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Family Service Association welcomes its new President and CEO

Mary Garr to lead oldest human service nonprofit in San Antonio

(San Antonio, TX – March 20, 2018)     Family Service Association’s Board of Directors has announced Mary Garr as the agency’s new president and chief executive officer. Garr officially stepped into her new role this week. She succeeds long-serving President and CEO Nancy Hard, who announced her plans to retire last August after 16 years of leadership.

Garr’s arrival comes as the agency celebrates its 115th anniversary, making it the city’s oldest human service nonprofit. She will manage the agency’s budget of $24 million, leading over 600 employees dedicated to serving more than 98,000 individuals annually.

“Mary’s leadership will be critical because of everything this organization does to support families from cradle to rocker,” said Sandra Nannini, chair of the board. “At Family Service, staff are in the business of saving lives, whether it’s guiding folks out of debt, poverty and crisis, keeping young people away from violence or giving infants and toddlers who face long odds a chance at a better, healthier future.”

Garr is an experienced leader with three decades of diverse roles in the military and in healthcare. She served as the Garrison Commander overseeing daily operations for Joint Base San Antonio, a job she likened to city management, and as COO for the San Antonio Military Health System. In 2012, Garr was handpicked by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army to serve as consultant on healthcare administration policy, education and training, career development and guidance to hundreds of Army healthcare administrators. Most recently, she served as CEO of the Army Residence Community, or ARC, a continuing care residence community for retired veterans.

Garr holds a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, a master’s in healthcare administration from Baylor University, and a bachelor’s in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She is also a proficient Spanish speaker.

Garr has been actively engaged in the San Antonio community for a number of years, serving on boards such as the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, the UIW MHA Executive Advisory Board, the Boy Scouts Alamo Area Council and the Health & Bioscience Committee for the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

“As a board, we believe strongly that Mary has the proven experience, qualifications, vision and integrity to lead Family Service Association,” Nannini said. “When making our selection, we considered Mary’s many years of service to our country and community in significant roles with wide-ranging responsibilities. Her references from a variety of trusted sources were impeccable and she received unanimous approval from the board to lead the agency.”

The board approved Garr’s selection in January, but Hard remained CEO during a transition period to onboard the incoming leader and allow Garr to learn about the agency’s mission and processes before taking the reins. Hard will also continue to play a vital role in special projects within the agency, as well as stay actively engaged in the community.

“The board couldn’t have selected a better leader to help continue to guide and impact lives for the next decade,” said Hard.

Garr said she’s excited to continue serving others and is committed to Family Service’s mission to empower individuals and families to transform their lives and strengthen their community.

“The more I learn about Family Service, the more I realize how critical this agency is to the health and future of San Antonio and its people,” Garr said. “I pledge to bring all the energy, heart and experience I have to this wonderful opportunity to serve.”

ABOUT FAMILY SERVICE: Family Service has been building strong families since 1903. It is the oldest human service nonprofit in San Antonio dedicated to helping individuals and families in need. It is also a premier provider of health and human services in San Antonio and beyond. Visit to learn more about the organization and the 115 years of service to local and area families.