Texas Homeless Network

education, resources, and advocacy

THN Board

Meet the THN Board

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Taylor Cook
Board Chair

Taylor Cook is a Design Program Manager at the University of Texas Dell Medical School’s Design Institute for Health. Prior to joining the Medical School, she established the City of Austin’s Service Design Lab and lead a team to develop human-centered approaches to address the problem of homelessness.  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.

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Tamara Foster
Board Vice Chair

Tamara joined the New Hope Housing team in 2003. In her role now as Vice President of Onsite Operations, Tamara is responsible for overall fiscal accountability of 181 million in assets comprised of seven (8) single room occupancy (SRO) supportive housing communities along with 287 units of affordable family housing. She is charged with overall property management, including oversight of personnel (113+), and physical asset management of New Hope’s non-profit residential housing portfolio. Additionally, she ensures operational compliance with all public and private funding obligations. Tamara works closely with architects and project managers in the development of sites under construction to ensure durability, and practical, efficient use. Also under her purview is development and implementation of New Hope’s Resident Programs providing life-stabilizing services to almost 1500 individuals and families.

As part of New Hope’s housing + services program model, Tamara also works diligently within the greater Houston community to foster strong collaborations with the Houston Housing Authority and area social service agencies, such as Star of Hope, SEARCH, Health Care for the Homeless, United Healthcare, Child Protective Services, US Vets, and Area 360. Through these strong collaborations, vulnerable individuals and families are afforded high quality, affordable housing with intensive case management, and access to desperately needed health education and medical services. Many of the individuals served are formerly homeless, aging, and have complex health and social support needs, with cognitive disabilities. 

Tamara is a graduate of the National Apartment Association’s Certified Portfolio Supervisor program and holds certifications through the National Center for Housing Management in Low Income Tax Credits and Fair Housing. She has been a member of Comerica Bank’s Texas Community Development Advisory Council since 2010 and volunteers through service on the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations, Houston Apartment Association and Texas Homeless Network.

Dr. Melissa Escamilla
Board Secretary

Melissa A Escamilla has over 19 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation including 13 years in independent living services. Since 2006, Dr. Escamilla has been a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and is currently a licensed chemical dependency counselor intern.  She has worked as a part-time Lecturer in the School of Rehabilitation Counseling and Services at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley since 2009.  Melissa is a legacy student of the University of Texas Pan American now University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  In 2019, Melissa obtained her doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Her dissertation focused on Veteran Wellness and Reintegration: Factors Contributing to their Success in the Community. Her interest in veteran wellness and community reintegration were initiated through personal and professional experience in the field of rehabilitation. 

Melissa has spent the past 5 years working with veterans experiencing homelessness or veterans at risk of homelessness with comorbid disorders throughout South and Southeast Texas. She is currently the Program Director for the Veteran Supportive Services program at Endeavors.   She currently serves as chair of the Cameron and Willacy County Homeless Coalition, and co-chair of the Rio Grande Valley Community Veterans Engagement Board. 

Melissa was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley.  She enjoys spending time with her family when she is not at work.  She looks forward to representing South Texas on the Texas Homeless Network Board.

Paul Charles

Paul Charles
Board Treasurer

For more than twenty years, Paul Charles has led NRCDC in the development and  redevelopment of affordable housing and commercial real  estate projects. NRCDC recently created the Community  Loan Center of Greater Houston which provides an  alternative to predatory consumer lending. 

Mr. Charles holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil  Engineering from the Technological Institute (now the  McCormick School of Engineering) at Northwestern  University in Evanston, Illinois. He is also a graduate of the  Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New  Hampshire, with a Master of Business Administration in  General Management. Mr. Charles is a registered, licensed  engineer in the State of California, where he worked as an  engineer and a real estate consultant for a number of years.  He has also held positions with large scale master-plan  developers, as well as other community based organizations. 

