Todd began his career with CORT in 1991 in Dallas and has held various positions including National Brand Manager and National Marketing Manager. Todd has received numerous awards and certifications throughout his career, including the prestigious Presidents Sales Excellence Award. After meeting people in the supportive housing industry, Todd began volunteering at local organizations serving food, collecting can goods for food banks, clothes drives, and in any way he felt he could help. Through his volunteer efforts, he could see the effects of helping people through housing and supportive services. Todd Shell grew up in the small East Texas Town known as Carthage Texas. After graduating High School, he attended Panola Jr College and LSU where he obtained his degree majoring in marketing and management.
Bill recently retired from his position as the Executive Director of the South Alamo Regional Alliance (SARAH) for the Homeless, one he has held since May of 2015. He became engaged with low income and poverty issues while working at the Internal Revenue Service, where he retired after a 32-year career. Most of that time he spent managing enforcement programs. He spent his last 7 years promoting low-income tax credits, financial literacy, and asset building through the IRS coalition building and outreach programs in Central and South Texas. San Antonio developed one of the largest free tax preparation (VITA) programs in the country within those programs. When he retired, the City of San Antonio offered him a position to support the city’s effort in developing the Haven for Hope campus. In that job, he worked with the Haven for Hope development team, service providers, and other stakeholders to establish the basis for the homeless initiatives.
As the Executive Director of SARAH Bill was responsible for the day to day operations of the Continuum of Care for San Antonio/Bexar County. Those operations include the annual Point in Time Count, HUD Grant Competition, evaluation of service provider performance, adherence to HUD homeless guidelines and implementation of HUD directives such as Coordinated Entry System and Housing First. He provides oversight for all program requirements and manages stakeholder relations.
Bill is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard. He and his wife have been married for 43 years and have one son, a career Army officer, and three grandchildren.
Karlene achieved Executive Director Status with the YMCA of Corpus Christi in 1994, and in 2008 after 20 years with the YMCA Karlene was recruited for the Chief Operating Officer position with Corpus Christi Metro Ministries. Karlene is passionate in the pursuit of finding homes for people living on the streets. Karlene serves on the Board of Directors for the Uptown Neighborhood Initiative, the Homeless Issues Partnership, and the Texas Homeless Network.
Marilyn is the President & CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County. Marilyn joined the Coalition in January 2012 in the position of President & CEO. She has worked in the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors throughout her career. Not a native Houstonian, Marilyn was transferred to Houston in the late 90s when she worked for BFI, Inc. She later worked as Director of Community Relations for Waste Management, Inc. Moving back into the nonprofit world, Marilyn worked at the Greater Houston Community Foundation and was the President & CEO of Leadership Houston. Marilyn has a B.S. in Education from the University of Tennessee, an M.B.A in Marketing from the University of Memphis and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center.
Taylor Cook is a Project Manager in the City of Austin’s Office of Innovation where she leads a team that applies design thinking to the problem of homelessness. Prior to joining the City, she was the founding Executive Director of Farmshare Austin and a healthcare policy consultant for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) where she worked on IT procurement and health information technology projects. Originally from Fort Worth, Taylor has been an Austinite since 2008. She has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia and a M.A. in Economics and Master of Public Administration from the University of Montana.
Stephanie Day has multiple years of business and leadership experience. She completed her undergraduate studies at Concordia University Texas, where she obtained Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Business Administration and Communications. Stephanie attended Keller Graduate School of Management where she received an MBA in Business Administration including a concentration in International Studies. Stephanie completed her doctorate degree at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. Until retirement, Stephanie taught courses in business, management, and leadership both domestically and abroad.
