Our Board of Directors
Jesse Oliver, Chair, Board of Directors
Mr. Oliver, who has been deputy executive director at DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) since 2012, reports directly to the president/executive director. He has a diverse background with experience in management, labor and employment matters, public finance, legislative processes, legal expertise, and transit development. A former Texas legislator and judge, Mr. Oliver co-sponsored the legislation that created Dallas Area Rapid Transit. He was later appointed by the city of Dallas to the DART board and served for 10 years as a member and chairman.
Thomas A. Turnage, Ph.D., Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors
Dr. Turnage is executive director of Dallas Services, an agency dedicated to helping people with disabilities or other needs achieve their potential by fostering inclusiveness and independence throughout their lives. Dallas Services operates a Low Vision Clinic and two Day Schools, among other services, to meet that mission. Before he joined Dallas Services, Dr. Turnage was the clinical director of the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Scott Burns, Member, Board of Directors
When syndicated financial columnist Scott Burns retired from a job as a columnist for The Dallas Morning News, he founded AssetBuilders, an investment advisory group. He developed the Couch Potato Cookbook, which he calls “lazy” investment planning. He has written several books on investing, including The Household Economy: Its Shape, Origins, and Future; Spend ’Til the End: A Revolutionary Guide to Raising Your Living Standard – Today and When You Retire; and The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future. Burns’ articles and columns have appeared in Worth, Boston, Playboy, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in humanities and biology.
Dan Pryor, Member, Board of Directors
Dan Pryor has a long career helping individuals and organizations become more productive, more whole and more fulfilled. His work has taken him throughout the United States as well as parts of Australia, Canada, and Europe. Clients have included Fortune 500 companies, not-for-profit and faith-based organizations, educational institutions and associations. In addition to his consulting, seminar work, and speaking, he is currently a faculty member in the MBA program at Howard Payne University. At Howard Payne, he teaches courses in Leadership, Organizational Communication, and Management. He is also a lecturer in business communication at The University of Texas at Austin. He currently writes and distributes the online newsletter, Speedbumps-a Cerebral Tap of the Brakes (readspeedbumps.com) Dan received his doctorate from the University of North Texas where he researched system approaches to learning.
Dan’s professional career includes tenures with Atlantic Richfield, EDS, and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. Throughout his career, he’s had the good fortune to serve as an adjunct professor at Texas State University, Truett Seminary, the University of Texas at Dallas and St. Edwards University.
John Proctor, Member, Board of Directors
John Proctor is a proud native of Calvert, Texas with other notables including Tom Bradley, Dr. Ceasar Toles, Willie Toles, Marcus Toles, W.D. Spigner and Rube Foster, founder of Black Baseball. His life spans from Texas to California all the way to the State of Hawaii, where he was a trailblazer in the telecommunications industry and participated in construction projects throughout the West coast. He will tell you that Los Angeles, AME Bishop H.H. Brookins, and former Dallas NAACP President, Lee Alcorn, played a major role in who he is today. John is now the President and CEO of Coverall Management & Associates, an Environmental and Demolition General Contractor, founded in 2001. He is the founder of Coverall 2nd Chance Foundation, hiring ex-offenders throughout the DFW Metroplex. John has held seats on many boards over the years and remains a pillar in his community; A few to mention are First Fair Park Board of Directors, Regional Black Contractors Association, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, and Homeward Bound Drug Program in Dallas, TX. Mr. Proctor is a man of faith and substance and will tell anyone he meets that his ability to do what he does is nothing short of the goodness of Jesus Christ. John Proctor’s name resonates throughout the Community as a leader and an advocate for forwarding advancement.
Melanie Wells, Ph.D., Member, Board of Directors
Dr. Wells works with the Highland Park Independent School District in two elementary schools as a psychologist, assessing autism spectrum disorder, emotional disturbance, attention difficulties, and functional behavior. She has a private practice providing services to individuals and families. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology and an M.S. in applied psychology from Texas A&M-Commerce, an M.S. in social work at the University of Texas at Arlington and a B.A. in Education from the University of Dallas.
Jeff Agee, Member, Board of Directors
Mr. Agee is a Certified Public Accountant and is the recently retired Chief Accounting Officer of a Dallas-based private investment firm. His business experience includes accounting, financial reporting, internal control design and financial planning in energy-focused private equity investments and electric utility construction and operations. Mr. Agee currently serves as Executive Director of a non-profit corporation that supports new ministers working in Christian ministry. He is actively involved in pastoring and teaching young people in his local church. Mr. Agee is a 1987 graduate of Abilene Christian University. He and his wife of 37 years have four children and two grandchildren.
Ivan Martinez, Member, Board of Directors
Born in Guines, Havana, Cuba, Ivan came to live in the United States with his older sister and brother-in-law at the age of 10. He earned BS and MS degrees in political science at Florida State University. Mr. Martinez taught at Eastfield College 12 years, moved to the Texas Attorney General Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and returned to teaching at the Anderson County campus of Trinity Valley Community College. He moved into administration as the Testing Center director at Brookhaven College. At Brookhaven College, Richland College and Cedar Valley College, he served as division dean, vice president of Academic and Student Development and as the interim president of Cedar Valley College. In Chicago, he worked as vice president of Instruction at Olive Harvey College of the City Colleges of Chicago. As a small business owner, he operated a coffee vending machine business and a power washing company. Ivan has been involved in the civic and political affairs of Dallas County and his church. He has two children, Aaron and Nathan, and two grandchildren, Elijah and Olin. He has been married 15 years to Linda, a nurse at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
Isabelle Collora, Board of Directors, 1980-2018
Isabelle Collora left us September 2018 just shy of her 92nd birthday. She will be missed and yet her spirit moves us forward.
Isabelle Collora had a lengthy list of accomplishments, many in the human rights and religion fields. In 1980, she co-founded Homeward Bound, Inc., with Doug Denton. She was a board member of the Greater Dallas Community of Churches, Ladies of Charity of Dallas; Cathedral Dallas, Inc.; “Si Puedes,” Inc.; and the Guadalupanas Association. She has received the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Judge Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, and the Woman of the Year Award from the Texas Catholic Conference, among many.