At the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone in Fayetteville our team is phenomenal. Every staff member plays a critical role in accomplishing our mission—to ensure our military families receive the care they’ve earned. Our team carries out this mission with passion that inspires. Here’s a closer look at one such teammate, Network Clinic Communications & Marketing Manager, Alecia Blair.
What made you decide to go into the marketing and communications line of work?
Originally, I was planning to go into broadcast journalism—I wanted to be a news anchor! But then I met and married an active-duty Soldier. Moving every two to three years to installations around the country does not work well with that field of work, so I decided to cast a wider net and go into marketing and communications. I enjoy storytelling and helping organizations communicate their brands through clear messaging.
Why did you decide to work with the Cohen Veterans Network?
As an active-duty military spouse of 17 years, I’ve experienced how tough military life can be for families. Repeat deployments, PCS moves and separation during temporary duty (TDY) and training can be hard for military families and can impact mental health. There are also a number of challenges that crop up before, during and after veterans transition out. I decided to work with CVN and the Cohen Clinic at Centerstone in Fayetteville because I believe deeply in our mission of improving the quality of life for veterans and the military community. By building awareness of the clinic and its awesome team, I hope to help our community access mental health services and improve the quality of their lives.
What specifically do you do for CVN?
I am responsible for managing all aspects of communications, marketing and public relations for CVN’s southeast region of clinics. I work on everything from media relations to digital communications to outreach support, as well as strategic planning to reach more veterans, service members and their families. When called upon, I also provide the military family perspective on things, since my family has been living this life for a while.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I most enjoy communicating the day-to-day human connections that occur at the clinic. This is where miracles happen, and lives are transformed.
What is a defining career moment or high point in your life?
Working with the U.S. Army Golden Knights, Team Unbroken and our Cohen Clinic at Centerstone in Fayetteville on the May tandem parachute jump for mental health has been a recent highlight. It was very rewarding to help create the messaging around that event and pitch the story to local news media. The story was picked up and went national! I hope that someone in our community read the news story and was inspired to get the mental health help they deserve.
What is the most rewarding part of being a military spouse? Most challenging?
The most rewarding part of being a military spouse is serving the military families around me, specifically those in our family readiness groups. When my husband serves, our entire family serves. I take this call to service very seriously. I was recently presented with a Department of the Army Patriotic Public Service Award—the third award I’ve received for my volunteer work in family readiness groups. I really do consider it a privilege to be able to support fellow military families.
The most challenging part is the demanding nature of my husband’s military service and how it impacts our family. We’ve experienced four overseas deployments, 10 PCS moves and countless TDY’s…these can be really tough on the family, especially our children. Still, you meet the most amazing people and families and the call to serve something greater than yourself really guides us.
What tips would you give a military spouse?
Don’t lose yourself! Whether it be maintaining a career, furthering your education, pursuing a passion or hobby, be sure to nurture whatever gives you your spark and hold on to it. During all the change you experience in the military, this will help ground you.
Any tips for balancing work and family life?
I’m not always the best at this myself, but I try to keep family time sacred. I have many lists and calendars to stay organized and make my work time as productive as possible, so when I’m off, I’m really off!
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I enjoy family movie nights, playing with our four-legged children…our golden retrievers, reading and music!
What is something you wish people knew about you?
This is a tough one! I’m not sure. Some may be surprised to learn that I am a trained vocalist!
What is your:
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby
Favorite quote: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~Mother Teresa
Favorite self-care tip: As a military spouse, a mom and a professional, I have a tendency to put myself last on the list. Always. I’ve been trying to take a short break for myself to decompress every day. I exercise or walk, read, or watch a favorite show.
Time management tool: I’ve learned to use my calendar to schedule in most activities to keep me on track.
Something you just CAN’T live without: Coffee and chocolate. Without a doubt.
Cohen Military Family Clinic