2012 Texas LEAD
|Chief Art Acevedo|
Austin Police Department
Art Acevedo serves as the eighth Police Chief in the 84-year history of the Austin Police Department and is the first Hispanic to lead the City’s police force. With more than two decades of law enforcement experience, he oversees a department that employs approximately 2,000 sworn officers and civilian personnel and has been designated a national model "flagship agency” in its most recent review by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Chief Acevedo began his professional career in law enforcement with the California Highway Patrol in 1986, bringing a well-established commitment to community outreach and coalition building to Austin. He strives to establish strong community relationships throughout the city with the goal of strengthening the relationship between the people of Austin and their Police Department. Chief Acevedo leads by example with a strong sense of community involvement through his own personal time and resources.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Acevedo migrated to the United States with his family in 1968 in search of freedom and the opportunities to be found in America. He grew up in California, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree, with departmental honors, in Public Administration from the University of La Verne. He is married to Tanya and is the father of three children, Melissa, Matthew and Jake.
Appointed Austin Police Chief in July 2007, Chief Acevedo believes in the spirit of our community and the commitment to public safety from the men and women of APD. He looks forward to his new role strengthening a world-class police department for a world-class city.
Nobody does stress reduction like Jordan Friedman. He combines
his remarkable stress survival story with 20 years of speaking, writing and
research to motivate and teach audiences to deal productively with challenge,
change and crisis. His unique emphasis on practical strategies that
simultaneously reduce stress and promote professional and academic advancement
resonates with anyone who wants to ace interviews, shine among peers, maximize
performance or just feel better.
The Stress Coach
Jordan is the author of The Stress Manager’s Manual, and you may
already know him as a voice of 'Alice,' the first online source of
straightforward answers to questions about stress, sex and other wellness
topics on Columbia University’s acclaimed Go Ask Alice website. As longtime
director of Columbia’s health education program, Jordan penned hundreds of
Internet and newspaper columns on everything from muscular relaxation to
bedtime communication, and he co-authored the popular Go Ask Alice Book Of
Answers. His work has been quoted and promoted by The New York Times, The Wall
Street Journal, Entrepreneur, CNN, National Public Radio and O Magazine among
Jordan's dedication to sustained stress reduction also drives his Stressbusters
program, a continuous outreach magnet that now connects nearly 200,000 students
and staff with stress reduction and wellness information at Harvard, St.
John's, the University of Missouri and other schools.
Jordan studied stress management education at the University of
Maryland, followed by a master’s degree in public health from New York
University. When he’s not on the road, Jordan lives, works and manages his own
stress in New York City.
Joe Philipp, MBA, SPHR, PCC
Professional Certified Coach
International Coach Federation
Joe Philipp, through his consulting and coaching practice, Insight Consulting, designs and implements Leadership Coaching and Business Change projects. He specializes in designing and facilitating competency-based development Coaching, Organizational Development, and Strategic Business Change actions. He currently works with beverage distributors, healthcare, high-tech, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, educational, oil and gas and service organizations. He helps leaders align strategy, talent development and organizational results, while promoting learning agility, critical thinking and leadership development actions.
Prior to establishing Insight Consulting in 1990, Joe led major human resources actions in Fortune 500 companies. His experience includes designing and implementing employee engagement strategies, and executing leadership roles in talent development and operational improvement assignments. His experiences in senior management development assignments and his actions leading McKinsey Consulting change project actions are noteworthy.
Joe works with organizational leaders to facilitate human talent development goals, diagnose strengths and weaknesses, and design and implement individual leader and organizational effectiveness projects. Joe is now coaching senior through front line leaders, addressing competency development needs that impact productivity and performance results. He is managing coaching projects with clients in multi-cultural and multi-national settings, and
has coached in over 800 coaching engagements in the past ten years. He has worked with Novartis, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, Ben E Keith, HCA and Cigna Health in key assignments.
Joe utilizes assessment feedback instruments including Lominger, MBTI, DiSC, 360 degree feedback, Strength Finders, Myers-Briggs and management assessment tools to help leaders become clear and committed to their competency development and performance change goals.
Joe regularly designs and facilitates business change projects to improve capabilities, service delivery, customer service, and financial performance. He partners with organizational leaders to design and implement change projects. Joe can help business unit leaders -develop business plan change strategy, goals and actions organize key resources against those goals develop the leadership team, and measure the ROI of planned actions against pre determined targets!
Joe is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), holding that standing as accredited by the International Coach Federation.
