The purposes of the board are to promote the recognition, welfare and progress of the College of Media & Communication education including journalism, advertising, digital media and professional communication, creative media industries, communication studies, media strategies and public relations and strategic communication management.
- Greg Asher
- Wayne Barringer
Founder of WBC In-House Advisors
- W. Brice Beaird
President and Owner of The Beaird Agency, Inc.
- Monte Beck
CEO of Tabulate, Inc.
- Kay Bell
Owner of SKB Editorial Services
- Kent Best
Assistant Vice President for Marketing at The University of Texas at Dallas
- Michelle Bleiberg
Senior Vice President at FleishmanHillard
- Sano Riley Blocker
Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Vistra Corp
- Brian Borthwick
Vice president of operations of the Northwest Systems for Suddenlink Communications' Southwest Region
- Trudi Lewis Boyd
Senior vice president and managing director at Story Partners, LLC
- Don Burk
VP of Sales and Strategic Alliances for Securus Technologies
- Matt Bush
Associate creative director at Ogilvy Chicago
- John Chriss
Founder of Chriss Brokerage
- Matt Cobb
Account executive for BubbleLife Media
- Bob Condron
Member of the selection committees for the State of Colorado and the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fames
- Chris Cook
Joined the First Financial Bank family in July 2021, following 28 years in intercollegiate athletics and university administration
- Greg Davis
- Mark deTranaltes
Outstanding Alumnus from the College of Media & Communication in 2007
- Megan Decker
- Anna Delano
Lubbock Regional Market Development Manager for Reliant Energy
- Evan Dixon
Vice president of communications at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions
- Gary Dixon
President of The Foundation for a Better Life
- John D. Esparza
President and chief executive officer of the Texas Trucking Association
- Joe Fairless
Co-founder of Ashcroft Capital
- Jillian Fleming
Director of Global Communications at Darling Ingredients
- Rich Flora
Nationally recognized and awarded advertising professional
- Alissa Fono
Global Head of Marketing and Communications for the Oil and Gas Process Solutions Business for Siemens Energy
- David Fowler
Senior partner and executive creative director for Ogilvy & Mather
- Lynn Gilmore
Leads the Corporate Citizenship enterprise community strategy for Northrop Grumman Corporation
- Brett Gray
President, Brett Gray Public Relations LLC
- Inez Russell Gomez
Editorial page editor for The Santa Fe New Mexican
- Ian Halperin
Executive Director of Community Relations and Marketing for the Wylie ISD
- Francisco "Paco" G. Hamm
Production executive and producer with Machal Productions
- Rodney Hand
Principal of Rodney Hand & Associates Marketing Communications
- Kristen Lollar
Chief Marketing Officer for Whitley Penn
- Russell Lowery-Hart
President of Amarillo College
- Mark Hayden
Chief Marketing Officer for OAK Interactive
- Greg Heitzman
Account Executive with Cumulus Media
- James Hering
Principal specializing in digital marketing with The Richards Group
- R.J. Hinkle
Photojournalist, working for a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as United Press International and the Associated Press
- Ashley Hoptay
Senior public relations manager at AT&T
- Jill Hockenbury
Director of Physician Outreach Programs at UT Southwestern Medical Center
- Anne Hudson
Morning show co-host on 96.7 KISS- FM's popular “The Billy The Kidd Show,” and hosts middays on 101 KASE-FM
- Jeff Klotzman
Retired from television news, public school communications, advertising, and teaching
- Telea Stafford Jackson
President of Phenixx Marketing & Media
- Tim Loecker
Senior vice president in the Dallas office of Weber Shandwick
- Steve McCutcheon
Founder of Cheyenne Cañon Segways
- Ali McLane
Senior Research & Analytics Consultant at Lindauer Global
- Albert McNeel
Producer in the San Antonio market
- Carl Mullins
Business development director for the National Cutting Horse Association
- Martha Neibling
Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center
- Ginger Pearson Nelson
Business woman and counselor of local families and small businesses
- Joey Pfund-Smith
Sr. Communications Manager, Global Diversity & Inclusion @ Microsoft
- Deb Bolner Prost
Career in advertising, marketing, and statistical data with entrepreneurship in new products, distribution and ecommerce
- John Rafferty
Director of sales and marketing with KATV ABC 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas
- Kim Rice
Worked as Director of Marketing and Communications for the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and as the Community Relations Manager at KERA
- Craig Rettig
Founding Partner at Perceptiv
- Brad Roe
Vice President of Creative Services for Bally Sports
- Jay Rosser
Vice president, public affairs for T. Boone Pickens and his investment firm, BP Capital
- Linda Rutherford
Vice President, Communication & Outreach, for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co.
- Jennifer Schuder
Vice president of marketing for the State Fair of Texas
- Erin Steed
PR strategist and consultant, digital media producer, writer and public speaker
- Stacey Sullivan
Director of PR & corporate communications for the At Home brand
- Linda Swindling
Attorney, popular speaker, executive coach and strategic consultant
- David Swofford
Operates Conley Swofford Media, his PR company in Fredericksburg
- Suzanne W. Taylor
Chief of Staff and External Relations at Graham Associates, Inc.
