The Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council (D-MAC) is a collective of leaders representing various industries across the Metroplex. They bring diverse outside-in perspective and advise the organization on strategies and programs to help the Mavericks meet challenges and attain goals. The council meets quarterly to hear updates on Mavs business with a focus on the following areas: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Workforce Recruitment and Retention; Philanthropy and Community Investment; Trends and Externalities; Revenue Generation, Branding & Merchandising; and Public Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement.
Katie Edwards has been a driving force to expand the community impact of the Dallas Mavericks and nonprofits across the region with a 20+ year career in the DFW philanthropic community. As Chief Impact Officer and President of the Mavs Foundation for the Dallas Mavericks, Katie is responsible for leading and managing all corporate social responsibility initiatives of the Dallas Mavericks including community programs and Mavs Foundation efforts. In her role, she leads partnerships with nonprofits, key supporters, players, coaches and fans to ensure the Mavericks organization achieves its mission of building a stronger community and making a difference in the lives of North Texans.
She leads a team that executes community programs and grant making that support core impact areas of: K-12 education, health and wellness initiatives, military and first responder support, racial equity and social justice, and environmental efforts. In 2020, she spearheaded the work to provide more than $3 million dollars of critical support during the COVID pandemic and led the expansion of programming for the Mavs Take ACTION! plan to address racial inequities and promote social justice in the DFW community. In her role as Chief Impact Officer, she also Co-Chairs the Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council and manages strategic partnerships and governmental relations for the organization.
Katie has 20+ years’ experience in the North Texas nonprofit and philanthropic community and previously served as Vice President of Community Engagement with the Center for Nonprofit Management, an organization providing best-practice education and management consulting to nonprofits. In her 14-year tenure with CNM, she also served as VP of Marketing and VP of Programs & Operations, building relationships with thousands of nonprofits and partners each year. She was part of the core planning team with Communities Foundation of Texas that launched North Texas Giving Day, the largest community-wide giving event in the nation, and led the work to write and distribute the first State of the Sector report demonstrating the size, scope and power of the nonprofit sector in North Texas.
Before joining CNM, Katie worked with a private firm for publicity and promotions and makes her way back to the NBA after first interning in sports marketing with the San Antonio Spurs during college.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Marketing & Communications from Trinity University in San Antonio and multiple certifications in Nonprofit Management and Nonprofit Leadership. Katie resides in the Lake Highlands area in Dallas with her husband Glen, their two young children, David and Maddie and their rescue dog Lucy.
Dale Petroskey has more than 35 years of leadership experience in the public, private, and non- profit sectors. In April 2014, he became President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC), one of the largest and most established business organizations in Texas, representing 1,100 member companies. The DRC works to strengthen the business community by attracting companies and talented workers from around the world, improving education, advocating for pro-growth public policies, and enhancing the quality of life for all in the Dallas Region.
Mr. Petroskey’s career also includes service as Assistant White House Press Secretary to President Ronald Reagan; Senior Vice President for Mission Programs at National Geographic; and President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
At The White House, Mr. Petroskey served as a spokesman for President Reagan and led the staff responsible for the preparation of every official White House document released to the media. In addition, he traveled extensively and accompanied the President to his historic first meetings with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 1985, and in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986. He also frequently accompanied the President and Mrs. Reagan on weekends to Camp David.
From 1988-1999, Mr. Petroskey served as a senior executive at the National Geographic Society, the world’s largest educational membership organization. He was named Vice President of Public Affairs in 1988 and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Mission Programs in 1996. In that role, he was the senior executive responsible for the committee that funded scientific research and exploration projects for well-known scientists and explorers such as Jane Goodall, Bob Ballard, and Sylvia Earle.
From 1999-2008, Mr. Petroskey was President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, where he was the primary link to all living Hall of Famers and their families and led the day-to-day operations of one of the nation’s best-known museums. While there, he was instrumental in launching the museum’s first-ever national traveling exhibition, Baseball As America, which was seen by more than 2 million visitors in 15 respected museums throughout the U.S. He also worked closely with the Board to initiate and implement a one-time-only, five-year study and process for considering and electing Negro League players, managers, and executives. That process resulted in the election of 17 Negro Leaguers in 2006, nearly doubling the number in the Hall of Fame. The first induction ceremony Mr. Petroskey oversaw in 1999 welcomed George Brett, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount, and Orlando Cepeda to the Hall of Fame in front of a crowd of 50,000 – the largest to that point. That number was eclipsed in 2007, the final induction of Mr. Petroskey’s tenure, when Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn drew more than 75,000.
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Mr. Petroskey is a member of numerous Boards, including the Dallas Citizens Council, The Salvation Army of DFW, Dallas Medical Resources, Educate Dallas, The Alfalfa Club of Washington, D.C., the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, and Clayton Kershaw’s Challenge. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Petroskey and his wife, Ann, both graduates of Michigan State University, live in Dallas and have three grown children.
