader. As she steps into the role as Vail Place’s next Executive leader, she plans to strike a balance between respecting the legacy of prior leadership and being ever responsive to the community’s needs. Her goal is to maintain the strength of the organization while cultivating an environment where staff, members, and residents thrive. “Now more than ever, our society is dealing with critical mental health issues. We must get people the help and resources they need when they need it and to prioritize positive mental health outcomes for everyone,” said Forrest-Perkins. She looks forward hosting forums and conversations with Vail Place residents and members, community partners, and donors to learn how the organization’s programs can remain relevant and responsive to the needs of the Vail Place community.

About Vail Place

Vail Place is a Minnesota-based non-profit that has been providing community-based mental health support services to adults with serious mental illnesses in the Twin Cities area for over 40 years. We’re a single point of access and coordination for most everything a person pursuing recovery needs including case management, housing, employment, health and wellness, and connections to critical resources. Our mission is to help people with serious mental illnesses avoid crisis, achieve stability, and pursue active, fulfilling lives based on their individual abilities. We do this through a work- and relationship-oriented approach that empowers each person to take control of his or her recovery.

Media Contact:

Katee Crawford

Director of Advancement