Board of Directors 2022-23
Kent Collins, President
Kent is the founder and owner of Centro Development, LLC, and an Austin-based real estate development company specializing in mixed-use and residential urban infill properties. At the forefront of developing vertically mixed-use properties in Texas, New Mexico and Georgia for more than 20 years, Kent received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas and a master’s in business administration from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is the past chair of the UT School of Architecture Advisory Council and the Downtown Austin Alliance and a member of the City of Austin Comprehensive Plan Task Force. Kent and his wife Reenie are the parents of three adult children – CeCe, Winston and Tye.
Roxanne Evans, First Vice President
Roxanne Evans has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and public relations. A graduate of Drake University, Evans began her journalism career at the Des Moines Register and Tribune. At the Tribune, she was part of a team that won a first place Iowa Associated Press Managing Editors award for a historical series on Blacks in Iowa.
Evans spent 10 years at the Austin American-Statesman, where she began as a reporter and later made history herself when she became the first African American editorial writer and member of the Editorial Board.
Evans also served as a deputy press secretary for Texas Governor Ann Richards. Her other positions include Chief Communications Officer for D.C. Public Schools, and work in the communications departments of the Austin Independent School District and the City of Austin.
Evans conducts black history research and is former co-editor-in-chief for the Texas Black History Preservation Project (www.tbhpp.org) .The project later became part of the portfolio of the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture on the campus of Prairie View A&M University.
She is a charter member of the National Museum of African American Culture and History at the Smithsonian.
Evans is a member of the Travis County African American Heritage Council.
Candace Volz, Second Vice President, Chair, AHC-Faulk Campus Expansion Committee
Candace is a long-time Austin resident whose family has lived in the Central Texas area for more than 175 years. She has a deep personal and professional interest in history and, with her husband John, is part of an architectural practice that undertakes restoration projects throughout Texas. Candace has a BS in Interior Design from the University of Texas and an MS in Museum Studies from The George Washington University. As a decorative arts historian, she prepares historic furnishing plans for museums and historic sites throughout the U.S.
Joe Pacheco, Treasurer
Chair, Finance Committee
Chair, Investment Committee
An Eastside Austin native, Joe grew up working in his father’s San Jacinto Cafe, a legendary hangout for local politicos just south of historic Scholz’s Beer Garden. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.In 1984, while pursuing an MBA at Texas State University, Joe accepted an offer from the State Bar of Texas and became its first Director of Computer Services. He created the original computer system for the State Bar to serve an attorney membership of 64,000. For 30 years, Joe trail blazed a career in Information technology in both the public and private sectors, including seven public organizations within the State of Texas and the City of Austin. Joe has served on the Travis County Appraisal Review Board and as an officer of the Knights of Columbus Council of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Austin. Now retired, he enjoys travels with his wife of 50 years, Mary, and takes pride in the successes of their accomplished children and grandchildren.
Marilyn Poole, Secretary
Marilyn Poole is an Austin lawyer born from generations of Old East Austin leadership. She is the niece of the late Dr. James Hill, the first African American to become a Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the niece of Dr. Oscar and Irene Hill Thompson. A former professor at Huston Tillotson University, Oscar was the first African American to earn an advanced degree from UT. Irene was a librarian at the original historic Anderson High School. Marilyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in behavioral psychology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and a juris doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law.
Ronney Reynolds, At-Large Member
Ronney is a 5th generation Austinite. His great-grandparents were married in the historic St. David’s Episcopal Church in 1872. His family has a rich heritage in Austin, which feeds Ronney's interest in preservation. Currently, Ronney is President of Reynolds & Franke, PC (CPA’s). The firm provides auditing, tax, and/or bookkeeping to more than 125 non-profit organizations. Ronney has served in many important municipal, civic, and professional leadership roles throughout his career, including two terms on the Austin City Council from 1991 to 1997, President of the Rotary Club of Austin as well as the District Governor for Rotary International. Today, Ronney is very active at the historic St David’s Episcopal Church, President of the Longhorn Club, and a founding member of the Austin “T” Club. He has received many community and professional recognitions and awards. Ronney resides in Austin with wife Mary. Their daughter Nancy Michelle teaches in Austin and their son Bo, along with his wife, Carole, and their two children, Jacob and Henry, live in Bastrop. Ronney serves on the AHCA Executive Committee and is assisting in the creation of a Corporate Membership strategy.
