Mr. Price was in the Consumer Products Industry for 33 years in various Sales, Marketing and Management capacities.
Immediately upon his retirement, Mr. Price became a entry level volunteer at The Stewpot, a best practices model for Homeless Services. Through his dedication to the cause, for which he had no previous real experience, Mr. Price, over the course of 3 years, matriculated through various positions that increased his responsibilities to the Center.
When Dallas’ largest shelter, Austin Street, was seeking an Executive Director Mr. Price was recommended for the position by the ExDir of The Stewpot. After a national search for a Director Mr. Price was given the position, and he went to work at once in re-defining the core mission. The day he was appointed, the full array of social services was put in place in a comprehensive manner, understanding that a holistic approach was the only way to have a lasting positive outcome. In the last 12 months of his over 2 year management of the shelter, over 600 clients were put through the programs and less than 1% returned. The key component was treating the whole person with respect, affirmation and re-socialization.
Within the adult shelter environment, it was decided by Mr. Chapman and Mr. Price that there was a critical social services need for teens facing homelessness and virtually nothing in the way of providing it. In order to reduce adult homelessness one must get as far ahead of the process as possible: work with teens on the verge.
A Drop In CTR is a fantastic model with which to start. Mr. Price realized that the same holistic approach would work ideally in this environment.
Working with teens now reduced the personal and economic impact of homelessness ten years hence, and can be done so inexpensively.
Mr. Price is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University.
Patton Chapman, as Director of Development, was responsible for communicating the vital mission of the Austin Street Center to the general public. This communication was part of a new marketing initiative for the Center as they underwent a reevaluation of their mission and program strategy.
Mr. Chapman used his many years of experience in Banking, Real Estate Development and Acquisition, Finance and Deployment of Capital, and Marketing to ensure that the message was not only communicated, but that each dollar donated was utilized in the most beneficial and economical manner possible. During his time with the agency, Austin Street Center was able to provide the full range of basic needs and social services to its clients for approximately 84 cents of every dollar provided.
Mr. Chapman is on the Boards of the following: Dallas Country Club, Salesmanship Club and is the former Chairman of Salesmanship Club’s Byron Nelson PGA Tournament.
Mr. Chapman is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.
IRVIN ASHFORD, JR.
Board Chair, Elect
Irvin Ashford Jr, is Senior Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs, Director of Community Development and External Affairs for Comerica Bank.
He received Comerica’s Volunteer of the Year Award and the Chairman’s Outstanding Achievement Award for leadership and quality. He was recognized by The National Association of Black Accountants and The National Black MBA Association for his leadership and support of programs benefiting low- to moderate-income individuals and communities in Dallas.
Mr. Ashford was named to the 2007 United States delegate class of the British-American Project. He is a Woodrow Wilson International Studies and Public Policy Fellow, an American Marshall Fellow and a Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und gerd Bucerius Fellow.
In 2008, Mr. Ashford earned the Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award for his outstanding leadership in the business community.
Recently, Mr. Ashford was a recipient of the 2013 LiFE (Leader in Financial Education) Individual Recognition Award from the Texas Bankers Association. Mr. Ashford has also been named d-Mars’.com 2013 Community Hero.
His civic and community involvement includes serving on the board of directors for the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, PeopleFund, Kym’s Kids, and Dallas Affiliate of Susan G Komen.
A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, Mr. Ashford, earned dual master’s degrees – public affairs from the University of Texas and business administration from the University of Dallas.
Valeri Williams is a former award-winning journalist who draws on her unique qualifications in investigative reporting to effectively litigate difficult cases. Valeri used these same skills to run her own image crisis consulting company, which helped major corporations and prominent individuals navigate high-stakes media assaults and lawsuits.
Since becoming an attorney, Valeri has built a litigation practice focused on employment and labor, insurance defense and complex commercial matters. She has represented clients in cases of trade secret misappropriation, employment discrimination, breach of contract, RICO and title insurance fraud in both state and federal court litigation as well as in arbitration and mediation. Valeri defends employers in administrative proceedings and in litigation in state and federal courts. Valeri’s extensive communications and reputation management experience has helped clients in preparing to testify in depositions or at trial and respond to media exposure that may accompany a lawsuit. Valeri is a committed litigator, but also seeks cost-effective alternatives that may better meet client needs and avoid the expense of trial.
