Martha’s Vineyard Community Services announced Wednesday that Dr. Elizabeth Folcarelli has been selected as its new chief executive officer, replacing outgoing executive director Julie Fay, who retires later this month.

Ms. Folcarelli, 56, is currently the chief operating officer at Gosnold Inc. in Falmouth, which operates drug treatment and mental health facilities. She also has a long background in community-based nonprofits around New England, including executive roles at Youth Opportunities Upheld in Worcester and Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. in Lincoln, R.H.

The announcement culminates an exhaustive search process for Ms. Fay’s replacement and marks an important transition for Community Services — a unique umbrella social service agency and one of the Island’s largest nonprofits — as it continues to pursue a campus redevelopment and expansion plan amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Ms. Folcarelli will relocate to the Vineyard for her new role as CEO.

According to the press release, she brings nearly three decades of experience to the job.

“Falmouth and Gosnold have given me a birds-eye view of both the Island and the talented staff, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves, lay down stakes on the Vineyard and listen with an open heart and mind,” Ms. Folcarelli said in the release.

In a follow-up phone call Wednesday that included Ms. Fay and board chairman Bob Egerton, Ms Folcarelli said while she has never spent extended time on the Vineyard, her prior experience working with Island patients at Gosnold had piqued her interest in the Island.

“The position interested me because of the organization’s longstanding traditions on the Island, its history of service to vulnerable populations, and, predominantly, the alignment between my background and the organization,” Ms. Folcarelli said. “I feel really good about stepping in.”

Ms. Folcarelli will take over for Ms. Fay, the current executive director, who announced her retirement last fall and plans to step down on July 31.

On Wednesday, Community Services leaders said Ms. Folcarelli would start in the first or second week of August. A brief transition period including Ms. Folcarelli will overlap with Ms. Fay’s departure.

Over her seven years as executive director, Ms. Fay shepherded Community Services through an unprecedented period of growth and transition, nearly doubling annual revenue and launching a $24 million capital campaign to rebuild the facility’s aging campus that dates to the 1970s. Ms. Fay also oversaw a significant expansion of services, as Community Services broadened its reach through new programs like the Island Wide Youth Collaborative, the Island Intervention Center and the recently opened Peer Recovery Support Center.

Looking ahead to the next chapter, Ms. Fay described some of the challenges facing the organization as it embarks on its campus redevelopment, including new telehealth requirements, training regulations and evaluating the viability of programs during the pandemic.

“The biggest challenge for us in the six to nine months is to adjust to the new normal,” Ms. Fay said. “We’re not going back to business as usual in the behavioral health field.”

In the press release, Ms. Fay touted Ms. Folcarelli’s experience and said she is the right person for the job.

“Beth’s background and experience are outstanding, and just the right mix to take MVCS into the next phase of service and growth,” Ms. Fay said in the release. “It’s been an incredible seven years and I’m so proud of our staff and volunteers.”

During the followup call, Ms. Folcarelli outlined a robust plan for her first six months on the job, including a strategic assessment planned for the fall and early 2021.

“Really, the first quarter, the first 90 days, will really be centered on learning the staff,” she said. “So it’s really getting to know people, doing a strategic assessment, and then conducting some strategic planning moving forward.”

The search process for Ms. Fay’s replacement began late last year but then was complicated by the pandemic, Mr. Egerton said Wednesday. The seven-member search committee was led by chairman John H. Kennedy and vice chairman Iris Freeman. Community Services contracted out Ford Webb Associates to lead the search.

More than 100 candidates applied for the position after it was posted last fall, Mr. Egerton said, allowing Community Services to cast a nationwide net as it searched for Ms. Fay’s replacement. Finalists were interviewed later this spring, and included both on and off-Island candidates, Mr. Egerton confirmed.

In the end Ms. Folcarelli’s selection was a unanimous choice by the board, who announced her hiring to Community Services staff earlier Wednesday morning.

“This was a formidable assignment to find a skilled and visionary new leader, made even more challenging by the arrival of a pandemic,” Mr. Egerton said. “I want to salute the work of our transition committee — their recommendation of Beth was met with unanimous enthusiasm by the board.”

The enthusiasm was met by Ms. Folcarelli’s own excitement. On Wednesday, she described moving to the Vineyard as a new adventure for herself and her family — and said they couldn’t wait to visit.

“I’m thrilled to join Martha’s Vineyard Community Services at this critical moment in its 60-year history,” she said in the release.