Meet our Elected Guests

Register

 


Devan Allen, Tarrant Country Commissioner, Precinct 2 

As the Founder and Principal of Allen Realty Advisors (ARA), Devan is opening doors for those pursuing business investments or the dream of homeownership. But, growing up as the youngest child of incarcerated parents and having faced homelessness at a young age, Devan didn’t conceive that her own path would lead her to becoming an entrepreneur and an advocate for at-risk youth and women. At the heart of her successes is her core belief that success is attainable if one is willing to work diligently to achieve it.

Prior to launching ARA, Devan built a solid career in politics, serving as the District Director in both the Texas Senate and House, and most recently served as Campaign Manager for State Representative Chris Turner, chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Devan has also served Tarrant County as a Council Aide to a Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem, and as Senior Director of External Affairs for the University of Texas at Arlington. Once headed for a career in the healthcare field, including serving as a nationally and state certified Emergency Medical Technician, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from UTA, including undergraduate coursework at Tarrant County College.

Known for her passion for public service, her diplomacy and a proven track record of connecting people and resources successfully, Devan has been tapped to serve on a number of boards and commissions and with a host of non-profit organizations including: Day Resource Center, Chair of the Arlington Community Relations Commission, inspirED Advisory Committee, New Leaders Council Advisory Board, Women Inspiring Philanthropy, and is a founding member of BRIDGE Young Professionals. In 2015, Fort Worth CEO Magazine named her one of “20 Women to Watch in Business.”

When Devan is able to kick up her heels, she laces up her running shoes. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Devan enjoys training for and participating in marathons. She is also certified as a Dietary Guidance Provider through the Cooper Institute.

Devan resides in Arlington with her husband Mark Allen, a Commercial Real Estate Broker and Principal of Allen Multifamily Advisors. They enjoy traveling, attending sporting events, hiking, following cutting-edge developments in business and technology, and spending time with friends and family.

 

Councilmember Deb Armintor, Denton City Council, At Large Place 5

Deb Armintor was elected to At Large Place 5 in June 2018 and is serving her first term. Deb has lived in Denton since 2002, after receiving her PhD. in eighteenth-century literature from Rice University in Houston. She is a tenured professor of English at UNT. Before her election to City Council, Deb served on the Public Utilities Board and was active in the grassroots on a number of local issues.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Berthiaume, City of Murphy

Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Berthiaume was elected to the Murphy City Council in May 2016. She previously served on the Murphy Community Development Corporation (MCDC) and Planning & Zoning Commission. Ms. Berthiaume is a member of the Murphy Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which is a natural extension of her skills gained from her degrees in Geography and Disaster Management. In her professional life, Ms. Berthiaume is a GIS Consultant for an international environmental engineering firm. In her spare time, she actively pursues learning self-defense techniques using Krav Maga. She and her fiance, Ryan, live in Murphy with their two dogs.

Keely Briggs, Denton City Council District 2

Keely Briggs was elected to District 2 in May 2015 and is serving her second term. A Texas native born in Tyler, she first came to Denton to attend the University of North Texas in 1995, where she graduated with a BA in sociology and received certification for mediation training from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program administered by the Institute of Applied Economics. In 1997, Keely and her husband, Chris, were happily married outside of the Little Chapel in the Woods at TWU. When not seeing to the important work of representing the citizens of District 2 and the City of Denton, Keely can be found volunteering in our local schools.

Committee Assignments: Committee on Citizen Engagement, Committee on the Environment, Mobility Committee, Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition, Lake Ray Roberts Planning & Zoning Commission, Regional Transportation Council (alternate), Development Code Review Committee (ad hoc), Economic Development Partnership Board, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 2 Board.