Valeri worked for 20 years as a correspondent for ABC News and the local ABC affiliate in Dallas and received two prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards and an Emmy for her reporting.
Awards & Distinctions
Recipient of two Edward R. Murrow awards, an Emmy, and two Certificates of Excellence from Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE)
Champion, Locke Liddell & Sapp Negotiation Competition, Dedman School of Law, 2007
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, J.D., 2008,
Cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, articles editor, SMU International Law Review Association
California State University, B.A., 1983, with honors
Lisa M. Camel is Vice President and Senior Benefits Counsel for Comerica Bank. She works with the human resources team to provide benefits to employees and their families, including medical, savings and retirement benefits. Her civic and community involvement includes serving on the board of directors of Junior Players, teaching financial literacy classes, participating in Career Day at various DISD elementary schools and volunteering for Black Tie Dinner. Ms. Camel is a graduate of the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri.
David Holley is the Chief Executive Officer of ASI Gymnastics. He and his wife, Debi are founders of the Dallas-based company, and operate 10 locations in Texas. ASI employs 300 coaches and staff, and teaches gymnastics to youth in communities around North Texas and Houston. David is committed to developing young children through the sport of gymnastics, and mentoring young professionals.
David and Debi also actively integrate their love of kids and gymnastics into community service. David is a strong advocate of gymnastics for kids with disabilities, working with Special Olympics and Gymmie Kids, the ASI program serving families of children with Autism, Down syndrome, and other needs.
David is a Past President of the Epilepsy Foundation of North Texas and recently retired from the Board of Directors. While serving the Epilepsy Foundation, David led the annual Stroll for Epilepsy that raised over $250,000 per year. ASI Gymnastics charities are also responsible for more than 100 charity events and annually sponsor fundraisers for families, schools, and local charities. David and Debi are very active in The Mesquite Education Foundation, the Mesquite Rotary Bike Ride, and have participated in The Wheelchair Foundation, distributing wheelchairs in North Texas and Africa. In addition, David volunteered for North Texas Food Bank.
David believes in a business-oriented approach to solving the needs of those in the most difficult situations, with the highest level of ethics and character, using donor money as efficiently as possible to serve the intended constituent.
Eric Nadel is a sports announcer on radio broadcasts for the Texas Rangers baseball organization. He won the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence for the 2014 season and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, as a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and decided at a young age that he wanted to be a sports broadcaster. He developed his skills at Brown University announcing hockey and football games on the college radio station. He had minor league hockey play-by-play stints in Muskegon, Oklahoma City, and Dallas and was also the radio voice of the Dallas Diamonds of the Women’s Professional Basketball League.
Eric has been a stolid contributor to the efforts of Focus on Teens for two years. Eric discovered the need for assistance to homeless youth and contacted Focus on Teens and became their primary benefactor.
The Rev. Dr. Laura Barnes recently returned to her hometown of Dallas to serve as the Director of Development for The Winston School. Winston is an incredible place where “bright students who learn differently” are encouraging to shine. While this is her first time in professional development, she feels like she has been raising money for critical causes since childhood.
Prior to her return, Laura served in the Northern California Nevada Conference (NCNC) of the United Church of Christ (UCC) for 14 years. She has led both the Congregational Church of San Mateo, and the Danville Congregational Church as their educational Minister for Children, Youth and Families. While her ministry has centered on education, she is also very engaged in outreach ministries and social justice projects.
Before attending seminary, Laura was a commercial banker (Chase Manhattan and Bank of America) and a full time mother. She is a trained Interim Minister who has experience in assisting congregations during times of transition and transformation. She served on the Board of Trustees at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), associated with the University of California in Berkeley, CA.
Laura received a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from the University of Creation Spirituality (now Wisdom University of Graduate Studies) in Oakland, CA and her Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Undergraduate studies were completed at the University of Texas in Austin.
