Our Team

At Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, our staff is dedicated to providing hope and healing to the community. Take a look at the wonderful people who are the heart of our mission!

Marian Sokol, PhD, MPH

Executive Director

It may be hard to find someone with a heart to match Marian’s. Always an advocate ensuring that every child has a fair chance in life, Marian leads by example in showing love and compassion to every family that walks through our doors. When she’s not at the Center, you can usually find her spending time with her family and her Great Pyrenees, Jack.

Blair Thompson, MDiv

Managing Director

A true baseball fanatic, Blair is a team player on and off the field. His admiration of our staff helps to fuel his drive to keep things running smoothly at the center. Having his own personal experience with loss, Blair believes that the Center is truly making an impact and changing the lives of the children we serve.

Kristina Hernandez, MNM

Development Director

While she can’t sing or play a single instrument, Kristina has an almost obsessive love of music. A former client of the Center, Kristina is passionate about the work we do and feels privileged to be a part of such a rock star team. Her little known talent is her ability to communicate only using movie quotes “so I’ve got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”

Tami Logsdon, LPC-S

Program Director

The community created at the center can be hugely attributed to the imagination and creativity of Tami! Always one for decorating and dressing up, Tami can be found planning out her Halloween costumes when she isn’t seeing clients and managing our team of counselors. Although she doesn’t have a favorite book or movie, Tami will happily share a list of her favorites.

Ashley Jesse, LPC-S

Paloma Place Program Director

You could never be bordeaux when talking to Ashley about the work she does at the center. Originally from Louisiana, Ashley is the epitome of southern hospitality welcoming every family in with open arms. An avid reader, Ashley is a Harry Potter fan so be sure to ask which house she would be sorted into. Ashley can usually be found using our time machine in the drama room - do you think it can get her to Hogwarts?

Lisa Buendicho, LPC

Internship Coordinator

Whether she is in the office with a client or soaking up the sun with her family, Lisa always wears a kind and welcoming smile that makes everyone she meets feel comfort and compassion. You are most likely to find her in our drama room guiding children through play therapy to express their grief.

Jo Ann Flores

Paloma Place Intake Coordinator

Jo Ann has a heart for the community she serves in Floresville because it’s the community she was born and raised in. Her warm personality helps the families at Paloma Place feel at home from the moment they walk through the door. Catch her with her camera in hand taking photos of her family when she isn’t in the office.

Kim Fox, MA, LPC, RPT


The incredible Kim Fox always brings a bit of excitement to the office! Her incredibly kind personality instantly makes children feel comfortable enough to express themselves through play or through art. Kim finds it easy to express herself through cooking - having the ability to turn any ordinary ingredients into a gourmet meal. Gordon Ramsey has definitely got some competition!

Cecilia Gamboa, LPC

School-Based Program Manager

Leading our school-based program, Cecilia works hard to ensure our peer support groups are accessible to children and teens during the school day. She needs all the energy she can get to bring comfort and understanding during the day and then get home to have a home cooked meal with her husband and two boys.

Andee Grether

Intake Coordinator

Give Andee a cup of coffee and she can take over the world! Andee’s dedication to our mission is unmatched. It’s this dedication that helps Andee bring a welcoming sense of comfort to our clients. In her spare time, Andee hosts and produces her own podcast that is centered around self-care and taking time to fill your cup.

Marcella Hayes, TF- CBT

Assistant Program Director

Say “Aloha!” to Marcella, our very own hula dancer turned counselor! Marcella loves the entire process of serving our families - from the moment they walk in and feel the warmth of our living room to the final days of therapy in one of our many therapy rooms. Every day brings a new opportunity for Marcella to support our families and she is always ready to heal hearts.

Emily Price, LPC

Camp Program Manager, Counselor

When Emily came to the Center as a volunteer she knew right away that this special place would be her home away from home. Now as our Camp Coordinator, she helps make each session of Camp Heroes an unforgettable experience for our children. Emily loves all things Christmas and if she could, she’d leave our Christmas tree up in the living room all year long!

Letty Villarreal, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

You can always find Letty with a smile on her face and ready to make you laugh. Letty believes it's okay to be silly and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She loves that she can be a part of a team at the Center that makes families feel safe and she loves giving children the opportunity to open up their hearts to hope and healing.

