Board of Directors

President – David Starnes, Sr. Director of Estate and Gift Planning, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

David serves UT Health Sciences Center Houston as Senior Director, Estate and Gift Planning. Prior to joining UT Health, David served as Senior Director of Gift Planning at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Director of Gift Planning at Baylor College of Medicine and the Director of Gift Planning at the University of Houston. Since starting his fundraising career, David has focused on gifts of non-cash assets and helping individuals develop a gift plan that will produce beneficial results for the donor and their family. Other professional memberships include the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and Houston Estate and Financial Forum. David has served on the speaker committee for the National Conference on Gift Planning. David and his wife Sheri have been married 34 years and have 2 boys and two granddaughters.


President-Elect – Jeffery L. McClain, MMC, CFRE, Sr. Director of Gift Planning, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Jeffery is Senior Director of Gift Planning at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. With 38 years of experience in higher education advancement, Jeff has been part of campaigns that secured over $2 billion in private support.  He served on the national Board of Trustees for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and on various AFP Boards. In 2011, he was recognized as the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser for Baton Rouge AFP.  He is the immediate past Program Committee Chair for the Charitable Gift Planners of Houston. He is a native Texan with an undergraduate BA degree from Baylor University and Masters of Mass Communication from LSU.


Treasurer – Maureen Phillips, Director of Gift Planning, Rice University

Now with Rice University, Ms. Phillips was appointed Chairman of Westwood Wealth Management – Houston on March 2018. She joined Westwood in 2015 after Woodway Financial Advisors, in which she joined in 1996, was acquired by Westwood. Ms. Phillips has more than 25 years of experience in the planning, administration, and investment of personal, trust and charitable foundation assets. Prior to joining Woodway, Ms. Phillips was associated with the Trust department of two major banks and was Manager and Trust Officer of Employee Benefits. Ms. Phillips is an active member in the Houston Business and Estate Planning Council, the Houston Estate and Financial Forum, Attorneys in Tax and Probate and the Estate and Probate Section of the Houston Bar Association. Ms. Phillips earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rice University and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center.

Secretary –  Sherrie Mueller, Director of Planned and Estate Gifts, Lamar University

Sherrie serves Lamar University as Director of Planned and Estate Gifts. Prior to joining Lamar University, Sherrie was the Associate Director of Gift Planning for the University of Houston System. She has over 20 years of experience in private law practice in estate and charitable planning as well as trust and estate administration. Sherrie graduated with honors from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center.



Communications Chair – Jessica Jubin, Philanthropy Director, The Harris School

Jessica recently joined The Harris School as  Philanthropy Director, having served the Houston area nonprofit-community as a fundraiser and board volunteer for over 15 years. Previously, she served in management roles with Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Houston Audubon Society, Houston Zoo and the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. She specializes in strategic planning, capital campaigns, marketing and public relations. Prior to work with non-profits, Jessica served as news anchor and reporter for several Florida television and radio stations. She graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. As a volunteer, she’s helped establish the Cullinan Park Conservancy in Sugar Land and has served on various non-profit committees and boards with local chapters of Texas Master Naturalists, Association of Fundraising Professionals and Association for Professional Researchers for Advancement with an emphasis on portfolio management and analytics.

Conference Chair – Magda Herrera, Sr. Director of Development, UH Law Center

Magda M. Herrera is a native Houstonian who has worked in non-profit management and fundraising for over 13 years. She has experience in major gifts, capital campaigns, executive board management, planned giving and served as an executive director for a nonprofit organization. As the current Senior Director of Advancement for the University of Houston Law Center, she oversees a team of development officers focusing on major gifts for the school’s $90 million capital campaign. Magda is CFRE-certified and has a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is involved in various community organizations as a volunteer or board member and serves as a mentor for first-generation Latina students at the University of Houston.

Membership Chair – Rachel Kronenberger, Philanthropy Advisor, Texas Children’s Hospital

Rachel S. Kronenberger manages the planned giving program at Texas Children’s Hospital. Rachel began her career in planned giving at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, immediately following her graduation from Wellesley College in 2012. After moving to Houston in 2015, she was the Major Gifts Officer at The Menil Collection before returning to planned giving as the Assistant Director, Gift Planning at Baylor College of Medicine. Rachel earned her Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) designation from the American College of Financial Services in 2018. She is also an enthusiastic volunteer for the Wellesley Club of Houston.