Charles Peveto, Acting Past President
Photo Credit: Joe Bryson
Charles has been an architectural historian at the Texas Historical Commission for many years and has devoted his professional career and private life to the historic preservation of Austin’s historic parks, historic bridges and the arts. He serves on several Austin boards and committees, including Preservation Austin, Old Austin Neighborhood Association, Friends of Wooldridge Square and MidTexMod. Charles is an active advocate in preserving Austin’s RICH and DIVERSE histories that give Austin that “Sense of Place”. He served for several years as Chair of the popular Eberly Luncheon, leading it to new records, before assuming the leadership role for reactivating the Katherine Drake Hart annual award and overseeing the AHCA Annual Business Meeting.
Board Members At-Large
With an educational background in history Lori Duran investigates and writes about stories of past events and people. This has been her life-long passion. Duran serves on the board of directors at the Austin History Center Association where she posts on social media for the organization. She has also served on the Oral History Committee and as Volunteer Coordinator. Duran is a part-time instructor each semester for the University of Texas Informal Class program specializing in history classes for intellectually disabled students. She is a dedicated alumna after getting her master’s degree from the University of Texas in 1986. In her spare time, she writes free-lance magazine articles and illustrated
books about local history: Austin’s Travis Heights Neighborhood and the University of Texas at Austin: The First One Hundred Years.
Ben Foster is a University of Texas graduate who returned to Austin in 2018 after nearly a decade in Los Angeles working as a director, producer, and editor of documentaries and films. His current TV project, Songwriters Across Texas, has immersed Ben in the current Austin music scene and he’s planning a larger documentary about our city’s music history.
Gerald Guerra is a native Austinite, born and raised in east Austin. He graduated from Huston-Tillotson University with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and built a career in the financial sector of the hospitality industry, primarily as a financial services officer and comptroller for major hotels. Gerald has also volunteered for several Austin-area non-profits over the past decade.
Dave moved to Austin in 1962, graduating from St. Edward’s High School and entering the University of Texas in 1963. He left after a year and a half and went on active duty in the U.S. Navy, serving a year in Vietnam. In 1969, he returned to UT, majoring in journalism. Over his career in communication, Helfert was a news reporter and weekend anchor at KVUE-TV, public information officer for the Texas House of Representatives, and a partner in KHZ Marketing-Advertising. He was also active in numerous city boards and commissions, including service as the first chairman of the Airport Advisory Board, and a number of community organizations. In 1994, Dave was recruited to the Clinton Administration, spending six years as a Public Affairs Director. He then worked in Congress for nearly 10 years. While on “The Hill,” he earned a Master’s in Public Communication at American University, and in 2005, began teaching evening graduate classes there. In 2007, he added a class at Johns Hopkins University. Retiring in 2010, Dave and his wife, Kathy Ledbetter Helfert, a fourth generation Austinite, moved home. He began teaching at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. But for seven years, he returned to D.C. each fall to teach at Johns Hopkins, and also lectured at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Now full-time in Austin, Dave teaches communication courses at Texas State University, and authored, Political Communication in Action: From Theory to Practice, a textbook published in 2017.
A graduate of the University of Texas, Bryan worked in the banking business until he purchased his first automobile dealership, Continental Cars, in Austin in 1978. His dealerships have expanded to include Audi, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, and Subaru. Bryan’s roots in Texas go all the way back to the early 19th Century, when his family came from Tennessee to become part of Stephen F. Austin’s land grant colony. Bailey Hardeman helped author and sign the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836 and served as the Republic’s first Treasurer. His brother, Thomas, built the first home on the north side of the river on what is now 17th Street. Bryan’s father, Dorsey B. Hardeman, was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1936 and the Texas Senate in 1946, where he served through 1969. Bryan is married to high school sweetheart Rebecca. They have three adult children – Will, Joy and Genny - and four grandchildren living in Austin. He serves on Strategic Planning and Corporate Membership.
