The Council

Meet our Council members from across Texas.

TCDD is governed by a 27-member board that includes people with disabilities, family members, and representatives from state agencies, university centers for excellence in developmental disabilities, and other organizations. To learn about how to join the Council, see Become a Council Member.

Governor-Appointed Council Members

Mary Durheim, Chair
Spring
Mary Durheim is the Owner of the Educational Rights Information and Consulting Center. Durheim received a Bachelor of Science in Design from Oklahoma State University.
Kimberly Torres, Vice Chair
Houston
Kimberly Torres is the CEO of Thrive Nonprofit Solutions. 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.
Ronald “Ronnie” Browning
Spring
Ronald “Ronnie” Browning is the Founder and State Representative of Bridging the Gap, the Spring, Texas chapter of Texas Advocates. He also serves on the 2022/2023 Board of Texas Advocates as Treasurer. He is the Co-Founder and past President of the People First Advocacy Group of Wichita Falls. Browning has been recognized by several Texas legislators as an outstanding advocate and as the 2009 Achiever of the Year. He was recently selected as Mr. Wonderful of South Texas 2023 by the We See Possibilities nonprofit organization.
Deborah “Debbie” Carlisle
San Antonio
Deborah “Debbie” Carlisle is a Personal Care Attendant for Alegre Home Health Care. She also serves as a Clinical Assistant at Premier Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Health. Carlisle received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Schreiner University and an Associate in Applied Science in Surgical Technology from Baptist School of Health Professions.
Gladys Cortez
McAllen
Gladys Cortez 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.
Kyle Cox
College Station
Kyle Cox is a Special Projects Coordinator for 12th Man Technology. Cox received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Texas A&M University and a Master of Public Administration from the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
Maverick Crawford III
San Antonio
Maverick Crawford III is an advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness. He holds a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. He is also a board member of the Autism Society of Texas and a volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Andrew “Andy” Crim
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.
Juan Carlos Lopez
Edinburg
Juan Carlos Lopez is a volunteer with the Valley Association for Independent Living. Lopez is a graduate of McAllen High School.
Scott McAvoy
Cedar Park
Scott McAvoy is the President/CEO 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.
Amanda Miles
Alvin
Amanda Miles is a board member for Alvin Meals on Wheels. She also serves as the board Vice President of Gulf Coast Self Advocates. Miles is a graduate of Pearland High School.
Angela “Angie” Panzica
Houston
Angela “Angie” Panzica is a Program Facilitator for Baylor College of Medicine. Panzica received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston.
Michael Peace
Poteet
Michael Peace is a habilitation worker. He is a volunteer for the Sand Branch Baptist Church Food Bank. Peace attends Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio.
Robert Schier III
Elgin
Robert Schier III is a program manager at Down Home Ranch. He has worked in a variety of roles since 2007 supporting individuals will intellectual and developmental disabilities. Schier founded and managed a weekend respite camp that operated from 2016 to 2022, serving over 300 individuals. He also serves on several Health and Human Services committees as well as on the editorial board for the Frontline Initiative, a publication of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals.
Eric Shahid
Somerville
Eric Shahid is a Certified Direct Support Professional and a graduate of the Texas A&M University PATHS (Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services) Certificate Program. His mission is to support people who feel hopeless and lost because of their disabilities. Shahid spearheads The Shahid Center for Ability and Development and has partnered with community agencies to bring education, resources, and implementable plans to people with developmental and physical disabilities along with their family members and advocates.
Meridith Silcox
Splendora
Meridith Silcox is the ADA and accessibility administrator for ASM Global at NRG Park. Silcox serves as the chair of the Houston Commission on Disabilities. She received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Houston and a Master of Arts in psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
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.
Jamie Thomas
Abilene
Jamie Thomas of Abilene is a Regional Coordinator for Partners Resource Network. Thomas received a degree in Early Childhood Education from Cisco Junior College.

Agency Representatives

Disability Rights Texas
Sean Jackson, Patty Anderson (alternate) 

Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Sandra Magaña, Dr. Nina Zuna (alternate)

Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University
Dr. Dan Zhang, Dr. Meagan Orsag (alternate)

Texas Education Agency — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Dr. Justin Porter, Elizabeth Danner (alternate)

Texas Health and Human Services Commission — Title XIX Medicaid
Kate Layman (alternate)

Texas Health and Human Services Commission — Older Americans Act
Holly Riley, Chimere Clemons (alternate) 

Texas Workforce Commission —  Rehabilitation Act
Jonas Schwartz, Lauren Chenoweth (alternate)

Texas Department of State Health Services — Title V Maternal & Child Health
Ivy Goldstein (alternate)  

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