The Texas State University Development Foundation Leadership Council supports and furthers the mission of Texas State University through service, fundraising, and engagement.
- Julia AthertonAthertonJuliaDallas - Executive Vice President, Reach Media
Julia Atherton serves as Executive-Vice President of Reach Media and has been instrumental in the network since its inception in 2001. Atherton is responsible for leading the company in revenue generation, ratings, and key relationships for the network which provides radio, television, digital and experiential events for African American consumers reaching 22 million consumers.
Atherton is an award-winning executive with over 30 years of experience in national radio, television, digital media, and large-scale consumer events. Prior to her current role, she spent time working for top radio stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In addition, she worked for ABC Radio Networks as Director of Marketing where she had the opportunity to work with top radio personalities including Paul Harvey and Tom Joyner, along with launching nationally-syndicated radio formats such as Radio Disney and ESPN Radio.
Atherton has been named to Radio Ink’s list of “Most Influential Women in Radio” multiple times. She participates in multiple professional and community organizations including the Urban One Mentorship Program and serves on the Board of Directors for the Tom Joyner Foundation and the Dallas Summer Musicals.
Atherton graduated from Texas State University in 1981 with a bachelor of arts in journalism. During her final year at Texas State, she was named the Outstanding Radio Broadcasting Student.
- Chris BarronBarronChrisAustin - Fire Chief of the Travis County Emergency Services
Chief Barron has worked diligently in the fire service for over 30 years to increase service delivery performances in the local area and around the state. He has used several performance improvement programs to lead ESD#5 from an all-volunteer department, ISO Class 7/9, to a fully staffed ISO Class #2 department.
Barron retired from the State Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association where he served almost 15years as the Executive Director. Barron was responsible for the administration and oversight of the 23,000 member organization representing first responders in Texas and central and south America. While serving as Executive Director, he was responsible for several initiatives benefiting Texas first responders including the Texas wildfire fund and Hurricane Harvie relief programs, authoring and successfully awarded three Department of Homeland Security SAFER grants and oversight of the construction of the new headquarters building.
In 2019, Chief Barron started his own consulting company to assist emergency services across the nation on their challenges, improving performance and recruitment/retention efforts. His focus with his business will be to assist fire departments facing challenging times with staffing, volunteer workforce reductions, organizational changes, and leadership challenges. He will also be working with departments on performing fire department assessments of services, funding resources, and developing marketing and strategic plans.
Barron has received numerous leadership and organizational awards for his leadership including the John Buckman Leadership Award, the IAFC/VCOS Recruitment/Retention Award and in 2014, Chief Barron was awarded the International Association of Fire Chief's Chief of the Year Award amongst a nationwide group of colleagues.
Barron holds numerous fire certifications and a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas State University.
- Austin BertrandBertrandAustinDallas - Vice President & Senior Estate Administrator, Northern Trust Corp.
Austin N. Bertrand is a Vice President and Senior Estate Administrator for the Northern Trust Corporation. As part of estate settlement services, he partners with high net worth clients and local professionals in the tax and legal communities to efficiently administer complex trusts and estates and provide customized service to clients in Texas, Colorado, and Washington.
Prior to joining the Northern Trust Corporation, Mr. Bertrand practiced law in Texas, where he focused solely on the planning and administration of trusts and estates. He has been in the trusts and estates industry for 13 years.
Mr. Bertrand earned a bachelor of arts in mass communication-electronic media, with a minor in business administration, from Texas State University. He then went on to earn a Juris Doctorate, with a concentration in business law, from Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California. Mr. Bertrand is a member of the State Bar of Texas, and has also been awarded the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation.
He is proud to call both Texas and Louisiana his home.
- Scott BirkeyBirkeyScottSan Francisco - Partner, Cox, Castle & Nicholson, LLP
Scott Birkey is a partner at the law firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson, LLP in San Francisco. He is a land use and natural resources lawyer who handles entitlement, compliance, and litigation matters.
His clients include urban infill developers, master-planned community developers, affordable housing developers, renewable energy developers, and educational and health-care institutions, typically in connection with multiple and complex land use entitlements and, in many instances, involving local, state, and federal agencies.
Scott is a leading authority on the Endangered Species Act and other environmental statutes, particularly with respect to development projects in California. He is co-author of Natural Resource Regulation in California, the leading treatise on this subject in the state of California.
Scott graduated summa cum laude from Texas State University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political science. He obtained a Master of Science degree in environmental science from the University of Idaho in 1997. He then went on to the University of California, Berkeley, where he obtained his law degree in 2000.
- Devin BlassBlassDevinHouston - Director of Manufacturing, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Devin Blass graduated from Texas State University with a degree in biochemistry in 2008.
He currently serves as the director of manufacturing for Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing cures for cancers and immune disorders through novel stem cell transplant and CAR T cell therapies.
As director of the manufacturing department, Blass oversees manufacturing operations and departmental strategy. Prior to this role, he held various positions at regenerative medicine companies and academic institutions including The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
He met his wife, Carolyn, at Texas State University and they have two sons, Nolan and Hunter.
- Brenda BustillosBustillosBrendaWilliamsburg, VA - Chief of Education & Research, Department of Nutritional Medicine Brooke Army Medical Center
Dr. Brenda Bustillos is chief of education and research in the Department of Nutritional Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where she is also an assistant professor and research director for the U.S. Military-Baylor Graduate Program in Nutrition.
