Joel Allison
Heather Ashwell-Hair
Peter Beck
Yasmin Bhatia
Dr. Lew Blackburn
Mary Brumbach
Dr. David J. Chard
Brent Christopher
Trisha Cunningham
Dr. David E. Daniel
Bruce Esterline
Angela Farley
Florencia Velasco Fortner
Ken Gilbert
Marnie Glaser
Charles Glover
Scott Griggs
Alex Hales
Stacey Hodge
Susan Hoff
Richard W. Holt
Dr. Susan Simpson Hull
Lee F. Jackson
Larry James
Whitcomb Johnstone
Michelle Kinder
Laurie Larrea
Tanya McDonald
Dr. Michael D. McFarland
Linda McMahon
Mike Miles
Mike Morath
Anne Motsenbocker
Elvia Noriega
Dr. Dawson Orr
Scott Orr
Dale Petroskey
J. Puckett
Mike Rawlings
Eric Reeves
Florence Shapiro
Nicole Small
Michael Sorrell
Aleta Stampley
George Tang
Paula Turicchi
Todd Williams
Ellen Wood

Joel Allison
President and CEO, Baylor Health Care
As president and CEO of Baylor Health Care System, Joel Allison continues to fulfill his life-long mission to help lead an organization that combines ministry and health care in its mission statement and day-to-day operations. Allison’s primary responsibility is to help Baylor attain its vision “to be trusted as the best place to give and receive safe, compassionate, quality health care.” To do so, he continues developing Baylor as a patient-focused health care delivery system and clinical enterprise focused on providing quality, safe patient care that can be measured and reported. He also places a renewed focus on medical education and health care research and continues to collaborate with physicians in the design and development of BHCS.

Allison received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and religion at Baylor University in 1970 and attended Trinity University’s health care administration program where he earned a master’s degree in 1973. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and in 2004 he received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Dallas Baptist University.

In addition to several national roles, Allison serves on numerous state and local boards, including Texas Association of Voluntary Hospitals, Healthcare Coalition of Texas, Dallas Citizens Council, Dallas Education Foundation and the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture.

Heather Ashwell-Hair
Secretary, Texas PTA
When Heather Ashwell-Hair moved to Texas from Ontario, Canada, over 17 years ago, she didn’t know the turn her career would take. Not being work authorized but having been a parent educator in many different capacities including a home mediator model early childhood intervention program with at-risk families, implementation of a “Warm Line” for parents to call before they reach a crisis point, and a Talk Radio Host on parenting issues, as well as a college instructor for the Early Childhood Education Program, she was well equipped to volunteer at the local public school. She was quickly identified as a potential PTA leader and has become a full-time professional volunteer at the largest child advocacy organization in the state.

Heather is currently serving as Secretary to Texas PTA following two terms as Parent Education Programming chair. She has served in a variety of positions at elementary, middle and high school as well as ISD Council and Regional PTAs. As an officer with Texas PTA, Heather plays a vital role as she has been appointed to several key leadership and governance committees. She is a Texas PTA life member and has received an extended service award. As a result of her leadership in Texas PTAs, she was also selected by National PTA to serve as a Field Service Committee member.

With a passion for parent education, Heather continues to travel the state presenting parenting courses, as well as professional development workshops for schools and other organizations. Heather holds a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Mohawk College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Development Studies from the University of Waterloo. She and her husband live in Carrollton and have three children.

Peter Beck
CEO, The Beck Group
Peter Beck joined The Beck Group in 1981 after graduating from Princeton with a civil engineering degree followed by an MBA from Stanford. After serving in a construction management role on projects, Peter assumed responsibility for the firm as CEO in the early 1990’s enabling him to pursue his passion for integrating the disciplines. In 1999, Beck merged with a 40 person architecture firm and began to build a design practice in all offices including Dallas, Austin, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa, and Mexico City. The Beck Group has averaged over $700 million in design and construction services over the past five years. Over the past few decades, The Beck Group has developed a keen focus on exceeding customer expectations, best reflected by an 85 percent customer retention rate. The firm has also invested heavily in strategic technologies to integrate knowledge across the disciplines which it now licenses to many firms in the AEC industry. Among other distinctions, The Beck Group has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the “Best 100 Companies to Work For”.

Peter currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Southwestern Medical Foundation; The Dallas Foundation, which he chaired; the Dallas Citizens Council; the Design Futures Council; and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Council at Princeton University which he formerly chaired. He has served on the Board of the Greater Dallas Chamber, which he chaired in 2001, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission, and the Stanford Business School Trust.

He and his wife, Nancy, live in Dallas. They have two children, Spin and John, who both attend the University of Texas in Austin.
bhatiaYasmin Bhatia
CEO, Uplift Education
Yasmin joined Uplift Education in 2009 after having been a consultant at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, for 9 years. Yasmin brings her experience in helping clients develop and execute strategies and building organizational capacity to Uplift during this critical period of growth for the organization. While at McKinsey, Yasmin served the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the City of Dallas, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Yasmin holds an undergraduate degree in Finance and Business Honors from the University of Texas in Austin and a MBA from Stanford University. She and her husband reside in Dallas with their daughter Isabel and son Ian.
Lew Blackburn
President, Dallas ISD School Board
Dr. Lew Blackburn was elected to the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees in June 2001. He currently serves as President. He has also provided leadership as 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, and Chair, Audit Committee, Education Briefing and Business Briefing.

Dr. Blackburn has been a career educator since 1986, beginning with the Dallas ISD as an instrumental music teacher before serving as an assistant principal in the West Dallas area. At the Texas Education Agency, he served in the Division of School Accountability, followed by service as principal in Goodrich, Texas, and Duncanville, Texas. Dr. Blackburn has also served as an adjunct professor of educational administration at various colleges and universities in the North Texas area. Dr. Blackburn is Vice President, Business Services, and Chief Financial Officer with Texans Can! Academies, one of the largest Texas charter school operators with more than 4,000 students.

Born in Fort Worth, where he attended Kirkpatrick Elementary School, before moving to Dallas, Dr. Blackburn attended Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School and graduated from Franklin D. Roosevelt High School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Blackburn is recently married to Donna. He has three children, all of whom graduated from Dallas ISD, and three grandchildren, two of whom attend Dallas ISD.
Mary Brumbach
CFRE Associate Vice Chancellor, DCCCD
Biography coming soon.

Dr. David J. Chard
Dean, Simmons School of Education and Human Development
Education and Human Development, SMU

David is the Leon Simmons Endowed Dean and founding dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. A lifelong educator having taught in both public schools for eight years and at the higher education level for over 16 years, David also serves as a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University. Since his arrival at SMU, Dr. Chard has focused on making the Simmons School a national leader in research and development on education reform.

Dr. Chard has been the principal investigator on numerous federal research projects including topics such as response to intervention (RTI), reading, reading comprehension instruction, and early childhood mathematics. Since receiving his Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of Oregon, he has been awarded state and federal research and training grants totaling over $10 million. David has published more than 90 articles, monographs, book chapters, and books on instructional interventions and modifications in mathematics, reading and expressive writing. He is a member of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, the American Mathematical Association, a Past President for the Division for Research at the Council for Exceptional Children, and a member of numerous national and regional boards supporting high quality educational opportunities for all children. He is the author of numerous instructional programs on reading, early literacy intervention, language arts, and mathematics spanning K-12 education and has been a classroom teacher in California, Michigan, and in the U. S. Peace Corps in Lesotho in southern Africa.

