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President’s Council

President’s Council is composed of a select group of individuals and leaders across the Houston area. The primary purpose of the council is to advise KSBJ on trends and needs of the Houston Community so together we can impact lives for Christ and make an even bigger difference in our great city.

Eric Anderson

Founding and Lead Pastor of Global Outreach Community Church. Texas Regional Director of International Advancement with Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson

Founding and Lead Pastor of Global Outreach Community Church. Texas Regional Director of International Advancement with Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Pastor Eric J. Anderson is the founding and Lead Pastor of Global Outreach Community Church. Pastor Anderson was called to preach in 2000 under the leadership of Pastor James C. Carrington Jr. He was licensed in 2001 and later ordained in 2004. He has served as Youth Director, Christian Education Director, Assistant to the Pastor and faithfully served within the Men’s Ministry at Willing Workers Baptist Church.

Pastor Eric Anderson served as Metro Director for the Greater Houston Fellowship of Christian Athletes Ministry for 6 years. He has been with this organization for 20 years serving in various leadership capacities and working with Advisory Leadership Boards across the city. Through his professional assignment, Eric is involved in International Projects and Initiatives. He is able to connect with community leaders, coaches, and pastors as a way of ministry and outreach using sports as a key component. He has traveled to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala City, Honduras and Mexico to lead ministry initiatives, vision trips, sports trips, reverse trips and training trips. He serves on the National Fellowship of Christian Athletes Diversity Task Force and Texas Regional Diversity Task Force.

Currently, Pastor Anderson serves as the International Advancement Coordinator for Texas and Latin America Countries (Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Puerto Rico) with FCA.

He is currently in the Master’s Program at Dallas Theological Seminary pursuing a degree in Cross Cultural Ministry. Pastor Anderson is the recipient of the Stan Blinka Award, Minority Achievers Award and the Rising Eagle Award.
Pastor Anderson is married to his lovely wife, Sheryl Anderson. The Andersons have two beautiful daughters; Sakinah Cooper and Erin Anderson.

DeLeon Bennett

Principal Owner

Bennett Management Solutions

DeLeon Bennett

DeLeon Bennett

Principal Owner , Bennett Management Solutions

First and foremost, DeLeon Bennett is a child of God, grateful for the free gift of salvation received through Jesus Christ. DeLeon is the husband of Tamara and father of two beautiful girls – Joi and Faith. His primary aim is to represent Christ in all that he does, and his passion is to equip others to walk in their full potential. DeLeon serves as an Elder at WoodsEdge Community Church and is blessed to preach God’s gospel wherever called.

Professionally, DeLeon serves as the Principal Owner of Bennett Management Solutions LLC (BMS). BMS is a professional services firm that specializes in project management and process optimization. BMS has provided value-adding services to mission-critical first responders, city and county agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and health care facilities. Ethics, integrity, and delivery on commitment are its tenets; equipping teams to excel is its goal. BMS is also committed to giving back to the communities it serves, and to the underserved and undervalued. DeLeon is a certified Project Management Professional who earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University.

Ryan Bishop

CEO
DTK Facility Services

Ryan Bishop

Ryan Bishop

CEO, DTK Facility Services

Ryan Bishop currently serves as the CEO for DTK Facility Services. DTK was founded in Houstonin 1996 and the company currently employs over 1,600 team members. DTK provides janitorialservices to over 650 commercial facilities each day across the Southern United States. Thecompany is proud to serve some of Texas’ premier institutions in the church, school, grocery, and commercial industries. Prior to acquiring DTK, Ryan was Executive Vice President at Stream
Realty. He has a BBA Finance from Texas A&M University and he stays involved with his alma mater through serving as a Class Agent and involvement in the Former Yell Leader Association. Ryan is married to Annette, and they have 4 children. Ryan teaches a young married class at Houston’s First Baptist and has served on several non-profit boards. As a native Texan, Ryan enjoys Tex-Mex and cheering for the Aggies and Astros with his family.

Bill Brown

Community Outreach Executive, Houston Astros

Bill Brown

Bill Brown

Former, Community Outreach Executive Houston Astros

Bill Brown called his final games as the Astros primary play-by-play broadcaster in 2016 after 30 seasons in the booth.

At 18 years of age, Brown landed his first broadcasting job at KDRO Radio in Sedalia, Missouri, doing news and play-by-play for local high school events.  He later graduated from the University of Missouri in 1969.  While in the service, Brown became a U.S. Army broadcast specialist working as a sportscaster for the Armed Forces Vietnam Network in Saigon in 1970-1971.  After leaving the service in 1971, Brown earned a job at WLWT-TV in Cincinnati.  In 1976, Brown earned his first full-time Major League broadcasting job as the television play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds, where he would remain until 1982. Brown joined the Astros in 1987.