Lauren Jefferies, LPC Associate

Camp Coordinator, Associate Counselor

Lauren has chosen to do work that honors those she loves most. Once a volunteer, Lauren knew it was in her heart to serve our grieving families and we are so lucky to have her. When she is not at the Center, she enjoys spending time with her pug Yoda and her cats Sylvester and Binx watching reruns of her favorite TV shows.

Julia Anderson

Special Events Manager & Friend Board Liaison

When she’s not in the carpool line, Julia is at the Center bringing with her endless amounts of positive energy. Although an office on the beach might be a dream come true, she believes that she is living the dream being part of a team that feels like a family. At work, you can usually find her buried under a pile of sponsor forms and silent auction items!

Suzanne Benavides

Grants & Development Coordinator

If you are ever planning a trip to London, Suzanne would love to accompany you and be your tour guide so she can visit her grandkids! Suzanne is dedicated to the Center and works hard writing grants to fund our mission. When she’s not at work, Suzanne enjoys visiting her home away from home at the lake.

Connie Martinez

Operations & Volunteer Manager

At the center of the work we do, there’s Connie - making sure everything is smooth sailing! Through all the hustle and bustle, Connie manages to keep it cool and collected and makes sure our volunteers stay connected. Outside of the office, her role as a grandma helps inform the loving atmosphere she helps to create at the Center.

Elizabeth “Liz” Martinez


I’m sure that Liz can attest to the positive effects of a breath of fresh air. At home with her family and her horse, Liz loves nothing more than the great outdoors. She’s critical to our mission as she is the friendly face that greets our families when they enter our building.

Chloe Palacios

Marketing & Communications Manager

Born and raised in San Antonio, Chloe is a diehard Spurs fan and is always ready to cheer on the silver and black. You can usually find her walking around the Center, iced coffee in hand and ready to advocate and talk about all of the amazing work that happens in our beautiful space. In her spare time, Chloe is an avid true-crime podcast listener. Ask her for a recommendation!

Michelle Packer

Database Administrator

Always up for an exciting adventure, Michelle is not one to sit still for long. Whether she’s hiking, gardening, or dancing, she definitely likes to stay active and have fun with her little family. A true free spirit, Michelle brings a ray of sunshine into the center that adds to our positive, healing atmosphere. The Center would not be the same without her or her veggies!

Scott Gruendler

Sirius Computer Solutions

Jacqui Peace
Immediate Past Chair


Jimmie Keenan
Vice Chair

Wellmed Medical Management, Inc.

Connie Gilbert

PlainsCapital Bank, Retired

Roberto Rios

Bartlett Cocke General Contractors

Mallory Ahl

Frost Bank

Omar Akhil

Vaulkshire, LLC and Brainiac, LLC

Anthony Bartys

CST Brands, Retired

Yonnie Blanchette

Carver Community Cultural Center, Retired

Tom Coyle

Pacific Mobile Structures, Inc.

Craig Davis


Dana Deaton

Uhl, Fitzsimons, Jewett & Burton

Beverly Duke

Texas Public Radio

Lauren Ferrero

McCall, Parkhurst, & Horton

Frances Gonzalez

Gonzalez Professionals

Manda Kelley


Scotty Macdaniel

Opt In Experts

James Maxey

Trinity University

Rajiv Rajani, MD

UT Health – San Antonio

Chris Rulon

Nustar Energy

Ryan Sullivan


Candace Tottenham

American Bank, N.A.

Debra Weems

Valero Energy Corporation

F. Michael & Jodi Wood


Janie & James Worth

Vice Chairmen

Margaret Berton, Ph.D.

Patricia Bose

Carolyn Brown

Laura Nell & Trace Burton

Sallie & Barry Chasnoff

Mary Beth Fisk

Linda Fugit

Susan & Bill Galbreath

Julianna Hawn Holt

Janet & Boxy Hornberger

Susan & John Kerr

Kitty & Rich Lange

Paula Loring

Camille & Clark Mandigo, III

Nancy Martin, Ph.D

John E. Newman, Jr.

Jacqui Peace

Sally & Robert Sohn

Eliza Sonneland

Pam & Dave Thomas

Barbara Wood

Mertie Wood