Texas Tech University

RBLP Hosts 2nd Annual Non-Profit Leadership Panel

Darla Vasquez

April 27, 2016

The Rawls Business Leadership Program hosted its 2nd Annual Non-Profit Leadership Panel this past Friday, and welcomed leaders from several non-profit organizations in the area to speak with students about how leadership and business applies to the non-profit sector.


This semester's panelists were:

  • David Weaver – Chief Executive Officer, South Plains Food Bank
  • Melissa Madrid Corley – Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lubbock
  • Sandi Turner – Executive Director and Founder, Sondra's Song
  • Marie Hanza – Executive Director, Lubbock Habitat for Humanity
  • Jana Hunter – Executive Director, Susan G. Komen of Lubbock

The panelists began the event by detailing their non-profit organizations and identifying themes that helped them achieve their goals. Key themes that were discussed included working with the community, building teams, remaining ethical, fundraising and expanding the reach of their organizations. RBLP students prepared questions for the panelists beforehand, to help lead the discussion. The experience provided great insights into the non-profit world, and students were able to see the positive impacts made by these organizations.

"The non-profit panel gave us a lot of insights about leadership in the non-profit business world. It was unique to get five different perspectives from all walks of life; from the smallest charity (Sondra's Song) to the largest (Susan G. Komen and Habitat for Humanity). I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about their struggles, successes and goals for the future," finance major Sara Van Sickle said.

"The non-profit panel gave us the opportunity to hear from professionals with different job descriptions than a typical business person," finance major Rachel Myers said. "It was so encouraging to hear about people using their professions to help others in such a selfless way."

About the Non-Profit Organizations

South Plains Food Bank, Inc.

David Weaver

The South Plains Food Bank, Inc., organized in 1983, is a humanitarian resource responsible for securing, growing, processing and/or distributing food to charitable organizations and persons in need. The organization strives to be a model for community partnerships and a catalyst for social change by providing opportunities for persons to break out of the poverty cycle. SPFB is a member of Feeding America and a member of the Texas Food Bank Network.

David Weaver is the Chief Executive Officer of South Plains Food Bank, Inc. - a position he has held since 1997. During his tenure, the organization has increased food distribution in its service area by 30 percent and initiated a youth job and life-skills training program at the Food Bank's Farm and Orchard that now serves 100 youth annually. Most recently, the food bank moved into their new 69,000 sq. ft. home at the J. T. and Margaret Talkington Distribution Center.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lubbock

Melissa Madrid Corley

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nation-wide federation that has been the leader in one-to-one mentoring since 1904. There are currently over 450 agencies nationwide working together to invest in the future of local children. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to help youth reach their potential in school and in life through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors. Big Brothers Big Sisters' local agency has been serving the Lubbock community since 1970.

Melissa Corley was appointed as the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lubbock in June of 2014. She has over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector and serves on the Board of Directors for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Texas State Association and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Sondra's Song

Sandi Turner

Sandi Turner is the founder and Executive Director of Sondra's Song. Sondra's Song is an organization providing services to foster youth "aging out" of the foster care system. Those services include housing, transportation, food, rent, mentoring, budgeting and overall life guidance to help them find success as they transition to a new phase in their lives.

Sandi serves on the Lubbock Child Welfare Board; she is a member of the South Plains Homeless Consortium; and she advocates for Child Abuse and neglect. Sandi recently received the Mary Nell Strong Community Service Award, as part of YWCA's Women of Excellence for 2016.

Susan G. Komen of Lubbock

Jana Hunter

At Susan G. Komen, the mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering others, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Susan G. Komen has a rich history of more than 30 years in public policy and advocacy. In order to achieve its mission, the organization believes that scientific progress must be complemented by sound public policy and advocacy.

Jana Hunter joined Susan G. Komen Lubbock Area as executive director in February 2015, putting to use her background in nonprofits, communications and extreme sporting adventures. She is responsible for the overall management of the affiliate; developing relationships with community, medical and individual partners and collaborators; and creating and executing mission-related programs and activities.

Lubbock Habitat for Humanity

Marie Hanza

Lubbock Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian organization that builds simple, decent and affordable quality housing for individuals and families with low to moderate income. Since 1988, Lubbock Habitat for Humanity has built or repaired 134 homes, providing shelter for over 452 adults and children. Habitat's home ownership program is not a hand-out, but a hand-up.

Marie Hanza, Executive Director, has oversight responsibility for the entire organization, including but not limited to: administrative activities, budget, financial management, construction, fundraising and grant writing. Hanza has over 38 years of experience in non-profit management, working with volunteers, sales and fundraising. She has been with Lubbock Habitat since January 2013.

To view more photos from the 2nd Annual Non-Profit Leadership Panel, please visit the Rawls College's Flickr account.

This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.