Abriell Jackson currently serves as the Director of Financial Planning at American Airlines. She plays an integral role in managing the organizations $45B P&L, which includes collaboration with division leadership to create the operating plan and forecasting activities. In addition, Abriell leads the 5-year strategic planning team with an emphasis on margin improvement and debt reduction. Her team also prepares presentations for the Senior Leadership Team that are leveraged in Board Presentations, quarterly Earnings Calls and drive strategic discussions of financial results and trends.
A proud AA lifer, Abriell joined American Airlines in 2014 after receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. Throughout her 8-year tenure, she has held multiple positions throughout the finance organization. Abriell spent time on the finance controller team that supports the airport operation and served on the Labor Analysis team supporting contract negotiations between American Airlines and the Allied Pilots Association and the American Professional Flight Attendants union. During Covid, Ms. Jackson led the Capital Planning team to reprioritize ~$700 million of capital expenditures to optimize ROI of investments and reduce cash burn. She also implemented the American Green Flag Initiative program that resulted in $1.3 billion of permanent expense reductions.
Abriell exemplifies the American Airlines Leadership Attributes of caring for others and has an affinity for collaborating within and beyond the finance organization to get results. Abriell took on the Talent & Development efforts for the Financial Planning and Analysis organization where she increased recruiting efforts by partnering with Consortium, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, National Black MBA, and various HBCU’s to promote a more diverse talent pipeline into the finance organization.
Abriell completed her MBA at Southern Methodist University. She is actively involved in multiple professional and community-based organizations such as the Woman’s Leadership Program, the Black Professional Network, Black Management Advisory Committee member and is an Associate Board Member of the American Airlines Credit Union.
A Dallas native, Ms. Jackson developed an early love of sports by cheering on the Mavericks and Cowboys! She has a passion for travel that has allowed various experiences from snowboarding in Whistler to cooking classes in Italy, Abriell is always seeking her next adventure.
Robert Mong has served as the President of the University of North Texas at Dallas and its College of Law since 2015. Under his leadership, the university has experienced transformational growth in enrollment, retention and graduation rates. The number of degrees awarded and has more than doubled and the university has celebrated record enrollment growth 12 of the last 14 semesters.
During his tenure, UNT Dallas has invested $150 million in its facilities at the southern Dallas main campus and the downtown Dallas law school. Through UNT Dallas' numerous community service initiatives in urban Dallas County, the university also has greatly increased its visibility and influence. UNT Dallas was also granted one of the largest tuition revenue bonds in the 87th Texas State Legislature to build a science building on campus. This STEM building should be open in 2025/26 and will increase the pipeline into high need fields of healthcare in the region at an affordable cost for students. UNT Dallas is planning a new residence hall to coincide with the opening of the STEM building in 2025/26.
Before joining UNT Dallas, Mong worked as a journalist for more than 40 years, most of it at The Dallas Morning News, where he served as managing editor and later as editor-in-chief. He also gained considerable business experience as the paper's general manager, and as CEO of the Messenger-Inquirer, a daily newspaper in Owensboro, Ky. Throughout his business and journalism career, higher education was Mong's principal outlet for volunteer activities. He became a national leader by creating joint appointments between universities and The Dallas Morning News. These included arrangements with Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Austin, UT-Arlington and the University of Texas at Dallas. He also has chaired the national board of visitors at the Manship School at Louisiana State University since 2000.
Mong served as a Pulitzer Prize juror multiple times, including once as chair of the Gold Medal Public Service Committee and once as chair of the Photography committee. During his time managing The Dallas Morning News, the paper won nine Pulitzer Prizes and was named finalist 16 other times. In 1999, the Columbia Journalism Review named The Dallas Morning News one of the five best newspapers in America based on a survey of peers.
From 1998 until 2015, Mong chaired The Dallas Morning News Charities that raised millions of dollars for the homeless and hungry in North Texas. He also was the prime mover in winning a grant from the Knight Foundation creating the Hispanic Families Network that trains Hispanic parents to use their social networks to promote the importance of early childhood education.
His awards include the National Empathy Award, given by the Volunteers of America annually to a journalist who has made their community a better place to live. Mong also helped create the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference at the University of North Texas, and served on the committee that started the Dallas Festival of Ideas.
Mong served as co-chair of the Southern Dallas Task Force of the Dallas Regional Chamber for six years. He currently is on the board of Dallas Thrives, an 8-person board whose goal is to double the living wages in Dallas County.
He graduated from Haverford College in 1971, where he attended school on a Scott Paper Company Scholarship. He received the Archibald MacIntosh Award for Scholarship, Integrity and Academic Achievement; was captain of the varsity football team both junior and senior seasons; and captain of the varsity baseball team his senior season (and he holds the 10th all-time highest career batting average of .357). He also attended Stanford University's Executive Program in the Graduate School of Business.
