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
- Ron Askew
- Bill Baer
- Stephen Beasley
- Larry Beaulieu
- Janet Bustin
- Phill Casaus
- Chino Chapa
- Bob Cohen
- Brad Dawson
- Kirk Dooley
- Dionicio (Don) Flores
- Grant Gold
- Jay Hagins
- Lisa Bowers Harbert
- Greg Heitzman
- Gregg Holmes
- Kay Betts Jackson
- Gary Joiner
- Camille Keith
- Rick J. Matchett
- R. King Nelson
- Eddie Owens
- Michael Page
- Chuck Parker
- Scott Parsons
- Scott Pelley
- Phil Price
- Mike Read
- Dusty Rector
- Kim Rice
- Tod Robberson
- Randy Roberts
- Chris Rohland
- Dr. Billy I. Ross
- Andy Rowe
- Linda Sease
- Bill Seitzler
- Telea Johnson Stafford
- Charlene Stark
- Loren Steffy
- Rick Walker
- Chris Wallace
- Chase York Williams
Board Member Profiles
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.
Wayne Barringer is Director, Creative & Branding Services at The Boeing Company. There
he leads a team of 150 creative professionals who produce employee communications
and sales videos, 3D touch-screen data visualizations and multimedia, print collateral,
webcasts, mobile apps, and web designs. The team's work is featured through environmental
installations, national TV, external websites and social media platforms and global
aerospace trade events like the Paris Air Show.
Before Boeing, Wayne oversaw communications for several ad agencies and PR firms including Porter Novelli and Weber Shandwick. He is also an academic instructor and advisor, having held teaching positions at three universities, including Texas Tech, University of Washington, and Western Washington University. Though he'll never do it again, this summer Wayne completed a marathon.
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.
Monte Beck is the Founder and President of Beck.Works, a venture equity and management consulting
practice advising CEO's, CMO's and business leaders on modern business practices for
today's digital eco-system. Monte launched Beck.Works to help businesses achieve success
in today's digital-first, customer-savvy world. Focus areas include business strategy,
management practices, marketing technologies, customer experience planning, digital
platforms, product development, technology enablement, data analytics and omni-channel
With over 20 years of c-level and senior executive experience in the technology, telecom, CPG and energy sectors, Monte is an expert at initiating and expanding business in both transformational and high-growth environments. Across both B2C and B2B segments, Monte has a proven track record of growing profits, increasing market share, improving productivity and enhancing brand equity for some of America's most recognized brands.
Prior to Beck.Works, Monte was the Chief Marketing Officer of Direct Energy, a $20 Billion retail energy and home services firm serving over 6 million customers. As CMO, Monte oversaw enterprise-wide brand and marketing strategies, technology-enabled product introductions, digital innovations, data analytic advances, smart energy solutions, and strategic partnerships.
Earlier in his career, Monte spent 15 years with Verizon as Vice President in a variety
of senior executive roles: General Management; Business Planning; Digital; Brand Advertising,
Customer Relationship Management; Product Development; Channel Management; Marketing
Analytics; Pricing and others. He began his career in the advertising agency business,
where he was responsible for campaigns within the packaged goods, quick service restaurant,
automotive and tourism sectors.
Monte is a proud graduate of Texas Tech University and resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and two children.
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.
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 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.
During that time 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 to win its spot back in the Olympic Games. He lived in Coursier-Sur-Vevey, Switzerland, the home of the federation during his stint as communications officer.
Condron returned for his 16th Olympic Games serving as Media Manger for the sport of golf for Rio2016, living in Brazil as golf returned to the games after a 112-year absence.
He was 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 USGA staff for six 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 for 14 years and was the assistant sports information director at Texas Tech for three years after his graduation in 1968. He was named to the College Sports Information Director's Association Hall of Fame in 2004 and won the association's Keith Jackson Award in 2012. He was named the Outstanding Alumni of the Texas Tech Media & Communication in 2000 and to the college's Hall of Fame in 2008. He was in the first graduate class of Journalism at Texas Tech in 1969.
His son Mark, a producer/director of The Olympic Channel in Madrid, Spain, was a 2008 selectee for Texas Tech's Outstanding Alumni Award.
