Beverly Bernzen, MSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with over 40 years of post-graduate experience. Mrs. Bernzen is a subject matter expert on Texas suicide prevention. She is passionate about preventing the tragic loss of life from suicide.
Beverly trains other trainers. She is a Master Trainer in Texas for “AS+K? About Suicide to Save A Life” and C.A.L.M.—Counseling on Access to Lethal Means. She is board secretary for the Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative. She also serves on the Texas Suicide Prevention Council Executive Committee. In 2008, Beverly founded the Mental Health Task Force of Brazoria County, a local suicide prevention coalition.
Beverly owned the Family Resource Center counseling practice in Lake Jackson, TX from 2000-2021.
She adds value to people’s lives by sharing important knowledge concerning mental health and wellness.
After an extensive career in Child Protective Services, Margie Wright started her second career in 1999 as executive director of the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. In addition to administrative duties, she began her duties as the overall manager of the crisis line and the Survivors of Suicide programs that were in existence. Seeing a lack of services and outreach for adolescents, she sought out and developed a very comprehensive program through Columbia University called, at the time, TeenScreen. She and her staff were trained by university staff in 2002 to administer the program. In 2006, Columbia University awarded her the very first National Innovation Award for her work in the schools. By then, the Center had screened thousands of kids throughout the Dallas area. The program is now called Teens Can Survive and has expanded to include education and awareness training for students, parents, teachers, and other school staff.
Margie has given national presentations for TeenScreen (Columbia University) and for the American Association of Suicidology as well as state presentations for National Association of Social Workers. She often speaks to community groups on the issues of suicide. Additionally, she has been recognized by the Dallas County Commissioners for her work. She participated in the early work of developing the Texas State Plan for Suicide Prevention and has served on the Texas Suicide Prevention Council in many capacities, including as chair. Margie has served as chair of the board for several nonprofits in Dallas, including Mental Health America of Greater Dallas. She currently co-chairs the Greater Dallas Suicide Prevention Coalition. In August, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Suicide Prevention Council.
Troy Bush-DiDonato serves as the senior community engagement officer for the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF), where he implements EHF’s community engagement strategy through capacity-building training with community partners, grant partners, and congregations. Troy’s career has traversed many sectors, including public schools, clinical research, and philanthropy. A native of Houston, Troy is a founding member and past chair of the Houston-area Suicide Prevention Coalition and currently serves on the board for the Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative. He is a master trainer for the QPR gatekeeper training and trainer for Texas AS+K? training. He is active in the recovery and the LGBTQ communities of Houston. Troy holds a Bachelor of Science from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Dr. Nishi Viswanathan is a medical doctor turned cancer researcher turned business leader. She is currently the head of commercialization and business development at Innovation Lab, a health technology company that partners with member-owner health systems to develop medical device and digital health products that address clinical unmet needs. She serves as an advisor to multiple medtech and healthtech startups and an angel network. Nishi also teaches health innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin where she is an adjunct faculty member.
Her career has spanned many job functions along the product life cycle, including ideation, design, venture creation, product development, regulatory strategy, launch, business development, and marketing. Prior to joining Innovation Lab, Nishi was the director of translational programs/health product innovation at Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin. She established and ran Texas Health Catalyst, the medical school’s flagship innovation program, and managed several key industry partnerships. Nishi also served as the director of marketing and business development at a nanotechnology startup that developed theranostic solutions for cancer imaging and drug delivery. In addition to her medical degree, she holds a master’s degree from the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin.
Mark Walker is a member of the Dickinson Wright law firm and heads the El Paso office. A 1981 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas with majors in history and geology, Mark survived graduate school at UT while studying legal history and natural resource management and engineering. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law in 1985, Mark has over 37 years of trial, appellate, and administrative hearing experience, including over 75 jury verdicts and 50 appeals to his credit. Mark has extensive experience resolving a broad array of business, commercial, product liability, election and campaign finance law, and general tort and insurance defense litigation. He has taken regional leadership roles in complex litigation. Mark continues to be recognized by his peers as a “Texas Super Lawyer” in civil litigation defense and by The Best Lawyers in America® in commercial litigation and personal injury defense, for which he was named “Lawyer of the Year.”
Mark is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Defense Research Institute, and he was a vice president of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel as well as past chair of the District 17A Grievance Committee. He has been board certified in personal injury trial law since 1990 and served six years on the examination commission of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is licensed in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. In addition to being a frequent speaker at state and national litigation conferences, Mark has been active in leadership in local community organizations, as well as state mental health organizations, legislation, and initiatives. When not working at the office or serving with a local organization, Mark can often be found fly fishing in cold waters.
Josette Saxton is a public policy specialist with more than 20 years of experience in informing and advancing state policies to promote children’s healthy development and well-being. She is a trusted voice within policy discussions related to children’s mental health at the legislature, with state agencies, and among advocacy groups. Josette has played a leading role in proposing and supporting the passage of legislation in Texas addressing mental health in schools, advancing youth suicide prevention, and improving services for children with complex mental health needs.
Josette has served on numerous state advisory bodies focused on children’s mental health and wellness, including holding leadership positions on the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council’s subcommittee on suicide prevention and the Health and Human Services Commission Behavioral Health Advisory Committee subcommittee on children and youth. She presently co-chairs the Texas Suicide Prevention Council. Josette directs a mental health policy academy to support a cohort of early-career policy professionals participating in the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health’s Policy Fellow program. Josette has a B.A. in psychology from West Chester University and a master’s in social work from the University of Texas at Austin.