Mong is married to former Los Angeles Times reporter Diane Reischel. They have two adult children – Eric is a neurosurgery resident in Michigan; and Elizabeth received a master's degree from Brite School of Theology and has been a middle school special education teacher. She is now working on completing an advanced degree from Texas Tech University.
Bryan Carter is best known as a leader, connector, thought leader, pastor, and dynamic communicator. Innovative, strategic, compassionate, and visionary are just a few words used by others to describe him.
Bryan serves as the pastor of Concord Church in Dallas, TX, where he has served since 2003. Bryan is a passionate leader with a vision for inspiring people to grow to their full potential.
Bryan leads with a focus on developing people. He served as co-presenter for “33: The Series,” a curriculum on authentic manhood, and as a presenter for “The Art of Marriage,” a curriculum on building strong marriages.
Carter is committed to serving the city of Dallas and beyond through working toward city transformation, building stronger families, and economic development. He currently serves on the boards of Frost Bank Dallas Advisory Board, Mayor’s Star Council, and Family Life Ministries.
Carter also serves as board chair for Harmony Community Development Corporation, an organization committed to improving the community of southern Dallas by transforming communities to become whole and empowered. In the past, he has also led the African American Pastors Coalition, a fellowship of over sixty churches committed to serving and addressing critical needs in the Dallas community, and served as co-chair of Dallas Clergy, a fellowship of Dallas churches. His past board service includes Dallas Regional Chamber, Dallas Police Department Community Advisory Board, Mayor’s Taskforce Against Domestic Violence, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) International, Impact Dallas Capital, Dallas Habitat for Humanity, Dallas ISD Education Foundation, Leadership Network, and Mentoring Brother to Brother.
Carter graduated from Oklahoma State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a specialty in Science and Math, and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education with a specialty in Family Ministry. He also is a recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Dallas Baptist University. Bryan is married to his college sweetheart, Stephanie, and has two daughters, Kaitlyn and Kennedy, and one son, Carson.
Byron Sanders is a committed advocate for education, economic development, and creating equitable communities throughout Dallas, Texas. As the President and CEO of Big Thought, he works each day to explore innovative ways to narrow the opportunity gap for children. Big Thought connects people and organizations to prepare youth and children in under-resourced communities for tomorrow’s creative economy through quality in-school, afterschool and community-partnership experiences. Byron has worked with Big Thought in various capacities since 2008, as a supporter, volunteer, advisor, partner, and most recently, board member.
Byron is a recipient of the 2014 Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leaders and its 2012 40 Under 40 awards. He has also been recognized as a Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau BIG Influencer, in Who’s Who in Black Dallas, Dallas Foundation Good Works Under 40, and as a TEDx speaker. In 2017, he was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar by the program led by the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Most recently he received the Parkland Foundation's Community First Award.
Byron’s professional expertise spans the fields of banking, education, philanthropy, and entrepreneurism. Prior to Big Thought, Byron served as Vice President for U.S. Trust, the private bank of Bank of America, where he connected high net worth individuals and institutions to solutions that accomplish their financial goals. He is the former Executive Director of the Dallas Education Foundation, where he built and cultivated philanthropic, corporate, and community relationships to support initiatives benefitting the students of Dallas Independent School District. He also served as Vice President of Group Excellence, a mentoring and tutoring organization serving at-risk K-12 public school students. During his tenure, Group Excellence was named the country’s fifth fastest growing education company in Inc. Magazine's 2011 Inc. 500 list.
Byron believes that one’s purpose and mission cannot be fulfilled without being actively engaged in the community. He is a member of many high-impact boards, such as United Way’s Community Impact Council, Social Venture Partners Dallas, CitySquare, ChildCareGroup, KIPP DFW, and the Mayor’s Star Council. He is also a member of Dallas Assembly, Leadership Dallas ’13, Leadership ISD ‘12, Latino Center for Leadership Development Fellows, and several other service engagements.
A graduate of the University of Tulsa with a BSBA in Marketing, Byron’s first love is spending time with his wife Celeste and his two young children.
Caren K. Lock is the Regional Vice President and Associate General Counsel of TIAA. In her role at TIAA, Caren is the primary interface for the company and its’ subsidiaries on all legislative, executive, regulatory, and administrative matters for the South and Midwest regions. Her expertise include policy development, regulatory compliance, lobbying, coalition building, and industry relations.
Prior to joining TIAA, Caren was general counsel with a consumer financial company. Before entering the corporate world, Caren spent over a decade litigating complex business matters including copyright and trademark infringement, employment discrimination, shareholder and partnership disputes, aviation, and toxic tort.