Brent Christopher
President and CEO, Communities Foundation of Texas
As President and Chief Executive Officer of Communities Foundation of Texas, Brent Christopher leads a talented staff as the foundation works to enhance the experience and impact of charitable giving.

Brent earned his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas, where he was a Robert S. Strauss Scholar and administrative editor of the Texas International Law Journal. He earned his master’s degree in political economy and political culture as a Rotary Foundation Scholar at the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, England, and his B.B.A. in public administration and economics from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Prior to joining Communities Foundation of Texas, Brent served as Director of Development for the giving programs at Children’s Medical Center Dallas during the hospital’s successful $150 million wePromise Campaign. Before his post with Children’s, he served as General Counsel and Vice President for Advancement at Dallas Baptist University. Earlier in his professional career, Brent practiced law at Cowles & Thompson, P.C., in Dallas, where he specialized in legal malpractice defense and product liability defense.

Brent serves on the boards of directors for Safer Dallas Better Dallas and Passion for Children’s. He is chair of the Advisory Board of CF Insights, an initiative through the Community Foundations Leadership Team at the Council on Foundations and FSG to gather, analyze and share data with community foundations to improve their performance and sustainability. He also is a strategy committee member of the Alliance for Charitable Reform, which educates policymakers about philanthropy and the role it plays in communities.

Among his other activities, Brent serves locally on the President’s Advisory Council for the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, where he also was an original member of the Brinker International Forum Board of Advisors. He is a member of the Crystal Charity Ball Advisory Board, the Advisory Board of Uplift Education, the Board of Advisors of Entrepreneurs For North Texas, the Advisory Council of the Center for Nonprofit Management, the Community Advisory Board of the Junior League of Dallas, the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development Executive Board at Southern Methodist University, the United Way Metropolitan Dallas Income Impact Council and the UNT Dallas 21st Century Commission. Brent is an active member of the Dallas Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization and The Dallas Assembly, for which he served as president in 2010-11. He also is a former trustee of The Foundation at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. Brent and his children live in Dallas.
Trisha Cunningham
Chief Citizenship Officer, Texas Instruments
As Chief Citizenship Officer, Trisha strives to positively impact the communities where TI operates through strategic philanthropy, support of education, employee involvement and corporate social responsibility programs that support TI’s business goals. In addition to her public affairs role, she has over 20 years experience managing global communications and marketing initiatives including corporate communications, marketing and business communications that increased awareness, consideration and preference for TI products and services.

Trisha is a collaborator and believes there is power in partnership and sharing to build a better future for TI and our communities. As such, she was a catalyst and founder of the Dallas Fort Worth Corporate Citizenship Network – a self-managed group formed to share best practices and encourage companies with similar interests to work together on key community issues. She recently was named 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Executive of the Year by the Center for Nonprofit Management.

Trisha holds a BS in Computer Information Systems with an emphasis in business from Murray State University. She is a graduate of the International Women’s Foundation Leadership Fellow Program, Leadership Dallas and Leadership Texas. She serves on the board of trustees for the Foundation for Women’s Resources, the Volunteer Center of North Texas where she chairs the Student Engagement Programs committee and formerly of Girls Inc of Metropolitan Dallas. She also serves on the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Marketing Council, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Board Development Committee, the President’s Advisory Council of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and Murray State’s Computer Information Systems advisory board. Trisha is a member of the Dallas Breakfast Group and Dallas Friday Group. She also is an active volunteer as a Girl Scout leader and church youth leader.
Dr. David E. Daniel
President, The University of Texas at Dallas
David E. Daniel is the fourth president of The University of Texas at Dallas. Since his arrival in 2005, the University has tripled its research expenditures, initiated or completed $600 million in construction of new buildings and infrastructure, added 40 new degree programs, raised more than $210 million in private funds and won two national collegiate chess championships.”Our region’s pathway to prosperity is through innovation. We’re realizing the vision of our University’s founders to create the ‘MIT of the Southwest’ more quickly than anyone might have imagined.”

Dr. Daniel has advocated for developing and cultivating world-class research universities, and for UT Dallas to become one of the nation’s top research universities. He has focused on hiring exceptional faculty members, attracting top students, delivering quality education, improving outcomes such as graduation rates, expanding diversity, and partnering with the community in research, education, outreach, the arts, and technology commercialization.

He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees in engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and served on the faculty at UT Austin from 1980 to 1996. He then moved to the University of Illinois, finishing his service as dean of engineering before assuming the presidency at UT Dallas. Dr. Daniel’s professional work has been recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which awarded him its highest honor for papers published in its journals (the Norman Medal), and twice honored him with its second-highest award, the Croes Medal. In 2010, the organization bestowed the OPAL (Outstanding Projects and Leaders) Award for lifetime achievement in engineering education.

He was one of a handful of national experts called upon in recent years to examine the levee failure after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the investigation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2000, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the nation’s most prestigious organization recognizing engineering achievement. In 2009, he served as president of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST), an organization comprised of all Texas residents who have won Nobel Prizes or been elected to one of the three National Academies.
Bruce Esterline
Vice President for Grants, Meadows Foundation
Bruce Esterline has had a 28-year career in the government and nonprofit sectors. After ten years in state government and running a nonprofit organization in Austin, in 1983 he joined the Meadows Foundation as a Program Officer working as a member of the Grants Department. In 1992, he was elected Vice President for Grants for the Meadows Foundation. From this position he oversees the process of reviewing grant applications and preparing recommendations for the Foundation’s President and Board of Directors.

Last year the Foundation evaluated 2,000 grant applications and awarded approximately 220 grants totaling $33 million dollars to nonprofit organizations across the State of Texas.

Mr. Esterline earned a B.A. in History from Stanford University and a M.A. from the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. Bruce met his wife, Diana, at the LBJ School. The family lived in Austin until 1983 when they moved to Dallas so that Bruce could join the Meadows Foundation.
Angela Farley
Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Education, Dallas Regional Chamber
Biography coming soon.

Florencia Fortner
President and CEO, The Concilio
Florencia Velasco Fortner works to enrich the lives of families in disenfranchised neighborhoods through education initiatives to improve the academic success and educational attainment of students in the community.

Since becoming CEO in 2005, Florencia has seen the Concilio’s parent involvement program grow from just four schools in the fall of 2005 to serving parents in four area school districts in the fall of 2011. The Concilio is now recognized for its expertise in parent involvement and helping families and students achieve educational success. These impressive efforts have been recognized by Bank of America, the National Council of La Raza, and the Plano Independent School District.

Florencia has 18 years of experience working in education and grassroots community organizing in Dallas as well as Los Angeles and Orange Counties. In addition to her work within The Concilio, Florencia participated in the 2010 Marshall Memorial Fellowship and the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Leadership Dallas program and has served as the President of the Association of United Way Agency Executives. She serves on the board of directors of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Texas Leadership Forum, and The Compelling Why. She is a member of the Dallas Assembly and the Hispanic 100. As a happily married pastor’s wife and mother of three extraordinary children, Florencia is also a member of the Deaconess Board at New Mount Moriah Baptist Church.
Ken Gilbert
Director, Head Start of Greater Dallas
Kenneth R. Gilbert is a successful executive with thirty years of financial and management experience. Mr. Gilbert has recently been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Head Start of Greater Dallas, Inc. (HSGD). HSGD is one of the largest not-for-profit entities in Dallas County and a provider of early childhood education and family services to more than 4,400 participants annually, with a $45 million annual budget and 700+ employees.