Program Chair – Matthew Lueders, Attorney, Fizer Beck

Matt is an attorney with Fizer Beck, practicing in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving.  Matt advises clients with developing simple to complex estate and gift plans, including the preparation of wills, trust agreements, and incapacity planning documents.  Matt also represents fiduciaries in connection with probate procedures, trust and estate administration, trust modifications, and the preparation of federal gift and estate tax returns.  Matt is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and is a member of the State Bar of Texas (Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Section), the Houston Bar Association (Probate, Trust, and Estate Section), the American Bar Association (Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Section), and the Houston Estate and Financial Forum.  He received his B.S. from Texas A&M University and his J.D. from Baylor Law School.


Sponsorship Chair – Mike Hammack, Vice President Institutional Advancement, Hardin-Simmons University

Mike has twenty-six years of fundraising experience and currently serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Hardin-Simmons University. Before HSU, Mike served as Executive Director and COO for Gracewood, a Children at Heart ministry affiliated with Texas Baptist Children’s Home. Mike holds two degrees from HSU – Bachelor of Arts in Bible in 1985 and Master of Business Administration in 1989. He and his wife Marsha attend Pioneer Drive Baptist Church and reside in Abilene, TX. They lived in Katy for sixteen years and remain active in the Houston community.


Strategic Planning Chair – Lydia Luz, J.D., Sr. Manager, Planned Giving, United Way of Greater Houston

Lydia has held leadership positions for over 25 years at prominent education and health care non-profit institutions including Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine and Tufts UniversityShe currently serves as Senior Manager, Planned Giving for United Way of Greater HoustonIn addition to CGPH, she is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift PlannersShe has presented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Houston Chapter, the Texas Association of Museums Development Conference, Charitable Gift Planners of Houston and the boards of Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine and Amigos de las AméricasShe is active with her church and other local organizationsLydia holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. 

At-Large Director – Steven Covington, CFRE, CAP, Director of Endowment and Planned Giving, The Houston Symphony 

Steven Covington photoSteve’s 30-year career as a fundraiser and non-profit executive includes planned giving and major gift roles. He launched a planned giving program for a Wisconsin social service agency in the early 1990s, then established a consulting firm focused on planned giving and endowment-building with clients throughout the Midwest. In 2006, Steve and his family returned to his hometown of Baton Rouge, La., where he twice worked for Louisiana State University and its related LSU Foundation providing staff leadership through two capital campaigns. In addition to fundraising, Steve has served as the CEO of several organizations and as president of numerous non-profit boards, including the planned giving councils in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. He joined the Houston Symphony in May 2019, where he is building upon the success of a long-established planned giving program while coordinating staff and volunteer leadership for a campaign to boost the Symphony’s endowment. Steve has two adult children, a daughter in Dallas and son in Baton Rouge, and often can be found along the Buffalo Bayou Park trails where he bikes and walks with his wife and their German Shepherd Dog.

At-Large Director – Julie Falgout, M.B.A., Ph.D., Sr. Associate Director Trusts, Estate and Gift Planning, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Julie Bolton Falgout recently served as Executive Director of Gift Planning for Louisiana State University Foundation, engaged in the preparation and launch of its $1.5 billion campaign. Prior, she served as President & CEO for the University of Louisiana Lafayette Foundation where Dr. Falgout’s leadership made significant impact through transforming the organization from $30 million to over $200 million in endowment and assets. Dr. Falgout is an Adjunct Professor at LSU and teaches business management. Julie earned her bachelor’s and human resources master’s degrees from LSU, and earned an MBA from UL Lafayette. She completed her Ph.D. degree in international business from the University of Grenoble International School of Management. Julie is a member National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers, the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the National Society of Human Resource Management. She serves on CASE, International Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) on the College & University Foundation’s National Committee. She has served as Chair for CASE-Foundation’s National Annual Convention. One of her greatest honors is the distinction of serving nationally with CASE which allows her the opportunity to work with colleagues around the nation and world, seeking innovation within the field of philanthropy for higher education, healthcare, and university foundations. Julie is married to Paul Falgout. Together they have a son, Daniel, a recent engineering graduate.

