Harriet Jane Olson, General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of United Methodist Women
A Harvard graduate and attorney, Ms. Olson was a partner specializing in real estate and environmental law for the Pitney, Hardin, Kipp and Szuch law firm of Morristown, N.J., (1983-1996) before working for the church full-time. Prior to leading United Methodist Women, Ms. Olson served at the United Methodist Publishing House as senior vice-president for publishing, editor for church school publications and United Methodist Church book editor. She supervised a staff of 125-150 persons responsible for the development, production and trade distribution of resources from Abingdon Press, Cokesbury and Kingswood Books. Ms. Olson has a long history of service in the United Methodist Church. From 1988-1996, she was a director of the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship and was a delegate to the 1988, 1992 and 1996 General Conferences of the denomination. She also served on a number of committees in the former Northern New Jersey Conference. Among those were the conference task force on sexual harassment policy and the conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women. From 1985-1996, she spoke and taught on Words That Hurt, Words That Heal, the landmark publication that defined inclusive language needed for the church to embrace all people. Ms. Olson said United Methodist Women’s work is rooted in the past and poised for the future, as the needs of women, children and youth around the world continue to demand the organization’s attention. "United Methodist Women's story is of powerful women who overcame real limitations and took the church to a new place," Ms. Olson said. "For example, in the 1920s, United Methodist Women's predecessors were active serving women, children and youth wherever non-English-speaking populations grew up in response to labor demands. We have these demands springing up everywhere today. We still have work to do." Ms. Olson has a bachelor's degree from Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y., where she serves on the board of trustees. She is a member of Morristown United Methodist Church in Morristown, N.J., and an affiliate member of McKendree United Methodist Church in Nashville.
Reverend Dr. Monya Stubbs, Associate Professor of New Testament, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Monya Stubbs joined the faculty of Austin Seminary in 2004. An ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Stubbs is the author of A Contextual Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew and its Readings (co-author, Abingdon Press, 2003) and an essay on "Healing Through Touch" in My Soul is a Witness (Beacon Press, 1995). A member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion, Stubbs was a Fund for Theological Education Dissertation Fellow in 2002-2003. Her teaching interests include a wide range of New Testament subjects, as well as African-American Christianity, theological themes in contemporary novels, theology and economy, and the Book of Job. In addition to her scholarly credentials, Stubbs has a wealth of experience working with theological students engaged in practical aspects of ministry. In 2002-2003 she directed Bonner-Campbell Religious Studies Institute, a ministerial training school for the Eighth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Stubbs has also served as a faculty team member for the field education program at Vanderbilt University, where she facilitates students' theological reflection on events in ministry.
Senator Kip Averitt – President, Averitt and Associates
After serving in the Texas House of Representatives for over 9 years, Senator Averitt was elected to the Texas Senate in 2002 and chaired the Senate Natural Resources Committee from 2005 through 2010. He also served as Co-Chair of the Environmental Flows Advisory Group. In 2007, Averitt crafted and passed significant water legislation through Senate Bill 3. In conjunction with $750 million in water infrastructure funding that he helped secure through his position on the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Bill 3 protects instream flows, encourages water conservation, and facilitates new water projects identified by the State Water Plan. During his last four legislative sessions, Averitt also led school finance reform efforts and design of the state's $180 billion biennial budget. Senator Averitt earned a Bachelors and an MBA in economics and finance from Baylor University and is a certified public accountant and consultant. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Texas Nature Conservancy and the Texas Water Foundation.
Denise Davis, Partner, Davis Kaufman PLLC
Denise Davis is a native Texan with nearly two decades experience working in the Texas Legislature. She has extensive experience in drafting winning strategies on complex legislation, administrative rules, legal memoranda and briefs for clients in both the public and private sectors. Before founding Davis Kaufman PLLC in 2012, Ms. Davis served as Chief of Staff to House Speaker Joe R. Straus. As Chief of Staff, she provided strategic and operational advice to the Speaker and the entire House leadership, and oversaw the legislative agenda and daily activities of the Speaker’s Office. Prior to her tenure as Chief of Staff, Ms. Davis served for several sessions as House Parliamentarian and Special Counsel to the Texas House of Representatives, where she advised the Speaker and members of the House on all ethics, legal and parliamentary matters relating to the Texas House of Representatives, including points of order, House Rules and precedent, and open records. Her public service also includes work as General Counsel to Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff, Director and Counsel to the Texas Judicial Council under Chief Justice Tom Phillips, General Counsel to the Senate Jurisprudence Committee under Senator Rodney Ellis, Legislative Counsel for the Texas Legislative Council and as Assistant Public Information/Press Officer for Lt. Governor William P. Hobby. In addition to her many years in public service, Ms. Davis has also worked in private practice, serving as Special Counsel to the corporate department of an international law firm, where she provided public policy law and governmental relations services to corporate clients. Ms. Davis received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. While at the Law School, Ms. Davis served as Notes Editor for the American Journal of Criminal Law.
