Elizabeth A. Henneke is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer. She serves on the Juvenile Council for the State Bar of Texas, the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, OJJDP Subcommittee on LGBTQ Issues, the Collaborative Council for the Judicial Commission on Mental Health, as an advisor to the Texas Judicial Council Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice, and the Board of Directors for the Campaign for Youth Justice. In addition to being named a finalist in 2019, Elizabeth joined the Board of Directors for Philanthropitch in 2020 furthering the mission of LSJA to support other nonprofits and shift resources from prisons to the community.
Elizabeth graduated from Yale University and the University of Texas School of Law. She then served as a law clerk for the South Africa Constitutional Court and for Judge Edward C. Prado on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, before joining Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C.. Elizabeth has been a clinical instructor for the University of Texas' National Security & Human Rights Clinic, and was the inaugural Audrey Irmas Clinical Teaching Fellow at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.
Since founding LSJA, Elizabeth has received the Travis County Women Lawyers' Association Attorney Award, been recognized as the Austin Under 40 winner in the legal category, and was named a finalist in the DivInc. Champions for Change Rising Star Award.
Yulise Reaves Waters
Yulise Reaves Waters, Esq. is the Chief Innovations Officer of Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA). Previously, Waters was an Assistant City Attorney and Lead Community Courts Prosecutor for the City of Dallas where she co-founded the Second Chance Community Improvement Program (SCCIP) in 2014 which became the first-ever felony community court in Dallas County and the first-ever young adult specialty court in the State of Texas. Under her leadership, SCCIP was awarded the 2018 National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Equity and Inclusion Award for “excellence and leadership in demonstrating and promoting cultural proficiency in treatment court services.”
Yulise holds B.A. degrees in English, Spanish, and a B.B.A. in Organizational Behavior and Business Policy (each magna cum laude), and a Juris Doctorate, all from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Yulise is a graduate of the 2019-2020 inaugural Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Racial Equity Now Cohort. Nationally, her commentaries on race and justice have been featured on syndicated radio and in major U.S. city newspapers. She holds memberships in the Juvenile Law, Criminal Justice, and Collaborative Law Sections of the State Bar of Texas and is a graduate of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2020. She serves on the The Dallas County Sheriff’s Community Partnership Board, the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA) Racial Equity Workgroup, was an appointee to the 2020-2021 Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office Trustee Appointed Advisory Council, and chair of the 2021 Dallas ISD District of Innovation Committee. She is also a member of the Inaugural Emerging Leader Board at the Dedman School of Law, which recognizes graduates over the last twenty years who have “a strong record of leadership in the legal profession and a proven commitment to public service.”
Yulise is the recipient of numerous honors including Who’s Who in Black Dallas, the City of Dallas’ Wall of Honor for meritorious service to the citizens of Dallas, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation Peace Champion Award, DFW Millennial-to-Watch, Texas State Fair Juanita J. Craft Catalyst Award Honorable Mention and D Magazine’s 78 Women Changing the Face of Dallas. She is the 2020 recipient of the SMU Dedman School of Law Emerging Leader Distinguished Alumni Award, a recipient of the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” honor, and the SMU Black Alumni’s History Maker Award, their highest honor.
Rachel Hampton, LMSW, LSS Greenbelt, is the Chief Mission Officer of Lone Star Justice Alliance. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Southwestern University and a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. Rachel holds a professional licensure in social work and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Rachel joins LSJA with more than 12 years of experience in developing, leading, and executing award winning workforce programming for young adults (aged 16-24) as well as adults returning to the community after significant periods of incarceration. Rachel's commitment to racial equity and serving justice-involved young adults is deeply rooted in the experiences recounted to her by clients she served directly and in the programs she has overseen. She believes that to truly make systemic change it is critical that the voices of those directly impacted are centered in the operations of LSJA's community based programs and in advocating for policy changes at the state-level.
Patricia (Pat) Neal is the Operations and Business Success Strategist. She has 40 years of global corporate experience progressing through a variety of positions from individual contributor to manager, director, and Vice President. Her areas of responsibilities included Organizational Development which include Human Resources, Training and Development, Business Development, Marketing, Research and Development and Product Engineering. Pat has worked extensively with global teams much of her career and lived internationally. Pat started her own consulting company in 2011 and in 2013 reentered a corporate role as Vice President Organizational Development. Pat retired from corporate America in 2020 and now works with LSJA as a Business Success Strategist.
