MEET OUR TEAM

ANGEL INVESTORS

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Linda Parker, Ed.D.

Board Member

Deputy Superintendent

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD

Deputy Superintendent for Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, where she leads the work of transforming education to meet the needs of every child. Having worked thirty years in education has given Linda Parker, a graduate of Texas Tech University, Texas Woman's University, and Nova Southeastern University, a firm foundation in meeting students' needs in the classroom through the use of best practices.

 

Her experiences range from teaching English in the rural cotton farming community of O'Donnell to the metroplex districts of Boyd and Northwest to leading campuses in high growth districts.

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MAVERICK SMOTHERS

Board Member

Director of Learning & Development

Microsoft CE&S

Maverick Smothers currently severs as a Global Director of Learning and Development for Microsoft, CE&S organization. He brings 20+ years of learning and development experience to this role. Maverick holds a master’s degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University in Seattle, WA and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from Southern University.  

Maverick is married, with three daughters and three grandchildren.  He and his wife live in Fort Worth, TX. They enjoy movie nights as well as traveling.  Their favorite travel

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ellen billings

Board Member

North America Controller

GM Financial

Ellen currently serves as the North America Controller for GM Financial, the finance subsidiary of General Motors, where she has worked since 2012. She has thirty-plus years of professional experience in the financial services industry, including positions with financial institutions, broker-dealers and private equity firms. She earned her Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1989. She is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in Texas. 

 

Ellen lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband Scott. They have four grown children and two grandchildren. In her free time, Ellen enjoys the Trinity biking trails, yoga and exploring Fort Worth’s vibrant restaurant scene.

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JOHN waggoner

Board Member

Chief Global Technology Officer

Textron

John currently services as the Global Chief Technology Officer for Textron, where he has worked since 1997.  He is responsible for the global services desk, architecture, cloud, and infrastructure teams.  He brings more than 25 years of Information systems experiences.  John earned his Bachelor of Business Information Services from Kansas Newman University in 1993. 

 

John lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife Jodi.  They have two boys and two grandchildren.  He enjoys watching his grandkids play sports, and off roading with his family.

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MICKIE SMITH

Board Member

Director of Marketing

Cox Media

An Emmy Award-winning producer with more than twenty-five years of quality content production, Mickie combines advanced production skills, creativity and a hard-working mentality to accomplish each client's video content goals.

 

Mickie is an effective storyteller, project leader, and problem solver with decades of experience leading large-scale live events, documentaries, studio productions, and news operations; Mickie's skill set is as diverse as the projects she leads. Whether your needs are in marketing, branding, or content creation, Mickie Smith and her team are here to help you produce effective video content.

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

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Dr. Harold Wright

Advisor

Deputy Superintendent

Bio coming soon

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Kemmiko grant

Advisor

Business Development Representative

Kemmiko “Kem” Grant spent over 25 years in the financial and banking industry. Her career consists of employment with SBDC, SBA and many large global banks. She held the title of Vice President at BBVA Compass, Chase Bank and Comerica Bank. She acted as Branch Manager, Business Banker, Loan Officer and Community Reinvestment Act Loan Officer helping businesses of many sizes from small micro startup to multimillion-dollar companies with their financial needs. Kem currently has brought her expertise in business leadership to Tarrant SBDC. Kem earned her Executive Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University. troplex districts of Boyd and Northwest to leading campuses in high growth districts.

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Dr. Theron bowman

Advisor

Former Arlington Police Chief

Dr. Theron Bowman began his public service career in 1983 as an officer with the Arlington (TX) Police Department and served in numerous positions before being appointed police chief in 1999.  He later served for five years as a Deputy City Manager and Director of Public Safety before retiring in 2017. 

Dr. Theron Bowman was named as the department’s first Assistant Chief of Police in 1997.  In March, 1999. He also was a father, husband, and deacon in his church. Dr. Theron Bowman is recognized by the Texas State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. 

