Ric Jimenez, Board Chair
Ric is a seasoned, results-driven professional with experience as an Operational Excellence Leader & Global Program Manager driving cross-functional change through Lean Six Sigma programs of significant size, scope & complexity. Currently he works with Bitdefender as the Director of Operational Excellence and prior to this, he led business and operations management and operational excellence for Rackspace for over 10 years. He proudly serves on the board of First Tee and Restore Education, for which he is leading the strategic planning process.
Dawn Green, PE, Board Vice Chair
Dawn Green is currently the Vice President of Business Development for Civil Engineering Consultants, Inc. (CEC). In this role, she helps leverage the opportunities and growth for CEC in the San Antonio and throughout Texas. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Ms. Green’s 30 years of experience includes project management and design of a wide variety of engineering assignments, primarily focusing on large municipal projects involving paving, drainage, water and wastewater pipeline design. Ms. Green also serves on the Board of Directors for CEC. Ms. Green is active in the following professional organizations: American Council of Engineering Companies – San Antonio (ACEC-SA), American Public Works Association (APWA), Greater San Antonio Chamber Transportation Committee, and Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE). Ms. Green is a graduate of Leadership San Antonio Class 35, serves on the Board of Directors for Restore Education as the Vice President, and is active in several community efforts.
Dawn Patrice Benitez, Ph.D., Secretary
Dr. Patti Benitez has a background in leadership. She retired from the utility industry with over 30 years of leadership in finance, human resources, and information technology. She has a Ph.D. in leadership studies and is an adjunct professor for the University of Incarnate Word. Dr. Benitez is passionate about helping others achieve life and career goals and serves as the Secretary on the Board of Restore Education. Restore Education provides a caring service to achieve this, especially to underserved populations.
Mahlon Long, CPA, Treasurer
Mahlon Long is a Certified Public Accountant with over 12 years of accounting experience. He started his career working in Fixed Assets for Clear Channel Outdoor before joining iHeartMedia in their Broadcast Accounting group. In 2013, Mahlon joined Valero Energy Corporation where he worked in Capital Assets for several years before moving to his current position in Financial Planning & Analysis. Mahlon Long holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Trinity University and M.S. in Accountancy from UTSA. He is a lover of travel and has spent time hiking the Himalayas of Nepal, trekking along the banks of Lake Baikal in Russia, and spending Thanksgivings in Big Bend, Texas. A longtime San Antonio native, Mahlon continuously looks for ways to give back to the city and community he loves.
Hannah Santiago, AICP
Hannah Santiago is a strategic and analytical transit planner with experience with multi-million dollar long-range, corridor, land-use and capital planning projects in both public and private sector environments, managing internal staff as well as private contractors and subcontractors. Joining Cambridge Systematics, Inc, in March of 2018, she focuses on strategic transportation planning for public sector clients facilitating multi-million dollar long-range, short-term, and strategic planning projects. She attended Trinity University where she received her undergraduate degree in Urban Studies. Hannah is an American Institute of Certified Planner (AICP) and trained in project management. Hannah is currently serving as the immediate past president for WTS-San Antonio Region and recently completed the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Emerging Leaders Program.
Lydia has 10 years of experience in the banking industry. She earned her Associates degree from San Antonio College and her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Texas A&M University San Antonio. She is currently working towards completing her master’s degree in Accounting. Lydia is a graduate of Restore Education’s college prep program and proudly serves on the board.
Tiffany Cox Hernandez, PhD, JD
Tiffany Cox Hernandez currently serves as the Dean for Student Success at San Antonio College, overseeing recruiting and enrollment, advising, and veterans services. She started her service at San Antonio College in 2009 as a member of the Criminal Justice faculty and has held several faculty leadership positions at the college, including Department Chairperson of the Public Policy and Service academic department and Faculty Senate President. Prior to working at San Antonio College, Dr. Cox Hernandez served as a prosecuting attorney in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona. She is also a proud veteran, having served on active duty and as a reservist in the United States Air Force. Dr. Cox Hernandez holds Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Texas State University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language from the University of Arizona. She and her husband have four children and one grandchild.
Sylvia P. Martinez is a Product Scheduler for Valero Energy Corporation, where she has been employed for 14 years. Currently as product scheduler, she schedules via different modes of transportation ethanol and biodiesel to various regions in the United States. Her role is challenging every day as no two days look alike in product schedule. She builds relationship inside and outside of Valero to make sure products flow smoothly into the market place. Formerly a member of United States Air Force Reserves (Retired-20 years) – Master Sergeant – Law Office Superintendent Paralegal in charge of managing legal office for the 433D Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lackland. Managed various aspects of on-going prosecutions, provided legal support to over 5,000 plus members of the Wing. Deployed to multiple locations in support of various Operations and Contingencies. Currently a student at the University of Texas San Antonio – Executive Master in Business Administration (May 2020) – Developing leadership skills and business acumen to fulfill executive role in the future.
Previously earned – Bachelor of Art – Political Science (1997) from University of Texas at San Antonio and her Associate in Applied Science – in Legal Assisting from San Antonio College (1993)
Her hobbies include hiking, running, traveling and anything that keeps her moving and active. She loves volunteering for causes that make people’s lives better by empowering them with life skills, knowledge and education awareness. She has a beautiful daughter and granddaughter.
Chris Nwabueze, J.D.
Chris is an attorney with Chasnoff Mungia Valkenaar Pepping & Stribling, LLP (Chasnoff|Stribling), a commercial litigation boutique law firm in San Antonio, Texas. His practice focuses on insurance coverage litigation and advice. Chris advises and represents domestic and foreign insurers in complex coverage matters arising out of investment advisor and fund management liability, directors and officers liability, management liability, professional liability, cyber liability, commercial general liability, and excess insurance policies. Chris was selected by the Professional Liability Underwriting Society for its 2020 Cohort of the Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Program (“LAMP”). While in law school, Chris was named the Harold Sullivan Scholar by the Illinois Judges Association for academic achievement. He was an Editor on the Loyola University Chicago Consumer Law Journal and was a contributing author of Commercial and Professional Liability Insurance (Illinois) 2012 edition. Chris graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics.
Darcie Schipull grew up in Austin, Texas. Graduated from Crockett High School in 1988; and then graduated from Southwest Texas State University with her undergraduate degree in Political Science in 1992, and completed her Masters in Applied Geography while she was working for the Texas Department of Transportation. She has been with TxDOT for 28+ years. She married Randy Stokes in 2005 and was an instant bonus Mom to Randi Eileen who is now at Southwestern University study early childhood development. Since moving to San Antonio in 2009, she has been involved with the San Antonio Chapter of WTS ( Women’s Transportation Seminar), Concordia Lutheran Church, and a neighborhood Bunco group. In 2011, Darcie and Randy Stokes bought the Barn Door Restaurant and Meat Market, which has been serving steaks in San Antonio since 1953. This venture is very much Randy’s baby but she enjoys the opportunities that “owning a restaurant” has given them to meet more people and expand their ability to help others. She is currently contemplating retirement and new opportunities. She is looking forward to working with Restore Education as a board member to assist others in achieving their dreams through educational opportunities.
Chris Smiley, J.D.
Chris is an Account Executive with Converge Technology Solutions Corporation.
Alexandra Wood, MBA
Alex is a Vice President and Commercial Lender with Broadway Bank.