Pat is an innovative business leader with a demonstrated ability for implementing strategies that drive business success in complex multi-cultural, global environments. As a Business Success Strategist, Pat provides sustainable business process and solutions, facilitates leadership development, implements change management processes, and fosters employee engagement.
Pat obtained her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from University of Houston, TX and an MBA in International Management from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne Australia. Pat is married, is a mother and grandmother and currently lives in Horseshoe Bay, Texas where she enjoys golf, hiking, and kayaking.
Nydia D. Thomas, J.D. is the Director of Training. She has an extensive background in juvenile justice system law, innovation, and reform. She has served as Deputy General Counsel and Special Counsel for Legal Education and Technical Assistance at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) and its predecessor agency. She joined the Lone Star Justice Alliance team in September 2019. Nydia is recognized for her work as a principal facilitator and subject-matter resource for legislative practitioner workgroups as well as a liaison for interagency and stakeholder engagement. She has also served as a recurring professional development trainer and faculty member for the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar of Texas as well as child-serving and criminal justice system partners. She was the contributing author and managing editor of the legal treatise Texas Juvenile Law, 5th – 9th editions and has written numerous professional articles.
Nydia is a graduate of Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC and gained valuable experience on Capitol Hill while working for a Member of Congress and a congressional research foundation. Nydia was also in private practice in suburban Houston, a college instructor, and coordinator for a statewide delinquency prevention program. Nydia is a former council member and Mayor-Pro Tem of Cleveland, Texas and has received both gubernatorial and attorney general appointments. She is a Past Chair of the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. She has served on the Texas Violent Gang Task Force Advisory Board, the Interstate Compact for Juveniles State Council, the Juvenile Records Advisory Committee and the Statewide Disproportionality Task Force. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Robert O. Dawson Visionary Leadership in Juvenile Justice Award from the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. In her spare time, Nydia enjoys genealogy research, creative writing, and travel.
Myrick Clark serves as the Workforce Coordinator for the Lone Star Justice Alliance. Myrick earned her Master of Social Work degree at Texas State University and her Bachelor of Social Work degree at North Carolina State University. While attending North Carolina State University, she developed a passion for reducing recidivism among African American men and working with at-risk youth. Myrick has 6 years of social services experience and has worked to improve the lives of at-risk youth, emerging adults, and justice-involved individuals through case management, performance management, and program management.
In her previous role as Workforce Coordinator, Myrick partnered with the Texas Department of Transportation’s Civil Rights Division to develop the ConnectU2Jobs program in partnership with the Dallas College, and Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas. As Director of Workforce Programs, Myrick has helped to develop LSJA’s Transformative Justice Workforce Program, JustCareers. Myrick enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and Sudoku.
Gavriella Roisman is a Staff Attorney at Lone Star Justice Alliance for the Survivors’ Project working with child victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Gavriella comes to LSJA having most recently served as Deputy Legal Program Director, Juvenile and Children's Advocacy Project and the Legal Clinical Supervisor, Adjunct Professor, University of Houston Law Center. She has a background in education and advocacy and has worked in multiple community organizations within Houston and Los Angeles, with a focus on engagement and outreach. Gavriella teaches current-event based law classes, as well as coaching Model UN, at a local private school. She provides pro-bono legal services for youth in Fifth Ward in collaboration with the Center for Urban Transformation and Joel Androphy of Berg & Androphy.
Gavriella is a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center where she served as an Irene Merker Rosenberg scholar. At UHLC, she was awarded the Marvin D Nathan Fellowship at the Anti-Defamation League and now sits on their board. She was also awarded the UHLC Clinic Program Ward for her work in the Civil Clinic, as well as the Yale Rosenberg Memorial Prize for legal writing. She is a returning student and graduated summa cum laude from American Jewish University with a B.A. in Behavioral Psychology.