Mr. Gilbert has contributed to the growth and stability of HSGD serving as Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer during his 24-year tenure. He also currently works as an Administration and Financial Management Consultant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Head Start, to conduct financial and compliance reviews of Head Start programs nationally. Mr. Gilbert is also a much sought after training & technical assistance professional for Head Start programs across the nation.

Mr. Gilbert holds memberships in the National Head Start Association, The Institute of Management Accountants and The National Association for the Education of Young Children and is a past President and current Treasurer of the Texas Head Start Association. Mr. Gilbert is also the current Treasurer of the Region VI Head Start Association. Mr. Gilbert is active in the community at the local and state level, including current membership on the Head Start State Collaboration Office Advisory Board as well as past service on the state Child Care Management System Community Advisory Board and the Texas Early Childhood Education Council (TECEC) Advisory Committee. Mr. Gilbert is a 2004 Leadership Dallas alumnus and a 1991 alumnus of the prestigious Head Start Johnson and Johnson Management Fellows Program at UCLA. Mr. Gilbert holds a B.A. in Accounting from Bishop College and a MBA from Amberton University. Mr. Gilbert is married with three children.
Marnie Glaser
Co-Chair Early Childhood Support Council
Former Director of Early Childhood, Commit! Partnership, 2011-14
As the Commit! Partnership’s initial Director of Early Childhood, Marnie helped lead both the development of its community strategy and the implementation of its related action networks while bringing on numerous community stakeholders to engage in the work. With co-chair Susan Hoff, Marnie also helped create the Partnership’s Early Childhood Support Council to steer the work while partnering closely with Dallas ISD and other organizations to help create meaningful change for our youngest children.

Prior to her role at Commit!, Marnie worked as a clinical lecturer at UT Dallas in the Department of Brain and Behavior Sciences. Focusing on the neurological basis for communication, her courses highlighted the importance of the brain development in the first seven years of life and the need for appropriate stimulation and language exposure to lay the foundation for future learning. Prior to UT Dallas, Marnie worked as a speech-language pathologist serving clients at both the Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation and Dallas ISD before moving to the University of Texas at Dallas to run their Communication and Learning Center. At CLC, she focused on teaching assessment and treatment of brain injury to graduate students in the Brain and Behavior Sciences program. Earlier in her career, Marnie also taught in public schools in both Los Angeles and Houston through the Teach for America program and worked on the Texas House Education Committee during its rewrite of the Texas Education Code in 1995. Marnie currently sits on the board of Head Start of Greater Dallas and actively volunteers to support more children in their early childhood years in Dallas.

Marnie earned her Masters in Communication Science and Disorders at UT Dallas and earned her B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin.

Charles Glover
The Meadows Foundation
Biography coming soon.

Scott Griggs
Head of School, Greenhill School
Scott Griggs is beginning his thirteenth year as Head of School at Greenhill School, a PreK-12 school serving 1279 students in Dallas, Texas. During his tenure at Greenhill, he has directed two strategic plans, the first of which culminated with a successful $25 million dollar capital campaign, resulting in a new Lower School building, an addition to the existing Upper School and increased endowment. He has worked with the National Association of Independent Schools think tank on efforts of equity and justice (Call to Action) and seen Greenhill’s growth in both student of color (22% to 37.5%) and faculty of color (12% to 22%) populations. Scott has directed Greenhill’s membership into the Global Online Academy and School Year Abroad, while also coordinating exchanges with schools in Korea and Taiwan.

Outside of Greenhill, Scott has served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and is currently President-elect. He currently serves on the board of the St. Alcuin Montessori School and The daVinci School. On three occasions, he has served as a mentor for the NAIS Aspiring Heads program, and he is an elected member of the Country Day School Headmasters Association and The Headmasters Association.

Before coming to Greenhill, Scott was the Head of the Upper School at Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia; Director of College Counseling, physics teacher and varsity basketball coach at Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland; and, teacher, coach and college counselor at The Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio.

Scott is a native of Ohio and he received his B.S. degree in physics from Centre College in Kentucky, where he also played varsity basketball and was co-captain of a team that reached the NCAA Division III Final Four. He received his Masters in Educational Administration from Ohio State University.
Alex Hales
Executive Director, Teach for America – DFW
Alexandra Hales is the Executive Director of Teach For America-Dallas/Fort Worth. She began her career in education in 2007 when she joined the South Louisiana Teach For America corps as a first grade teacher. Alex set rigorous expectations for her students, modeled leadership through her ongoing involvement in the school community, and fostered high levels of student achievement. As a second-year teacher, Alex was selected by her fellow educators as the top elementary teacher in the district and was named East Feliciana Parish Elementary Teacher of the Year. In 2009, Alex was a key leader in opening the Teach For America charter region in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she first served as a manager, teacher leadership development and was quickly promoted to leading all teacher support and development initiatives. Under Alex’s leadership, corps members have become valued members of their school communities. In a 2011 independent survey of local school leaders employing corps members, partner principals reported that their corps members made a positive difference in their school community. Ninety-seven percent reported they would hire another corps member if they had an open position to fill, and hundred percent indicated that their corps members are as or better prepared than other new teachers.

Alex earned her BA from Lake Forest College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with degrees in Political Science and History, captained the women’s varsity swim team, and served as Student Government president.
Stacey Hodge
Executive Director, Stand for Children Teacher Education Network
Stacey began her involvement in education in 2003 when she co-founded REAL Schools Initiative, a non-profit in Fort Worth, TX that created learning gardens in low-income schools and trained teachers to use them to improve student engagement and academic achievement.

She also spent two years at East Fort Worth Montessori Academy as the Facilitator of Outdoor Education and taught 7th and 8th grade science in Fort Worth and Dallas.

In December of 2012, Stacey’s principal recommended her for the inaugural cohort of Ed Policy Fellows with Teaching Trust. The focus of the program is to educate and empower teachers on current education policy so that they can advocate for solutions that will help close the achievement gap.

In March 2013, the Ed Policy Fellows took a group of 15 educators to Austin during spring break. They had developed a policy agenda and understood the issues very well and were given the opportunity to testify before the Senate Education Committee. On a subsequent trip to Austin and after further testimony, Stacey and some of her cohort were informed by the Chief of Staff for the Chairman of the Education Committee that they just “didn’t have enough members to be invited to the table” for the real discussion. Stacey made up her mind to change that.

Having seen the impact a few voices can make, she’s determined that with greater numbers, not only will educators be invited to the table; they will be leading the discussion about the transformation of education in Texas.

Stacey earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Recreational Sports Administration from Indiana University and a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the University of Texas-Arlington. In her free time, Stacey enjoys trail running, hiking, gardening, and traveling to the mountains of Colorado and Montana.

Susan Hoff
SVP of Community Impact, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
Since joining in early 2009, Susan has been responsible for the oversight of the United Way’s Community Impact Grants – a strategic effort which annually awards over $20 million to area nonprofits, public policy and advocacy initiatives, and program development, implementation, and evaluation. She also co-led the strategic planning process that resulted in the development of the United 2020 goals and strategies for the United Way.

Prior to joining the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas team, Susan was the CEO and President of ChildCareGroup, a Dallas based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, delivering and expanding the best child care services available outside the home. She also previously served as the executive director of Educational First Steps and the Good Shepherd Community Center and as a senior leader at Rainbow Days. Her professional experience includes the positions of teacher, child care center director, and parent educator in domestic violence and drug abuse prevention programs. Susan is a well known children’s advocate at the local, state, and national levels.

Susan is the past president of the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children and served on an advisory committee for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She is the board chair of the Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition (TECEC) and the chair-elect of the Dallas Social Venture Partners (DSVP) board. Susan also serves on the Board of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, the Jr. League of Richardson and the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health.