Christene Chadwick Moss, FWISD District 3 Board Trustee

Christene Chadwick Moss was first elected to represent District 3 of the FWISD in 1990. She was the first female African-American board president and is a Master School Board Trustee of Leadership Texas Association of School Boards. In 2005, FWISD named Christene C. Moss Elementary in her honor.  Mrs. Moss is an advocate for ALL children and the empowerment of education. She is passionate about literacy. The Salvation Army named its Children's Library in honor of Mrs. Moss due to her dedication to homeless children.  Under Mrs. Moss' leadership FWISD opened two single-gender leadership academies, Young Women's Leadership Academy and Young Men's Leadership Academy. Mrs. Moss currently serves as chairwoman for the Racial Equity Committee of FWISD, and, through her efforts along with the committee established a FWISD equity policy that has been cited as a model at national conferences. She led the transformation of the FWISD Board of Education to 9-single member districts.
Mrs. Moss is a member of the National Caucus of Black School Board Members and the immediate past president of the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members. She's a member of Leadership Fort Worth and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She is married to former Fort Worth City Councilmember Franklin Moss, Sr. and they have three children: Edmond, Kimberlen, and Franklin Moss, Jr.

Board President Julie Cole, Hurst Euless Bedford ISD School Board

Julie was elected to the Hurst Euless Bedford ISD Board of Trustees in May of 2013. She has served as Board Secretary, Board Vice President, and is currently serving as Board President and is a Texas Master Trustee. Julie works for Fidelity Investments as a Senior Analyst in Interaction Analytics and is part of the Customer Knowledge and Strategic Insights group. She has been with Fidelity since March of 2016, and prior to that was at American Airlines for 18 years. Julie’s passion for ensuring that all children succeed extends beyond just her district as she is an active advocate for public education throughout Texas. Julie also serves on the HEB Economic Development Council and the HEB ISD Education Foundation.

Commissioner Theresa Daniel, Dallas County

Commissioner Theresa Daniel was sworn in on January 3, 2013, and re-elected in 2016, to represent the citizens of Dallas County Road & Bridge District 1. Commissioner Daniel has extensive expertise in public affairs, economic development, housing, transportation, education, gerontology, and local political thought. Having obtained a Ph.D. in public policy and public administration, she has studied the theories of public administration. Dr. Daniel has been a social science researcher and involved in public organizations for over three decades, therefore, she also understands the practical side of public service. Professionally, she served as a U.S. Congressional staff member, worked with the American Red Cross and has focused on public education for seven years. Prior to her election to Commissioners Court, Dr. Daniel worked with the Dallas Independent School District in program evaluation and accountability and was also an adjunct professor of urban and public affairs at UT-Arlington.

Commissioner Daniel was appointed as Chair of the IT Governance Committee, is one of three members of the Dallas County Civil Service Board, is Co-Chair of the Dallas County Behavioral Health Leadership Team, and a member of the Dallas County Finance Committee. As an extension of addressing the mental health needs of Dallas County residents, the commissioner is spearheading an effort to develop transitional housing for special needs populations. She was recently appointed as the Co-chair of the newly-formed Dallas Area Partnership to End Homelessness. She has testified before the Texas Legislature on topics important to residents of Dallas County, such as the distribution of funds for emission control programs and increasing mental health funding. Other areas of interest are manifested through active membership on the Conference of Urban Counties (CUC) Public Policy committee, CUC-Meadows Foundation Statewide Mental Health Index Committee, as well as the National Association of Counties (NACO) Public Health Committee and Urban County Committee member. Commissioner Daniel is also active in an organization addressing local environmental interests affecting public health by co-chairing the Clean Air Committee of North Texas.

Sally Derrick, School Board Member, Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD Board of Trustees

Sally is a lifelong resident of Carrollton Farmers Branch having grown up in Carrollton and moving to Farmers Branch nearly 20 years ago. 

She was elected to the CFBISD board of trustees in May 2018 having defeated her male opponents by nearly 2 to 1. 

She and her husband, Tony, are the proud parents of two girls who both attend CFB schools. 

She has been active in her community since 2009. It was at Janie Stark Elementary that Sally began her involvement in CFBISD. She has been actively involved in the district having served as a local PTA President, Treasurer, Secretary and Advocacy Chair. At the Council PTA level she has served as the chair for the Gently Used Book Sale and as the Vice President of Leadership Development.

