- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Patrick BoyleBoylePatrickKerrville - Recreation Therapist Department of Veterans Affairs, South Texas Veterans Health Care System
As a recreation therapist with the Department of Veteran Affairs, South Texas Veterans Health Care System in Kerrville, Patrick Boyle is responsible for developing, planning, implementing, and evaluating a diversified and comprehensive recreation therapy program to meet the needs and abilities of Veterans. His efforts have earned him Employee of the Quarter as well as other awards in his tenure.
Prior to his service at the Department of Veterans Affairs he worked as Department Director at Laurel Ridge Treatment Center in San Antonio. In addition to this he has worked in Parks and Recreation at the city and county level opening facilities, designing parks, re-orienting existing operations. In many instances he spoke as the public face for the facility.
After high school he entered the military, joining the Marines to serve the country and develop the discipline to execute effectively in difficult situations and multiple cultures. Following his military service, Boyle earned a bachelor of science in recreational administration at Texas State University in 2000, and a master of science in recreational and leisure services in 2008. While at Texas State, he organized and served as president of the Triathlon Club. He also helped established the Sprint Triathlon, hosting 300 competitors and involving more than 100 volunteers to create a stable financial income for team activities.
Boyle lives in Kerrville with his wife and two children.
- 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.
- Vanessa Cortez TannerCortez TannerVanessaAustin- Consultant Berry Communications
Vanessa Cortez Tanner is a consultant at Berry Communications, a political consulting firm based in Austin. She has served as campaign manager for several statewide races, most notably Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Boyd’s successful 2014 election. She specializes in grassroots outreach and advocacy, political campaigns, event coordination and strategic planning.
Prior to Berry Communications, Tanner worked as the committee director for the Senate Committee on Administration during the 85th Legislature. Previously, she worked for ROSS Communications, an Austin-based public affairs firm where she managed client social media pages, strategized communication efforts based upon client needs and developed innovative methods to engage the client’s audience.
While at Texas State University, Tanner was involved in numerous student organizations and in 2013 was elected to represent 36,000-plus students as student body president. She remains involved with the university as a member of the Bobcat Club, Alumni Association, and as president of the Austin Alumni Chapter. She graduated in May 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and public relations. She is married to a fellow Texas State alumnus, Cameron Tanner.
- 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.
- Robert DoerrDoerrRobertSan Marcos - Account Executive, TCOR Management
Robert Doerr is an account executive and commercial lines manager at TCOR Management in New Braunfels, a firm providing enterprise-wide risk management to middle market companies. Prior to his tenure at TCOR, he worked as a commercial lines underwriter at Hartford, a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. Doerr is a certified and licensed risk manager as well as a certified insurance counselor.
In 2003, Doerr received a bachelor of business administration from Texas State University in finance. While at Texas State, he served in Student Government as a senator and then as president his senior year. He led the effort to change the name of the university in 2003, as well as the implementation of Students with Alternative Transportation (SWAT) and Bobcat Build programs. Doerr was also a member of the American Advertising Federation and Residential College for Brogdon Hall.
Doerr is a former board member of the San Marcos Neighborhood Commission and former director-at-large with the Alumni Association Board of Directors. He also is a member of the Finance and Economics Advisory Council at the McCoy College of Business Administration.
- 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.
- Lisa FullertonFullertonLisaSan Antonio - President & CEO, A Novel Idea, LLC
Lisa Fullerton, president and CEO of A Novel Idea, LLC (ANI), owns and operates five Auntie Anne’s and two Cinnabon franchises in San Antonio. She has been making taste buds smile since 2000 when she introduced hot, fresh, golden-brown soft pretzels to San Antonio, creating 80 positions of employment within ANI. The San Antonio Business Journal currently rates A Novel Idea the 13th largest female-owned firm in the city.
Her resume is filled with support for franchising and small business. Highlights include serving as a board member for Texas National Federation of Independent Business; board member and Public Policy Chair for the National Association of Women Business Owners; board member for the San Antonio Tourism Council; member of a San Antonio Business Coalition group developing white papers for issues that hurt small business; and an active member of two San Antonio Chambers.
Her business advocacy work includes trips with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce delegation to Washington D.C. as the face of small business, testifying before the Texas Legislature and advocating against a Labor Peace Agreement in the City of San Antonio. Her company has cultivated a nurturing business culture by aligning itself with charitable partners with the same core values. A.N.I. raises funds for childhood cancer research and has sponsored matching grants to support the San Antonio Clubhouse, a volunteer program for adults living with mental health issues.