He holds the certified SPHR designation as a member of SHRM, and received his Bachelor of
Business Degree at the University of Wisconsin, and his MBA from Wisconsin in Organizational Development and Finance.
Joe serves as a Corporate Board Member with publicly traded RBC Life Sciences, serves as Chairman of the Board for the Las Colinas Medical Center, and serves as a Board Member with the North Texas Commission, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Joe resides in Irving, Texas and is an elected official, a City Councilman in the City of Irving, Texas.
|Navigating the Political Landscape|
Joy Weaver, president of PROTOCOL Enterprises, Inc., and Just Ask Joy specializes in corporate and social etiquette training. Ms. Weaver develops and teaches programs that lead to business and social success. She conducts classes for major corporations, non-profit and civic organizations, as well as individuals ranging from children to Fortune 500 executives.
In addition to her regular segments on ABC's Good Morning Texas ad NBC5i, Ms. Weaver is nationally published and appears regularly to discuss etiquette issues on numerous television and radio shows. Ms Weaver has also been featured nationally on ABC's "The View,” and The Early Show, Family Net, in the Associated Press, Southern Living Magazine, and USA Today.
Ms. Weaver is also the author of the book, Just Ask Joy . . . How to be Socially Savvy in All Situations.” Her book, which is highly endorsed by Zig Ziglar, provides easy to read lists of "Power Tips and Faux Pas to Avoid” for a wide variety of common social and business situations. If you have an etiquette question, "Just Ask Joy. . . The Etiquette Expert.”
Ms. Weaver is a corporate etiquette and international protocol consultant certified by the Protocol School of Washington DC. Her training also includes years of research and study as well as certification from Letitia Baldrige's Business Etiquette Program.
|Managing Up Your Career (Panel)|
|Eli D. Mercer|
Eli is owner of
Genesis Consulting in Austin, Texas- providing strategy, innovation and operations
management consulting as well as customized training and development
(professional and organizational) in the areas of global start-up and
expansion, technology transfer and commercialization, cross-cultural management
and negotiations, as well as business intelligence and competitive intelligence.
In addition, Eli is Program Manager of Technology Transfer and
Commercialization for IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. In this role, he is responsible for the
design and delivery of technology commercialization programs to consult, train
and partner with leading R&D institutions, government entities,
universities, corporations and capital sources on innovation ecosystems and
technology transfer and commercialization (TT/TC). Prior to joining IC2 Institute in 2007, Eli
served Thunderbird School of Global Management as Global Enterprise Scholar and
founding General Manager of the Thunderbird Center for Global Entrepreneurship
(Now the Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship) where he managed the launch
of centers for excellence in Global Entrepreneurship, Innovation and
Creativity, Corporate Venturing, Social Entrepreneurship, Family Enterprise, as
well as the Thunderbird Business Incubator.
Eli is a seasoned entrepreneur and consultant with 17 years of
experience building and growing companies large and small. His experience includes leading successful
intrapreneurial ventures in telecommunications, web services, digital media and
print media in the US and Mexico. He has
also served on the founding teams of entrepreneurial ventures in the US,
Holland and Germany.
Foundations of Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs
School of Business in the Business Foundations Program as well as University
Extension. He also teaches Global
Banking and Trade Finance, Import, Export and E-commerce in the International
Business Institute at Austin Community College.
Eli has been a trainer in executive education and worked with many
organizations (universities, corporations, R&D centers, regions) around the
world to develop and deliver customized training and professional development. He has also been a language tutor in English,
Spanish, French and German. Eli holds a Master of Business Administration in
International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management with
specializations in Global Entrepreneurship and Global Business Intelligence, a
Master of Science in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas
at Austin, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Business, Spanish, French,
and German from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Lydia has a broad-based regulatory, transactional and litigation practice
involving domestic and Latin American environmental law. She has extensive
experience advising clients on permitting, compliance, enforcement and
She has represented national and international clients in a wide range of
industry sectors, including energy, chemical manufacturing and electronics
companies, on waste, water and air regulatory issues. She has also counseled
multi-national companies and trade associations on compliance and regulatory
issues arising under Latin American domestic laws.
Before entering private practice, Lydia served as head of the Office of
Legal Services of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). During
her tenure at TCEQ, she served as lead counsel on numerous contested agency
proceedings and provided legal representation on complex and controversial
issues facing the state in all environmental media.