J. Fotini Margos
J. Fotini Margos is a fifth-generation Austinite. Her Dad grew up in the Deep Eddy area of Austin, where he and Fotini’s mother also raised their three girls. Fotini majored in Studio Art at UT and then attended SMU Paralegal School in Dallas, where she worked for the law firm of Gardere & Wynne as a real estate paralegal for 17 years. Fotini worked 18 years as a Legal Operations Advisor and contract negotiator in the Legal Department at Dell Technologies. In 1995, she was appointed by the State Bar of Texas, Board of Legal Specialization, to a Commission working with attorneys and other paralegals to develop the Real Estate specialty exam for paralegals in Texas. Fotini attended Mathews Elementary, O. Henry Jr. High and the old Austin High. She also worked after school as a page at Howson Branch Library. She is a traditionally published author, who writes suspense and commercial general fiction. Her first novel was published by a division of Harper Collins, and she has just finished her next novel, writing under the pen name J. F. Margos.
Mark was raised in Western Illinois and earned a BA in Communications from the University of Iowa in 1991. He spent two decades on the West Coast producing television commercials, before changing direction in 2013 to help his wife (and hometown sweetheart), Heather, build her family office practice. In 2017, wisdom prevailed, and they relocated to the Capital of Texas where they established a qualified opportunity zone real estate investment practice focusing on residential developments.
With a family tree bearing Tennessee steam train drivers; Midwest farmers and doctors; an ancestor buried at Andersonville; and the commander of a medical company with Patton’s Third Army, Mark is an amateur historian who reads obsessively (if slowly) on a broad range of historical topics. Other interests include fitness, cooking, and the outdoors.
Mark is an active member of Tarrytown United Methodist Church and a lifetime member and Past Master of Santa Monica-Palisades Masonic Lodge in Santa Monica, CA. He lives in the Parker Lane neighborhood of Austin with Heather, two cats and his Labrador, Audrey.
Linda grew up in San Antonio and moved to Austin in 1992. She is a small-business owner, an energetic volunteer, and an avid standup paddleboarder. In 2009, she became one of the first Lake Leaders in Keep Austin Beautiful’s Clean Lady Bird Lake program. Linda was recognized as one of the Austin Ballet Guild’s Women on Their Toes 2013 honorees for her work with lake cleanups. Keep Austin Beautiful awarded her the 2015 Community Involvement Award and soon after invited her to sit on their board. She served for six years – including in a leadership role as Board President for two years. She invited Lee Cooke to breakfast to chat about his role in forming Keep Austin Beautiful and he invited her to help plan and execute the Spotlight on the Castle event. During the pandemic, she helped spearhead the virtual series “History Mysteries”. For her work on these programs, Linda was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for AHCA in 2020-2021. She has two sons - Zikolos, who lives in Osaka, Japan and Griffen, who attends Austin High School. Linda is a leader in the standup paddleboarding (SUP) community and is a champion racer - competing across the United States. When Linda isn’t volunteering or on the water, she can be found exploring Austin at many of the fun events around town.
Jenniann Woody McKnight
Jenniann has been serving as Event Coordinator and Bookkeeper for the past 12 years for her family owned businesses, The Old Pecan Street Café, The Ranch, Shakespeare’s Pub and The Blind Pig. She graduated with honors from the Education School at The University of Texas at Austin with a minor in Dance and American Sign Language. There she was active at The Texas School for the Deaf, worked at several elementary schools in the Austin area, and camp counselor at Camp Ozark. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Pi Lambda,Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and The Texas Pom Squad. She was a professional dancer growing up for 10 years. She taught dance at dance studios, high schools and dance conventions throughout Texas earning numerous awards and is a member of The Texas Association Teachers of Dancing, (TATD). Also she is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Texas Exes, Texas Longhorn Foundation, Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni and Austin History Center. She is a volunteer in the Mobile Loaves & Fishes program at her church, Saint John Neumann. She is also on the Board of the Rise School of Austin. Jenniann and her husband, Matt McKnight, are proud parents of three beautiful girls. She serves on Eberly and Marketing, PR and Social Media Committees.
Sue was the long time Managing Director (40 years) of the Headliners Club in Downtown Austin. She left Headliners in 2021 and now works on numerous projects relating to nutrition and business.
She was also the Managing Director of the Headliners Foundation whose mission is to promote excellence in journalism.
Sue did not grow up in Texas but is the product of Lexington, MA where the Revolutionary War began in 1775. Growing up on the East Coast presented numerous opportunities to study and experience history.
Sue received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from St. Edward's University (Distinguished Alumni).
She has served on numerous boards including: United Way, The Austin Project, Festival Institute at Round Top, Lance Armstrong Foundation, American Institute for Learning, Center for Public Policy and Political Studies, UT School of Human Ecology and the Austin Council on Foreign Affairs.
