Our Board of Directors and Staff
Teri Walker originally worked in technology management, and left the field to work in nonprofit. After serving for 6 years as the Executive Director of Aberg Center for Literacy, she now owns her own company, CommonTeri Services, which provides technology management services to nonprofits. Teri believes that Literacy Texas can offer a unified voice for advancing adult education in our state. In her spare time, Teri plays banjo, hosts dinner parties, reads nonfiction, and travels – not necessarily in that order.
Mike Meyers believes that education is the gateway to success and that helping adults achieve a high school degree leads to a better life. Mike, a CPA, served as CFO of Moni Smart Security which is one of the nation’s largest security alarm companies with over one million customers. Mike has experience leading finance, accounting, HR, IT and operations functions. He currently serves on the Board of Eyewitness Surveillance and served as a Director and Treasurer of Arlington Arts League. Mike holds an MBA from UT Austin and teaches a graduate case study class at TCU. Mike’s passion is all types of music from indie-rock to classical and loves attending concerts.
Reading has been Kathy’s passion as far back as she can remember. In her work as a lawyer, the written word is an essential tool of the trade; in her free time, it is an ever-changing window into the wider world. Kathy is deeply committed to Literacy Texas’ mission to promote literacy among all adults and enthusiastic about the path it opens for helping others to acquire this most basic foundation for success. Kathy works as an employment attorney at Jackson Lewis P.C. and is a member of Rotary International. When she is not reading, Kathy loves to travel, explore other cultures, hike and enjoy nature.
Dr. Ida Acuna-Garza
Ida Acuna Garza has been working in Adult Education her whole life. She has developed a bilingual curriculum to reach parents of high school students with information on helping their children graduate from high school and enroll in post-secondary education, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the South Texas Literacy Coalition. Ida has written two children’s books about a cat named Callie, a rescued Calico kitten, who helped her children and Ida herself learn about family, love, and friendship.
Melanie Fisk currently leads a stellar Adult Education team as the Senior Director of Adult Education at BakerRipley. Prior to her current tenure, Melanie served as the CEO of Literacy Advance of Houston and as the Vice President of Client Services at SEARCH Homeless Services. Melanie is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow and is a proud member of the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work Dean’s Advisory Council. Anyone who knows Melanie, knows that she is a builder. A builder of people, teams, organizations, and communities. Melanie passionately believes that education is the foundation to a more equitable society and she does everything possible to integrate this into her daily work.
Joshua Hayes began his career at an Episcopal health outreach clinic in Beaumont, TX, and went on to operate basic literacy and GED programs for SEARCH Homeless Project near downtown Houston. Joshua became Director of Adult Education at College of the Mainland in 2008, and also serves on the board of the Mainland Children's Partnership in Galveston County. He has been involved with Literacy Texas since 2001, when he attended his first TAALC Conference, and enjoys cooking, reading quality non-fiction and bad fiction, and fishing with his nephew.
Jamie G. Williams is Director of Human Resources and Regional Grants, North Texas, for the Moody Foundation. She holds a BFA in Art and Art Education, an MEd in Education and MAs in Experimental Psychology and Cultural Anthropology from Southern Methodist University. Prior to her work in philanthropy, she was a classroom teacher, dyslexia specialist, educational consultant, founding coordinator of the SMU Learning Therapy Program and founding president of the Academic Language Therapy Association. She currently serves on the Presidential Boards of SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development and the Meadows School of Arts.
A Kentucky native, Jake’s previous experience working with Christian Outreach with Appalachian People (COAP) fostered his commitment to and deep appreciation for the non-profit world. Having worked with low-income families in the heart of Appalachia, and with hundreds of local and out-of-state volunteers, Jake has witnessed the true impact of non-profit work firsthand.
Wayne T. Franke
Wayne T. Franke is the owner of MJWT Consulting, a political and business development consulting company located in Austin. He is a founding partner in Business Partners, Ltd, a political and business development consulting firm located in Austin. He previously led GTE's Government Affairs team in Austin, Texas. Wayne is very civic minded as demonstrated by completing terms on the Boards of the Angelo State University Alumni Association, Angelo State University Foundation (Vice Chairman and Chairman), West Texas Boys Ranch Foundation (Vice Chairman and Chairman), Hays Independent School District Education Foundation. Wayne served on the Board of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Foundation and remains active in various other civic and charitable activities. He currently is a part of ASU’s President’s Circle. Wayne appreciates the challenges Texas faces in addressing adult literacy education and is excited to be part of an organization dedicated to this cause. Wayne is married to Regina Gale Franke. Gina and Wayne have three children and five grandchildren.
B.B. King once said that ‘The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.’ A lifelong learner, Wes has made it his mission to help adults and families rise up through educational opportunities. He holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science and brought his experience working in public libraries to his current role as Executive Director of Tarrant Literacy Coalition in Fort Worth. When not teaching classes or tutoring, he can be found perusing local vinyl record shops, fishing throughout his rural Wise County, or with his nose in a graphic novel or manga.
Carlos Carpizo is a member of the Private Directors Association with 10 years of experience in for profit and non-profit boards. He’s a Mexican American former executive turned entrepreneur and is passionate about social innovation. Carlos is the founder of Kosmos, a social venture at the intersection of art, technology and opportunity through which he’s carrying out his mission to increase economic growth and social inclusion for disadvantaged young adults on both sides of the border. Carlos sees literacy as a foundation for both social inclusion and economic growth. He’s a graduate of the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico (ExATec) and Southern Methodist University (SMU).