Bridget Schilling has a background in public health, criminal justice reform, and legal assistance. Previously, Bridget worked as a legal assistant in a private firm and was involved in practical support work for healthcare access. As a Policy Intern at the Texas Fair Defense Project in Austin, she conducted policy research on debtors’ prisons in Texas, where people were paying off fines for Class C Misdemeanors through time-served in jail. She has been involved in several international and domestic public health research projects as a Public Health Intern at ICF International and as a Research Associate Intern at American Institutes for Research, where she worked on a formative evaluation for a multi-year randomized control trial.
Bridget received a Master's degree in Public Health from the Department of Management, Policy, and Health at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, where she focused on healthcare payment systems, healthy policy, and maternal and reproductive health. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University, where she received multiple awards for her academic and applied work towards sexual violence prevention, service to the University, and service to the greater Houston community.
Emily Schuerman graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2021 with a B.A. in Government and Sociology. She is passionate about serving others and has traveled to both Haiti and Malawi to promote the spread of education through the construction of primary schools in underprivileged villages. Planning to attend law school in the coming years, Emily has worked with LSJA's Juvenile Sentencing Project since January 2019.
Nicole Childress is a senior at the University of Georgia. She is majoring in Political Science and International Affairs. Nicole is very passionate about serving her community and deeply admires her fellow LSJA teammates. In her free time, Nicole loves to explore nature and travel to new places.
Cherri Dickson is a New Jersey native and longtime Southern California resident, Cherri Dickson has an extensive executive level administrative background in medicine and in county government and as a corporate trainer. She served as a Quality Management Analyst for Kaiser Permanente, and, in this capacity, Cherri partnered with the chiefs of multiple hospital departments in the development and monitoring of performance indicators to ensure compliance and licensure by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organization (JCAHO). Cherri served in the Office of the Planning Director as liaison to the executive members of the County of Riverside’s Transportation Land Management Agency (TMLA). She has also served as a member of the Computer Based Training Unit for the Department of Public Social Services where she trained case workers and other staff. A former aerobics instructor, Cherri enjoys dancing and live music, is a licensed minister, and is the proud mother of two grown children.
MaKayLa Toro is pursuing her Bachelor degrees in Psychology, Government, and International Relations & Global Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. While attending The University of Texas at Austin, she has developed a passion for advocacy and global communication. MaKayla enjoys spending her time outdoors with her dog Koe, visiting museums, and spending time with family and friends.
Will Bator is a second year law student at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduation, he plans to continue working for the public good. He spends his free time with his girlfriend, his cats, and improving his grappling.
Logan Green is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin and is majoring in Social Work and Government. Logan has an interest in policy, law, and macro level social work. In his free time, Logan likes spending time with friends and family, traveling, and photography
Lexi Jenson is a Master of Public Affairs student at the University of Texas at Dallas. She previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, also from UT Dallas. After her MPA, she would like to earn a PhD in Political Science or attend law school. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, caring for her houseplants, and spoiling her Italian Greyhounds.
Board of Directors
Haley Jensen Barb
Haley Jensen (Board Chair) is the President of Membership.com, a market leading sales agency connecting individuals to value added services. She has experience in varied industries including insurance and financial services, business process outsourcing and call centers, membership based and affinity organizations, healthcare services, and technology and telecommunications services. She serves on multiple boards of private companies and charitable foundations.
Haley was born and raised in Texas. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Economics from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
Caroline Kim is a proven strategist with over 10 years of experience translating insights into actionable business strategies and a trusted advisor for senior executive Fortune 50 clients. As a senior leader at Booz Allen Hamilton, she built a reputation as a creative leader with experience overseeing cross-functional teams that use data to solve complex business problems. Caroline brings a unique blend of strategy and organizational experience including: strategic planning, corporate social responsibility, public private partnerships, and change management. She has worked across all sectors including private corporations, nonprofit and government in over 10 countries across 4 continents. Caroline received her MPP at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy and her BA at Barnard College, Columbia University.
Marcy is the Director of Youth Justice at The Sentencing Project, working for a fair and effective U.S. Criminal Justice system. Prior to joining The Sentencing Project, Marcy was CEO at the Campaign for Youth Justice, leading this 15-year initiative to an impressive win. Created to end the prosecution, sentencing and incarceration of youth (under 18) in the adult criminal justice system, CFYJ dropped the number of youth in the adult system by more than 80%. More than 100 laws were passed by 40 states and DC, making it more difficult to treat children as if they were adults.