He has received many awards over the years including being inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004, receiving the Fred Hartman Award in 2012 and Sportscaster of the Year award in Texas in 2013

Brown is a member of the Advisory Board at Houston Sight and Sound and has been a volunteer reader for 24 years.  He and his wife, Dianne have been involved with “Salute to our Hero’s, a fundraiser for scholarships for the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation for 10 years.  He has also authored and co-written several books.

Bill and Dianne reside in Houston and have one daughter and three grandchildren.

Joshua Brown

Managing Director, Newmark Knight Frank

Joshua Brown

Joshua Brown

Managing Director, Newmark Knight Frank

Joshua is based in the Houston office and a member of the tenant representation team. He offers thirteen years of experience with specializing in lease negotiations, strategic planning and the development of real estate solutions that align with his clients’ needs in the corporate and industrial sectors. Throughout his career, Mr. Brown has completed transactions in excess of 20 million square feet, valued at over $1.4 billion.

A staunch advocate of tenants’ rights, Mr. Brown’s expertise includes site selection, property dispositions and acquisitions, lease negotiations and strategic consulting. His experience gives him an in-depth understanding of the complex nature of real estate and the mitigation of the associated risks, and he has worked with a vast array of clients ranging from law firms, oil and gas and engineering groups to manufacturing and distribution users.

Mr. Brown began his real estate career at Jackson Cooksey in 2006. In 2018, he joined NKF, upon its acquisition of the acclaimed tenant representation firm.

In 2020, the Houston Business Journal recognized Mr. Brown as a “Heavy Hitter” for representing tenants in the marketplace.

Personal Affiliations
Board of Directors, Beta Upsilon Chi
Member, 1st Baptist Church
Past 1st and 2nd Vice President, Memorial Forest Civic Club
Past Leadership Team Member, The Brookwood Young Professionals Organization
Education
Mr. Brown graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Pierce Bush

CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lone Star

Pierce Bush

Pierce Bush

CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lone Star

Pierce Bush, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, is responsible for coordination of all things related to fundraising, budgeting, programming, the agency’s Board of Directors, and achieving the strategic goals of the organization. Pierce Bush started his journey with BBBS as a volunteer mentor to Jaylyn in 2009, and he was appointed to the Houston Regional Board in early 2012. Believing that BBBS embodies a mission that represents the American spirit of volunteerism and service to others, Pierce left his career in private equity to join the staff full-time in October of 2012. Since joining BBBS, Houston has increased its reach by almost 40% and made critical progress toward the goals of Vision 2×22. Through Pierce’s leadership, BBBS completed construction and fundraising on a new $8 million Houston headquarters near downtown. Pierce became CEO of Lone Star in August 2015 with the vision to build on this success and impact more children across the state. Under his leadership, the agency launched the new strategic plan Vision 2×22 that will guide the agency in doubling its reach by 2022. In 2016, in Pierce’s first full calendar year as CEO, the consolidated BBBS Lone Star agency turned a corner financially and celebrated a cash flow positive year for the first time since the merger in 2010. Pierce earned a BA in American Studies from the University of Texas in Austin. Originally from Houston, Pierce splits his time between Houston and Irving to support BBBS efforts in north Texas. Pierce and his Little Brother Jaylyn enjoy attending church at Ecclesia together, playing baseball, riding bikes, and volunteering in the community.

Suzette Caldwell

Associate Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church

Suzette Caldwell

Suzette Caldwell

Associate Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church

Suzette T. Caldwell is the Associate Pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas where she serves alongside her husband, Senior Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell.

She is the Board Chair and President of The Prayer Institute, a non-profit community based organization that prays for nations and teaches people how to pray. She is the author of Praying to Change Your Life and a children’s book, I Can Pray! Presently, Caldwell sits on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Museum. 

In 1997, she was appointed to the University of Houston Systems Board of Regents by then Governor George W. Bush. Prior to becoming a Pastor, Caldwell worked as an environmental engineer in the public and private sector. As an entrepreneur, she owned TC Consulting Group, Inc., an environmental engineering company.

Caldwell graduated from the University of Houston in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Divinity from Asbury Seminary.

Caldwell has served in different capacities for the American Cancer Society, Teach for America, National Charity League, Jack and Jill Of America, Easter Seals’ Camp Buckaroo, and the Susan B. Koman Walk She has received numerous awards for her community service in the Greater Houston Area, including the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Houston Alumni Association, Professional Women’s Fellowship Distinguished Community Service Award, the Philanthropy in Texas Hall of Fame Award, and Achievement Award for Special Acts of Service from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Caldwell has a passion for helping to improve the lives of people and calls it her honor and pleasure to serve. She and her husband are the parents of three beautiful teenagers.

