The purposes of the board are to promote the recognition, welfare and progress of the College of Media & Communication education including journalism, advertising, electronic media and communications, media strategies, and public relations at Texas Tech University.
- Daniel (K.O.) Amoako
- Becky Arreaga
- Greg Asher
- Ron Askew
- Bill Baer
- Jeff Balter
- W. Brice Beaird
- Stephen Beasley
- Larry Beaulieu
- Kay Bell
- Kent Best
- Michelle Bleiberg
- Sano Blocker
- Brian Borthwick
- Trudi Lewis Boyd
- Don Burk
- Janet Bustin
- Phill Casaus
- Chino Chapa
- Matt Cobb
- Bob Cohen
- Bob Condron
- Gregory Davis
- Brad Dawson
- Mark deTranaltes
- Gary Dixon
- Kirk Dooley
- John D. Esparza
- Joe Fairless
- Rich Flora
- Dionicio (Don) Flores
- David Fowler
- Lynn Gilmore
- Grant Gold
- Jay Hagins
- Ian Halperin
- Francisco "Paco" G. Hamm
- Rodney Hand
- Lisa Bowers Harbert
- Russell Lowery-Hart
- Mark Hayden
- Greg Heitzman
- James Hering
- R.J. Hinkle
- Gregg Holmes
- Ashley Hoptay
- Kay Betts Jackson
- Gary Joiner
- Camille Keith
- Tim Loecker
- Rick J. Matchett
- Steve McCutcheon
- Ali McLane
- Albert McNeel
- Carl Mullins
- Martha Neibling
- R. King Nelson
- Michael Page
- Charles (Chuck) Parker
- Scott Parsons
- Scott Pelley
- Phil Price
- Deb Bolner Prost
- John Rafferty
- Mike Read
- Dusty Rector
- Craig Rettig
- Kim Rice
- Tod Robberson
- Randy Roberts
- Brad Roe
- Chris Rohland
- Dr. Billy I. Ross
- Jay Rosser
- Andy Rowe
- Linda Rutherford
- Jennifer Schuder
- Linda Sease
- Bill Seitzler
- Telea Johnson Stafford
- Charlene Stark
- Erin Steed
- Loren Steffy
- Stacey Sullivan
- Mat Threadgill
- Rick Walker
- Chris Wallace
- Alex Wells
- Morris Wilkes
- Holly Williams
- Chase York Williams
- Matt Wilson
- Clay Wright
- Tony Wright
Board Member Profiles
Daniel (K.O.) Amoako
Daniel (K.O.) Amoako The only son to a single mother from West Africa, with just a high school diploma my mother taught me the value of hard work. At the age of fifteen I got my first job to help provide the necessary essentials for my family. Managing school, sports, after school activities, and working part-time motivated me tremendously. It was a lot of work but I strongly believe without the obstacles I experienced I wont be the person I am today.
I was determined to change my family fortune in life. The only way I could accomplish that was through school.
- Graduating class of 2003 from Richardson High School
- First Team 5A running back junior and senior year
- First Team 5A Track and Field junior and senior year
- Academic student athlete sophomore, junior, senior year
- First male in my family to attend college
- Football scholarship to the University of Kansas, DB
2004 torn my Achilles tendon for the second time, decided to relinquish my second love, which was football and focus on school. I decided to transfer to Texas Tech University, and it was the best decision I have ever made. While at Texas Tech started a small business utilizing social media to generate revenue from the students and local businesses looking to market to the college students.
Graduated 2010 with a degree in Communication Studies, the knowledge I gain from my education, and business in Lubbock Texas has helped me establishing a successful medical device distribution company in Dallas Texas.
Becky Arreaga is the President and a founding partner at Mercury Mambo, an experiential and nightlife marketing agency based in Austin, TX. Becky is highly involved in organizations and programs that provide access to higher education for disadvantaged youth and encourage minority entrepreneurship.
She received a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising/PR from Texas Tech University in 1986 and a Master of Arts in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999.
Becky was recognized as an Outstanding Alumna by the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication in the fall of 2009.
Ron Askew is currently Founder and President of SQ Partners, a business and non‐profit advisory group specializing in helping agencies gain and retain clients, work with emerging companies and position themselves for acquisition. In addition, Ron provides counsel and capital to selected equity funds and their investment companies. Ron has held a variety of management positions including CEO, CMO, board member, and entrepreneur. He has marketing and communication arts experience in consumer products, retail and service businesses, from both a client and agency perspective.
Bill Baer is President & CEO of Baerclaw Productions, a full service video production company in Phoenix, Arizona. A Chicago, Illinois native, Bill received his Bachelor of Artsdegree in journalism from Texas Tech in 1988 and spent more than a decade working in network affiliate newsrooms around the country as an anchor, reporter and producer prior to starting Baerclaw Productions. He was honored as a College of Media & Communications Outstanding Alumnus at Texas Tech in 2009.
Jeff Balter is currently Associate Director of Video Advertising Products at AT&T. Jeff has over 25 years of media sales and marketing experience at the San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Time Warner Cable and now AT&T where he led the U-verse TV launch team.
Jeff received his Master of Arts in mass communication from Texas Tech University where he also served as Visiting Associate Professor. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Lutheran University.
Jeff was named as an College of Media & Communication Outstanding Alumni in 2014.
Brice Beaird graduated from Texas Tech University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a minor in radio, television and film. He has been a member of the National Professional Advisory Board since 1999. He co-chaired the College of Media and Communication Scholarship Breakfast in 2008, and was co-chair of the 2013 College of Media and Communication Career Conference in Dallas. He was honored by the School of Media and Communication as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2001.
Brice is president and owner of The Beaird Agency, Inc., a marketing services company established in 1981. The agency has produced advertising and branding programs for noted clients such as Steak and Ale, Bennigan’s, Ponderosa Steakhouse, Chili’s, Brinks Home Security, Southwest Airlines, Herb’s Paint and Body Auto Repair Center, Perkins School of Theology, W. Rigg Realtors, Bassett Furniture Direct and Dallas Parks and Recreation. He has served on the board of directors and executive committees of The Dallas Zoo, The Dallas Summer Musicals, and Perkins School of Theology. He also served on the board of directors for Mental Health America for ten years, and was board chairman for two years. In 2003 he became a member of The Salesmanship Club of Dallas. From 2003 - 2005 Brice served as an adjunct professor in the Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University. He has guest lectured at Texas Tech and the Cox School of Business - SMU. In addition, as a singer/songwriter, Brice continues to write and perform, as well as make regular trips to Nashville to record demos and meet with writers and publishing groups. He has recorded two CDs. and has also written and performed on recent commercial music for Texas Land and Cattle, Lone Star Steakhouse and Herb’s Paint and Body Auto Repair Center.
Brice and his wife, Cynthia, are the parents two children, Jane, 26, and Brice, 10.
Larry Beaulieu is retired vice president and general manager of KFDM-TV, Beaumont, Texas. Larry attended Texas Tech 1965-1968 and earned a Bacelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Lamar University in 1977. He was recognized as a Texas Tech Mass Communications Outstanding Alumnus in 2000 and was inducted into the Texas Tech University Media & Communication Hall of Fame in 2007. Larry was recognized by Lamar University as Outstanding Mass Communication alumnus in 1995 and received the Lamar University Distinguished Alumni award in 2009. He has also received the Texas Association of Broadcasters Pioneer Broadcaster award and the Emmy Silver Circle award.
Kay Bell is owner SKB Editorial Services, a boutique editorial content company that provides financially-focused articles to a diverse clientele. She provides copy for consumer finance and general interest publications, as well as select corporate clients and is contributing tax editor for the nationally renowned website Bankrate.com. Kay regularly provides expert commentary on tax laws and personal filing issues. She is the author of The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes (Financial Times Press, 2009), co-author of Future Millionaires' Guidebook (BookBaby, 2012), and contributor to Personal Finance: An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management (to be published by ABC-CLIO/Greenwood in January 2015). She served a three-year term (2006-2009) on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a federal advisory committee appointed by the U.S. Treasury Secretary. Her TAP work, which included chairing the seven-state region of which Texas is a part, earned Kay a President's Volunteer Service Award in 2010. Her Don't Mess With Taxes blog has earned numerous accolades, including a Clarion Award in 2012 from the National Association for Women in Communications. Kay received her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Texas Tech in 1978. She was recognized as a Media & Communication Outstanding Alumna at Texas Tech in 2011.
Kent Best leads an award-winning team of media relations and content specialists at Southern Methodist University, a nationally ranked private university in Dallas. Kent oversees SMU's internal and external communications, including social media. In 2012, the SMU News & Communications team was recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education as creating one of the top two university media relations programs in the country. Previously, Kent held communications positions at Texas Health Resources, a nonprofit hospital system based in Arlington, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and at Texas Tech University, where he served as an assistant sports information director, student media editorial adviser and assistant director of news and publications. A 1987 journalism graduate of Texas Tech, Best has been honored with regional and national awards for writing, publications design, student media advising and media relations.
He was awarded the Texas Tech Outstanding Journalism Graduate award by the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He earned a master's degree in mass communication from Tech in 1994. Earlier in his career, Kent was a frequent contributor as a sports writer for ESPN SportsTicker, MSNBC, the Dallas Morning News and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. He also previously served as an adjunct faculty member in mass communication at Texas Tech.
Michelle Bleiberg, a vice president in Pierpont's Dallas office, has 25 years of experience in public relations with expertise in thought leadership, corporate reputation, crisis communications, media relations, community relations, event planning and brand positioning. She has served clients in and worked in a variety of industries, including entertainment, restaurant and hospitality, healthcare, non-profit, arts and energy.
Most recently, Michelle was a director in the public affairs practice for Burson-Marsteller in Dallas where she served as the U.S. day-to-day client lead for Shell Oil Company, NRG/Reliant Energy, the State of Texas Voter Education Program (HAVA), the City of Dallas "Save Dallas Water" conservation campaign and T.D. Jakes MegaFest in Dallas.
Prior to joining Burson-Marsteller, Michelle was the director of public relations for the Dallas Museum of Art where she oversaw public relations programs positioning the museum as a leading international arts institution and tourist destination. She began her career in Dallas at Read-Poland Associates where she handled event organization and national media relations for the dedication of Dealey Plaza as a national historic landmark on the 30th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. She also handled national media relations for Kenneth Feld Productions, which included Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Siegfried & Roy.
Michelle worked for Publicis Public Relations and Ackermann PR and Marketing and handled national media relations and product launches for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide (TGI Friday’s) and Pizza Hut. She also served as director of public relations and event marketing for ABC Radio Networks and as corporate communications manager for Tenet Healthcare.
Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Texas Tech University. She serves on the Texas Tech National Alumni Association Board and the National Professional Advisory Committee for the Texas Tech College of Media and Communication. In addition, she volunteers with the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance and Youth Village.
Sano Blocker is the senior vice president of state and local political affairs for Energy Future
Holdings Corp., a Dallas-based energy company with a portfolio of competitive and
regulated businesses, including TXU Energy, Luminant and Oncor.
Sano is responsible for public advocacy, policy and political affairs activities. She oversees EFH legislative policy initiatives and political strategy, management of the organization’s political consultants and administration of the employees’ political action committees. Before joining the company in 2008, Blocker was executive director for EDS global government affairs where she was responsible for political relations across the nation’s 50 states, leading a team of regional directors and political consultants.
Sano is a board member of the NCSL Foundation of State Legislatures and sits on the private sector board of the American Legislative Exchange Council. She also serves on the executive board of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association and the board of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas. Additionally, Blocker is a member of the State Government Affairs Council.
Sano also serves on the board of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. She served as the EFH chair of United Way’s Annual Program and is a current member of the Women of Tocqueville.
Sano completed the “Leadership in the Global Enterprise” course through the Thunderbird School of Management as well as the executive management program at Southern Methodist University. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish.
Brian Borthwick is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations.
He is currently vice president of operations of the Northwest Systems for Suddenlink Communications’ Southwest Region. Suddenlink Communications is the 7th largest provider of cable broadband services in the United States serving over 1.4 million customers. Brian has spent 20 years in the communications industry with the last 13 years at Suddenlink Communications.
He currently resides in Lubbock with his wife Kristi, and their three daughters Kate, Carlie and Brynn.
Trudi Lewis Boyd
Trudi Lewis Boyd is a senior vice president and managing director at Story Partners, LLC, a leading strategic public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. Trudi has spent 25 years developing strategic communications and public affairs campaigns to help clients manage a variety of communication challenges ranging from navigating controversial legislative and regulatory issues, to shaping public policy debates, to building effective business coalitions and grassroots campaigns.
Prior to joining Story Partners, Trudi served as general manager of Allison+Partners, Washington, D.C. office; as managing director of the health and life sciences practice at FTI Consulting; as a senior vice president at Dittus Communications, helping to build Dittus into one of the leading public affairs firms in Washington, D.C.
She has developed award-winning and successful communications campaigns for numerous clients on issues related to health care and life sciences, food and nutrition, and energy. Her client roster includes PhRMA, AdvaMed, the Animal Health Institute, GE Foundation, MilkPep, Kraft Foods, International Dairy Foods Association, Grocery Manufacturers of America, Pernod Ricard, Noble Energy and many others.
Trudi received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Texas Tech University. She was recognized as a Media & Communication Outstanding Alumna at Texas Tech in 2009.
Don Burk is currently the Corporate Director Sales for The McClatchy Company. Don’s role as director of sales involves him working closely with each of McClatchy's 28 local media markets to speed their digital transformation and execute sales strategies in the field. Prior to Don’s McClatchy corporate role, he was the Vice President/Advertising at one of McClatchy’s local markets, The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas. There he was responsible for leading the advertising division of a major metropolitan newspaper through unprecedented transformation. As a member of the Star-Telegram’s executive operating committee, Don was instrumental in changing products and culture to become a true multi-media organization. Don’s main responsibility was to drive advertising sales revenues, but he was also heavily involved in many non-sales aspects of print/digital products including magazines, local news, community newspapers, a Spanish language newspaper, websites, mobile and direct marketing non-subscriber products. He led personnel across these evolving platforms with direct and indirect reports that include sales directors, managers, account executives, training, creative design, support and a magazine publisher. He is accountable for meeting customer, community, corporate and shareholder business expectations.
Don began his media career in 1996 with the Star-Telegram. Over the past two decades, he has been part of many successful teams at ownership groups such as Disney/Cap Cities, Knight Ridder, The Sun Publishing Company and The McClatchy Company.
Don was well prepared for his media leadership career from his studies at Texas Tech University; graduating in May 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations. While at Tech, he was an integral member of Delta Tau Delta, the Interfraternity Council and the Order of Omega. During his course of studies, Don earned Dean’s List honors and was a Delt Kershner Scholar. He was also awarded a Robert Christ Scholarship and the David L. Nail Leadership Award.
Don and his wife Marie (’95 BBA) live in Colleyville, TX and have two sons, Brandon and Alex.
Janet Bustin is the founder and owner of Mzyme, a consultancy that serves as a catalyst in the areas of agency search and relationship management, brand positioning/strategy and executive leadership coaching. Mzyme clients include Fortune 500 and other companies across categories including food and beverage, retail, entertainment and service.
As a senior marketing executive and past advertising agency president, Janet has a successful track record leading DDB Dallas (a worldwide advertising agency office) and TracyLocke (a national retail and promotions agency). She is an innovative marketer with a reputation for growing strong businesses, creating enduring brands and launching successful new products across categories including consumer packaged goods, retail, technology, manufacturing, hospitality and entertainment for companies such as Frito-Lay, McIlhenny Tabasco, Ingersoll-Rand, Nokia, JCPenney, Dean Foods, American Airlines and Hilton Hotels to name a few. Core to her experience is disciplined branding, new product development and business development. Janet has a history of and a passion for inspiring people and creating high energy, collaborative and creative cultures.
She has an MBA from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Arts in advertising from Texas Tech University. In addition, she has post-graduate leadership training from Omnicom University graduate program at Babson College, executive agency leadership training in Vevey, Switzerland and professional training in contract negotiation and the art of negotiation.
As a business and community leader, Janet serves on several boards including Cates Control Systems, Agape Clinic, Texas Tech Media & Communication and Dallas Ad League Foundation. She has served as an adjunct instructor for the Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University.
Phill Casaus is the executive director of the Albuquerque Public Schools Education Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) that raises private funding and support for 90,000 children in New Mexico's largest school district. Phill is a 1986 graduate of the University of New Mexico with a degree in political science. He spent more than 30 years in journalism. He served as a sports writer and columnist at the Albuquerque Journal before moving to the Albuquerque Tribune, where he spent five years as the paper's editor and president. He also served as senior editor for local news at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver.
Chino Chapa has been involved in national media relations, marketing consulting and corporate advocacy issues for more than 25 years. He founded Chapa Consulting Inc. (CCI) in 1999 after more than a decade in Washington, D.C. While in the nation’s capital, his experiences included a presidential appointment as Chief of Staff of the 6,000 employee, U.S. Department of Education.
Among Chino’s past clients are Procter & Gamble, Amazon.com, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Opportunity International, Kraft and Texas Tech University. With expertise in branding, crisis management and message development, Chino also has counseled Anheuser-Busch, IBM, Wal-Mart, Levi Straus, NIKE and Exxon-Mobil. He has media trained Fortune 100 executive Ed Whitacre, TV zoologist Jack Hanna, MLB All-Star “Pudge” Rodriguez and NFL All Pro quarterback Jeff Garcia.
Chino worked at FH’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO., for two years before moving to Dallas to open the first FH office in Texas. While there Chapa developed, managed and received multiple national honors for his work. He has been honored twice by the National Public Relations Society of America. The New York Times referred to a diversity outreach and marketing program he did for Denny’s as one of the best diversity programs for any corporation in the country.
He began as a Press Secretary for Congressman Charles Stenholm of 17th District of Texas. At 31, he became the youngest Chief of Staff in the cabinet of the Bush administration when President George H. Bush appointed him to lead the U.S. Department of Education. He headed the department for two years before moving to the private sector and K Street.
He was appointed by Gov. George W. Bush to the first Texas Military Planning Commission. He has served on the national boards of the US-Mexico Alliance, the Texas State Society of Washington, D.C., the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute and Texas Tech Alumni Association.
Chino earned his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas Tech in 1982. In 2005 he was selected as the 10th inductee and first Latino in the Texas Tech School of Media & Communication Hall of Fame.
Matt Cobb is an account executive for BubbleLife Media, the largest provider of local news in Dallas-Fort Worth. Currently responsible for managing client campaigns and system training, he formerly served as an editor for BubbleLife.com, overseeing the content for multiple DFW communities. He has also worked as a freelance writer for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Lubbock Magazine. Matt received bachelor's degrees in advertising and journalism from Texas Tech.
Bob Cohen is President of Bob Cohen Strategies, LLC a strategic consulting firm building on Bob’s more than 30 years of experience in the media, sports and entertainment industries, both domestic and international, including his 23 years in management with Clear Channel Communications. In addition to providing strategic consultation for media, sports and entertainment businesses, Bob’s 2010 venture develops investment opportunities in those same areas.
Bob was president of the International Radio division for Clear Channel from 2001-2009. Previous to that he was vice president/market manager in the company’s home base in San Antonio for more than 11 years.
His resume includes experience in professional and collegiate athletics in operations, broadcasting, sales and marketing. Bob is also a long time board member and former chairman of the Valero Alamo Bowl, and serves on the Athletics Advisory Council at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was also a long-serving executive committee member and former chairman of the Texas Association of Broadcasters. Bob Cohen Strategies, LLC is based in San Antonio, Texas.
Bob Condron was the director of media services for the U.S. Olympic Committee for 28 years and 15 Olympic Games until his retirement in 2012. He was a member of the International Olympic Committee's press commission, that oversaw the media operation of the Olympic Games, for 10 years. He served on various IOC committees including one that awarded the media accreditations to 205 National Olympic Olympic Committees for the Olympic Games of 2006 (Torino, Italy) 2008 (Beijing, China), 2010 (Vancouver, Canada), 2012 (London, England) and 2014 (Sochi, Russia). In February 2013 he came out of retirement to assist the International Federation of Wrestling (FILA) in a seven-month campaign to win its spot back in the Olympic Games, which it did Sept. 8, 2013. He lived seven months in Coursier-Sur-Vevey, in Switzerland, the home of the federation office during his stint as director of communications for FILA. He is a consultant for the Pan American Games of 2015, in Toronto, Canada, and is a member of the U.S. Golf Association staff for U.S. Open championships. He has been a member of the staff for three U.S. Men's Opens, one Women's Open and a U.S. Amateur Championship. He is the former assistant athletic director and sports information director at Southern Methodist University. He was named to the College Sports Information Director's Association Hall of Fame in 2012. He was named the Outstanding Alumni of the Texas Tech Media & Communication in 2000 and was named to the college's Hall of Fame in 2008.
