Patricia A. Barth, PhD, CGP, DLFAGPA
If you have attended the AGPA Annual Meeting with any regularity over the past couple of decades, you have definitely seen Patricia (Pat) Barth, PhD, CGP, DLFAGPA, behind a podium. She was either presiding over a Group Foundation-sponsored event during the conference or giving a Treasurer’s Report at the AGPA Board Meeting or the Community Meeting. Once you have seen her you won’t forget her. She stands tall and elegant in her leadership positions and her presentations.
Pat is a clinical psychologist practicing in Houston, Texas, and a Distinguished Fellow of AGPA. She has also served on the Faculty of Baylor College and has supervised the Group Psychotherapy Residency Program. You have seen her name on the Faculty of the AGPA Annual Meeting for many years, leading workshops and serving as an Institute group leader.
Pat also served in AGPA governance in the capacity of Treasurer, and it was my pleasure to serve with her on the Executive Committee. Her most significant contribution was her eight-year tenure as the Chair of the Group Foundation, providing leadership throughout our highly successful Capital Campaign. During her tenure as Chair, she was tireless in supporting the goals of the Foundation, growing it into the thriving and dynamic organization it is today. I asked Pat to share what her involvement with the Foundation has meant to her.
“I initially joined the Foundation when asked by Anne Alonso, PhD, CGP, DFAGPA. I looked forward to being on the Board and learning more about the organization. Little did I know what the extent of my involvement would be! Chair for eight years!
It was gratifying to be involved in the Capital Campaign and finally being able to pay off the headquarters’ debt. It was also gratifying, after 9/11, to see our organization move more to community outreach—going from a rather insular organization to actually being in the community, and putting our group skills to work with first responders and victims of trauma all over the world.
I’m not a person who likes to ask others for money. However, everyone was extremely generous when I did so. AGPA has wonderful, dedicated members, which is why I’ve continued to be involved. The community outreach also made it easier to explain to others why we needed financial aid to continue to do what we do.
Marsha Block, CAE, CFRE, CEO, and Diane Feirman, CAE, Public Affairs Senior Director, have been wonderful mentors, guiding me along the way. To have professionals on our staff who have been with us for so long and who have such a grasp of things has been invaluable. We’re very blessed to have them.
The scholarship program has grown exponentially over the years. To be able to give scholarships to more than 200 students and new professionals each year is truly a wonderful experience. With young people not tending to join organizations in today’s world, it is even more important to reach out to try to bring them in.
So many charities are asking for our dollars today. We have to pick and choose. The Group Foundation is at the top of my list.”
When I look back on all the contributions that Pat Barth has made to AGPA and the Group Foundation, I think that we are the ones who are blessed. She has given her time, her leadership, and her heart to supporting the work of our organization. We owe both Pat and her husband, Dr. Merle Barth, a debt of gratitude for their generosity at many levels. I’m proud to call them my friends.
Connie Concannon, LCSW, DFAGPA
Editor, Group Assets