Women in leadership may face unique challenges.  Panelists will share their personal stories of success, the barriers they had to overcome, and ideas for how to propel yourself first.  They will share advice from their own experiences and discuss how to mentor other women.

Yaziri Orrostieta (Moderator)

Marketing Director at Heritage Land Bank


  • MBA in Marketing from the University of North Texas and her BBA in Marketing from the University of Texas at Tyler.

  • Successful in leading initiatives in various marketing channels such as; direct mail, event marketing, web development, and public relations.

  • Real estate entrepreneur with over 5 years’ experience in retail banking and lending.

Barbara R. Bass, cpa

Gollop Morgan Peddy, PC &  Former Mayor of Tyler


  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Texas A&M University- Commerce

  • Mayor of Tyler from May 2008 until May 2014 when she completed the allowable terms.

  • With over 35 years of experience in public accounting, she was a member of the core group that opened the doors of Gollob Morgan Peddy in 1982.  

  • Currently works with a variety of tax clients and enjoys helping her business clients succeed as they plan and achieve their long-term goals.  

  • Extensive involvement in the Tyler community.  She has served on and chaired the boards of multiple community organizations.

Laura Cano

Executive Director of Human Resources for Tyler ISD


  • Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Kansas State University and Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Oklahoma Panhandle State University

  • Education professional with over 20 years of experience.

  • Areas of expertise include Human Resources, District Leadership, School Leadership and Supervision, K-12 Education, Federal Grant Management, Literacy, and Bilingual Education.

  • Advocate and supporter of public education dedicated to improving learning opportunities for all students.


Twitter @LauraLoyaCano

Ashlea Wilson

Assistant Director of University Center Operations & Student Engagement,

The University of Texas at Tyler


  • Master’s of Science in Sport Management from Northern Illinois University,a second Master’s in Educational Counseling with a concentration in Student Affairs from California State University, Bakersfield and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a specialization in Sport Administration from the University of Houston.

  • Current Ph.D. candidate in Human Resource Development Program at The University of Texas at Tyler.

  • Experience in the higher education field of over 10 years, the last three being at UT Tyler.


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashlea-wilson-3574b441/



During this panel presentation, representatives from different education sectors including charter, private, and public schools will discuss how we can work together to overcome challenges in the educational space..  While each sector has their own unique approach, we can still learn from each other to deliver the best education for all students.


Christi Khalaf (Moderator)

Coordinator for The East Texas Center for School Based Research & Instruction, The University of Texas at Tyler

Former Executive Director of the Tyler Area Business Education Council


Tara Hinton

Boulter Middle School Principal, Tyler ISD


  • Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University, Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Texas in Tyler, and an Associate’s degree in Elementary Education from Jacksonville College.

  • Education professional with over 20 years of experience, with over 10 years in school leadership.

  • Actively seeks to cultivate a collaborative culture in the schools she leads to ensure the success of students and staff.

  • Following the foundation for leadership implanted by her mother to “trust yourself, trust other’s strengths”—she strives to make daily positive impact in people’s lives.


Christine F. Nishimura

Deputy General Counsel, Texas Charter School Association


  • B.A. from the University of Michigan, J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, and licensed to practice law in the State of Texas.

  • Experienced attorney bringing over a decade of education and legal experience to the TCSA Deputy General Counsel position.

  • Recipient of the Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work at Disability Rights Texas practicing special education law.

  • Adjunct professor at The University of Texas School of Law teaching trial skills courses.

  • Special projects have included teaching middle school as a Teach for America corps member and creating a restorative justice program for a middle school in the Austin area with fellow Teach for America Alumni.



Fr. Anthony Stoeppel

Vicar General of the Diocese of Tyler

President of Bishop T.K. Gorman Catholic School


  • Doctorate in bioethics from the University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy

  • As priest for the Diocese of Tyler, Fr. Anthony has served in Nacogdoches, Palestine, Clarksville, Paris, and now Tyler.