Brad Dawson is part owner of Fuel Stop Media, a high definition digital gas-pump-top television network with over 30 convenience store affiliates principally located in the Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace. Fuel Stop Media has established a joint venture partnership with the Dallas Morning News to provide all of its on-air content. The six minute entertaining informational broadcast loop contains locally originated news, weather and sports, and is watched by over one million on-the-go captive viewers per month.
As a senior broadcast executive and past television station vice president/general manager of Midessa Broadcasting, Brad has a successful professional track record of leading broadcast stations to unparalleled success. He led all of Midessa’s broadcast holdings (NBC, Telemundo, LATV, KTXC-FM & Internet Platforms) in the Odessa-Midland marketplace where they achieved record profitability and critical journalistic distinction as evidenced by winning 12 Associated Press newscast awards in 2012, which was eighth most amongst all 216 Texas commercial television stations. Additionally, he has held broadcast managerial positions with Nexstar and AT&T/Comcast during his career.
Brad earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University in 1983 with a major in telecommunications and a minor in speech communications. While attending Tech he was a Lubbock Press Club Scholarship recipient and President of Phi Gamma Delta.
Amongst his greatest accomplishments has been convincing his college sweetheart, Ms. Alexandra Mijares, to marry him. They have been blessed with two children; one of which is presently matriculating at Texas Tech and the other who wishes she was. Brad is originally from Richardson Texas and a graduate of JJ Pearce High School. When Brad is not actively involved in managing the day-to-day affairs of his broadcast advertising network, he enjoys all aspects of the outdoors, specifically hunting/fishing and ranching.
Mark deTranaltes is a native Houstonian and a 1987 alumnus of Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in advertising. Mark spent the majority of his 25 years in the field with two international advertising agencies – Omnicom's Bernard Hodes Group and then as managing director of WPP’s J. Walter Thompson Houston Office. He has been recognized for his contributions in the area of employment communications in copywriting, media planning and campaign management. A frequent speaker at local and state Society for Human Resource Management events, deTranaltes presents his holistic communication perspective on employee lifecycle management. In 2011, he made the jump from agency to client side when he began working in employee brand management as managing editor for corporate communications at St. Luke’s Healthcare. This foray into the non-profit sector ultimately led him to his current position as vice president of advancement at his high school alma mater where he oversees a team dedicated to the school’s communications, alumni relations and fundraising efforts. Mark was recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus from the College of Media & Communication in 2007.
Gary Dixon is President of The Foundation for a Better Life.
The Foundation for a Better Life promotes positive values through the media. Their public service announcements, based on values such as hope, honesty, encouragement and generosity are currently being seen on television in the United States over five million times each day. They are also airing in over 200 countries around the world. Additionally, these inspiring messages appear on thousands of billboards across the country, including Times Square in New York City. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America recognized this campaign as “the most successful public service campaign in the history of outdoor advertising.” The Foundation makes posters and DVDs available to thousands of schools each year, at no charge. It offers these messages in an effort to promote good values, good role models and a better life.
Formerly, Gary served as vice president of Bonneville Communications where he directed the creative development of many successful campaigns, including Homefront, Major League Baseball, Children’s Miracle Network and the American Cancer Society.
He has also been a speaker at regional and national advertising conferences for the American Advertising Federation and a keynote speaker for various events. Other assignments took him to Jakarta, Indonesia, where he served as a communications consultant on an Indonesian government project and, early in his career, to Japan where he directed a documentary on the first trans-Pacific flight.
Gary has a master’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University and a bachelor’s in broadcasting from Texas Tech University. He serves on the national board of directors for the College of Media & Communication at TTU. He lives in Denver with his wife Susan and their family.
Kirk Dooley is president of Half Court Press, a Dallas-based publishing company specializing in Texas books and high school sports programs. He attended Texas Tech from 1973 to 1978, then studied playwriting at San Francisco State in 1978-79. While sports editor of the Tech newspaper, he won the Wick Fowler Scholarship, awarded to the top collegiate journalist in Texas. Dooley is the author of seven books (including Read My Lips, with a foreword by George W. Bush) and currently has two books in the works. He writes a weekly column in The Dallas Morning News about life in the Park Cities. He owns and publishes Creede Magazine, based in Creede, Colorado.
Kirk is the former national undergraduate chairman of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, a former president of the Press Club of Dallas, former president of the Highland Park High School Alumni Association and former chairman of the North Texas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Hope for the Brave, a North Texas-based non-profit which supports military veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.
John D. Esparza
John D. Esparza serves as president and chief executive officer of the Texas Trucking Association. TXTA is an Austin-based trade association representing the motor transportation freight industry. After graduating from Texas Tech University with a degree in public relations in 1997, he worked on the political campaigns of George W. Bush and Rick Perry. John went on to serve at numerous senior advisory capacities within the executive office of the governor before leaving for the private sector. He was appointed to the Texas Tech Univerisity system Board of Regents in February 2013 by Texas Governor Rick Perry for a term to expire in 2019.
Joe Fairless graduated with an advertising degree in 2005. He immediately moved to New York City and worked his way up to become a vice president at an award-winning ad agency before his 30th birthday. Then he left the industry because he wasn’t fulfilled and started his own real estate investing company, Fairless Investing. After six months it controlled over $7,000,000 of real estate and continues to grow.
Rich Flora is a nationally recognized and awarded advertising professional with 35 years of agency experience, including nearly 13 years at The Richards Group in Dallas and 19 years as owner/creative director of Flora Creative, Inc. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications at Texas Tech University in 1978, was named an Outstanding Alumni of the college in 1995, and later taught advertising at the University in 2001.
Rich has guest lectured on advertising at the University of Texas, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University and at numerous ad clubs and ad agencies nationwide. In addition to teaching, he has served as a judge for advertising competitions including the national ADDY’s, regional ADDY’s, regional Clio’s, and local ad shows across the country – from his native Texas to the prestigious Hatch Awards in Boston, MA.
As the creator of Red Shadow, a four-week summer program designed to give college advertising majors a glimpse inside the advertising industry, Rich has helped guide students through multiple agency disciplines including branding strategy, print production, broadcast, and client services.
Rich has also developed original TV content and produced a pilot episode for a series pitched to HGTV networks in partnership with Apt 9A Productions.
Dionicio (Don) Flores
Dionicio (Don) Flores is a longtime journalist and newspaper executive, having served as vice president and editor of the El Paso Times until August 2008. Since retiring from the Times, Dionicio has been a media consultant. He serves as vice chairman of the Texas Southern University Board of Regents and formerly served on the Texas State University Board of Regents for nine years. Hispanic Business Magazine has recognized Dionicio as of one the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S, and in 2002, he received the first Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership from the Associated Press Managing Editors, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Freedom Forum Foundation. The award recognized is lifelong commitment and leadership to diversity issues.
David Fowler is a senior partner and executive creative director for Ogilvy & Mather, New York. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising from Texas Tech and began his career as a delivery boy at Webster & Harris Advertising in Lubbock. He has won numerous creative awards including the Clio Hall of Fame for Motel 6, the longest running campaign in radio history.
Lynn Gilmore is manager of the Central Region for Northrop Grumman Global Corporate Citizenship
based in Irving, Texas. Lynn is responsible for providing strategic direction, developing
and implementing philanthropy and volunteer programs in the company’s focus areas
of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) K-12 education, military and veterans,
health and human services and the environment for 23 states in the central part of
Lynn joined TRW (which was acquired by Northrop Grumman in December 2002) in 1997 as a senior human resources manager in the TRW Systems & Information Technology Group in Fairfax, Virginia. She moved out of HR into communications in 1999 where she managed internal communications for TRW Systems and then Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. In 2004 she added corporate citizenship to her role and managed both functions until 2008 when she could then devote all of her energies to the corporate citizenship arena. She was director of corporate citizenship for the information systems sector in McLean, Virginia until the company’s centralization of the function in 2013.
Lynn graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications and from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in religious education. She has earned a certificate in Corporate Citizenship Involvement from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and a certificate in Corporate Citizenship Leadership from the Boston College Carroll School of Management.
Grant Gold specializes in tenant representation, developing strategic real estate solutions for his retail tenant clients, with a focus on lease negotiation, strategic planning and project management. His commercial real estate background includes a history of success in the Dallas-Fort Worth market in landlord as well as tenant representation experience.
Ian M. Halperin serves as the executive director of communications and community Relations for the
Wylie ISD. His primary responsibility is ensuring the district’s message is communicated
efficiently and accurately, be it on the Web, in the mass media or in district publications.
He has more than 15 years of experience in public school PR.
Prior to working in the school business, he was a photographer/editor for Harte Hanks Newspapers and still works on a freelance basis for clients across the country. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications from Texas Tech and a Master of Science degree in HR/business from Amberton University.
Francisco "Paco" G. Hamm
Francisco "Paco" G. Hamm, is currently a production executive and producer with Machal Productions, a Hollywood-based production company developing a feature film "Angels in the Sky," a film about the birth of the Israeli Air Force in 1948. From 2008-2013, he was the director of the Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs in Los Angeles, CA where he directed and managed the Air Force image within global entertainment including motion pictures, television, and video games and has advised for films as "Iron Man 2" and the "Transformer" franchise and TV shows "Army Wives" and "Hawaii Five 0".
Paco retired from the U.S. Air Force in November 2013 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with 23 years experience as a public affairs officer and combat camera officer and has served in worldwide crisis operations including tours in Panama, Somalia and two tours in Iraq. As the Pentagon Channel marketing director and deputy director of New Media in 2008, his team was recognized with a Silver Anvil by PRSA for an internal communications campaign and three Silver Anvil Awards of Excellence for establishing and developing the social media program for the Department of Defense. Early in his career, he served as a TV field producer, directing joint military combat camera teams, in 1989 covering the failed coup attempt of former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega and in 1993, covering the humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In 2006, as an independent producer, he co-produced an award-winning documentary, "Brats, Our Journey Home," narrated by Kris Kristofferson and written, produced and directed by Donna Musil.
Paco received a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications from Texas Tech University in 1988 and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Texas Christian University in 1992.
Rodney Hand is a 1985 alumnus of Texas Tech University. Rodney is the principal of Rodney Hand & Associates Marketing Communications based in Dallas. As the principal of his firm since 1989, Hand has created many recognizable advertising campaigns for his agency clients in fields as diverse as sports, agriculture, medical and fashion and is also the creator of several local, regional and national media properties including: Spikefest –the largest amateur volleyball event in the U.S., The International Western & English Lifestyle Market (IWE Show), National Western Heritage Month, DuPont Tyvek Radio Show, Western & English Today magazine, Texas Today magazine, Las Vegas Fashion Week Guide, Addison The Magazine of the North Dallas Corridor and Addison and the North Dallas Corridor Visitor’s Guide, and his latest creation Patron Magazine.