Dr. Hernan Castaño

Senior Pastor of Rios de Aceite Church

Dr. Hernan Castaño

Dr. Hernan Castaño

Senior Pastor of Rios de Aceite Church

Dr. Hernan Castaño was born in Medellin Colombia and with his wife Wendy Castaño they serve as the Senior Pastors of Rios de Aceite, Rivers of Oil Church, in Houston and Katy, Texas. He serves as the official translator for Morris Cerullo World Evangelism Ministry in all Latin America. Pastor Castaño holds a Ph.D. of philosophy in Biblical Theology issued by Vision University in Ramona California and has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University.

Dr. Castaño and his wife Dr. Wendy Castaño are the directors of a weekly television program, God of Miracles, that is seen in all Latin American countries, through TBN Hispanic network Enlace.

Dr. Hernan Castaño is the president of the Biblical Institute Rivers of Oil in Houston where he has helped in the development of Christian leadership and character. Dr. Hernan Castaño has traveled and conducted many crusades in other nations of the world as well as conferences by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Hernan Castaño also serves as president for Elijah University, a higher education ministry school in sequence with the bible institute to raise up leaders in the body of Christ.

Pastor Hernan Castaño serves as the Director for Hispanic Churches in the Executive Board of Directors of the Texas Pastor Council, a pastoral association working to uphold and defend biblical values and Christian citizenship according to right ethnical moral standings.

Dr. Hernan Castaño is also the president of the Texas Association of Ministers and Entrepreneurs.

Pastor Hernan Castaño resides in Houston with his wife Wendy Castaño from where they continue to minister the nations of the world.

Tyler-Cowie

Tyler Cowie

Founder & CEO, Narrowstack

Tyler Cowie

Tyler Cowie

Founder & CEO | Narrowstack

Tyler Cowie is a dynamic leader based in Spring, Texas, dedicated to addressing software overload for business operators. He founded Narrowstack, a disruptive productized-services firm that helps businesses navigate the digital world with services like fractional CTO/CIO, integration, and vendor management. Before Narrowstack, Tyler was the Chief Information Officer at Tachus, where he significantly expanded its customer base in North Houston from zero to 36,000 by focusing on customer and employee centric development.

Personally, Tyler is a devoted Christian, father of three, and cherishes the support of his wife, Brittany. Concerned about the digital age's impact on genuine connections, Tyler aims to integrate faith and purpose into the digital space, hoping to strengthen people's relationship with Jesus in an era of ‘connected’ technologies.

Chris Dollins

Co-founder and Co-CEO, Employer Flexible

Chris Dollins

Chris Dollins

Co-founder and Co-CEO, Employer Flexible

Chris Dollins is a co-founder and Co-CEO of Employer Flexible, which provides outsourced HR and technology services, in addition to other related interests. He has a BBA from the University of Houston in Management, an MBA from Sam Houston State University, and has also earned his Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation. Chris is a life-long Houstonian and has

been married to his high school sweetheart for eighteen years and has nine children, and, along with his wife, started an accredited, certified University-Model, Classical School in 2012 located in the Spring Branch area of Houston. He has attended Second Baptist Church since 2001, where he serves in Pre-School Worship and as a Deacon.

Julian Duncan

Julian Duncan

Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Houston Rockets

Julian Duncan

Julian Duncan

Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Houston Rockets

Julian Duncan is the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for the Houston Rockets, where he leads the strategic and creative development of all marketing, branding, digital, innovation, experiential, retail, content production, community, and promotional strategies and tactical execution platforms. He was previously the Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of social responsibility for the Jacksonville Jaguars and their Bold Events experiential company.

Additionally, Duncan has more than a decade of brand management and marketing experience with globally recognized sports brands, Nike and Under Armour. Throughout his journey in the sports apparel industry, Duncan crafted marketing strategies and drove execution at the global, geography and territory levels elevating performance and lifestyle products across a myriad of sport categories, in partnership with global sport and cultural icons including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Serena Williams and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

His path to the Rockets organization also included stops in Dusseldorf, Germany and Regina, Saskatchewan where he played football in NFL Europe and the Canadian Football League, respectively.

Duncan is passionate about increasing minority participation in leadership positions in corporate spaces.  He works to make this a reality as the co-founder of the Monday Night Mentorship Collective; an organization that provides mentoring and coaching to minorities and persons of color seeking to accelerate the advancement of their careers.

Julian is a native of Houston, and a proud alum and former student-athlete from Rice University, where he earned a dual degree in Sport Management and English, and later returned to earn an MBA from the Jones Graduate School of Business.  He is blessed, motivated, and inspired by his phenomenal wife Antoinette, and amazing children Sydney (8) and Ace (5).

Rick

Rick Figueroa

Managing Partner & Founder, Patron Partners

Rick Figueroa

Rick Figueroa

Managing Partner & Founder, Patron Partners

Native Texan, Rick Figueroa is Managing Partner and Founder of Patron Partners, a Wealth Management company based in Houston, Texas. (Patronpartnersadvisors.com).

