Fernando Arroyo Fernando Arroyo, M.Ed. Admin., was born in Campeche, Mexico and graduated from Baylor University and Concordia University. He has worked directly and administratively with social justice concerns and with families in poverty for over thirteen years and is now serving as the director of social services and mortgage services at Waco Habitat for Humanity. Currently, he’s working on projects focusing on socially responsible enterprise and community experimentalism. Mindful about Creation care, he serves as a board member of World Hunger Relief, Inc. helping alleviate hunger around the world and experiments in sustainability by collecting rainwater, gardening and raising chickens and tilapia in his small urban backyard with his wife and two young boys. Concordia University
Dr. Brenda Atchison Dr. Brenda Joy Atchison is the founder and CEO of the Platinum Career Coaching Group and an instructor of Business Management and Entrepreneurship at McLennan Community College. She is actively involved in civic and social pursuits. She is married to Reverend Doctor Delvin Atchison, past of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. They have five children.
Laveda Brown Laveda serves as President/CEO of the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce and Center of Business Excellence of Central Texas. Prior to joining Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce, Laveda served as Procurement Specialist/Business Consultant at McLennan Community College Small Business Development Center. Laveda has twenty plus years of experience as a procurement specialist/business consultant. Her opinion is highly respected in the areas of business development, minority business certification, purchasing, and government contracting. Trained at the federal and state levels for economic development, Laveda touts a 1.7 billion dollar government contracting track record.
Frances Callan Frances is a long term resident of Waco. She graduated from the University of Texas in 1983 and completed a Master of Social Work from the University of Hawaii in 1996. Since then she has travelled, worked as a clinical social worker, and had a little boy. Having served as a volunteer on several local boards, Frances likes to assist Waco in the continuation of its journey to become a more vibrant city.
Scott Connell Scott directs strategic initiatives related to the Next Level Strategic Plan for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. He has more than 25 years of experience in economic development representing six different communities in Texas and North Carolina. Scott participates on various community and professional boards including the City of Waco Recycling Advisory Committee, Tarleton State University College of Business Administration Executive Advisory Board, Boy Scout Pack 308 and the Vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He received a BA in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985.
Hope Cotner Hope Cotner is Vice President of the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to leading change in education. Hope manages a broad range of state and federal-level projects for school districts, community colleges, state departments of education, industry associations, and the U.S. Department of Education related to curriculum development and faculty support. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Hope serves on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, an organization devoted to workforce and economic competitiveness. Highlights of Hope’s involvement in her local community include leadership positions in the Junior League of Waco, the Women’s Resource Center Advisory Council at Texas State Technical College, River Valley Intermediate School PTA, and St. Matthew Lutheran Church as well as performing as a cellist with the Waco Symphony Orchestra the past 20 years.
Ashley Cripe Ashley Cripe currently serves as the Executive Director of Camp Fire USA Tejas Council where she works with Teen Leadership Waco and the Teen Parent Program. An experienced trainer and facilitator, Ashley has worked as a National trainer for Pacific Intercultural Exchange Inc., and has trained teens from post Soviet Union Countries and Middle Eastern Countries in Leadership and Grass Root Organizations through Department of State’s FLEX and YES grant. Ashley has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas (Austin) in Sociology and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Ramona Curtis Ms. Ramona Curtis is the Director for Leader Development and Civic Engagement for Baylor University where she and her staff develop leadership programs that foster synergy among "leadership thinkers." She currently serves on the Editorial board of the John Ben Shepperd Journal of Practical Leadership and is president of the Waco Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Ramona is an adjunct faculty member at Baylor University, Tarleton State University, and McLennan Community College and she serves as campus advisor of the Baylor University Collegiate Chapter of the NAACP and the Rho Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Master of Arts in Sociology from Prairie View A&M University.
Broc Edwards Broc Edwards is the Director of Learning & Leadership at Extraco Banks. He has a Bachelor's in Education, a Master's degree in Human Resource Management, and brings 10+ years of leadership development, consulting, and Human Resources experience. In his career, Broc has facilitated leadership development training programs for companies in the US, Europe, Australia, and Canada. What he most enjoys about facilitating programs is helping people develop the knowledge and skills to expand their potential to become who they want to become.
Frank Graves Frank Graves is the Dean of Continuing Education at McLennan Community College. Frank’s education includes a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Business Administration from Angelo State University. Frank is a certified trainer for America Red Cross, Achieveglobal Inc, Extended Disc, Development Dimensions International, Inc. and SafeStart. Frank, his wife Ramona and daughter Mary Elizabeth live in McGregor, Texas.