His awards include: five time winner of the prestigious AIM Awards for outstanding marketing and communications, most valuable member and outstanding achievement award, the Western & English Manufacturers Association, Most Recognizable Campaign, American Horse Publications Association.
Lisa Bowers Harbert
Lisa Bowers Harbert was hired by Procter & Gamble after graduating from TTU in 1986. She spent 25 years at P&G and achieved full retirement privileges, but she moved careers and went to work for Kellogg in 2012. Lisa has been in the Consumer Products industry since graduation. Lisa was promoted four times with P&G and retired in the top 2% of P&G’s leadership. During her career with P&G, Lisa was recognized for her creativity and ability to maximize limited resources to achieve great things. Lisa was filmed 8 times during her career at P&G for the breakthrough concepts and ideas that she was able to execute. She won many awards, including the Diamond Award and the Chairman’s Award, one of the highest honor presented by P&G. Lisa attended and graduated from P&G’s Brand University and she lead innovative work to create a “Man Zone” in the HEB stores. In 2010, Lisa was interviewed by the San Antonio Express News and the news story traveled the world about the “Man Zone“. Lisa received emails from Israel and South America asking how she was able to get this executed. It was breakthrough work for the grocery industry.
Lisa is the first, on her mom’s side of the family, to graduate from college. Lisa’s mom was born in Mexico and came to the United States in 1951. Lisa grew up in a multi-cultural family in Lubbock, Texas.
Her dad was recognized in 2014, as a “West Texas Legend” by the Texas Tech Law School. Her dad taught her to be tough and yet kind. Growing up in West Texas, Lisa learned how to fish, hunt and drive a boat, along with her 6 brothers.
The ability to attend Texas Tech University had always been her dream. The day she graduated from TTU, Lisa pledged her degree to God and to help others. Lisa has always believed that you must live life spherically, in many directions. She has always given hundreds of volunteer hours each year to organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters (while at TTU), her church, prison ministry, the homeless, and children. Lisa devotes herself to help others and use her resources to make a difference. Lisa has been married for 28 years to her best friend Roger, and they have 3 sons (Ryan, Lance & Ross). Lisa’s children are grown and in college, so she’s devoting her time to volunteer and to finish her book, “Suzanna’s Eyes, a Reflection of the Alamo”. Lisa understands the power and strength that it takes to be a Texas Woman.
DR. RUSSELL LOWERY-HART (firstname.lastname@example.org) is president of Amarillo College.
Lowery-Hart previously served as Amarillo College’s vice president of academic affairs. In becoming president, he succeeded Dr. Paul Matney, who retired in the summer of 2014.
Lowery-Hart joined the AC administration in 2010 following a dozen years as a member of the faculty and administration at West Texas A&M University, an alma mater where he had risen to associate provost for academic affairs.
A product of Slaton, Texas, Lowery-Hart completed his bachelor’s degree in speech communication at WTAMU in 1991. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in communication studies in 1993 from Texas Tech University and a doctoral degree in gender and diversity in communication in 1996 at Ohio University.
He returned to WTAMU professionally in 1998 and worked his way up from assistant professor of speech communication to director of forensics, executive director of first-year experience, associate vice president for academic affairs and, finally, associate provost in 2007. Three years later he emerged from a national search as the best candidate to mastermind academic programs at Amarillo College.
In just four years as vice president of academic affairs at AC, Lowery-Hart spearheaded or helped facilitate a number of important initiatives that led to his being named the 2014 recipient of the National Academic Leader of the Year Award by the National Council of Instructional Administrators.
Among his accomplishments leading to the award were:
- AC’s immersion in Achieving the Dream, a national and select network of community colleges devoted to student success
- AC’s success in becoming the nation’s first “No Excuses” community college
- AC’s efforts to pilot the Benefit Bank for the state of Texas, to create on-campus food pantries, and to hire a social-services coordinator
- AC’s redesign of gatekeeper courses in mathematics and English, each aimed at improving student success
However, the extent of Lowery-Hart’s academic leadership extends well beyond Amarillo College—from his presidency of the Panhandle Twenty/20 consortium for the Top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle, to his past chairmanship of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee.
He also was elected to chair the executive committee for Amarillo’s $1.5 million Partners for Postsecondary Success (Gates Grant).
He and his wife, Tara, have three children.
Mark Hayden is founder and head cook of BREAKFAST at 12, a brand experience and marketing firm based in Houston, Texas founded in April 2012. The company helps clients understand and manage their brand from the inside out, then cooks up engaging ideas that transform stakeholders into company ambassadors. Their clients include Church Services, a home services company with offices in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin; Control4, a national home automation company that allows homeowners to integrate their security, multi-media, lighting and environment into one system; Rios of Mercedes Boot Company, the oldest Western boot company in America (founded 1853); DWI Specialist Attorney Gary Trichter, a recognized leader in DWI defense law; and The Menninger Clinic, one of the nation's leading inpatient psychiatric hospitals dedicated to treating individuals with complex mental illness.
Prior to BREAKFAST at 12, Mark was vice president of marketing for Farouk Systems, makers of CHI and BioSilk hair care products. Before Farouk, he was vice president and chief communications officer with BrandExtract, a branding firm in Houston. He co-founded Parker:Hayden, Inc., an award-winning integrated branding and marketing firm, which later merged with BrandExtract. Previously, he was an angel investor and director of marketing for eRealty.com, the first real estate company to integrate online access to MLS information with a full service real estate brokerage operations. Mark served as director of strategic services and senior writer with The Adcetera Group and has held various positions with Sysco Corporation, including product information specialist and product manager. He began his career as a copywriter, first with Winius-Brandon Advertising in Houston and, later, with Anderson Advertising in San Antonio.
Mark currently serves as board member and programs chairman of Houston chapter of the American Advertising Federation and the National Professional Advisory Board of the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University. He is also a member of the American Marketing Association and has held board positions with the MIT Enterprise Forum of Texas, the Public Relations Society of America, Houston Chapter and Only In Houston. He was a Charter Advisory Board Member of the national eMarketing Association and served as Entrepreneur in Residence with the Houston Technology Center.
Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising from Texas Tech University in 1987.
Greg Heitzman is the Vice President / Sales & Business Development for Entravision Communications in Dallas, Texas. Entravision is a leading media company targeting the US Latino market, reaching 105 markets that aggregate 94% of all US Latinos, including 53 television stations, 49 radio stations. A 1981 graduate of Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications, Greg was honored as an Outstanding Alumni in 2004 from the College of Media & Communication. He earned the ABC Circle of Excellence award in 2002 and is a multi-year recipient of The Excelsior award honor from Interep as the top National Sales Manager in the country. He and wife Cindy have two children, Matthew & Elizabeth, who have both earned post-graduate degrees from Texas Tech University.
James A. Hering is a 1986 alumnus of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising. He is currently a principal specializing in digital marketing with The Richards Group - the largest independently-owned agency in the U.S. James previously spent 18 years at TM Advertising, most recently as chief innovation officer. He has garnered more than 120 digital marketing and advertising awards.
R.J. Hinkle is the manager of Quad/Photo in Dallas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in photocommunications from Texas Tech University. R.J. has an extensive background in lifestyle and food photography, including everything from professional sports to African safaris. Before joining the commercial and advertising world, R.J. devoted 13 years to photojournalism, working for a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as United Press International and the Associated Press. He produces creative and compelling product, people and food photography for prestigious advertising, editorial and corporate clients, including Boy Scouts of America, Private Clubs magazine, The King Ranch, Essense of Australia and Southwest Airlines. R.J. lives in Coppell, Texas with his beautiful, understanding wife, Pam, and his two biggest photographic inspirations: Austin and Katy.
Gregg Holmes is a proven “C” level executive with over 37 years of diverse business experience. He is currently a director with CKS Advisors and Securities where he provides consulting and investment banking related assistance to clients in the middle market sector. He has had P&L responsibility at three major communication and recurring revenue related companies, among others, with a strong record of improving profitability, operating efficiency and customer service by increasing market share, enhancing the sales and marketing process, creating a customer driven operating philosophy and raising employee productivity, satisfaction and commitment.
Gregg has proven operations, strategic planning and sales and marketing skills with a strong bias for action. He has worked extensively in highly competitive market segments with low operating margins and demonstrated a unique ability to develop and grow companies at every phase of their evolution. His ability to identify funding, develop unique operating structures, place key leadership talent, secure patents and form strategic collaborations have also played a key role in the growth and success of the companies with which he has worked over the course of his career.
Gregg has also worked effectively in the non-profit sector where he was able to successfully collaborate and fundraise with a diverse group of community volunteers and employees. In the community Gregg worked extensively where he served as the chairman of the board of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), chairman of the Super Bowl Bid Committee, Chairman of the 2002 United Way Campaign and Chairman of the Phoenix Youth and Education Commission. Currently he is a member of the Provost Advisory Board for ASU West and a Member of the Arizona Commerce Authority Venture Ready and Executive in Residence Programs. In 2004 Holmes was recognized for Outstanding Service to the Community by GPEC and in 2005 he was recognized by the Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau with its Visitor Industry Champion award.
Gregg has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University.
Ashley Hoptay is a senior public relations manager at AT&T, focusing on executive communications. Prior to joining AT&T, Ashley worked for a boutique public relations agency where she built and executed strategic communications plans for a wide variety of clients ranging from healthcare and retail to technology and nonprofit. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Texas Tech University.
Kay Jackson is president of Jackson Communications.
With more than 25 years experience, Kay has a proven track record in using integrated and strategic communications to bring value to the bottom line for Fortune 500 companies, private companies and organizations. She is a seasoned leader with balance of corporate, agency and non-profit experience in marketing communications, media relations, financial and executive communications, corporate social responsibility and employee communications. As a sole practitioner, she has served PR firms and their clients and worked on projects for Children’s Medical Center/Dallas, EastonBell, Oakley retail stores and HomeTeam Pest Defense.
At Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kay spearheaded external corporate communications encompassing global crisis communications and business financial media relations. She also developed the communications strategy in support of the company’s global sustainability efforts including major partnerships with NGOs including Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund. At RadioShack Corporation, she led internal and external communications and created the strategy and stakeholder outreach for corporate, brand and product public relations including successful new brand launches. She also led internal communications including efforts in support of change management and human resources. She has also worked for J. Walter Thompson on accounts including Conoco, DuPont, EDS and Johnson & Johnson. Kay earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University. She is on the National Professional Advisory Board for Texas Tech’s College of Media & Communication and serves on non-profit boards.
