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Board of Directors

Pathways is actively seeking new board members to contribute to our crucial work of creating supportive and caring environments for individuals facing mental health challenges and those who support them. We are specifically seeking candidates with expertise in areas such as legal, financial, fundraising, PR/marketing, governance, educational leadership, and nonprofit experience. Board membership presents a unique opportunity to serve faith communities and other organizations in making a positive impact in our nationwide efforts.

Interested in serving on our board? Click to Read More

Meet our Newest board members!

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Mark Stephenson


Rev. Mark Stephenson My journey has given me a big heart for the mental health challenges that we all face, and it has given me great joy to serve on the board of Pathways to Promise since 2006 in our mission to connect mental health, faith, and culture. I am passionate about my faith, and the ways faith commitments and faith communities can help people with mental health challenges flourish. Like the undertow along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, anxiety pulled at me and sometimes threatened me throughout my life. For much of my life, I tried to deny its existence, and once I was fully aware of its presence, I tried to eliminate it, but that was impossible. In recent years, I have finally learned that, like the common presence of undertow and rip currents in Lake Michigan, I need to make peace with my anxiety and live with it in my journey with family, friends, and fellow believers. Taking the Enneagram a few years ago helped me immensely in this regard. (I am an Enneagram 6.) I was ordained as a Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed denomination in 1989 and served as pastor of two congregations for 17 years. I recently retired after serving another 16 years as a leader of Christian Reformed denominational ministries, primarily Disability Concerns, helping congregations engage healthily with people with disabilities and mental health challenges. Early on, I coined Disability Concerns’s tagline “Everybody belongs. Everybody serves.” to describe in a few words what that healthy engagement looks like. Having a heart for people at the margins, I also served as interim director of my denomination’s ministries of race relations, social justice, and chaplaincy. I have two advanced theological degrees, and have two units of training in Clinical Pastoral Education. I am a certified Companionship workshop leader, serve various volunteer roles in my local multicultural congregation, serve my denomination as a facilitator for Race Relations training events, and am a Sandan (third degree black belt) in Shorin Ryu karate. My wife and I have lived in west Michigan most of our lives. We have five living children, and one child who passed away. Our oldest daughter lives joyfully with severe, multiple disabilities, and we adopted our youngest child when he was 19 years old. Two of our children are married, and we take great delight in our three grandsons.

Doug Beach

Vice President

Doug Beach is the parent of an adult son living with a mental health diagnosis. He is the President of NAMI San Antonio, a NAMI Family to Family Instructor and leads a Family Support Group for families impacted by a mental illness. In 2016 Doug helped launch PATHWAYS TO HOPE, a conference for mental health professionals, social workers, educators, law enforcement, family members and people living with a mental health diagnosis. After the 2020 Pathways to Hope Conference, Doug led the formation of the Bridges to Care San Antonio initiative in conjunction with the COSA Dept. of Human Services. Doug serves as the Chairperson of NAMI FaithNet, an advisory group to NAMI national to assist NAMI affiliates in outreach to faith communities. Doug is also a member of the twelve person CEO Taskforce for the NAMI national CEO. Doug is also the past Chairperson and current Member of the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee (BHAC) of the Texas Dept. of Health and Human Services and is the Chair of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) of the local LMHA, the Center For Health Care Services. He is also the Co-Chair of the Bexar County Task Force on Mental Health and Criminal Justice.

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Bernard Franklin

Dr. Bernard Franklin is Managing Director of Uncornered, a national nonprofit organization focused on reducing and eliminating urban violence. Franklin is a nationally recognized thought-leader on issues confronting urban violence, urban trauma, resilience, mental health, boys and men’s development, higher education and K-12 issues. His near 40-year adult career has been spent leading 5 higher education institutions and leadership with a major philanthropy. This past December, Franklin completed a year Fellowship in Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. His fellowship research focused on urban mental health issues, specifically how to best serve those involved in the staggering life and death issues of urban violence. Franklin earned an MS in Counseling and Behavioral Studies from the University of South Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Higher Education Administration, with an outside emphasis in family studies from Kansas State University. Franklin has a Master’s Professional Training Certificate focused on the trauma/resilience theory model of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) from Texas Christian University (TCU). Franklin has taught courses, led workshops and consulted national K-12 organizations on social emotional teaching and learning, trauma, attachment disorder, resilience and neuroscience. Franklin has served as Chaplin and a member of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs professional counseling team. Among Franklin’s many awards and honors, he was twice honored one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in Kansas City (1998, 2009). His work with urban boys was recognized in the opening chapter of Bill Cosby’s book, “Come On People” (2008). The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce honored him with the distinguished Leadership Award (2009) for contributions to urban education, and the Kansas City Downtown Council awarded him an “Urban Hero” for his work in urban public education. Franklin has consulted and keynoted national and regional conferences and conducted professional development to numerous higher education, K-12 institutions, and many national and international organizations on a wide range of education, leadership, diversity, trauma and neuroscience. Bernard is the widowed and proud father of a beautiful and talented daughter Christina (27, DC), and three incredible sons, Brandon (42, Topeka), Morgan (32, Topeka), and Blake (31, KC); and he has seven adorable grandchildren (Topeka).

