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CEO of the Montrose Center Retires, Leaves Behind Legacy of 35 Years

With Over 3 Decades of Advocacy, Ann J. Robison Is a Champion of Empowering LGBT Houston.

(HOUSTON, TX) – Ann J. Robison, PhD, will step down as Chief Executive Officer of the Montrose Center at the end of the year after dedicating 35 years of service to LGBTQ+ Houston.

Robison has dedicated her life to creating equality for people in need and supporting causes that focus on women’s safety and reproductive rights. She was motivated to pursue mental health services after losing four family members to substance use and two siblings while working in the field. As a result, she found work as a sexual assault program specialist for the Texas Department of Health. She then completed her PhD in public health from UT School of Public Health in Houston. She eventually arrived at the Montrose Center – then Montrose Counseling Center – in December 1988 at the height of the HIV crisis when treatment was sparse and ineffective.

Robison grew the agency during her tenure from 13 employees with a budget of $385,000 to a high total of 95 employees and a budget of $10 million. Her vision to develop programs established the Montrose Center as the hub and heart of Houston’s LGBTQ+ communities. This growth was the result of Robison’s several efforts, which include adopting local LGBTQ+ community groups as official Center programs, such as Hatch Youth, LGBT Switchboard Houston, Lesbian Health Initiative, AssistHers, and Kindred Spirits. She also helped the Center develop an incubator program to act as fiscal agent and mentor to local LGTBQ+ organizations until they acquire non-profit status. Some examples are the Normal Anomaly Initiative, LGBT & Aging Coalition, Positive Living, oH Project, Transmasculine Alliance Houston, Brazoria County Pride, and the Monica Roberts Resource Center.

After 10 years of planning and fundraising, Robison unveiled her proudest accomplishment in 2021: the opening of the Law Harrington Senior Living Center, the nation’s largest LGBTQ-affirming senior living center, home to 140 seniors. Robison is also proud that the Montrose Center survived 45 years of political ups and downs, as well as the loss of many clients, staff, and board members to HIV. Ann’s other accomplishments include receiving the title of Honorary Grand Marshal of the 2010 Houston Pride Parade. She is the longest serving LGBTQ+ community center CEO in the country.

Under Robison’s leadership, the Montrose Center has flourished into one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive LGBTQ-affirming centers. Although she is retiring, her positive impact as CEO will continue to resonate throughout LGBTQ+ Houston as the Center carries on the mission of empowering the community to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.­

The Center’s search committee has been working steadily over the past several months to find a successor, and they hope to make an announcement very soon.



Established in 1978 as a safe place for LGBTQ+ Houstonians to receive quality, affirming mental health services, the Montrose Center has emerged as one of the nation’s leading full-service LGBTQ centers. As the community’s needs have evolved over the last 45 years, services have expanded to include: youth and senior services, substance use disorder treatment, gender-affirming care, support and advocacy for survivors of violent crimes, and HIV prevention and care. The Montrose Center sits at the center of Houston’s LGBTQ+ community and serves as a gathering place for LGBTQ+ organizations and activities. In 2021, the Center opened a second campus, the Law Harrington Senior Living Center, which is home to more than 140 seniors and the nation’s largest LGBTQ-affirming, affordable senior living center. The Montrose Center is a United Way Agency.

Contact: Will Batts, Chief Operating Officer

Phone: 713.800.0885


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