Board of Directors

Biographies

Becky McKinley, Chair

Becky McKinley is a professional caterer and owner of Dining by Design, a catering company through which she dedicates a portion of her time serving nonprofit functions in the Amarillo area and working with culinary arts programs at local high schools. She is also an author and food journalist. She served on the Governor’s Commission for Women for five terms and was appointed by First Lady of Texas Anita Perry to the Advisory Council for the Texas Conference for Women. She was honored in 2010 as Silent Samaritan of the Year and is the recipient of the 2010 Amarillo Area Women’s Forum Distinguished Service Award and 7 Who Care Award. She has previously served on several boards in Amarillo. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Texas Tech University. 

John Phillip Santos, Vice Chair

San Antonio native John Phillip Santos is a freelance filmmaker, producer, author, and journalist. His articles on Latino culture have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, and the San Antonio Express-News. He is writer and producer of more than forty television documentaries for CBS-TV and PBS-TV, two of which received Emmy nominations. He has authored three books, including Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation: A Memoir, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. After receiving his BA degree in philosophy and literature at Notre Dame, Santos became the first Mexican American Rhodes Scholar and thus had an opportunity to earn his MA in English literature and language from St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University. In 1997, he joined the Ford Foundation as an officer in the Media, Arts, and Culture Program. After living in New York City for twenty years, he returned to his hometown in 2005. Santos has served on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. He is presently a University Distinguished Scholar in Mestizo Cultural Studies in The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Honors College and was the recipient of the 2017 Texas Medal of Arts for Literary Arts.

Jay Moore, Treasurer

Jay Moore is a teacher, author, speaker, and public historian from Abilene. He taught at Abilene High School for twenty-eight years and now serves as director of the Stone Owl Institute. In 2013, Moore was selected as a Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award winner. He earned both his BBS in political science and history and his MA in history from Hardin-Simmons University. In 2019, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from HSU. He is the creator of  History In Plain Sight, a DVD series documenting the history of Abilene, and has authored books about the city, including  Abilene History In Plain Sight  (Abilene Christian University Press), Legacy (ACU Press) and Abilene Daily (Texas Star). He is the producer and presenter of The Astonishing American Experiment, a lecture series aimed at reacquainting adult audiences with American history and the nation’s founding. He and his wife Laura have three daughters. 

Virginia Mithoff, Secretary

Virginia “Ginni” Mithoff received her BS in elementary education from The University of Texas at Austin and attended the University of Houston for graduate school. After retiring from her teaching career, she began volunteering and serving on boards for various organizations, including the Houston Ballet Guild, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Harris County Hospital District Foundation, and many others. She currently serves on the School of Education Foundation Advisory Council of The University of Texas Development Board and The University of Texas School of Public Health Advisory Council of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board. She is the 2019–20 chair-elect of UTHealth Houston and will begin serving as chair of that organization in 2021–22. She and her husband Richard have lived in Houston for forty-five years. They have two children—Michael and Caroline—and five grandchildren.

Chase Untermeyer, Past Chair

Chase Untermeyer is chairman of the Qatar-America Institute, which aims to increase understanding of the important Qatari-American relationship in security, education, and energy. He was born in New Jersey but came to Houston at the age of two. He is a 1968 graduate of Harvard College with honors in government. During the Vietnam War, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard a Pacific Fleet destroyer and as aide to the commander of U.S. naval forces in the Philippines. Returning to Houston, Untermeyer was a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and executive assistant to the county judge (chief executive) of Harris County, Texas. In 1976, he was elected as a Republican to the first of two terms as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from a district on the west side of Houston. He resigned his seat to go to Washington in 1981 as executive assistant to then-Vice President Bush. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. During the first Bush Administration, he was assistant to the President for presidential personnel and director of the Voice of America. From 2004 to 2007, he served as United States ambassador to the State of Qatar, on appointment of President George W. Bush. He currently serves on the board of the Houston Committee on Foreign Relations and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of three volumes of diary-based memoirs of the Reagan-Bush era: When Things Went Right, Inside Reagan’s Navy, and Zenith: In the White House with George H. W. Bush. He has also published How Important People Act: Behaving Yourself in Public.

