Most communities in the United States accomplish amazing services for their residents through the unique commitments of non-profit organizations. Taos is no exception. Recent data show 54 non-profits registered in this county. All have Boards responsible for implementing the legal requirement necessary to operate under our tax code as a non-profit. Taos Behavioral Health (TBH) has been fortunate to have an outstanding group of volunteer board members over its 16- year history. They served for years to offer their special skills and commitment to our mission: promoting the wellbeing of the community by providing evidence-based interventions that stabilize and strengthen client abilities, support personal growth, and improve futures.
TBH Board Members, our board members have a wide variety of experiences that enable them to be wise and effective agency leaders. Currently our board includes:
Rev. Mike Olsen, treasurer. Mike is in his second 3- year term on the board and brings to us his deep experience in the U.S. Army, in a contract support agency to NASA, and as an Episcopal priest in California and Taos. While in the military, Mike flew Medical Evacuation Helicopters in Vietnam—a skill he continues to show as a Search and Rescue Mission Pilot in the Civil Air Patrol in New Mexico. Mike left contract work to enroll in the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and was ordained as an Episcopal Priest. First serving a church in California, Mike arrived to take the rector position at St. James in 2013. On the TBH board, Mike’s skill in system management provides us with financial guidance and strategic evaluation and planning.
Gayle Martinez-Gayle arrived in Taos following college graduation working as a high school teacher. In the following 36 years, Gayle served in a variety community service positions including the Taos Director of Convention and Recreation Services, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, the Recruiter and Marketing Director at Holy Cross Hospital. Gayle’s experience in different non-profits and long years of community service in Taos help her understand the realistic needs of the community. She particularly supports services to strengthen families in our community as a foundation of strong behavioral health. She and her husband Peter Martinez have served as Pastors of the Living Word Ministries in Questa for 17 years.
Jeanna Elan, secretary. A life-long resident of Taos, Jeanna’s family has lived here many generations. Following her high school graduation, Jeanna was hired by Taos county as a receptionist. In the 25 years since, Jeanna has held increasingly more complex and demanding positions resulting in her current role as the county Human Resource Director. In these roles, Jeanna has become expert in budgeting and payroll, policy development and implementation, employee relations and public relations, and problem solving and stress management. With her considerable system experience, Jeanna can review our policies and make suggestions for additional resources. We value her astute reflections and assistance in planning.
Betty Martinez-Gonzales. As one of 10 children, Betty was born and raised in Taos. Most people know her for her 29 years as the Presiding Magistrate Judge of Taos county. Initially serving 8 years as the Magistrate Court Clerk, Gayle was elected repeatedly to her judge position supervising all administrative duties for Taos and Questa Magistrate Courts. In her position Betty heard cases involving co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, traffic issues, driving while under the influence of liquor or drugs, family issues, domestic abuse with both adults and children, elderly, and animal abuse. Betty was appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court to an advisory committee to review charges against judges making recommendations to the Judicial Standards office. For 14 years she was the Secretary/Treasurer of the State Magistrate Association. Upon 5 occasions Betty was named as the Best Elected Official of the year on Taos. She states clearly that she saw adults and children in her court due to behavioral health issues—and she is committed to making certain that more of them receive the services they need.
Mary McPhail Gray, Chair. A native of Michigan, Mary moved full time to Taos in 2010 after a career as a university faculty member and an administrator at the University and in the federal government. Mary also served in the Peace Corps, Head Start and as a community mental health clinician. In Taos she has been honored to work with TBH and really see the results of our services on the ground.
Simon Torrez, CEO. A sixth generation Taoseño, Simon is a Navy veteran and holds an MBA. After military service, he returned to Taos and joined a local business until he was recruited to TBH in 2008. He moved to the CEO position in 2013. Under his leadership TBH has expanded services, established MOAs with area schools, recruited interns to augment staff and train as new clinicians, and solidified relationships with other agencies and government entities.
TBH has the largest licensed and credentialed behavioral health staff in northern New Mexico. We can be reached at 575-758-4297, www/taosbehavioralhealth.org, or at Bertha St. in Taos.
Mary McPhail Gray is the board chair of TBH and can be reached at 575-779-3126 or