BEVERLY KERL MITCHELL-BROOKS, Ph.D.
Dr. Mitchell-Brooks received a Master of Science degree in Genetics from Texas Woman’s University, becoming the first African-American to gain an MS degree in pure science from TWU. Through a joint program she completed her research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and her course work at TWU, receiving her doctoral degree in Molecular Biology-Biochemistry. Her research project in the area of enzymology under Dr. Thomas Smith was expanded and continued at Howard University. Her publications appear in The Journal of Biochemistry and Genetics.Dr. Mitchell-Brooks has utilized her skills as an environmental specialist for the US-EPA and the City of Dallas: as a faculty member at Northlake Community College; former research and faculty member at Bishop College. She presently serves as an adjunct professor in Anatomy/Physiology at El Centro Community College as well as Pres. /CEO of the Dallas Urban League.
Dr. Mitchell-Brown has served as Director of the Martin Luther King Center, Executive Director of the Greater Dallas Community Relations Commission; Director of Public Affairs for DART. In 1990 she became the first woman to head the Dallas Urban League in its 33-year history.
She has been active in the Dallas community from education to housing and was one of the first City of Dallas environmentalists assigned to analyze the lead content problem in West Dallas, serving as the basis for closing the hazardous smelters in the West Dallas community.
She is a member of St. Paul AME Church, AKA Sorority, Dallas Assembly, Leadership Dallas Alumni, Leadership Texas Alumni, National Urban League Association of CEOs, Greater Dallas Planning Council, Oak Cliff Chamber, Texas College Board of Trustees and others.
LINDA PERRYMAN EVANS
Linda Perryman Evans is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Meadows Foundation, one ofthe largest private philanthropies in Texas. Prior to her current position, Evans was an active partner in the public relations firm of Stern, Nathan &Perryman and previously, the Executive Director of the Dallas Welcoming Committee, a non-partisan host committee for the 1984 Republican National Convention.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Evans worked in Washington, DC from 1976 through1983. She served on President Gerald Ford’s re-election campaign, was an assistant in the development office of the American Enterprise Institute, was assistant to the press secretary for the lateSenator John Heinz of Pennsylvania, and from 1980 to 1983, served in the White House Office of Media Relations and Planning for President Ronald Reagan.
Evans serves on the executive board of the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU and on the advisory board of the Meadows Museum.She is a founding board member of the Philanthropic Collaborative in Washington, DC, board member of Council on Foundations, chair of the finance and audit committee of National Center for Family Philanthropy, and current trustee of the Wilson Foundation. Evans also serves on the boards of Passion for Children’s, Inc., Amegy Bank, and the International Women’s Forum, and the advisory boards of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. Former member and past chair of Equest and a member of the Dallas Assembly, Charter 100, and Crystal Charity Ball. In addition, she is a member of the Chairman’s Circle of the Dallas Summer Musicals.She has served on the boards of Grantmakers in Health and the Conference of Southwest Foundations, where she is a past president. She is a past chair of the Mid-America Foundations Task Force on Standards and Accountability, served on the Independent Sector’s Panelon the Nonprofit Sector to advise the Senate Finance Committee, and the Effectiveness and Accountability Task Force for the Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers.
Evans was named to the 2010 Nonprofit Times list of the Top 50 Power and Influence leaders in the Nonprofit Community. In 2008, Evans received the YWCA 100 Outstanding Women’s Award and honored in 2007 with the TACA Silver Cup for her support of the Arts in Dallas and received the St.Philip’s School and Community Center Unsung Hero award. Evans is a recipient of the 2004 Dallas Alumni Pi Beta Phi Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award, the 2003 Leadership Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2002 Prism Award from the Greater Dallas Mental Health Association. In 2002, she received the Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel La Catholica for her work on behalf of enhancing relations between Spain and the United States.
Paula Dobbs-Wiggins, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice in Dallas, Texas, an Associate Professor of Pastoral Care at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University and an ordained minister.Throughout her career she has focused on increasing the dialogue between the psychiatric and religious communities. Because she believes that clergy are in a unique position to help decrease the stigma associated with mental illnesses – stigma that often prevents people from availing themselves of effective treatment- she has sought to increase understanding and collaboration between clergy and mental health professionals.