Sue counts Sue McBee as one of her most important mentors and remembers many conversations about the early days of the Austin History Center.
Steve Mobley is investor, founder, and manager of several businesses, all within the broad category of industrial services, as well as a consultant in the fields of environmental policy and business litigation. He a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he served on the Board of Deacons and the church’s Finance Committee. Steve also served on the Board of Trustees of Stephen F. Austin College.
Dr. Rosemary Morrow
Rosemary is a sixth generation Texan born in Cuero, DeWitt County. She is a long-time social studies educator who taught at Porter Junior High and Austin High in Austin ISD before serving as Austin ISD Social Studies Supervisor. She worked at the Texas Education Agency as Social Studies Director before teaching in the UTeach-Liberal Arts Program at The University of Texas at Austin. She currently is a social studies consultant. Rosemary holds bachelor and doctorate degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and a master degree from Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University. She serves on the Travis County Historical Commission and on the board of Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms.
Amy Wong Mok
Amy Wong Mok is the Founder & CEO of the Asian American Cultural Center. Born in Hong Kong, Amy came to the United States in 1975. She is a psychotherapist by formal education and has worked at the South Cove Community Health Center in Boston Chinatown before moving to Austin, Texas in 1983 with her husband, Dr. Aloysius K. Mok who is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin.
Amy has been deeply involved in community service both locally and nationally. She has served on numerous boards and commissions and championed social causes in regard to education, cultural diversity and women’s health issues.
Amy currently serves on Austin Arts Commission, the Board of the Austin PBS and the Board of the ADL. She is a member of AARO (Austin Area Research Organization). Because of her work in promoting cultural understanding, her love for diversity, her passion for social justice and her active efforts to facilitate positive social changes, Amy has been honored with her being selected as one of the American Trustees
Active in AHCA since 2015, Native Austinite Ruthann actively works to identify important Austinites still living and capture their stories to add to the Austin History Center archives. She grew up in South Austin; in a home with surrounding grounds that included horse pastures that later became part of Interstate Highway 35. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Interior Design and married fellow UT student Roy Rushing. After working in design, Ruthann became a stay at home mom. Fascinated with history and following family tradition, she began community philanthropic activity as a volunteer and led the revitalization of AHCA's Oral History program and took it to new heights before joining the Executive Committee.
Karen Sonleitner spent more than 4 decades of her working life in high profile positions of public trust in Austin.
Her dad’s job with Shell took their family from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Cleveland, Westport CT — then to Houston. She moved to Austin in 1973 to attend the University of Texas. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism and graduated with honors in 1977. Karen became an award-winning broadcast journalist with KVUE-TV, covering city, county and state government for 18 years.
Karen left broadcasting in 1994 to run for public office, becoming part of the first Travis County Commissioners Court with women in the majority.
During her 3 terms as Precinct Two Commissioner, she was a tireless advocate for the creation of four Metropolitan Parks and for efforts to complete the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. She co-sponsored the proposal that merged Austin Emergency Medical Services System into Austin/Travis County EMS. Karen served 12 years on the Downtown Austin Alliance Board of Directors and CAMPO, the regional board for transportation planning. After leaving the Court, she spent 10 years as a Senior Planner in the Travis County Auditor’s Office.
She is retired from full-time work, but continues to volunteer on the Travis County Leadership Advisory Board for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and with St. David’s Episcopal Church’s Café Divine. She's a Lifetime Member of the UT Ex-Students’ Association. Karen has lived in the Crestview neighborhood in Central Austin since 1982. She remains uninterested in any and all offers to sell her mid-century home.
Barbara Spears-Corbett is native Austinite and graduate of L. C. Anderson High School (1970) and University of Texas (1974). She built a career in the service of education in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system. After retiring, Barbara returned to Austin and joined the campaign to stop the planned demolition of the original L.C. Anderson High School in east Austin. Currently, she works with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Douglas Club of Austin, Original L. C. Anderson Alumni Association, and several committees with the Austin Independent School District.