Gary Joiner is the associate director of public relations – strategic communications for the Texas Farm Bureau, a 500,000-member general farm organization headquartered in Waco. He joined the organization in February 2014.
Among his duties, Gary produces and hosts the daily “Focus on Agriculture” and “Texas Wildlife Radio Show” programs on the Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network.
Gary previously worked on behalf of Texas Farm Bureau members from 1988-2002, serving in positions in public relations and in legislative affairs. He served as director of organization and as director of member relations for the Washington Farm Bureau from 2002-2008.
Most recently, Gary served as chief executive officer of the Texas Wildlife Association. At the Texas Wildlife Association, Gary oversaw the day-to-day operations of the organization of nearly 6,500 members who own or manage nearly 40 million acres of private land in Texas. Gary was executive editor of the organization’s monthly magazine, “Texas Wildlife.”
He is a native of Farmers Branch, Texas, and is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He and his wife, Karen, have one daughter, Kate, and they currently live in China Spring, Texas.
Tim Loecker is a senior vice president in the Dallas office of Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global public relations firms. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing strategic communications programs for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to start-up enterprises across a diverse cross section of industries. He currently leads the national storytelling program for the United States Army client, executing strategic media relations and social/digital content marketing initiatives. He formerly served as a day-to-day client lead for American Airlines, managing global media relations strategy, issues and corporate reputation management, executive visibility and brand positioning. His work has earned numerous industry accolades from PRSA, PRWeek, IPRA, PR Bull Dog Reporter and SABRE, among others. Tim graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Texas Tech University.
Rick Matchett earned his Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications in 1982 from Texas Tech University. He served as the student station manager for KTXT-FM for two years and served on the Student Advisory Council for mass communications. He is currently the general manager/vice president of the Amarillo Bulls Hockey Club after working in broadcasting for more than 25 years. Rick began his career in 1983 at KGNC AM in Amarillo as a salesperson and moved to sales manager. He was appointed by Governor Perry to serve on the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission and has served on many boards of non-profit organizations. He and his wife Denise have two children McKay and Brandt. McKay is a graduate of Texas Tech with a public relations degree and Brandt is a health administration graduate from Texas State University.
Steve McCutcheon earned his Bachelor of Arts in advertising from Texas Tech University where he was on the presentation team for the district champion 1986 AAF Student Competition Team. He is chief marketing officer for Pax8 – a cloud commerce marketplace built for the IT and telecom channels. Previously, he served as a senior director of marketing for McAfee SaaS Email & Web Security (formerly MX Logic). Steve has worked for several advertising agencies and served as president of the Pikes Peak Advertising Federation prior to entering the corporate marketing world.
On the corporate side, Steve has led marketing and sales departments for a variety of companies, including Telephone Express, a regional long-distance provider where he created sales and marketing programs that grew the small start-up into a successful company with more than $60M in annual revenue in just four years. He was also instrumental in designing and building MX Logic’s award-winning PartnerFocus channel program into one of the largest and most successful SaaS-based partner networks in the world by pioneering bold and new channel-marketing programs, including the MX Logic Sales On Demand and Marketing On Demand programs which provide resellers with unprecedented marketing and sales support.
Ali McLane became the Director of Prospect Management and Research at the University of Houston in April 2015, after spending 16 years as a prospect development consultant. Most recently she was a senior associate in the development operations practice of Bentz Whaley Flessner. In her 16 years of consulting, including her ten years as a developer for Prospect Information Network (P!N), Ali has provided prospect development counsel to more than 600 clients representing every nonprofit sector. Her areas of specialty include database management, prospect screening, identification, research and relationship management. Ali is a leading innovator in applying software technologies and “back-room” strategies to advance the philanthropic agenda for nonprofits of all scopes and sizes. She is the Chair of the Fundraising Operations certification program at Rice University Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, as well as, teaching the Prospect Research and Donor Relations classes and serves as a mentor to the students working toward the certification.
Before her years as a prospect development consultant, Ali enjoyed a career at both public and private educational institutions. She was a development researcher at Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and The University of Tulsa.
Ali received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications studies from Texas Tech University.
Ali is a co-founder, past president, and board member of the Southwest Chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers (APRA). Ali is past president of APRA of Greater Houston and is a charter member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, serving on their prospect development best practices committee. Ali is a volunteer with APRA International, serving on the 2010 Nominating committee and the 2011 APRA International Conference Curriculum Planning Committee, 2013 on-line education committee. She is a frequent conference presenter, including APRA, AFP, CASE, AHP and specialized fundraising organizations.
Albert McNeel has been a successful producer in the San Antonio market for over 17 years. He has been involved in office, industrial and retail project leasing for both institutional and local clients. He has also worked in tenant representation, site selection, land sales and investment sales.
Albert, along with the other principals at Endura Advisory Group, emphasizes integrity above all else. His reputation, work ethic and dedication are the key reasons for his continued success.
Carl Mullins is a 1991 alumnus with an advertising degree and a minor in marketing. He was named an Outstanding Media & Communications Alumnus in 2007 and previously served as vice-chair of the College of Media & Communications National Professional Advisory Board. Carl has managed over 15 media and special-interest publishing business units and led the management teams for three acquisitions, three launches and four turnaround projects. Properties under his leadership have won numerous awards and national recognition including: Two Forbes "Best of the Web" designations, the 2007 Editor and Publisher's EPpy award for "Best large community site on the web", 2009 Silver and Bronze Eddies (Editorial), 2009 Silver Ozzie (Design), 2012 Bronze Eddie (Best Stand Alone Digital Magazine), nine industry specific "Best of Class" and two "Best of Show" awards.
Carl is currently the business development director for the National Cutting Horse Association, the international governing body for the sport of cutting.
Martha Neibling serves as the Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. The sprawling $480M property features four-and-a-half acres of lush indoor gardens, 1,511 luxury guest rooms, 400,000 square feet of meeting space, four award-winning restaurants, Glass Cactus Nightclub, Paradise Springs 10-acre waterpark, and annual special events including Lone Star Christmas, the famed ICE! attraction and Summer Bash event that bring over one million visitors to the property each year. In her role, Martha is responsible for promoting resort offerings through marketing collateral production, advertising, social media, sports marketing (Gaylord Texan is the Official Hotel of The Dallas Cowboys), cross marketing partnerships, and media/community relations. She also serves as the resort spokesperson and crisis communications director. Prior to working for Gaylord, Martha worked for Hyatt Hotels in public relations and sales.
Martha earned a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Texas Tech University, graduating in 2000. An Arizona native, she graduated from Farmington (NM) High School in 1996. Martha is a member of the Dallas PRSA Chapter and Rotary International, as well as a volunteer for Keep Grapevine Beautiful. She has been featured in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine; Society Life Magazine; and The Dallas Business Journal.
King Nelson is president and CEO of Uptake Medical. Uptake Medical TM Corp. is a developer of medical technologies for the treatment of lung diseases including emphysema. The core technology is a simple, minimally invasive, non-implant interventional pulmonary approach designed to measurably improve lung function and patient quality of life. King earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Miami.
Michael Page graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising and a minor in marketing. He developed his portfolio at The Creative Circus in Atlanta, Georgia, and is now an associate creative director at GSD&M Agency in Austin, Texas. Michael is the recipient of several awards such as National ADDYs, One Show, Cannes short list, OBIE award, Communication Arts Ad Annual and an Emmy.
Charles (Chuck) Parker
Charles (Chuck) Parker is a Principal in Escentium Consulting.
With more than 20 years of Healthcare IT experience, he has led several research and for-profit initiatives. Most recently as the Executive Director of the Continua Health Alliance – a membership-driven company focused on developing an eco-system of interoperable personal health devices – Chuck has been active in leading the industry in the Personal Connected Health area for the past 6 years.
Mr. Parker has collaborated internationally with governments, payers, providers and vendors. Through working with Standards bodies and industry experts, he has worked to instill standards built upon international criteria from IEEE, HL7, Bluetooth, USB, and others. In 2012, Denmark and Singapore began collaborating with Continua to require all personal connected health devices used in their national telemedicine programs were Continua Certified to ensure convenient and secure collection, communication and access to personal health data for its citizens.
Mr. Parker’s experiences include healthcare technology, policy, regulation, and the strategic design of evaluation and measurement strategies. He has led national programs for practice transformation and has served on national and international committees for assessing adoption requirements.
Mr. Parker holds a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Informatics from Northeastern University. He earned his BA in Communication Studies and Business Management at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Scott Parsons is Local Sales Manager at KLBK, Nexstar Television, Lubbock, Texas.
Scott has held positions in radio of sales person, general sales manager, general manager and regional manager. He began his radio career in Oklahoma in 1983 and moved to television in 2013. Scott also worked in Kansas City, Midland and Lubbock. He serves on the Jerry Gray Foundation, various local charitable organizations, and is a Texas Association of Broadcasters past board member. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1981 from West Liberty University in West Liberty, West Virginia.
Scott Pelley, one of the most experienced reporters in broadcast journalism, was named anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News" in May 2011.
Few journalists have made as wide and as deep a mark on a news organization as Scott has at CBS News. He has covered everything from breaking national news stories to politics to wars. Since joining "60 Minutes" in 2004, half of all the major awards won by the broadcast have been for stories reported by Scott. In addition to his daily anchor role, Scott continues to provide many stories to "60 Minutes".
Scott joined CBS News as a reporter based in New York in 1989.
In 1990, he was assigned for a year to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during the Persian Gulf crisis. He also covered Baghdad and broadcast live reports during Iraqi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.
Scott later served as a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas, where he covered many of the biggest domestic stories, including the Oklahoma City bombing and the trial of Timothy McVeigh. He was assigned to the 1992 presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Ross Perot and reported on the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the Los Angeles Northridge earthquake, Hurricanes Andrew and Hugo and NASA's shuttle missions.
Scott was named CBS News' Chief White House Correspondent in 1997. While covering the Clinton White House, Scott broke more stories than anyone and was first to report that Monica Lewinsky had become a cooperating witness in the investigation conducted by the Office of the Independent Counsel. He also reported on the impeachment of President Clinton and was first to report that President Clinton had been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury.
On September 11, Scott was among the first reporters to arrive on the scene of the twin towers. His award-winning live reports from Ground Zero and the subsequent search and recovery operations exhibited his innate ability to provide a deeper understanding of news events.
Scott joined "60 Minutes" in 2004. Previously, he was a correspondent for "60 Minutes II".