A native of Midland, Texas, Susan earned a degree in bilingual/bicultural education from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and completed graduate work in early childhood education at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and post graduate work in public administration and policy analysis at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Richard W. Holt
President, Bank of America in Dallas
Richard W. Holt is market president for Bank of America in Dallas and senior vice president and Market Executive of Middle Market Banking in North and Central Texas for Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. As market president, Holt serves as the senior executive for business, civic and philanthropic activities for Dallas. Along with other senior leaders, Holt facilitates communication and integration among the company’s local business lines and works to continuously improve customer experience, grow revenue in the region, and represent Bank of America in the community.

Holt also serves as Market Executive for Middle Market Banking. In this role, he is responsible for providing comprehensive financial solutions and industry expertise to mid-size companies through dedicated client teams located in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio. Holt joined a Bank of America predecessor bank in 1978, and has been involved in real estate and commercial lending throughout his 34-year career. He has served as a Commercial Market Executive for the past seven years. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Abilene Christian University, and an MBA from the University of Texas San Antonio.

In the community, Holt is a member of the Dallas Regional Chamber and its Education Advisory Council, as well the Dallas Citizens Council and the Dallas Symphony Association. Holt recently served on the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Blue Ribbon Commission and the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, in addition to other past educational, civic and community organizations in the San Antonio area. Richard lives in Dallas with his wife Kathy, and has two children, daughter Korey and son Cullen.
Dr. Susan Simpson Hull
Superintendent, Grand Prairie Independent School District
Susan Simpson Hull received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University in 2003. Dr. Hull has been a Texas educator for 32 years, serving as a teacher, coach, principal, superintendent, and college professor. She is currently serving her fifth year as the superintendent of the Grand Prairie ISD, an urban/suburban district of about 27,000 students.

During her 21 years in the role as a superintendent, Dr. Hull has dealt with some of the greatest challenges superintendents face, including inheriting a financially unstable district in which the payroll had to be borrowed until she could stabilize and rebuild financial solvency, programming and oversight of almost $500 million in bond funds, and resolving governance issues to relieve one district from Agency intervention. Additionally, Dr. Hull has increased student achievement in five districts while reducing the achievement gap between all subpopulations of students, and increased the number of Highly Performing campuses. Recognized for these accomplishments, she was selected as the 2005 Texas Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Association of School Administrators. She was also the Texas Association of School Administrators nominee for the National Superintendent of the Year.

Dr. Hull’s other honors include 2009 Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year, 2008 Texas A & M College of Education Outstanding Alumni Early Career Recipient, 2007 Outstanding Leadership Alumnus from the University of Texas at Tyler, Brock Juror for the Brock International Prize in Education, recipient of the Service to Education Award from Dallas Baptist University and Honorary Lifetime Member Award from the Texas Parent Teacher Association. Dr. Hull’s leadership style has been called exemplary. She leads by example and allows her staff and consultants to do the jobs for which they were hired, while continually encouraging and motivating others to strive for excellence. She continually puts children first in all of her decisions and takes great pride in the success of others.
Lee F. Jackson
Chancellor, University of North Texas System
Lee Jackson was appointed Chancellor of the University of North Texas System on September 1, 2002 after a 30-year career in government in Dallas and the State of Texas. Chancellor Jackson is responsible for System initiatives and policy direction, planning, and oversight for three campuses: University of North Texas (Denton), UNT Health Science Center (Fort Worth) and UNT Dallas.

Chancellor Jackson is a member of the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute, DOWNTOWNDallas, the Dallas Citizens Council and the Dallas Education Foundation. He also serves on the board of the North Texas Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization. He is past chairman of the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities and the Texas Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors. Lee Jackson began his career in the Dallas City Manager’s Office, served 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives, and was elected four times as Dallas County Judge, the chief elected official in the State’s second largest county.

Chancellor Jackson was born in Austin, Texas. He attended Dallas public schools, received his B.A. in Political Science from Duke University and his Masters of Public Administration from SMU.
Larry James
President and CEO, CitySquare
Larry has provided executive leadership since joining CitySquare in 1994. Known in the Dallas faith, business and media communities as a social entrepreneur and committed servant to the people of East and South Dallas, Larry came to CitySquare after serving 14 years as senior minister with the Richardson East Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas.

He is a graduate of Harding University (BA 1972), Harding University Graduate School of Religion (MA 1973), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv 1977) and Tulane University (MA—American History 1986). His first full-length book, The Wealth of the Poor, will be published in fall 2012 by Leafwood Publishers.

Larry spent eight months in 1998 as executive director for the Greater Dallas Community of Churches but returned to CitySquare with a renewed clarity that his place was close to the streets of Dallas’ inner-city community. Larry and wife, Brenda, have made their home in the inner city since January 1999.

johnstoneDr. Whitcomb Johnstone
Division Director of Planning, Evaluation & Research, Irving ISD
Dr. Whit Johnstone serves as the Division Director of Planning, Evaluation and Research with the Irving Independent School District. He is charged with monitoring and evaluating the success of programs in the district, ensuring quality and integrity in student assessment and PEIMS data, maintaining relationships with outside partners and vendors, and leading a diverse group of professionals in assessment, data analysis, data management and program evaluation. Dr. Johnstone began his career in educational evaluation as a program evaluator with the Fort Worth ISD. Over the span of his career Dr. Johnstone has served in advisory roles at the state and national level, including past service on the State Accountability Educator Focus Group and the Commissioner’s Accountability Advisory Committee. Dr. Johnstone currently serves as the Texas local education agency (LEA) representative on the National Forum for Education Statistics, an advisory group to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education.
kinderm.jpgMichelle Kinder
Executive Director, Momentous Institute
Michelle Kinder is the Executive Director of Momentous Institute in Dallas, TX. She has worked in the field of children’s mental health for the last 18 years. She graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and the University of Texas with a Master’s in Educational Psychology.

Momentous Institute is a large nonprofit with a 90 year history of building and repairing social emotional health with children and their families so they can achieve their full potential. 7,000 people are served directly each year through comprehensive therapeutic services as well as through a state-of-the-art laboratory school for children growing up in poverty. Momentous Institute is committed to research and training for thousands of professionals each year.

Michelle developed a family strengthening program, Fortaleza en la Familia (Strong Families), which has been used to provide culturally grounded parent education to thousands of families. She is a nationally recognized speaker on topics such as: what children need to succeed, mindful parenting, social emotional health, effective parent engagement, the effect of trauma and violence on children, and the intersection of mental health and education.

Michelle grew up in Guatemala and is fluent in Spanish. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Patrick, and their two daughters, Maya and Sophia.
Laurie Larrea
President, Workforce Solutions
Laurie has the honor of serving as the President of the Dallas County Workforce Development Board – Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas. “Achieving competitive solutions FOR EMPLOYERS through quality people and FOR PEOPLE through quality jobs“ is the mission of this business-led and employer-responsive Board. Capping a career in employment programs spanning more than thirty years, Laurie has served the Board as the chief executive since 1996, and served as Executive Director of the preceding organization, the Private Industry Council of Dallas, Inc. beginning in 1989. Ms. Larrea has served three dynamic boards in Texas including Director of Programs for the Houston Job Training Partnership Council and Director of the Southeast Texas Employment and Training Program/PIC in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. As a private employment and training consultant, Laurie‘s work included conference planning; procurement, negotiation and contract training; and planning for various councils and contractors – the Texas Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Labor.