- Mat Threadgill
Launched The Threadgill Agency
- T.J. Turner
Partner in the Austin law firm of Cain & Skarnulis PLLC
- Randy Wade
Director of Development for the College of Architecture and the Honors College at Texas Tech University
- Alex Wells
President of Aars | Wells
- Morris Wilkes
Owner of The Wilkes Company
- Holly Williams
Managing director of business development for Kantar Media prior to joining Invoke
- Matt Wilson
Director of Sports for the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Michael Winter
CEO and owner of Post Oak Media LLC
- Clay Wright
Owner and executive producer for Desert Gem Productions
- Tony Wright
CEO and founder of WrightIMC
- 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
- Gregg Holmes
- Kay Betts Jackson
- Gary Joiner
- Rick J. Matchett
- R. King Nelson
- Eddie Owens
- Michael Page
- Chuck Parker
- Scott Parsons
- Scott Pelley
- Mike Read
- Dusty Rector
- Tod Robberson
- Randy Roberts
- Chris Rohland
- Andy Rowe
- Linda Sease
- Bill Seitzler
- Charlene Stark
- Loren Steffy
- Rick Walker
- Chris Wallace
- Chase York Williams
Board Member Profiles
Wayne Barringer is Founder of WBC In-House Advisors. WBC trains companies how to build
and rebuild world-class cultures and operations - especially in creative and communications
teams. Clients have included MGM Resorts, Abbott Nutrition, Discovery Networks, SAP/Concur,
Robert Half, and more. Since 2015, Wayne been a featured speaker at dozens of creative
industry conferences and events. A 1991 graduate of Texas Tech's School of Mass Comm,
Wayne has worked exclusively in marketing, advertising and communications roles, including
most recently as Director, Creative & Branding Services at The Boeing Company. Before
Boeing, Wayne was managing director at global PR firm Porter Novelli and held adjunct
teaching positions at three universities, including Texas Tech, University of Washington,
and Western Washington University. Wayne - who in 2018 climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and
ran a marathon - lives in Seattle with his wife, Mary ('94/B.A. - Econ), and two sons
- both of whom are accounting/finance majors.
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 with over 20 years of c-level and senior executive experience in the Software, Technology, and Communications industries, Monte Beck has achieved success in both launching high-growth start-ups as well as leading large organizations within multi-billion corporations. He is an expert at initiating and expanding business in both turn-around and high-growth environments, and has established a track record of growing profits, increasing market share, and building brand equity for some of America's most recognized brands. In his current position, Monte is the CEO of Tabulate, Inc., a software-as-a-service company delivering financial analysis and back-office services to the hospitality market. In this role, Monte oversees the strategic direction of the business with a primary focus on product development, financial performance, national expansion.
Prior to Tabulate, Monte was Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Sellers Shield, a software start-up serving real estate brokers, agents, and home sellers. At Sellers Shield, he led business strategy, product development, marketing, and early-series financing rounds. Sellers Shield has quickly grown from business start-up to national prominence with over 500,000 home sale listings processed through the platform annually. Before Sellers Shield, Monte was a Management Consultant with ADT Security, where he advised the CMO and senior leadership on business practices and customer experience strategies to drive growth in today's digital-first world. Prior to his management consulting assignment with ADT, Monte was a Co-Owner and Partner of Ascend Marketing, a digital marketing agency serving large enterprise clients. While with Ascend, Monte built the marketing technology practice and oversaw all client relations. Preceding Ascend Marketing, 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, software-enabled product introductions, digital innovations, data analytics and strategic partnerships.
Earlier in his career, Monte spent 15 years with Verizon in a variety of senior executive roles. In his last role with the company, Monte served as Vice President/General Manager of the Small-Medium Business Division, overseeing a $6 Billion P&L. Earlier at Verizon, Monte oversaw all advertising agency relationships, which encompassed an ad spend of almost $1 Billion annually. He also led Verizon's national sponsorship programs, where he negotiated over $200 million in deals with the NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB, Grammys and other sports and entertainment properties. Monte's other leadership roles included Business Planning; Digital Marketing; Brand Advertising, Customer Relationship Management; Product Development; Channel Management; Marketing Analytics; Pricing and others.
Monte began his career in the advertising agency business, where he was responsible for national campaigns within the packaged goods, quick service restaurant, automotive and tourism sectors. His clients included Campbell Soup Company, General Motors, Suzuki Motorcycles, Popeyes Chicken, Dallas-Fort Worth Tourism as well as other interesting brands. Monte is a proud graduate of Texas Tech University and is honored to serve on the National Advisory Board of the College of Media and Communications. He lives in Austin, Texas and is married to Jennifer, another proud Red Raider. He also has two children, Larson (Honors Mechanical Engineering major at Texas Tech) and Landon (Junior in high school).
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's experience spans college athletics, healthcare and higher education marketing and communications, with a solid base in journalism. He leads an award-winning team of marketing professionals at The University of Texas at Dallas, where he serves as assistant vice president for marketing.
Previously, Best held marketing and communications positions at Southern Methodist University, Texas Health Resources, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and at Texas Tech University.
A 1987 journalism graduate of Texas Tech, Best has received regional and national awards for marketing, writing, publications design, student media advising and media relations. He was recognized by his alma mater with the Texas Tech School of Media and Communication's Distinguished Alumni award in 2015. Previously, he received 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 communications from Texas Tech in 1994.
Earlier in his career, Best was a frequent contributor as a sports writer for ESPN, MSNBC, the Dallas Morning News and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. He also was color commentator for Lady Raider women's basketball radio broadcasts. He previously served as an adjunct faculty member in media and communication at Texas Tech.
He is married to Gina Augustini Best, a writer and communications consultant, who earned a master's degree in mass communications from Texas Tech in 2002. The couple has a daughter, a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma. In his spare time, Best enjoys spending time with his family, attending sporting events, reading presidential biographies and playing the piano and guitar.
Michelle Bleiberg is an experienced public relations professional with expertise in thought leadership, corporate reputation, crisis communications, media relations, community relations, event planning and brand positioning. She has served clients in various industries, including entertainment, restaurant and hospitality, healthcare, nonprofit, the arts and energy.
Michelle joined FleishmanHillard in January 2022 as a senior vice president. During her tenure, she worked on two of the agency's larger accounts in Texas: Northern Arizona Healthcare and the State of Texas Statewide Prevention Public Awareness Campaign.
Before joining FleishmanHillard, she was Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for United Way of Tarrant County. She was responsible for all external communications, including advertising, digital marketing, promotions, and public relations to support the organization's mission and maximize positive exposure in local and national markets.
Prior to United Way of Tarrant County, she was vice president in the Dallas office of Allison+Partners where she managed the Dallas office, including client relationships, account growth, P&L, new business development, and staff management and mentoring. She was responsible for a portfolio of clients, including Navigant Energy, Supplemental Health Care and HighGround Advisors.
Michelle also was vice president of client services in the Dallas office of Pierpont Communications. She managed a portfolio of business, including Enel Green Power North America, Emirates Airline, the Dallas Holocaust Museum and BankFinancial. She served on the firm's senior leadership team and agency's strategic planning and growth steering committee and was the Dallas liaison for the firm's national partner MSL Group.