Previously, Rick served as First Vice President with UBS Financial Services in Houston, and Partner with the Caton Figueroa Group which provides financial strategy, solutions and reviews. With over 25 years of experience in the financial sector, Rick received his B.A. in Accounting and M.S. in Land Economics from Texas A&M University in 1991 and 1992, respectively. He has since earned numerous certifications, including CPA, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), Certified Financial Manager (CFM), and Certified Special Needs Advisor (CSNA) with the Private Client Group.

Adrian Garcia

Adrian Garcia

Harris County Commissioner, Precinct 2

Adrian Garcia

Adrian Garcia

Harris County Commissioner, Precinct 2

Born and raised in Houston’s Northside neighborhood, Commissioner Adrian Garcia has always called Harris County Precinct 2 home. Elected in 2018, Adrian Garcia is serving as Commissioner for Harris County Precinct 2. His career in public service began as a Houston Police Officer when he patrolled the streets of Houston, meeting residents and investigating serious and violent crimes. Before serving as Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2, Commissioner Garcia served as Councilmember for the City of Houston and as the first Latino Harris County Sheriff. 

Serving more than 1.3 million people as County Commissioner, Garcia helps to ensure that Commissioners Court passes a balanced countywide budget of more than $5 billion, while ensuring that Harris County operations are funded to serve a quickly growing county. 

With Precinct 2 downstream from five counties, Commissioner Garcia is laser-focused on strengthening our infrastructure to reduce our risk of chronic flooding. As major initiatives, he’s improving the condition of roadways and sidewalks; constructing new hike and bike trails; reducing homelessness; and improving dozens of Precinct 2 parks for area families. 

As a champion for the underserved and underrepresented, Commissioner Garcia directed the construction of the first All-Inclusive park in Precinct 2 AND Harris County, to serve the needs of all people. However, those with physical and cognitive disabilities will be the primary beneficiaries. 

As a lifelong law enforcement officer, he has worked to increase the budget of all Harris County law enforcement agencies by more than $100m since taking office in January 2019. Additionally, Commissioner Garcia has pursued technology enhancements for law enforcement by proposing a $14.8m investment in technology solutions; this is evident in the implementation of a ShotSpotter pilot program, a system that detects the illegal use of firearms, resulting in the prompt arrest of violent offenders. 

A believer in the potential all children are born with, Commissioner Garcia has championed a host of education initiatives, including free SAT/ACT Prep Classes, Early Childhood Education with an Inter-generational approach, and contemporary workforce development initiatives in partnership with Precinct 2 community colleges, all in the pursuit of helping area residents have the best opportunities at resilient and good paying jobs. 

In his spare time, Commissioner Garcia enjoys bike riding, reading autobiographies, traveling with his family, and cooking.

Mia Gradney

Mia Gradney

Anchor, KHOU 11 News

Mia Gradney

Mia Gradney

Anchor, KHOU 11 News

Native Houstonian Mia Gradney is an Emmy Award-winning talent and the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. anchor at KHOU 11 News in Houston, Texas.

For two decades, Mia has covered everything from historic hurricanes to major Hollywood red carpet events and national sports championships. She specializes in breaking news/continuous coverage and special events with interests in women empowerment/job readiness, health & wellness and sports entertainment.

One of her defining career moments came when she navigated Houstonians through one of our nation’s most catastrophic natural disasters, Hurricane Harvey, with almost 138 non-stop hours of airtime despite the flooding and evacuation of KHOU 11’s building. The breaking news coverage was later recognized with an Edward R. Murrow Award.

More recently Mia anchored the CBS Evening News. Easter weekend 2020 she delivered and delicately balanced troubling Coronavirus Pandemic headlines with hopeful news lifting spirits across the country.

During more celebratory times, Mia journeyed to Los Angeles, for Game 6 of the 2017 World Series, to report on her hometown Houston Astros historic quest to become World Champions. She has also field-anchored, live from NRG Stadium, two Houston Super Bowls: Super Bowl XXXVII and Super Bowl LI.

Mia exercises her talent behind the scenes too as a producer. In honor of Dress for Success Houston’s twentieth anniversary Mia and a small team at KHOU 11 produced A Common Thread. The hour-long documentary special follows three remarkably diverse women and their personal journeys of hard-work, heartache, happiness and healing.

Mia is a proud alumna of Sam Houston State University with a degree in Radio/Television/Film and a specialty track in broadcast news. In 2016, the university honored and inducted her into its Distinguished Alumni Society. She is also a past inductee into the school’s Dan Rather Hall of Fame.

Other professional awards and honors include: Lone Star Emmy Awards for two half-hour magazine special programs, an environmental series and special events coverage. In addition, Mia has received Lone Star Emmy nominations for a special medical report and a half-hour employment special.

