On Sept. 5, Tess Coody-Anders will begin as Trinity University’s new vice president for strategic communications and marketing; however, her connection to Trinity goes beyond this new position.
Coody-Anders graduated from Trinity in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in communication. She was an active member of the Trinity community at the time, and served as an editor for the Trinitonian.
Coody-Anders was available via email to answer a few questions about her return to campus in a new role.
“I feel that Trinity, and higher education in general, is at an important inflection point. There may be no better time than now for me to give back to my alma mater. And personally, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with this leadership team, faculty and staff, and to be immersed in a culture committed to reasoned thinking,” wrote Coody-Anders.
Coody-Anders was appointed by Danny Anderson, president of the university, with the help of a small committee that searched nationwide for the right candidate. The duties of the position had been performed by Chuck White, vice president for information resources, marketing, and communication, until the University decided to create Coody-Anders’ new position for increased efficiency and focus on Trinity’s marketing.
Deneese Jones, vice president for academic affairs, took part in the selection process. She commented on Coody-Ander’s appointment.
“She was a fantastic interviewer, and she is a Trinity grad. She has a history of successes, a lot of them in this area, and, to be frank, she was out of sight, as far as I was concerned,” Jones said.
Coody-Anders has over 15 years of experience in the healthcare marketing field and is a leader responsible for the growth of multiple marketing firms in the San Antonio area. She is the founder and CEO of Wellvana, striving for increased transparency in the healthcare industry through a digital platform for consumers. Michelle Bartonico, interim vice president for strategic communications and marketing, was a co-chair on the committee that selected Coody-Anders.
“I feel confident in Tess’ leadership and am excited to have her at the helm of the department,” Bartonico said. “With Tess’ leadership, we can continue to build on the strong foundation and momentum from the past few years.”
In her new position, Coody-Anders will be responsible for Trinity’s outreach to both alumni and future students. She joins a team that has greatly increased the quantity and quality of applications that Trinity receives each year.
“I hope Tess can help us all tell the Trinity story strategically and widely so we can shine a light on all the great achievements of the university’s students, faculty, alumni and staff,” Bartonico said.
Coody-Anders spoke of her vision for the future of the school and explained the importance behind making the Trinity experience more well known.
“We are going to continue to build on the incredible work led by Dr. White, and push even harder to give Trinity the national profile it deserves. Our resources are not limited, and to be good stewards, we need to use data and predictive analytics to strategically guide our marketing communications. In five years, we will have made demonstrable progress in ‘owning’ a unique space in the hearts and minds of key constituents,” Coody-Anders said.
As an alumna, Coody-Anders also had some advice for current Trinity students.
“Despite your best laid plans, where and how you work, live and play will change over the course of time. Embrace it, and prepare for it by taking advantage of everything Trinity has to offer you. That top-notch liberal arts education will be valuable in nuanced ways you can’t anticipate right now. Also, use sunscreen,” Coody-Anders said.