Andrea Earl, Texas Impact VISTA Project Director
Andrea joined Texas Impact as an AmeriCorps VISTA to assist with the Texas Disaster Recovery Project in April 2010. Her policy focuses include environmental policy, disaster policy, local government and healthcare policy. Andrea received her Bachelor’s in Communication Public Relations from Appalachian State University in 2006. In May 2009, Andrea earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Appalachian State University, where she held the position of Research Assistant for the MPA department. A native of North Carolina, Andrea has worked on varying economic, community development and nonprofit projects with the N.C. Rural Center and rural N.C. municipalities. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys hiking and kayaking, going to music shows and making balloon animals.
Scott Atnip, Texas Impact Congregational Outreach Director
Scott Atnip is Texas Impact’s Congregational Outreach Director, working to connect the education and advocacy efforts of Texas Impact, the Texas Interfaith Center for Policy and the Community Partners Program with people of faith throughout Texas. Scott is in his second tenure with Texas Impact, having served as an intern in 2002-2003 while completing his M.P.Aff. at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs. Scott completed his undergraduate work at Sam Houston State University, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Management. Scott has also served as Executive Director of Huntsville’s Promise, a non-profit working on youth development and housing issues and Fund Development Manager for the National Office of United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth (U.M. ARMY), a youth home repair mission organization affiliated with the UMC. Scott is also active in various leadership positions in the United Methodist Church, being elected as an alternate delegate to General Conference 2012 and delegate to Jurisdictional Conference, serving as the Corporate Secretary for the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries and on GBGM’s Mission Programs and Finance Committees, the Texas Annual Conference West District Lay Leader, Texas Conference Board of Laity and serves on the Boards of the Heartspring Methodist Foundation and Junior High United Methodist Mission Project. Scott is also active in his local church, Wesley Memorial UMC having served as youth director with his wife Shannon, worship leader, Outreach Committee Chair and more. In the community, Scott has served on the boards of CASA of Walker County, Walker County Community Development Corporation, Journey Though Bethlehem, Santa’s Helpers and Impact Huntsville. Scott is married to his lovely wife Shannon and has a beautiful five year old daughter Emily and two dogs.
Lisa Kaufman, Partner, Davis Kaufman PLLC
Lisa Kaufman brings nearly two decades of legislative experience, including 14 years in Texas, to the legal and lobby practice of Davis Kaufman PLLC. Before founding Davis Kaufman PLLC in 2012, Ms. Kaufman served as the Director of Budget & Policy and Special Counsel to Speaker of the House Joe R. Straus, where she distinguished herself as a consensus builder on the state budget and other major policy issues during the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions. Prior to her service to Speaker Straus, Ms. Kaufman served for one year as Executive Director and General Counsel of the Texas Civil Justice League and for 11 years as General Counsel to Texas Senator Robert Duncan, as well as Committee Director for the Senate Jurisprudence and State Affairs committees. While in the Senate, Ms. Kaufman earned the respect of her colleagues and of lawmakers for her mastery of complex legal issues and ability to negotiate critical state policy and budget matters. Her legal career also includes service as Senior Investigative Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and as Special Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Ms. Kaufman worked as an Associate in the Washington D.C. office of an international law firm, where she specialized in both civil and criminal litigation and practiced before federal regulatory agencies. Ms. Kaufman received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, Cum Laude, from Washington University in St. Louis and her law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Miryam Bujanda, Public Policy and Advocacy Manager, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas
Miryam Bujanda hails from El Paso. She worked ten years in the Texas Senate as a policy analyst for former Senator Peggy Rosson (El Paso) and as director of the Inter Governmental Relations (IGR) committee for Senator Eddie Lucio (Brownsville). She then worked as a lobbyist before accepting a position as projects director at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. Miryam is Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy for Methodist Healthcare Ministries in San Antonio. Her areas of expertise include health, Colonias, finance and economic development, community outreach and border issues. Miryam taught emergency medical services at El Paso Community College, has a BS from the University of Texas at El Paso, and an MPA from Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY).