Mia’s passion for journalism is matched by her incredible generosity of spirit and commitment to community. She volunteers for a variety of organizations and special causes including female empowerment, pediatric cancer research & awareness and childhood literacy.

Mia is a recipient of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital’s Karen Harrison Service Award for her work with the hospital’s education program. Some of her other proud accomplishments and positions include co-founding Women of Wardrobe, Dress for Success Houston’s young professionals group. She is also a continuing education instructor for Dress for Success Houston’s client based professional women’s group and an Advisory Council member for the nonprofit organization suiting up women for success.

Mark Herman

Mark Herman

Constable, Harris County Precinct 4

Mark Herman

Mark Herman

Constable, Harris County Precinct 4

Mark Herman was unanimously appointed Constable of Harris County Precinct 4 on May 19, 2015, and became the duly elected Constable of the Precinct on November 8, 2016, after winning the general election. In 2020, Constable Herman was elected to a second four-year term, winning over 90% of the popular vote in his primary election.  He has served over 36 years at the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office, joining the department as a patrol deputy in 1985, and rising through the ranks within the department. His vast management experience in Harris County law enforcement provides him with the qualifications to run and lead the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office.

His duties include managing and leading the largest constable’s office in the United States with an annual budget of more than $62 million dollars and a staff of over 500 sworn deputies and dozens of civilian employees. Constable Herman is a staunch supporter of community-based policing and force multipliers, all in an effort to strategically reduce crime. His entire adult life has been dedicated to public service and improving the quality of life for all residents of Harris County and Precinct 4.

Constable Herman is a graduate of the Leadership Command College, Class of 72, of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. He proudly attended The Law Enforcement Management Institute classes at Texas A&M University, Sam Houston State, and Texas Women’s  College. He is also a graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA) Program as well as the Texas Constable Leadership College at Sam Houston State. Constable Herman and his wife Melissa (Missy) have one son and daughter, Dylan and Maci. Both Dylan and Maci are graduates of Texas A&M University.

Ennie Hickman

Founder, Del Rey Collective

Ennie Hickman

Ennie Hickman

Founder, Del Rey Collective

For over two decades, Ennie Hickman’s determined pursuit of Gospel joy has been used by God in transforming the lives of countless people. With a heart for the outcast and forgotten in society, he has served as a youth minister, a coach, a domestic missionary, an international speaker, a non-profit president, and currently serves The Saint Constantine School in Houston, TX. In 2019, after 10 years leading Adore Ministries, Ennie and his wife Cana founded Del Rey Collective to empower and encourage individuals and families to live on mission in the ordinary and everyday life of home and neighborhood. Whether on their back porch or in packed churches, Ennie and Cana, along with their eight children, aim to follow Jesus's commands to Love God and their neighbors while accompanying people in this beautiful, messy life of joy. Ennie Hickman has had various titles over the last 20+ years. However, his primary focus has been to become an expert at loving his wife and family. The Hickmans continue to open their home every week to neighbors and strangers. You should stop by for a visit if you ever get the chance.

Allen Howard

Allen Howard

Chairman & Founder  | Solid Rock Energy

Allen Howard

Allen Howard

Chairman & Founder Solid Rock Energy

Allen is acknowledged by Oil and Gas Financial Journal as “one of the world’s foremost authorities on oil and gas reservoirs.” He has identified unconventional oil and gas reservoirs in multiple worldwide sequences, as well as new reservoir targets in other trends like the Eagle Ford Shale, leading to discoveries including the Apache-operated “Alpine High” play and the Chesapeake-operated LaSalle County Eagle Ford. These are currently being developed as Tier-1 resource projects.Allen’s energy experience spans more than 40 years, most significantly as a successive and successful entrepreneur founding five energy-related companies across three decades: Solid Rock, established in 2019; Throne Petroleum Resources, an E&P company launched in 2013; Tri-Tech Energy Partners, founded in 2008 and through a partnership with Chesapeake, created an asset value of $2+B; NuTech Energy Alliance, founded in 1998, that became the recognized industry leader in unconventional reservoir intelligence; and NUMAR, as a member of the 1991 founding team, where he led the development of proprietary petrophysical evaluation technology, an IPO and listing on NASDAQ, and ultimately the sale to Halliburton for $360MM. He also served a decade in senior positions for Schlumberger and Halliburton. Allen has taken coursework toward an MBA from the University of Texas, Permian. He earned a BS degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Texas Tech University; he has been honored by the school and is active with the university’s engineering college and foundation board and now serves as a National Board of Directors for Texas Tech Alumni. He formed Autumn’s Dawn in 2010 to help transition young adults with Autism coming out of high school who were dealing with careers and education as they move into adulthood. He and his wife Linnie further formed an alliance with Texas Tech autism research to further study the neurological relationships these kids deal with as individuals . Allen is an active member of First Baptist Church Houston Cypress campus teaching Adult Bible Study.