Scott's distinguished body of work has been recognized with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, three George Foster Peabody awards, 18 national Emmy awards, five Edward R. Murrow awards, two Loeb awards, a George Polk award, as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Overseas Press Club of America, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Writers Guild of America.
Scott serves on the board of directors of the International Rescue Committee, the refugee relief agency headquartered in New York City. He is co-chair of the IRC's Board of Overseers. He was inducted into the Texas Tech University alumni Hall of Fame and serves on the National Professional Advisory Board of the university's College of Media & Communication.
Prior to his time at CBS News, Scott was a producer/reporter for WFAA-TV Dallas/Fort Worth (1982-89), KXAS-TV Dallas/Fort Worth (1978-81) and KSEL-TV Lubbock, Texas (1975-78). He began his journalism career at the age of 15 as a copyboy at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper.
Scott was born in San Antonio, Texas, and attended journalism school at Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Jane Boone Pelley, have a son and a daughter. (courtesy of CBS)
Phil Price CEO The Price Group, Inc., is a 1968 alumnus of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in advertising/marketing. Phil was recognized by the 10th District of the American Advertising Federation with his induction into the Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame. District 10 of the American Advertising Federation represents advertising organizations and professionals from the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Phil was also recognized as a TTU Distinguished Alumnus in 2006, and was awarded the College of Media & Communication Lifetime Service Award in 2002. He also was inducted into the Texas Tech University Media & Communication Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Media & Communication Outstanding Alumnus award in 1990. Phil served as the 10th District Governor & AAF National Board in 1983. He was the recipient of the AAF Aid To Education Award in 1978, the AAF Sterling Service Award in 1990, and the AAF Silver Medal award in 1982.
Deb Bolner Prost
Deb Bolner Prost's career has spanned the advertising, marketing, and statistical data with entrepreneurship in new products, distribution and ecommerce. Armed with a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising and psychology from Texas Tech University, an Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio with marketing research emphasis, and an internship with J. Walter Thompson (NY), Deb spent 7 1/2 years with Ed Yardang & Associates Advertising Agency, where she held managerial positions (VP Marketing Services). She started Promark Research in 1982, built the company into a successful marketing information and research firm, and then sold it in 1992. In 1985, Deb launched TARGET SA, an innovative semi-annual syndicated research report which monitors San Antonians' consumer behavior, and attitudes. Today Deb focuses on strategic management, marketing, and research activities via Prost Marketing, Inc. (University Health System, Methodist Healthcare, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Shell Oil, Port San Antonio, among others). In between, Deb ran a coffee distribution firm, and invented a natural cooling product called COOL OFF®, and also developed and marketed a muscle and joint gel, and pharmaceutical grade vitamins, herbs, and supplements under the same brand name.
Deb was one of AdWeek Magazine's Women of the Year (1984), received the American Marketing Association's Outstanding Marketing Person of the Year Award for 1985, was named Joske's Achiever (1985), and Mass Communication Outstanding Alumni of Texas Tech University (1985) and of UTSA Graduate School (1987). During 1986, she served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the San Antonio Light (Hearst newspaper). Debbie was named a finalist for Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce in 1987. She was named one of the "40 UNDER 40" by San Antonio Magazine in 1988. In 1991, she was named Outstanding Marketing Person of the Decade by the American Marketing Association. She was named San Antonio Public Library “Champion” in 2002. In 2011 Deb was awarded a North Chamber Small Business Leaders Award, named to the YMCA Chairman’s Round Table, and was nominated by National Association of Women’s Business Owners as Entrepreneur of the Year.
Deb is also very active in her profession and community, having held key officerships with the American Marketing Association (president, board of directors), Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce (board of directors, marketing steering committee, Economic Analysis Panel), American Advertising Federation (board member and officer), Marketing Research Association, the Texas Travel Research Association (officer and board of directors), Texas Economic and Demographic Association, Discover Texas Association/Texas Travel Industry Association (board of directors), Fiesta Commission Marketing Committee, San Antonio Area Council of Girl Scouts (board nominating committee), Library Foundation board (president), Incarnate Word College Business advisory board, North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and United Way (marketing committee). She also served on Time Warner’s advisory board and Frost Bank's Small Business advisory board. She currently serves on the past president’s board of the Library Foundation and is the president of the Olmos Park Economic Development Corporation.
John Rafferty is director of sales and marketing with KATV ABC 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the
ABC affiliate owned by Allbritton Communications. John’s previous experience includes
senior management positions with Post-Newsweek Stations, including WJXT in Jacksonville,
Florida and KPRC in Houston, Texas. He has also held television sales positions in
Dallas, Texas; Ventura, California and Roswell, New Mexico.
John received his Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising from Texas Tech in 1987, with a minor in marketing, and was honored as an Outstanding Alumni in 2004 from the College of Media & Communication. He is also a member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2008 and served on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of North Florida.
John lives in Little Rock with his beautiful wife, Gina, and their two outstanding children, Jake and Ally.
Mike Read is a 1965 Texas Tech University alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a major in journalism. He was named an Outstanding Media & Communication Alumnus in 2001 and served as chair of the college's National Professional Advisory Committee. Mike is currently chairman of the board of directors of People's Trust, a $450 million community federal credit union in Houston. He formerly was the director of online development for ASP Westward, a community newspaper chain with more than 65 daily and weekly publications in Texas and Colorado. He was previously part of the original development team creating the chron.com site for the Houston Chronicle. Mike also served as director of newsroom technology for The Houston Post and city editor for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Dusty Rector is a 1981 alumnus of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University with a management concentration. Dustry is currently Vice President of Business Planning with The Starr Conspiracy marketing firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. The Starr Conspiracy is a global industry leader in the enterprise software and services marketing space.
Dusty has more than 25 years experience in marketing, advertising, communications and technology. He has held positions with EDS, Gateway Computers, Tandy Corporation, Temerlin McClain and Tracy-Locke among others. He also holds five patents in user interface and media synchronization technologies.
Craig Rettig is a founding Partner at Perceptiv. Perceptiv is a full service communications firm based in Los Angeles. As a senior marketing executive, Craig has a successful track record working regionally, nationally and internationally at a number of leading advertising agencies, including Della Femina McNamee, NW Ayer, Suissa Miller, Ketchum, Davis Elen and Praxis. He has launched numerous marketing initiatives for a variety of companies and organizations such as Acura, BMC Software, the City of Los Angeles, Secure Horizons, University of Southern California, UCLA, Hulu, Ernst & Young, Doubletree Hotels, Live Nation, Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Galaxy, Henry Weinhard’s and Rainier to name just a few.
Craig’s experience covers a wide range of strategic and marketing services, including general agency management, business and strategic planning, campaign development, new business acquisition and account supervision. The City of Los Angeles and nationally the American Advertising Federation have recognized Craig for his outstanding marketing contributions. Craig earned his Bachelor of Arts in advertising from Texas Tech University. He’s also a graduate of the executive training program at Ketchum. He has lectured at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism as well as other universities. He lived abroad for two years in Paris, France. Craig has served on several boards including the Advertising Club of Los Angeles and the Southern California Special Olympics.
Kim Rice is vice president of Visual Resource Group, Inc., a Dallas advertising and communications
firm. She previously served as director of marketing and communications for the World
Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth for six years and remains in a consultant role
with the organization. Prior to working at the Council, she was community relations
manager at KERA 13/90.1, the public television and radio stations for North Texas.
Kim received a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications from Texas Tech University. A recipient of the Quill Award of Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), she currently serves on the marketing advisory board for the Dallas Museum of Art and is involved in numerous community organizations. She is married to Tom Rice, who is also a graduate of the TTU School of Media & Communications with a degree in advertising.
Tod Robberson is a member of the Dallas Morning News editorial board. He has been a professional
journalist for 31 years, 25 of which he spent as a foreign correspondent and editor
for various news organizations, including the Morning News, The Washington Post and
Reuters news agency. Tod has covered military affairs since 1983, including the wars
in Lebanon, El Salvador, Colombia, Arab-Israeli conflicts, Iran-Iraq war, 1991 U.S.-led
war against Iraq, Afghanistan (2001-2006) and Iraq (2003-2006).
He currently writes editorials and columns for The Dallas Morning News on local and international topics. He won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2010 and first place in editorial writing in the 2014 National Headliner Awards competition.
Tod earned his bachelor’s degree in communications/print journalism from Texas Tech in 1981. He holds a master’s degree in Arab Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. After undergraduate studies, Tod moved to Washington, where he was on the startup staff of the Washington Business Journal. He later formed a Washington news service with the toughest Texan in journalism, the late Sarah McClendon.
In 1983-84, he worked as a reporter in Beirut, Lebanon, later moving to Cyprus as a regional correspondent for Reuters covering Syria and the Iran-Iraq war. In 1986, Tod became the Reuters bureau chief in El Salvador. He later moved to Washington to work at The Washington Post and complete his master’s at Georgetown. He was the last Washington Post correspondent in Baghdad before the 1991 war began. He became the Post’s Mexico bureau chief in 1992.
From 1997 to 2006, Tod covered Latin America, Europe, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East for The Dallas Morning News. He and his family resided in Colombia, Panama and London.
Tod speaks fluent Spanish and has forgotten most of the Arabic that he used to speak, read and write. His wife, Catherine, teaches theatre in the Dallas.
Randy Roberts, a 1974 graduate of Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and advertising, is General Sales Manager of ICA Broadcasting’s media properties in Odessa and Midland, Texas. These include television stations KOSA (CBS) and NOSA (MyTV) as well as radio stations KCRS-AM, KCRS-FM, KFZX-FM, KMRK-FM and KCHX-FM. With over 40 years of broadcasting experience, Randy has also held senior management positions with stations in Lubbock, Tyler-Longview and Harlingen-McAllen. While at Tech Randy was Student Manager of KTXT-FM and in 1982 was a charter member of the first Mass Communications Alumni Advisory Committee, the precursor to the National Professional Advisory Board at Texas Tech. In addition to service on numerous charitable boards and organizations Randy was also a member of the inaugural Fox Affiliates Sales Advisory Committee.
Randy’s three children, Erin, Allen and Emmy, are all Tech graduates. He and his wife Shirley live in Midland and Fort Worth.
Brad Roe is originally from El Paso, Texas. He graduated in 1989 from Texas Tech University
with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising. Brad worked as Promotion Manager for Fox KJTV34
in Lubbock. He then worked as a writer/producer for KDFW, the Dallas Fox affiliate
and as the Marketing Director for KABB, the San Antonio Fox affiliate. In 1995, Brad
headed West to work as an On-air Writer/Producer for the Fox Network in Los Angeles.