Fullerton received her bachelor of business administration degree from Texas State University in 1983 and has returned to mentor through the MBA program and has been repeatedly requested to speak on the spirit of entrepreneurial passion in the current economic environment. Her Texas State experience centered around balancing academics, volunteering and participating in Greek Life, which provided the foundation of hard work and community involvement.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Olivia HolzhausHolzhausOliviaSeabrook - President & CEO Rhodium Scientific
Olivia Gamez Holzhaus is the founding CEO and president of Rhodium Scientific, a San Antonio-based company specializing in research and development (R&D) consulting, facilities management and equipment services for commercial, government and academic laboratories. The company has provided engineering and scientific support to STaARS Inc., a payload development company building spaceflight hardware designed to host scientific projects aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The most recent project was delivered on SpaceX-12 and is currently conducting microgravity experiments in the ISS U.S. National Lab.
With extensive training, Holzhaus developed her love for biotechnology by working in academic and applied laboratories dedicated to cancer tumorigenesis (University of Texas Health Science Center) and microbial fossilization enhancement (Texas State University), and through scientific and engineering positions at Southwest Research Institute and PerkinElmer Health Sciences.
Her desire to continue working closely with scientists and her technical background provided unique opportunities to integrate the company’s industry-level services into new markets, shifting Rhodium Scientific from a regional and terrestrial company to an international and low-earth orbit company. Holzhaus serves as Director-at-Large for the International Space Safety Foundation, an organization aimed at setting commercial spaceflight safety standards and advancing aerospace research among graduate-level investigators.
She received her bachelor of science degree from Texas State University in microbiology and her master of science degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in management of technology. She is active on Texas State’s Alumni Association Board of Directors.
- Michael HosfordHosfordMichaelBastrop - Owner, Synergy
Michael Hosford, a native of Bastrop, grew up a little differently. He moved out of the house when he was 14 years old due to a challenging home-life. This left an impression and left him wanting to learn and understand how money worked.
After working four years at a Wal-Mart during college, Michael launched Synergy, an independent financial advisory firm, during his senior year at Texas State University where he graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree in finance in 2001. In 2002, he was asked to speak for a large financial services firm at their leaders’ conference in Hawaii. In the same year, Hosford was named to American General Life’s prestigious Legion of Honor.
Hosford has spoken all over the nation to clients and advisors during the past 17 years and has qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table’s “Court of the Table” 13 times and “Top of the Table” nine times, placing him in the top 1 percent of financial advisors in the world.
In addition to helping hundreds of teachers understand their pension plans, Hosford has helped many high-net-worth individuals, including NFL and MLB professional athletes, properly structure their wealth distribution plans.
- 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.
- Mike KickirilloKickirilloMikeSan Antonio - Senior Director, Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Currently the senior director of broadcasting for Spurs Sports and Entertainment, Michael Kickirillo has served as producer/director/AP/coordinator for San Antonio Spurs-related broadcasts since 1990.
Previous stints include: sports producer at KSAT-TV, the ABC affiliate in San Antonio; correspondent for the Austin American-Statesman and various positions for regional/national sports outlets. He earned a Sports Emmy Award for Live Event Turnaround as part of NBC's coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
Kickirillo graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s in fine arts and communications in 1998. He has two daughters, Robin, a senior at Texas State, and Connie, a freshman at the University of the Incarnate Word. He enjoys golfing and is an avid New Orleans Saints fan.
- 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.
- Kailey LeskeLeskeKaileyCuero - Sales & Marketing, Tod Slone Saddles, Inc.
Kailey Leske graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor of arts in 2009 and a master of arts in 2010, both in communication studies.
She launched her career in performance development and talent management with Kalypso LP. She then transitioned to her hometown and took on sales & marketing at Tod Slone Saddles Inc. where she doubled trophy saddle sales within the first two years.
Leske has served on the Texas State University Alumni Association Board of Directors and in various service and leadership positions in her community including the Cuero Education Foundation, Cuero Country Club, Lifeway Church and more.
She has two young children, Stratton and Slone, and spends most of her days wrangling toddlers for the short term.
- 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.
- Wesley MelcherMelcherWesleyFrisco - Entrepreneur WorldVentures
Wesley Melcher has been an entrepreneur from early childhood, starting three businesses before graduating from high school and over a half a dozen since then.
He has consulted for both start-up and established companies in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. He has trained and coached more than 1 million people across the world over the last 20 years. His passion for travel led him to the travel industry 15 years ago where he helped start WorldVentures, now the fastest-growing direct sales company in the world boasting nearly 1,000 employees in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Melcher is a sought-after speaker and trainer in direct sales, network marketing and business. His first book, “NetEASY Marketing,” was released in 2012 and hit the top of Amazon bestseller’s list in multiple categories.