She completed her doctoral degree in social and behavioral health from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, School of Public Health, in 2016. Previously Bustillos graduated from Texas State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s in nutrition and food science and received a master’s in human nutrition from Texas A&M in 2006. She joined the U.S. Army in 2007.
Bustillos has 15 years of research experience. Her numerous research and professional interests include food insecurity among military service members and under-represented populations, public health nutrition and health disparities, global hunger initiatives, food justice programs and ecological and systems approaches to public health issues.
Outside her professional duties, Bustillos enjoys life with her partner, Casey, competitive cooking competitions, creative writing, volunteer activities and has a passion for the great outdoors.
- Florence CarlssonCarlssonFlorenceSeguin - Controller, BRG Group
Florence Carlsson serves as the Controller of BGR group in Washington, D. C., where she oversees all aspects of the firm’s financial operations and international business development. She joined BGR in 2004 after gaining financial experience in the private sector, non-profit sector and the political arena.
Carlsson’s financial experience includes time at Jaynes, Reitmeier, Boyd & Therrell P.C. in Waco, Texas serving as an auditor in the government and non-profit sector. Her career history also includes working for Dell Financial Services and the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo as their Financial Manager. Her political acumen comes from her position as Controller at the Republican Party of Texas before moving to Washington, D.C.
Additionally, Carlsson served as Board Member to the D.C. United Foundation and the Gaieties des Femmes. She has also ventured into the restaurant industry where she and her husband are owner/operators of a Schlotzsky’s in Pensacola, FL.
Carlsson graduated from Texas State University in 1999 with a bachelor of business administration and received a master of accountancy from Texas State University in 2004. She resides in Seguin, Texas with her husband and three girls.
- Steven DietzDietzStevenSt. Johns, FL - Senior Vice President, Ameris Bank
Saint Johns, FL
Steven Dietz has worked in the financial crimes sector within the banking industry since 2007. He currently serves as a senior vice president at Ameris Bank, leading and managing the bank’s Financial Crimes Compliance division which ensures banks fulfill their regulatory obligations and protection of the U.S. financial system.
Dietz began his career as an analyst before getting involved in almost every aspect of an enterprise-wide anti-money laundering (AML) program. His experience includes investigative look-backs, complex investigations, due diligence programs, managing a local Bank Secrecy Act program, governance and management within an enterprise-wide AML program, and enforcement action remediations.
A 2006 graduate of Texas State University, Dietz received a bachelor of arts in international studies with a focus on international business. He was a field goal kicker on the Bobcat football team and served as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and a participant in the 2004 NCAA Leadership Conference.
- Dawnelle DoughtieDoughtieDawnelleAustin - Treasurer, Austin Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, Sustaining member of the Junior League of Austin
Dawnelle Doughtie has been involved in various community and charitable organizations throughout the years. She served as President of Junior Austin Woman’s Club and was Gala Co-Chair for Hospice Austin. Additionally, she held positions of Gala Co-Chair and later President of Helping Hand Home for Children. Doughtie recently served as President of Alpha Delta Pi House Corporation Board in San Marcos and is currently serving as Treasurer for Austin Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Austin.
Dawnelle graduated from Texas State in 1982 with a BS in Elementary Education with an English minor. She also served as Vice President of Alpha Delta Pi and was a 1979 Gaillardian. She is married to Lee Doughtie, a ’79 Texas State graduate and has three grown children, Elizabeth, Phillip, and Wynn.
- Chris ElleyElleyChrisAustin - Chief Innovation Officer, iCoreConnect Inc.
As an innovation and brand leader, Chris Elley identifies and executes opportunities to grow the value of companies through increased collaboration, cutting-edge technology and an emphasis on overall customer experience. As chief innovation officer at iCoreConnect Inc. Elley’s background as both a creative and a systems design thinker allows him to collaborate with people across diverse disciplines to strengthen product performance, company processes and grow customer goodwill. He also monitors emerging technologies and how they might be adapted to improve or expand existing products.
In his multidisciplinary career, Elley has been intensely involved with diverse functions from television executive producer to inventor to defense. He co-created two primetime television documentary series for NBC’s Esquire and USA networks. He has multiple Emmys and nominations for his work at both the national and regional levels. Chris has translated cutting-edge technological concepts into understandable stories for general audiences. He also has directed projects that played a key role in a $3 billion fundraising initiative and served as a Subject Matter Expert and instructor for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Elley graduated summa cum laude from Texas State University and holds a master of arts in mass communication. He received his bachelor of arts in communication studies, also summa cum laude, from Texas Lutheran University.
- Julie FisherFisherJulieAustin - Senior Manager of Global Corporate Impact for NI
As the Senior Manager of Global Corporate Impact for NI, Julie Fisher leads the corporate philanthropic strategy. Prior to joining NI, she managed Samsung’s community affairs team for seven and a half years. Through her leadership, Samsung was recognized as an “Outstanding Large Philanthropic Corporation” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. As an Austin native, she is passionate about the community that raised her and champions causes including civic engagement, environmental initiatives, and education. Julie is proud to serve on the board of Leadership Austin, Keep Austin Beautiful, and Breakthrough Central Texas. She has an infectious enthusiasm for giving back to the community and leading by example. Whether it is mentoring students or leading cleanups at the lake, she enjoys convening groups of people to give back.