Caren serves on the Board of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum and the President’s Advisory Board of UT Southwestern Medical Center. She is the immediate Past President of The Dallas Assembly and immediate Past Board Chair of The Texas Bar College. In 2015, Caren co-founded The Orchid Giving Circle which provides community grants to support social change and services to the North Texas Asian Community. Her community engagement includes past service on multiple nonprofit and bar association boards including Past Board Chair of The Texas Women’s Foundation and Asian Pacific Interest Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Caren lives in Allen, Texas with her husband, mother, and three sons.
Cece Cox is recognized for her longtime effective leadership and advocacy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) civil rights movement. She serves as CEO of Resource Center, which operates one of the largest LGBTQIA+ community centers in the United States, and provides health services and programs to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. The Center serves more than 60,000 people annually with a staff of over 80 employees and 1,100 volunteers.
Cox has advocated on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ and HIV communities for over 30 years. She was instrumental in the passage of the City of Dallas’ sexual orientation nondiscrimination policy, the Dallas Independent School District’s first anti-harassment policy and its subsequent anti-bullying policy. Since June 2010, over 50,000 public sector employees and a quarter-million students in the Dallas area have new or expanded LGBTQIA+ nondiscrimination protections thanks to the Center’s advocacy.
In 2007, Cox joined the Center as associate executive director and became CEO in July 2010. Previously, she practiced commercial law and provided pro bono legal services to individuals with HIV. Cox is a board member and former co-chair of the national organization, CenterLink; a member of Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council; a member of SMU's Tate Board of Directors and a board alumna of Texas Women’s Foundation. She has served on the executive committee for SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development and is a member of Dallas Assembly and Dallas Summit. In 2016, Cox was recognized as an outstanding alumna of SMU’s Dedman School of Law, and she was named the LGBTQ Texan of the Year by the Dallas Voice. She has been named by D CEO as a top 500 business leader. In June 2017, Cox was selected as a winner of the Dallas Business Journal’s Women in Business Awards. In 2021, she received the Jubilee History Maker Award from Dallas Historical Society. She serves as a Community Fellow for the Inns of Court at SMU’s Dedman School of Law.
Cox is also a former president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance (DGLA), a former co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation/Dallas and a former officer of the LGBT Section of the State Bar of Texas. She is an alumna of Leadership Dallas and Leadership Lambda and was recognized with the Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Black Tie Dinner in 1999.
Cox is a former professional photographer who co-authored a book chronicling the 1993 March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and is a proud alumna of SMU’s Dedman School of Law. Cox is a member of the State Bar of Texas. She lives in Dallas with her wife and son.
Since taking office in 2011, Judge Clay Jenkins has become a voice for a stronger and more welcoming North Texas. He led the responses to public health emergencies like the West Nile Virus epidemic, Ebola crisis, and natural disaster recovery from deadly tornadoes and flooding.
Since early 2020, much of Judge Jenkins’ time has been spent responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was the first leader in Texas to put restrictions in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, such as limiting crowd size, closing restaurant dining rooms and bars, and issuing a shelter in place order. Judge Jenkins has worked with medical and business leaders to pass reasonable restrictions and produce guidelines, including user-friendly color-coded doctor recommendations for residents. He led efforts to get other elected officials to do the same and continues to work every day to offset false information and counterproductive measures. His actions have been heralded for keeping Dallas County safe while getting the economy moving. Recently, Judge Jenkins and his team are leading efforts to recover from two new emergencies, flooding and the Monkeypox outbreak.
As founding chair of the Enroll North Texas Coalition, he has led efforts to increase health insurance enrollment for the last eight years to improve public health and reduce the burden on taxpayers who bear the cost for uncompensated care. As the Chief Elected Official of Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, Judge Jenkins is committed to helping more residents get living wage jobs. His 2017 “You’re Hired Job Fest” was the largest employment fair ever in Dallas County, with over 2,300 job seekers connecting with 4,000 living wage jobs. He is a public official who believes we are stronger when we work together and our best days yet are within our grasp.
Donna is currently a small business owner and former AT&T Vice President with over 20 years of solid and progressive executive leadership experience. Her key executive leadership positions range from business and mobility product management, business process engineering, end to end testing, new service launch readiness, operations management and business strategic planning.
During Donna’s professional career at AT&T, she had many achievements, a few of which include reducing new product service offering implementation cycle times; the development of streamlines technical and operational requirements enabling new product introductions; the introduction of a new billing solution that significantly improved customer experience and the launch of the industry’s first integrated wireless/wireline product which enhanced offer capabilities to business customers.
Upon retiring from AT&T, she successfully co-founded a small business plumping, heating, and air conditioning company where she is responsible for the direction, growth and stability as well as the daily operations of the business.
While her professional experiences are noteworthy, she has also spent time equally mentoring young adults and taking time to speak to other youth groups outside of her community. Additionally, mentoring and providing leadership to young adults in areas such as business practices and related challenges, ethics, and teamwork to achieve their goals are also very important to her.