She served as a director in the public affairs practice for Burson-Marsteller in Dallas. She served as the U.S. day-to-day client lead for Shell Oil Company, NRG/Reliant Energy, Arizona Public Service Company, Halliburton/Landmark, the Government of Alberta's oil sands campaign, the State of Texas Voter Education Program (HAVA), the City of Dallas "Save Dallas Water" conservation campaign, and T.D. Jakes MegaFest in Dallas.
Michelle also worked for the Dallas Museum of Art as director of public relations. She oversaw public relations programs positioning the museum as a leading international arts institution and tourist destination. She also served as director of public relations and event marketing for ABC Radio Networks and as corporate communications manager for Tenet Healthcare. She was a client manager at Ackermann PR and Marketing and launched Pizza Hut's Big New Yorker and The Edge products. She also launched the Jack Daniel's Grill and first airport restaurant locations for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide (TGI Friday's) while at Ackermann and as a senior account executive at Publicis Public Relations.
She began her career in Dallas at Read-Poland Associates. 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 has a B.A. in public relations from Texas Tech University. She is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Texas Tech College of Media and Communication and a former board member of the Texas Tech National Alumni Association Board.
Sano Riley Blocker
Ms. Blocker is responsible for congressional and state public advocacy and political affairs activities at Vistra Corp. As senior vice president of government affairs, she oversees Vistra's legislative policy initiatives and political strategy, and administration of the employees' political action committees. Vistra is a Fortune 275 energy company based in Irving, Texas. The company is the largest competitive power generator in the U.S. with a capacity of 39,000 megawatts powered by a diverse portfolio including natural gas, nuclear, coal, solar, and battery energy storage facilities. Vistra is the largest competitive residential electricity provider in the country and offers more than 40 renewable energy plans.
Previously, Blocker served a similar function as the senior vice president of state and local political affairs for Vistra's predecessor, Energy Future Holdings (EFH). Before joining EFH in 2008, Blocker was executive director of global government affairs for technology giant EDS, where she was responsible for political relations across the nation's 50 states.
Blocker is a member of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation Advisory Board and is a former board member of the National Conference of State Legislatures Foundation. Blocker served as chair of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas and sits on the executive board of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association.
Blocker currently serves on the board of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and the National Advisory Board for Texas Tech College of Media and Communications. A proud Red Raider, she graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
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 VP of Sales and Strategic Alliances for Securus Technologies. Securus is a leading technology company that empowers rehabilitative justice by pioneering the development and deployment of communications, media and educational platforms for incarcerated persons.
Don's role with Securus includes leading the development of external partnerships, establishing and maintaining relationships with industry associations along leading a variety of internal teams that focus on intelligence and public safety.
Don moved to Securus after having spent 23 years at The McClatchy Company, which operates more than 30 media companies in 14 states, providing each of its communities with local journalism and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. Over his tenure at McClatchy, Don ran local and national sales organizations across multiple advertising and marketing platforms for clients ranging from SMB to international. Don strongly believes in understanding customer needs, solving those needs while building a positive culture focused on growth. Don is a Tech Texas graduate, is married to his wife of 23 years, Marie and has two teenage sons, Brandon and Alex. Brandon will be attending Texas Tech in the Fall as freshman in the College of Media and Communications.
Don and his wife Marie ('95 BBA) live in Colleyville, TX and have two sons, Brandon and Alex.
Matt Bush is a third-generation Red Raider with advertising in his blood and has been on commercial sets and working with his dad since he was 2 years old.
He graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in advertising and exercise sports science in 2009 and then joined his father's consulting firm to help elect potential political representatives.
In 2011, Bush moved to Chicago to attend the Chicago Portfolio School and went on to work at Leo Burnett Worldwide. After transferring to Havas Worldwide, he worked on award-winning advertising campaigns for Hefty and Reynolds Wrap.
Bush later moved to ad agency Foote, Cone and Belding Chicago where he has worked on multiple accounts, including Jack Daniel's, Michelob ULTRA and Jimmy John's.
Matt is currently an associate creative director at Ogilvy Chicago.
He is married to his wife, Tricia, and they have a 7-month-old boy named Jackson.
John Chriss is the founder of Chriss Brokerage, a lifestyle company focused on wellness and home, office, ranch real estate services as well as a photographer, film producer, writer and actor. Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, his love of film stems from watching black and white movies with his father. This same love inclined him to pack his things into his Camaro and drive cross-country to Los Angeles. John began acting and progressed to working in the production departments of a number of short films and eventually of television movies under the mentorship of HBO Hitchhiker series creator Lewis Chesler. Three of his previous co-produced shorts, A Relative Stranger, Love…Older and the Anthony Lapaglia- featured In Loco Parentis won awards at film festivals worldwide. John went on to co-write and produce the feature film Echoes of War, starring James Badge Dale, Ethan Embry, Maika Monroe and William Forsythe, which won a Special Jury Prize at the 2015 Dallas International Film Festival before being released in AMC theaters across America.
John is a graduate of the School of Mass Communications at Texas Tech where he earned a BA in Broadcast Journalism. He recalls some of his fondest memories being spent in the control room of the then exclusively student-run radio station on campus, KTXT. Whether learning how to write concisely in the late/ great Dr. Wernsman's class or being granted leniency by the also great Dr. Bill Dean, Texas Tech was the breeding ground and launching point of all of his successes accomplished in a myriad of careers as an adult.
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 for 10 years that oversaw the media operation of the Olympic Games. He served on various IOC committees including one that awarded the media accreditations to 205 National Olympic Committees for the Olympic Games of 2006 (Torino, Italy) 2008 (Beijing, China), 2010 (Vancouver, Canada), 2012 (London, England) and 2014 (Sochi, Russia).
In 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 working with the Olympic Organizing Committee . He served 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 was a member of the U.S. Golf Association's media staff for nine U.S. Open championships, two Women's Opens, one Senior Open and a U.S. Amateur Championship. He was the 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.
Condron attended West Texas State University for two years, earning a golf scholarship as a freshman.