She has been designated a Distinguished Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association and has received numerous awards including the following: Distinguished Service Award- National Association of Mental Illness/Dallas Southern Sector; Showcase Award- Texas Department of Mental Health & Retardation; Trustee Award- Dallas County Mental Health Mental Retardation Board, where she served as Chair; Outstanding Service Award, Terrell State Hospital, where she served as Clinical Director.
Her community service outside the medical field has been wide-ranging. She is a member of St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church where she serves as an Assistant Pastor and directress of the children’s choir. She currently serves on the board of the Pastoral Counseling Center of Dallas and has previously served on the boards of the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas, St. John’s Episcopal School and the Science Place.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Dobbs-Wiggins received her bachelor’s degree in Biology, with honors, from Harvard College and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency at Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital in Dallas, Texas, during which time she was named a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association.
She is married to Kevin B. Wiggins and they are the proud parents of four young-adult children.
Trisha Cunningham is the Chief Citizenship Officer for Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas. In that role, Trisha strives to positively impact the communities where TI operates through strategic philanthropy, education, employee involvement and corporate social responsibility programs that support TI’s business goals.
In addition to her public affairs role, she has over 20 years of experience managing global communications and marketing initiatives including corporate communications, marketing and business communications that increased awareness, consideration and preference for TI products and services.
Trisha is a collaborator and believes there is power in partnership and sharing to build a better future for TI and our communities. As such, she was a catalyst and founder of the Dallas Fort Worth Corporate Citizenship Network – a self-managed group formed to share best practices and encourage companies with similar interests to work together on key community issues. She recently was named 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Executive of the Year by the Center for Nonprofit Management.
Trisha holds a BS in Computer Information Systems with an emphasis in business from Murray State University. She is a graduate of the International Women’s Foundation Leadership Fellow Program, Leadership Dallas and Leadership Texas. She serves on the board of trustees for Leadership Women (formerly the Foundation for Women’s Resources), the Volunteer Center of North Texas where she chairs the Student Engagement Programs committee and formerly of Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas. She also serves on the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Marketing Council, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Board Development Committee, the President’s Advisory Council of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and Murray State’s Computer Information Systems advisory board. Trisha is a member of the Dallas Breakfast Group, World Affairs Council and Dallas Friday Group. She has also been an active Girl Scout volunteer for 13 years and a volunteer leader in church youth and children’s programs for over 20 years.
Hind Jarrah is co-founder, former president and the current executive director of Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation (TMWF), a non-profit, educational, philanthropic, outreach and social service organization dedicated to empowering women and their Families.
Dr Jarrah has been engaged in the promotion of understanding and respect for multicultural diversity since 1982, when she co-founded the Arabic Heritage Society, a non-profit, educational organization. After Sept 11, 2009, the widespread misconceptions about Islam and Muslims resulted in her becoming a frequent guest speaker on topics such as the fundamentals of Islam, the peoples and cultures of the Muslim world, women in Islam, and Muslim/Non-Muslim relations. She has organized as well as participated in interfaith dialogue presentations and panel discussions in schools, colleges, churches, Rotary and Lions’ Clubs and international societies; and recently the pioneering ISNA/URJ Muslim-Jewish dialogue in DFW.
Dr. Jarrah was born in Beirut, Lebanon to Palestinian parents. She graduated from the American University of Beirut with a B.Sc. in Pharmacy (1974) and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas (1980). She received her Masters in Neuroscience and Cognition from UTD in 2000.
CLAIRE L. SAHLIN
Claire has a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Bethel College, a M.T.S. in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, an M.A. and Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard University.
Claire is currently a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Women’s Studies, Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX. From 1997-1999, she was director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of North Texas in Denton, and from 2000-2009 she was program director for the Women’s Studies Program at TWU.
Claire developed and gained approval for the Graduate Certificate Program in Women’s Studies at TWU in 2001. She is honored in Who’s Who among America’s Teachers, 2005, and received the Outstanding Honors Faculty of the Year, Texas Woman’s University, 2003, and Pursuit of Excellence in Teaching Award, University of North Texas Forum on Teaching and Learning, 1999.
Claire is the author of Birgitta of Sweden and the Voice of Prophecy. Studies in Medieval Mysticism, vol. 3. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 2001, and has contributed chapters to a number of books, articles to publications, and presentations at professional meetings related to her extensive academic research on the role of gender in spirituality.