Mr. Charles is active in a number of civic, community and professional activities both locally  and nationally. He is a member of the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, where he serves as a  Trustee and director of the Visual Arts Ministry, and has served as president of the Youth  Council and sponsor to a host of youth auxiliaries and teaches Youth Bible Study and Sunday  School. He is also Immediate-Past President of the Houston Chapter of the National Black MBA  Association, a member of Class XVIII of Leadership Houston, a board member of Scenic  Houston, Treasurer for Urban Harvest, the Tuck Alumni Advisory Program, a member of the  Community Advisory Board of Comerica Bank and BluePrint Houston, vice-chair of the  Houston Community College System Bond Oversight Committee, former Treasurer of the CDC  Association of Greater Houston, President of the Texas Association of Community Development  Corporations, Assistant Treasurer of the National Congress for Community Economic  Development (co-chair of the Budget and Finance Committee), a member of the Texas  Department of Insurance’s Economic Development Roundtable, Chairman of the Third Ward  Redevelopment Council, an Inner City Advisor for the Urban Land Institute, the Executive  Committee for the Urban Land Institute Houston District Council. He is also a graduate of the  “Advanced Practitioner Program” through the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations of the  Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He serves as a mentor and chaperone to  the Leaders of Tomorrow (a mentoring program). He has also served as national treasurer of the  National Society of Black Engineers.  

Mr. Charles has received numerous civic awards among them, three times Outstanding Young  Men of America, the Leadership Award from the American Legion and is listed in Who’s Who  Among Executives and Professionals and Who’s Who in Black Houston. 

In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, exploring new food  experiences (restaurants, cooking, etc.), photography, collecting art, professional sports, fixing  an “old” house, nature, and learning. He has visited seven continents.

Howard Bookstaff
Board Member

Howard Bookstaff is a Partner in the Hoover Slovacek multi-family practice area primarily concentrating in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, landlord/tenant law and community association law for over 30 years. Mr. Bookstaff received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and his undergraduate degree in Real Estate and Finance from the University of WisconsinMadison. He is board certified in the areas of commercial and residential real estate and property owners association law. He has consistently been selected to the Texas Super
Lawyers® list. Mr. Bookstaff has been honored to serve as general counsel of the Houston Apartment Association since 1995, has authored amicus curia briefs and is actively involved in the apartment industry’s legislative efforts, both locally and in Austin. He has assisted in drafting a number of city ordinances as well as the state’s
landlord/tenant laws. Mr. Bookstaff is a frequent speaker at various landlord/tenant and fair housing seminars. He is also a fair housing trainer with the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs. Mr. Bookstaff authors a monthly article in Abode, the Houston Apartment Association magazine, where he provides insight on a variety of topics of interest to the
apartment industry. Mr. Bookstaff represents an array of clients who own and manage various types of real estate. He provides legal counsel ranging from the purchase and sale of real estate to litigation matters including premises liability cases in the district and appellate courts to evictions in the justice courts and administrative proceedings under the federal and state fair housing acts.

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Dr. Ben King
Board Member

Dr. Ben King is an Assistant Professor of Population Health at the University of Houston College of Medicine in the Departments of Population Health & Behavioral and Social Sciences. He is also a statistician for the new UH Humana Integrated Health Systems Sciences Institute, as well as the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Methods and Results, LLC a research consulting service.  He has a Master’s in Public Health and Community Health Management and a Doctorate in Epidemiology from the UT-Houston School of Public Health. Through M&R, 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 Committee.

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Daniel Kuehn
Board Member

Most recently, Daniel was a Program Director at IBM focused on strategic operations for a large portfolio of software teams across the breadth of the IBM software portfolio. His primary focus was to collaborate with local and distributed design, product management, and engineering leadership to establish an operating model that allows the design thinking framework to expand throughout the worldwide enterprise and help solve real human problems. He is currently working on an approach to help other industries reframe their strategy using design thinking and a user-centered approach to business solutions.

Prior to joining IBM in 2015, Daniel worked as a Producer and Head of Production, Technology, and Operations for Cannes, Clio, and Academy Award-winning digital media and entertainment companies.

Originally from Houston, Daniel made the move to Austin in 2012. He has a B.A. from Tulane University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Becki Mangum
Board Member

Becki Mangum is the Chief Financial Officer for the Andrews Center, the local mental health authority, in Tyler, Texas.  The Andrews Center serves over 10,000 individuals annually, offering services primarily to unfunded and underfunded individuals who have severe mental illness or IDD.  The Andrews Center operates in 5 counties throughout Northeast Texas. Becki is passionate about advocating for consumers, providing them with support services, and improving their access to care. Ms. Mangum has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare and finance industries, starting her career as a Certified Public Accountant.  Becki spent much of her work life managing a regional healthcare system in East Texas for 20 years in various roles including, CFO, COO and System Vice President of the employed physician group. Ms. Mangum was pivotal in growing the physician group from 40 primary care physicians to a multispecialty group of over 200 physicians and midlevel providers.   