Trained in social work, Marcy began her career working in legal aid with court-involved youth, with a focus on youth tried as adults. Next, Marcy worked at the Institute for Community Peace, a national funding collaborative focused on developing community-based responses to violence prevention. In her first local leadership position, Marcy became the founding Director of the D.C. Posse Foundation, a national college success and youth leadership program. Naming and fighting against racism and oppression have always been integral to her advancing change.
Marcy also was appointed to the D.C. Juvenile Justice Advisory Group from 2000-2006; was an Open Society New Executive Fellow (2015), and recently won the Board Leadership award at the National Network for Returning Citizens (2019), and the A.L Carlisle Child Advocacy Award (2021).
She has her BA from American University and her AM in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.
Ashley Pettus is a philanthropist with a keen interest in juvenile justice reform. She is the founder and director of the Global HearthWorks Foundation, a US-based 501(C)(3), that invests in renewable energy enterprises and other climate solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the developing world. She has also worked as a freelance writer and educator. She holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in Social Studies from Harvard College. She currently lives in Houston, Texas.
Courtney B. Perez
Courtney Barksdale Perez is a partner at Carter Arnett. Courtney has a vast array of civil litigation experience having tried cases to jury in state and federal court. She has represented plaintiffs and defendants in employment-related claims, civil disputes involving allegations of fraud, negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of covenants not to compete, tortious interference with contracts, civil conspiracy, antitrust and in intellectual property disputes alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, trademark infringement, and patent infringement.
Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, Courtney has specialized knowledge representing individuals, corporations, and government entities in all phases of commercial and employment-related litigation from the risk-management phase through trial and on appeal. Courtney regularly advises clients concerning compliance with employment-related statutes and has served as lead counsel in cases involving claims asserted under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Federal Labor Standards Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Texas Whistleblower Act, the Texas Payday Act, the Texas Labor Code and employment agreements. She also conducts internal investigations, reviews and prepares policies and procedures, and provides training for employers. Courtney also has experience advising government contractors concerning their obligations under federal contract compliance laws, developing compliance programs, drafting Affirmative Action plans and representing government contractors in administrative proceedings.
In addition, Courtney is a trained mediator and uses her dispute resolution training and experience to assist litigants in resolving employment, business, commercial, consumer, personal injury and civil rights disputes.
Prior to joining Carter Arnett, Courtney was an associate at an international law firm and served as Law Clerk to the Honorable James A. Beaty, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Doug Deason is a conservative activist and donor from Dallas, Texas . He has been the president of the Deason Foundation since 2009. The Deason Foundation works with charities and directly with politicians at the state and federal levels on initiatives to empower the poor to lift themselves from poverty through criminal justice reform, education reform and free enterprise programs.
Doug serves in board or leadership positions for the Dallas County Republican Party, the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), Lone Star Justice Alliance and Texans for Free Enterprise, he has demonstrated leadership in conservative politics, including the issue of criminal justice reform. Mr. Deason is a supporting member of the Texas Smart on Crime Coalition, the largest statewide effort working to make Texas' criminal justice system smarter, safer, and more cost effective. He is also a signatory to Right on Crime’s Statement of Principles on conservative criminal justice reform. Right on Crime is a project of TPPF in cooperation with Prison Fellowship and the American Conservative Union Foundation. Doug was an advisor to the White House on CJR issues from May of 2017 to January of 2021 and was recently appointed to the Florida Foundation of Correctional Excellence by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Keri McDonald is a communications and grant writing consultant for nonprofits and public education groups. She received her BBA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. After graduating, she spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. This experience profoundly shaped her career path and she has since made it her personal mission to work with organizations that serve marginalized populations. After AmeriCorps, she worked in child welfare for a number of years as a CPS conservatorship caseworker, case manager for a child placing agency, and in outreach and recruitment with Texas CASA. She then spent several years working in education policy while earning her Master's in Public Affairs from UT's LBJ school. At LBJ, Keri focused much of her research on the school to prison pipeline and crossover youth. Keri is also seasoned fundraiser having worked as the Grants Manager for Austin Sunshine Camps where she exceeded her fundraising goals for three years running and was also the 2015 national winner of the Best Grant Proposal, a peer-reviewed award from the Grants Professionals Association.