Ms. González Gromatzky is a graduate of the University of Texas School of
Law. She is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese and is a frequent
speaker and writer on the subject of environmental law.
Geronimo M. Rodriguez Jr.
Vice President of Diversity and Community Outreach
Seton Healthcare Family
M. Rodriguez Jr. currently serves as Vice President of Diversity and Community
Outreach with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin, Texas. He joined the Seton
Family in June 2006 to help expand efforts across the healthcare system in the
areas of diversity, inclusion, cultural competence, federal contract compliance
and workforce development.
Rodriguez has served as an Adjunct Faculty member at the LBJ School of Public
Affairs teaching US Latino Policy Issues and as an Adjunct Faculty member at
St. Edward’s University focused on Political Leadership, Political
Management/Managing Crisis and Mass Media and Politics. Mr. Rodriguez has over twenty years of public
service experience advising federal, state and local elected officials and
helping manage presidential, gubernatorial, and attorney general campaigns.
Rodriguez also served in the White House Office of Congressional Affairs where
he helped in legislative preparations for the Seattle Round of the World Trade
Organization. In addition, he served as
Deputy Associate Director and later Acting Associate Director in the White
House Office of Presidential Personnel where he was responsible for
recommending a third of the President’s senior level appointments. He was also responsible for advising senior
White House staff on appointments affecting the Hispanic community.
Rodriguez is currently Co-Chair of the Central Texas Health Industry Steering
Committee, a collaboration between health care and academia focused on the
nursing/allied health pipeline and inspiring the next generation of healthcare
professionals. He is also a Board Member
of KLRU-TV, the local public television station, the Seton Cove, a spirituality
center, and the Impact Center. In
addition, he serves as a Texas Advisory Board Member for Environmental Defense,
and a Board Member of Leadership Austin, the Texas Democracy Foundation (Texas
Observer), as a Director of the Texas Lyceum and a Tri-Chair of the AISD
Performing Arts Center Task Force.
Rodriguez is co-author of the Diversity chapter in Hospitals: What They Are and How
They Work. In September 2008, he
received the Syracuse University Chancellor's
Citation for achievement in public service. In May
2007, he was chosen one of 25 Young Americans to participate in the American
Swiss Foundation Young Leaders Conference in Thun, Switzerland. In March 2007, he received the Austin Under
40 Award for Government/Political Affairs.
He was named a 2006 and 2005 Rising Star by Texas Monthly. In 2001, he received the St. Edward’s University
Alumni Achievement Award. Mr. Rodriguez
also served as Student Body President of St. Edward’s University.
child, Mr. Rodriguez spent eight months of each year as a migrant farmworker
traveling with his parents from South Texas to the Northwest United States
following the harvest seasons. His
parents continue to harvest crops in Oregon.
Rodriguez, a native of Alamo, Texas, graduated from St. Edward’s University
with a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, where he received a four year
academic scholarship and a College Assistance Migrant Program Scholarship. Mr. Rodriguez also attended the Maxwell School
of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University as a Woodrow Wilson
Fellow and received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
VP of Human Resources for Corporate Services
Ed Loya serves as Vice
President of Human Resources for the Corporate Services functions. In this role he is responsible for the daily
management of Global HR programs and processes.
Prior to his current role,
Ed held various HR leadership rolls in support of Commercial Sales – Public
Business Medium Business, Dell International Services, Americas Contact
Centers, Home and Small Business, Product Group and Dell Americas Operations.
Before joining Dell in
1992, Mr. Loya worked for The University of Texas at Austin and INROADS, Inc.
and has more than 25 years of Human Resources management experience.
graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree
in Organizational Communications. Outside
of work, Ed enjoys sports, hunting and spending time with his wife Barbara and
4 children Phoebe, Sophia, Edward and Vincent.
Vice President of Human Resources
Austin Community College
Gerry Tucker is Vice President of Human Resources at Austin Community College. She is responsible for benefits, compensation, employment, payroll and records.
Ms. Tucker has a J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin; M.A. in Student Personnel Administration, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; and B.A. in English from Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee. She was previously in a private law practice focusing on employment and family law.
She is active in the Austin community having served as Chair, Austin First Step, Inc.; Member, Leadership Austin; Member, Leadership Texas; Secretary, Austin Community Foundation; Member, Top Ladies of Distinction; Member, The Links, Inc.; Board Member, Communities in Schools; and Member, Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church.
