Special Olympics Texas is governed by a Board of Directors, which consists of 25 out of 39 volunteer positions. Among these positions are two athlete positions, and one is currently filled. Special Olympics Texas was one of the first chapters in the nation to implement athlete participation on its governing Board by amending its bylaws in 1995 to allow for three athlete positions.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the position the Director is filling, a Board member shall have demonstrated leadership qualities through their public relations, public awareness, fund raising and/or program accomplishments on behalf of Special Olympics Texas. Applications for membership are submitted to the Board Management/Governance Committee for review. Final nominees are presented to the entire Board of Directors for selection.
Steve Griffith is a Houston area native and a 43-year law enforcement veteran. He recently retired from the City of Sugar Land. He came to Sugar Land as the Chief of Police in August of 2005. Steve was promoted to Asst. City Manager in 2009 and in 2014 to 1st Assistant City Manager. He oversaw Police, Fire, Public Safety Dispatch, and Airport. Griffith has been actively involved with Special Olympics Texas for over 25 years. He is the Former Area 4 Torch Run Chair, at which he served six years. Revenue for Area 4 (Houston) surpassed $100,000 four times. Griffith served as State Director for the Torch Run for 2 years. During his tenure as State Director, he worked to integrate the State Prison System in to the Torch Run. While serving as State Director, the revenue generated by the Texas Torch Runners was $2 million annually. The Texas Torch Run received national awards for revenue growth and totals. Griffith has served on the State Board of Directors for 15 years, including serving as the Chairman of the Board previously for two years. He and his wife, Wendy, have two sons. Adam has completed his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Texas State University and works in Austin, Texas. Tim has obtained his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and is a Police Sergeant in Kyle, Texas.
Susanne Brady-Lusk is the Vice President and General Manager of the Southeast Texas Market Unit for Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages a division of Arca Continental based in Houston, Texas. Susanne has 10 years of experience in the Coca-Cola system as Key Accounts Manager and Area Sales Manager and Houston MU Director of Small Stores and most recently the Vice President and General Manager for the West Texas Market Unit. Also, Susanne has 17 years of experience in the grocery and convenience retail business in various roles including Store Director and District Director. Susanne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Management from St Andrews Presbyterian College and an MBA from Wingate University, both in North Carolina.
Away from work, Susanne is involved with Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics. She also enjoys spending time with her family and running half marathons. Susanne and her wife Rhonda, live in Houston with their two dogs, Bentley and Beamer.
Dale Hosack joined Western Container Corporation of Sugar Land, Texas as Chief Financial Office in 2003 becoming only the second CFO in the history of the company. WCC was founded in 1981 to supply plastic (PET) bottles to the Coca-Cola Bottling system. They currently provide 6.5 billion packages to the Coke system annually from 4 locations across the western United States. Their annual sales are in the $325 million range and we currently employ 325 members across our 4 plants and corporate office. Dale has worked in Finance and Accounting his entire career always driving lean processes and being a business partner providing decision making information. Dale has been involved with a variety of business but always making something – from nuclear power plants to folding cartons to dental implants to automotive parts to picture frames to computer workstations – and now Coke bottles.
Dale earned a BS degree in Accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and later earned his Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from Purdue University in 2010. He married my wife Jo in 1984 and their daughter Brittany lives in Pearland with her husband Derek and two children. Brittany graduated from Arizona State University with a dance education degree and then joined Teach for America. She taught in the inner city in Kansas City for two years then came to Houston teaching at HISD, Yes Prep and the Fort Bend ISD. Derek is a Lieutenant for the Pearland Police Department. He and his wife live in the Heights and enjoy traveling the world and spend our free time going to concerts and sporting events. If there is a Bruce Springsteen concert anywhere near you can bet they will be at it, and now with the grandkids we spend a lot of time (and all our money) with them! They were first volunteered with Special Olympics when they moved to Houston in 2013. Dale joined the President’s Advisory Council not long after that and then the Board of Directors becoming Treasurer in 2017.
"It is always rewarding to see the joy our athletes have at all Special Olympics activities. We have been fortunate in our lives and we appreciate the opportunity to give back."
Maureen McCutchen is board-certified in Estate Planning and Probate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her practice includes probate, trust, guardianship, estate planning and elder law. She is certified by the State of Texas to act as an ad-litem for minors and incapacitated persons and is often appointed by the court to act as an attorney ad-litem an as a guardian ad-litem. She is a qualified mediator and represents clients in business and real estate transactions and in civil litigation. Before joining Mills Shirley LLP in 1993, McCutchen worked for the First Court of Appeals of the State of Texas as a briefing attorney. She also has served as an adjunct professor with the South Texas College of Law in Houston. She is active in the community, serving as president-elect of the Galveston Island Human Society, past president of the Galveston Bar Association and is a member of the Rotary Club of Galveston. Board member since 2014.