Condron is currently a member of the selection committees for the State of Colorado and the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fames.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DR. RUSSELL LOWERY-HART (email@example.com) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From the courtroom to the boardroom, Linda Swindling, JD knows firsthand about influencing decision makers and asking outrageously. She is a “recovering” attorney, popular speaker, executive coach and strategic consultant. Additionally, Linda is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and president of Journey On, a speaking and consulting company.
Linda is the author of several books including Ask Outrageously: The Secret to Getting What You Really Want, Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers: How to Positively Negotiate Work Drama to Get Things Done and The Manager's High-Performance Handbook: How to Drive Winning Performance with Everyone on Your Team. She also created the popular Passports to Success book series which offers thirteen titles on workplace and communication issues. Her TEDx Talk, “Why the World Needs You to Ask Outrageously,” was presented in 2016 at TEDx SMU.
Linda holds a Broadcast Journalism degree from Texas Tech and her law degree from Texas Tech School of Law. She is married to Gregg who received his Finance Degree and a Masters in Economics. Their son Parker and his wife, Victoria, will graduate in the spring of 2018. Their daughter Taylor hopes to start Tech in the fall of 2018.
Suzanne W. Taylor practices estate planning, probate and guardianship law at the Fort Worth and Arlington firm, Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Taplett, LLP. She thoroughly enjoys helping clients with their Wills and other necessary documents as well as family members that are settling the affairs of their loved ones. Prior to private practice, Suzanne served as Director of External Relations for the President's Office at Texas Tech University. She received both her Bachelor's degree in Advertising and her law degree from Texas Tech University. Suzanne is heavily involved in the women's ministry at her church, First Baptist Church Arlington, and in an organization for young professional women called Polished. She is married to a fellow Red Raider, Brandon, and they have a daughter named Kate, and a dog named Raider!
Mat Threadgill started his career at The Richards Group after graduating from Texas Tech in 2000 with a BS 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.
Mat then moved to Vice President of Client Services at Standing Dog Interactive in Dallas. Standing Dog is a 75-person internet marketing company in Dallas and has been named one of INC. 5000's fast growing private companies three years in a row. There he worked on Greystar, the largest multifamily management and development company in the country. He also worked on Omni Hotels, Perot Museum and True Results.com.
In November of 2016, Mat launched The Threadgill Agency. His agency focuses on small and mid-size companies that need senior-level marketing strategy and digital marketing performance execution. His clients include SIXSITE Hunting Gear, Specialty Optical Supply, Warstic Bat Company and Sleep Centers of Texas.
Mat has been on the Texas Tech College of Media and Communications' National Advisory Board since 2005 and co-chaired the Texas Tech Dallas Scholarship event in 2009. He was also awarded the Outstanding Alumnus award in 2014.
T.J. Turner is a partner in the Austin law firm of Cain & Skarnulis PLLC where his practice focuses on business litigation. He has previously served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas, as Assistant General Counsel in the Office of the Governor, and as a Briefing Attorney at the Eleventh Court of Appeals.
Mr. Turner is a proud graduate of Texas Tech University, where he earned a bachelor of arts in Public Relations, and Baylor University School of Law, where he earned his juris doctorate. At Texas Tech, Mr. Turner was elected to three terms as a student senator, serving as chair of the Public Relations Committee, and was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, where he served as International Vice President, Chapter President, and Fall 1996 Pledge Class President.
In 2012, Governor Perry appointed Mr. Turner to the Texas Real Estate Commission as a public member commissioner. Governor Abbott reappointed Mr. Turner to the Commission in November 2015 where he now serves as Secretary. T.J. is also involved with the Austin chapter of the Texas Tech University Alumni Association, I Live Here, I Give Here, Austin Young Lawyers Association, Baylor Business Network, and First United Methodist Church of Austin where he serves on the Administrative Board and Board of Trustees. Mr. Turner resides in Austin with his wife, Jamie, and their two children, Cameron and Eliza.
Randy Wade is the Director of Development for the College of Architecture and the Honors College at Texas Tech University. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Texas Tech University and began his career as an Account Coordinator at PR Newswire in Dallas. He recently moved to Lubbock from Denver, Colorado where he was a Business Development Account Executive for Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, and was involved in PRSA Colorado and the National Investor Relations Institute – Rocky Mountain Chapter.
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.
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.
College of Media & Communication
AddressTexas Tech University, Box 43082, Lubbock, TX 79409