Sally is also very active in her community having served on the Community Watch Committee, Library Board, Family Advisory Board, where she served as chair, and the Charter Review Committee. She was also a founding board member of The Firehouse Theatre where she focused on increasing children's programming and educational opportunities.

Sally's love for children transcends beyond her community involvement in her professional career. She is a Registered Nurse with over 17 years of pediatric nursing experience. In 2018 she was awarded D magazine's Excellence in Nursing award.

The Honorable Dr. Harryette Ehrhardt

The Honorable Dr. Harryette B. Ehrhardt was born in Hattiesburg MS on August 4, 1934 and graduated from Highland Park High School and attended SMU for her B.S. and M.A. with Departmental Distinctions. She received her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Houston. These achievements were the beginnings of a career as an educator, politician, activist, and concerned citizen for Dallas and Texas.

Harryette’s professional experiences include State Representative, Texas House of Representatives for eight years. As a Representative, she served on the Texas State Legislature Committees of Urban Affairs, Financial Institutions and Elections. She was an elementary teacher and principal in Dallas and other school districts. Harryette was an associate professor and lecturer at SMU, Texas Women’s University and other colleges. She is Professor Emeritus in the Dallas County Community College system.

As a concerned citizen, she served on the Dallas Independent School District Board, the Dallas Health Alliance as First Chair. She served as Vice Chair of Trinity Ministry to the Poor. She served on the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Her city appointments include Permits and License Appeal Board and Community Block Grant Committee. Harryette has been a delegate to Senate, State and National Democratic Party Conventions.

Always an activist, some of Harryette’s past and current activities include: Chair of the Greater Dallas Community Relations Commission, Women’s Council of Dallas, Secretary for the Dallas Summit, Founder of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Founder of Historic Preservation League, Board Chair of the Art Institute of Dallas, Founder and Chair of the Dallas Women’s Political Caucus, Chair of the Texas Women’s Political Caucus, and Founder and Chair of People Empowerment Project. 

For her service and activism, Harryette has won numerous awards and honors. A few of those awards include the Dr. Harryette Ehrhardt Library at Zan Holmes Middle School, DISD, the Women Helping Women Maura Award, the Texas Outstanding Public Service Award on Consumer Issues, the Houser Award Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, the Outstanding Service Award for the Mentally Ill, the Outstanding State Official from the Texas Human Rights Foundation, the Trailblazer Award from IGNITE, Independent Bankers of America, the Kuikling Award from Dallas Black Tie, the Dallas Bridge Builder from Turtle Creek Chorale, Southwest Jewish Congress Inspiring Women of the  Southwest Award, and from the NAACP the Community Service Award. 

Harryette was married to the late John A Ehrhardt, M.D., and they had five children, thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

 

Corinne French, Vice President, Valley View ISD and TASB Board of Director Region 11

Corinne French was appointed to the VVISD board in 2012, elected in 2013, and ran unopposed in 2016. She currently serves as the board Vice President. Ms. French received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Family Sciences from Texas Woman’s University and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education from the University of North Texas. She works at the University of North Texas and coordinates district involvement with the Eagle Advantage program. She serves as the advisor for the HerCampus UNT student organization. French also serves on the executive board of the North Texas Area Association of School Boards (NTAASB) and on the Board of Directors for the Texas Association of School Boards. Ms. French is a 2015 Leadership TASB graduate and has served as a member of the Legislative Advisory Council.

Representative Jessica Gonzales, Texas House of Representatives, House District 104

Jessica González is currently serving her first term as State Representative for District 104. 

Throughout her short time in the Texas House of Representatives, she has dedicated her time to reforming our criminal justice system, expanding voting rights, and fighting for affordable housing.

Jessica earned her bachelor of arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from The University of Texas at Arlington and later attended Western Michigan University-Cooley School of Law, where she held top student leadership positions, clerked at the Voting Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division for the U.S. Department of Justice, and graduated at the top of her class. 

In 2011, Jessica was selected as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Law Graduate Fellow in Washington, D.C. She served as a Legislative Assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives handling an extensive policy portfolio. She was also selected as a White House intern where she worked extensively on immigration-related issues.