An alumnus of Lamar University in Beaumont, Laurie earned a B.S. in Psychology with emphasis in Industrial Psychology. She is married to a workforce colleague, Robert and they have one son, Alex.
Tanya McDonald
Chief Executive Officer, Dallas Afterschool
Biography coming soon.
Dr. Michael D. McFarland
Superintendent, Lancaster Independent School District
Dr. Michael D. McFarland was named Superintendent of Lancaster ISD in May of 2010, arriving from Champaign, Illinois where he served as Assistant Superintendent of Achievement for Champaign Unit 4 Public Schools. While serving in Champaign, he led the development of a high school restructuring model that was adopted by the Illinois Board of Education as a model for transformation of low performing secondary schools throughout the state. McFarland also was instrumental in the development and implementation of a collaborative multi-agency partnership with the City of Champaign, Park District, and Unit 4 Schools called the “Operation Hope in Garden Hills.” This multi-agency project included the “Lighted Schoolhouse” and was recognized nationally as a model approach for addressing school and community issues. Prior to serving in Illinois, Dr. McFarland served as principal of John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas. When he arrived, the school was low performing, academically unacceptable, and plagued with many challenges. Under his leadership the school was transformed into a high performing high school that was recognized by the College Board as the 2006 National Inspiration Award winner, an award only received by three schools in the nation due to the school’s increase in student performance and college and career readiness as measured by SAT and college acceptance. Before serving as John Tyler’s principal, McFarland was principal at Foster Middle School in Longview, Texas, and during his tenure was selected as the “Best Principal in East Texas” by the Longview News Journal.Dr. McFarland is a native of Jasper, Texas and began his educational career in 1993 as an algebra teacher. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University, his Master of Education and superintendent’s certificate from Stephen F. Austin University and his doctorate from Baylor University. In addition to McFarland’s duties as superintendent of schools, he is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations and coaches girls’ basketball at the Lancaster Recreation Center.
Linda McMahonLinda McMahon
President and CEO, The Real Estate Council and The Real Estate Council Foundation
Linda McMahon is the President and CEO of The Real Estate Council and The Real Estate Council Foundation. Founded in 1990, The Real Estate Council (TREC) is Texas’ largest and most influential organization of its kind representing more than 1,300 commercial real estate professionals and 500 companies which make up over 95% of the top commercial real estate businesses in North Texas. Over the last 20 years, The Real Estate Council Foundation has been a leader in efforts shaping the future of Dallas including the original $1.5 million investment that spearheaded Klyde Warren Park, as well as $6.3 million in pro bono legal and title services and $250,000 in funding that helped create Dallas’ Urban Land Bank. We are known for our long term investment in the city’s neediest neighborhoods – St. Phillips, Jubilee, Fair Park, to name a few. The Real Estate Council Community Fund is a community development financial institution – and makes loans to nonprofits who are engaged in our core mission related activities – housing, education, job creation and the environment.

Linda has been actively engaged in community development initiatives for more than 15 years as part of her three decade?long banking career. Formerly, Linda was the Southwest Director of Community Development Banking for JPMorgan Chase Bank. Linda is a member of the Dallas Habitat for Humanity Honorary Board; The AIA Dallas Board of Directors; and The Dallas Center for Architecture Columns Advisory Board. She is a member of The Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing (TAAHP); The Dallas Assembly, The Texas Lyceum Alumnae, Leadership Dallas Alumnae (1991). Linda is the past Vice Chair of The Real Estate Council (2006?2007), past President of the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (2009?2010). She is a founding member of Housing Texas and the Louisiana Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers. She has served on the Fannie Mae National Housing Advisory Council (2006?2008) and was actively engaged with the Louisiana Recovery Authority in redevelopment initiatives following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Linda has a B. A. in Government from The University of Texas at Austin.
Mike Miles
Superintendent, Dallas Independent School District
Mike Miles officially became Dallas ISD’s 25th superintendent on July 1, 2012. Prior to coming to Dallas ISD, Mr. Miles was the Superintendent of the Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, a position he held for the past six years. During his tenure, he transformed the district, significantly improving the quality of instruction and raising student achievement. He expanded leadership capacity and implemented the most rigorous pay-for-performance system in the nation.

After graduating from West Point in 1978, Miles served in the Army’s elite Ranger Battalion and commanded an Infantry Rifle Company. After the Army, Miles studied Slavic languages at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Leningrad in Russia. Miles then pursued advanced study of Soviet affairs and public policy at Columbia University after being selected as a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities and winning a National Science Foundation Graduate Scholarship. In 1989, Miles joined the U.S. State Department and served as a diplomat in Warsaw, Poland, where he tracked Poland’s evolving relations with Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe.

Miles continues to honor his commitment to serve the public interest and entered the field of education. Prior to being selected as Superintendent, Miles held positions as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. He is recognized as an accomplished practitioner of curriculum alignment, instructional feedback, organizational effectiveness, leadership development, and systems thinking. Miles is married with three children, two attending college and one that attends Marsh Middle School in the Dallas ISD.
morathMike Morath
Trustee, Dallas Independent School District
Representing Board of Trustees District 2, Mike Morath took office in May 2011. For the past decade, Morath served as President of Minute Menu Systems, a company that assists childcare providers in administering a federal food program for low-income children. His company streamlined that federal program, improved the quality of nutrition offered, and helps feed roughly one million children a day throughout the U.S. He has had a passion for public education for years, is an avid reader of information about school reform, and believes firmly that our school system can be changed so that all of our students succeed, no matter what their backgrounds.

With a belief system that continually calls him to serve others, Morath has participated in numerous volunteer activities, locally and internationally. He has volunteered in our schools and juvenile justice facilities and as a mentor Big Brother. He helped organize a trip to orphanages in southern India to set up clean running water systems, and he volunteered at an eye clinic in rural Mexico, where he was lucky enough to meet another volunteer, Dr. Laura Vondra, who is now his fiancé.
Never one to shrink from a challenge, Morath has hiked Mount Rainier in Washington and climbed mountains near Mount Everest in Nepal.
He received a BBA, summa cum laude, from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in two and a half years, thanks primarily to the International Baccalaureate curriculum offered at his public school alma mater, Garland High School.

The youngest member of the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees, Morath also is the only trustee who has never drawn an opponent.
Anne Motsenbocker
President and Regional CEO, JPMorgan Chase
Anne Motsenbocker is the Dallas President and Regional CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the state’s largest financial institution. She has worked for the bank and its predecessors for 28 years, serving clients in corporate banking, commercial banking, wealth management and trust. She currently has responsibility for several markets in Texas where she works with dynamic middle-market businesses across all industries. Anne received her BBA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 with a concentration in Finance and International Business. She also completed Graduate Business courses at Smith College in August 1998. Anne has been actively involved in the Dallas community for a number of years. She serves on various Boards of Directors including the Dallas Regional Chamber as the Chair Elect, Chairman of The Senior Source, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Children’s Medical Center Board, The Dallas Foundation, the Dallas Women’s Foundation Advisory Board, and the Junior League of Dallas Community Advisory Board. Anne is also a member of the Executive Women’s Roundtable, the Dallas Assembly, the International Women’s Forum, and the Dallas Citizens Council. Previously, Anne served as the President of the Board for the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas, member of the Boards of Directors of the North Texas Business for Culture and the Arts, the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors, the Dallas Zoological Society, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, The Child Care Group, The Women’s Center of Dallas, and Amigos de las Americas. She is a graduate of Leadership Dallas and Leadership Richardson. In 2011, Anne received the ATHENA Award. In 2008, she was recipient of the Women in Business Award by the Dallas Business Journal, She Knows Where She’s Going Award by Girls Inc., Real Girls, Real Women Award by Girl Scouts, and in 2005, Anne was recognized with the Women of Excellence Award by Women’s Enterprise Texas. Anne lives in Dallas with her husband Alan and their two sons, Brian and David.
Dr. Dawson Orr
Superintendent of Schools, Highland Park Independent School District
Dr. Dawson Orr earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration and social studies from the University of Alabama in 1975, and a master’s degree in administration and planning in 1976 with an additional master’s degree as an educational specialist. Dr. Orr went on to earn his doctorate in the cooperative superintendency program from the University of Texas.