STAFF

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KRISTEN GRANT

Chief Executive Officer

Kristen Geez is an Adjunct Professor, Training Consultant, TEDx Speaker, Celebrated Author and Founder of Advising Generation Z (AGZ), a non-profit social skills mentoring program focused on equipping over 7,000 Gen Z with leadership opportunities at 43 school districts, 15 municipal courts, and 4 detention centers in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania.AGZ is aided by a digital series called AdvisingGenz LLC available on the AdvisingGenz app. AdvisingGenz LLC consists of exercises and testimonials from Millennials that help Gen Z students navigate life’s difficulties. Kristen is the host and creator for AdvisingGenZ digital series. 

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Cal Quigley IV

Director, Learning & Development

Cal Quigley is a professor of Global Business and Ethics, community champion and fintech consultant with more than twenty years of experience leading and managing some of the most complex and sophisticated military and public service operations in the United States. He has more than fifteen years of experience leading teams both in the non-profit sector as well as in the private sector. His diverse array of knowledge and experience equips him to interact with students, clients and stakeholders at all levels of governmental education, private and non-profit sectors.

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Jessi Crino 

Chief Content Officer

Video producer, shooter, editor and live television director, now working with Cox Media to create exceptional content for clients in Oklahoma and beyond. Television Director/Technical Director specializing in live news broadcasts, with some remote experience. Extensive knowledge of Grass Valley, Avid, Calrec, VizRT, and Adobe products. High emphasis placed on quick troubleshooting and resolution of equipment failures. Also interested in editing and more advanced electronic engineering. Specialties: Grass Valley Kayak, VizRT, Calrec Zeta, Avid Unity Systems, Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, equipment troubleshooting and repair.

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Scott Warner

Legal Counsel

Bio coming soon

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Ronequia McGregor

Curriculum Writer

Ronequia McGregor serves as an Educator who deals skillfully with a diverse variety of groups under a wide array of circumstances. She develops and conducts educational workshops to large/small groups. She models and helps implement new academic and behavior instructional materials, lessons, skills and activities for teachers/students to use in their classrooms.

 

She is also a content creator who obtained her bachelor's degree at Paul Quinn College, master's degree at Concordia University, and completed her Educational Leadership Program through Lamar University. 

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nichole d. fisher

Curriculum Writer

Nichole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication with a minor in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in English, Secondary Education from Shippensburg University, as well as a
Master of Arts in Education in Adult Education and Training (MAEd/AET) from the University of Phoenix. In her life and work, Ms. Fisher is passionate about advocacy for youth and for those
who serve them. Nichole has served in the field of education for 17 years, nearly half of which she spent as an English teacher in the classroom with students in grades 9 through 12 in both Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Currently, Nichole is the Youth Development Program Coordinator for Pennsylvania’s statewide Education Leading to Career and Employment Training (ELECT) initiative at Center for Schools and Communities. In this role, Nichole provides ongoing training and technical assistance to ELECT grantees who serve pregnant and parenting teens across Pennsylvania.

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Ely Hernandez

Curriculum Writer, ESL

Ely Hernandez is a mother, wife, and self-taught writer. She is passionate about solving problems and helping others, especially to improve academically or professionally.

 

An architect by profession, Ely graduated from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Grateful to has been working in education these last 3 years.

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Pyramid INC

Technology Partner

Bio coming soon

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Sara TRISTAN

Chief Design Officer

Sara Michelle Tristan owns and operates a Sara Michelle Design, a premiere marketing agency in Houston, Texas. She has worked with hundreds of clients worldwide and created more than 300 websites. Sara has worked in the marketing and communications industry for more than a decade and also has an extensive background working with non-profit organizations. Sara earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Houston - Downtown with a minor in communications. She has a Graduate Certificate in Plain Language and Graduate Certificate in Medical & Applied Health Communication. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in technical communications. 

OUR PARTNERS

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