Jessica’s white paper titled “New State Voting Laws: A Barrier to the Latino Vote?” earned her a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for her dedication to address current public policy concerns. Jessica’s commitment to protect the rights of voters led to her service as the Nevada Voter Protection Director for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. 

Today, Jessica practices personal injury at her law firm, Gandara & González, PLLC, located in District 104. Throughout her life, Jessica has remained conscious of her family’s courage and determination; she attributes her ambition, strong work ethic and values to her parents. As the 86th legislative session approaches, Representative González plans to use her diverse educational, professional, and policy experience to bring positive change to House District 104.

Treasurer Lisa Hembry, Dallas County

Elected to serve as Dallas County Treasurer in 2001. Duties included collecting, investing and safe keeping of all Dallas County funds including serving as the County's Chief Investment Officer. Additional duties included managing the employee retirement program and serving on the Dallas County Bail Bond Board.

Among the appointments that I received as a result of my position was as a trustee of the Texas County and District Retirement System which was the 54th largest pension system in the U.S. at the time.

School Board Trustee Nuzhat Hye, Irving IDS Board

Nuzhat Hye has an educational background with over 35 years of experience. She has spent her professional career as a teacher, principal, and has founded several educational institutions. At present, she serves as the School Board of Trustee with Irving ISD.

Tobi Jackson, President, FWISD Board of Trustees

Tobi Jackson is a parent, educator, and administrator. A lifelong resident of East Fort Worth who attended: Eastern Hills Elementary, Meadowbrook Middle School, and proudly graduated in 1978 from Eastern Hills High School. This FWISD education prepared her for a successful transition into college, where she received a B.A. from The University of Texas at Arlington and an M.S. from the University of North Texas. She and husband Bruce have two children, Alexis and Zoie, ages 19 and 15. Alexis is a 2018 graduate of FWISD and a freshman at Texas Wesleyan University, with plans to become a physician. Zoie is a freshman at The I.M. Terrell VPA/STEM Academy of FWISD.

Public service and volunteerism are core components of The Jackson Family. Mrs. Jackson's husband Bruce served as General Contractor of HOPE FARM and has an extensive history with Habitat for Humanity, directing the Arlington Rangers Ballpark Build for nearly a decade. Their daughters are the youngest members of The City of Fort Worth Adopt a Park Program. As lifelong stewards of Eastern Hills Park, they initiated the adoption in 2012. This was not the girls first foray into community service, as at the ages of four and eight, they worked to develop a program with Mission Arlington entitled, "Shoes to Share". This group fulfilled Mission Arlington founder, Ms. Tillie Burgin's greatest need, shoes. The "Shoes to Share" program provided Mission Arlington with over 1000 shoes collected within an eight-month time period. The program is still unprecedented.

Jan McDowell, Candidate for U.S. Congress

Jan McDowell is a semi-retired Certified Public Accountant, running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She has lived in North Texas since she was 8 years old and graduated from Texas Tech. She has run in two election cycles for the Congressional seat, and will run again in 2020.

 

Judge Sasha Moreno, Dallas County Justice of the Peace, 4-2

Judge Sasha Moreno is the newly elected Dallas County Justice of the Peace 4-2. Precinct 4 includes Irving, Grand Prairie, Desoto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights, and Ovilla.

As an attorney, Judge Moreno has extensive experience advocating for clients in both federal and state courtrooms. She currently focuses her law practice on family-based immigration and removal defense. She previously practiced law in the areas of foreclosure defense and corporate transactions. 

Judge Moreno is committed to serving her community and is actively involved in various organizations and professional associations. She currently serves as the Dallas Chapter President of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Alumni Association. She is also an alum of the Latino Center for Leadership Development Leadership Academy, Dallas Mayor’s Star Council and Dallas Breakfast Group Community Leaders Program. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Dance Council of North Texas and on the Leadership Board for Opportunity Dallas, a non-profit organization focused on economic mobility and prosperity. She is also a member of the following professional organizations: Dallas Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Mexican American Bar Association and Dallas Hispanic Bar Association.

Judge Moreno was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She received her Bachelors of Art in Journalism and Political Science from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She is also a graduate of Pepperdine School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor and Masters in Dispute Resolution.