Rick McCarty has been an active volunteer for Special Olympics Texas for over 45 years. This is his fifth term on the Board of Directors, previously serving in both the Program and At-Large positions. He has been the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Parliamentarian of the Board, has served as an Athletics/Aquatics official for countless local and state meets, and has attended six World Games as a coach, official, or volunteer. He has also been a member of various committees as part of the Special Olympics United States Leadership Council.
In addition to his passion for Special Olympics, he devoted his career to Special Education both as a teacher and administrator. He retired after serving for 10 years as Director of Special Education at Region 19 Education Service Center, but resumed his career as Director of Special Education at Anthony I. S. D., for two more years. He retired again, after 38 years in the profession. McCarty also served honorably in the United States Navy for ten years’ active duty and reserves. While on active duty, he earned Vietnam Service Medals, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medals, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and numerous post graduate certifications from the University of Texas at El Paso. McCarty lives in San Antonio with his wife, Linda, who has also been a key volunteer for Special Olympics Texas. Their son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren also live in San Antonio.
Robert (Bob) Bradshaw is the Site Manager for INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA Battleground Manufacturing Complex (BMC) located on Independence Parkway in La Porte and has been in the petrochemical industry for over 37 years. After graduating from Westminster College in Fulton, MO he began his career with Amoco in Tulsa, OK. He has held a variety of positions in manufacturing and support roles for Amoco, BP and now INEOS in Tulsa, St. Louis, Chicago, Texas City and Alvin. He has been the Site Manager in La Porte since 2011.
In addition to his site manager responsibilities, Bradshaw is on the Board of Directors for the East Harris County Manufacturers Association, The Texas Chemical Council, and The Economic Alliance Port Region. He is a member of Clear Lake United Methodist Church and has previously served as Finance Chairman multiple times for the church. Additionally, he is the former chair of the La Porte Plant Managers Network.
Bob currently resides in Houston and spends time with his one daughter, three sons, one daughter-in-law and one grandson. He currently coaches the Space Center Rockets, an adult team in Clear Lake, and has been a board member since 2016.
The Senior Vice President at Brandt Companies returned to SOTX’s Board of Directors in 2017. Following a one-year hiatus after serving a nine-year term on the board, Hayes is back and will serve a two-year stint in a Programs position.
From 2007-2015, Hayes served on the board following a two-year term on the President’s Advisory Council from 2005-2006. In addition, he has volunteered in numerous capacities at SOTX events in the DFW Metroplex while also devoting his time as a certified tennis coach.
In his role at Brandt, a large mechanical and electrical contracting firm based in Dallas, he oversees all North Texas Business Development efforts, the service business and other corporate functions.
Prior to his current position, Hayes was District Manager for Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., a division of Siemens that provides building controls, fire safety and security system solutions.
Hayes attended Duke University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1982. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. In 2004, Hayes attended the Southern Methodist University Leadership Program.
Pete Carey is Toyota Financial Services’ (TFS) Group Vice President of Sales, Marketing, Insurance and Product, responsible for over 800 associates in 30 field offices and 3 region offices. He oversees marketing; all finance, lease, and insurance products; and the remarketing of all Toyota Financial Services and Toyota Motor Sales off-lease and fleet vehicles. Carey reports to Mark Templin, TFS President & CEO.
Before his current role, Carey was vice president and general manager, San Francisco Region at Toyota Motor Sales, where he was responsible for sales, service and parts, marketing, customer service, market representation and distribution for dealers in the San Francisco region.
Previously, Carey served as vice president of sales at TFS, where he was responsible for maximizing acquisitions and delivering on sales objectives for TFS while working with key stakeholders including Toyota and Lexus dealers and division partners. Before that Carey was the corporate manager of commercial finance -- under his leadership, TFS delivered a $100 million year-over-year turnaround in 2011.
Carey began his career at TFS in 1993 and has since held key positions in a variety of areas within TFS and across the country. His broad experience at TFS includes dealer credit, collections, customer service center development, and field services management.
Carey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York.