Stephen Ives

President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston

Stephen Ives

Stephen Ives

President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston

Stephen Ives has more than 30 years of service in the YMCA movement and is recognized as a national leader in innovation and entrepreneurship as well as for the prevention of child sexual abuse. He also has interests in corporate partnerships, global initiatives, diversity and inclusion.

 Ives comes to the YMCA of Greater Houston from the YMCA of Central Ohio in Columbus, where he served as President and CEO for three years. Before taking the position in Columbus, he was the CEO at the Merrimack Valley YMCA in Lawrence, MA for 10 years and served as the CEO of the Northern York County YMCA in Biddeford, ME for 11 years.

 The Houston YMCA is among the four largest YMCAs in the country, serving 6.5 million people in greater Houston with the Y touching the lives of over 700,000 people annually. The Y has annual revenue of $130 million and staff that ranges from 4,000-5,200 depending on the time of year. The Y provides many services with a special focus on four strategic initiatives 1) Eliminate Drowning, 2) Improve Academic Performance, 3) Eliminate childhood obesity and chronic disease, and, 4) Provide social equity for all. The Y has 25 operating units which includes a resident camp and a refugee resettlement division. Over 20% of the YMCA’s budget is provided by public support which includes donations, United Way funding and government funding.

 Steve and his wife, Lisa Collins, have two adult daughters. He carries an MBA from Northeastern University and a degree in Speech Communication from the University of Maine.

John Jacobsen

John Jacobsen

Former CEO & Founder, RTIC Coolers

John Jacobsen

John Jacobsen

Former CEO & Founder, RTIC Coolers

John Jacobsen, is founder and former CEO of RTIC Outdoors. In this role, he built RTIC into the largest direct-to-consumer eCommerce provider of premium coolers, insulated drinkware and products for outdoor enthusiasts. Currently, the Company offers a broad portfolio of RTIC-branded products under its “Overbuilt. Not Overpriced.” promise. John recently sold a majority interest of the company to a private equity firm but remains actively involved with RTIC as a Senior Advisor and as a Board Member of RTIC Outdoors.

Prior to RTIC, John’s entrepreneurial experience includes founding companies in a variety of industries including O&G exploration, business consulting and retail. In his various roles, John provided strategic oversight on product design and development, marketing, financials, technology, and operations. John also previously worked as a CPA for a Big 4 accounting firm. 

John and his wife of 25 years, Gena, have two children, Joshua and Alex. Josh recently graduated from Baylor University with a major in Information Technology and Alex is currently attending Baylor and majoring in Marketing. The Jacobsen’s reside in Cypress, Texas and are members of Second Baptist Church. They are actively engaged in several charitable organizations in the Houston area.

Carol Abel Lewis, Ph.D.

Professor in Transportation Studies and Emeritus Director of the Center for Transportation Training and Research, Texas Southern University

Carol Abel Lewis, Ph.D.

Carol Abel Lewis, Ph.D.

Professor in Transportation Studies and Emeritus Director of the Center for Transportation Training and Research, Texas Southern University

Dr. Lewis is responsible for educating students in fundamentals of transportation and urban transportation issues, as well as conducting operational and policy related transportation research. Current research focuses on automated vehicles for public transportation, modal distribution and demand estimation for intercity rail systems, transit supportive development, bus operations on managed lanes and best practice in public involvement. Since joining TSU, Lewis has conducted research for the USDOT, Texas Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, metropolitan planning organizations (Houston Galveston Area Council and North Central Texas Council of Governments) and with private transportation consultants. She served as Principal Investigator for the DHS National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. Appointments include the Gulf Coast Rail District (Currently serve as Chair by Houston Mayor and Harris County Judge & Commissioner’s Court) and Transportation Advocacy Group. She also serves as Transportation Research Board’s Chair of Inclusion & Diversity Committee and Transportation Research Board’s Transit Research Advisory Committee (TRAC). Lewis is honored to have received the Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award from the Houston Chapter of WTS and the TRB Sharon D. Banks Humanitarian Award. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Houston and Masters and Bachelor degrees from the University of Iowa.

Linda Lorelle

Linda Lorelle

Former Anchor KPRC-TV CEO and Executive Producer of Lorelle Media

Linda Lorelle

Linda Lorelle

Former Anchor KPRC-TV CEO and Executive Producer of Lorelle Media

Linda Lorelle is best known as an Emmy Award-winning journalist who anchored the evening news for nearly 17 years at Houston’s NBC affiliate, KPRC-TV. She is also a two-time winner of the prestigious national Gracie Award, given by the American Women in Radio and Television. These days the Stanford graduate is CEO and Executive Producer of Lorelle Media, a fullservice multimedia production and communications consulting firm.