Donna’s educational achievements include a BA in Business Administration from Rutgers University and a MBA from New York University Stern School of Business. Through their Executive MBA Program, she is a graduate of the Philadelphia Urban League Leadership Institute and has completed several Advanced Management Programs at Rutgers Center for Management.
Gwen is a community volunteer who spends most of her time with organizations that support women, race relations and education. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Texas Women's Foundation and Open Door Preschool.
A particular passion for Gwen is facilitating Together We Dine events, a component of Project Unity, which provide a safe space for intentional conversations about race. She lends her time to other local organizations such as Friends of the Katy Trail and is a proud former fellow of Leadership ISD. She is a past chair of the Parent’s Council for Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and is an active member of her church, HPUMC.
She and her husband enjoy spending time with their 3 adult children. Their favorite date night is going to the games and cheering on the Mavericks.
Harrison Blair currently serves as the President of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, the oldest and largest Black chamber in the nation. In this role, Harrison serves as the chief advocate for Black owned or supported businesses and entities across the North Texas region. Harrison has been named as one of Dallas's most influential leaders in D CEO's Dallas 500 publication. He is the youngest president in the history of the DBCC.
Harrison previously worked with BenefitMall and ADP as a District Manager where he worked with clients to help them achieve their projected goals by selecting the human capital management systems that efficiently served their businesses and organizations. Some of the industries he has worked with include manufacturing, tech, oil & gas, wholesale, and healthcare. Harrison also served as the Director of Outreach for Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of the 30th Congressional District. There, he formed relationships with and possessed an intricate knowledge of major stake holders within the congressional district such as, business owners, philanthropists, elected officials, and community leaders. He utilized these relationships to benefit the constituents of the 30th Congressional District.
Helping entrepreneurs by advocating for the creation, growth, and the general welfare of Black owned businesses and entities is Harrison’s passion. He wants them to understand their role in the creation of policy and realize the need for their involvement in the advocacy space. He believes the best policy ideas don’t come from policy makers - they come from the people. He wants to put policy back into the hands of the community. He is currently working to develop programming aimed at helping entrepreneurs find their place in the policy making process.
Harrison currently represents the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce (DBCC) as a member of the North Texas Council of Governments (NTC) and as a member of Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC). He also serves as the District 4 Park & Recreations board member for the City of Dallas. He previously served on the Mayor’s Star Council. Harrison spends his free time supporting his wife’s work as a resident artist of the Brierly Acting Company at the Dallas Theater Center.
Harrison is a native of Dallas, Texas. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree of Political Science from Prairie View A&M University and his Masters of Political Science from Texas State University. His grandfather Bill Blair, and father Jordan Blair, dedicated their lives to improving the City of Dallas. He plans to continue his family’s legacy by serving the Dallas community as well.
For more than 30 years, Jan Edgar Langbein has been an activist in efforts to end violence against women. Currently, as CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, Ms. Langbein oversees Genesis’ internal and external operations as well as funding and community education.
Recognized as a National Expert on the dynamics and effects of domestic violence, Ms. Langbein conducts training, keynote, and workshop programs for numerous local, state, and national conferences, social and civic organizations, and corporations. Ms. Langbein provides expert testimony in court cases and trains law enforcement and prosecutorial professionals to enhance their efforts to end violence against women.
In partnership with the Dallas Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ms. Langbein cofounded the annual International Conference on Crimes Against Women with advanced practices of investigation and prosecution bringing together law enforcement, advocates, prosecutors, and forensic health professionals. Under Ms. Langbein’s leadership, Genesis has grown from a seven-room emergency shelter to a full-service response for victims of domestic violence. Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support provides a continuum of care which includes expanded shelter services, transitional housing, day care, an on-site school, access to civil legal representation, jobs readiness programming, ESL education, advocacy, and counseling at their residential and nonresidential facilities. Genesis is unique as one of the few victim services programs in the country that accomplishes sustainability without government funding. Since its inception, Genesis has not only developed services of excellence but also innovative programs and funding sources. The organization and success of this model program has been shared statewide to other NGOs.
In 2009, Ms. Langbein concluded a Presidential Appointment as Senior Policy Advisor to the Director of the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). As Senior Policy Advisor, Ms. Langbein served as chief strategist of OVW. On behalf of the Director, she guided and evaluated program and administrative processes and worked to implement standards and protocols for internal and external operations. She supported the ongoing efforts within OVW for policy issues regarding the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act. Her extensive professional affiliations include board, advisory, and committee positions with the Texas Council on Family Violence, Family Violence Prevention Council, Dallas County Family Violence Task Force, Family Violence Coalition, Dallas Mayor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, Greater Dallas Injury Prevention Center, and the North Texas Food Bank. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership and community service including the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, Mosaic Family Services Champion of Human Rights Award, the Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award, Maura Award, Woman of Distinction Award, Women’s Advocacy Award, Southern Methodist University’s Profiles in Leadership Award, George Washington Honoree Medal, Peacemakers’ Dallas Peace Patron Award, the Dallas Bar Association Liberty Bell Award, and the George W. Bush Institute Trailblazer Citation. Ms. Langbein has been qualified for expert testimony in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, and Ellis Counties for civil, criminal -misdemeanor and felony proceedings, and has provided expert testimony in immigration cases as well as courtsmartial at Ft. Hood and Lackland Air Force Base.