Dr. Orr began his career in 1975 in Columbus, Ga., where he taught social studies at Baker High School in the Muscogee County School District. He was promoted to assistant principal at Baker High School, and also served as assistant principal at Shaw High School in the same district. Next, he served as elementary principal and teacher at the American School of Laguna Verde in Veracruz, Mexico, where he was promoted to superintendent. Dr. Orr also served as a project manager in the cooperative superintendency program at the University of Texas. In 1988, he was named assistant superintendent for secondary instruction in Pampa ISD, where he was promoted to superintendent after two years. After a total of 15 years in Pampa ISD, he was named superintendent in Wichita Falls ISD in 2003. Dr. Orr was named superintendent of schools in Highland Park ISD in January of 2009.

Dr. Orr has served as president of the Texas Association of School Administrators, chairperson of TASA’s legislative committee, and president of the Texas Leadership Center Board. He was named Superintendent of the Year by Communities in Schools in 2008 and Key Communicator of the Year by the Texas School Public Relations Association in 2005. He continues to serve as a member of TASA’s legislative committee and the Visioning Institute, a study group made up of educational leaders focusing on school district redesign.

Orr’s community involvement is also strongly evident in his leadership as a member of the University Park library advisory committee and ex officio member of the HP Education Foundation board and the HPHS Alumni Association board. Orr’s wife, Carol, is a junior high English teacher.
Scott Orr
Vice President of Public Affairs, Fidelity Investments
Scott is Vice President of Public Affairs for the Texas region of Fidelity Investments, returning to Fidelity in January 2012 to serve in this role. He is a member of the regional executive leadership team and is responsible for all of Fidelity’s governmental relationships at the local, state and federal levels. He also oversees its civic and community relations efforts, including volunteerism for Fidelity’s 5,200 Texas-based employees and working with its strategic nonprofit partners and other charitable programs. Prior to his return to Fidelity, Scott spent a decade as a nonprofit leader in the Dallas area, serving as the President of two nonprofit organizations and seven years as a School Board Trustee for Coppell Independent School District. In Scott’s original career with Fidelity Investments, he worked for 12 years as a research analyst, portfolio manager and money market group leader in the fixed income department of Fidelity Management & Research, ultimately managing over $12 billion in 11 separate municipal money market funds. Scott is a Chartered Financial Analyst and earned a BBA degree in accounting from Abilene Christian University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dale Petroskey
President, Dallas Regional Chamber
Dale A. Petroskey was named President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber on March 14, 2014. Mr. Petroskey brings to the Chamber a strong background in public policy, strategic communications, and non-profit management, having held leadership positions in all three sectors – public, private, and non-profit – for more than 30 years.

After graduating from Michigan State University, he lived 18 years in Washington, DC, where he served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Bill Goodling (R-PA), Assistant White House Press Secretary to President Ronald Reagan, and Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation under then-Secretary Elizabeth Dole.

At The White House, Mr. Petroskey served as a spokesman for President Reagan and led the staff responsible for the preparation of every official White House document released to the media. In addition, he traveled extensively, and accompanied the President to his historic first meetings with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, in Geneva, Switzerland in November 1985, and in Reykjavik, Iceland in October 1986. He also accompanied the President and Mrs. Reagan to Camp David on 10 different weekends.

From 1988-1999, Mr. Petroskey served at the National Geographic Society, the world’s largest educational membership organization. He was named the first-ever Vice President of Public Affairs in 1988, and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Mission Programs in 1996. In that role, he was the senior executive responsible for the committee which funded scientific research and exploration projects for well-known scientists and explorers such as Jane Goodall, Bob Ballard, and Sylvia Earle. He also oversaw a 50-state geography education program, which still includes the National Geography Bee, hosted by Alex Trebek, as well as exhibits, the public lectures program, and fundraising.

From 1999-2008, Mr. Petroskey was President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, where he was the primary link to all living Hall of Famers and their families and led the day-to-day operations of one of the nation’s best-known and most respected museums, a premier symbol of American achievement. While there, he was instrumental in launching the museum’s first-ever national traveling exhibition, Baseball As America, which was seen by more than 2 million visitors in 15 respected museums throughout the U.S., including the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science in Fair Park. Membership grew from 4,000 to 32,000 during his tenure, and he also helped create the Hall of Fame’s Development Office, which now provides an important source of revenue. One of his greatest sources of satisfaction and pride was working closely with the Board to initiate and implement a one-time-only, 5-year study and process for considering and electing Negro League players, managers, and executives. That process culminated in the election of 17 Negro Leaguers in 2006, nearly doubling the number in the Hall of Fame.

From 2008-2010, Mr. Petroskey served as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Community Development for the Texas Rangers, where he led the reorganization of the Texas Rangers Foundation, which resulted in a focus on children in need and a much greater awareness in the community. He also made more than 70 speeches throughout North Texas to share the story of the Rangers on the field and in the community. While with the Rangers, Mr. Petroskey served on the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee; the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board; the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau Board; and the United Way of Greater Dallas campaign.

Most recently, Mr. Petroskey has been Vice President, Public Affairs, for Occidental Petroleum Corporation, the nation’s fourth largest energy company. He worked mostly with Oxy’s five general managers throughout California and other key senior-level managers on challenging legislative and regulatory issues, local community engagement, public education, and charitable contributions.

Mr. Petroskey and his wife, Ann, both graduates of Michigan State University, have been married for 35 years. They have three grown children: Kathleen, an SMU graduate living in Dallas and working for Worldwide Express; Frank, a Tufts University graduate living and working in New York City; and Claire, a College of Charleston graduate living and working in Charleston, SC.
J. Puckett
Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group
J. has been with BCG since 1989 and has held a number of key leadership roles in the firm. He is currently a member of BCG’s Americas Leadership Team and leads the firm’s Organization Practice in the Americas. He also leads BCG’s public education transformation practice globally. He has worked extensively with public and private sector entities on important strategic, organizational and operational transformation efforts. He has hands-on experience in strategy development, enterprise building, large-scale transformation, organization design, HR effectiveness, leadership development, process reengineering, cost reduction, asset productivity improvement, performance management, change management, and stakeholder engagement. Recent examples of his work include:

  • Organizational design and effectiveness project for the US Department of Education
  • Transformation plan development and implementation support for multiple urban districts and states (e.g. New Orleans, Dallas Independent School District, Delaware)
  • Launch plan development for the National Math and Science Initiative
  • Comprehensive teacher effectiveness plan development for multiple large urban school districts
  • Higher education support (e.g. strategy, fund raising and development, new programs)

Prior to joining BCG, Mr. Puckett worked for IBM. He received a B.S. in Computer Science and Religion from Duke University, and an M.B.A. in Finance and Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the Boards for The Dallas Foundation and the Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Advisory Board for Teach for America. J. resides in Dallas, TX with his wife of 25 years and their four children.