In addition to delivering media and presentation training to C-Suite executives, Linda and her team produce compelling, original video content and the popular podcast, Our Voices Matter, dedicated to returning civility to our national discourse by sharing our stories. Linda’s interviewing skills that allow her to engage in intimate conversations with her guests are now being called upon to help companies and NGOs navigate challenging, but necessary conversations about race and social justice. Linda is also a highly sought keynote speaker, using her wealth of knowledge and experience to speak on a variety of topics, from corporate social responsibility to reinventing ourselves as life throws us curve balls.

Rania Mankarious

Rania Mankarious

CEO, Crime Stoppers

Rania Mankarious

Rania Mankarious

CEO, Crime Stoppers

Boston native Rania Mankarious was chosen to head Houston’s leading public safety non-profit organization, Crime Stoppers, in March of 2013. Rania received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence completed at the University of Houston Law Center. She boasts an extensive resume with experience consulting for national companies, non-profit organizations and private public relations clients alike. Citing a personal mission to serve families and engage the public to better society, Rania began consulting with Crime Stoppers in 2006. 

In her seven years at the helm and through working with her incredible team, Rania’s legacy has been well established. Described by some as “Crime Stoppers on steroids,” her footprint has elevated the organization to new heights. In addition to turning the organization’s well-known Safe School Program into one of the most well respected Safe School Institutes in the state, she has also expanded the topics covered and the reach of the organization’s Safe Community Program, launched Parents Against Crime, Leading Women for Public Safety, the organization’s first Victim Advocacy Program and the critically important Fallen Hero Program. While Rania is incredibly proud that her team was able to build the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters – The Dave Ward Building – anywhere in the world and against the odds, Rania is most proud to see the mission of the organization in brick and mortar, actively serving the community. This historic building sits on our Public Safety and Crime Prevention Block, right next to the first-ever Harris County Sheriff’s Office Memorial Garden, funded by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation, and a beautiful tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

This year, 2020, marks a particularly important year for the organization. In response, Rania worked with a team in Houston, Dallas, New York and Los Angeles to create the organizations first-ever podcast called The Balanced Voice Podcast. Join Rania and her team for critical conversations with newsmakers in Texas and beyond for difficult conversations that offer real solutions. 

The ambitious mother of three has lifted a Houston institution to new heights and remains consistently dedicated to whatever work is necessary to keep all communities safe.

Gregg Matte

Senior Pastor, Houston’s First Baptist Church

Pastor Gregg Matte

Pastor Gregg Matte

Senior Pastor, Houston’s First Baptist Church

Gregg Matte is the senior pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church and the founder of Breakaway Ministries at Texas A&M University, one of the largest college Bible studies in the nation. Gregg holds a marketing degree from Texas A&M and a master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an author of numerous books, the latest entitled, “Salvation Has Come.” Gregg has been married to his wife, Kelly, since 1997, and they have a son and daughter, Greyson and Valerie.

Elizabeth McIngvale

Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D.

Founder, Peace of Mind Foundation Director of McLean OCD Institute at Houston

Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D.

Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D.

Founder, Peace of Mind Foundation Director of McLean OCD Institute at Houston

Dr. McIngvale is the director of the McLean OCD Institute at Houston, where she maintains and active clinical, research and leadership role. Her clinical interests focus on OCD, anxiety disorders, mental health stigma and access to mental health care. She is the founder of the Peace of Mind Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to OCD. Dr. McIngvale operates ocdchallenge.org, a free self-help website for OCD which is live in 6 languages and serves nearly 4,000 individuals. She was the first ever national spokesperson for the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and now serves on their board of directors. She received her bachelors and master’s degrees in social work from Loyola University Chicago, her Ph.D. in social work at the University of Houston and is currently pursuing her MBA from Kellogg’s School of Business Management at Northwestern University. Dr. McIngvale engages in advocacy, clinical work, research and teaching related to OCD and anxiety disorders. She is a renowned speaker on both the local and national level speaking on behalf of OCD, mental illness and mental health stigma. Dr. McIngvale has received numerous awards for her advocacy and impact on the mental health field and currently serves as a director on 5 boards. She is internationally known and recognized for her clinical work and advancements in the OCD field. Dr. McIngvale is dedicated to giving a voice to the voiceless and is grateful for a career which allows her to improve the lives of those living with a mental illness every day. 

JJ Moses

NFL’s Transitional Coach

JJ Moses

JJ Moses

NFL’s Transitional Coach

In 2018, JJ became the Director of Player Engagement for the Houston Texans in which he was assisted players with their transition into the NFL and helped prepare them for their post NFL career. He designed programs, classes, job shadowing opportunities and also mentored players through life and career challenges as well as personal development. In 2020, JJ was recognized by the NFL as having the number one player engagement program in the entire league in his two seasons in the role.