Dr. Nancy Grayson A resident of Waco since 1978, Nancy has a wide variety of experiences in education. Believing it to be the great equalizer for all children, she wrote the charter for and founded the Rapoport Academy Public School which now serves more than 400 area students. Nancy holds an undergraduate degree from South Western University, a Masters from Baylor University and a PhD in Psychology from Texas A&M. Nancy and her husband of 40 years are the parents of two children and grandparents to two young girls.
David Guyer After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Business Administration, David began his not- for-profit career with the American Red Cross. In 2000, David joined the Providence Healthcare Network where he currently serves as Vice President of Development and the Executive Director of the Providence Foundation. David is a Certified Fundraising Executive, serves on the Ascension Health Council on Philanthropy Board of Directors and is active with the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy. In his spare time, David enjoys bicycling and traveling with his wife Judy.
Jonathan Hoekstra As Vice Chancellor for Human and Organization Development for TSTC, Jonathan oversees a team that manages the recruiting, on-boarding, and development of talent; facilitates the compensation and benefits processes; and coordinates risk assessment and management in various areas. He specializes in facilitation, consultation, leadership, risk assessment, and planning. Jonathan received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from Baylor University, a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington and is a certified public accountant. Jonathan, his wife Melissa, and their two children call Waco home.
Esmeralda Cuate-Hudson Esmeralda Cuate-Hudson is the oldest of five children. She is a native Texan, born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. Esmeralda graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and received her Texas Registered Municipal Clerks Certification from the University of North Texas though the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc. In May 2003 Esmeralda began her municipal career as a planner for the Waco-McLennan County Health District and accepted the position as Assistant City Secretary for the City of Waco in June 2007. She lives in Waco, with her husband and 2 daughters.
Loeen Irons A native Coloradoan, Loeen and her husband moved to Waco in 1973 so he could to complete his residency in Family Practice Medicine. After serving as the Department Head of Respiratory Therapy at Hillcrest, she returned to school in the 1990’s, and completed a BA in psychology and a master’s degree in health education. She has been employed at Baylor since 1999 in the Health Education program. Loeen and her husband have two children and two grandchildren and her hobbies include reading, traveling, aerobics, and watching anything that her grandchildren do.
George Johnson Jr. Born and reared in Sweet Home, Arkansas, George has been married to Phyllis (Davis) Johnson of Little Rock, Arkansas for 40 years and they are the proud parents of three wonderful children. A former United States Army Chaplain, George retired after 27 years of service and receiving the Bronze Star Medal during a 12 month tour of duty in Afghanistan. He currently serves as a City of Waco Assistant City Manager and is the proud Senior Pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church – Waco. He is also a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Merryl Jones Merryl Jones is a native Wacoan who began her career as an attorney in 1997. However, her career as a community volunteer dates back to 1991 as a committee chair of a local fundraiser. Throughout the years since she has served in many leadership roles from chairing Cattle Baron’s Ball, the largest non-profit fundraiser of its time in Waco, to being President of the Junior League of Waco, a 700 member volunteer organization. However, her greatest accomplishments are being the wife to Will Jones for 13 years and mother to two boys, Grant (Age 8) and Reid (Age 5).
Shirley Langston Shirley is a credible and passionate professional bringing restoration, transformation and empowerment to families in at risk communities. She is an entrepreneur, consultant, trainer and advocate whose energy, expertise and enthusiasm motivate residents, as well as civic leaders to work together for the common good. She is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Business and Psychology and a Master of Arts in counseling. She has received local and national recognition through newspaper, magazine and other published articles.
Chris Martin Christienne (Chris) Martin is a former educator who for twelve years taught English, French and art. She has been active in marketing a publishing, serving as the Tribune-Herald’s Educational Director for several years and freelancing as a technical writer and graphic artist. Currently, Chris serves the City of Waco as Community Promotions Specialist in the Municipal Information office, producing newsletters, press releases, web update and scripts for WCCC-TV. In addition to career and family, her passions include water sports on Lake Waco, biking in beautiful Cameron Park, interior design, fundraising, socializing and promoting the city she loves.
Stephanie Maultsby Stephanie Maultsby has been employed at MCC for 7 years, serving for the last 2 years as Coordinator of Business and Industry. In this capacity, she co-wrote and is administering the $1.3 million skills development fund grant awarded to MCC. Stephanie holds a Master’s of Education from Baylor University and a Bachelor’s of Science from Northern Arizona University. She is married to Craig and together with their 2 year old son, Cannon, they live in China Spring where they raise show lams for FFA and 4-H projects and Stephanie shows horses.