Becki is from Tyler, Texas and has lived in various communities in the East Texas area. She is honored to represent this area on the Texas Homeless Network Board.

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Billy Moyer
Board Member

Billy Moyer is a leadership expert, entrepreneur and author
with over three decades of experience teaching others about
leadership. He currently serves as Chief Operations Officer
(COO) and Chief People Officer (CPO) at HEXAH, a collective
of industry leaders and partners creating connected and
complete communities. Highly skilled in people development
and operations, he has served as interim CEO or COO of
several companies in transition and has personally trained
thousands of leaders. Moyer is passionate about growing
businesses and helping leaders reach their full potential – he
believes that leaders who build up their team and put their
people in a position to succeed are essential to creating a
thriving business.
Moyer joined HEXAH as a fractional CPO in 2018 and helped
establish systems for the start-up to run more efficiently. He
quickly transitioned into his current role where he has shaped
the culture of the organization. As COO/CPO and right-hand to HEXAH’s founder and CEO, Fayez Kazi,
Moyer plays a part in every aspect of the business, contributing to the company’s continued growth and
development. His essential functions also include providing guidance in devising new companies and hiring
and developing new talent. Moyer’s personal philosophy is that people are the solution to any problem, and
he exemplifies this in how he leads– with strategic empathy and a people-first approach. This perspective
is foundational to HEXAH’s values of bringing together individuals and maximizing human potential.
Prior to HEXAH, Moyer dedicated his life to helping others through personal development. At 7 years old,
he had his first speaking engagement where he shared his experience overcoming a speech impediment.
He went on to continue sharing the simplicity of goal setting at several speaking gigs across the United
States throughout his youth. During his final semester of college, he started SOS Leadership, a leadership
development resource center that provides training, coaching, and consulting focused on building human
capital to organizations. Moyer still leads SOS along with his role at Hexah. He has founded 10 other
companies and authored four books on personal development, leadership and business.
Moyer is a board member of Texas Homeless Network, a non-profit membership-based organization
helping communities strategically plan to prevent and end homelessness across Texas. As one of the first
members and previous chairs of the Austin Young Chamber, an organization focused on developing a
young professional workforce into dynamic business and community leaders, his mentorship helped
transform the organization into the establishment it is today. He also founded Concordia University’s
Emerging Leader Board, a group that provided guidance on the development of an MBA program and
helped increase the university’s community engagement. In 2021, Moyer was an Austin Under 40 Awards
finalist in 2022 and 2023. He and his wife were also honored with the Real Heroes Award by the American
Red Cross for their philanthropic efforts.
Moyer holds a bachelor’s of arts in communication from St. Edward’s University and a master’s of arts in
organizational leadership from Gonzaga University. He also earned a certificate in servant leadership from
Gonzaga University and a certificate in real estate investment and development from Rice University. In his
free time, Moyer enjoys cheering on Philly sports with his family. For more information, please visit hexah.com.

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Ben Nakhaima
Board Member

Ben, a native of Ruston, Louisiana, and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, brings a wealth of experience and a remarkable ability to effectively communicate and connect with stakeholders, making him an invaluable asset in any professional setting. Throughout his career, Ben has honed his skills in advocacy, communication, project management, and media production, allowing him to make a meaningful impact across diverse sectors.

In his current role as Vice President on the board of Directors of EarthShare of Texas, Ben has gained invaluable experience in advocacy and communication. Collaborating closely with environmental organizations and community leaders, he has developed a deep understanding of the challenges surrounding environmental conservation and sustainability. Through his effective stakeholder engagement, Ben has successfully raised awareness, driven policy change, and implemented impactful initiatives.

His work on the board of the Texas Homeless Network has provided Ben with a unique perspective on the obstacles faced by vulnerable populations. With a compassionate and empathetic approach, he has effectively advocated for the needs of homeless individuals and families. Ben recognizes the power of creative solutions and has witnessed firsthand the positive impact they can have in addressing complex social issues.