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 an 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 1967. He was an adjunct professor at Texas Tech for a sports communication class in 2016. In 2018 he was named to the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame.
Condron currently is a member of the selection committees for the State of Colorado and the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fames.
His son Mark has been associate producer for HBO Sports, The Indy Racing League, a producer for NBC's Olympic coverage, a producer-director for the Olympic Channel in Madrid Spain, and is currently a faculty member at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla. He has won three sports emmys in his career along with a New York Film Festival award. He was named a Texas Tech Outstanding Alumni in 2007.
Condron is married to Lynnette, who is famous in the Condron family for running up Pikes Peak five times, cresting for more than 14,000 feet. She competed in 25 straight Run for the Cure races, winning her age division just about every time.
Chris Cook joined the First Financial Bank family in July 2021, following 28 years in intercollegiate athletics and university administration.
Cook spent the previous 22 years at Texas Tech University, including the last 11 in university administration as the institution's Senior Director of Communications & Marketing. His duties included serving as university spokesperson, crisis communication coordinator and guiding messaging and marketing efforts on behalf of the institution, in addition to leading an office that provided communications, marketing, social media, video, photography and web and graphic design support to the campus community. Cook also delivered direct communications counsel to university leadership and departments throughout campus.
From 1999-10, Cook directed the university's athletics communications office as Associate Athletics Director, helping lead the department's media efforts through one of the most successful periods in the university's history. The Red Raider football program, directed by then-head coach Mike Leach, and the men's basketball program, led by hall of fame coach Bob Knight, along with other successful sport programs, elevated the department's profile and subsequent national and international media attention.
In 2008, Cook led an award-winning Heisman campaign on behalf of All-America wide receiver Michael Crabtree and quarterback Graham Harrell, which resulted in unprecedented off-the-field coverage for the football program. The Pass or Catch 2008 campaign, which was a play on the U.S. Presidential campaign that same year, received nationwide attention throughout the season. The effort was recognized with a national Telly Award in 2009. The 2002 Heisman campaign for quarterback Kliff Kingsbury won an award from the Press Club of Dallas.
Prior to joining Texas Tech, he served as Assistant Sports Information Director at Saint Louis University from 1994-99 and was a graduate intern at Western Kentucky University from 1993-94. Cook is a 1993 journalism graduate of Louisiana Tech University and received a master's degree in mass communication at Texas Tech in 2012.
Cook, a devout Parrothead since 1989, and his wife, Jennifer, have a teenage son, Jack, and two dogs, Arrow and Hutch.
Greg's career expands over 30 years in broadcasting beginning at KLBK-TV Lubbock while attending Texas Tech. He spent 20 years as the General Manager of the commercial Classical Music Station WRR-FM in Dallas, where he received three Marconi nominations for Classical Music Station of the Year, and a Broadcaster of the Year Award from the Black College Radio Association. He was an early adaptor to live streaming of radio on the internet, partnering with Mark Cuban's Broadcast Works company in Dallas during its infancy. He is known as a pioneer in the classical music field for broadcasting live concerts on WRR's internet throughout Europe. He has served as the President of the Classical Music Broadcasters Association, advisory council for The Metropolitan Opera's "Live at the Met Broadcasts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Van Cliburn Foundation and the Dallas Symphony.
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.
Anna Delano is the Lubbock Regional Market Development Manager for Reliant Energy, where she implements growth strategies to advance Reliant in the Lubbock community. Prior to this position, she served as the Rawls College of Business Director of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions; under her leadership, the Rawls college reached record enrollment levels several years in a row. As a proud graduate of Texas Tech University—she holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in Communication Studies from TTU—she spent nearly a decade bringing top talent from around the state to the university as an academic recruiter.
In addition to her work with Reliant, Anna is active in Leadership Lubbock and the Junior League of Lubbock. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling with her husband, their two children, and their dog, Scooter.
Evan Dixon is vice president of communications at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES). With experience in strategic thinking and creative communication, he is focused on promoting the organization and helping expand awareness of conservative clean energy policies across the nation.
He previously served as a press secretary and digital director for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who helmed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. As press secretary, Evan helped develop a media strategy, crafting messaging and organizing videos, graphics, and digital campaigns for major legislative accomplishments, including the Opioid Crisis Response Act, the Music Modernization Act, the FUTURE Act, and the Great American Outdoors Act. While working on Capitol Hill, Evan was elected by his peers to serve as president of the U.S. Senate Press Secretaries Association (SPSA).
Before his time in the U.S. Senate, Evan worked as a booking producer for Chuck Todd, NBC News' political director and moderator of Meet the Press (MTP) and MTP Daily. He also worked in NBC News' Washington Bureau as the weekend White House producer and the White House travel pool producer—traveling with President Obama to report for all major television news networks.
To start his career, Evan served as a legislative aide to then Texas State Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) following his role as the deputy communications director for former U.S. Representative Heather Wilson's (R-N.M.) campaign for U.S. Senate in New Mexico.
Evan grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated with honors from Texas Tech University, where he studied broadcast journalism and business administration.
Gary Dixon is President of The Foundation for a Better Life.
The Foundation for a Better Life produces inspiring TV and billboard public service messages which can be seen at www.passiton.com.
These PSAs are the most watched in the country, according to Nielsen Media Research, with over 50 million impressions each day. Each one promotes a value such as love, encouragement and confidence. They are also being seen in countries around the world.
The Out of Home Advertising Association of America recognized this campaign as “the most successful public service campaign in the history of outdoor advertising.” The Foundation makes posters available to thousands of schools each year as discussion starters. 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 Major League Baseball, Homefront, 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 bachelor's degree in broadcasting from Texas Tech University and a master's degree in communications from Brigham Young University. He serves on the National Advisory Board for the TTU College of Media & Communication and the National Board of Directors for the Alumni Association. 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 is the Co-founder of Ashcroft Capital which has over $1,900,000,000 of assets under management.
In addition to his responsibilities with Ashcroft Capital, Joe created the podcast, Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show, which is the longest-running daily real estate podcast in the world and generates over 500,000 monthly downloads.