Chad Tywater was named to the Special Olympics Board of Directors in 2015. Mr. Tywater is a Top Store Leader for the H-E-B Grocery Company and has been employed with H-E-B for over 22 years. He is a graduate of H-E-B’s School of Retail Leadership program, where he spent time training in every department in the store and developing his leadership skills. He is currently the Chair of the Marketplace Committee on H-E-B’s Corporate Diversity Council and is a former chair of the Austin Area Diversity Council where he’s been an active member since 1998. For the past three years, he has also been the Chair of H-E-B’s volunteer organization, the Spirit Corps. Outside of H-E-B, Tywater also serves as a Board Member for the Elgin Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (B.A. Economics 1995) and held several leadership positions in his fraternity and the Longhorn Band. He is an active volunteer and volunteers over 100 hours a year with different organizations around the Austin area, including SOTX. His favorite SOTX event is, “Over the Edge” where he’s been a multiple city rappeller since 2011.
Athlete Ian Rawn of Plano was named to the SOTX Board in 2018. Rawn is a Global Messenger and represented the United States in the 2017 Special Olympics Winter World Games in Austria as a figure skater, placing fouth in the world. He works at Venturity Financial Partners in Addison and takes continuing education classes at Collin College in McKinney. He was a volunteer fire fighter in Pennsylvania.
Ben Garcia started participating in Special Olympics at the age of 10. Now 33 years he is a Global messenger, Athlete leadership committee member, and a SOTX Presidential Advisory committee member. Because of Special Olympics Ben has been asked to join The Panel Network Action Committee and Share Holders Committee (associated with Star Care).
Ben has been awarded over 200 SOTX medals via completion, and participated in State Competition for several years.
Ben has also been asked to and Ambassador for High Point Village and the Best Buddies Texas Tech group.
Patti Ballew was appointed to the Special Olympics Texas Board of Directors in 2015. Ballew, the 2012 SOTX Athlete of the Year, has participated in nine sports (athletics, bocce, bowling, flag football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball) since getting involved in the organization 2006. Off the field, she has been an advocate for SOTX in various ways. Ballew is a Global Messenger for SOTX, which has enabled her to serve on the President’s Advisory Council, get to Washington, D.C. for Capitol Hill Day and work for TJ Maxx. Board member since 2015
J’Nette Thorne is the Accounting Supervisor for Advo Companies, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides housing and a sheltered workshop for individuals with intellectual disabilities. She was named to the Special Olympics Texas Board of Directors in 2015. Thorne is a graduate of Pettus High School and Howard Payne University, where she earned her degree in Accounting. Prior to her time at Advo Companies, Thorne was employed by Coastal Federal Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C, where she served as the Administrative Assistant to the President and Board of Directors. Currently, Thorne coaches 11 SOTX sports and is a Competition Director, Games Director, Area Training Director, while serving on the State and Local Sports Management Team. In 2013, she was appointed to the President’s Advisory Council. Outside of dedicating her time to SOTX, she is very active in the community, as she has recently started a Boys Scouts Venturing Crew for special needs individuals. Board member since 2015
Jan Sartain spent 40 years in public education as a physical education teacher, varsity coach, and an adapted special education teacher/Special Olympics coach. She is the former Lead Teacher for the Adapted Physical Education Department and the Head of Delegation for the Round Rock Independent School District Special Olympics team. During her 25 years in Round Rock ISD, the Roadrunner team grew from 25 athletes to 155 athletes, offering 9 sports, including an extensive Unified Sports program. She retired from Round Rock ISD in May 2017. In honor of her service, the RRISD Partners in Education foundation created a Leader in Education Scholarship in Jan's name for graduating Seniors pursuing a career in special education or the Allied Health field.
Sartain was a member of the Special Olympics Texas Board of Directors from 1996-2002 and again from 2005-2011, serving as Chair of the SOTX Board of Directors from 2009-2010. She is a certified coaches trainer and Unified Sports trainer. She has been volunteering with SOTx in numerous capacities for 28 years.
She is a Board Member of the Play for All Abilities Park in Round Rock, TX., and is the Competition Director in conjunction with the Round Rock Rotary Club for the annual Round Rock Rotary Track Meet benefiting area Special Olympics teams, celebrating its 21st year in 2019.
Highland Village Police Chief Doug Reim was named to the SOTX Board in 2018. Reim has served as a member of the SOTX President's Advisory Council since 2012 and is a member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). The LETR is SOTX's largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle, and the group raised more than $1.4 million in 2016 to support more than 58,300 SOTX athletes across the state. Reim is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Texas Police Chiefs Association, where he currently serves as the first Vice President of the North Texas Chiefs Association. He is also a member of the Highland Village Rotary Club.