Fisher graduated from Texas State University in 2010 with her bachelor of science in recreation administration. She places immense value on the internships that allowed her to explore and discover her passions. What she learned as a Bobcat, is the importance of creating your own path. During her internships, as well as her experience as an orientation leader, she discovered her love of leading, connecting people, and guiding them to opportunities that could change the trajectory of their lives.
Her motto is “there is nothing too small to celebrate” and truly enjoys making the most of every day.
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- Shelby GalvinGalvinShelbySan Jose, CA - Functional Lead, Finance and Planning Technology Netflix
San Jose, CA
Shelby Galvin works as a functional lead in finance technology at Netflix in Los Gatos, California. She provides tooling solutions for the strategy, planning, and analysis teams in the marketing, studio, and corporate finance functions. She previously held a role as an implementation consultant in finance technology at Open Symmetry out of Austin, Texas.
While attending Texas State University, Galvin served as a member of Student Government, as a PAWS Preview student manager, and was a member of the Honors College. Galvin belonged to Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honors Fraternity. Additionally, she worked as a fellow for the Stelos Alliance.
Galvin graduated cum laude and earned her bachelor of business administration in finance from Texas State University in 2014.
- Erica GieseGieseEricaSan Antonio - Senior Counsel with Jackson Walker L.L.P.
Erica Benites Giese received her master’s degree in criminal justice from Texas State University in 1999. Before earning her master’s degree, she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She later earned her Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
While earning her master’s degree at Texas State University, Erica worked as Child Protective Service caseworker helping abused and neglected children. This work and the master’s program curriculum prompted her to attend law school. After law school, she joined the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney, and later spent over thirteen years as a federal prosecutor in the Western District of Texas United States Attorney’s Office. While there, she served in a supervisory role and also gained experience in the areas of criminal, civil, and financial litigation. Erica currently serves as Senior Counsel with Jackson Walker L.L.P. In her practice, she handles civil and criminal white collar investigation and litigation matters, qui tam complaints and investigations, healthcare fraud matters, government contract fraud inquiries, bank and wire fraud investigations, and immigration worksite enforcement actions. She helps clients navigate the daunting task of responding to civil, criminal and administrative subpoenas, including Civil Investigative Demands. Erica also advises and advocates for individual and corporate victims of fraud. A Certified Fraud Examiner, she handles all types of fraud matters and internal investigations. Since 2019, Scene in S.A. has recognized her as one of the “Best S.A. Lawyers” in the area of criminal defense. Erica has tried over 100 cases to Texas juries.
Outside of Jackson Walker, Erica volunteers her time with the Hispanic National Bar Association as Deputy Region XII President and as a member of the Compliance and Ethics Section. She is also actively involved with the U.S. District Court Admissions Committee, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the American Bar Association’s Women’s White Collar Defense Section, and the Federal Bar Association’s San Antonio Chapter.
Within the community, Erica volunteers her time with Meals on Wheels of San Antonio, for which she was appointed Secretary for the Executive Board in 2020. She and her two daughters also serve their community through the National Charity League – San Antonio Rose Chapter.
- Dalinda Gonzalez-AlcantarGonzalez-AlcantarDalindaMcAllen - CEO Boys & Girls Club of McAllen
Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar is a mom, wife, and social entrepreneur currently serving her community as CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of McAllen. She also is the cofounder of Border Kids Code, a startup dedicated to increasing upward social mobility by engaging kids of color in the K-12 space with meaningful technology learning experiences.
More recently Gonzalez-Alcantar launched Alablanca Apparel, an e-commerce clothing line inspired by humanity on the South Texas border. Her technology startup, eJucomm, was recently acquired by San Francisco-based Campus Orb.
Born and raised in McAllen, Gonzalez-Alcantar has more than 10 years of teaching experience. She received her bachelor of fine arts in communication design from Texas State University, and her master’s in curriculum and instruction at the University of Texas–Pan American now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
She received the McAllen Chamber of Commerce Innovation Grant for her creation of eJucomm’s Family Kinex mobile application. She also was the recipient of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2013 Innovation Through Technology Business of the Year award for the Rio Grande Valley. Parenting Magazine also selected her in 2012 as the Mom Congress Texas Delegate where she represented Texas at a Washington D.C.-conference dedicated to family engagement in schools.
Gonzalez-Alcantar is the proud mother of Elijah and Madalin and wife to fellow educator, Marco Alcantar.
- Amy GreeneGreeneAmyAustin - Service Operations Manager at EMSAR
Amy Greene is a Service Operations Manager at EMSAR in Austin, Texas where she manages a team of Account Managers to deliver services in the Healthcare, Laboratory, Power, and Security verticals. She previously worked for Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) for five years in contract management, project management, business process efficiencies, and governance documentation.
Amy has a bachelor of arts in English – Professional Writing and a master of arts in Legal Studies from Texas State. She has served on the Texas State Alumni Association Young Alumni Council, is a current member of the Texas State Legal Studies Advisory Board, and guest lectures in the Contracts Law graduate course each Fall.
- James GuerraGuerraJamesAustin - Founder, President & CEO JG Consulting
James Guerra is the Founder and President and CEO of JGConsulting, a K-12 consulting company. Guerra’s company promotes professional growth opportunities for Superintendents and Executive Leadership teams as well as provides support and collaboration for schools and communities.