She served as the chairman of the board of directors for Contra Costa Interfaith Housing (CCIH) in Pleasant Hill, CA – a permanent, supportive housing development for formerly homeless families. As the previous Moderator for the Northern California Nevada Conference (NCNC) of the UCC, Laura has extensive experience in leading and participating in effective committee and task focused gatherings.
Laura currently lives in North Dallas and has two grown children, Mac (29) and Becca (27) who live in the San Francisco Bay Area with Laura’s four granddogs…she misses them ALL!
Jami Ritter is a consultant and grant writer for nonprofit organizations across the United States. She has almost 20 years’ experience working with organizations in the fields of volunteer management, special events, development, fundraising and executive positions. She joined North Texas Nonprofit Resources (NTNR) in 2008. As an associate with NTNR, she has enjoyed working with almost 100 nonprofits in both consulting and grant writing capacities.
Jami has a passion for working with small, growing nonprofits. She believes that that when the enthusiasm and drive of a small nonprofit’s founders, staff and board can come together with best practices, the agency will grow in new and exciting ways. While she likes to remain behind the scenes with her work, she is proud to have been an integral part of helping many local nonprofits grow in both budget size and program impact.
Jami has a passion for serving those that are hurting in our community. Her life changed in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. As a new Executive Director at a struggling social service agency, her perspective about her ability to change the course of someone’s life shifted dramatically when families and children hardest hit by the tragedy began coming to her agency for help. In the weeks after Katrina, she realized several important things that have guided her work going forward: 1) What seems small at the time (a meal, a change of clothes, a glass of cold water), can make an enormous impact on someone who is hurting; 2) Keeping an open mind about collaborations can not only multiply the impact of your actions, but also allow others to share in the joy of helping those in need; and 3) For a person in need, the gift of taking the time to truly listen to their words and understand their point of view is often valued higher than the gift of a physical item.
When she isn’t working, Jami fills every spare moment of her time being a mom to her four boys, four dogs and one tortoise. In addition, she and her husband enjoy coaching the boy’s sports teams, biking around White Rock Lake and remodeling their work-in-progress dream home.
Mr. Derrick Battie
Mr. Battie is currently a partner of Focus on Teens as the Community Liaison at South Oak Cliff High School. Mr. Battie is an excellent voice for this underrepresented sector of our city.
Derrick is himself a distinguished alumnus of South Oak Cliff HS, and played 4 years of Division 1 basketball for Hall of Fame coach, John Chaney, at Temple University. Derrick went on to play in the National Basketball Association for the Seattle Supersonics and the Boston Celtics. Derrick finished his outstanding career with Juventus in Europe.
Mr. Damian Williams
Mr. Williams was reared in Southern California and is a graduate of USC. Mr. Williams is a law graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Damian is a former Dallas Asst. District Atty, and is currently practicing construction and commercial litigation. Damian is committed to social justice and does all he can to promote the needs of those less fortunate.
Rev. Bruce Buchanan
Originally from New York, Rev. Buchanan attended Union Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity. It was there that he was inspired by his professors and others to put his faith into action in the community.
“There were some models of individuals who gave of themselves in what I felt … was more than servanthood. It was being an activist for social issues,”.
That activist spirit followed Buchanan to First United Presbyterian Church of Dunkirk, New York in the 1970s. He described that time as difficult for the steel town’s community, as imported steel was drawing away business from domestic producers.
“There was high unemployment, hunger issues, shelter issues that were really in the forefront of social concern of a lot of Great Lakes communities, so I was involved with efforts to address those needs,” he said.
Buchanan’s work with his New York community drew the attention of First Presbyterian in Dallas. The church reached out to him in the late 1980s when they were looking for an associate pastor with skills working on social issues. Buchanan said it was First Presbyterian’s commitment to focusing on the community that intrigued him.
He made the decision to take the ExDir position and move to Dallas in 1987. The Stewpot, which has been open and operated by the church since 1975, became a primary focus of his community ministry. While it started as a soup kitchen for homeless people congregating around the church, while waiting to work at the farmer’s market a few blocks away, the facility has grown to offer a complete list of holistic services.
“We try to help people take the next step,” Buchanan said.