Center for Public Policy Priorities
Board of Directors
CPPP's important work is made possible by the leadership of our board of directors, who volunteer their time to make Texas the best state for hard-working people and their families. We are thrilled to introduce our new slate of officers and our four newest members.
2016-17 Board of Directors

Chair
- David Chappell

Chair-Elect - Veletta Forsythe Lill
Treasurer - Flora Brewer
Secretary - David Farabee

Members
Hope Andrade
James Aldrete
John-Michael Vincent Cortez
Ken Janda
Jim Keffer

Ronald C. Lewis
Patsy Woods Martin

Regina Montoya
Steve Murdock, Ph.D.
Atul Varadhachary, M.D., Ph.D.


Officers
David Chappell, Board Chair

David Chappell is an attorney with over 40 years of active law practice and a civic leader in Fort Worth. David has been recognized as a litigator as a Texas “Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly for 6 years. He was chosen by his peers to be Chairman of the Board of the State Bar of Texas and its Bar Foundation, and served in the America Bar House of Delegates for 11 years. David was twice elected to the Fort Worth City Council and chaired the Defense Conversion Economic Planning Study of the City and acted as a Vice Chairman of its implementation in the early 90s. David was also chair of the Small Business Administration Advisory Council during the Clinton Administration.
Veletta Forsythe Lill, Chair-Elect

Veletta Forsythe Lill has been an agent for change in Dallas over the past three decades. The former member of the Dallas City Council (1997-2005) and long-time community advocate has played a role in the development of the physical city and the policy that guides it. She holds a Master’s Degree in Community Health Education from the University of Illinois and prior to being elected to public office, she served three terms on the city’s Human Services Commission. She has also served on numerous private nonprofit boards in Dallas, including Parkland Foundation, The Family Place, and Crossroads Community Services.
Flora Brewer, Treasurer

Flora Brewer of Fort Worth is the president of the Paulos Foundation and president of Paulos Properties, L.L.C. She also serves on the Permanent Supported Housing Task Force of the City of Fort Worth. Flora has a background in the business and nonprofit sectors where she has supported the arts, education, health, and social services. Her passion for policy is reflected in her professional experiences, which have included being a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Homelessness, serving as Chief Operating Officer for Helping Restore Ability, and much more.
David Farabee, Secretary

David Farabee is vice president and partner of Boley-Featherston Insurance and a former member of the Texas House of Representatives.  David is also a former president and active member in the local chapters of both the Texoma Association of Health Underwriters and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. David's mother, Helen, was the first Executive Director of CPPP and an advocate for improving mental health. His father, Ray, was a founding board member of CPPP as well as a distinguished state senator and public servant. David lives in Wichita Falls.
Members
James Aldrete

James Aldrete is the owner of Message Audience Presentation, Inc., a political communication company in Austin. MAP’s creative and strategic work has been recognized in Campaigns & Elections Magazine, as well as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Slate Magazine, among other media outlets. MAP served as part of the Obama Media Team in 2008 and 2012 and has consulted for organizations including Planned Parenthood, Service Employees International Union and the Texas State Teachers Association.
John-Michael Vincent Cortez

John-Michael Vincent Cortez is the City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s Chief of Staff.  He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s of Science in Community and Regional Planning Program of UT’s School of Architecture. Following stints in corporate consulting and owning a small business, John-Michael decided to make his vocation his profession and has since dedicated his career to community engagement and development. That led him to Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority where he served as he served as Community Involvement Manager, before transitioning to the Mayor’s office.
Ken Janda

Ken Janda is President and CEO of Community Health Choice, Inc., a Houston-based managed care organization that focuses on low-income families. Ken has over 30 years of experience in the managed care industry including serving as Houston Market President for Humana and holding leadership positions with Aetna and Prudential Healthcare. A proud native of Bellville, Texas, Ken graduated from Rice University with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, economics, and managerial studies. He holds a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. Ken is a member of several Boards of Directors including Christ Clinic, Katy, and the Katy ISD Educational Foundation. He also serves on the Greater Houston Partnership’s Health Care Advisory Committee and the Texas Medical Center’s Health Policy Institute’s Executive Committee.
Jim Keffer

Jim Keffer is finishing a distinguished tenure as Texas State Representative from Eastland. Keffer is a conservative family man, small business owner and lifelong Texas Republican Party leader. As president of EBAA Iron Sales, Inc., Jim has been one of the largest employers in his community. Keffer has served as Chairman of the Texas House Committee on Natural Resources and has served on the Energy Resources Committee, Redistricting Committee and Texas House Republican Caucus. Keffer was previously chairman of House Ways and Means and Economic Development committees. He has been named one of the best members of the legislature by Texas Monthly, Capitol Inside, and Gallery Watch. Jim has served as Deacon and Sunday School Teacher in the first Baptist Church of Eastland, Past President of the Eastland Little League and is active with his local Chamber of Commerce. He graduated from Texas Tech University.
Ronald C. Lewis

Ronald C. Lewis is a Houston-based trial lawyer. He has extensive experience handling cases for businesses and individuals in the energy, real estate, construction, financial and manufacturing industries. Ron handles complex commercial cases involving contract, fraud, personal injury, environmental and other claims. A native of Texas, Ron graduated from Princeton University, where he majored in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Upon graduating from Harvard Law School with honors in 1983, he joined Baker Botts L.L.P., where he became a partner in 1991. He co-founded Marshall & Lewis LLP in 2006 and has been involved with numerous civic and professional organizations.
Patsy Woods Martin

Patsy Woods Martin is the Executive Director of Annie’s List, an organization devoted to electing Democratic women in Texas. She was formerly Executive Director of I Live Here, I Give Here and founder of the Amplify Austin online giving campaign in Austin. Patsy has held positions with Texas Tech University and the United Way Capital Area, and she has been involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Junior League of Austin, and Leadership Austin. Earlier in her career, Martin was trained and worked as a chemist. Patsy lives in Austin.
Regina Montoya

Regina Montoya is a nationally recognized, Harvard-trained attorney living in Dallas. A leader in the nonprofit community, Regina is currently the chairwoman of the Dallas Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty and a member of the Board of the DFW International Airport. She served in the White House as an Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs under President Clinton. In 1998, she was nominated by the President to serve as a U.S. Representative to the 53rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.  Most recently, Regina served for five years as the Senior Vice President, External Relations and General Counsel at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.
Steve Murdock, Ph.D.

Steve Murdock, Ph.D., is the founding Director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, and he holds the Allyn and Gladys Cline Chair in Sociology at Rice University.  He has had a long and distinguished career in higher education, having held faculty positions at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.  From 2007 to 2009, Steve served as Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, a role that followed an earlier appointment as State Demographer of Texas. He is an internationally recognized scholar and author on the implications of current and future demographic and socioeconomic change.
Atul Varadhachary, M.D., Ph.D.

Atul Varadhachary, M.D., Ph.D. is Managing Partner at Fannin Innovation Studio in Houston. There, Varadhachary works with scientists to set commercial milestones alongside the research milestones. Atul has served as an adjunct professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, the Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, and at the University of Texas School of Public Health. He holds a Ph.D. in Physiology and a postdoctoral fellowship in Biological Chemistry, both from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
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