Daina Ramey Berry

Daina Ramey Berry is the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin and the chair of the Department of History (the first person of color to take this role). Dr. Berry is a “scholar of the enslaved” and a specialist on gender and slavery as well as Black women’s history in the United States. She is the award-winning author/editor of six books. Her most recent publication, A Black Women’s History of the United States, co-authored with Kali Nicole Gross, is an empowering testament of Black women’s ability to build communities in the face of oppression, and their continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Professor Berry completed her BA, MA, and PhD in African American studies and U.S. history at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Carlos Kevin Blanton

Carlos Kevin Blanton is a professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies and department head of history at Texas A&M University. Prior to moving to College Station in 2001, he taught at Portland State University. He is the author of The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981 (TAMU, 2004), and George I. Sánchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration (Yale, 2014) and he has recently edited A Promising Problem: The New Chicana/o History (University of Texas Press, 2016). Blanton’s work has been honored with the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize for Best Book on Texas History (2005), the Bolton Cutter Award for Best Article on Borderlands History (2010), and the National Association of Chicana-Chicano Studies Best Book Award (2016). He has also published in the Journal of Southern History, Pacific Historical Review, Western Historical Quarterly, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Teachers College Record, and in other history and interdisciplinary journals. He received his PhD from Rice University in history under Dr. John Boles.

Elizabeth Chapman

Elizabeth Chapman is an International Baccalaureate English teacher at Bellaire High School in the Houston Independent School District. As an Engaging Eurasia Fellow with the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, she developed curriculum to teach about the Chernobyl disaster. She was awarded grants by the English-Speaking Union of the United States to participate in the Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance program at Shakespeare’s Globe in London as well as from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study the literature and history of the Great Plains at North Dakota State University. She was a Fulbright-Hays scholar to India and studied the German education system with the Goethe-Institut. She received the Linden Heck Howell Award for Outstanding Teacher of Texas History from Humanities Texas, the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the Region 4 Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. She has been published in Southwestern Historical Quarterly, English in Texas, and the Houston Chronicle

Jim Clancy

Jim Clancy is the president of Branscomb Law in Corpus Christi, where his practice focuses on complex commercial litigation. He holds degrees from West Point and The University of Texas at Austin School of Law. A former Armored Cavalry Captain, he served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Operation Desert Storm. He is former head of the Texas Ethics Commission and was a member of Leadership Corpus Christi Class XXV. For years, he coached youth baseball and still has strong opinions on teaching hitting and smart defense. He was also an avid golfer, whose attempt to find it in the dirt was blocked by a bum left shoulder. Now, his Saturday mornings are spent on a bike searching for speed and trying not to get dropped. 

Yvonne Cormier

Yvonne Clement Cormier is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in biology. At SMU, she was the recipient of the SMU “M” Award, named to Mortar Board, and designated a Dedman Scholar. She attended graduate school as a Ford Foundation Fellow at Brown University in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and completed her PhD dissertation research in biochemical pharmacology at the Yale University School of Medicine. As a graduate student, she received the Ford Foundation Dissertation Award, the Citation Index Award, and the Pharmaceutical Association Young Investigator Award. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in biochemical pharmacology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston where she also held a teaching appointment in autonomic pharmacology. She has published thirty-six scientific abstracts, twenty-six research papers, and eight book chapters. She is a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine and completed the Anesthesia Residency Program at the Baylor College of Medicine affiliated hospitals in the Texas Medical Center where she served as chief resident. Currently, she is a practicing anesthesiologist in Houston and, in 2021, was recognized by Texas Magazine as a top anesthesiologist in the Houston area. She is very active in the Houston philanthropic community where she serves or has served on the boards of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Glassell School, the SMU Alumni Association, the Houston Area Parkinson's Society, Houston Parks, and Bayou Bend and on the advisory boards of the Houston Endowment, the Houston Junior League, and the Houston Ballet. She has chaired numerous community projects for charitable organizations, including Memorial Hermann Foundation’s Outreach for Breast Cancer Awareness, Child Advocates, United Cerebral Palsy, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, March of Dimes, Legacy Community Health, and the Museum of Contemporary Arts. In recognition of her community service, she was selected as one of Channel 13's Women of Distinction, honored by the Social Book as a Houston Treasure, named to the Houston Chronicle’s Best Dressed Hall of Fame, selected as a 2021 Woman of Substance, and awarded the Park People’s Gia Award.  She is married to Rufus Cormier and they have two adult children, Geoffrey Cormier and Claire Cormier Thielke. 

