Traci Bernard gaveled to order her first meeting of the GRACE Board in late September. But the new President of the Board of Directors is very well-acquainted with the obligations of leadership.

As the President of Texas Health Southlake since 2005, she has planned and guided a strategic direction that has significantly elevated the hospital in every meaningful metric during her tenure.

Among her many achieved objectives, Traci’s hospital has realized a 99% Press Ganey score in Employee Satisfaction and Engagement, a 100% Joint Commission measure of Surgical Care Improvement, and a consistent 100% patient satisfaction index to “recommend” Texas Health Southlake.

Her work on the GRACE Board has been stellar as well. She joined the Board in 2014, and accepted the duties of Development Vice President the following year. Her accomplishments include guiding GRACE through the highly successful capital campaign to build its new offices on East Walnut Street.

In the midst of unprecedented fundraising success during her time as Development VP, Traci also guided GRACE development and marketing through the devastating Community Clinic fire in April 2018 and, of course, the COVID-19 crisis this past year.

The first challenge of her new presidency will be to lead the agency through an uncharted course. Traci was asked to provide some comments for this writing. What she provided is a phenomenal assessment and strategy for the future of GRACE:

“2020 will be the first virtual GRACE Gala. Numerous volunteer hours have been dedicated, creating a ‘must not miss’ event that has the potential to reach an even bigger audience. As a team we are excited to share, though stories, the compassion GRACE shows while meeting the needs for assistance in times of crisis.

“Never has the mission of GRACE been more apparent. Through people with a giving heart, God has blessed GRACE and provided resources to meet the dramatic increase in needs.

“Client services has experienced a 40% increase over those interviewed in the same month last year. Similar growth has also been seen in other areas such as the Food Pantry, Transitional Housing, Community Clinic, senior program, and Feed Our Kids.

“As the demand increases so does the need for space and volunteers. In 2021 we will improve the efficiently and capacity of Donation Station as we drive our Rooted n GRACE II campaign. Anyone that has ever driven through Donation Station is well aware of why this is needed.

“Experience demonstrates that once people learn about the needs of GRACE they want to be a part of helping others to self-sufficiency.”

GRACE continues to be blessed with sincere and savvy leaders. Traci’s honesty and authenticity are tangible and her approach to leadership is refreshing and dynamic. She is at once passionate, captivating, inspiring, and original.

She is intensely aware that great organizations capitalize on the unique experiences each staff member and each volunteer bring. Traci’s career is celebrated for her successes in creating cultures dedicated to people reaching their fullest potential and organizations reaching top performance. 

In addition to her roles as a hospital president and organizational strategist, Traci has unselfishly dedicated time to leadership roles for many non-profit organizations and corporate businesses within the community.

GRACE is honored to have a leader of Traci’s experience, understanding, and enthusiasm now when it is needed most.