United Way of Tarrant County (UWTC) announced six new members joining the organization’s board of directors.
“As we continue to celebrate our second century of service, we are excited to welcome new board members who are passionate about strengthening and uplifting our communities,” said Leah M. King, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County. “I look forward to working closely with our board as we continue to do important work during a transformational time in Tarrant County.”
The following new members were elected to their first year of service:
Rosa Maria Berdeja, Attorney at Law, The Law Office of Rosa Maria Berdeja
Rosa Maria Berdeja, the founder of The Law Office of Rosa Maria Berdeja, specializes in immigration law and has recently expanded her practice to include criminal defense due to synergies between the two areas. She earned her law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law) in 2009 and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas.
Berdeja is actively engaged in the Fort Worth community, serving in roles within the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the Recovery Resource Council. She is also a supporter of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. and was honored as the 2022 Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year.
Marnese Barksdale Elder, MBA CDP, Principal of Mecca Management Solutions, LLC
With more than three decades of experience in HR management and culture competency consulting, Elder is a driven executive and entrepreneur. She holds an MBA from Texas Woman’s University, is a Certified Diversity Professional and a graduate of Fisk University. Elder’s collaborative approach is evident in her roles in executive-level HR management and nonprofit management in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Her accomplishments include revitalizing and leading talent acquisition, executive recruitment and diversity initiatives for the Dallas County Hospital District. As president of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, Elder established Mecca Management Consulting, focusing on executive search, leadership development, coaching, culture management and supplier diversity.
Angélica M. Ramsey, EdD, Superintendent, Fort Worth Independent School District
Angelica M. Ramsey, EdD, has served as the superintendent of Fort Worth Independent School District since September 2022. Her background spans roles as a student advocate, educator and leader. Formerly, she served as superintendent of Midland Independent School District, Texas, and Pleasant Valley School District, California. Beginning as a classroom teacher, her educational trajectory advanced to positions including assistant principal and principal in the Socorro Independent School District. Later, she assumed the role of Chief Academic Officer at the Santa Clara County Office of Education.
Ramsey, a U.S. Army veteran, emphasizes inclusivity, seeking to elevate educational standards and community engagement. Her involvements extend to organizations including the TASA Advocacy Committee, TSA Legislative Committee, North Texas LEAD, North Texas Commission, Boy Scouts of America’s Longhorn Council and Junior Achievement. She holds degrees from the University of the Pacific, the University of Texas at El Paso and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.
Brian Rudd, Commercial Banking Market Leader, PNC
Brian Rudd is an experienced leader in commercial banking, overseeing a team specialized in offering a range of lending solutions, cash management services and risk management strategies.
With a career spanning more than 20 years in banking, including 15 years at PNC and its predecessors, Rudd has held significant roles such as PNC’s business banking market executive in North Texas and business banking area sales manager at BBVA USA. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Michael l. Thacker, Executive Vice President, Technology and Innovation, Bell
Michael I. Thacker assumed the role of executive vice president for technology and innovation in February 2017, becoming an integral part of Bell’s Executive Leadership Team. He oversees Bell’s core engineering division, providing strategic guidance in the conception, development and integration of technologies for current and future products.
Formerly the senior vice president of engineering at Textron Aviation, Thacker directed engineering efforts for Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker lines. His scope encompassed new aircraft development, compliance, technical publications and product safety. Joining Cessna in 1993, he progressed through roles in propulsion integration and program management, ultimately becoming senior vice president in 2011. Thacker holds aerospace engineering degrees from Kansas University, complemented by an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Roderick Venture, President and Founder of Allied Energy Solutions
Roderick Venture pioneers renewable energy solutions for residential and commercial clients as president of Allied Energy Solutions. After 14 years as a business development professional, he established his path in 2016. With a record of team leadership and revenue growth, Venture has cultivated a $5 million annual portfolio.
Overseeing Allied Energy Solutions and Venture Expansion, his real estate firm, he’s dedicated to accessible renewable energy solutions, driving research and development for underserved communities worldwide. Venture remains committed to reducing our global carbon footprint through ongoing innovation and sustainable product/service launches.
Additionally, Stevan (Steve) B. Bobb, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, BNSF Railway Company, has a new role on the board as vice chair. He continues to serve as board liaison for the GET UNITED Campaign.
Bobb was appointed executive vice president and CMO to BNSF Railway Company in January 2013. A graduate of North Dakota State University and the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, Steve began his career in the railroad industry in 1987 with Burlington Northern in information systems. Previously, he was group vice president of the Coal Business Group, leading BNSF’s coal sales and marketing team.
UWTC board members continuing their service for a second term include:
- Keon Anderson, DDS, General Dentist, Acclaim Physician Group
- Kervin Campbell, PE, Regional Executive Principal, Dunaway
- Carlo Capua, Chief of Strategy and Innovation, City of Fort Worth
- Sean Donohue, Chief Executive Officer, DFW International Airport
- Marcia Etie, Manager of Special Projects, Mosaic Strategy Partners
- D.J. Harrell, Director of Development Services, City of Fort Worth
- Grant Helmer, Senior Vice President in Dealer Services, GM Financial
- Bal Joshi, Senior Vice President Commercial Banking, Hancock Whitney
- Courtney Lewis, Executive Vice President, Cadence Bank
- Pat Linares, Former Interim Superintendent, Fort Worth and Crowley ISDs, and Education Consultant
- Kecia Mays, Arlington ISD Trustee
- Kellie Richter, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing and Client Experience Officer, First Command Financial Services, Inc.
- Tom Stallings, Firm Strategist, Mosaic Strategy Partners
- Gloria Starling, Managing Partner, The Capital Grille Fort Worth
- Kenneth Washington, Engineer II, Atmos Energy Corporation Mid-Tex Division
- Jeff Whitfield, Partner, Kelly Hart
- Corey Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth
Hadley Woerner, Tarrant Region President of Frost Bank, will serve as board chair for a second year.