Joe is also a proud Member of the Texas Tech Alumni Advisor Board for the College of Media and Communication, as well as being recognized as Outstanding Alumni at Texas Tech University, where he is a former Adjunct Professor.
He is currently a Junior Achievement Board Member and Volunteer for the Cincinnati chapter and has been recognized by the Junior Achievement's Free Enterprise Society. Joe volunteers at Crossroads Hospice and was recognized as Multifamily Investor of the Year by Think Realty Magazine.
He and his wife created Best Ever Causes which has proudly supported 40 different non-profits over the last 40 months.
Jillian Fleming is the director of global communications at Darling Ingredients. Prior joining Darling Ingredients, she spent a decade working at ExxonMobil's corporate headquarters in corporate advertising, employee communications, and corporate citizenship and community relations. Jillian also served as director of corporate citizenship and communications for Axxess and a senior account executive at Sunwest Communications and managed parent and family relations at University of North Texas. She holds a Master of Arts degree in communication studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies and Spanish from Texas Tech University. She resides in North Texas with her husband (whom is also a Texas Tech alum) and two children and is a graduate of the 2016 Class of the Dallas Regional Chamber Leadership Dallas program.
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.
Alissa Fono graduated from Texas Tech University in 2017 with a degree in Advertising. She began her Marketing career back in 2016 working at a local advertising firm as a Digital Account Coordinator and later worked at The Richards Group as a Brand Manager and New Business Developer based out of Dallas, TX. Alissa is currently sitting in Houston, TX. as the Global Head of Marketing and Communications for the Oil and Gas Process Solutions Business, for Siemens Energy. As a woman that means business, she was brought in to help build tactful go-to marketing strategies and execute communication campaigns while fostering Siemens Energy's brand recognition. Outside of her career, she is an Advisor on the Global Young Professionals Committee for the World Affairs Council in Houston, TX. and is also a proud member of the RedM non-profit organization to support organizations who raise awareness about sex trafficking and provide victims with resources and assistance they could need to stay out of harms way.
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 leads the Corporate Citizenship enterprise community strategy for Northrop Grumman Corporation, a technology company of 90,000 employees focused on global security and human discovery. The company's pioneering solutions equip its customers with the capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the U.S. and its allies. 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 in 80 Northrop Grumman communities across the U.S.
She joined TRW (which was acquired by Northrop Grumman) 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 her energies to Corporate Citizenship. She was director of Corporate Citizenship for the Information Systems sector in McLean, Virginia until Northrop Grumman centralized the function in 2013 when the company relocated her back to Texas and she became part of Corporate.
Lynn began her career in 1982 as the director of public relations for California Baptist College in Riverside, California. In 1984, she returned to Texas to work at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as director of public relations. Prior to joining TRW, Ms. Gilmore was a human resources manager for Texas Instruments from 1988 to 1997, working in Temple and Plano, Texas and in Falls Church, Virginia.
She 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. She is a member of the National Professional Advisory Board for the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication.
Brett Gray graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in advertising. Brett served as deputy press secretary for U.S. Senator Pete Domenici in Washington, DC, before parlaying his policy and communications experience into a career with international public relations firms Fleishman-Hillard and Weber Shandwick, managing high-profile accounts for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial startups. He later entered the nonprofit sector, serving as Chief Marketing Officer of the North Texas Food Bank before forming Brett Gray Public Relations LLC six years ago.
After nearly 30 years in Dallas, he returned to Lubbock in 2020, working as an independent communications consultant with a portfolio of clients representing the legal, banking, entertainment, and not-for-profit sectors. He is the recipient of several professional honors, including the Texas Tech CoMC Outstanding Alumni Award and the PRSA Silver Anvil Award. Brett sits on the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communications Advisory board and is also a board member of the Austin-based Equality Texas Foundation.
Inez Russell Gomez has worked as editorial page editor for The Santa Fe New Mexican since 2011, focusing on making it a centerpiece for community conversation where solutions can emerge from civil discussions. The page has been a national Inland Press winner, and her editorials have won numerous state and national awards over the last decade. She is a 1982 graduate of Texas Tech University and was editor of The University Daily her senior year. From Las Vegas, N.M., Russell Gomez was raised in New Mexico and Lubbock and graduated from Lubbock High School. She earned a master's degree in communication from The American University in Washington, D.C. Her journalism career has taken her to Texas, New Mexico and Florida, including a years-long freelance stint for People magazine and two years as editor of The Taos News. During the recent pandemic she and her family began raising chickens and now live alongside 16 hens and a rooster.
Ian M. Halperin currently serves as the Executive Director of Community Relations and Marketing for the Wylie ISD. His primary responsibility is to develop and maintain external relationships with the surrounding community and organizations, further enhancing trust and transparency with those the school district serves.
The award-winning department is focused on maintaining ongoing, open, and effective relationships and communication with district stakeholders (staff, students, parents, and community members) in meaningful and engaging ways. He previously served as the Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations.
He has more than 20 years of experience in public school PR and has been honored numerous times by state and national associations for his communications and community relations programs.
Halperin has held numerous leadership positions in the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA), including President (2016-2017), and is an active member of several civic and education-related organizations.
Prior to working in Wylie, Ian served in a similar role in the Mesquite ISD. He began his communications career in 1990 as a photographer and editor for Harte Hanks Newspapers in Plano and still works on a freelance basis for clients across the country. He holds a BA in Mass Communications from Texas Tech University and an MS 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.
For more than 20 years, Kristen Lollar has served as a communications and marketing professional. She is the Chief Marketing Officer for Whitley Penn, a public accounting firm, where she is a member of the firm's Innovation Council, Growth Champions, and acts as an advisor for their NextGen Council.
Kristen has developed a strong network through her involvement in the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) including the Major Firms Growth group, as an inaugural member of the Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee, and by obtaining a certification in Business Development Fundamentals from AAM. Kristen is a member of the Advisory Board for the Boomer Consulting Marketing Circle and serves on the North America Marketing and Business Development Committee for HLB International.
In the community, Kristen serves as Vice Chair on the Executive Board of Directors for the Plano Chamber of Commerce and has served as a mentor through the American Marketing Association's DFW Mentor Program for young professionals. She has also served as a mentor for the Dallas Business Journal's “Mentor Monday” event.
