JUNE 1-3, 2011
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.
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
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
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
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 notfor-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
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
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 HardinSimmons 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
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
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
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
the www.actlocallywaco.org website
and is currently chair of the Poverty
Solutions Steering Committee which
was recently established by the Waco
City Council.
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.
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