Walter Díaz

Walter Díaz is the founding dean of the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in Edinburg and Brownsville. Díaz served a critical role in the establishment of a new interdisciplinary college that combined the resources and academic strengths from three legacy institution colleges. From 2011–2015, he was the dean of the College of Social Sciences at UTRGV legacy institution The University of Texas-Pan American. Prior to this, he was a full professor of political science in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM). As a UPRM faculty member he served in various capacities such as interim chair of the Department of Social Sciences and director of its Center for Applied Social Research. His primary research interests have centered on the social roots and consequences of extreme events; the implications of technology on political participation and access (and success) to higher education; and other areas in which the application of social science methodology could be useful. He has served on the US Army Corps of Engineers Island Task Force and the Puerto Rico Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and with NOAA’s National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. The research findings generated have been published in a wide variety of professional journals and have helped to inform the development of relevant public policy.

Thomas DiPiero

Thomas DiPiero is dean of the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he is also a professor of English and French. He oversees sixteen departments and fourteen centers, programs, and institutes that span the humanities, social sciences, and mathematical and natural sciences. Dedman College offers thirty-eight undergraduate majors, fifty-six undergraduate minors, seventeen master’s degrees, and fourteen PhD degrees. He received a BA in French and an MA in romance languages and literatures from The Ohio State University and an MA and PhD in romance studies from Cornell University. His research focuses on two principal areas: European fiction of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and literary and cultural theory. He is the author of two books: Dangerous Truths and Criminal Passions: The Evolution of the French Novel, 1569–1791 (Stanford University Press) and White Men Aren’t (Duke University Press). He served as an editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies from 2005–2013. Prior to joining SMU, he taught at the University of Rochester, Reed College, and the University of Paris.

Daniel J. Gelo

Daniel J. Gelo is dean and professor of anthropology emeritus and former Stumberg Distinguished University Chair at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Gelo holds PhD, MPhil, MA, and BA degrees in anthropology from Rutgers University. As a professor, he taught thirteen courses, including folklore, ethnographic film, and the history of anthropological theory. As dean of UTSA’s largest college for seventeen years, Gelo led eleven departments in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. He established new degree programs or independent departments in English, medical humanities, global affairs, museum studies, and philosophy and classics, among others. Gelo is an active researcher in the field of American Indian studies, specializing in the Indians of Texas and the Southern Plains. His publications include the public television documentary People of the Sun: The Tiguas of El Paso (1992) and the books Comanche Vocabulary (University of Texas Press, 1995), Comanches in the New West, 1896–1908 (with Stanley Noyes, University of Texas Press, 1999), Texas Indian Trails (with Wayne L. Pate, Republic of Texas Press, 2003), Comanches and Germans on the Texas Frontier: The Ethnology of Heinrich Berghaus (with Christopher J. Wickham, Texas A&M University Press, 2018), and Indians of the Great Plains (Second Edition, Routledge, 2019). He has won the UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement Award, the University of Texas System Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Presidio La Bahia Award for best book on early Texas history. 

John Morán González

From the border town of Brownsville, John Morán González is the J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. He attended Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude with an AB in English literature in 1988. At Stanford University, he earned an MA degree in 1991 and a PhD in 1998, both in English and American literature.  He currently serves as director of the Center for Mexican American Studies and on the advisory board of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project.  He has published in journals such as  American Literature,  American Literary History,  Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies,  Western American Literature,  Nineteenth-Century Contexts,  and  Symbolism: An International Journal of Critical Aesthetics.  He is the author of two books:  Border Renaissance: The Texas Centennial and the Emergence of Mexican-American Literature  (2009) and  The Troubled Union: Expansionist Imperatives in Post-Reconstruction American Novels  (2010). He is editor of  The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o American Literature  (2016).  He is  co-editor (with Laura Lomas) of  The Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature  (2018), which was selected as a 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. He is also co-editor (with Vildan Mahmutoglu) of  Communication of Migration in Media and Arts  (2020).  In addition, he is a founding member of Refusing to Forget (RTF), a public history project dedicated to critically memorializing state violence in the Texas-Mexico borderlands that has received awards from the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Western Historical Association. Together with fellow RTF member Sonia Hernández, he co-edited  Reverberations of Racial Violence: Critical Reflections on the History of the  Border  (2021). 