Furthermore, Ben’s experience as a labor standards specialist, overseeing grant projects in rural areas of Texas, has further strengthened his project management and stakeholder engagement skills. Navigating the intricate process of implementing construction projects, Ben has worked closely with diverse stakeholders, including construction companies, city engineers, and city councils. His exceptional communication skills and ability to build strong relationships have played a pivotal role in achieving success for these projects.

Moreover, Ben’s background in government affairs and public relations has equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between government, business, and community. Through his involvement in auditing over $1 billion dollars for the Texas Department of Emergency Management and the Texas Department of State Health Services during the Covid 19 pandemic, and working on large-scale projects, he has showcased his attention to detail, financial acumen, and ability to navigate complex regulatory environments.

Ben’s podcasting experience has allowed him to develop strong communication and content creation skills. Showcasing his ability to engage audiences, generate compelling discussions, and produce high-quality content, his interviews with notable individuals have underscored his exceptional skills in media production.

Overall, Ben’s professional strengths encompass advocacy, effective communication, project management, and media production. His passion for assisting those in need is evident through his work in disaster relief, providing aid to individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey and the COVID-19 pandemic. With a background that includes experience on Capitol Hill and organizing public relations for prominent hospitality firms and events, Ben brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of success to any team or organization.

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Nathan Pisik
Board Member

As a Global Strategist with Dell Technologies’ Executive Briefing Program, Nathan travels around the world consulting Fortune 500 business leaders, national governments, and global non-profit organizations on Digital Transformation Strategy.

Nathan’s passion for the study and application of unique solutions for addressing homelessness began in 2014 while he was working in Singapore as an Associate Consultant and Researcher. Throughout his time in Singapore, Nathan worked collaborating with East Asian governments on the development of pragmatic public health and education policy.

Nathan serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Homeless Network and Farmshare Austin. He is a former Volunteer Firefighter and holds degrees from Texas A&M University in International Business and Chinese Language Studies.

Outside of his work as a Technology Evangelist and Homeless Advocate, Nathan enjoys rock-climbing and bouldering or hiking the Austin Greenbelt with his rescue American Terrier.

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Marissa Vogel
Board Member

Marissa Vogel has a passion for helping companies and organizations incorporate mission-aligned social impact and community engagement initiatives into their business strategies. She has held leadership and management roles across a variety of industries and sectors, spending 13+ years in a corporate environment supporting mid-sized to large global companies in strategic marketing and sales support roles, and 9 years in the nonprofit sector as the Founder and Executive Director of Generation SERVE, a nonprofit that provides family service experiences and youth leadership programs to educate children about their community and how they can get involved, inspiring lifelong volunteerism. She has been recognized in the community for her vision, leadership, and service, including receiving the Governor’s Volunteer Award for Community Leadership in 2011 and 2018. 

In addition to serving on the Board of The Texas Homeless Network, she has been an advisor for Impact Austin’s Girls Giving Grants program since 2018. In her current role as Executive Director at Social Venture Partners Austin, she is leading efforts to relaunch the organization as an affiliate of a global movement to reimagine giving in Central Texas. She received her MBA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, her BA from the University of California at Davis, and also received certification in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School. Marissa has resided in Texas for 24 years and in Austin for 15. She is married with two children, ages 17 and 19.

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Todd Shell
Board Member

Todd began his career with CORT in 1991 in Dallas and has held various positions including National Brand Manager and National Marketing Manager.  He is currently the National Director – Supportive Housing – Recovery/Treatment Facilities. 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.

Join Our Board of Directors

Looking to make a big impact with your time? As a board member with THN, you will have a meaningful difference toward ending homelessness across our state. THN is at the forefront of this movement, driving change through our advocacy initiatives, comprehensive data collection and research, annual statewide conference, and our pivotal role as the host agency for the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (CoC).

What We Offer You:

      • Opportunities to make a statewide impact
      • Broaden your connections
      • Gain expertise
      • Make a difference with remote meeting opportunities

What You Bring to the Table:

      • Commitment to our mission.
      • Collaborative, innovative thought-partners.
      • Experience in governance, development, and strategic planning aimed to advance the work of a nonprofit.
Have questions or what more information before applying? Email us today.
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