NADA J. RUDDOCK
Nada J. Ruddock is the Director of Community Affairs at NBC 5/KXAS-TV. She joined the station in 1990 after working for Jim Wright, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Nada is a member of the NBC Universal Dallas Community Affairs Council, A Wish with Wings Board of Directors, the FWISD Advisory Council, the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Advisory Council, the Score a Goal in the Classroom Advisory Board, Leadership Fort Worth and she is a life member of the NAACP.
Nada has won the Emmy for Community Service. She is an Emmy award-winning producer and has multiple Emmy nominations. She has won the Promax Bronze Award and the Bonner McLane Award for the Most Outstanding Community Affairs Department in the State of Texas from the Texas Association of Broadcasters and the Telly Award for Outstanding Public Service. Nada has earned professional recognition throughout her career from organizations including the American Heart Association, Texas Association of Broadcasters, the American Cancer Society, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Score a Goal in the Classroom, Elite News, and many more.
Nada’s time away from NBC 5 is frequently spent at community and charitable events and she volunteers to help her church and local schools.
Nada has an MBA from Texas Christian University and received her undergraduate degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is married to Dr. Dwight Ruddock and has a son and daughter-in-law, Tony and Molly.
BECKY RUSSELL SYKES
Becky Sykes was one of 18 women who founded the Dallas Women’s Foundation, a public foundation that strengthens the community by increasing the investment in women and girls and empowering women’s philanthropy. She also served as its, first chair, and was immediate past President and CEO from 1998-2011.A life-long Dallasite, she graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas with degrees in French and government. She taught high school civics and French for several years, “retired” to raise two children and do volunteer work, then returned to full time employment at Greyhound Lines, KERA Public Television and The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Most of her work through the years has involved public policy, non-profit management, strategic planning and fundraising. She has served on a number of community boards, including the Dallas City Plan Commission, the Junior League of Dallas, the YWCA, The Dallas Summit, the League of Women Voters and the Women’s Council of Dallas County. She is an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas.
She has received several awards, including the Maura Award (“Women Helping Women”), the Susan B. Anthony Award, the Executive Director of the Year award from North Texas Legal Services, the League of Women Voters’ Myrtle Bales Bulkley Award, the Women of Excellence Award, given by the YWCA and Women’s Enterprise Magazine, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Athena Award, and the Woman of Distinction Award from the American Association of University Women. She received the Austin College Distinguished Alumna Award in 2008.
Becky currently serves as a community volunteer and mentor and serves as Vice Chair of the board of trustees of Austin College in Sherman, TX.
CHARITY N. WALLACE
Charity Wallace serves as the director of the women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute and senior advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush. She is responsible for setting the vision and creating the programming for the women’s Initiative, including the empowerment of women in the Middle East. Most recently, Wallace served as the chief of staff to Mrs. Laura Bush, managing the team that supports Mrs. Bush and oversees Mrs. Bush’s initiatives championed as First Lady of the United States. Wallace served for three years as the Director of Advance for First Lady Laura Bush, responsible for the execution of Mrs. Bush’s 300-plus annual events outside the White House.Wallace also served as deputy chief of protocol of the United States during the George W. Bush Administration, overseeing the visits of chiefs of state, heads of government and other international dignitaries who were in the United States to meet with the president, vice president or secretary of state. She also accompanied delegations representing the president at official ceremonies abroad.
Wallace also created a new outreach division within the Office of the Chief of Protocol establishing “Experience America” trips, designed to engage the diplomatic corps through travels to various regions of the United Stated by highlighting companies and industries of particular relevance and interest to the diplomats.
Wallace served in the Bush Administration from January 2001 to January 2009at the U.S. Department of State, Mrs. Bush’s office and in public liaison positions in Presidential Advance, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and USA Freedom Corps.
A native of California, Wallace graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University, with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a focus in international relations.
Debbie Taylor is the Southwest Regional Director for Citi Community Development, overseeing community development and economic empowerment initiatives for under served individuals, families and communities through the expansion of financial products and services that build sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Debbie coordinates Citi Foundation grants, microfinance initiatives and executive involvement in community leadership, employee volunteerism and company campaigns, and public relations in the southwest geographic region. Debbie also manages the activities of the Texas State Leadership Council, focusing on relationships and advocates, customer and community organizations.