Kristen is a graduate of Texas Tech University where she earned a B.A. in Public Relations and a minor in Music. She is a member of the Texas Tech Alumni Association and previously served as a Board member and President for the Dallas Chapter. Kristen also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communications.
Kristen and her husband, Erik, live in Little Elm, Texas, with their son Orrin.
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 Chief Marketing Officer for OAK Interactive, a full service marketing agency in Houston, TX with a focus on white label digital marketing for small- to medium- sized agencies. Prior to Oak, he was founder of BREAKFAST at 12, a brand experience and marketing firm based in Houston.
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 brand experience 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 Director of Marketing for eRealty.com. Mark has also 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 has served as a board member with the Houston chapter of AAF, PRSA, Only In Houston, eMarketing Association and MIT Enterprise Forum of Texas. He has also been a member of the American Marketing 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 a 1981 Telecommunications graduate of the Texas Tech College of Media and Communication. He was honored as an Outstanding Alumni in 2004. His experience in the radio business started in Lubbock, Texas with KLLL-KEND Radio. In his 30 year radio career, Greg has been Local Sales Manager, National Sales Manager, General Sales Manager, and General Manager in Lubbock, El Paso, and Dallas/Fort Worth. He is currently an Account Executive with Cumulus Media in DFW. Greg and his wife Cindy also own two businesses in Fort Worth--Performing Ads Company produces the playbills for the ARTS organizations in Fort Worth, and What's Up Fort Worth is Fort Worth's only online entertainment calendar.
While at Texas Tech, Greg was a regular announcer on KTXT-FM and was Sports Director his senior year. As Sports Director, KTXT-FM aired the first-ever road play-by-play broadcast of a Texas Tech Women's basketball game against Wayland Baptist in Plainview. He also served as president of the Texas Tech Chapter of Jaycees.
Greg lives in Mansfield, Texas with Cindy, his wife of 39 years. Their children are both graduates of Texas Tech. Matthew graduated in 2011 with a dual JD/MBA . Elizabeth also graduated in 2011 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. They enjoy traveling and spending time with their children and grandchildren.
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 before delving into the commercial 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. With more than 20 years experience as a commercial photographer, his diverse experience has allowed him to amass an impressive body of editorial and advertising work. With a slew of experience working alone with what he can carry on his back or running large-scale productions with grip trucks, RV's, craft services & big crews, his easy, unobtrusive editorial style has garnered favor with editors, art directors and marketing folks alike. Even his frequent work with children and animals hasn't deterred him from his passionate pursuit of great images.
Every day—even the extra 24 hours in a leap year, he produces creative and compelling product, people and food photography for prestigious clients, including Boy Scouts of America, Cabela's, Essense of Australia, Lucchese Boots, Schaefer Outfitter, The Nature Conservancy, Private Clubs magazine, The King Ranch, Southwest Airlines and HEB.
R.J. has a degree in Photocommunications from Texas Tech University, where he serves on the College of Media & Communications' National Advisory Board. A Texas BBQ habitue, wannabe avid bicyclist and culinary enthusiast, R.J. lives in Coppell, Texas with his beautiful, understanding wife, two above average children and his Tibetan Terrier Milo.
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.
Jill Johnson Hockenbury brings 29 years of professional marketing, communications, and growth development experience to her current position as Director of Physician Outreach Programs at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. In this role, Hockenbury oversees a team of 10 professionals who drive volume for the institution's more than 60 ambulatory clinics and three hospitals. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at Texas Tech University in Lubbock in 1987. During her time at Texas Tech, Hockenbury was a member of Delta Gamma sorority, and served as a Student Senator. She completed an internship on Capitol Hill for Congressman Dick Armey, assisting the Congressman's press secretary. She was an Editor for the University Daily, and worked as a DJ for the campus radio station.
Hockenbury has lived in Arlington for more than 30 years, and has a 24-year-old son. She served on the city's Parks and Recreation Board of Directors. Additionally, she was appointed Vice Chair, Tarrant County, ADA representative for the NFL's Super Bowl XLV.
Anne Hudson graduated with her bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas Tech University in 2000.
While at university, Hudson was a Texas Tech Cheerleader, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and a DJ on KTXT-FMS. She started her car¬¬eer in Bowling Green, Kentucky, working on both 103.7 WPTQ-FM and 100.7 WKLX-FM, and as a weekend TV-Reporter on WBKO, the ABC affiliate.
Hudson has worked for iHeartMedia Austin since 2001, starting as a traffic reporter until she earned her own show on the legendary Top 40 Country Radio Station 101 KASE-FM.
She is currently the morning show co-host on 96.7 KISS- FM's popular “The Billy The Kidd Show,” and hosts middays on 101 KASE-FM.
Hudson has hosted nationally-broadcast events (such as the Florida Georgia Line national album release party in New York and others) along with hosting local events during SXSW, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Rodeo Austin.
Hudson is also an award-winning television personality for nationally-syndicated fashion segments on Time Warner Cable News, and is an on-air host for LiveXLive.
Most recently, Hudson was named “On-Air Personality of the Year” in 2019 for the Alliance for Women In Media.
She and her husband Fred are the parents of three boys, Hudson, Freddie, and Walsh, and their dog Chewy.
Jeff Klotzman is a 1976 journalism graduate of Texas Tech. He recently retired after a 45 year career in television news, public school communications, advertising, and teaching. He received the Texas Tech School of Media and Communication's Outstanding Alumni Award in 2oo2. He earned a master's degree in mass communications from Texas Tech in 2000 and served on the COMC faculty as a Hutcheson Endowed visiting professor.
During his career in television news he served as news director at stations in Lubbock, Madison, Austin, San Diego, and Phoenix. He was also Director of Media and Communications for Lubbock Independent School District before retiring in 2021.
Jeff and his wife Kim, a 1977 Texas Tech graduate, have two sons.
Telea Stafford Jackson
Telea Stafford Jackson is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist and girl mom (x3). She is credited with creating one of the largest first generation minority scholarship endowments at Texas Tech University, establishing Phenixx Marketing & Media and authoring A Cure For The Common Culture - the common sense guide to talking about diversity and inclusion.