Co-Founder and VP, Technology Services at Verdtek
Dominguez serves as Vice President of Technology for VerdTek, Inc. With close
to 20 years of experience in the technology industry, and a lifetime passion
for technology in general, Hector has been involved in providing and leading
technology services teams for fortune 500 customers around the world. After spending 6 years building and managing
technology departments for startups in Austin, TX, he spent 10 years at
IBM/Tivoli as a Services Executive.
While at IBM, he managed consulting teams in the Americas with heavy
focus in Latin America. Hector is
currently the VP of Technology for VerdTek, Inc, a technology services
corporation, that he co-founded, which focuses on providing consulting services
to Fortune 500 and Government customers around the world in Cloud, Security and
Storage technologies. Hector is a
native of Mexico City and moved to the USA when he was 16 years old.
Vice President of Distributed Platforms
Charles Schwab & Co.
Her organization is responsible
for architecture, delivery and support of all distributed operating systems as
well as database and storage infrastructure that support Schwab’s business
offerings. Heather has 17 years of IT Engineering experience in the
Silicon Valley, with the last 9 of them being in progressively higher
management roles. She has held positions in both customer-facing (E-business)
and traditional IT (back office) organizations. Her most recent
experience previous to Schwab was with Salesforce and eBay.
|Women in Business|
The Nature Conservancy of Texas
As state director, Laura Huffman oversees all aspects of The Nature Conservancy of Texas. In her three years, she has spearheaded significant growth of the chapter’s land, marine and freshwater conservation work. During her tenure, the Conservancy has helped expand treasured state and city parks, including Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas and Barton Creek Wilderness park near the downtown heart of Austin. She is one of The Nature Conservancy's most trusted voices and speaks regularly on subjects including freshwater protection, the Gulf of Mexico, conservation easements and other pressing environmental issues.
A native of Austin, Texas, Ms. Huffman has a long and distinguished record of public service. As deputy city manager of San Marcos from 1994 to 2002 and assistant city manager of Austin from 2002 to 2008, she spearheaded important watershed protection and economic development initiatives for both cities. Laura earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.Sc. in Political Science with a minor in History from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. She lives in Austin with her husband, Kent, and their four children.
Strategic Wealth Planning
Before founding Strategic Wealth Planning, Blum served as an accountant, financial analyst and business planning specialist. His experience covers a wide spectrum of finance including forensic accounting; corporate bookkeeping; financial planning analysis and reviewing wills, trusts and business documents. Steve’s multidisciplinary convinced him that it is a mistake to focus on a single area of financial planning for a client. Steve asserts, "So many client issues cross over several disciplines at once so it is important to address client problems from a 360oapproach”.
Steve is an Overland Park, KS native who graduated from Southern Methodist University with a double major in accounting and finance. Texas Monthly has honored Steve three times as one of The Five Star Wealth Managers. Steve is a caring husband, has a precious daughter named Hannah and is an avid hat connoisseur.
Blum is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING PROFESSIONALTM, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP).Steve is an Investment Adviser Representative of Strategic Wealth Planning.
|MBA - Non Profit|
John Michael Cortez
Interim Assistant Director for Community Involvement
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
John-Michael graduated from McNeil High School in northwest Austin, received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Science in Community and Regional Planning program in UT’s School of Architecture; he is also a graduate of the Hispanic Austin Leadership program and 2008 Leadership Austin Essential Class.
Mr. Cortez's passion for public service is evidenced by his leadership roles in several community organizations and efforts. Mr. Cortezwas elected to the Board of Trustees in May 2009, and was elected to serve as Secretary to the Board in 2010. In addition, John-Michael is a Past President of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, and is a Past President of the Austin History Center Association. Mr. Cortez has also served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Austin Partners in Education, Friends of the Austin Public Library, Austin Public Library Foundation, Austin Independent School District Foundation, Hispanic Scholarship Consortium of Central Texas, Liveablecity, and Austin Latino Music Association. He is also an active member of the Rotary Club of East Austin and a founding member of FuturoFund Austin.
Due to his extensive work in the community, Mr. Cortez was previously appointed by the Austin City Council to serve on the Libraries for the Future Task Force, Zoning and Platting Commission, and Planning Commission.
Mr. Cortez grew up working in his family's restaurants in Austin, was previously employed as a consultant at an Austin-based business development firm, co-founded and ran a local, small business in the construction industry, and served as Outreach Director for the Office of Congressman Lloyd Doggett. He currently serves as Interim Assistant Director for Community Involvement for Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
A native Austinite and third-generation attendee of UT-Austin, John-Michael is a rabid Longhorn fan, yet found himself falling in love with and happily marrying a wonderful Aggie, Priscilla Guajardo, and the two are celebrating the recent birth of their beautiful daughter, Isabella.