A 25-year veteran of leadership positions in non-profit and civic initiatives in this community, she holds a Master of Public Administration from Texas State University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.
Debbie is chair of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Board, having also served in 2007 as the campaign chair. She also served as the chairman of the board of the ChildCareGroup, is currently on the ACCION Texas Louisiana Board, and executive committee of the Dallas County Community College District Foundation Board. Debbie was honored with the 2011 J. Erik Jonsson Award, the highest volunteer award given by the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. She was honored with the first ever Corporate Social Responsibility Executive of the Year in 2010 and most recently in 2012, the Junior League of Dallas’ Sustainer of the Year award. Other honors include Dallas Business Journal’s Most Influential Women in Business award and the Ebby Halliday Rose of Distinction award.
NIKI NICASTRO MCCUISTION
A non-profit and business performance strategist, specializing in strategic advancement, board governance, fundraising and leadership, Niki knows the challenges facing organizations first hand. She has worked in sales and management and as a non-profit CEO, with responsibility for all aspects of the organization, including its fund raising initiatives and strategic direction. In addition she holds an MA in Philanthropy from St. Mary’s University, Winona, Minnesota and an MBA in Leadership and Governance from the University of Dallas.
The author of several books on leadership, coaching, sales and change management, including her last book: Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation; she is presently working on a new release on social enterprise.
Niki has consulted/ spoken to organizations from The World Affairs Councils of America, Ronald McDonald House, United Way, America’s Second Harvest, Apple, The United States Marine Corps, CAS Argentina and numerous others. She has also served on the boards of several non- profit associations, and is the new chair of the Social Enterprise Alliance of North Texas.
She has earned her Certified Speakers Designation from the National Speakers Association, a designation held by fewer than 8% of the association’s 5,000 members. The Texas Chapter of NSA honored Niki with the first Charbonneau Award, given to speakers who are role models in their community. Niki was selected as a National Council on US Arab Relations Malone Fellow and has recently been honored as an Ambassador of Peace by the International Peace Federation.
Niki is co-founder, executive producer- producer of the award winning McCUISTION television program, now in its 24h year with KERA PBS, Dallas, and syndicated on PBS in several cities around the country. Under her watch the program has earned numerous, Telly, Clarion and Katie awards for excellence in journalism.
Her work includes the controversial Roots of War, a documentary on terrorism. As Producer- Director, her interviews have taken her from Baghdad to Syria, and other countries in the Middle East, and to Europe and Africa several times where she has met and interviewed key experts and community leaders re: the regions’ political issues.
Michelynn Woodard is the vice president of philanthropy at jcpenny. With over 15 years of experience in corporate philanthropy across multiple industries – including entertainment, non-profit, television, digital media and music – Woodard leads the company’s charitable efforts in more than 1,100 jcpenney communities nationwide through strategic partnerships with philanthropic organizations that represent the Fair and Square values inherent to jcpenney.
Before joining jcpenney, Woodard founded the Amalgamation Group LLC, a strategic consulting firm that brought together celebrities, philanthropists, non-profits and brands. She has also served as managing director of West Coast Operations for Be the Change, Inc., where she actively engaged in creating high profile events and fundraising, while opening and managing the organization’s Los Angeles office.
She also served as president and chief operating officer for West Brands, LLC, where she ran Kanye West’s parent company and helped lead the growth of its subsidiaries.
Preceding her work with West, Woodard was program director for the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Foundation resourcing celebrity clients such as Chaka Khan, Jamie Foxx, Bruce Willis and others interested in creating social activism platforms and developing strategic philanthropic initiatives. She developed local alliances and extensive relationships in the entertainment community through public and private partnerships. Before CAA, Woodard was the director of network distribution for Fox Broadcasting Company, responsible for negotiating relationships and profitability margins for over 50 local television stations throughout the country.
Woodard supports numerous charitable organizations, mentors many young women and is an active public speaker. She is a recipient of the “Women in Business Award” from the Springfield, Massachusetts Women’s Commission and was cited as an emerging leader by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Woodard received her B.A. degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University.