Representative Victoria Neave, Texas House of Representatives

Victoria Neave represents Texas House District 107, which includes parts of Dallas, Mesquite, and Garland. She serves on the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence and the House Committee on County Affairs.

Victoria regularly mentors students and believes that investment in education is one of the most critical issues facing our state. Her priorities are advocating for working families, women, small businesses, and Veterans.

Victoria grew up in the barrio in Pleasant Grove in Dallas and comes from a working class family. Her parents emphasized the importance of education and having compassion for others. The daughter of a father with a sixth grade education who had a small TV and VCR repair shop off of Galloway and Town East in Mesquite, Victoria became the first in her family to graduate from college earning her degree in Government and Politics from The University of Texas at Dallas and then graduating magna cum laude in the top 3% of her law school class at Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Victoria began her legal career as an Attorney in the Complex Commercial Litigation group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, one of the top ten law firms in the country. 

Victoria has been involved in community service throughout her life, and has been recognized for her pro bono work in the legal community. She has led and served on various boards, including serving as Chair of a Chamber of Commerce, served on the Dallas Civil Service Commission, a civil rights advocacy group, organizations serving senior citizens, served as General Counsel to the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization, and as the Board Attorney for the F.L.A.G. Program, which teaches students how to fly, lower, and gather, the American flag. In 2013 Victoria was named Lawyer of the Year by the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and was named a Pro Bono Champion by the Texas Bar Journal. She received the Pro Bono Award, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in 2011 and 2012. She was awarded Lawyer of the Year by the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program in 2013. She also received the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Estrella Award in 2013, and was honored as the Access to Justice Pro Bono Champion by the Texas Bar Journal in 2013.

Victoria runs her own law firm, where she represents individuals and businesses in civil litigation and employment law.

 

Colonel Kimberly D. Olson, United States Air Force, Retired

Through her trailblazing military service as an aviation leader, commander and patriot Kimberly D. Olson, Colonel (retired) United States Air Force has reshaped the perception of women serving their country. Today, she is influencing the future of sustainable food production through her Community Supported Agriculture at the 4K River Ranch, Mineral Wells, Texas.

Kim ran for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture setting a record for voter turn-out and inspiring Texans to get involved in politics and activism. She advises candidates, speaks to political groups and prepares the next generation of leaders.

Her 25-years in uniform encompassed a time of great change. She was part of the first generation of female military pilots, eventually accumulating nearly 4,000 hours of flying time. As one of the first women to command an operational flying squadron, Kim rose to the rank of Colonel, served in the Pentagon on the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Air Staff and deployed to several combat zones, including Iraq. 

As the retired CEO/President of Grace After Fire, a Texas-based nonprofit dedicated to helping women veterans help themselves, she reshaped how care was delivered to thousands of women veterans. Kim exemplifies those military veterans who continue to serve their communities and their nation and was inducted into the 2014 “Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.”

 

Deborah Peoples, Chair, Tarrant County Democratic Party

Deborah has been the Chair of the Tarrant County Democratic party since 2013. She received her bachelors and Masters degree from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She has two daughters, Channing, a filmmaker and Whitney, a PhD in Women's and Gender Studies.

Judge Susan Piel, Denton County Criminal Court Number Two

Graduate of Baylor University, and Texas Tech School of Law; During thirteen years as an Assistant District Attorney at the Denton County District Attorney’s Office, served as a felony prosecutor, Chief of the Family Violence Division, and as Chief of the Misdemeanor Division. Currently the elected judge of Denton County Criminal Court Number Two.

Representative Ana-Maria Ramos, Texas House of Representatives, District 102

State Representative Ana-Maria Ramos proudly serves House District 102, a diverse cross-section of Dallas County which includes the cities of Addison, Richardson, Dallas, and Garland.

Ana-Maria is committed to improving the lives of Texans of all ages by investing in our public education, providing access to affordable healthcare, and helping our robust economy thrive through property tax reform. She is also dedicated to expanding Medicaid, passing sensible gun legislation, and fighting for women’s healthcare and equal rights.