Jackie Zigema is the Director of Special Education for Henderson ISD. After obtaining a degree from Stephen F. Austin University in 1996, Zigtema obtained a life skills teacher position with Jacksonville ISD. She taught in the life skills program for five years then moved into a diagnostician position before becoming a special education supervisor. She also obtained her master's degree in special education from UT Tyler in 1998 and is certified to work with autistic children. Board member since 2015
Tammy Hortenstine is the Gifted and Talented Coordinator and R.T.I. (Response To Intervention) Coordinator at Bronte Elementary. Her love for Special Olympics began at Angelo State University in 1994 when her Kinesiology professor asked her to assist at the Special Olympics track meet. Since then, Hortenstine has been involved with Area 16 S.O.T.X., serving in various roles such as Sports Director, Competition Director, and Trainer. She has also volunteered for Area 14, 17 and 18 and now coordinates the Area 14 Basketball Tournament held at Bronte I.S.D. Hortenstine has been a basketball gym supervisor at Chapter Games for approximately ten years. She has helped in bocce, softball, track and field, equestrian, golf, aquatics, table tennis, basketball, and bowling. In addition, Tammy is the recreation coordinator for the following camps for individuals with disabilities: Camp Agape, Camp Talon Point, and Wee Camp at Talon Point. Hortenstine has a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Special Learning and Development with an academic specialization in Kinesiology. Board member since 2013
Steve Hatchell was appointed to the Special Olympics Texas President’s Advisory Council in 2015. In January 2005, Hatchell became president of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc. (NFF), bringing with him more than 35 years of experience and a reputation as one of the top athletics administrators in the country today. A career sports administrator, he joined the NFF after serving for six years as the commissioner of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Prior to the PRCA, he served as the first commissioner of the Big 12 Conference in Dallas, an entity he helped establish in 1995. Hatchell has also served on several U.S. Olympic Committee boards and as part of the staff for three Olympic Games. He graduated from The University of Colorado with a journalism degree in 1970 and is married with two sons. Board member since 2016
Dr. Ralph Herring is a native Texan and third-generation optometrist. He was born and raised in Amarillo and came to the University of Houston to complete his undergraduate as well as Doctor of Optometry degrees. This was followed by a yearlong Residency in Family Practice Optometry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. Following one year of private practice in Lubbock, Dr. Herring returned to his alma mater to join the University of Houston faculty where he has now been for over twenty-five years.
Dr. Herring is currently a Clinical Associate Professor and serves as a clinical instructor in multiple patient services in the University Eye Institute. He has also served on many college committees and has held various administrative appointments. As Director of External Education, Dr. Herring administers the senior level clinical training program which utilizes a network of over seventy affiliated public and private clinics located locally, nationwide and overseas.
Seeking to expand his knowledge base, Dr. Herring returned to school and in 2001 he completed a Master of Healthcare Administration from the Texas Woman’s University Institute of Health Sciences. His professional memberships include the American Optometric Association and the Texas Optometric Association.
Dr. Herring continues his family’s strong commitment to volunteer service with service in his community including the Montrose Counseling Center, the Lions Club, and Special Olympics. When not volunteering, his spare time is spent in two passions: listening and attending the opera and cheering for the Houston Astros baseball team!Board member since 2015
The Chief Operating Officer of Burke joined SOTX’s Board of Directors in an At-Large position in 2017, following a two-year term on the President’s Advisory Council.
Squiers has served in his current role at Burke since 2008. Burke serves a 12-county region, providing mental health and developmental disability services to more than 10,000 people each year.
The Lufkin native is responsible for Burke’s field operations, including mental health, substance abuse, developmental disability, early childhood intervention, integrated care and veterans’ programs. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Washington and Lee University.
Squiers is very active in the community. He is a SOTX basketball coach for Burke Center Bobcats, serves as his church’s treasurer and is a former member of the Lion’s Club, Main Street Lufkin Board, American Red Cross and St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School board president.
Squires and his wife, Laura, have three daughters: Christie, Haley and Autumn. In his free time, he enjoys woodworking and being a competitive barbecue cook.
A 36-year partner of the H-E-B Grocery Company, Sam, Arciniega was elected to Special Olympics Texas’ (SOTX) Board of Directors in 2017 after serving a year on the President’s Advisory Council. The H-E-B unit director is currently serving on the board in an At-Large position.
A native of Robstown, Arciniega started working with H-E-B as a bottle boy in his hometown and has since worked his way up the ranks to his current position at the Blackhawk Blvd. location in Houston.
Over the years, Arciniega has volunteered at several SOTX competitions in the Houston area and has participated in fundraisers, including golf tournaments held in Kingwood.
Prior to his leadership roles with SOTX, Arciniega has always had a passion to serve people in his community. For the last three years, he has been an Ambassador for the Corporate Diversity Council. Arciniega also spent six years on the Houston Diversity Council.