Andrea Holman

Andrea Holman began working for Lyra Health as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) program manager for the workforce transformation team in June 2021. In this capacity, she creates content and presentations to educate employees about the impact of social identities on both mental health and workplace experiences. Prior to this role, she served as a tenured associate professor of psychology at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin where she was hailed as Faculty of the Year for the 2019–2020 academic year. She has conducted research on understanding the psychological experience of African Americans, specifically the complexities of racial identity and cultural mistrust and their impact on interracial interactions. She also researches racial advocacy from the perspective of Black and Latinx Americans. She has contributed to peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, national conference presentations, virtual seminars, workshops, and several podcasts discussing the aforementioned subjects. She currently resides in Austin with her husband and two sons, ages eight and four. 

Maryse Jayasuriya

Maryse Jayasuriya is a professor of English and associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at El Paso. She earned her MA and PhD from Purdue University and her BA from Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of Terror and Reconciliation: Sri Lankan Anglophone Literature, 1983–2009 (Lexington, 2012) and the editor of The Immigrant Experience: Critical Insights (Salem Press, 2018) and has also guest-edited a special issue of South Asian Review (33.3) on Sri Lankan Anglophone literature. She has published articles in a variety of journals and edited collections. She has served in the past as an executive board member of the South Asian Literary Association, a member of the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee of the Modern Language Association (MLA), and chair of the Standing Committee on Assistant and Associate Deans for the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences. She is currently an associate editor of the South Asian Review. She teaches classes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature, postcolonial studies, world literature, literature and film, and literary theory and criticism. 

Blair Labatt

Blair Labatt is president of Labatt Food Service, the tenth-largest broadline foodservice distributor nationally. Labatt Food Service distributes food and related products to food-away-from-home establishments in six states. He is a graduate of Princeton (BA English) and Oxford University (MA English) and earned a PhD in English at the University of Virginia. Before joining Labatt Food Service, he was an assistant professor of English at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2005, he published Faulkner the Storyteller, a book of literary analysis on plot in the novels of William Faulkner. Since 1983, he has conducted the Princeton Book Prize, an annual city-wide contest to choose the most outstanding high school juniors in San Antonio. He served on the executive committee of the Alumni Council of Princeton University and the advisory council of the Princeton Department of English. He has also been chairman of the board of San Antonio Academy, a trustee of Texas Lutheran University, chair of the San Antonio Medical Foundation, and founder of the Wellness Coalition of San Antonio. He is chair of Opera San Antonio and a trustee of Houston Grand Opera. He is an inducted member of the Philosophical Society of Texas.

Orenthia D. Mason

Rev. Orenthia D. Mason is a native of Tyler having retired as a Tyler ISD elementary school principal and Texas College and Jarvis Christian College professor and administrator. She is the presiding elder of the North Tyler District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. She is an active community volunteer, serving as vice president of the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees for fifteen years, as well as on the Smith County Appraisal District Board, the Texas College Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Tyler Park Board, the City of Tyler Catalyst 100 Leadership Team, and the Leadership Tyler Class 2 Alumni. Her past memberships include the City of Tyler Mayor’s Round Table, chaplain for the Rose City Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., chaplain for the Texas College National Alumni Association, Tyler Area Partnership for Education, City of Tyler Municipal Court Advisory Committee, President of the Tyler Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and regional chaplain for the Southwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She has been honored as an Outstanding Leadership Tyler Alumni, Tyler ISD Hall of Fame, Pillar of the Community, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Outstanding Woman in Tyler, Outstanding Woman Clergy, and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Texas College. She is a proud honor graduate of Texas College, Stephen F. Austin State University, and has completed other work at UT Tyler and the University of St. Thomas. She has a twin brother, Oland, and an older brother, Cleveland.