Doug McDurham Dedicated to the mission of empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life, Doug McDurham has served as the CEO of Communities In Schools of the Heart of Texas for 11 years. In this time, he has served as Chair of the CIS State Association, the CIS of Texas Executive Director of the Year, and a member of the inaugural cohort of the CIS National fellows program. McDurham has served as president of the local chapter, and an executive board member of the national office of Parents for Public Schools. McDurham is married to a Waco ISD principal and together they parent two charming WISD students.
Tanner Moore Tanner serves as Senior Vice President, Commercial Banker for the Extraco Midway Financial Center. He holds a degree in psychology from Hardin- Simmons University and an MBA from Baylor University. A Leadership Waco alumnus and LEAD Mentor, Tanner serves on the Board of Directors for Fuzzy Friends Animal Rescue, Heart O' Texas Fair and Rodeo, and the Baylor/Waco Foundation. He enjoys hunting, fishing, spending time with his wife, Brooke, and their twin daughters Hadley and Kendall.
Rich Morris The President of Black Topaz Consulting, Rich has extensive experience in strategic executive roles in Human Resources, Labor Relations and Operations in both private and public organizations. He is a successful innovative leader, facilitator and implementer.
Al Pollard Al Pollard is the Vice President for Program Development at McLennan Community College. Prior to his appointment as Vice President, he served as the Dean of Workforce Education. Al is responsible for identifying, developing, and expanding instructional programs (credit and non-credit) based on employer needs and student interest. Additionally, he also serves as the college’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
Joe Riley Joe Riley has been President and CEO of Brazos Valley Public Broadcasting Foundation since May, 2009, providing day-to-day leadership for KWBU-TV (through July, 2010) and KWBU-FM, Waco’s only public broadcasting station. With nearly 27 years experience in public broadcasting, Joe has also served as Vice President for Television with Maine Public Broadcasting Network, worked with Nashville Public Television in Tennessee, and with KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska. Raised in South Carolina, Riley holds a bachelor's degree in English from Furman University.
Eliska Smith Eliska Smith's career in marketing and communications began more than 20 years ago. Eliska’s tenure with Texas State Technical College System began in 2002 when she began leading TSTC system-wide marketing to ensure coordinated and consistent marketing and communication. As Associate Vice Chancellor, Eliska is responsible for the integration of marketing activities among functional teams, serves as the Systems public information officer, the brand manager, and social media champion. Eliska also specializes in communications, public relations, leadership, writing, and editing.
William Taylor William currently serves as a manager with Aramark at Baylor University, where he uses a keen sense of customer service, attention to detail and business acumen to deliver the best product to developing minds. A lifelong interest in communications, William has developed and used those skills to advance his professional and personal interests and communicate effective leadership skills to others. He is married to the most wonderful woman in the world and they are expecting their first child in August 2011.
Ashley Thornton Ashley Bean Thornton serves as the Director for Continuous Improvement at Baylor University. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the fields of training and organizational development. She has consulted with major for-profit corporations including Shell Oil Company and Delta Airlines, as well as many non-profit organizations in the Greater Waco area including Compassion Ministries, The Hewitt Chamber of Commerce, World Hunger Relief, and others. She manages the www.actlocallywaco.org website and is currently chair of the Poverty Solutions Steering Committee which was recently established by the Waco City Council.www.actlocallywaco.org
Steve Wenzel A Waco native, Steve graduated from Baylor University in 1985 and spent 20+ years working in financial services most recently, as a sales executive in the banking/credit union industry. He currently serves as the Coordinator of Corporate Training at McLennan Community College. Steve and his wife Melissa (McFadden) Wenzel have 2 children – Amy Katherine (15) and Collin Steven (13). His hobbies include officiating football and basketball and volunteering as a Marshal for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Golf Course in Fort Worth.
Rachel Woods Rachel Woods is the founder of Leadership Trek® Corporation, otherwise known as LTrek®, through which Rachel serves as an executive consultant, trainer and writer of leadership development curriculum, specializing in negotiation and conflict management. A graduate of Baylor University and St. Mary’s University School of Law, Rachel began her career as an Attorney-Mediator and served as a Lecturer of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Baylor Business School for three years. Rachel also received training on how to teach negotiation in organizations at Harvard Law School. One of Rachel’s most recent project was the creation of a leadership development program for women seeking elected office in Bosnia and Nigeria.