Over the last decade, he established and grew his Double Infinity Ranch into one of the largest thoroughbred horse operations in the state of Texas. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Thoroughbred Association.
Melcher currently lives in Frisco with his daughter, Jianna.
- 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.
- Matt NolanNolanMattFort Worth- Director, Cardio-Pulmonary & NeuroDiagnostics Texas Health Southwest
Matt Nolan is a registered respiratory therapist with more than 13 years of clinical experience with all age ranges of patient populations. His specialties include neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care, Level 1 intensive care, research and sleep medicine as well as management/leadership.
Currently, Nolan is the director of the Cardio-Pulmonary and NeuroDiagnostics Department for two acute care facilities and one surgery center within the Texas Health Resources hospital system located in Fort Worth. Previously, he was director of respiratory therapy for Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos where he worked closely with hospital senior leadership and the San Marcos City Council to institute a smoking ban in public places.
Nolan has a bachelor of science degree in respiratory therapy from Texas State University, and earned a master of business administration in healthcare leadership from the University of Texas at Tyler.
- 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.
- Jon David PerezPerezJon DavidMexico City, Mexico- Head of Retail & Visual Merchandising Hugo Boss
Mexico City, Mexico
With more than 16 years of retail experience in the United States and Latin American markets, J.D. Perez is the head of retail and visual merchandising for Hugo Boss in Mexico. In 2005, he received a dual bachelor of business administration in business administration and management and in computer information systems, with an emphasis in the Latin American markets, from Texas State University.
With his education and work experience, Perez is well-versed in all business facets. In his current role, he manages all retail strategies, performs the buy for each season, oversees store operations and leads the visual merchandising team. He manages more than 150 employees while ensuring profitable results in the Mexican market.
Perez has a strong, proven track record with double-digit increases year after year in both the United States and Mexico markets. While an undergraduate at Texas State University, he was a member of Lambda Theta Phi Latino Fraternity. He also has been a member of the McCoy College Institute for Global Business Advisory Board since 2015. Recently, Perez assisted with Texas State President Denise Trauth's visit to Mexico City in June 2017.
- 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.
- Christian RundbergRundbergChristianNew Braunfels- Executive Account Manager Medtronic
Christian Rundberg is an executive account manager for Medtronic, the world's largest stand-alone medical equipment development company. He has previously served as a senior account manager for General Surgical Products at Covidien and as a territory manager and sales trainer for Progressive Medical.
He received his bachelor of business administration in marketing from Texas State University in 2001. During his time as a Bobcat, he was president of Students in Free Enterprise. He also attended Nido de Aguilas in Santiago, Chile, from 1991 to 1995.
Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Rundberg now lives in New Braunfels with his wife, Richelle (Chelle), a high school English teacher at Canyon High School, and their six children.
- 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.
- Karen SoefjeSoefjeKarenFrisco- Partner Montgomery Coscia Greilich, LLP
Karen Soefje joined Montgomery Coscia Greilich LLP (“MCG”) in November 2009. MCG is the sixth largest CPA firm in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Karen serves as the lead partner in the firm’s qualified plans audit and consulting practice. Her plan audit experience includes Department of Labor (DOL) disclaimers and full-scope audits of defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, health and welfare plans, cash balance plans, and employee stock ownership plans.
Soefje serves the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as an Oversight Reviewer to Peer Review of employee benefit plan audits, and she is a frequent speaker at the National Pension Institutional Investment Summit, Southwest Benefits Association trainings, and various other educational events related to employee benefit plans.
Prior to MCG, Soefje spent seven years at KPMG LLP and was responsible for the North Texas and Oklahoma employee benefit plan audit practice. She also co-authored KPMG’s national training and local office training for employee benefit plan audits. In addition, she annually conducted KPMG’s quality peer review process over benefit plan audits across the firm's offices in the United States.
Prior to joining KPMG, Soefje spent 12 years at Arthur Andersen LLP, providing corporate audit and qualified plans audit and consulting services to a variety of public and private companies. She also has served as a national instructor on various qualified plan topics.
Soefje studied accounting at Texas State University from 1985 to 1988 before transferring to the University of Houston - Clear Lake, where she completed her undergraduate degree.
- Lance SpruiellSpruiellLanceSan Marcos- Senior Vice President Texas Regional Bank
Lance Spruiell serves as a senior vice president and the San Marcos market president for Texas Regional Bank. He previously held the position of senior vice president at Pioneer Bank, where he served for more than nine years.