Mike Rawlings
Mayor, City of Dallas
Elected Mayor in June 2011, Mike Rawlings brings three decades of high-level business and civic leadership to Dallas City Hall. Mayor Rawlings came to Dallas in 1976 with two hundred dollars in his pocket, and through hard work and determination, he proved that Dallas truly is The City of Opportunity. After taking an entry level job in one of Dallas’ top ad agencies, he worked his way up to become the CEO of Tracy-Locke, which at the time was the largest advertising agency in the South.

After a successful 20-year career in marketing and advertising, Mike Rawlings took the helm of the world’s largest pizza company, Pizza Hut. Under Mike’s leadership, the company had a major upturn in business resulting in the highest weekly store sales in Pizza Hut history and recognition by D Magazine as “The Best Company To Work For In Dallas.”

Most recently, Mayor Rawlings served as Managing Partner of CIC Partners, where he provided business counsel and capital, helping to grow small and mid-sized businesses in Dallas, and across the U.S. In addition to his vast business experience, over the past three decades Mayor Rawlings also has served as a volunteer leader with a proven record of tackling some of our city’s toughest challenges. As the Homeless Czar for five years, Mike oversaw the construction and opening of The Bridge, which is the cornerstone of our city’s long-term plan to help the homeless and clean up our downtown. Mike also worked to raise more than $12 million in private donations to operate this non-profit that helps more than 1,000 homeless men and women every day. Under Mike’s leadership Dallas reduced its number of chronically homeless by nearly 57% over five years.

As Chair of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2006-07, Mike worked to bring in new tax revenue from visitors, relieving the burden on homeowners. Under his leadership, the CVB brought in events that generated $400 million in direct economic impact to Dallas. And while serving as President of the Dallas Park & Recreation Board, Mike fostered public-private partnerships securing private funding to support basic services and start a new youth health initiative.

A lifelong athlete, Mike lettered in football at Boston College, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and communications, Magna Cum Laude. He has been an active lecturer at many universities as well as an adjunct professor at SMU. Mike and his wife Micki have raised two children here in Dallas, Michelle and Gunnar.
Eric Reeves
Managing Director, HIgh STEPS, LLC
Eric is a native Texan who spent ten years in the North Carolina State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s technology committee, served as an Appropriations Chair and on the Education Oversight Committee. Prior to the Senate, Eric served on the Raleigh City Council for two terms and has spent most of his professional life focused on public policy issues.

In addition to public policy, Eric served as the General Counsel and Director of Public Affairs for, the nations largest provider of online facility management software tools for schools. Eric’s interest in SchoolDude is directly related to school infrastructure needs and issues associated with safe, healthy, education work conditions in school facilities. Eric also advises and consults with government oriented technology companies on a range of issues. Eric’s nonprofit focus relates to innovative educational programs and projects designed to improve student outcomes by increasing opportunities for those that need it the most.

Eric received his undergraduate degrees from Duke University and his law degree from Wake Forest University. He serves on the following Boards: SMU School of Education; UNT-D Foundation; NAPE-Equity Business; Perot Education; Commit! Human Capital.

Eric seeks to utilize his business, legal, public service and non-profit experience for the benefit of our community.
Florence Shapiro
Senator, Texas State Senate
Florence Shapiro began her career in the Texas Senate in 1993. A former small business owner, her journey into Texas politics began years prior and miles away from the Texas Capitol. While she’s been a highly effective advocate on behalf of her constituents in District 8, her career in public service spans four decades. As a former public school teacher, she first entered elective office as a Plano City Council member. Following six terms on the Council, she was elected Mayor of Plano. During this time, she also served as President of the Texas Municipal League and the North Texas Council of Governments.

Senator Shapiro’s issues while serving in the Senate have been many. A champion of children, she passed landmark legislation to protect against sexual predators. Her series of bills known as Ashley’s Laws, protects against, adjudicates, and punishes sex offenders whose victims are children. These laws, which went into effect in 1995, were national benchmarks, and Senator Shapiro continues to dedicate herself to improving the safety and security of our children.

In 1999, Senator Shapiro became chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee and committed herself to the issue of transportation, creating the first fund for Texas mobility. In 2003, the Senator became chair of the Senate Education Committee, where she passed legislation to overhaul the state’s school finance system. Her landmark legislation, House Bill 1, significantly lowers property taxes, provides more money for schools, along with a teacher pay raise and the first-ever incentive pay program, educational reforms at the high school level to promote college readiness and curb dropouts, and more meaningful accountability for schools.

Her consistent leadership over the years has earned the Senator many honors. Senator Shapiro was recently honored by Dallas Can! Academy with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The Academy, a non-profit organization giving young Texans a second chance through relationship-based education, presented the award to the Senator at the Academy’s 17th Annual Motherhood Luncheon. Senator Shapiro was recognized for her outstanding contributions to education and her work to improve the lives of children across Texas while also showing great dedication to her family and community. Prior to this recognition, she was named to the Legislative Honor Roll by the Texas Association of Realtors, was awarded Inside Collin County Business’s Celebration of Enterprise Award for the public official business partner of the year, the Government Technology Conference’s Bob Bullock Award for Public Stewardship, Girl Scouts of the USA Tejas Council’s Real Women Award, and the Outstanding Service Award from Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas.

Today, the Senator serves as Texas representative to The Council of State Governments (CSG) Education Policy Task Force. She also serves on the Southern Regional Education Board and the Education Commission of the States, coalitions of elected officials and education leaders that address issues such as long-range planning, policy proposals, and the advancement of education among the states. Senator Shapiro is also an appointee to the Governor’s Criminal Justice Advisory Council, Co-Chair of the Study Commission on Region C Water Supply, and a member of the Standing Committee on Education for the National Conference of State Legislators.

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Senator Shapiro holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. In addition to chairing the Senate Education Committee, she currently serves on the Senate Committees on Finance; Transportation and Homeland and Security; and Administration. She and her husband, Howard, live in Plano. They have three children and nine grandchildren.
Nicole-SmallNicole Ginsburg Small
President, The Lyda Hill Foundation
Nicole G. Small served as the Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, where she directed all aspects of day-to-day operations, and oversaw the completion of the new facility in Victory Park. Small joined the Museum’s expansion team in 2001 and was CEO since April of 2002. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, her background includes time with McKinsey & Co., Goldman Sachs, and multiple technology and venture capital firms. Small is a member of the Dallas Assembly, Young Presidents’ Organization, International Women’s Forum, and The Hockaday School Board of Trustees. She and her husband, Justin, live in Dallas and have two daughters.
Michael Sorrell
President, Paul Quinn College
Since joining in 2007 as the 34th President of Paul Quinn College, Michael has led the school upon an aggressive agenda that stresses academic excellence, extreme accountability, and a commitment to the community via servant leadership. His vision is to create an internationally recognized institution that produces graduates capable of leading in the global marketplace. Prior to his arrival at PQC, Sorrell spent the majority of his career advising key decision-makers in sports, business and government. President Sorrell came to PQC from his post as the co-founder and Chief Problem Solver of Victor Credo, LLC where he, at various times, represented Utah Jazz All-Star Deron Williams, American Airlines, Morgan Stanley, Conference USA and Kansas University Coach Bill Self. His other unique professional experiences include having served as the Director of Communications and Government Relations for Dallas 2012, Executive Director of the Global Games, and an assignment in the White House, as the Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the President’s Initiative on Race. President Sorrell is a board member for Amegy Bank, the North Texas Public Broadcasting Company, Inc. and KIPP Truth Academy. He was recently recognized by the Root On-line Magazine as a member of the “Root 100” (a list of the top 100 emerging leaders in America) and by HBCU Digest as one of the 10 Best HBCU Presidents for 2009-10. He is a past recipient of the Dallas Urban League’s Torch for Community Leadership and the President’s Award from J.L. Turner for outstanding contributions to the Dallas legal community. Additionally, the Dallas Business Journal named him one of Dallas’ Forty Under 40.President Sorrell received his J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and was a recipient of the Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship, which funded his studies at both Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (as a graduate fellow) and Duke University. He graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Government. President Sorrell and wife Natalie are the parents of one son, Michael Augustus.
Aleta_stampleyAleta Stampley
Board Member, Teach for America & Reading Partners
Aleta Stampley was the Director of K-12 Education and Community Relations for Texas Instruments. Stampley joined Texas Instruments in September 2012 and is responsible for developing and driving the overall strategy, execution and evaluation of all K-12 Education Programs supported by Texas Instruments. As a member of the Corporate Citizenship Team she strives to channel Texas Instruments’ more than $11 MM in philanthropy, employee giving, in-kind technology and volunteer support to the most critical gaps along domestic and international education continuums.