President and Executive Director
Greenlights for Nonprofit Success
Matt Kouri (@matthewkouri) is the President and Executive Director of Greenlights for Nonprofit Success where he leads the organization’s efforts to strengthen nonprofits through extraordinary performance and impact, consults directly with several nonprofits, and develops leading-edge research and best practices in nonprofit management. Matt’s expertise spans a number of areas, including board governance, organizational development, strategic planning and execution, financial and operational management, and leadership development. He writes and speaks regularly on innovative nonprofit practices, enhanced community engagement, nonprofit board service, and other topics.
Prior to joining Greenlights in 2007, Matt worked as a Senior Manager with Deloitte Consulting’s Austin office where he provided management consulting services to nonprofit and government clients. While with Deloitte, he launched a K-12 education nonprofit in Dallas, oversaw transformations of two state Medicaid programs, and guided the largest government agency consolidation in Texas history. Prior to Deloitte, Matt worked on educational policy issues for the ChicagoPublic School System and was an intelligence analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency.
Matt is personally passionate about orphans and adoption. He was appointed in 2010 by Governor Rick Perry to chair the Texas Adoption Review Committee, a group that has worked to remove obstacles to finding permanent families for Texas foster children. He also leads an orphan and adoption ministry and serves as a youth group leader with Grace Covenant Church. Matt is the past board president of Austin LifeCare, served on the advisory board of Austin’s Campaign for Philanthropy, and regularly works with the Kiwanis youth leadership development program.
Matt was named a finalist for the 2011Austin Under 40awards and the 2011Ethics in Business awards. He was also one of two 2011 inductees into his alma mater Westmoore High School’s Hall of Honor.
Matt holds an MBA and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree in economics from Oklahoma State University. Matt and his wife Julie have two young boys.
ReadMatt's posts on Greenlights' blog.
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Corporate in-house attorney with substantial experience in advising business and public sector clients on virtually all aspects of the employment relationship and ethics management. High premium on the ability to provide seasoned counsel and preemptive legal support to leadership while maintaining a focus on business needs and initiatives, legal requirements and internal policies, and legislative developments and trends. Substantive experience developed through a career in public service and private practice in such capcities as Special Counsel for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and as the Associate General Counsel for Employment for Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
An acitvely engaged community steward serving as a volunteer leader with a focus on furthering civic initiatives and nonprofit endeavors.
- Special Counsel at Texas Health and Human Services Commission
- 2011 Class Representative & Board Member at Leadership Austin
- Community Leadership Council, Chair at Greenlights for Nonprofit Success
- Vice Chair at Austin Bar Foundation
- Trustee at The Long Center for the Performing Arts
- The College of William and Mary - Marshall Wythe Law School
- Rice University
Claudia K. Beeny
Educator, Author, Entrepreneur
Founder of CKB Group
Dr. Claudia K. Beeny, an educator, author, entrepreneur, and thought leader. Founder of the CKB Group. Claudia has over her 25+ years of experience, Claudia has developed an interactive and engaging style, deep knowledge base, and key insights and principles to help her clients succeed. She created CKB group to share these principles and techniques with organizations that want to enhance and maximize the performance of their resources, as well as the experiences of their customers.
Prior to starting CKB Group, Claudia worked in higher education for more than 20 years, in positions such as Hall Director, Dean of Students and faculty member for undergraduate and graduate students. Her areas of expertise involve the study and implementation of community development, in order to engage students in campus life and enhance the overall college experience. Since 1999, Claudia has served as a Lead Facilitator for the Leadershape Institute, a non-profit organization focused on developing people who will lead with integrity. She also develops curriculum and teaches a leadership class for the retailer, Cabela’s.
Claudia is the co-author of Building a Strong Involving Community (BASIC), a workbook utilized by many in education and beyond, for understanding and developing a strong sense of community and reaping the inherent benefits. Claudia is also the creator and "Chief Blogger” of an online community called House of Shine, which inspires and promotes excellence within people — otherwise known as "Shine.” At the core of her personal philosophy are ten key principles one must possess to truly shine. House of Shine is a living example of how Claudia’s proven techniques can be used to develop a strong community of people, and tap into their creativity and unique talents to promote the greater good.
|National Society of Hispanic MBAs|