Joe Washam is a combat-wounded veteran and public education advocate. Joe grew up in DFW and enlisted as an Infantryman in the United States Army, serving twice, totaling seven years. On April 26th, 2004, an explosion in Baghdad, Iraq, severely injured Joe. The next twenty months were spent at Brooke Army Medical Center, recovering from 3rd-degree burns over 40 percent of his body and enduring countless surgeries, along with physical and occupational therapy, until his medical retirement in 2006. While Joe was recovering, he was fortunate enough to attend the first Dallas Mavericks Seats For Soldiers game in December 2004.
After retiring from the Army, Joe worked for a military nonprofit, spending time in Washington, D.C. He provided written testimony and input on congressional bills for issues that eventually passed into law. After that experience, Joe moved back to DFW and co-founded a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. He served as Government Relations Officer for two federal contracts to deliver home oxygen and durable medical equipment with a monthly average of 3,300 patients for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Texas.
After a few years, Joe decided to sell his business to pursue a college degree. Joe attended the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, and graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, including professional development concentrations in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, an occupational specialization in General Business, an undergraduate academic certificate in Rehabilitation Studies, and a minor in Political Science.
Joe has volunteered with Wounded Warrior Project, serving on the Policy and Government Affairs team, Peer Mentoring, National Campaign team, and organizing events that provided entertainment and warrior-to-warrior networking for over 150 Wounded Warrior Alumni and 300 family members in the DFW Metroplex. In addition, Joe previously served as the Legislative Officer for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of Texas, pursuing national and state legislative priorities.
In recent years, Joe pivoted closer to home with servant leadership in public education advocacy, volunteering as a parent in Northwest Independent School District (NISD). Northwest ISD is the fastest-growing school district in North Texas, complementing the booming Alliance Business Corridor with new student enrollment increasing by more than 2,000 students annually.
Joe is a proud member of every PTA in NISD and previously served as Advocacy Chair for the Northwest ISD Council of PTAs. He facilitated awareness and engagement activities that led to the awarding of Texas PTA's 2021 Outstanding Advocate for Children of the Year for NISD Council of PTAs.
Currently, Joe serves on NISD's Long Range Planning Committee, District Education Improvement Council, Board Policy Committee, Advocacy Committee, Equity and Diversity Committee, and is an NISD Community Ambassador. In 2021, Joe served on the Yes 4 Northwest Political Action Committee, providing public awareness that led to voter approval of three NISD school bond propositions totaling $737.5 million to build schools and other capital improvements throughout Northwest ISD. He is now preparing to assist a Political Action Committee for the likeness of another school bond election in Northwest ISD's future, along with consulting with nonprofits on advocacy for the upcoming 88th Texas Legislature.
When not advocating for others or engaging policymakers, Joe enjoys audiobooks, cooking, watching sports, and spending time with his wife and their son.
Latosha (Tosha) Herron Bruff is the DRC’s Senior Vice President of Community Engagement. In this role, she focuses on understanding the needs and overcoming the challenges of underserved areas, such as Southern Dallas. With more than 20 years of experience advocating for marginalized communities, combined with her background in real estate, Herron Bruff brings a wealth of knowledge of the industry and commitment to projects that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.
Prior to the DRC, Herron Bruff spent more than 10 years with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity working to improve the quality of life for diverse communities across Southern Dallas. She held several positions during her time at Habitat and worked alongside some of the biggest names in nonprofit and social responsibility. Under her leadership, the organization became a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certified counseling agency focused on financial education and providing access to affordable housing opportunities. The homeownership center was the first among Habitat affiliates to create a digital education platform to help create more informed, empowered, and mortgage ready homebuyers. In her last role as Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs, Herron Bruff worked with community leaders and government officials to influence housing policy at the local, state, and federal levels.
A Dallas native, Herron Bruff holds a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and attends Concord Church where she sits on the education committee. She has served on the City of Dallas Housing Policy task force and the advisory board of Children’s Health. Herron Bruff and her husband are the proud parents of two children.
Marc A. Nivet, Ed.D., M.B.A., is the Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he provides strategic vision and oversight in Development and Alumni Relations; Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs; Government Affairs; Technology Development; Community and Corporate Relations; and Institutional Equity and Access.