Joshua Houston, Texas Impact General Counsel
Josh serves as Texas Impact's attorney and also performs legislative and regulatory affairs. In the promotion of Texas Impact's Legislative Agenda, he works primarily on energy, utility, environmental, first amendment and administrative law as well as campaign finance, payday lending and criminal justice issues. He represents Texas Impact and small commercial customers on the board of ERCOT and is a member of the Administrative Law Section of the Austin Bar Association. Josh joined Texas Impact in August 2010. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence in May of 2010 from the University of Texas School of Law and is a member of the Texas State Bar. In 2007, he received a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He completed his undergraduate work in 2004 at Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Philosophy. Josh currently attends Triumphant Love Lutheran Church where his fiance works in the youth ministry. Before coming to Texas Impact, Josh spent the 81st Legislative Session as a Legislative Assistant to State Representative Robert Miklos. In addition to assisting with Rep. Miklos’ bills and the Daily House Calendar, Josh’s duties included legislation in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and its Capital Punishment Subcommittee which Rep. Miklos chaired. During the 79th Legislative Session, Josh was a Public Policy Consultant for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, the public policy and ethics arm of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. While at CLC, he specialized in criminal justice, gambling, educational and First Amendment issues. During law school, he interned during the summers at CLC and at the Travis County District Attorney’s Office in the 147th District Court. He was on the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial team and worked as a student attorney in UT Law's Actual Innocence and Legislative Lawyering Clinics.
Don Baylor, Jr., Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Public Policy Priorities
An eighth-generation Texan, Don Baylor joined the center in 2004 and focuses on asset building, postsecondary success, and labor markets to expand economic opportunity and mobility in Texas. He directs OpportunityTexas a statewide campaign to increase financial stability, create pathways to good jobs, and promote savings. Before coming to the center, he crafted and advocated for living wage, anti-predatory lending, and affordable housing legislation before the New York City Council and New York State Legislature. Before that role, he was a public sector consultant who co-led strategic planning and performance audit contracts for several public entities in California, Oregon, and Hawaii. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University in 1994 and a Master of Arts in African American and Southern History with honors from The University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. He was recently appointed to the new Consumer Advisory Board of the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and also serves on the Board of Directors of CFED, RAISE Texas, the Texas Match the Promise Foundation. He serves in an advisory role for CLASP, United Way Capital Area, and Texas C-Bar.
Beaman Floyd is a consultant and lobbyist with more than 20 years of experience in public affairs. He owns his own lobby firm, and has worked on behalf of a variety of clients, among them property and casualty insurance companies and trade associations, public education associations, parents’ rights groups, local government subdivisions, higher education groups, and religious groups. His activities include legislative strategy and direct lobbying, media relations, grass roots strategy, and academic research. He has been highly involved in several major policy issues in Texas, including property and casualty insurance reform, catastrophe policy, workers’ compensation reform, healthcare, public school finance, and higher education policy. He frequently represents clients in both the print and electronic media, both in Texas and nationally. He is also a regular guest lecturer to college faculty groups, in college classrooms, policy forums, an other political and educational settings. Mr. Floyd works with several organizations to advance the understanding of public affairs advocacy, and is currently working with international officials in emerging democracies to establish ethical lobbying practices. He is a Charter Member of the Professional Advocacy Association of Texas. Prior to working in Texas, Mr. Floyd served on the legislative staff of the Louisiana House of Representatives with the Legal Division, which included the Civil Law, Criminal Justice, and Judiciary committees. He also worked with Louisiana Public Television. Floyd is a veteran of the United States Army where he served as an infantryman. Mr. Floyd earned his B.A. with a double major in History and Russian Studies from Louisiana State University. He completed the Honors Core Interdisciplinary Studies program and was selected to participate in the History Doctoral Proseminar program ponsored by the American Association of Colleges. He earned an M.A. in Theological Studies with an emphasis in Ethics and Church History at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Born and raised in Austin, Mr. Floyd is a sixth-generation Texan. He is an active member of his church, and a regular participant in local and international mission work. As a native Austinite, he enjoys just about any outdoor activity on land or water, music, kids, and dogs.
Dr. Amanda Brownson, Moak, Casey and Associates
Dr. Brownson is an experienced educational researcher, with specialties in school finance, statistical analyses, and performance evaluation. She has a background in research at The UT-Austin Charles A. Dana Center and the Educational Productivity Council. In addition, Dr. Brownson brings experience from the classroom at both local and higher-education levels. She received her doctorate in Educational Administration from UT-Austin in late-2002 and is certified in both administrative and teaching areas. She brings over a decade of experience in public education, research and policy development. Amanda has played a leading role in research undertaken for the Texas School Alliance, the Texas Association of School Administrators and the West Orange Cove school finance litigation.