At-Large Director, Caroline S. Marciano, J.D., Regional Fiduciary Wealth Manager – VP, BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Caroline is responsible for the management and administration of trust account client relationships in Texas for BNY Mellon Wealth Management. She collaborates with local and regional wealth management teams on existing and prospective investment management and fiduciary client relationships. She implements strategic national fiduciary priorities in coordination with regional fiduciary needs. Caroline joined the firm in April 2017 and has 15 years of experience in fiduciary matters. Prior, Caroline held various fiduciary-related roles at an independent Houston trust company, most recently having served as its Chief Fiduciary and Risk Officer. Before entering the wealth management industry, Caroline spent over five years in private law practice in Houston concentrating on estate planning, trust and estate administration and fiduciary litigation. She received her B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Nebraska State Bar Association, Houston Bar Association, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Estate and Financial Forum and the Board of Advisors of Incarnate Word Academy.

At-Large Director, Diane Thornton, Regional Gift Strategist, The Nature Conservancy

At-Large Director, Susan Zarich, CAP, Sr. Director of Advisor Relations,  Greater Houston Community Foundation

Susan serves as Sr. Director of Advisor Relations for the Greater Houston Community Foundation, facilitating long-term growth objectives through development and maintenance of key relationships within the professional advisory community including wealth managers, trust and estate attorneys, and accountants. Prior to joining Greater Houston Community Foundation in 2014, Susan had 16 years of experience in relationship building, marketing, sales and management of high-profile client initiatives within the financial services industry. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a minor in Marketing.


Immediate Past President – T. Aaron Dobbs, Counsel, Gray Reed & McGraw

Aaron is an attorney with Gray Reed & McGraw and practices in the firm’s trusts and estates section. Aaron assists beneficiaries, fiduciaries, creditors and charitable organizations in all aspects of estate and trust administration, probate, will contests, trust and fiduciary litigation, creditor claims and guardianship disputes before trial and appellate courts across the state of Texas.  He works with individuals and families on the development of effective estate plans to achieve long-term goals, including tax efficiency and mitigation of inheritance disputes. Aaron is board certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. A seventh generation Texan, Aaron previously worked as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and as a Legislative Counsel for the Texas Legislative Council. During his tenure with the Texas Legislature, Aaron was a member of the team of lawyers responsible for drafting the first installment of the new Estates Code, which replaced the Texas Probate Code on January 1, 2014.


Past Presidents

  • 2019-2020 Aaron Dobbs
  • 2017-2019 Cindy Atmar
  • 2016-2017 Lisa Chmiola
  • 2015-2016 Karen Burton
  • 2014-2015 John Siegel
  • 2013-2014 Amy Nelson
  • 2012-2013 David Starnes
  • 2011-2012 Nancy Shelby
  • 2010-2011 Jackie Callies
  • 2009-2010 Mary Kay Wittrock
  • 2008-2009 Lorette Bauarschi
  • 2007-2008 Shirley Druggan
  • 2006-2007 Nancy Gardner
  • 2005-2006 Lori Dunaway
  • 2004-2005 Lisa Bogert
  • 2003-2004 Lynn Mason
  • 2002-2003 Edward Deery
  • 2001-2002 Brena Baumann-Gonzalez
  • 2000-2001 Kelly Zuniga
  • 1998-2000 Elizabeth Hickman
  • 1997-1995 Joe McKay
  • 1996-1997 Christopher Smith
  • 1995-1996 Susie Stalcup
  • 1994-1995 Ora Frasier Harrison
  • 1993-1994 Karen Gerstner
  • 1992-1993 Janet Casstevens
  • 1991-1992 Robert Coffey
  • 1990-1991 Paul Comstock
  • 1989-1990 Marjorie Schultz
  • 1987-1989 Rob Kent