He produced spots for shows like Party of 5, That 70’s Show, The X-Files, and King
of The Hill.
In 1999, Brad went to work for CBS Television as a Writer/Producer and is now a vice president of on-air advertising and promotion for the network. He’s worked on shows like CSI, CSI:New York, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, Under the Dome, and Person of Interest.
Brad has also done Spanish voice over work and Spanish translations for clients like Fox, CBS, DirecTV, and Time Warner Cable.
Chris is currently a sales and marketing consultant with over 24 years of experience in Sales, Sales Management, Advertising and Marketing. As a successful media and sales Executive, Chris has been a leader in the launch and growth of a number of publications and companies across the country.
Prior to building his consulting practice, Chris held a variety of sales management and executive positions with companies like New York Times Co., Metrocorp Media, Greenspun Media Inc., and BuyWithMe.com.
Chris currently serves as an instructor for Start -Up institute where he teaches sales strategy and planning. He also is a mentor for Mass Challenge and Youth Cities and coaches young start-ups through these programs.
Chris is a 2002 graduate of the prestigious Leadership Las Vegas program and a 2009 graduate of the Boston Future Leaders Program through the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Chris graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising from Texas Tech University. He currently resides in Marshfield, MA with his family.
Dr. Billy I. Ross
Dr. Billy I. Ross is the founding chairman of the Department of Mass Communications when in 1970 journalism, telecommunications, advertising, public relations and photography were brought together into one department. Dr. Ross is Professor Emeritus from both Texas Tech and Louisiana State University. Have been inducted into Halls of Fame of Texas Tech and Louisiana State University and was awarded the Army's Legion of Merit.
Jay Rosser is a Texas Tech University alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He is also vice president, public affairs for T. Boone Pickens and his investment firm, BP Capital. He helps coordinate the media, legislative, and philanthropic aspects of Mr. Pickens' initiatives. In this role, he has helped manage "The Pickens Plan," a $100 million grassroots multimedia effort launched in July 2008 intended to raise awareness of the danger of U.S. dependence on foreign oil and bring solutions to bear. The campaign has won numerous awards including the Association of Political Consultants' Public Affairs Campaign of the Year ("Pollie Award") and Campaign & Elections Politics Magazine Reed Award for best use of social networking technology. That campaign was also recognized by the Holmes Group, an industry leading public relations trade organization, as the Best Public Affairs Campaign of the Year.
Jay's other work includes nearly 10 years as a news reporter, a stint as a gubernatorial press secretary in Texas, and as the communications director for Koch Industries, the nation's largest privately held company.
Andy Rowe, group director at Optimedia Dallas, currently manages all facets of media for Denny’s, Bridgestone/Firestone, and Service
Master (Terminix and TruGreen), and participates in new business pitches.
Andy’s media career began over 20 years ago following a summer internship at Tracey-Locke in Dallas. After graduating from Texas Tech University, Andy spent nearly 10 years with Bloom/Publicis working his way up to group media director, managing retail and packaged goods accounts such as Nestle, La Quinta Inns, Zales Jewelers, Ross Labs and TGI Friday’s. In 1999, Andy joined OMD Dallas to lead the JCPenney business, and within a few years, ended up the general manager of the OMD Dallas office. In 2004, Andy relocated to OMD Chicago where he led and won media-only pitches for Pier 1, H&R Block, and LifeLock.
Andy is well known for his unique and creative approach to his clients’ businesses. Development of a local market prioritization model, identification of universal retail truths and savvy negotiation skills has resulted in significant results for his clients: significant sales growth for JCPenney, the first successful tax season in five years for H&R Block and free television production for La Quinta Inns.
Andy is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, camping and any form of outdoor exercise. He and his wife (Jill TTHSC ’90) have two sons, Blaine and Garrett, and reside in Frisco, Texas.
Linda Rutherford is vice President, Communication & Outreach, for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. She received her bachelor of arts from Texas Tech University with a degree in 1988 in Journalism. She is a 2002 Media & Communications Outstanding Alumna and a 2009 inductee into the College of Media & Communication Hall of Fame. She was inducted in 2008 into the PR News Hall of Fame, and her team's communication, outreach and emerging media work has been recognized by numerous publications and organizations.
Jennifer Schuder is a marketing professional with extensive experience in experiential marketing and customer acquisition. Currently, Jennifer is the vice president of marketing for the State Fair of Texas, where she oversees the Fair’s brand management and creative initiatives as well as all sponsorship management. Jennifer is also serving as an Adjunct Lecture for Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship program within the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Previously, Jennifer was chief marketing officer and director of community outreach for the Dallas Opera where she led a multi-functional communications staff. During her nine-season tenure at the opera, she developed and executed an acquisition and messaging strategy to expand ticket sales and deepen the patrons’ bond to the company. She also formulated an interactive strategy to take ticket sales online and create a robust CRM/e-mail program.
Jennifer earned a master’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis on public relations, in 1996 from Texas Tech University’s College of Media & Communication. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1992 in management information systems from Texas Tech’s College of Business Administration.
Linda Sease, principal of the Sterling Sease Group, LLC has almost 35 years of experience in all aspects of marketing communications including brand development, product marketing, corporate communications, advertising, newspaper and radio media management, media buying, sports marketing, non-profit marketing and special events.
Prior to opening her own firm, Linda spent 17 years in the newspaper business with The E. W. Scripps Company serving first as vice president of marketing and digital at the Rocky Mountain News and later as corporate director of marketing for the newspaper division of Scripps. Linda spent 11 years combined with Macy’s and Foley’s in sales promotion, broadcast advertising, corporate communications and public affairs. Her experience also includes director of communications and game operations for the NBA’s Houston Rockets as well as director of marketing for Houston Ballet.
Bill Seitzler is Senior Consultant for SmithGeiger LLC. Providing clients with an expertise in station management, promotion, branding, production, digital media, marketing and news strategies, Bill joined SmithGeiger in 2006 after working 20 years at four different local television stations across the country.
During his time as a senior consultant, Bill has provided key insights to growing newscast ratings through social media engagement in combination with exemplary news coverage on the television platform. Small market stations can “play big” in the social media space and Bill has helped many of his partner stations achieve the highest social media engagement metrics in the country.
Before serving as news director for television stations KXAN – NBC Austin, KJRH – NBC Tulsa, WHEC – NBC Rochester, KAMC – ABC Lubbock, Bill was a television and radio sportscaster for 10 years. As news director, Bill led newsrooms that won multiple Emmy, Regional Murrow and Associated Press Awards for various newscast excellences.
As a news director, Bill used his passion for weather to develop innovative “Weather Lab” sets and presentations now used in many local television newsrooms. With a background in Storm Chasing and Marathon Severe Weather Coverage, Bill continues to channel his passion to develop innovative weather coverage ideas for SmithGeiger clients. Bill lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Lynette and their two children. In addition to being active in the Austin community, Bill serves as a faculty member for The Kneeland Project, a non-profit organization created to promote ethics and on-going education of local TV News Directors.
Telea Johnson Stafford
Telea Johnson Stafford is principal/founder of Dallas based Phenixx Marketing & Media, LLC. Telea is a 1994 graduate from the School of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University and earned an MBA from the University of North Texas in 2003. Telea serves on the board of Special Olympics, Texas Tech Foundation board and Texas Tech Alumni board, UNCF board of governors and is also president of The Stafford Foundation. The Stafford Foundation has been recognized by the community for its ongoing commitment to first generation scholarships. Telea has received numerous awards for outstanding achievements in advertising, philanthropy and volunteerism.
Charlene Stark serves as president of Hope for the Brave. Hope for the Brave is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that builds capacity and collaborations with other nonprofits serving U.S. military veterans and their families. Prior to founding Hope for the Brave, Charlene worked with technology companies in marketing, communications, business development and consulting roles. In 1996, she joined NetSpeed and was responsible for all external marketing and company launch strategies. NetSpeed was acquired by Cisco Systems in 1998. Prior to NetSpeed, Charlene served as business development manager for Dell and was a member of the initial seven-person team that developed and launched dell.com. Charlene has had the honor to serve the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University since 2000 and currently serves as chairman of the college’s National Advisory Board. She was recognized as an Outstanding Alumna by the college in 2000.
Erin Steed celebrates nearly three decades of communications excellence, slipping seamlessly between the roles of PR strategist and consultant, digital media producer, writer and public speaker. Her work each day is comprised of a unique formula of any of those components and more. That’s because her primary success isn’t defined by tactic, it’s defined by listening. A former reporter, Erin retains an innate ability to “interview” a client or contact, then take the information gathered to identify a need, craft laser-sited messaging and execute it in a way where the client feels heard, the audience is intrigued and response is rockin’.
Erin earned a Journalism degree from Texas Tech University in May, 1992, with a broadcast specialization. Erin spent 15 years as an on-air TV news anchor and reporter, working many Texas markets, as well as at the network level. Erin also served in an executive newsroom management capacity for the Gannett Corporation, a long-time broadcast industry powerhouse that just recently acquired Belo and its 21 TV news properties. Erin has covered historic hurricanes, interviewed three sitting U.S. Presidents and traveled extensively, reporting live from the scenes of breaking news around the country. Erin’s career in TV news began before the era of internet and computers and finished in a time when scripts were typed into smart phones and uploaded remotely to the teleprompter. While social media boomed after she left news, Erin quickly mastered its best uses and enjoys it as a new, instant and extremely effective communications tool for her wealth of contacts who continue to punch the clock as working news reporters, producers and managers.
Hurricane Katrina was the turning point in Erin’s career. With a one year old daughter, Erin was asked to commit to spending a month in New Orleans for the NBC network covering Katrina. Erin, always one to volunteer first for spot-news events and travel, realized family had changed her priorities. After finishing her NBC contract, Erin left TV news in 2005 and became a stay-at-home mom.
The curious nature and writer’s mind of a true newsie cannot stay idle long, and Erin quickly transitioned into the PR world. Erin launched Steed Creative in 2005, an agency that delivers a new blend of PR to include client coaching and consulting, with a focus on training clients to be their own news reporters. Cross-media affords businesses and individuals the opportunity to tell their own stories and put them before their chosen audiences, yet doing so requires guidance and training or the results can be contradictory to the goals. Erin’s current and past clients include Country Music Television (CMT,) the cities of Frisco, Dallas and Fort Worth, American Airlines, Presbyterian Hospital and a number of small businesses. Erin also enjoys non-profit work and offers pro-bono services to a number of organizations. In addition to her role on the National Professional Advisory Board, Erin also serves on the board of Houston’s Character Matters Service Dogs, a companion animal and service dog training and placement non-profit.
