Texas executive named CEO of Pastoral Institute

A Texas executive with more than 20 years experience in the counseling arena has been named the new leader of the Pastoral Institute of Columbus, the organization announced Wednesday.

Nancy Blaich, executive director and CEO of the Samaritan Center for Counseling and Pastoral Care in Austin, Texas, will fill the Columbus position effective January 2015, according to a news release issued by the local center. She will replace current CEO and executive director, Ron King, who announced his retirement last month after serving 26 years in the position.

“Nancy is an immensely gifted leader who is widely respected through the country and the Samaritan Institute network,” Marie Moshell, chair of the Pastoral Institute Board of Trustees and a member of the search committee, said in a released statement. “We believe that the future of the Pastoral Institute will be in great hands under Nancy’s leadership.”

The search was conducted by a committee co-chaired by Pastoral Institute board members Betsy Ramsay and Ed Sprouse, the news release said. Nearly 350 stakeholders, sources and prospects were contacted across the country.

Blaich, a native of Kansas City, Mo., has led one of the most successful peer-to-peer veterans counseling and support programs in the country, according to the news release. She also serves as an executive leadership consultant for the Samaritan Institute, a network of Samaritan centers in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Florida. Prior to that, she served as clinical director for Phoenix House Academy, a residential treatment center for adolescents, where she managed a staff of 42 people.

Blaich holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s in journalism, advertising and public relations from Oklahoma State University. She is also certified in the management of non-profit organizations through the Division of Continuing Education at the University of Texas.

“I am greatly looking forward to becoming part of the Columbus community,” she said. “This is an exciting opportunity to further the mission and ministry of the Pastoral Institute and join the Columbus community in pursuit of common goals.”