Prior to joining Texas Instruments, Stampley worked for 15 years at Bank of America (BAC) as a Community Relations Senior Vice President where she managed Philanthropic, Community Development and Associate Volunteer Programs for the 20,000+ BAC employees in the North Texas Region. As a member of the Local Market Delivery Team, she focused on individuals and communities that often lack access to resources by providing support in the areas of Education, Workforce Development, Affordable Housing, Health & Human Services and the Arts. At Bank of America, Stampley oversaw $3MM+ in charitable giving annually.

Stampley is an active member of the community and plays a key role in the support of numerous organizations including St. Philip’s School and Community Center, Parkland Hospital and CitySquare. She is a board member of Big Thought, Commit! and Teach for America. She also serves on the Dallas Regional Chamber Education Advisory Committee, the United Way Education Advisory Council and the TREC CDFI Advisory Council. She is a former member of the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee and was the 2008 Fund Development Chair of The Real Estate Council Foundation. Stampley is a graduate of Leadership Dallas (Class of 2004) and was the 2008 Chair of the Leadership Dallas Alumni Board. From 2008 – 2012 Stampley served as the Management Advisor for Bank of America Community Volunteers, a team that grew from averaging 30,000 volunteer hours annually in 2007 to averaging over 100,000 hours of community service annually from 2008 – 2012.

In 2010 Stampley received the Leadership Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award. The award emphasizes the importance of active involvement in the Greater Dallas region and serves to encourage and provide a role model for others. In 2005, Stampley received the “She Knows Where She’s Going Award” from Girls Inc.-Dallas, presented to women who have overcome obstacles and become a role model to young women.
Stampley is a graduate of the Washington University St. Louis School of Fine Art where she majored in both Advertising Design and Illustration.

Stampley and her husband Samuel reside in McKinney, TX and are the proud parents of five children – Charmaine – 22, Amen Ra -22, Coleman – 20, Samuel III – 18 and Khaila -17.
George Tang
COO, Texas High School Project, Communities Foundation of Texas
As Chief Operating Officer for the Texas High School Project at CFT, George ensures THSP’s day-to-day operations align with its mission of preparing all Texas students graduate high school ready for postsecondary success. Prior to joining THSP, George co-founded Rosetta, an advertising agency fueled by its analytical approach to designing actionable marketing strategies. He was responsible for external client cultivation and management at Rosetta, along with developing its intellectual property and internal infrastructure. After returning to Dallas from New York in 2009, George began to focus on the significant gaps and challenges in our education system. THSP allows him a data-driven platform to marry his entrepreneurial passion with his desire to help all students achieve solid foundations for their futures. George earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from New York University and is a Dallas native and graduate of J.J. Pearce High School.
TuricchiPaula Turicchi
Senior Vice President of Women and Infants Specialty Health, Parkland Health and Hospital System
Paula Turicchi, FACHE, is the senior vice president of Women and Infants Specialty Health (WISH) at Parkland Health & Hospital System. She oversees Women and Infants services including one of the largest maternity services in the U.S. She is responsible for labor and delivery, inpatient post partum, newborn nursery services, the neonatal intensive care unit, 12 women’s ambulatory clinics and an obstetrics and gynecology urgent care center. Grant programs include family planning, breast and cervical services, Dallas Healthy Start and Parkland’s Nurse Family Partnership. Turicchi has spent more than 16 years at Parkland, beginning in 1988 as an administrative resident. She went on to become administrative director and then vice president of Women and Children’s Services before forming Paula Turicchi Health Care Consulting in 1998. Paula then returned to Parkland in 2006 as program administrator for Family Planning. She soon became vice president of WISH and was named to senior vice president in 2008.

Turicchi is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, DFW ACHE Forum, and Dallas Medicaid & CHIP Regional Advisory Committee. She was honored by the National Association of Public Hospitals (NAPH) as a 1997 Fellow for designing and implementing managed care programs in safety net institutions, and is a recipient of awards from NAPH and CMIO Magazine for use of the EMR to manage influenza in pregnancy.

Turicchi received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas and a master’s in health care administration from Trinity University. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Tom, and their two children. Both Paula and Tom have been involved in Dallas ISD school activities including PTA and the Site Based Decision Making Committee.
Todd A. Williams
Founder, Williams Family Foundation, Executive Director, Commit!
Highly committed to public education, Todd currently serves as both the founding Executive Director of Commit!, a non-profit serving as a backbone organization supporting improving college and career readiness levels across Dallas County, as well as the Education Policy Advisor to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. He is the board chair for Austin College, one of the region’s leading liberal arts institutions located in Sherman, Texas. With his wife Abby, Todd also chairs the regional advisory board for Teach for America in Dallas/Ft. Worth and helped establish the Williams Preparatory School, a K-12 free tuition public charter school operated by Uplift Education that educates over 1,100 primarily low-income children in northwest Dallas. Todd is the former Chair of the Dallas ISD’s Citizen Budget Review Commission and the former Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for Uplift Education, a college-prep focused public charter school management organization with almost 8,000 students. He is also a founding board member and former chairman of the Real Estate Finance and Investment Center at the University of Texas and a former chairman of the Real Estate Council of Dallas, the city’s largest real estate organization. Prior to dedicating his efforts full time on public education in Dallas, Todd served as both a partner and as global co-head of Goldman Sachs’ real estate private equity investment area, retiring in 2009 following a 20 year career with the firm in their New York, Los Angeles and Dallas offices. Total assets under management purchased by GS-managed real estate funds exceeded $100 billion in cost. A Dallas ISD graduate from Bryan Adams High School, Todd earned an M.B.A. with distinction from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in 1982.
Ellen Wood
Co-Founder, Teaching Trust
Ellen spent two decades working in the investment, healthcare and real estate industries, with her last role as a partner and portfolio manager at Carlson Capital in Dallas, Texas. In 2005, she refocused her career and interests on education and at-risk youth. She serves on various education-focused foundation boards and grant committees including Dallas Social Venture Partners, the 0-5 Funders’ Collaborative and the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation. She is a member of the Education Task Force for West Dallas and has had a nearly two decade commitment to Girls Inc. Ellen also serves as a member of the Investment Committees for the MR and Evelyn Hudson Foundation, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, and the Texas A&M Foundation (advisory member). She has also served in multiple roles at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, most recently as a member of the Business School Fund and chair of multiple class reunion fundraising campaigns. She was the recipient of the John Gardner Volunteer Leadership Award in 2006. Ellen received an MBA from Stanford University and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. She has also earned both a CPA and CFA designation.