A Dallas native, Ana-Maria is an attorney, educator, wife, mother, and a child of immigrants. After having her child at 15, Ana-Maria persevered against the odds and returned to school. She obtained her G.E.D. from Dallas Can Academy before graduating from Eastfield Community College and the University of Texas at Arlington. Soon after, she received her Master’s of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University and her Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University. She currently serves as an Associate Professor at El Centro College and runs her own law firm, Ramos Law, PLLC.

Cristal Retana, City of Farmers Branch, Planning and Zoning Commission

Cristal is a first-generation Texan. Her parents are immigrants from Durango, Mexico, and she is one of six children; the only girl. She has spent her childhood in Dallas, specifically Farmers Branch. While at college, there were a number of public policy changes implemented within her community, and it was then that she began educating herself on the process for such changes and found her passion to help those that are not able to help themselves through policy. 

After graduation, Cristal attended Texas Women’s University, the first in her family to attend a higher education institution, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Government. During her senior year, she applied for a fellowship, the Luna Scholars program, a competitive program which allows students to work with the Texas Senate as a session-only legislative staffer in Austin. Cristal was one of twelve students selected and there began her career in public policy. Since her first position with Senator Jeff Wentworth, Cristal has held several roles in the political and legal profession. She excelled to become Chief of Staff for a Dallas area State Representative, and at that time was one of the youngest in this role. Most recently, she ventured into the world of local policy assisting Dallas City Councilmember Adam McGough. In January of 2018, she was recruited by Children’s Health to help align community and local government relations strategies with the organization's mission to help make life better for children. In her new role as Manager of Government and Community Relations, she focuses on local policy as well as engaging the corporate, non-profit and government in the areas of preventative care, community outreach, mental/behavioral health, and telemedicine, to name a few. 

Board Trustee Nedra Robinson, Crowley ISD Board, Place 1

Nedra Robinson is committed to the success of students both in the classroom and in life. After being out of the classroom for three years, Nedra returned to teaching 7th-grade Pre-AP Math last year. A strong believer in service to others, she believes that you can have the greatest impact by being actively involved in your community. Nedra desires to ensure that children have access to equitable and high-quality education. This desire led her to Crowley ISD's school board where she was elected in 2017. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington, with a bachelor's in Sociology and a master's in public administration. Additionally, she is the mother of two wonderful children.

Councilmember Claudia Sandoval, City of Cockrell Hill

A native of Dallas, Claudia Sandoval graduated from Southern Methodist University where she received her M.S. in Systems Engineering and currently works at Saxony Partners as a Senior Consultant. Sandoval was a fellow in the inaugural class of Latino Center for Leadership Development, and was shortly after elected to the Cockrell Hill City Council in May 2016 and just won her re-election to the council in May 2018. In her time on the city council, she has helped start a city-wide recycling program; a junior council to create a pipeline of young leaders; spearheaded a community art project to bring more public art to the city; started a neighborhood association and neighborhood watch program; and is helping the city transition to becoming a home-rule city. 
Sandoval participated in the U.S. Young Leaders Delegation to Taiwan in March 2017 and was a participant of the inaugural U.S. – Mexico Leaders Initiative program by the Center for American Progress. She also serves as the Chair of the Latino Center for Leadership Development Alumni Association, on the IGNITE Texas State Council, on the Sigma Lambda Gamma Education Foundation Board, and has previously served on the SMU Hispanic Alumni Board.

Amanda Sargent, DeSoto ISD Board Trustee Place 7

Trustee Amanda Sargent was elected to the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees Place 7 seat in May 2018. Sargent, a 2008 DeSoto High School alum and 2013 University of Texas grad, has acquired a wide range of professional experience since she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in African and African Diaspora Studies prior to her pursuance of a Master of Science degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community Administrative Practice.

Sargent has dedicated herself to supporting students and communities to realize their potential through education as is evidenced in her most recent professional experience as the Director of Outreach with the University of Texas’ Division of Diversity and Community Engagement where she served the students of DeSoto High School and neighboring districts.