Dr. Nivet also serves as Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, lecturing on health equity, diversity and inclusion, underrepresented populations in academic medicine, and conducting research on the demographic and distribution of the physician workforce. He works collaboratively with faculty and key leadership in the UT Southwestern Medical School, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and School of Health Professions on these and other important issues. Prior to his role at UT Southwestern, Dr. Nivet served as a member of the executive leadership team of the Association of American Medical Colleges, where he provided leadership on issues surrounding community engagement, diversity, and health equity at medical schools and teaching hospitals across the United States and Canada. Dr. Nivet has spent over 25 years in academic medicine developing creative program initiatives and innovative approaches to advance the mission of excellence in research, education, and patient care.
Dr. Nivet earned his doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from George Washington University’s School of Business. He is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and a former president of the National Association of Medical Minority Educators.
Mark Thompson is the founder and CEO of Smith Thompson Home Security, the largest independent security company in the south, providing home protection and automation, serving more than a half million homes and businesses in over 150 cities in Texas. Starting his company in 1978, he has been providing peace of mind as a full time passion. In a time of uncertainty, Thompson emphasizes the value of safety and security of homes and families. Thompson was voted CEO of the year in 2013 by the Dallas Morning News and Top 100 Places to Work. Smith Thompson is the Official Home Security company and long time sponsor of the Dallas Mavericks.
Thompson was a commercial pilot and FAA certified flight instructor for many years, also serving as a corporate pilot for many years.
Mark and Lynda Thompson are long time season ticket holders and unofficial ‘Fun and Games Ambassadors’ of the Dallas Mavericks starting back in 2010 when they began their ‘Love Those Mavs Tour’ visiting every NBA arena in one season, following their blue team, finally finishing their season long tour at Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Miami, the championship year. Thompson was awarded the first MFFL award during the 2017-18 season.
Mark Thompson has served on the boards of YMCA, Goodwill Industries, Africa’s Hope Missions, Landmark Bank, SMU Athletic Forum, and Taylor Hooton Foundation, as well as being active in their church. Thompson resides in Fairview, Texas and has three grown children. His passions are being a proud grandparent to Hank, as well as flying, skeet and clay shooting, bird hunting, exotic cars, sports and music memorabilia, and basketball! The three best days of his life are…the day he accepted Christ, the day he met Lynda over 44 years ago, married for 41 years now and that special day when they got bumped up to courtside seats!
Michelle Thomas leads Global Philanthropy for North Texas at JPMorgan Chase & Co., which includes more than $20 million in grant-making funds aimed at improving economic opportunities for individuals in the region. Under Michelle’s leadership, JPMorgan Chase received Outstanding Corporation of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2015. She has 20+ years of experience in the financial industry, consisting of roles in Private Wealth Management and Corporate Responsibility.
A Dallas native, Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Dallas Baptist University in Finance. In addition, she received her teaching certification from the State of Texas and Oklahoma.
Michelle is a catalyst for driving meaningful and sustainable change in high need neighborhoods and communities to advance racial equity. She is personally committed to the community through her volunteer roles, which include serving as the Vice Chair of the Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas Board and Chair of the Black COVID Economic Recovery Committee as well as being a member of the Board of Director for the Dallas Museum of Art, Methodist Health System Foundation, UT Southwestern Medical Foundation, and former Board Chair of The Arts Community Alliance.
Mike Vitek is the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) for ShiftKey, a marketplace platform transforming the future of work by empowering independent licensed professionals to choose their pay rate, set their availability, and connect directly with healthcare facilities with workforce needs. In his role as CRO, Vitek leads a rapidly growing team of 125+ to identify and connect facilities with the right talent to meet unique patient needs in the moment and expand access to quality, affordable care. As a result, since its inception, facilities have posted more than 50 million hours of shifts on ShiftKey, interacting with tens of thousands of licensed professionals looking for flexible work. Vitek brings more than 20 years of experience in technology, healthcare, recruitment and business management to the role, with a focus on building a more sustainable workforce and economy, and empowering individuals and communities to thrive.
Vitek’s commitment to family and the Dallas community, combined with his strong conviction to give back, has laid the foundation for ShiftKey’s partnership with the Dallas Mavericks. Both organizations share a vision to be a true force for change in Dallas and support vulnerable communities, including women, single mothers and children.
• Responsible McKesson’s portfolio of enterprise and healthcare technologies for our providers, pharmacies, payors, laboratories and healthcare systems.
• Management oversight of McKesson’s risk framework for data privacy, cybersecurity and regulatory compliance.
• 30+ years in business operations and systems technology holding increasing global leadership roles at Johnson Controls and Abbott.
• Named among Americas’ Top 20 Enterprise CIOs by I-CIO, and among the 100 Most Influential Hispanic Leaders in Technology by the Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council (HITEC).
• Board Service with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
• Born and raised Southern California. Lives (and LOVES) Dallas, Tx.
• 3 Children – Ellen (30), Joe (27), Frank (26).
