TEFN Connect Premier
Join Texas Pioneer Foundation and Foundation Innovation for the inaugural launch of TEFN Connect — the premiere resource for Texas education foundation information on the web!
Moderator: Lauren Bean
TEFN Connect Team: Fred Markham, Michelle Coburn, Laurie Cromwell, Maya Bethany, Erica Ekwurzel, and Chris Ary
Cost: Registration is FREE for TEFN Members.
Unregistered users can create a free TEFN account by registering here: Register
Chris Ary has over 8 years’ experience working with multiple Education Foundations throughout the Midwest and Texas. Chris has served on the board of the Blue Springs Education Foundation in Blue Springs, Missouri since its inception in 2006 and currently serves on the Executive Committee. Chris has a BS in Economics from the University of Central Missouri. He also sits on the Advisory Board for the A+ Program for the Blue Springs.
(512) 535-2046 ext. 707
Erica Ekwurzel, CFRE, MPAff, is an accomplished philanthropy consultant with a focus on nonprofit and philanthropic strategic planning, communication, and fund development, bringing the unique perspective of the funder in her counsel. Erica is the founder of CivicAIM, a consultancy focused on building and strengthening capacity among grantmakers who seek to use their philanthropic resources as drivers of positive change. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from Austin College and a Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropic Studies.
(512) 535-2046 ext. 702
Fred Markham is a founding director and president of the Texas Pioneer Foundation, a Texas independent foundation that works to improve the quality of education in Texas by funding educational programs in underserved and disadvantaged areas that are able to build capacity and have measurable results. Fred earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Arkansas and is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU. Fred had a 30-year career in banking and retired as president of the Bank of America banking center in San Marcos. In 1996 he became Executive Director of the Central Texas Higher Education Authority and subsequently worked with members of the board of directors to create the Texas Pioneer Foundation in 2004.
Laurie Cromwell, CFRE was the first woman elected to an at large position on the local school board, the first woman school board president, the first president of the local education foundation, the first woman president of the local Economic Development Commission, and a founding Board member of the local Chamber of Commerce. She was the first person to receive Chamber Citizen of the Year and the first to receive the Outstanding Service Award by the Texas Pioneer Foundation. She started her mission in the nonprofit field in 1984 and in 2003 founded Foundation Innovation, a consulting firm that has guided hundreds of education foundations and school boards to success.
(512) 535-2046 ext. 700
Maya Golden Bethany is the founder and executive director of the 1 in 3 Foundation, formerly the executive director for the Tyler ISD Foundation and the Lindale ISD Education Foundation. Maya was voted the 2011 Texas Schools Public Relations Association’s Rookie of the Year for her work with education foundations and in public relations. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Maya is also a sportscaster and reporter. During her early journalism career, she worked for WFAA-TV and KESN (ESPN Radio) in Dallas. As sports director for KLTV in Tyler, Texas, Maya won three Texas Associated Press Broadcast awards, was nominated for two Emmy awards and was the recipient of the Excellence in My Market Award for the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Maya joined the field of education in 2009.
(512) 535-2046 ext. 706
Michelle Coburn is the Program Director of Texas Pioneer Foundation, a private, independent foundation that supports innovative educational programs for underserved and disadvantaged areas in Texas that are sustainable and build capacity. Michelle received her Management of Nonprofit Organizations Certificate from the University of Texas and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from LeTourneau University. Prior to working with Texas Pioneer Foundation, Michelle had a 15-year career in the federal student loan industry specializing in operations and business development. Michelle joined the Central Texas Higher Education Authority in 1995 and worked with the executive director and members of the board of directors to help create the Texas Pioneer Foundation in 2004.