Ben Mann

Rev. Ben Mann joins the P2P Board with over 10 years of nonprofit leadership experience. Their primary focus has been working toward health equity, having held leadership roles nationally and internationally at some of the world's venerable public health organizations. Pastor Ben is an ordained minister in the Metropolitan Community Church, and presently serves as Co-Pastor to Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ in Englewood, Colorado. They also serve UCHealth and Children's Hospital Colorado as a Chaplain and Ethics Consultant. In addition, they serve as a therapist at the University of Colorado Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, where they are also doing research in gender affirmation and the impacts of mental health on the LGBTQ+ community. They bring profound experience in fundraising and capacity building, with a significant interest in corporate partnerships, having garnered large donations from companies, like H&M. In their spare time, they enjoy reading, cooking, and working towards the completion of the license as a Professional Counselor. Rev. Mann holds degrees from Baylor University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Central Seminary in International Studies, Public Administration, and Divinity. They live in Denver, and welcome all to the Mile High City!

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Sam/Suzanne Martinez

Suzanne Martinez is Coordinator for Congregational Outreach and Hispanic Liaison, for the Office for Government and Community Relations for Good Shepherd Hospital, Condell Medical Center, and Sherman Hospitals, all now part of Advocate Health Care. Suzanne’s primary role is to coordinate and supervise the northern region faith community’s health ministry, including educational seminars, health screenings, and other wellness and social determinant initiatives. Over her 16 years with Advocate, Suzanne has successfully developed and maintained high-impact programs in the areas of Lake, Cook and McHenry Counties. Her outreach initiatives target specific issues such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular health, mental health, and drug use prevention programs. Suzanne's evolving roster of programs continually and effectively promotes the health of body, mind, and spirit—a "holistic" approach to caring for the whole person. These dynamic events have been instrumental to elevating the awareness of unique health issues, through the context of local churches and congregations, while also promoting lifestyle changes for improved health outcomes of current and future generations.

Jim Echols

James Echols retired from the Kansas Department for Children and Families in 2017 after holding various roles, including Manager of Provider Services, Program Director of HOPE Mentoring, and Assistant Director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Following his retirement, he transitioned to the role of Chief Executive Officer at Renaissance Management and Training Solutions, LLP, a public relations firm based in Kansas City, KS, specializing in business and human relations staff development, consulting, and training across Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Echols completed his high school education in Spokane, Washington, before embarking on a distinguished military career spanning nearly twenty-five years with the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve. He served in Vietnam as a teenager and was honored with a promotion to Sergeant and the award of the Bronze Star for his service. Throughout his professional journey, Jim has held diverse roles, including soldier, aide to a former Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor and Governor, Oklahoma State Equal Opportunity Officer, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission, and Administrator of Human Resource Development at Oklahoma City Public Schools. He has also been actively involved in various community organizations, serving as Immediate-Past Chair of the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Immediate-Past President of the Economic Opportunity Foundation, Inc. in Kansas City, KS, Volunteer Mentor for Mentoring 4 Success at the Kansas Department for Corrections, Member of the Kansas Sentencing Commission, and Member of the REACH Healthcare Community Advisory Committee. Currently, he holds positions such as Chair of the Wyandotte County Boys and Girls Club, First Vice-Chair of the Wyandotte County Unified Government Advisory Commission on Human Relations and Disability Issues, and President of the Future Leaders Outreach Network (FLON), among others. Echols holds a B.A. Degree in Public Service from the University of Central Oklahoma and has pursued graduate studies in Human Relations/Organizational Development at the University of Oklahoma. He resides in Kansas City, Kansas, with his wife, Muriel, and they have two adult children and two teenage granddaughters. He comes from a lineage of Baptist ministers, carrying on a tradition of service and leadership in his community.

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