Since founding the company in 2014, James had one goal in mind: to support any school system in the country with a clear focus of retaining the best-in-class educators while supporting a select group of educational partners.
Guerra’s previous positions include Director, Knowledge Delivery Systems, Inc., Vice President, Strategic Sales for Triumph Learning and Regional Director, Growth and Development for Education Elements.
He graduated from Texas State University in 2004 with a bachelor of arts in public relations and currently resides in Austin, Texas.
- Desiree HemphillHemphillDesireeDallas - Attorney at Law
Desiree Hemphill is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. Mrs. Hemphill received her Bachelor of Public Administration and Master of Legal Studies from Texas State University-San Marcos. She went on to receive her Doctor of Jurisprudence, Cum Laude from Texas Tech University School of Law in May of 2018.
Mrs. Hemphill grew up in Coppell, Texas and moved back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area after law school to pursue a career in Family Law. Mrs. Hemphill married her doting husband in August of 2019, and welcomed her first child in September 2020.
Prior to attending law school, Mrs. Hemphill found her passion for helping people while working as a Family Law and Estate Planning paralegal in San Marcos and earning her Masters in Legal Studies.
Mrs. Hemphill was selected to be one of eight students in the Texas Tech School of Law Family Law and Housing Clinic. During her time as a Student Attorney, Mrs. Hemphill continued to foster her passion of family law by serving indigent clients who were at risk of losing their homes, domestic violence victims in need of representation in a divorce, and other various Family Law issues.
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- Jay HornHornJayAustin - Financial Advisor, Southside Bank and Raymond James
Jay Horn is a Financial Advisor with Southside Bank and Raymond James. In his role, he guides clients on their planning and investment needs to align with their goals. He is a pragmatic and dedicated professional who prides himself in putting his clients’ needs above his own. He believes that we should never stop learning, that mistakes are actually lessons, and that it’s never too late to make a change.
Jay obtained his BBA and MBA from Texas State University, where he serves as a mentor, Past Chair of the Young Alumni Council, and as a guest lecturer on Personal Finance courses. He is a dedicated board member of the Young Men’s Business League of Austin, where he has been very active with the Sunshine Run, Austin Sunshine Camps, and the alumni relations of the organization.
Jay proudly and honorably served in the Marine Corps. He continues to hold the military in high regard as the groundwork for many of his passions today, including his desire to help others, his attention to detail, and his drive for continued improvement of himself. In his spare time, he enjoys activities with his family, completing DIY projects, and maintaining his physical fitness.
- Carrie HurtHurtCarrieRound Rock - President & CEO Better Business Bureau, Central Texas
Carrie A. Hurt is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving the Heart of Texas with offices in Austin, Bryan, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, Midland, San Antonio and Waco. She joined the BBB Austin team in 1995 as Communications Director and was named Vice President in 1998. In March 2003, Hurt was named President and CEO by the Board of Directors. She currently serves as a director on the Council of Better Business Bureau’s (CBBB) Board of Directors and served previously from 2006 to 2011.
Hurt has received numerous awards including being named the best small business CEO in Austin, Texas, by the Austin Business Journal in 2016. She received the 2013 AT&T Executive Leadership Award from the Austin Chamber of Commerce and in 2011, she was named a Woman of Influence by the Austin Business Journal. Additionally, she was honored with the “Yellow Rose of Texas” award from Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2009, which recognizes outstanding Texas women for their significant contributions to Texas.
In 2013, Hurt was presented an Alumni Achievement Award by the Texas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Stelos Award for outstanding leadership from the Stelos Alliance. She is a Texas State Alumni Life Member and remains very active with the university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Chi Omega Sorority, Strutters and the Stelos Alliance.
Hurt graduated from Texas State University in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
- Alex KakhnovetsKakhnovetsAlexHouston - National Director of Leasing, Boxer Property Management Corporation
Alex Kakhnovets graduated from Texas State University McCoy School of Business Administration with a degree in finance in 2008.
He serves as the national director of leasing for Boxer Property Management Corporation, a commercial real estate investment company with more than 18 million square feet under management in 14 U.S. markets and 1,000-plus employees spanning office, retail and hospitality divisions.
Kakhnovets leads the office leasing division in an executive capacity and is responsible for guiding departmental strategy, transactional oversight, recruiting, marketing and oversight of 80-plus employees. Prior to this role, Alex held various positions including leasing, property management, sales and business development with Boxer as well as other institutional firms.
A Certified Commercial Investment Member designee and a member of CCIM Houston Gulf Coast Chapter, The Real Estate Council, the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Central Atlanta Progress, Kakhnovets engages in various charities including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and ALS Association.
He lives in Houston with his wife, Katie, and daughter, Hazel, and enjoys cycling and spending time with friends and family.
- Dana KincaidKincaidDanaSan Antonio Implementation Specialist San Antonio ISD
Dana Kincaid works as an Implementation Specialist for Advanced Placement Environmental Science for the San Antonio Independent School District. She develops and implements the AP Environmental Curriculum for six teachers at five high schools within SAISD. Kincaid has over 25 years of teaching experience in Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Science. Before joining the staff at SAISD, she taught at La Vernia H.S. (La Vernia, Texas), Ronald Reagan H. S. (San Antonio, Texas), McArthur High School (San Antonio, Texas), and Samuel Clemens High School (Schertz, Texas).