Telea Stafford is President of Phenixx Marketing & Media, a Texas-headquartered Media and Marketing firm and created the small business workshop #fixyourniche to deliver 'big business' concepts to small business owners across the country. As Phenixx Marketing & Media's principal, she oversees the daily account management, brand strategy and marketing execution for influencers, small businesses and start ups. The agency also manages consumer experiences for clients that have included AT&T, University of California, Tyrese Maxey Foundation, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Sweet Tooth Hotel, the North Texas Tollway Authority, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and Generation Texas.
Prior to Phenixx Marketing & Media, Telea was a successful and regionally recognized marketing professional in Dallas, Texas. Her corporate experience includes senior positions with Match.com Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Frito Lay, Omnicom, Leo Burnett and Tracy Locke Advertising.
Telea previously served on the board of Directors of Texas Tech University Foundation, Special Olympics Dallas, City of Desoto, and the University of North Texas Alumni Association. She is also a business partner with the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Irving Chamber of Commerce, the Garland Chamber of Commerce, FW Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, FW Chamber of Commerce and NSHMBA.
Telea earned an M.B.A. in marketing from the University of North Texas (2003). She received a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Texas Tech U
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. Before starting Cheyenne Cañon Segways, he was chief marketing officer for Pax8 (2022 revenues $1.7 billion) – a cloud commerce marketplace built for the IT and telecom channels. While at Pax8, he helped design internal sales and channel partner sales and marketing programs based on the award-winning programs he created as a senior director of marketing for McAfee SaaS Email & Web Security (formerly MX Logic). Prior to entering the corporate marketing world, Steve worked for several advertising agencies and served as president of the Pikes Peak Advertising Federation.
Steve left Pax8 to pursue entrepreneurial interests, including the creation of Cheyenne Cañon Segways (CCS). CCS taps into the thriving tourism market of Colorado Springs, CO providing 1 and 2 hour Segway tours of Cheyenne Cañon Park and The Broadmoor Resort neighborhood. Steve guides each of the tours himself taking Segways on hiking trails, bike paths and city streets while providing visitors with colorful stories of town founders, eccentric businessmen and fantastic artists. Steve is also active in the Southern Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce and volunteers for the Southern Colorado First Tee.
Ali McLane has been a fundraising operations consultant for over 20 years, specializing in prospect screening development, analysis and implementation. As one of the original owners of Prospect Information Networks,' P!N, the screening product that ultimately became ResearchPoint, Ali developed the first comprehensive vetting and implementation program for screening results, working with over 500 clients. Prospect Information Network was ultimately acquired by Blackbaud in 2008. In her research and analytics consultant role at Lindauer, Ali plays a leadership data architect role for the firm, driving our client-facing research capabilities, developing best practices for candidate pool development, and adjusting those practices as industry and technology evolve.
In 2008, Ali began her career as an operations consultant, working for Dini Partners, then Bentz, Whaley, Flessner, as Senior Consultant. Chairing the Fundraising Operations certification program at Rice University Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, has allowed Ali to continue her love of teaching, which started as a public speaking instructor and Speech & Debate Coach at Texas Tech University. At Rice CPNL, Ali's focus is Prospect Research, Donor Relations classes, and mentoring the students working toward the certification.
Ali is a co-founder, past president, and board member of the Southwest Chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers (APRA). She is past president of APRA of Greater Houston and is a charter member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals (AASP), serving on their prospect development best practices committee. Ali is a volunteer with APRA International, serving on the 2010 Nominating committee, the 2011 APRA International Conference Curriculum Planning Committee, and the 2013 on-line education committee. She is a frequent conference presenter, including APRA, AFP, CASE, AHP, and specialized fundraising organizations. Ali also serves on The Emerald Circle Executive Committee 2019 – 2021 for the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto as Vice President.
Ali holds a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Communications Studies from Texas Tech University. She is an active member of the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication Advisory Board.
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.
Ginger Pearson Nelson
Ginger Pearson Nelson grew up in the small town of Spearman, where she learned to value faith, family, hard work, and community service. She is a devoted mother, small businesswoman, and community volunteer.
After graduating from Texas Tech University with degrees in Spanish, advertising and law, Ginger moved to Amarillo with her husband and high school sweetheart, Kevin, to follow their dreams of starting a family and business in the Texas Panhandle.
Ginger has counseled local families and small businesses for over 20 years. She has received numerous honors in her legal career, including board certification in estate planning and probate and an AV Preeminate rating from Martindale Hubble. She and Kevin soon developed a loyal client base and started their own law firm in 2003. In 2011, they branched out to purchase the Amarillo Building, Amarillo's original high-rise, and began learning about commercial real property management. In 2014, they expanded their real estate business to include real estate development in the franchise of My Place Hotels. They enjoy the challenges of owning a small business and working together.
Ginger has had the privilege to serve on numerous boards and commissions, including the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. She has also volunteered for non-profits including Boy Scout Troop 86, the Amarillo Symphony Guild, the Amarillo Area Bar Association, the Plemons-Eakle Neighborhood Association, and Kids Inc.
Ginger and Kevin are proud parents to Madeleine, Pearse and Jace, with Ginger playing an active role in many school organizations. The family attends Hillside Christian Church where she volunteers and teaches women's Bible study.
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)
Joey Pfund-Smith is leader with 10+ years of experience, Joey leads communications for Microsoft's Global Diversity & Inclusion organization. In his role he helps drive communications focused on reporting progress against Microsoft's commitments, conveying their accountability for change, and articulating their stance on key issues that impact employees and communities.
He is accountable for developing and socializing key messaging, assessing, and addressing employee sentiment, managing communications risk, responding to world events, and positioning our work strategically across audiences.
Joey started his career in the United States Army where he held various leadership roles before taking on communication leadership roles in the public sector. Previously, Joey held roles in executive communications, corporate communications, and issues management and positioning at Microsoft and Dell Technologies.
A graduate of Texas Tech University, Joey lives in Austin with his husband Caleb and their blended family of 5 kids (Caleb J, Andrew, Ashton, Shaylee, and Haylee-Grace) and 2 dogs German Shepherd (Kona) and Red Doberman (Moira Reese). Along with sitting on the National Alumni Board, Joey is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the National Infantry Association.