Prior to her appointment with UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Sargent has served organizations such as National American University, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Americorp, Free Minds, Ashaiman Senior High School in Accra, Ghana as well as Austin-area Partners In Education with the goal of enhancing the opportunities available to youth and students of diverse populations.

Through her role as a DeSoto ISD trustee, Sargent aims to extend her passion for student and youth development as an advocate for high-quality education and accountability in DeSoto ISD.

Judge Gena Slaughter, 191st District Court 

Bio coming soon.

Dominique Torres, DART Board Member

Dominique Torres grew up in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas and is a proud product of DISD. She graduated from Skyline High School in 2005 and from there she started her path towards higher education at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas. Dominique later transferred to the University of North Texas where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Growing up in Southeast Dallas, Dominique grew up in a bi-racial community. Her mother is 2nd generation Mexican American and her father is African American. This mixture has given her a unique perspective on minority cultural relations. These perspectives led her to find an interest in law and government. Dominique resolved early on in life that she not only wanted to be voice in her community but also a liaison between her two cultures. Dominique took her love for law and government and enrolled in Texas A&M School of Law. She graduated in 2015 and passed the Texas State Bar exam and became a licensed attorney. She is an active community advocate serving on several Nonprofit Boards. Currently, Dominique is the youngest Board Member of the DART Board of Director. Dominique brings a combination of her skill set as an attorney and her viewpoint as a rider to the board. 

 

Candace Valenzuela, School Board Trustee, Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD

Candace Valenzuela is a first-generation college student from El Paso, TX. After majoring in Government at Claremont McKenna College, Candace spent time working in different facets of education, including with group home teens, special needs teens, and students needing general guidance for college admission. It was a natural fit when she decided to run for the school board nearly two years ago. Candace's policy priorities center on immigrant students, closing the achievement gap, and college/career readiness.

Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, Fort Worth City Council, District 9

Elected in June 2014, District 9 representative Ann Zadeh joined the Fort Worth City Council ranks already a seasoned veteran at navigating the important decisions city leaders must make.

Zadeh – a Fort Worth resident of more than 25 years – came to Texas after obtaining a bachelors degree in environmental studies from the University of California–Santa Cruz. She enrolled at the University of Texas at Arlington and obtained a masters in city and regional planning in 1992.

After being credentialed by the American Institute of Certified Planners, Zadeh spent five years as a city planning consultant, advising municipalities throughout the Metroplex.

Zadeh made her first appearance behind the Fort Worth City Council dais in 2008 when Mayor Mike Moncrief appointed her to the Zoning Commission. She served three terms on the commission – two under Mayor Moncrief and a third as chair of the commission following reappointment by Mayor Betsy Price - before her run for the District 9 seat.

Community engagement has been a passion for Zadeh throughout her years working with cities, and she is front and center when volunteers are needed. In addition to being a familiar face at pop-up markets, Open Streets, Fort Worth festivals and historic tours, Zadeh has coordinated events and communication for her home neighborhood, Bluebonnet Hills, and worked with SteerFW’s Urban Development Task Force to hold a successful Better Block event at Bluebonnet Circle.

Zadeh is an active member of The American Planning Association (APA), the Texas Chapter APA, the local Midwest Section whose mission it is to advocate the profession of planning, providing expertise and processes that empower citizens to be engaged in the development and sustainability of Great Communities in Texas.

Zadeh is passionate about Transportation and Transit. She currently serves on the Regional Transportation Council and the City of Fort Worth Infrastructure and Transportation Committee. She also attends the Housing and Neighborhood Services Committee regularly.

Zadeh serves on the TIF boards of TIFs 3 (Chair), 4 (Chair), 6 and 8. Additionally, she is on the board of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, Near Southside Board (ex officio-nonvoting) and the National League of Cities, University Communities Council, all with the purpose of furthering the quality of life of the residents of District 9 and the City of Fort Worth. Zadeh also attends and supports dozens of registered neighborhood associations throughout District 9, attending meetings and events, and encouraging and promoting those efforts.

Zadeh and husband Jim have been married for over 25 years, and have two sons – Michael and Kyle.