She earned her bachelor of science in biology with a minor in chemistry from Texas State University in 1992. A proud Bobcat, she is married to Texas State Alum, Carlton Kincaid, and they have been Lifetime Members of the Texas State Alumni Association since 2004. In 2016, the couple became Pillar Society members with their contributions to the Lunelle A. Anderson Endowed Scholarship at Texas State. Dana has two children, CJ Kincaid, a Junior at TCU, and Cassidy Kincaid, a Junior at Edison High School.
- Seth LaflerLaflerSethKerrville - Director of Choral Music & Fine Arts, Tivy High School
In his eighth year in public education, Seth Lafler serves as the director of Choral Music and the Fine Arts chair at Tivy High School in Kerrville Independent School District. Before Kerrville, Lafler spent two years in Georgetown ISD where he taught choir at Forbes Middle School. He also is the choir director at First Presbyterian Church of Kerrville and sings professionally in the San Antonio Chamber Choir.
Lafler earned a bachelor of arts in music with a minor in business administration from Texas State University in 2010. While at Texas State, he was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Lafler is an active member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, and American Choral Directors Association.
- Adam LaubachLaubachAdamJinja, Uganda – Director, Amani Baby Cottage and Director, Lifesong Farms Uganda
Adam Laubach is serving as the Director of Amani Baby Cottage and the Director of Lifesong Farms Uganda, both located in Jinja, Uganda.
Prior to moving to Uganda in December 2018, Adam served as CEO and CTO of a number of material science “lab to fab” companies including Exothermix, ReVolt Technologies, GSI Technologies and Aveso Displays. Prior to start-up leadership, he worked at Dow Chemical for 13 years.
Over the years, Adam has continued to support Texas State by serving on the College of Science and Engineering Advisory Council, as a guest lecturer, and commercially by facilitating partnerships with technology companies.
Adam graduated from Texas State in 1993 with a BS in Chemistry and BA in German, he received an M.B.A. from The University of Texas in 2001. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2020. https://alumni.txstate.edu/adam-e-laubach-93/
- Shane LaurentLaurentShaneHouston - Partner/ Project Manager at The Trevino Group, Inc.
Michael “Shane” Laurent is a Partner/ Project Manager at The Trevino Group, Inc., where he negotiates and manages commercial construction projects. Shane graduated from Texas State University, with a bachelor's degree in Business Management in 2002.
After graduation, he moved to Houston, Texas to help run his family’s businesses. He worked for 10+ years in construction, property management, and commercial real estate brokerage. He, is also, currently working on his Executive Master’s of Business Administration at Texas A&M University.
- Annette LeslieLeslieAnnetteDallas - Co-Founder, Carson Leslie Foundation (CLF), Founder, #cureMEdullo.org, Chief Mission Officer
Annette has served on the $6B Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Advisory Committee for Childhood Cancers (ACCC) since 2010. She worked closely with CPRIT’s 1st Chief Scientific Officer, Nobel Laureate, Dr. Alfred Gilman to secure “Carson Leslie Research Grants for Pediatric Brain Cancers”, a $3.2M CPRIT/CLF collaboration. Leslie was recognized by Tom Luce as influencing CPRIT to make childhood cancer research an institutional priority increasing their investments from three percent to 12 percent invested into childhood cancer research; proportionately three times more than the national rate.
Leslie fully embraces the differentiated value of CPRIT, Texas’ $6 billion 20-year initiative; the largest state research investment in the history of the United States and the second largest cancer research and prevention program in the world. January 2020, in partnership with CPRIT, CLF successfully launched Researchers RoundUp. Together they gathered over 50 of Texas’ brightest childhood brain cancer investigators and facilitated innovative discussions that childhood brain cancer is the deadliest disease of our nation’s children. New collaborations were initiated and a Texas Childhood Brain Cancer Coalition is being formalized.
After reading Carson’s book Carry Me in 2010, Congressman Michael McCaul, Founder of the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus (CCCC), invited Annette to speak at the inaugural CCCC in he and Mrs. Linda’s McCaul’s Washington, DC in home. Since that gathering, under the relentless leadership of Congressman Michael McCaul, members of the Senate and the unyielding childhood cancer community, together we have built an Unstoppable, Bipartisan, Global, Childhood, Cancer, Movement and together, we have passed 4 laws benefiting the overall state of childhood cancer.
Annette Leslie founded and Chairs the annual Golden Toast (GT) in Washington, DC. The Golden Toast is an annual toast, celebrating the accomplishments of the CCCC, the Senate, and the unyielding childhood cancer community for successfully building a SOAPBOX in the most powerful nation in the world and placing upon that SOAPBOX, the smallest and most innocent cancer patients among us.
CLF built CARSON’S CORNER (CC), a room on the oncology floor exclusively for teen cancer patients and designed a comprehensive teen cancer patient program at Children’s Health-Dallas. The program attracted valued partnerships with the Dallas Cowboys and the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation (JSFF). Together with the JSFF, CLF, expanded our Under Armour Backpack Program into all the major institutions in Texas who care for teen cancer patients.
- James LongLongJamesNew Braunfels - President, Gruene Banking Center Prosperity Bank
James Long currently serves as President of the Gruene Banking Center for Prosperity Bank. He began his banking career while attending Texas State University through an internship with First State Bank in the summer of 2000. Upon graduation from Texas State in 2001, Long went back to work for First State Bank, now Prosperity Bank, and has seen the bank grow from a small $200 million asset viewpoint up to their current $23 billion asset size.
