HOUSTON, TX – The Montrose Center’s Board of Directors has selected seasoned LGBTQ+ advocate and non-profit leader, Avery Belyeu, as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the organization following the retirement of Dr. Ann J. Robison. The selection of Ms. Belyeu comes after an extensive national executive search that began in August and was conducted by executive search firm Cooper Coleman LLC.
As one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ centers, the Montrose Center is unique in its focus on behavioral and mental health needs and social services for the LGBTQ+ community, from youth to seniors, people living with HIV, transgender individuals, and the Houston LGBTQ+ community at large. Its physical space serves as a hub of activity that includes meeting spaces for support groups; social, educational, and recreation al programming; and a gathering place for LGBTQ+ groups across the Houston region. Dr. Robison grew the Montrose Center to its more than $10 million budget from its humble beginnings as a small mental health clinic for LGBTQ+ individuals.
President of the Board of Directors, Tara M. Kelly, stated, “We are so excited to select Avery Belyeu to lead the Montrose Center for the next generation. Her accumulation of experience and enthusiasm for our future will serve the Center and all our communities well.”
Ms. Belyeu joins the organization following a distinguished career serving the LGBTQ+ community through mental health and suicide prevention training and education, civil rights advocacy, and non-profit leadership and as a private sector consultant to nonprofit organizations and State and Federal Government agencies on matters related to mental health, health care, and LGBTQ+ issues. Her 14-year career as a nonprofit leader includes organizations such as Lambda Legal, The Trevor Project, and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Her repertoire also includes leadership of advocacy and legal battles that continue to shape the landscape of LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. With experience in leadership, grant-writing, fundraising, and advocacy, Avery Belyeu will be an invaluable asset to the Montrose Center.
“The Montrose Center is one of the most respected LGBTQ+ centers in the United States,” Belyeu said. “I am honored and excited to take the helm as the new CEO and collaborate with the Montrose Center’s staff and volunteers to continue the Center’s amazing work and explore new horizons for such an essential pillar of the Houston community.”
The Montrose Center has long been a leader in the national LGBTQ+ movement and once more demonstrates its leadership, this time among LGBTQ+ centers. Upon her arrival to the Montrose Center, Ms. Belyeu will become the first openly transgender CEO of a major LGBTQ+ center in the United States, further breaking barriers to leadership often faced by trans-identifying people.
The Board of Directors and staff of the Montrose Center express their excitement and warm welcome to Avery Belyeu as she assumes the role of CEO in February. Her extensive experience, leadership acumen, and genuine passion for LGBTQ+ health and wellness make her an invaluable asset to the organization and its mission.
ABOUT THE MONTROSE CENTER (www.montrosecenter.org)
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