A native Austinite, Chad grew up in Austin during the 1970s. His earliest childhood recollections are playing at Pease Park, swimming at Deep Eddy, and being scared to death (though oddly intrigued) by the Littlefield fountain. Chad attended Mathews Elementary, Pleasant Hill Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Baker 6th Grade Center, and Lamar Junior High. His family moved to California in 1981 where he attended Fairfield High. He completed his first two years of college at Napa Valley College and then transferred to San Diego State University where he completed his baccalaureate degree in English. In 1992, Chad returned to Austin with his wife, Giselle, and moved into his family’s house in West Austin. The passage of SOS rekindled his curiosity and passion for Austin local politics. As a result, he became active in local politics in 1993 helping environmental candidates get elected to the Austin City Council. In the fall of 1993, Chad enrolled in graduate school at Southwest Texas State University. He completed his M.A. in English in 1996. While at SWT, Chad served as president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor’s society. Soon after graduate school, he began an 18-year career at IBM in 1999. During his time at IBM, he continued to stay active in local political endeavors, serving as an officer for West Austin Democrats. He also served on numerous city commissions, as well as an AISD Facilities Master Plan Task Force. Currently, he is serves as previous Chair on the Library Commission. In all commission assignments, Chad has served as an officer. He was also a board member of Channel Austin, the non-profit awarded to manage and operate Austin’s public access channels. Chad and Giselle have two children: Savannah and Conor. He is a member of the Waterloo Press and Facilities Expansion Committees.
Geoff spent his first 10 professional years in Austin working in the newsroom of KVUE-TV, where he gained an appreciation for the city, its people, and its history. Since 1991, Geoff has served as a communications specialist in state government - first with the Texas General Land Office, then with the Department of Family and Protective Services and now with the Health and Human Services Commission. Geoff has served on the AHCA board since 2012. He and his wife Veray have been married since 1981 and have three grown children
Non-Voting Board Members
Danielle McGhee, Division Manager, Austin History Center
Bob Ward, Chair, Travis County Historical Commission, representing Travis County Historical Commission
A Marine Vietnam veteran, Bob has been a been a real estate appraiser for more than 40 years, working extensively with affordable housing organizations around Austin. He currently serves as Chair of the Travis County Historical Commission, an Archeology Steward with the Texas Historical Commission, a member of the Antiquities Advisory Board with the Texas Historical Commission and on the board of Preservation Austin. He is also involved with the Save Austin’s Cemeteries organization and the Travis County Archeological Society. Bob holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Archeology from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in Geography from the University of Texas.
Non-Board Member Committee Chairs
Jeffrey Dochen, TBA
Jeffrey Dochen has been a top real estate broker in Austin for more than 40 years. With a rich family history in Central Texas, he attended Pease and Eanes Elementary schools, O’Henry Middle School and Westlake High. After graduating from Texas State University, he worked in banking before turning his talents to real estate investment and development. A founder of Sky Realty, Jeffrey now helps people buy and sell their homes through his company, Shelton Properties, started by his parents Joyce and Emmett Shelton in 1962. Jeffrey’s grandfather, Sam Dochen, immigrated to Austin from the Ukraine in 1908 and helped found the city’s first synagogue. Great grandfather Thomas Jefferson Johnson settled in Driftwood around 1860 and founded the Johnson Institute. Great grandfather Shelton moved to Texas in 1880. Father Emmett Shelton was a local lawyer and historian and the original developer of West Lake Hills, Texas. Jeffrey is married to Yasmine Serna Mesa. They have two children, Kerrie and Daniel Dochen.
Ron Mullen, Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
Ron Mullen has been in the financial services business since 1964. Coming to Austin in 1966, he founded and built a branch of the Principal Financial Group, a worldwide leader in insurance and investments today. He retired from Principal in 1998 and has been an Independent Wealth manager ever since. A Texan, he formerly served as a San Antonio police officer and his alma mater is Texas State University. After establishing his business firmly in the Capital City and serving in many national leadership roles in his profession, Ron expanded into a distinguished record of local community service. He was elected to the Austin City Council from 1977 to 1985, serving as mayor from 1983 to 1985. He led Austin’s efforts to create a 911 system, Keep Austin Beautiful and was a leader in transportation enhancement and economic diversification, among many of his strategic visions for Austin. From President of Rotary of Austin to a major leader in various roles in Austin Baptist Church, he was also Chair of the Greater Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council with his eye always on the big picture to make the community’s quality of life better for all. Widowed in 2019 after 60 years of marriage to his beloved Carole, he lives in Austin near the families of his two daughters Lacy and Misty along with their husbands Jim and Drew, five grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He is serving AHCA from the Past Mayor’s Advisory Council.
Frances Thompson, Eberly Committee Chair
Sarah Toombs, Volunteer Task Force Chair