Aside from his career, Long serves as Treasurer of the Downtown Rotary Club of New Braunfels and is actively involved on several other boards including Communities in Schools of South Central Texas and the New Braunfels Homebuilders Association.
Long graduated from Texas State University in 2000 and furthered his education in banking by attending the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, graduating in 2008.
- Tom MaddenMaddenTomGeorgetown - General Operations, Schwertner Farms
Madden has spent the last 35 years heavily involved in the operation of Schwertner Farms, dba Capitol Land & Livestock. The family-owned cattle and ranching corporation is considered one of the industry leaders in the procurement and marketing of feeder and stocker calves.
He is active in his community as a past member of the board of directors for his church and a member of the advisory council for the Clear Water Underground Water Conservation district of Bell County. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Jarrell-Schwertner water corporation in one of the fastest growing publicly owned water entities in the Williamson and Bell county areas.
Madden is a lifetime member of the Texas State Alumni Association and is also on the Texas State Bobcat Club Leadership Council.
Madden is a 1980 graduate of Texas State University where he graduated with a bachelor of science in biology and a minor in chemistry. He has been married to his wife Sherri for 36 years, whose grandmother is a 1905 graduate of SWT Normal School.
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- Shane MooreMooreShaneAustin - Managing Partner & Co-Founder Quartz Financial
Shane Moore is a Certified Financial Planner and the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Quartz Financial, a comprehensive wealth management firm. He has over 25 years of experience in wealth management, financial planning and institutional investment management experience. His background includes senior advisory positions with Wall Street investment firms and private banks, Capital Markets Advisor, Supervisory Principal, Financial Planning Specialist and Financial Planning Director.
Moore also serves as a Founding Partner of The Sudden Wealth Center, an educational initiative designed to advance the understanding of issues and complexities associated with financial windfalls. He speaks on the topic nationally, and co-authored four related books.
Additionally, Shane is active in his community where he serves on the St. Edwards University Gift Planning Advisory Council and is also a member of both the Westlake Chamber of Commerce and Estate Planning Council of Central Texas.
Moore holds a master of science in business administration specializing in finance from Texas Tech University, and a bachelor of business administration concentrating in finance from Texas State University. He resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Carol and twins Renny and Quinlan.
- David OlsonOlsonDavidHouston - Founding Partner, Epiphany Angel Ventures
David Olson has more than 30 years of experience in professional services management consulting primarily focusing on the chemicals and petroleum industries. He has held global leadership roles with IBM, Deloitte, KPMG, and Oracle. He also has experience leading a number of other technology firms, serving on a number of boards and speaking regularly at industry gatherings.
Promoting the continued evolution of business technology education for the next generation, Olson chairs the advisory board for the Department of Computer Information Systems & Quantitative Methods at the McCoy College of Business Administration, of which he is a proud graduate. He also participates in many Christian outreach programs, and supports educational mentoring endeavors focused on energy and science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies.
Olson lives in the Houston area with his wife, Danielle. They have two grown daughters, Jennifer and Julia.
- Steve PenaPenaSteveSan Antonio- Attorney Davidson, Troilo, Ream & Garza, PC
Steven M. “Steve” Peña, Sr. is a shareholder at Davidson Troilo Ream & Garza, P.C. in San Antonio, Texas. He is a member of the Firm's Public Law Section whose practice is focused on providing general legal services in the representation of local municipal governments and private businesses. He currently serves as the City Attorney for the City of Cotulla, Texas and has served as City Attorney for the Cities of Helotes, Runge, Sabinal and Poteet. Peña has significant experience serving as legal advisor to several municipal police departments and as municipal court prosecutor. He is General Counsel to the Cotulla 4B Economic Development Corporation and Special Counsel to the Cuero Building & Standards Commission.
Peña is President, General Counsel and Managing Member of 3C-C4 Family LLC, and the 3C-C4 Family Limited Surface and Mineral Partnerships, which own and operate cattle, farming, hunting, ranching and mineral interests near Cotulla, Texas. In addition to his public law work, he has provided general counsel services to water and irrigation districts and non-profit water supply corporations.
Peña graduated from Texas State University in 1984 with a bachelor of business administration in management. He received his master of business administration in management from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas in 1989 and attended St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, where he received his doctor of jurisprudence in 1994. He was a member of Phi Delta Phi legal scholastic honor society while at St. Mary’s Law School. He completed his LL.M (master of law ) at Texas A&M University School of Law in 2018.
- Myric PolhemusPolhemusMyricSan Marcos- Director, Talent Development H-E-B Grocery Company
Myric Polhemus is currently the Director of Talent Development for H-E-B. His primary focus in this role encompasses all learning and development activities ranging from bagging skills to executive development, reimagining H-E-B’s talent processes, leveraging technology, and the use of people analytics for all levels of the business. His career with H-E-B began in 1992. He takes a personal interest in the development of people. His work helps H-E-B gain insight into its 114,000-employee workforce while giving each person the development they need to help them reach their fullest potential.
Prior to his current role, Polhemus held various positions with H-E-B in the Austin, Texas area including Store Director, Unit Director, Team Leader, and General Manager. His final four years in operations was in the role of Director of Retail Operations where he oversaw 15 stores in Central Texas. In February of 2011, Polhemus became the HR Director for SA/W Human Resources. During his time in HR and store operations he has been recognized for his leadership with more than 14 leadership awards from innovation to growing talent.