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.
Kim Rice has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and communications and is Vice President of Visual Resource Group. She has previously worked as Director of Marketing and Communications for the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and as the Community Relations Manager at KERA, public television and radio.
Rice received a bachelor's degree in Telecommunications from Texas Tech University and is earning a Master's degree with a concentration in Literature from the University of Dallas.
In collaboration with the College's DFW alumni committee, Kim founded and chaired the CoMC Career Development Conference (CDC). Now in its ninth year, the event is designed to give CoMC students and grads access to professionals and other resources in the DFW area. Rice continues to be engaged with the CDC through its Advisory Board.
Rice is on the Marketing Advisory Board for the Dallas Museum of Art and is an alumna of the Junior League's T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. She has written for The Dallas Morning News.
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 Vice President of Creative Services for Bally Sports where he leads a team responsible for branding the network including creating all the graphics seen on live games, shows and documentaries.
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 and then headed West to work as a Promo Writer/Producer for the Fox Network in Los Angeles. At CBS Television he was VP of On-Air Advertising and Promotion where he helped launch shows like CSI, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, and Person of Interest. Brad has also done Spanish and English 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 known for creating and leading powerful teams that deliver award-winning communication and employee engagement activities for one of the most beloved brands in the world. Linda Rutherford is the Chief Administration & Communications Officer for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, the nation's largest airline in terms of domestic Customer boardings. In her role, she provides executive leadership for Communication & Outreach, Culture & Engagement, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Internal Audit, People (Human Resources), Talent and Leadership Development, Total Rewards, Technology, and the Southwest Airlines University. Prior to joining Southwest Airlines in 1992, she was a journalist in the Dallas area, including working for the Dallas Times Herald, and she began her career with Newsweek magazine in New York. Linda graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She is married to Michael, and together they are proud parents to Allison (22), and Matthew (25).
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.
David Swofford is a veteran of the public relations business where he's spent nearly 30 years as a PR executive in the video games industry, developing his global communications skills at some of the world's top gaming companies including Origin Systems, Electronic Arts, NCsoft, Portalarium and Cloud Imperium Games (CIG). At CIG, Swofford helped launch Star Citizen, the most successful crowd-funded project ever, which has raised more than $500 million dollars from its supporters.
Early in his career, David was a broadcast journalist for 15 years at KLBK-TV in Lubbock and KTBC-TV in Austin.
David is a 1979 graduate of Texas Tech University's School of Mass Communications with a BA in journalism and was inducted into Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications Hall of Fame in 2014.
Currently Swofford consults with clients under Conley Swofford Media, his PR company in Fredericksburg.
Suzanne W. Taylor serves as Chief of Staff and External Relations at Graham Associates, Inc., a civil engineering and consulting firm in Arlington and Fort Worth, Texas. Graham Associates has had the privilege of serving as the civil engineer and surveyor of record for some of the premier jobs in the metroplex including AT&T (Cowboys) Stadium, Globe Life Park, IH-30 Three Bridges, Nebraska Furniture Mart in The Colony, Southlake Town Square, and more. In this role, Suzanne helps manage the business side of the firm through marketing, recruiting/hiring, project coordination, and client relations. She also serves as Chief of Staff to the President/CEO in not only his capacity at Graham, but also as Mayor of the City of Arlington, through his campaign. Suzanne assists the Mayor as an advisor in the many capacities and roles he plays throughout the city, county, and state. As an attorney, Suzanne is able to utilize her skills and knowledge base to aid not only the firm but also the Mayor.
Prior to joining Graham Associates, Suzanne practiced estate planning, probate, and guardianship law at the Fort Worth and Arlington firm, Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Taplett, LLP and Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff, and Miller, LLP. 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.
While at Texas Tech University, Suzanne had the privilege of serving as Student Body President and then later as Student Regent for the Texas Tech University System. She was also heavily involved in Sigma Phi Lambda, Christian girl's sorority, during her undergraduate years. Suzanne was named National Champion in Appellate Advocacy (Moot Court) during law school.
Suzanne is heavily involved in the women's ministry at her church, First Baptist Church Arlington, and in teaching the engaged/newly married Sunday School class with her husband. She is married to a fellow Red Raider, Brandon, and they have two children, Kate and Wade, 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.
From 2012 t0 2021, Mr. Turner served two terms as Texas Real Estate Commissioner. T.J. is also involved with the Austin chapter of the Texas Tech University Alumni Association, I Live Here, I Give Here, the Flatwater Foundation, and First United Methodist Church of Austin. 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 is a member of the Rotary Club of Lubbock where he has served in a variety of leadership positions including President. He currently serves on the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication National Professional Advisory Board and is the Incoming Chairman (2024) of the Texas Tech Alumni Association National Board of Directors.
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.
Michael Winter is the CEO and owner of Post Oak Media LLC. Post Oak Media is a multi-media publishing company specializing in both general interest and targeted publications. Post Oak Media Holdings include community newspapers, specialty niche publishing properties, target marketing ventures and high-impact websites meeting the needs of the markets and verticals we support.
Michael grew up in Bowie Texas. He attended Texas Tech University where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising.
Michael launched his professional career in Texas as a sales executive at the Wichita Falls Times and Record News. During the ensuing years he held executive and directorial positions at the Abilene Reporter News, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, along with being co-owner of Mac Direct, a full-service direct marketing firm in Abilene Tx. Mac Direct was sold to Knight Ridder and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1999. Winter returned to the Star-Telegram as Vice President of Advertising and left the company in 2011 as Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing when he purchased The Bowie News Inc, the local publishing company operated for many years by his late father, Jim Winter.
Michael has held board memberships on, Goodwill Industries, Better Business Bureau, Junior Achievement, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, TCU College of Communication Advisory Board, The Texas Press Association and various committees for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial PGA Golf Tournament. He was named as an outstanding alumnus for Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication in 2007.
Michael lives in Colleyville Texas and has two daughters Madelyn (‘2021 BS) and Elizabeth (Student TTU HSC)
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