Reba Cardenas McNair

Reba Cardenas McNair is a Brownsville businesswoman and civic leader who currently serves as president of two Brownsville land development corporations. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She then went on to receive an MS from Columbia University. She has served as board chair for IDEA Public Schools and is a member of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Development Board, the Driscoll Children's Hospital Board, and the Mitte Cultural District Board. 

Nancy Painter Paup

Nancy Painter Paup manages and directs business, real estate, and ranching interests in Texas. She received a gubernatorial appointment to the Board of Regents of Texas Woman’s University (TWU-Denton, Dallas, and Houston), the largest public university primarily for women in the United States, and was elected vice-chair during her tenure. She is an elected member of The Philosophical Society of Texas. She currently serves on the advisory council of the Jane Nelson Institute of Women’s Leadership (TWU) and the executive advisory committee of The Handbook of Texas Women and is founder of The Paup Lecture Series at TWU. Formerly, she served on the board of directors of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) at The University of Texas at Austin, the board of trustees of Schreiner University, and the advisory board of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University and was a member of the Leadership Texas Class of 2003. Her academic degrees include master’s and bachelor’s degrees from TWU. Post-graduate work includes attending Dartmouth College, Harvard University, The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and receiving certifications in development, strategic leadership, and private wealth management, respectively. She has raised funds throughout Texas for the arts, higher education, and historical preservation. She spearheaded the membership and corporate development programs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, was involved with the completion of a $50 million capital campaign at Schreiner University, and was co-chair of a previous state-wide campaign for TSHA. She and her husband, Ted, have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Ellen K. Ramsey

Ellen K. Ramsey is a partner of Ramsey Petroleum LP, and civic volunteer. She currently serves as a board member for the Midland Chamber of Commerce, Midland Memorial Hospital, City of Midland Hotel/Motel Tax, Midland County Republican Party, and Midland Inspires. She serves on the Center’s “Center Stage” and Fair Havens “Gingerbread Haven” event committees and is a Junior League of Midland Sustainer. She was the 2018 recipient of the “Ibby” award for service in her community. She previously served as a board member for the Midland County Public Library Foundation, George W. Bush Childhood Home, Pink the Basin, and I-20 Wildlife Preserve and is a former district director for State Senator Kel Seliger. Ramsey attended Baylor University and earned a BA in sociology from The University of Texas Permian Basin. She and her husband, Midland County Commissioner Scott Ramsey, have two children, Rachel and Tucker.

Katharine Schlosberg

Katharine Schlosberg grew up in a military family living in Virginia, Germany, France, Spain, and, ultimately, San Antonio where she spent her high school years. She has been involved in public education for over forty years as a teacher, counselor, school administrator, and university professor. She began her career as a classroom teacher in Rapid City, South Dakota. As a school counselor in Aurora, Colorado, she worked with students on issues of school, family, self-esteem, and peer relationships. Additionally, she served as a board member of the Colorado School Counselor’s Association. Upon moving to California, she taught high school mathematics and subsequently was named Director of Studies at Westridge School, where she was responsible for academic counseling and faculty mentoring. She then accepted a position as an adjunct professor at San Jose State University where she supervised graduate students in the Education Leadership program. Recently retired after teaching at the University of the Incarnate Word for ten years, she now directs her energy to organizations that focus on supporting underprivileged students. She is a past member of the Board of Visitors of Trinity University and the KLRN Foundation board. She is also a past board member (vice-chair) of Communities In Schools of San Antonio and a founding member of Friends of Communities In Schools. She served on the board of Children Now, a California based policy and research organization focused on agencies that support children’s education, health, and welfare. She currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. She holds an EdD in Education Administration from UCLA, an MEd from Trinity University, and a BS in Mathematics Education from the University of Missouri. She is married to Dick Schlosberg and has two grown children and five grandchildren.