Loren Steffy is a senior writer with the communications firm 30 Point Strategies, a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and a contributor to Forbes.com. He is the author of Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit published by McGraw-Hill in 2010 and The Man Who Thought Like a Ship, published by Texas A&M University Press in April 2012.
For nine years, Loren was the business columnist for the Houston Chronicle, and his writing has been published in newspapers and other publications nationwide. He has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business, MSNBC, the BBC and the PBS NewsHour. Before joining the Chronicle, he was the Dallas bureau chief and a senior writer for Bloomberg News for 12 years.
Stacey Sullivan currently serves as director of PR & corporate communications for the At Home brand. She develops internal and external communications programs designed to create positive recognition of the company’s vision, values and business strategies, and to increase team member engagement. She oversees public relations, crisis communications, executive messaging, internal and change communication.
Prior to joining At Home, Stacey enjoyed an eight-year tenure at Brinker International, owner, franchiser and operator of more than 1,600 Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurants worldwide.
A Silver Spur and Bronze Quill award winner, Stacey’s honed her communication skills throughout a 15-year career with positions in marketing and internal/external communications for Southwest Airlines, Richardson Regional Medical Center, Fujitsu Network Communications (telecommunications) and Carlson Hotels Worldwide.
Mat Threadgill started his career at The Richards Group after graduating from Texas Tech in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising. While there, he worked on The Home Depot, helping launch a new line of power tools, revamp the gift card program and develop the company’s sports sponsorships. He headed up the Fruit of the Loom, and Adams Golf accounts.
In March of 2007, Mat co-founded DIB Creative with Clay Knight. The idea was to build a totally different agency model founded on digital marketing expertise. While at DIB, Mat launched 50+ web sites, led online marketing efforts, initiated social media programs, built iPhone Apps, launched the first ever hyper-local TV station on the web and have co-founded five new digitally-driven business entities.
In 2012, Mat moved to the National Breast Cancer Foundation as Vice President of Corporate Relations. Mat helped procure major corporate partners including Harley-Davidson, NASCAR and Talladega Superspeedway, James Avery, Rudy’s BBQ, Studio Movie Grill, Salem Media and Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Currently, Mat is vice president of client services at Standing Dog Interactive in Dallas. Standing Dog is a leading internet marketing company in Dallas and has been named one of INC. 5000’s fast growing private companies three years in a row.
Mat has been on the Texas Tech College of Media & Communication's National Professional Advisory Board since 2005 and co-chaired the Texas Tech Dallas Scholarship event in 2009. He has also been involved with the Texas Tech Dallas Career Development Conference over the past two years.
Rick Walker is currently CEO and Founder of alohai.org, a non-profit organization established to increase humanity's consciousness by highlighting issues critical to global development and broader understanding today. The organization, established to honor the spirit and legacy of his deceased wife, Stacey Walker is engaged in raising human consciousness through highlighting such issues as alternative cancer therapies, understanding geo-political issues through a clear lens that circumvents the bias and control of the US mainstream media and finally, the "Classroom of The World" program that engages in cross-cultural trips and exchanges that break down negative preconceptions held by people of divergent nation states and cultures.
Previously, Walker was Director of Strategic Alliances for Microsoft in their telecommunications and media-focused partner team based in Redmond, WA. Prior to this he held similar roles at AT&T and Nortel Networks. Rick has spent most of his career in an international management or business development role; most notably as General Manager for a unit of Swiss-based Nestle AG in Moscow, Russian Federation. Rick has presented globally regarding the Russian investment climate in corporate investment conferences in London, Brussels, and Frankfurt and has spent nearly five years residing in the former Soviet Union and is proficient in Russian. Rick holds a Master of Business Administration in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from Texas Tech University.
Walker currently resides in Boca Raton, Florida with his newlywed wife, Tasha and their four children: Grace, Matt, Will and Sophie. He has served on the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communications Advisory Board since 2007 and was named an Outstanding Alumnus of the College in 2010.
Chris E. Wallace, IOM, CCE is president of the Texas Association of Business, the state chamber of commerce. In this role, he oversees TAB’s operations, membership/marketing, strategy, administration and chamber relations. Prior to joining the TAB team, Chris was the president/chief executive officer of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber, the third largest chamber of commerce in North Texas and the first national Five-Star Accredited Chamber in Texas. He also managed the Irving Economic Development Partnership. Chris serves as a trustee of the Institute for Organization Management as well as a Regent of Northeast Institute at Villanova University. He is among only 530 executives in the nation who have earned their CCE (Certified Chamber Executive) designation. Chris is a past chairman of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives Association and also serves on the national board of the Business & Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC).
During his leadership at the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber, Irving was successful in attracting corporations such as Envoy, Celanese, CHRISTUS, Neovia (Caterpillar) Logistics Services, Blackberry, Fluor, TXU Energy, Consolidated Electrical Distributors and Health Management Systems to establish their headquarters in Irving. Chris’s leadership also led to the construction and completion of an award-winning marketing center which showcases state-of-the-art technology as well as the development of an international trade center in partnership with the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce. Both are instrumental in promoting Irving as an international community that is home to more than 9,000 businesses, including the global headquarters of five Fortune 500 companies and the presence of 48 others.
Chris has also served as the vice president of administration for the Las Colinas Association where he successfully developed and implemented a corporate communications and marketing program for the 12,000-acre Las Colinas development.
He is a 1992 graduate of Texas Tech University and serves as a member of the Texas Tech Chancellor's Council as well as the National Professional Advisory Board of the College of Media and Communication where he was named an outstanding alumnus in 1988. Chris has experience in economic development marketing, strategic planning, and public relations including management in both the public and private sectors. He has played an active role in several local and state political campaigns. Chris is an advocate of strong civic engagement through his involvement with numerous social service, education, arts and municipal-related boards/commissions. He was a finalist for a 2010 White House Fellowship.
Alex Wells is the President of Aars | Wells, an integrated creative communications firm located in downtown Dallas. Since its founding in 2002, Aars | Wells has provided an array of marketing communications services to over 350 clients, earning more than 80 awards for creative excellence along the way. Alex is a Lubbock native and a 2001 graduate of the College of Media & Communication. He was recognized as an Outstanding Alumni of the College in 2013.
Morris Wilkes is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. He is owner of The Wilkes Company, a strategic communications/public affairs and political consulting firm. Morris spent 13 years in the radio broadcasting business. He served for 8 years as executive assistant to State Senator John T. Montford and also as the chief clerk of the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee. He was previously vice president of public affairs for Cox Communications.
Morris served the President George W. Bush Presidential Campaign and the White House as a lead advance representative from 2001-2009. He has been named as an Outstanding Alumnus of the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication and as a Distinguished Alumnus of Leadership Lubbock. In 2005, Morris was named Public Affairs Professional of the Year by Cox Communications. He is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
Holly Williams, prior to joining Invoke in May of 2013, was managing director of business development for Kantar Media. In that role, Holly led the development and sales of digital analytics services to the largest consumer package goods companies in the world. Prior to Kantar, she held senior sales and management positions with Experian Research Services, comScore Media Metrix, America Online, and The Arbitron Company. Holly began her career in the agency business at Tracy-Locke Advertising in Dallas Texas.
Currently living in New York but forever a Texan, she has served on the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communications Advisory Board since 2008 and was named an Outstanding Alumna of the College in 2010.
Holly lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Joe, and 10 going on 25 year-old daughter, Mary Quin.
Chase York Williams
Chase York Williams is the communications manager for the Office of Administration at The University of Texas at Dallas. In her role, Chase leads the communications strategy for the office and its respective departments and serves as a liaison between the office and other University and community entities. She is responsible for the office’s internal and external communications, including content development, media relations, crisis communications, social media and marketing.
Prior to joining UT Dallas, Chase worked as a communications specialist for CHRISTUS Health, an international, nonprofit Catholic health system, and as a public relations senior account executive for HCK2 Partners, where she served multiple client accounts ranging from technology and nonprofits to restaurants and retail.
Chase holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations honors studies from Texas Tech University. She is an active member in the Dallas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and the Junior League of Dallas.
Matt Wilson is the Director of Sports for the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau in Arlington,
Texas. In this position, Matt is responsible for marketing Arlington as a destination
for sporting events ranging from national youth sports tournaments to NCAA championships
and Super Bowls. Matt has served on the Local Organizing Committee for events such
as the NCAA Final Four, College Football Playoff National Championship and Wrestlemania.
Prior to his work in Arlington, Matt was a founding member of the Austin Sports Commission
in Austin, Texas where he worked on events ranging from USA Taekwondo World Championships
to Formula 1 racing. Matt’s career began with an internship at the Sylvania Alamo
Bowl in San Antonio that later materialized into his first full-time position immediately
after graduating from Texas Tech University. In San Antonio, Matt worked for the Alamo
Bowl, the US Army All-American Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game. Currently Matt
serves as the Chairman of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Tourism Council Sports Alliance,
director of the Arlington Sports Advisory Council and a member of the Maverick Club
Advisory Committee (University of Texas – Arlington) and recent addition to the Texas
Tech College of Media & Communication National Advisory Board.
Matt is a native West Texan and a proud graduate of Levelland High School (’96) and Texas Tech University (’01). Matt’s family has strong ties to Texas Tech as his grandparents, parents and three siblings attending the university. He married his high school sweetheart, Leah, and together they enjoy their two beautiful young ladies – Ella and Ava.
Clay Wright is the owner and executive producer for Desert Gem Productions, based in Albuquerque,
New Mexico. He is the 2010 TTU Media & Communications Outstanding Alumnus. Clay has
earned two Emmy's and multiple national awards. His work is often seen on CBS Nightly
News, Entertainment Tonight, Discovery, the History Channel and elsewhere.
Clay received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University in journalism.
With more than 15 years of hands-on and strategic experience in interactive marketing and a background in traditional and interactive public relations and journalism, Tony Wright, CEO and founder of WrightIMC has spent his career helping businesses of all sizes be profitable on the Web. Tony is a search marketing and social media expert and also has extensive experience in online crisis communication and brand reputation strategy, including corporate blogging and corporate monitoring, most notably directing the online corporate reputation management strategy for American Airlines immediately following the events of September 11, 2001. Tony serves on the board and is past president of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Search Marketing Association. He currently serves as the vice president of the global Search Engine Marketing Professional Association (SEMPO), to which he was elected by his peers in the industry. He is a frequent national speaker on search engine marketing, interactive advertising and reputation management topics. Tony received his Master of Arts in mass communication from Texas Tech University in 1999.