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by Sylvia B. Bodell

Board Spotlight with Anna Martinez, MLS

Board member Anna Martinez first learned about The Center for Integrative Counseling and Psychology in the 1990s when she was working as a television news reporter for WFAA, Channel 8, the ABC affiliate in North Texas.

“The Center was known as the Pastoral Counseling Center back then. It was a good and reliable resource for stories on mental health,” Anna shared. “Separately, Dr. Brad Schwall, who was on staff at Park Cities Baptist Church at that time, became another go-to source for what we used to call Family First, an ongoing series that was an important element of our WFAA news coverage in the late 90s and early 2000s.” Those two sources seeded the beginning of a fateful professional relationship when, years later, Dr. Schwall joined The Center.

The connection helped pave the way for today’s frequent on-air presence of Dr. Schwall, who remains a regular guest, speaking on a variety of mental health topics including most recently Ulvade, economic challenges, and numerous COVID interviews.

After retiring from a 24-year career in TV news, Anna began what she calls a more “family friendly” career as a communications officer at SMU and is now the executive director of communications at the SMU Cox School of Business. She has served on other nonprofit boards, including the Dallas Arboretum and The Notre Dame School of Dallas, and Anna was invited to join the board of directors at The Center in 2015. Passionate about mental health for all, she has served in various leadership roles, including past board chair. In addition to serving on the board at The Center, Anna still serves on the board of The Hillier School.

During her tenure as board chair at The Center, she helped shepherd its rebranding, new name and overall growth, the 50th anniversary celebration, the sale of the previous building, and the purchase and renovation of the new Central Office.

“I’m so proud of the work The Center does, its growth and outreach – from OLOGY (a learning symposium integrating theology and psychology) to PACT (Partnerships for Accessible Counseling and Training program) providing counseling for families and individuals in all communities - those with resources and those in underserved areas,” continued Anna.

“With everything that’s happening in our country right now (war, pandemic, political climate), a lot of people are at their breaking point. The Center is focused on making a positive difference. This team of mental health professionals provides a critical service that has grown with Dallas and the North Texas community over 54 years. It’s an honor to have been a part, albeit a small part, of that growth as a board member. I hope to see The Center’s capacity to serve continue to expand. The need is here, and it is profound."
"From my time working with Anna while she was at Channel 8 to her work on our board, I have always been encouraged and motivated by her compassion for the well-being of individuals, families and communities," said Dr. Brad Schwall. "Anna brings her expertise in clearly articulating both needs and solutions to our board and has given us wise guidance as we have navigated both growth and change at The Center as well as changes in the world around us."

About The Center Board
The diverse 12-member board represents banking, business, transportation, legal, pastoral care in a large health care entity, education, nonprofit and community leadership sectors. The Center board is made up of compassionate and wise community leaders and business professionals. Each board member is committed to and understands the benefits of making mental health accessible to all. Together, they are making an impact helping people become healthy and whole. Their financial expertise, governance and ethical leadership cannot be understated.