• Education. Bachelors. Double Major, Mathematics and Computer Science. Regis University, Denver, Colorado. Masters of Science, Mathematics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.
• Love to stay active – cycling, walking, golfing, cooking with wine. Travel the world with friends, meet new people and experience different cultures.
• Do the HARD stuff, commit, help others and be nice!
Parrish is currently CEO of Parrish Restaurants, Ltd, which owns and operates 26 restaurants in Dallas and surrounding areas. The Dallas Business Journal ranks his company the 2nd Largest Black Owned Firm in North Texasin 2021.
In 2017, Parrish received the Dallas Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Parrish Restaurants, Ltd consistently makes the Black Enterprise BE 100 as one of the Top 100 Black Owned Businesses in the United States.
Roland’s $2M Leadership Gift supported the renovation of the former Management School Library at Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana. It was opened and renamed the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics in 2012. It’s the first facility at Purdue to be named after an African American.
Also, his gift of philanthropy led to the building of the Rev. John and Marie Parrish Medical Clinic in Fort Portal, Uganda. The clinic, which opened in May of 2016, serves 6,000 orphans per year, and is named in memory of his parents.
Parrish serves on the Board of Trustees of Fisk University, in Nashville, Tennessee, where the completion of the Parrish Career and Development Center opened this year.
Also, he currently serves on the NBA Dallas Mavericks Advisory Board, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, MLB Texas Rangers Foundation – A Heart for Kids and the Texas Restaurant Association.
Parrish is the 2nd largest investor for the restructuring of the Re-Imaging Red Bird Project which will bring a Marriot Hotel and hundreds of jobs to the Red Bird community. Also, it will include almost 250,000 sq ft of medical/clinical services to the southern sector (Parkland Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center). It was the Dallas Business Journal’s, 2020 Best Real Estate Deal of the Year.
Roland received his BS and MBA from Purdue’s Krannert School of Business. As a scholar and athlete, he consistently made the Dean’s List, was a 2-time MVP of the Purdue track team and selected by his teammates to be Captain his senior year. He and wife, Jewel, have two adult children. Son, Ro (UNT-BA 02’) and Daughter, Jade (Purdue-BA 12’ and SMU-MBA 22’).
Stephanie Elizalde was elected by the Board of Trustees in June 2022 to serve as Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District. Dr. Elizalde is a third-generation public school educator, following in the footsteps of her grandmother and father. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Master of Arts degree in educational leadership from UT San Antonio, and holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from UT Austin.
A native Texan, Dr. Elizalde is a lifelong educator committed to equity and excellence in education for every student. She has a proven track record of raising student academic achievement while building a culture of inclusion and equity. She understands the importance of developing collaborative relationships with the city and individual communities that are home to each individual school.
Her career has included working in diverse school systems from small to large urban settings, including Southwest ISD and San Antonio ISD. She has served students in various roles, including as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and deputy chief.
Dr. Elizalde most recently served as Superintendent of the Austin Independent School District, where she focused on establishing financial stability, supporting the teacher in the classroom, SEL and academic supports for students, and strategic staffing – giving campuses with students who need more access to more.
Prior to her tenure in Austin, she was Chief Schools Officer for Dallas ISD, the second-largest school district in Texas. She joined Dallas ISD in 2011 as Director of Mathematics in the division of Teaching and Learning.
She believes in supporting, rewarding, and retaining excellent teachers, and views the development of great school leaders as the foundation for success. She stands behind the belief that the “teacher is the program.”
Her recognitions include being named one of four Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Hispanics in Education for 2014 and recognition in 2016 by The Dallas Morning News as a “Point Person” for her work in the community. She was awarded the UT-Austin Dr. Nolan Estes Leadership Ascension Award five times, most recently in 2022, and earned a Presidential Medal from Ana G. Mendez University. She currently serves as the chair of the Texas Urban Council.
Taylor Toynes is the co-founder and executive director of For Oak Cliff, which he started with students as a first-year teacher. Discouraged by the disparities and inequities his students experienced, and noting that nothing had changed since his childhood, Taylor was compelled to organize the inaugural FOC Back to School Festival for his students and community. The festival drew attention to the needs of the community and led to collaborations with system leaders such as United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Taylor is committed to the Oak Cliff community and lives in the neighborhood with his family. For his leadership, Taylor has received awards from the United Nations, the NAACP, and Southern Methodist University (SMU), to name a few. Taylor and the FOC team won Teach For America’s Social Innovation Award and Echoing Green Fellowship. For Oak Cliff has been recognized by national news outlets and gained the trust of their most proximal neighbors in South Oak Cliff. Taylor is the proud father of Wednesday Toynes and husband of Ariel Toynes. Taylor is a graduate of University of North Texas and has a master’s degree from SMU. Taylor also serves as Dallas Park and Rec Board Member.