Polhemus is an active member of the School of Liberal Arts Advisory Board and Psychology Department at Texas State University. His passion is helping students interested in career growth. He has also been a speaker for TEDx San Antonio in 2013 where he discussed vulnerabilities role in leadership.
Polhemus graduated from Texas State University with a degree in psychology in 1997.
- Jason QuallsQuallsJasonHouston- Senior Vice President Frost Bank
Jason Qualls serves as a Senior Vice President for Frost Bank as a Corporate Relationship Manager. With sixteen years of banking experience, his previous roles included Senior Vice President at BBVA, and Banking Officer for Bank One. He also worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car while completing his education.
Qualls has served on multiple non-profit boards and is currently a finance committee member for the Women’s Resource of Greater Houston; an organization that provides free financial education classes to empower women and girls to make choices toward becoming independent, productive, and financially stable.
Qualls received a bachelor of science degree in business with a focus on finance from Texas State University in 2002. During his time at Texas State, he was involved in the Residential College program, the intramural sports program, and served as a Bobcat Bobbie.
He resides in Houston with his wife, twin boys and young daughter. He enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife, taking drives in his Jeep, and running at Houston’s Memorial Park.
- Nicholas RaymondRaymondNicholasAustin- Legislative Liaison Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
A veteran of the United States Navy, Raymond served in aircraft logistics around the world, including Bahrain, Italy, and Japan. Following his military service, he gained extensive experience in Texas politics and state government. As a chief of staff in the Texas Legislature, Nicholas managed legislative and constituent affairs along with state and local government relations.
In the private sector, he develops educational systems for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical (STEM) classrooms, recognized and accepted by the Southern Regional Education Board.
Continuing his service to the state, Raymond joined the Government Relations team at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). As a legislative liaison, he works closely with the Texas Legislature and government officials to effectively communicate TABC policies and procedures. He is committed to supporting the agency’s mission of upholding public safety and regulating the alcoholic beverage industry.
Raymond received a bachelor’s degree in political science at Texas State University in 2011. He and his wife Melissa, reside in Austin.
- Vicente Reid, Jr.Reid, Jr.VicentePearland- Principal VReid, LLC
Vicente Reid is a Principal at VReid LLC, a consultancy that assists clients with making key business decisions affecting billion dollar project portfolios. His professional experience spans over 20 years as a Project Manager and Program Director delivering over $500M in project scope within multiple industries including: oil & gas, defense, healthcare, insurance, logistics and supply chain management. He is also a commercial real estate investor with 317 multifamily units in his expanding portfolio.
With a strong desire to give back to the community, Reid volunteers his time and resources. Reid currently serves as vice president of Manvel High School’s Booster Club, raises funds and manages inner city youth soccer teams in the greater Houston area, and participates in Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students).
A 1995 graduate of Texas State University, Reid earned a bachelor of business administration in computer information systems. He was a 4-year letterman on the Bobcat football team, and two-time team captain. Reid is also a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
- David RiggsRiggsDavidHouston - Partner with PinnacleReach Wealth Advisors - Ameriprise Financial, LLC.
David Riggs is a Partner with PinnacleReach Wealth Advisors a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial, LLC. He received his BBA in Finance in 1997 and has accomplished many milestones since then. His education includes: Certified Financial Planner (CFP) in 2004, Chartered Financial Consultants (CHFC) in 2006, Certified Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) in 2007, Master of Finance in 2013, and his Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (AMPA) in 2019.
David has been married for 21 years to Joy and has two daughters (Sky-18) and (Dev-14). He enjoys attending football games, basketball games, golfing and traveling with his family. He has a passion for teaching people about money and helping them make prudent professional, business, and personal decisions.
- Manuel San LuisSan LuisManuelAustin- Retired, Head Band Director Cedar Park Middle School, Leander ISD
Manuel C. San Luis retired in June 2017 as head band director at Cedar Park Middle School in the Leander Independent School District. He dedicated 34 years to education, 22 of which were spent at Cedar Park Middle School. He recently taught in Seoul, South Korea from January to June 2019.
His bands were consistent UIL Sweepstakes Award recipients, Texas Music Educators Association Region and Area Honor Band qualifiers, and were named national winners in the “Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors” for ten straight years, the only band in the nation for their division to have earned that recognition for ten consecutive years.
San Luis won numerous awards including the John Philip Sousa Sudler Cup in 2008 -- an international award recognizing middle school band programs of highest distinction, and in 2015, was named the Texas state "Exemplary Middle School Band Program" by the Texas Bandmasters Association. In addition, he was recognized in 2014 by the national magazine "School Band and Orchestra -- SBO" as the sole Texas honoree for "Directors Who Make a Difference".
San Luis is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu Band Fraternity, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and is consultant throughout the United States for developing and established band programs. He is also an active adjudicator and a sought-after clinician in Texas.
San Luis graduated with high honors from Texas State University in 1983, and also graduated from the University Honors Program. He continued post graduate work at the Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois.
