Chairman, Read Fort Worth
Kevin Buehler retired from Alcon Laboratories, a division of Novartis, after 30 years of service. During his career horizon, the sales revenue for Alcon Laboratories increased from roughly $300 million in 1984, to over $11 billion in 2013.
Since the merger of Alcon into Novartis in April 2011, he served as the division head for the Alcon business and as a member of the executive committee of Novartis. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Buehler was President and Chief Executive Officer of Alcon Laboratories and served on the public company board of directors.
Mr. Buehler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Carroll University with concentrations in business administration and political science. He completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard business school in 1993.
Mr. Buehler currently participates on the following boards: Acelity (private equity owned wound care company), United Way of Tarrant County, and Carroll University.
Mayor, City of Fort Worth
Mayor Mattie Parker was elected in June 2021 as the 45th mayor of the City of Fort Worth, Texas.
Parker is the founding CEO of Fort Worth Cradle to Career and the Tarrant To & Through (T3) Partnership, which aims to ensure more students have the training needed to thrive in today’s workforce.
Parker has fifteen years of experience in national, state and local public affairs, including chief of staff for the Fort Worth Mayor and City Council where she led successful efforts to improve efficiency at City Hall. She serves on the board of directors for The Gatehouse’s Legacy Early Learning Academy, Read Fort Worth, Operation Progress – Fort Worth, and ACH Child and Family Services.
She and her husband, David, have one daughter and two sons. Parker graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in government and has a law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law where she was awarded the prestigious MacLean & Boulware Endowed Law Scholarship.
Chief Operating Officer, Tarrant County College District
Susan Alanis is the Chief Operating Officer for Tarrant County College District. She is responsible for the operations that support the academic goals of the College including Finance, Technology, Real Estate and Facilities, Police, Safety and Emergency Management, and Business Services.
Formerly, she served as an Assistant City Manager with the City of Fort Worth until 2019. Her significant policy areas included gas drilling, transportation planning and funding, labor negotiations, healthcare strategy, pension reform, tourism, convention facility financing, park system development and economic development.
She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, awarded in 1997. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas State University, awarded in 1992. Susan completed the Harvard Kennedy School Program for State and Local Executives in July 2013. She lives in Fort Worth with her husband and has two grown children.
Trustee, Tarrant County College District
Mrs. Teresa Marie Ayala was elected to the Tarrant County College District Board as a Trustee in May 2015. The Board oversees a $400M budget and approximately $1B in assets. She brings to her role vast professional experience working in top 25 Fortune companies, mentoring and managing employees throughout the US, Mexico, Canada, South America and Asia. She also served as a substitute teacher in the FWISD. She currently works as a contracts subject matter expert in the healthcare industry.
In 2016 Ayala was recognized as a Great Woman of Texas, for her significant contributions in business, civic, social and for her dedication to family and her community. Ayala has volunteered with several youth organizations and has served on the City of Fort Worth Parks and Recreation Advisory, the Commission for Women Boards and the Community Development Council. She has also worked closely with the Rotary, HWNT, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and North Texas Area Community Health Center (NTACHC).
Mrs. Ayala attended Tarrant County College and Texas Christian University where she earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts.
Executive Director, AB Christian Learning Center
Loretta Burns is founder and Executive Director of AB Christian Learning since 2006. She is responsible for the day to day operations, and development of policies and procedures for the organization. She is also the founder and chairperson of the “Power of 7”, a community based parent engagement initiative.
Ms. Burns serves as chairperson for Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies, Healthy Community. She also serves on the Parent Engagement Team for Fort Worth’s Early Learning Alliance, and on the Board of Directors for East Fort Worth Montessori.
She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington where she received a Bachelor’s in Management and a Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies. She believes that increased parent involvement improves academic outcomes for all students.
President & CEO, The Miles Foundation
In 2001, Mr. Coates joined Miles Production Company, Ellison Miles’ predecessor oil and gas business. Mr. Coates served in various financial roles for Miles Production Company and, subsequently, for The Miles Foundation, for three years.
In 2009, Mr. Coates was elected to the Board of Directors of The Miles Foundation, and in 2011, he was named President. In this role, Mr. Coates is responsible for the general management of the Foundation, including the oversight of the grant submission and selection process, as well as the stewardship of the Foundation’s investments.
Mr. Coates takes great pride in the positive change The Miles Foundation continues to achieve for local communities through its grant projects and partners.
Mr. Coates earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of North Texas, and an MBA from Texas Christian University. Mr. Coates currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas.
Chief of Staff, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley
Chelsea Griffith serves as the Chief of Staff to Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. In this role, she provides leadership and counsel on matters of policy and communications and manages the Judge’s strategic initiatives related to transportation, homelessness, economic development, public health, and more. Previously, Chelsea served as the Chief of Staff to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and City Council.
Additionally, her previous experience includes working in public relations for the Fort Worth Zoo during the Wilder Vision Campaign and serving as an aide to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and the Senate Commerce Committee in Washington, D.C. A lifelong Longhorn, Chelsea received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas.
Rick W. Merrill
CEO & President, Cook Children’s Health Care System
As president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System located in Fort Worth, Texas, Rick W. Merrill oversees the not-for-profit, integrated delivery pediatric health care organization comprised of a Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Health Plan and Health Foundation.
Merrill has vast experience in for-profit and not-for-profit health care facilities and serves on numerous national, state and community advisory boards.
A native of South Texas, Merrill received a Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech and a Master of Science in Health Care Administration from Trinity University.
Director, FTI Consulting
Perry Reed is a Director in FTI Consulting’s Corporate Finance & Restructuring segment. Mr. Reed has over a decade of experience in the Oil & Gas industry working in A&D, Land, business development, and founding his own E&P company (Weatherly Operating).
He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. from Texas Christian University with emphasis in Energy Finance.
Kelly Hart and Hallman LLP
Dana Stayton has practiced at Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP for more than twenty years, since the inception of her legal career. At Kelly Hart, Ms. Stayton is a partner and serves as the chair of the Nonprofit Organizations practice group. Ms. Stayton has served as a general counsel to many of her nonprofit organization clients.
Ms. Stayton serves as Assistant Secretary of both Performing Arts Fort Worth, Inc. and Multipurpose Arena Fort Worth, Inc., doing business as Train Drive Management Corp. Ms. Stayton was recognized by the Fort Worth Business Press in 2009 as a 40 under 40 honoree and in 2017 as a Great Woman of Texas honoree.
Ms. Stayton received her B.B.A. in Management and Marketing, and J.D. from Texas Tech University.