  • Fr. Anthony has helped create new educational opportunities for young people, most notably starting a school primarily for Hispanic families in Paris and helping bilingual students to study in Spain.

  • As Vicar General of the Diocese of Tyler and President of Bishop Gorman Catholic School, Fr. Anthony hopes to open educational doors for young people throughout East Texas.


individual presenters

Kim Beckham

Speaker, Leader, Coach, Lifelong Learner, Owner of KB Next Level Training


  • Sought out speaker for corporate and non-profit key notes

  • Multi-year experience coaching business and non-profit professionals, holds John Maxwell Certification

  • Author of “Hidden Dangers” and “Letters to the Heart”

  • Pastor with 40 years of experience leading churches



Presentation: Game Changers: Developing Successful Strategies for Life

A game changer is an event, idea, or procedure that affects a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.

Here are well-known game changers: 

-The microchip was a game changer in the world of computers.  

-The space shuttle was a game changer in the world of space exploration. 

-"Management by Objective" was a game changer in business models.  

-The smartphone was a game changer in the world of communication. 

-The CAT Scan was a game changer in the world of medicine.


What if there were a new idea, belief, or change in behavior that would be a game changer for you? Even a small change can have a profound impact on your business, family, or life.


Here is just one of the powerful ideas Kim will present:

Become proactive in life. Too many people are passive in the face of their difficulties.  They suffer year after year in circumstances that would improve if they would just take action. The problem is, far too many people are waiting on someone else to do it for them.  They are waiting on their spouse to do it for them.  They are waiting on their children to do it for them. They are waiting on their pastor, teacher, boss, friend, government, or God to solve all their problems. Their attitude is, "I'm in a mess. I have been in a mess for a long time. Surely, someone is going to come and help me.  If I just sit here and whine about it long enough, someone will show up."


Come and learn as Kim Beckham shares powerful ideas and useful strategies for expanding your life, relationships, ministries, and careers in the dynamic presentation.


Brian Brandt, MAGL

CEO, Core Insights


  • Brian holds a Master’s Degree in Global Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.

  • Experienced professional with over three decades of leadership experience across many industries.

  • Presenter at conferences in the areas of human resources issues, leadership, change management, and strategic planning.


Presentation: Embody Change!

The pace of change in nearly every city and every industry is faster than in any season of recent history.  The technology, financial, healthcare, education, publishing, and oil & gas industries are just a few of those that are seeing staggering changes.  It affects our families, our careers and our communities. It is not enough for us to be comfortable with transformation, or even engage in it. To be impactful as leaders, we must embody change!


Trent Brookshire

Executive Vice President - Corporate Development, Brookshire Grocery Co.


  • Member of the fourth generation of the Brookshire family in company leadership

  • Currently oversees logistics, pharmacy, real estate and facility service areas, as well as the FRESH by Brookshire’s banner

  • With experience spanning over 15 years in the company, he has led two Brookshire's divisions of over 100 stores.

  • Member of the company’s board of directors and a board member for the National Grocers Association

Presentation:  Corporate Good Citizenship: Community Investment


Brookshire’s Grocery Company (BGC) prides itself on its dynamic culture. As BGC celebrates its 90th year in business. “Culture” is defined by a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization, team. You are not subject to culture. You create culture and make it what it is—good or bad.


Your culture is also the basis of your connections with customers and communities. The BGC culture aims to make an impact in the community. The Company’s partners give around 30,000 hours in community service.  Through its Charitable Giving Back Program, the Company gives about $2 million per year to 800,000 organizations that support the pillars of: Hunger Relief, Education, Health & Well-Being, and Military & First Responders.  Learn how the Company manages corporate good citizenship and a culture of community involvement.

Charlie Cano

General Manager & CEO, ETEX Telephone Cooperative


  • Graduate of Texas Tech, BSEE Electrical Engineering.

  • Two decades of experience in telecommunications, leadership and organizational development and growth.

  • Serves as local, state and national representative of industry.

  • Lives in East Texas with wife Shelly and their three very active children.


LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlie-cano- 930a4b38/


Presentation:  The Economic Impact of Building a Culture of Leaders

The ripple effect of the culture of a single organization can be staggering. ETEX’s company culture is based upon the belief that to impact a great many, you must first impact a few.  Developing leaders within every single level of the organization has been an operational strategy since Charlie Cano took over the reigns of the organization. The results, and the reach of that strategy speak volumes and will be shared in this presentation.

Annamari Dietrichson

Regional Director of Professionalism and Patient Experience, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System


  • Responsible for successful implementation of cultural transformation initiatives for CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System

  • Previously, Regional Director of Professionalism and Patient Experience for Christus Trinity Clinic, Trinity Mother Frances and Good Shepherd Health System

  • Missionary for 12 years serving underprivileged communities in 30 countries

  • Founder and President of Deep & Beyond Inc. a non-profit organization based in Hawaii which focuses on helping disadvantaged your and people with disabilities


Presentation:  Visionary Leadership and Change

Dr. Patty Garcia

Vice President of Programs and Operations, Latino Center for Leadership Development



  • Doctoral degree in Educational Policy Studies with a concentration in Latina/o Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011

  • Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of Constituency Services for Education with NALEO Educational Fund, where she managed and carried-out national, state, and local relations and efforts with elected and appointed officials, philanthropic partners, and stakeholders.

  • Expertise ranges around core governance skills, education policies from birth to postsecondary education and the workforce, civic engagement, and other key issues impacting the success and development of the Latino community.

  • Experience spans from direct student mobilization, community outreach, programmatic and policy assessment and evaluation.  


Presentation: The global competitiveness of the U.S. is tied to the academic and economic success of the Latino community.

Currently, one out of every four students across the K-12 sector is Latino, and consequently, in numerous states Latino students have surpassed their counterparts in enrollment of post-secondary institutions. However, the retention and completion rates of Latino students demonstrate there are academic, economic, cultural, and policy-related barriers that continue to stagnate their ability to acquire a post-secondary degree. Failure to meet the unique needs of Latino students has immediate and long-term implications for our nation. This presentation will provide a snapshot of the access, enrollment, and completion rates of Latino students in higher education alongside strategies and policy recommendations to move towards a more equitable and accessible higher education system for all.

Aaron Martinez

Tyler ISD Board Trustee

Grounds Manager - Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System


  • B.S. in Agronomy from Texas A&M University and is a Licensed Irrigator and Certified Arborist.

  • Serving second term on the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees

  • Has two decades of experience in the green industry

  • A proud husband and father who has made a career out of making things better today than it was yesterday. He believes all politics is local and you should always vote your conscience.


Twitter @AaronMartinezTX or on Facebook at facebook.com/aaronmartinezcampaign.


Presentation: Leveraging #Census2020 For New Representation

Join a presentation by Tyler ISD Trustee Aaron Martinez as he talks about what inspired him to run and how the upcoming census can affect election results.


Matthew Ramirez

Director, TJC Promise Program


  • Former Executive Director of The Faulconer Scholarship Program

  • Heavily involved with community initiatives to support first generation college students including The Mayor’s Mentorship Program and Tyler Area Partnership 4 Education.


Presentation:  Changing the Educational DNA of East Texas

Matthew, a first-generation college student, will discuss the lessons he learned from receiving a college scholarship to leading the scholarship program and the impact investing in education can have on individuals and a community.  Matthew will also dig deep into the key initiatives to help improve higher education outcomes and how the TJC Promise will play a vital role in changing the educational DNA of our region.

Kent L. Willis, Ph.D.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast)


  • Graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University

  • Received Ph.D. from Hampton University

  • Born and raised in East Texas


Presentation: Promoting Health and Wellness as the Key to Achievement

What does it take to reach your goals and make dreams a reality? One of the most important is health and wellness. Kent Willis is a former physical education teacher and athletic coach who understands the need for communities to promote health and wellness and enjoys sharing his story and experiences to build coalitions that promote improvement.

© 2018 East Texas Leadership Summit