- Anston ShockleyShockleyAnstonAustin – Program Director, YMCA of Austin
Anston Shockley is a Program Director and member of the development and fundraising team at the YMCA of Austin. Anston has worked for Extend-A-Care YMCA formally known as Extend-A-Care for Kids after school childcare for 9 years. When he came to Texas State in 2011, Anston began his career journey with EAC and continually worked to become a program director. Anston also acts as the Chief Operating Officer for a small business that he has partnered with his mom known as El’s Personal Assistant and Decorating.
During his time at Texas State University, Anston was involved in numerous student involvement organizations including University Ambassadors and the Texas State Club Tennis Team where he served as the Vice President. He remains involved with the university as a member of the Alumni Association and as the Event Coordinator for the Austin Alumni Chapter. He graduated in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in business administration.
- Maggie TarsinosTarsinosMaggie
- Isamar TerrazasTerrazasIsamarMcAllen - Assignments Desk Manager, NBCUniversal Owned Stations
Isamar Terrazas is currently the Assignments Desk Manager at Telemundo 40, an NBCUniversal owned station in McAllen. There, she supervises a team of editors to find information for the newscasts, as well as assign the field crews to record content. She also field-produces special shows for the station, as well as for national news teams like NBC News and Noticias Telemundo. Terrazas started her career as an assignment desk editor at Telemundo and in 2019 she was promoted to her current role, making her the youngest manager for the station.
Born and raised in McAllen, Terrazas has 6 years’ experience in broadcast journalism. She received her bachelor of fine arts in electronic media from Texas State University in 2014.
Terrazas is a 5 time Lone Star Emmy award-winning field producer and an Edward R. Murrow regional award recipient. In 2016, she was nominated for a national News and Documentary Emmy award for her work with MSNBC and Telemundo.
Terrazas is a proud wife to Alejandro Reyes Medina.
- John TurnerTurnerJohnSouth Dakota - Retired, Construction Management
As a former SWT student and avid Bobcat fan, John Turner isinvested in seeing the growth and success of Texas State. His years of retirement are fulfilling and far from inactive as he spends his time working and managing his ranch in South Dakota, traveling, fishing, hunting and being a grandfather to nine grandchildren.
Among my more fulfilling past-times, he likes to use networking skills to help friends and colleagues connect with each other to form mutually beneficial business relationships.
His work experience is in construction/development where he worked for companies such as Best Buy, RJ Marco Construction, and Carleton Construction honing his prowess for construction estimating and construction management.
Prior to his years in construction, he earned by Bobcat claws by being involved in the following: a SWT football player in ‘78, SWT football Student Defensive Back Coach earning a Conference Championship, and SWT football Student Receiver’s Coach the year earning the title of Division II National Champions.
- Javier VillalobosVillalobosJavier
- Aaron VranaVranaAaron
- Jennifer WalshWalshJenniferBaytown- Head of Communications Covestro Industrial Park
Jennifer Walsh is the head of communications at the Covestro Industrial Park in Baytown, where she sits on the site’s Leadership Team. She brings a wealth of experience in areas such as reputational and crisis management, leadership engagement, community relations, corporate social responsibility, event planning, project management and strategic planning.
In her current role, Walsh oversees external and internal communications for the site of nearly 2,000 people as well as community outreach, volunteerism and media relations. Most recently, she coordinated the company’s rebranding campaign in the greater Houston area as it transitioned from Bayer MaterialScience to Covestro, coordinating an award-winning multitiered approach that spanned both internal and external engagement.
Walsh is driven by her commitment to the community and has initiated numerous improvement projects for education, environment, poverty and quality of life. She is vice president of development for the Goose Creek Education Foundation and serves on the executive board of United Way of Greater Baytown Area & Chambers County and the Gulf Coast Monarch Project. She is on two advisory boards: GRADcafe and the Goose Creek STEM Academy, where she is co-chairman. She is a frequent speaker at schools, universities and nonprofits to promote advocacy for women in the workplace and mentors many young women. She is the founder of the Lean In Baytown chapter and member of Pink Petro, Women’s Energy Network, Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals and Public Relations Society of America.
A native Texan, Walsh holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Texas State University. Jennifer is married with six children and resides outside of Houston, Texas. In her free time, she coaches a youth drill team of more than 20 elementary and middle school children.
- Mason WeirWeirMasonDallas- Inside Sales Manager CSC Service Works
Mason Weir is currently serving as an Inside Sales Manager for CSC Service Works. His previous employment includes Account Executive for Scarborough-Medlin & Associates and Reception Administrator for Weir’s Furniture. He has served as a shareholder and active member of Weir Private Holdings, LTD since 2018.
Weir earned his bachelor of arts degree in communication studies with a minor in music from Texas State University in 2017 and currently lives in North Dallas.
- Lisa WintersWintersLisaKerrville- Director, Marketing and Community Relations Peterson Regional Medical Center
Lisa Winters is the director of marketing and community relations at Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville, Texas. Prior to her current position, she was the media relations specialist for Kerrville Independent School District.
Winters is very active in her community on numerous boards and councils including serving as chair of the Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, and founder of the Transportation Council Steering Committee.
During her time at Texas State University, Winters was captain of the Strutters, news director of KTSW Radio, a member of the Student Foundation, vice president of Delta Zeta sorority, a little sister for Kappa Alpha Order, and a member of Order of Omega. She was named All Campus Favorite (Gaillardian) and Homecoming Queen in 1984, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities in 1985.
Winters graduated from Texas State University in 1987 with a bachelor of arts in mass communications and electronic media.