Teri has a background in early childhood education and worked in the field for 23 years that also included consulting for the Texas Association of School Boards and training from Dr. Ruby Payne as well as Dr. Donna Beagle on poverty. Teri previously served as the executive director for The Cove Waco, a center assisting youth experiencing homelessness who are trying to graduate but have no permanent living place. Prior to that, Teri worked at the City of Waco where she served as the Homelessness Administrator for 13 years. Ms. Holtkamp and her team were the first to use the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) in a local school district (Waco Independent School District) in the United States. Teri also serves as co-chair of Once Upon A Prom, a scholarship fundraiser held each year in memory of her youngest daughter McKenzi who was killed in a car accident in 2001. Teri has co-chaired this event with her eldest daughter Brittney for the past 15 years and to date, the event has helped aid well over 300 local students with scholarships. Teri and her husband Tim live in Robinson, TX and attend Trinity Lutheran Church. Her full-time job is being a grandmother to her two grandsons.
Ben King is an epidemiologist and Research Scientist at the University of Texas Dell Medical School Stroke Institute, in the Department of Neurology. He is the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Methods and Results, a research consulting service. He has a Master’s in Public Health and Community Health Management and is in his final year as a doctoral candidate at the UT-Houston School of Public Health, in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Services. Through M&R and the UT SPH, he works with biomedical and healthcare-focused start-up initiatives and community-based non-profits, particularly in housing/homelessness services and mental health programs. He has served in multiple leadership roles at the American Public Health Association, as a peer reviewer for multiple journals, and as a member of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council's Research Coordinating Committee.
After earning a dual degree in International Business and Chinese Language Studies from Texas A&M University, Nathan worked in Southeast Asian Educational Grant Research for SSA Consulting Group in Paya Lebar, Singapore. After moving back to Central Texas, Nathan began his career in Information Systems Sales Engineering with Dell Technologies. He currently serves as an Enterprise Account Manager supporting the Systems Infrastructure, Data Protection, and Cloud Storage division of Dell EMC in Round Rock, TX. Nathan first gained his passion for homeless advocacy after his exposure to the distinguishing subsidized housing and welfare programs unique to Singapore.
In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for The Texas Homeless Network, Nathan volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas as well as Habitat for Humanity and is a former Volunteer First Responder with the Brazos Country Precinct Three Fire Department.
Heather gained her passion for helping people less fortunate and experiencing homelessness at an early age. From bringing meals from her mother’s restaurant as a small child to adopting a grandmother (previously homeless) from the VA hospital throughout high school, and traveling to remote areas of Mexico during college to provide health care and basic needs to the extremely impoverished. Heather subsequently volunteered at various local organizations providing food, clothes, and in particular, essential items needed for infants and toddlers. After receiving her B.A. from Auburn University in Psychology, Heather worked as a counselor for the Alabama Department of Health, providing counseling to those suffering from mental illness who had previously been homeless or recently released from incarceration. Heather’s experience as a counselor, staying in the home with her patients at least 3 nights a week, greatly intensified her desire to remedy the plight of those less fortunate.
Heather graduated from Southern Methodist University School of Law, Cum Laude, in 2000. During her second and third year in law school, Heather was in charge of the Dallas Kids Project, wherein volunteer law students taught children in low-income neighborhoods the basics of law and at the conclusion of the year the children had their own mock trial. Since graduating from law school, Heather’s desire has been to do the most she can to help those less fortunate with the utilization of her law degree. As a result, Heather was named a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and has been a Member of the Pro Bono College of Law since 2002, committed to providing a minimum of 40 hours of legal advice to the low income per year. She is currently Senior Counsel at the law firm of Mejias Lindsay, PLLC in Houston. Heather also currently serves as a Humble ISD legislative delegate, with a goal to ensure Congress hears the needs and recognizes the rights of our children in the public education school system.
Greg Thoennes graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Emergency Services Administration. While attending UVU, Greg began his career in human services while working part-time in group homes with individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. Over the next few years, Greg advanced in his career by holding multiple roles with several organizations that specialize in assisting individuals with intellectual, mental, and physical disabilities within the local community. In 2014, Greg moved to Austin, Texas where he currently works as Executive Director of a national human services company. The many stories and experiences shared with Greg while working within the IDD/MH community spurred his passion for ending homelessness. In addition to serving on the Board for the Texas Homeless Network, Greg also serves as Assistant Commissioner on the Board for Softball Austin.