Special Olympics Texas is governed by a Board of Directors, which consists of 23 out of 28 volunteer positions. Among these positions are two athlete positions. 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 two 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 Committee for review. Final nominees are presented to the entire Board of Directors for selection.
Hector Amaya is currently the Vice President of Field Operations, Coca-Cola Refreshments. Houston Market Unit. In this role since 2008, Amaya has led the execution and implementation of logistics, delivery, merchandising, and warehousing for Coca-Cola in the greater Houston area involving 9 Distribution Centers with 700+ employees. Hector has extensive experience in manufacturing, field and customer operations throughout his 30 year career. He also served as an Army officer for 8 years throughout the world commanding units in the US and South Korea. Hector earned a B.A. from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. He received his Master’s degree from Brescia University and has a linguist certification having graduated with honors from the Army’s defense language institute in Monterey, California. Board member since 2012
Chad Tywater is a Unit Director for the H-E-B Grocery Company. He was named to the Special Olympics Texas Board of Directors in 2015. Tywater has been employed with H-E-B for over 18 years and 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 rappelled in multiple cities since 2011. Board member since 2015
Steve Griffith, is a Houston area native and a 35-year law enforcement veteran. He came to the City of Sugar Land as the Chief of Police in August of 2005. Steve was promoted in 2014 to 1st Assistant City Manager for the City of Sugar Land. He oversees Police, Fire, Public Safety Communications, and Airport. Griffith has been actively involved in with Special Olympics Texas for over 24 years. He is the Former Area 4 Chair, as 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 served on the State Board of Directors for 10 years, including serving as the Chairman of the Board for two years. He and his wife, Wendy, have two sons. Adam has completed his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Texas State University. Tim has obtained his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and is a police officer in Kyle, Texas. Board member since 2016
Curtis Scheffe has been employed at Walmart for 21 years. Scheffe roles have included Human Resources, Learning and Development, Senior Buyer, Operations and International Expertise. Scheffe is a self-starter with diverse professional background always looking for challenges to grow oneself. He is an accomplished executive credited with the birth of the Supercenter format in Canada. Curtis is an active supporter and spokesman for High School Education, CMN, Special Olympics, Diversity and Inclusion and Valuing Cross Cultural Learning. Board member since 2012
Rick McCarty has been an active volunteer for Special Olympics Texas for 40 years. He is currently serving a fourth term on the Board of Directors in the program position and as parliamentarian. He has previously served as Board Chair and as an athletics/aquatics official for countless state meets. McCarty has attended six World Games, serving as a coach, volunteer or official. McCarty presently serves on various committees (sports, professional development, public relations) of the United States Leadership Council. He facilitates the Board Orientation sessions at the annual United States Business Meeting. In addition to his passion for Special Olympics, he devoted his career to Special Education. After serving for 10 years as Director of Special Education at Region 19 Education Service Center, he ended his career as the Director of Special Education for Anthony I.S.D. He retired after 36 years in the profession. McCarty served in the United States Navy for ten years, during which time he earned Vietnam Service Medals, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medals and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. He has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree 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. Board member since 2013
Kathy Thompson has served on the SOTX Board of Directors since 2012. She is a graduate of Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg and she completed a two-year computer and job training program at Houston Community College. Thompson has worked as a stocker at Weiner’s Stores, as a maintenance clerk at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and currently works as a teacher assistant at Faith Kids Pre-school at Faith United Methodist Church. She volunteers with the South Montgomery County Library and takes continuing education ceramics classes at Lone Star College. Thompson competes in Bocce, Bowling and Cycling and is an athlete coach in Bowling. Board member since 2012
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
Amanda Shaw-Knight is the West Texas/Panhandle service representative for the United States Tennis Association. She also serves as the Lubbock World Team Tennis League Director and is the Lubbock USTA Junior Team Tennis Commissioner. Shaw-Knight also has extensive coaching experience with Special Olympics Texas, serving as Tennis Competition Director in Lubbock and as an instructor at various SOTX tennis camps. She is a graduate of Indiana University, where she majored in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Sports Marketing and Management. Board member since 2014
Frank Fuccello is the Austin Distribution Center Manager for Coca-Cola. He has worked for Coca-Cola for 24 years, serving as sales manager, district sales manager, distribution manager and distribution supervisor. Before joining Coca-Cola, he was self-employed for 13 years. Fuccello is involved with the Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Central Texas Grocery and Convenience Store Association and has participated in outreach initiatives with the University of Texas, First Tee, the Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, the Chuy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and the Dell Children’s Hospital. Board member since 2014
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
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
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
Jeanette 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
Kristi Hudson is the Chief Financial Officer and Firm Administrator for Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP., the largest law firm in Tarrant County. She has been involved with Special Olympics Texas since 2010 and was named to the Special Olympics Texas board in 2015. She became a member of the SOTX President’s Advisory Committee after holding a Volunteer Coordinator position for the Greater Fort Worth area since 2011. She will continue her duties as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Fort Worth area while serving on the Board of Directors. Board member since 2015
Shon Bjornberg of Flower Mound is Director of Business Development for Essilor of America. He was named to the Special Olympics Texas Board of Directors in 2015. Bjornberg has nearly 20 years of expertise in sales and marketing, most recently as the director of business development for Essilor of America in the Independent Distribution Division. He started with Essilor in 2009 and was appointed to the position of director in May of 2013. Prior to working in this capacity, Bjornberg was a National Account Manager with a $30 million territory and won the prestigious “President’s Club” award for top sales performance two years in a row. Prior to working with Essilor, the California State University, Northridge graduate served as a director of sales and marketing for one of the leading optical laboratories in the U.S. before owning and operating Pinnacle Sales Solutions, a sales training and business management firm. Board member since 2015
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
Robert Bradshaw was appointed to the Special Olympics Texas President’s Advisory Council in 2015. Bradshaw is originally from Chicago attended Westminster College in Fulton, MO. He and his wife Vicki, of 30 years, have four children: Nicole, Joey, Wylie and Sam. Currently, he is a Site Manager for INEOS Olefins & Polymers in La Porte as well as a volunteer coach for the Clear Creek ISD Challengers where he coaches volleyball, basketball, swimming, and track. Bradshaw also coaches the League City Challengers, which is a division of Little League Baseball for special needs children. Additionally, he is Chairman of the Finance Committee for Clear Lake United Methodist Church. As a Special Olympics coach for the past ten years, he believes Special Olympics can have this same positive influence on boys/girls, men and women who may otherwise not have the opportunity to play in organized sports. Board member since 2016
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
Dale Hosack was appointed to the Special Olympics Texas President’s Advisory Council in 2015. Hosack, who holds a degree in Accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has spent his entire career working in manufacturing and driving lean accounting organizations. He was named the Chief Financial Officer for Western Container Corporation of Sugar Land, becoming only the second CFO in the company’s 30-year history. Western Container is the second largest producer of plastic bottles for the Coca-Cola Bottling System in the world. Hosack and his wife of 35 years enjoy going to sporting events, music concerts and traveling the world. Recently, his daughter and her husband welcomed a daughter in January 2015. Board member since 2016