William Serrata

William Serrata was named president of the El Paso County Community College District in August 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Brownsville, and a PhD in educational human resource development from Texas A&M University. During his career, he has fostered enrollment growth as well as increases in student retention, dual credit enrollment, and graduation rates with an emphasis on first-generation and Hispanic populations and establishing a college-going culture. He is an active member of the El Paso community and currently serves as a board member of Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, and the El Paso Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is chair of the board for the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence. At the state level, he serves as the chair for the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), co-chair of the TACC Business Advisory Council, chair of the TACC Texas Success Center Advisory Committee, and past chair of the Texas Student Success Council convened by Educate Texas. On the national level, he serves on the board of directors for the Lumina Foundation, as the immediate past chair of the board of directors for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), immediate past chair of the board of directors of Excelencia in Education, and advisory board member of the Higher Education Research and Development Institute (HERDI). He previously served on the National Student Clearing House Advisory Council and was a member of the 2015 class of the Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows. In 2019, he was selected as the Western Region Chief Executive of the Year by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and subsequently received the Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer Award during the national conference. He and his wife Jessica have been married for twenty years and are blessed with two wonderful sons, Nathan and Joshua. He enjoys fishing, reading, and spending time with his family. 

Gina Spagnola

Gina Spagnola is president and CEO of The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce. In that capacity, she has helped develop and lead a strategic planning process that transformed the Chamber, played a critical role in the rebuilding of the City of Galveston’s business community following Hurricane Ike, and created an education committee within the Chamber to discuss educational priorities in the community. This committee is the one venue representing every school and education-based organization in the Galveston area, from the University of Texas Medical Branch to East End Preschool. She serves as the County Director of Lemonade Day Galveston County, in addition to her service on the national board of directors. She helped create Galveston’s Celebrating Women: Mind Body Spirit Conference to celebrate, inspire, and motivate women to strive for the best in both their personal and professional lives. She serves on Galveston ISD’s Educational Foundation Board as chair, The Grand 1894 Opera House Board, and the Port of Galveston’s Port of Call Committee. She’s a recipient of the Christie Mitchell Beachcomber Award, recognizing individuals and entities who promote Galveston Island, the Grand Opera House’s Community Enrichment Award, and the Paul Harris Fellow, Distinguished Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. She was recently named one of the 50 Most Admired CEO’s in the Houston Region by Houston Business Journal and was recognized by Houston Woman Magazine as one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2020–2021.

Hannah Temple

Hannah Temple is an attorney-mediator and the founder of Nine Dots Mediation, which specializes in divorce mediation. She holds a BA from Pomona College and a JD from Stanford Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1999. She previously worked as an attorney in the Travis County Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, and the Texas Legislative Council. In addition to mediation, she is passionate about philanthropy and nonprofit governance. She is the past president and current member of the board of directors of the Dispute Resolution Center in Austin, vice-chair of the T. L. L. Temple Foundation in Lufkin, and chair of the Philanthropy Committee at Breakthrough Central Texas. She previously served as the chair of the board for Breakthrough Central Texas and as board director for Balcones Resources, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, and the Dell Children’s Medical Center Foundation in Austin, as well as on the steering committee for the capital campaign to build a new children’s museum in Austin (the Thinkery). She is originally from Diboll and currently lives in Austin with her husband Christopher Sanders and their two children, Mary Ellen and Robert. 

Alan Tully

Alan Tully is Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor of American History at The University of Texas at Austin and was chair of the history department at UT Austin from 2002 until 2014. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University. A scholar of early American history, he has authored and co-edited several books including William Penn’s Legacy: Politics and Social Structure in Provincial Pennsylvania 1726–1755 (Johns Hopkins University Press), Forming American Politics: Ideals, Interests, and Institutions in Colonial New York and Pennsylvania (Johns Hopkins University Press), and, with Professor Bob Olwell, Cultures and Identities in Colonial British North America. He is currently working on a book on the politics of declamation in early America. Alan and his wife, Deborah Bennett, have two grown daughters.

Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson's photographs have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, London's Sunday Times Magazine, and the Washington Post Magazine. She has published seven books of photographs. She was elected to the Philosophical Society of Texas and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters where she won the Carr P. Collins Award. She was also awarded the Royal Photographic Society of England's Book of the Year for Avedon at Work. She currently serves on the board of the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2019. She is married to Scot Dykema and is the mother of three sons, Andrew, Owen, and Luke Wilson.