Currently JJ is the NFL’s Transitional Coach. In this role JJ oversees all former NFL players throughout the state of Texas. Equipping them in the areas of career development, life skills, spiritual development, and finances.

Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora

Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora

Superintendent, Tomball ISD

Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora

Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora

Superintendent, Tomball ISD

Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora has been an educator in Texas for the past 30 years. Currently she serves as Superintendent of Schools for Tomball Independent School District after working as their Chief Academic Officer for three years. Previously she served the Round Rock Independent School District as Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Administration and Houston Independent School District as the Assistant Superintendent of School Support Services. She also served Spring ISD as an Assistant Superintendent and Kingsville Independent School District as the Superintendent of Schools for three years. 

She currently is a member of the Texas Education Agency Commissioner’s Cabinet, Secretary for the Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC) and the Past President of Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS).

Dr. Salazar-Zamora earned a doctorate of education at Texas A&M University, a master of education in educational administration and a master of education in special education at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a bachelor of science at Texas A&I University.

Julie Waters

Director and Founder, Free the Captives

Julie Waters

Julie Waters

Director and Founder, Free the Captives

Julie Waters is the director and founder of Free the Captives, an anti-human trafficking 501(c)3 non-profit. After practicing family law and child advocacy as an attorney, she brings her legal expertise to human trafficking issues. Julie speaks at both the local and national level on human trafficking and is published academically on this topic. Free the Captives focuses on (1) providing direct services to teenage trafficking victims including jobs, mentoring, tutoring and material assistance, (2) educating the community about human trafficking, (3) reducing the demand created by buyers, and (4) pursuing legal remedies and effective public policies to combat trafficking.

Julie is a native of Texas and attended Texas A&M University, where she received a BA in Speech Communication. She also graduated from Boston University School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Texas and Massachusetts. Julie recently received her Masters of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. 

Melissa Wilson

Anchor and Health Reporter, Fox 26

Melissa Wilson

Melissa Wilson

Anchor and Health Reporter, Fox 26

Emmy Award-winning Melissa Wilson is an anchor for FOX 26 Morning News weekdays. Then, she loves to head out to the Texas Medical Center and throw on comfy scrubs and follow doctors and patients through procedures, as medical reporter for FOX 26. Melissa co-anchored FOX 26 News at 9 p.m. for ten years, as part of the longest running anchor team at FOX 26. Melissa made the switch to mornings in 2010, when her son began school and she needed “mom friendly” working hours. It’s a great move career-wise, as she enjoys all of the live interviews and a more relaxed format that comes with a morning news program.

A Texas native, Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from Baylor University. She began her career as the evening anchor at KAUZ-TV in Wichita Falls and then went on to anchor at Florida’s News Channel. Houston Woman Magazine named Melissa one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Women in Houston”. American Women in Radio and Television nominated Melissa for “Personality of the Year”. She has been honored with the prestigious “Gracie Award” and Lone Star Emmy Awards. The Fair Care Center of Houston named Melissa a “Living Legend”. The Houston Press named Melissa one of Houston’s “Most Beautiful Reporters”.

Melissa has been an Honorary Co-Chair for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure since 2000. She also serves on their Advisory Board of Directors. She serves, or has served, on the following Boards of Directors: Children at Risk, Lazarus House, March of Dimes, United Way, Harris County Community College Nurse’s Association, “Gifts with Heart”, and Baylor Business Network. This year will be her 12th Annual “Melissa Wilson Golf Classic” for Children at Risk. Melissa is a member of Baylor University Women’s Association and Sigma Kappa’s Alumnae Association. She is a “Friend” of Escape Family Resource Center. She has volunteered for the Christian Community Service Center and is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and The Society of Professional Journalists .

She has interviewed everyone from Mexico’s President Vicente Fox, Kofi Annan, Walter Cronkite, Karl Rove, Bill O’Reilly, Dan Rather, to Actors James Earl Jones, Andy McDowell, Rob Schneider, Lucy Liu, and singers Josh Groban, Nora Jones, Clay Walker, and Amy Grant. She has gotten to meet Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush, and First Ladies Barbara Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Laura Bush, as well as Al and Tipper Gore. Melissa is also heavily involved in her children’s activities.

She serves as the Co-Den Leader with her husband for their son’s Cub Scouts troop. She has served on the Capital Campaign Cabinet, as well as the Gala Fundraising Committee at her son’s school. She has taught her sons’ Sunday school classes. She also loves to play sports with her children. They stay busy taking care of the family pets, including: a puppy, two cats, a leopard gecko, a turtle, fire belly toads, hermit crabs, a hamster, and many fish. She also enjoys capturing special moments with her family and career through scrapbooking. Gardening is also one of her favorite ways to spend time.