Keith S. Hampton
Keith Hampton has been named a Texas "Super-Lawyer" for nine consecutive years and has been repeatedly named as one of the Best Lawyers in America. In the 2010 Judicial Candidate bar poll, the lawyers of Texas that know this court and these candidates best overwhelmingly voted Keith Hampton the most qualified candidate for the Court of Criminal Appeals. A life-long Texas Democrat, Keith Hampton began his career at age 17, as the youngest precinct chairperson for the Texas Democratic Party. He earned his B.A. in government from the University of Texas and his law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. For the last twenty years, Keith has defended the Texas Constitution and the Constitution of the United States in hundreds of criminal defense cases. As an active member of the criminal defense bar, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and a member
of the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, Keith has tirelessly worked for fairness, integrity and justice for all Texans. He has been a representative of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association for over 15 years, appearing before legislative committees as well as serving on the Ad Hoc Committee to Revise the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the Legislative Task Force for the Rewrite of the Incompetency and Insanity Statutes, and the Texas Supreme Court Jury Task Force. He has written and donated a book to all lawyers on criminal law, and co-authored two others. In 2008, he was bestowed the State Bar’s "Lawyer of the Year" award. Among many other works in criminal justice, Hampton successfully worked for the creation of innocence clinics for indigent defendants who are falsely accused of crimes, diversion programs for veterans suffering from mental illness, and won life without parole as an alternative to death in capital cases on behalf of Texas juries.
Cindy Eigler, Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy
Cindy Eigler joined the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy in the fall of 2012 as a Policy Specialist. Her policy issue areas include criminal justice, mental health, immigration and human trafficking. Before coming to the Interfaith Center, Cindy was the Associate Director of Special Projects at the Correctional Association of New York, a non-profit advocacy agency working on improving the criminal justice system. As part of her work in New York, Cindy visited over 23 state prison facilities to monitor conditions related to general/solitary confinement, mental health and substance abuse treatment and physical/verbal/sexual abuse. Prior to moving to New York, Cindy was the lead organizer for a neighborhood development program in the United Kingdom. She has her Masters degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and completed her Bachelors in Political Science and Eastern Religion at Boston University. Born in Houston as a first generation Texan and American, Cindy, her husband and two year old daughter are thrilled to be back in Texas among friends and family.
Amy Chamberlain, Davis Kaufman LPPC
Amy Chamberlain brings more than 10 years of experience with complex policy issues at the state and local levels. Her research, reports and memoranda have been used by policymakers at the local level and in all three branches of state government to inform policy recommendations and to plan for how public funds should be allocated. In addition to her work to turn policy ideas into legislation, Ms. Chamberlain is experienced in writing news releases, newsletters, brochures, opinion editorials, talking points and speeches, legislative committee reports, policy position papers, online blogs and other social media content. Her positions in Texas government include Legislative Aide to Senator Rodney Ellis, Senior Researcher for the Texas Judicial Council, Chief of Staff to Representative Jim Pitts, Deputy Assistant to the House Parliamentarian, and most recently, Interim Executive Assistant to Speaker Joe R. Straus. Ms. Chamberlain also spent several years as a Research Analyst with an Austin-based consulting firm, where she performed government-funded policy research and evaluations relating to public health and transportation. Prior to moving back to her home state of Texas in 1995, Ms. Chamberlain spent two years at a Washington, D.C. think tank developing research and policy recommendations for state elected leaders on the issues of affordable housing, small business, and health care. Ms. Chamberlain received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and her Master of Arts in Public Policy from George Washington University.
Bee Moorhead, Executive Director, Texas Impact
Bee has been director of Texas Impact since 2000, managing every aspect of the organization’s work and answering to a 45-member board of directors made up of representatives from the state’s many faith communities. Under Bee’s leadership, Texas Impact has moved from fewer than 1,000 members to more than 20,000 members and earned recognition as a national leader in interfaith education and community leadership development. Bee spent eight years as a senior fiscal policy analyst for former Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts John Sharp, where she helped to lead the nationally known Texas Performance Review, providing members of the Texas Legislature with numerous recommendations for strengthening state government and state services. Bee was responsible for the Comptroller's attention to public policy issues related to health and human services, and she was the chief architect of Family Pathfinders, a unique program linking Texas congregations and civic organizations with families on public assistance. Bee holds a Master's Degree from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from UT-Austin. She spent four years as a freelance theatrical costume designer and staff costumer at the UT Performing Arts Center. In 2011 Bee was awarded the “Trailblazer” Award by the National Council of Jewish Women. She has served on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Council and currently serves on several advisory committees to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She is a trained Climate Project presenter. Bee is an adjunct faculty member at St. Edward’s University in the Political Science Department and at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Bee has been a member of University Presbyterian Church in Austin since 1983. She is married to Robert Moorhead, a long-time staff member of the award-winning PBS television show "Austin City Limits." The Moorheads have three children.