Council Members

Governor-Appointed Council Members

Governor-Appointed Council Members
Mary Durheim, Chair
Spring
Mary Durheim is the owner of Educational Rights Information and Consulting Center. Durheim received a Bachelor of Science in home economics from Oklahoma State University.
Andrew “Andy” Crim, Vice Chair
Fort Worth
Andrew “Andy” Crim is the director of education and professional development for the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Crim received a Bachelor of Science in political science from The University of Texas at Tyler and a Master of Education in educational leadership from the University of North Texas.
Rebecca “Hunter" Adkins
Lakeway
Rebecca “Hunter" Adkins is a volunteer and non-profit spokesperson for R.O.C.K. (Ride on Center for Kids). Adkins attended Austin Community College and Houston Community College.
Kimberly Blackmon
Fort Worth
Kimberly Blackmon is an office assistant for Harman Construction, Inc. Blackmon graduated from the Eastern New Mexico University Office Skills Program.
Richard “Ronnie” Browning
Spring
Richard “Ronnie” Browning is vice president of the Board of Texas Advocates. He also serves as president of the “Bridging the Gap” chapter of Texas Advocates. He is a past president of the People First Advocacy group in Wichita Falls.
Paul Cardarella
Denton
Paul Cardarella retired as vice president of human resources for AT&T. Cardarella received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Texas.
Gladys Cortez
McAllen
Gladys Cortez is an administrator for Mission Rehabilitation Services and is a licensed professional counselor. Cortez received a Bachelor of Science in rehab services and a Master of Science in rehab counseling from The University of Texas Pan-American.
Kristen Cox
El Paso
Kristen Cox is the president and CEO of Checkpoint Services, Inc., a technology company she formed in her garage in 1996. Cox received a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Texas A&M and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Dallas.
Maverick Crawford III
San Antonio
Maverick Crawford III is a pretrial services officer intern for a federal district court. Crawford received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Scott McAvoy
Cedar Park
Scott McAvoy is the executive vice president for the Marbridge Foundation. McAvoy received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maine and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans.
Michael Peace
Poteet
Michael Peace of Poteet is a habilitation worker. He is a volunteer for the Sand Branch Baptist Church Food Bank. Peace is attending Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio.
Randell Resneder
Lubbock
Randell Resneder is the executive director of Disability Awareness Programs of Texas. He is a former gubernatorial appointee to the State Independent Living Council. Resneder received a Bachelor of Science in family studies/human development from the University of North Texas, a Master of Arts in interdisciplinary studies and Master of Education in instructional technology from Texas Tech University.
Robert Schier III
Elgin
Robert Schier III is a camp director and co-founder of Camp DRIVE. Schier attended The University of Texas at San Antonio and McLennan Community College.
Eric Shahid
Somerville
Eric Shahid is a program aide at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service. Shahid received a certificate through the Texas A&M PATHS (Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services) Certificate Program.
Molly Spratt
Austin
Molly Spratt is the Chief of Staff for Texas State Senator Joan Huffman. Spratt received a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and French from The University of Texas at Austin.
Emmett “Toby” Summers III
San Antonio
Emmett “Toby” Summers III is the president and CEO of Mission Road Ministries. Summers received a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Lora Taylor
Houston
Lora Taylor of Houston is a piano teacher. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, Texas and Houston Music Teachers associations and National Guild of Piano Teachers. Taylor received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.
John Thomas
Weatherford
John Thomas is the founder of the Joseph Thomas Foundation which provides assistance for medically fragile children. He also serves on the Planning and Zoning Board for the City of Weatherford. Thomas received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Angelo State University.
Kimberly Torres
Houston
Kimberly Torres is the executive director for the Down Syndrome Association of Houston. Torres received a Bachelor of Science in applied learning and development from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Agency Representatives

Disability Rights Texas

Agency Representatives: Disability Rights Texas
Mary FaithfullMary Faithfull has worked for Disability Rights Texas/Advocacy, Inc. since 1985 and has been executive director about 10 years. Earlier positions included regional manager in the Houston office for 10 years and coordinator for the Transition Services Task Force (a TCDD funded project). Before that, she was the education coordinator on the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine assigned to The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research from 1979 until 1984. Faithfull received bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology and a master’s in rehabilitation counseling. She is also on the board of the National Disability Rights Network.
Patty Anderson
Alternate
Patty Anderson is the Deputy Director at Disability Rights Texas.

Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin

Agency Representatives: Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Amy SharpDr. Amy Sharp is the Executive Director of the Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Nina Zuna
Alternate
Dr. Nina Zuna is the Associate Director of the Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She has over 20 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families in a variety of roles, including professor, researcher, certified special education teacher, and in-home/in-school behavioral skills trainer. She earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Kansas. Her research and community service interests include family quality of life, individual and family supports across the lifespan, community inclusion, and transition from high school to postsecondary education and/or the workforce.

Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University

Agency Representatives: Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University
Dr. Dan ZhangDr. Dan Zhang is Director of the Center on Disability and Development and has been Professor of Special Education at Texas A&M University since 2005. Prior to joining Texas A&M, he had experiences working with DD Councils and UCEDDs (University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) for nine years in two other states. Over the years, Dr. Zhang has provided training, service, and research work in the areas of intellectual and developmental disabilities and topics related to transition from school to adulthood. Through various grant supported projects, he has provided self-determination and leadership training to individuals with special support needs in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas.
Dr. Meagan Orsag
Alternate
Dr. Meagan Orsag is the Associate Director of the Center on Disability and Development (CDD). She has been CDD’s Project Coordinator for Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services and Bridge to Career in Human Services. Dr. Orsag earned her doctorate in Special Education Administration at the University of Texas at Austin. While at the University of Texas at Austin, she mentored pre-service special education teachers as a university facilitator. Dr. Orsag was also a graduate research assistant on an IES Early Mathematics Intervention Project. She has presented at several national and international conferences. Dr. Orsag is a published author in peer-reviewed journal’s such as “The Urban Review,” “Leadership and Policy in Schools,” and the “International Journals of Leadership Education.”

Texas Education Agency — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Agency Representatives: Texas Education Agency — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Dr. Justin PorterDr. Justin Porter holds a Doctor of Education degree from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and has had a lengthy career working with at-risk populations, including students with disabilities, in a variety of school districts across the state of Texas. His leadership experience began at the campus level and then moved into supervisory roles in varied central administration positions where he worked extensively with programs to serve students in special populations, as well as general curriculum and instructional programs. Currently, Dr. Porter serves as the Texas State Director for Special Education at the Texas Education Agency.
Keith Swink
Alternate
Keith Swink is the Manager of Dispute Resolution at the Texas Education Agency.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission — Title XIX Medicaid

Agency Representatives: Texas Health and Human Services Commission — Title XIX Medicaid
Stephanie MuthStephanie Muth is the Deputy Executive Commissioner overseeing Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program services across Texas.
Dana Williamson
Alternate
Dana Williamson is the Director of Policy Development and Support within the Medicaid/CHIP Division at the Health and Human Services Commission. She has worked in health and human services policy since 2008 and in Medicaid policy since 2011. Williamson is a 22-year veteran of state government and has experience in child and adult protective services, HHS legislative support and strategic planning, and policy governing the delivery of Medicaid long-term services and supports to individuals with disabilities and the elderly. Williamson holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission — Older Americans Act

Agency Representatives: Texas Health and Human Services Commission — Older Americans Act
Holly RileyHolly Riley, Texas Health and Human Services Aging Services Coordination manager, has worked for the state of Texas for over 20 years in the field of aging. Her work focuses on local and state policy and planning development and working with communities to build capacity and create quality of life enhancement options. Riley's office implements innovative programs and campaigns that address the importance of preparing for our futures, including the Aging Texas Well program, the Age Well Live Well campaign, and the internationally-recognized Texercise program. In addition to serving on TCDD, Riley also serves on a number of other workgroups, including the Texas Cardiovascular and Stroke Prevention Partnership, the Texas Falls Prevention Coalition, the Behavioral Health and Aging workgroup, and the Texas Respite Advisory Coalition.
Wesley Yeager
Alternate
Bio coming soon.

Texas Workforce Commission — Vocational Rehabilitation Program (formerly DARS)

Texas Workforce Commission — Vocational Rehabilitation Program (formerly DARS)
Jennifer HinesJennifer Hines is the State Autism and Developmental Disorders Specialist for the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Division for Rehabilitation Services. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has practiced in the field of Developmental Disorders for 22 years.
Sara Kendall
Alternate
Sara Kendall has been the Program Specialist for benefits planning and DADS-DARS service integration for the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Division for Rehabilitation Services (DARS/DRS) since January 2012. Prior to assuming this role she was the Administrator for the Texas Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. She has more than 20 years of experience assisting people with disabilities to achieve their vocational goals, including being an employment specialist; writing and implementing home and community based waivers; and working as an administrator for private provider agencies. Her brother, who had intellectual and developmental disabilities, provided the inspiration for her to leave the private industry and enter the field of human services.

Texas Department of State Health Services — Title V Maternal & Child Health

Agency Representatives: Texas Department of State Health Services — Title V Maternal & Child Health
VacantThis position is currently vacant.
Ivy Goldstein
Alternate
Ivy Goldstein has been a Program Specialist with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in the Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Services Program since December 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University and is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking. Goldstein represents DSHS on the Consumer Direction Workgroup, the Texas System of Care Consortium, Texas Respite Coalition, Children’s Policy Council, and the Community Resource Coordination Groups State Work Group. Prior to her position with DSHS, Goldstein worked at Disability Rights Texas (formerly Advocacy, Inc.) supporting a self-advocate and she continues to be actively involved in community efforts to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.