Cooper Coleman Recruits CEO for the Montrose Center

January 10, 2024 – Following an extensive national executive search that began in August, Chicago-based Cooper Coleman LLC has assisted in the recruitment of Avery Belyeu as the new CEO of the Montrose Center in Houston, TX. Past CEO Ann J. Robison recently retired. “We are so excited to select Avery Belyeu to lead the Montrose Center for the next generation,” said Tara M. Kelly, president of the board of directors. “Her accumulation of experience and enthusiasm for our future will serve the center and all our communities well.”

“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,” the non-profit said. “Her extensive experience, leadership acumen, and genuine passion for LGBTQ+ health and wellness make her an invaluable asset to the organization and its mission. With experience in leadership, grant-writing, fundraising, and advocacy, Avery Belyeu will be an invaluable asset to the Montrose Center.”

Ms. Belyeu joins the organization following a 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 non-profit organizations and state and federal government agencies on matters related to mental health, healthcare, and LGBTQ+ issues. Her 14-year career as a non-profit 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.

“The Montrose Center is one of the most respected LGBTQ+ centers in the United States,” Ms. 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.

Related: Cooper Coleman Recruits Chief Technology Officer for Lambda Legal

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.

Experienced Search Consultants

Founded in 2020, Cooper Coleman is a full-service executive search and consulting firm partnering exclusively with non-profit organizations, foundations, and research and academic institutions to drive meaningful growth. Its team moves organizations forward by placing “the right leaders in the right roles at the right time” and helps to strengthen their management and fundraising capacity to amplify their mission and impact.

Cooper Coleman Seeks Strategic Partnerships Officer for Proteus Fund
Cooper Coleman LLC has been enlisted to find a strategic partnerships officer for the RISE Together Fund (RTF), an initiative of Proteus Fund, a public foundation that works to advance democracy, human rights, and peace, in New York City. The assignment is being led by executive search consultant Paul Towne. “Ongoing violence and discrimination against black, African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA) communities underscore the need for a deeper commitment from philanthropy,” said Cooper Coleman.

Johnny Cooper, founder and CEO of the firm, has more than 16 years of leadership experience throughout the social sector. He partnered with his father-in-law, William B. Coleman, to establish Cooper Coleman as a firm that “prioritizes making the essential services of executive search accessible to organizations across the social sector, knowing the transformational impact having the right leaders in the right roles can have on an organization and its mission,” the firm said. Mr. Coleman has more than 25 years’ experience in retained executive search, including leading his own firm, Coleman Search Consulting LLC, for more than 10 years until its sale in 2018.

Previous Search

Cooper Coleman recently assisted in the recruitment of Savita Raj as CEO of BootUp Professional Development (BootUp). The assignment was led by executive search consultant Paul Towne. “We are grateful to our staff, board, and partners who played a crucial part in our decision-making, and to the entire BootUp community for your encouragement and continued support through our search process,” the non-profit organization said. “We are especially grateful to Lien Diaz, vice chair of the BootUp board of directors, who served as interim executive director during this leadership transition. The board of directors is deeply committed to working with Savita to ensure her successful and visionary leadership as BootUp enters its next chapter. On behalf of the entire BootUp team, we are grateful for your past, present, and future continued support.”

Ms. Raj is a non-profit leader with deep experience in expanding access to STEM
education programs, with a special emphasis on girls and underrepresented communities, at the local, state, and national levels. She previously served as chief program officer for Girl Scouts of the USA.

Related: Cooper Coleman Recruits COO for AIDS United

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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