With more than 16 years of combined experience in sales, management and banking, he began his career in Marble Falls, managing Sportsman's Country Complete Outfitters. Through this experience he began to understand the importance of developing long-term business relationships. He transitioned from Sportsman's Country into the banking business in early 2005 with Security State Bank & Trust, where he worked as a loan officer in both the Kingsland and Spicewood branches.
Spruiell has served on the board of directors for CASA of Highland Lakes and was an active member of local Rotary groups and builder associations. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, the Hays County Friends of the Family Justice Center Board, and Texas State University’s McCoy College of Business Advisory Board.
Spruiell has worked in San Marcos since early 2012 and moved his family here in 2014. He is an alumnus of Texas State, where he graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry.
- Michal WaechterWaechterMichalSan Antonio- Owner Waechter Consulting Group
After more than a decade of healthcare administration experience, Michal Waechter started her own company, Waechter Consulting Group in 2017. Specializing in business development, Waechter has diverse experience in strategic planning, programmatic execution, operational improvement, physician outreach, brand positioning and consumer engagement. As an independent consultant, Waechter partners with clinical and administrative leadership to customize a business development strategy, identify growth goals, evaluate tactics to achieve those goals and create a timeline for execution.
Prior to relocating to San Antonio, Waechter earned a bachelor of science in healthcare information management and a master of science in healthcare administration from Texas State University. As an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, she achieved board certification and became a Fellow in 2012.
Waechter has served as chair of the American Cancer Society’s Ranch Chic Fashion Show since 2016. She was a member of the BoysTown Texas Board of Directors and chair of the BoysTown Texas Development Committee from 2013 to 2017. She also is a former member of the Stone Oak Rotary Club, the Stone Oak Rotary Club Board of Directors and Rotarian of the Year. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time with her two sons, traveling with her husband, cooking and connecting with family and friends.
- 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.
- Jeff WillisWillisJeffSouthlake- President, Texas and Southern Division at Construction Supply Group
Jeff Willis received his bachelor of business administration in marketing from Texas State University in 1985 and began his entrepreneurial career path working in the family Exotic Auto business in Austin. He worked in that exciting industry for eight years before switching gears in 1993 with the Roofing Supply Group (RSG), a Texas wholesale distributor of roofing and building materials.
His superb leadership and management skills have been foundational to his continuous growth trajectory. He had a rich career with RSG and the roofing distribution industry, holding numerous successive roles of increasing responsibility and managing a substantial piece of RSG’s portfolio in excess of $1.1 billion.
In 2015, after RSG was purchased by a leading strategic competitor, Willis was asked to become the new executive vice president of sales and marketing to help transition the company’s 275 branches and $4 billion in revenues.
Willis is also known for giving back. He has held various committee leadership appointments within industry and trade groups. In 2016, he and his wife, Patty, established a scholarship endowment at the Texas State McCoy College of Business Administration, and he has enjoyed re-engaging with his alma mater.
- 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.
- Sandra ZubeldiaZubeldiaSandraLubbock- Owner Zubeldia Energy Services, LLC
Co-founder of two successful companies, DTC Media Group, LLC and Zubeldia Energy Services, LLC, Sandra Zamarripa Zubeldia launched an innovative media group company in 2010 that transfigured the traditional mediums of advertising. Due to the rapid growth and the success of her advertising network, her company was highly sought out and purchased in 2014 only four years after the company was founded.
Immediately after selling her first company, Zubeldia founded her second company and ventured into the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin. In 2012 she launched Zubeldia Energy Services, LLC a well service company that specializes in logistics, infrastructure of fluids and the completion of oil and natural gas wells. Within one year, Zubeldia Energy Services, LLC grew into a multimillion-dollar energy company that is currently a leading provider of well services in the Permian Basin Region.
Zubeldia has been very effective and successful in an industry where women are not frequently found in executive roles. Through her company, she has supported countless national and international nonprofit organizations. She serves as a mentor to young teenagers and young women from all walks of life, and has created a huge impact in many lives through her life’s story and business platform, donating millions of dollars to local community organizations.
A graduate of Texas State University, Zubeldia earned her bachelor of business administration degree in 2000. While at Texas State, Zubeldia participated in the first-ever entrepreneurship class taught by Sam Barshop, the founder and CEO of La Quinta Inns. She also was the president of the Hispanic Business Student Association and a member of Delta Gamma. Zubeldia also holds a master of business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship from Texas Tech University.