The Child and Family Guidance Center board of directors recently celebrated its successes of 2017, added four new board members and more during its annual meeting held at Fulbelli’s in Sherman. Each board member received a gift bag with a Starfish lapel pin, CFGC goodies, candy and a Starfish cookie.

As board members enjoyed lunch together, names were drawn randomly, and board members were asked to pick a question card and share their own personal thoughts about why they serve, what CFGC means to them and why CFGC matters.

After lunch, President Michelle Castle led the board business section of the meeting. Jon Rains presented the Nov. 16 board meeting minutes, Stacee Caskey presented the year end financials and Mike Wynne presented the recommended bylaw amendments.

Nominating committee chair Jon Rains presented the nominating report. Rains reported that Caskey and Joe Fallon are rotating off the board. Both board members have been tremendous servants of the agency. Each received a cobalt blue plaque. Rains presented the board nominees for 2018 for Castle to swear in.

The center is adding the following new board members who bring a wide range of experience and community involvement to the positions. Julianne Pierce, Leigh Ann Sims, Jolene Senek and Josh Stevenson were each thanked for their willingness to serve and received a certificate of board membership. Rains and Marty Sanderson agreed to serve another three-year term.

The following 2018 slate of officers were voted in: President Jon Rains, President-elect Kelly Ashmore, and Secretary Wendy Acosta. The treasurer position is currently vacant and in need of being filled.

After swearing in board members, Castle was recognized for her outstanding leadership in 2017, receiving a glass award with her name, title, year and lead by example engraved.

CFGC Executive Director Brenda Hayward thanked the board members for their incredible service, commitment, passion and resources given to the Child & Family Guidance Center of Texoma in 2017.

Hayward shared in 2017, CFGC received over 1,200 calls for help. From the calls, the clinical team’s work resulted in helping 2,480 direct clients with a total of 13,638 duplicated lives impacted. The team provided 10,629 therapy and free family empowerment sessions and 166 psychoeducational group classes.

“The CFGC team spent considerable time in 2017 increasing our understanding of who we are, who we serve and how to best do that,” Hayward said in a press release. “We have learned that most people living in poverty experience trauma. From that, CFGC adopted becoming a fully integrated trauma informed care organization in 2017. Staff spent the first 6 months of the year embracing, learning and implementing this model of care.

“We know without a doubt that CFGC is a vitally important outpatient mental health care organization in our community delivering compassionate and restorative healing care to hurting Texoma children and families. In addition, CFGC continues to address the mental health care professional shortage in our region through the licensed professional counselor intern program. Currently six associate therapists and two master’s level practicum students are in the program.

Hayward also shared that mental health is on the radar in the community and CFGC is extremely blessed to be strongly supported. In addition, collaborative partnerships and initiatives have been expanded. CFGC staff are very involved in the newly formed Texoma Behavioral Health Leadership Team Coalition.

“In 2017, we added new screening and assessment tools to improve our clinician’s ability to identify and provide treatment for trauma, we revised and reshaped all job descriptions and with the help of board members, Michelle, Jon, Frank, Joe and Stacee Caskey we developed a new and robust strategic plan, mission statement, value and vision statements,” Hayward said.

The center’s biggest celebration of 2017 was the success of the Starfish Benefit.

Board members and special volunteers were thanked for their tireless advocacy, commitment of time, talents and resources to this major fundraiser for CFGC. Thanks were shared for the commitment of board and staff in making CFGC a great organization.

The following fun and humorous awards were given to board members as an added way to show appreciation and celebrate their tireless efforts in 2017.

Wendy Acosta and Frank Gadek received the Spirit Award for their tireless efforts in 2017 to advocate for the agency. Rains received the Hot Tamale Award for his fired-up attitude and commitment to CFGC. Stacy Rake Murphy received the Money Magnet Award for her incredible belief and persistence in meeting the sponsorship goal. The 2017 Starfish Ambassador Awards went to Castle, April Curran, Kerry Bowden, Twila Crick, Karen Castleman and Fallon.

Jeannine Hatt was awarded the You Rock Award and David Bayless was awarded the coveted Gold Medal Award.

The meeting ended with brief comments for outgoing president Michelle Castle and incoming president Rains.

Castle emphasized how much she enjoys working with the board and staff on behalf of CFGC. Castle shared her own personal commitment to the agency, stating how seriously she takes her responsibility as a board member. Rains gave his incoming president address sharing his journey of why CFGC means so much to him and how important the agency is to this community. Rains said how excited he is about being the president in 2018 and his goal is to help the agency be transformative.