Minutes — August 2019 Committee of the Whole Meeting

2019 Council and Committee Meetings


  • Council Members Present
  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Hunter Adkins
  • Kimberly Blackmon
  • Ronnie Browning
  • Paul Cardarella
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Kristen Cox
  • Maverick Crawford
  • Andrew Crim
  • Sara Kendall, TWC
  • Scott McAvoy
  • Jeff Miller, DRTX
  • Michael Peace
  • Justin Porter, TEA
  • Holly Riley, HHSC/Older Americans Act
  • Randell Resneder
  • Robert Schier
  • Eric Shahid
  • Molly Spratt
  • Toby Summers
  • Lora Taylor
  • John Thomas
  • Kim Torres
  • Audrey Young, DSHS
  • Dana Williamson, HHSC/Medicaid
  • Council Members Absent

  • Amy Sharp, TCDS
  • Dalun Zhang, A&M CDD
  • Guests Present

  • Ricardo Atkinson
  • Jane Borochoff
  • Floyd Browning
  • Ali Gentry
  • Ivy Goldstein, DSHS
  • Perry Hunter
  • Heidi Lersch
  • Amy Litzinger
  • Linda Litzinger
  • Michael Moore
  • Diane Northcutt
  • Lauren Rangel
  • Brittney Richmond
  • Shell Schwartz
  • Coline Sperling
  • Kathy Williams
  • Tiffany Williams
  • Staff Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Scott Daigle
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Ashley Ford
  • Robert Garcia
  • Genessee Klemm
  • Linda Logan
  • Evan Marczynski
  • Sylvia Medina
  • Richard Rendon
  • Mary Rochford
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel


Call to Order

The Committee of the Whole of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Thursday, August 8, 2019, in the Ballroom B-C of the Embassy Suites Austin Central, 5901 North IH-35, Austin, TX 78823. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 1:43 PM. A quorum was present.

  1. Introductions
    Council members, staff and guests introduced themselves.

  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered.

  3. Council Membership
    Council members participated in several activities designed for new and tenured members to get to know each other and make connections that will enhance their work as a cohesive group. Executive Committee members Andrew Crim, Gladys Cortez, and Lora Taylor led discussions on mentorship roles, Council member responsibilities, and expectations for members as they participate in meetings.

  4. Legislative Update
    Public Policy Director Scott Daigle provided a summary of the 86th Texas Legislature which adjourned on May 27, 2019. He reviewed items related to disability issues such as funding for attendant wages and Medicaid Waiver services, employment first initiatives, accessible parking and transportation, Medicaid Managed Care, alternatives to guardianship, response to sexual assault, higher education, and the Texas Compassionate Use Program. Daigle also discussed successful TCDD goals for the session to be more engaged and impactful as well as improve awareness of TCDD activities. He noted that the agency is still working on the goal to be a “go-to resource” for legislators.

  5. Youth Leadership Projects – Grantee Presentations
    The Committee received presentations from grantees who are implementing Youth Leadership Development projects. Members were reminded that TCDD funded three projects, each at $125,000/ year for up to five years with the intent to develop programs to support youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities to acquire leadership goals and develop long-range advocacy plans.

    Perry Hunter and Michael Moore of Mounting Horizons, Inc. presented on the Young Adults Advocates Leadership (YAAL) Club in Galveston County. It engages youth through monthly trainings, quarterly policy meetings, and an annual forum with an ultimate goal of training peer mentors.

    Jane Borochoff of Educational Programs Inspiring Communities discussed the HEART program based in Houston which collaborates with Houston Independent School District and the Houston Food Bank to provide job training and employment opportunities.

    Shell Schwartz & Heidi Lersch of SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone) discussed their Young Leaders for Safe and Inclusive Communities project which is based in the Austin area and focuses on safe and healthy relationships. The program targets young adults and uses accessible and engaging activities in training modules that include understandable safer sexuality education.


Council Chair Durheim adjourned the Committee of the Whole at 5:34 PM.