Larry Robinson is a retired First Sergeant in the United States Army. Twenty-two years ago, his 16-year-old son, Jason Robinson, was convicted of being an accessory to the crime of killing a man and given a mandatory life sentence. Larry has become a passionate advocate for Jason and other children like him, testifying before the Texas Legislature and engaging in frequent media appearances. He is a member of Epicenter, a group of family members of juveniles sentenced in the Texas adult criminal justice system.
Maureen Milligan, is the Field Director - Central Team at National Development Council. Maureen formerly served as the Chief of the Community Prosecution and Community Courts Section at the City of Dallas and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Maureen received her law degree from American University, her master's degree in education from the University of Virginia and her undergraduate degree from Duke University. Maureen is a member of the North Texas Crime Commission, the Dallas Rotary Club and the Junior League of Dallas. She is a graduate of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Leadership Program, the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute and the Caruth Police Institute's Executive Leadership Series.
Phillip J. Yates
Phillip J. Yates is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. He is currently working at the Nelson M. Jones Law Firm where he focuses on criminal, commercial and civil litigation issues. Prior to attending law school at Texas Southern University – Thurgood Marshall School of Law, he received both his bachelor and master's degree in business administration from Stephen F. Austin State University. Phillip is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., PHA Masonic Lodge True Square #108, and a former NCAA Division-I basketball player. He's also an alum of Leadership Houston - Class XXXIII, volunteers with the Alief I.S.D. Leadership Advisory Council, mentors at Chinquapin Preparatory, and serves on the Stephen F. Austin State University General Business Advisory Board. In 2017, Phillip was named a Rising Star by the League of Women Voters in the Houston Area. Phillip is currently a consultant at the Houston Area Urban League, where he is credited with implementing the economic development and entrepreneurship program, Small Business Development University. Since 2011, this entrepreneurial program has helped over several thousand minority entrepreneurs start businesses, create jobs, grow and scale their businesses. Phillip has working experience that includes being a professional in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as an entrepreneur. In 2015, Phillip participated in Commissioner Ellis’s Texas Legislative Internship Program (TLIP) during the 84th Texas Legislature, where he served as a policy advisor for Speaker Joe Straus in the Texas House of Representatives. Phillip now has the pleasure of conducting policy advocacy work at the Houston Area Urban League, a local nonprofit organization in the Greater Houston Area. Phillip takes pride in his commitment to serve others and advocate for those without a voice in his community. As a Board of Director for the LoneStar Justice Alliance, Phillip looks forward to the opportunity to work with leadership and community stakeholders in tackling criminal justice issues and overhauling the legal justice system in the State of Texas.
Reed Macy, CFA
Reed Macy, CFA has over 10 years of professional experience in finance, including deep experience in both private equity, investment banking and portfolio management. Previously, Reed ran the E&P practice as a Managing Director at Headwaters MB, a middle-market investment bank. Before joining Headwaters, he managed the deal review, analytics and structuring for SourceRock an energy consulting and advisory firm, where he was a Partner. Reed was a former Vice President for Parallel Resource Partners, an energy private equity firm that specialized in distressed equity and debt investments in the oil and gas sector. Prior to joining Parallel Resource Partners, Reed was a Vice President at Carlson Capital and worked with the firm’s private equity, directional credit and long/short equity portfolio management team. Prior to joining Carlson Capital, Reed worked as an associate for TPH Partners in 2009. TPH Partners is a Houston-based energy private equity group affiliated with Tudor Pickering & Holt, which is a leading oil and gas focused investment banking firm. At Tudor Pickering, Reed held a joint role of coordinating and co-managing the fund’s capital raising process, as well as running investment analytics for potential deals across the small cap E&P midstream and service sectors. From 2007 through 2008, Reed worked at Goldman Sachs E&P Capital, the principal energy investment group within the firm, where he sourced, performed due diligence, analyzed and later monitored numerous energy investments, including debt, equity and convertible structures. Reed began his career in mid-2004 in the Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management division, where he managed and executed public security transactions and performed portfolio analytics for a team with over $2.5 billion in assets under management. Reed earned a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Rice University and is a CFA Charterholder. He is currently pursuing an MD at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.