National Board of Directors

Executive Committee


Al Lopez

Chair – LinkedIn Profile
Economic Growth Business Incubator

Al, a business and economic development executive, most recently served as Executive Director of the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) in Austin. EGBI’s mission is to enable economic development and job growth in the underserved communities in Austin by utilizing bilingual approaches in a start-up incubation setting via training, coaching, and support. Previously, Al was a finance executive at Dell, Inc, and IBM for 30 years, where he was most recently the Vice President of Finance for Dell’s worldwide services business for several years.
Al is very involved in the community and has served on the St. John Neighborhood Association, was board chair of the Austin Achievement Zone, and has supported the AVID program at Austin’s Northeast Early College High School. In 2012, he was recognized as Austin ISD’s Latino Volunteer of the Year. Al currently sits on multiple boards in addition to his service as IDEA’s fiduciary board chair, including EGBI, Lifeworks Affordable Housing, and People Fund’s New Market Tax Credit Advisory board. As part of their ministry involvement, he and his wife also provide affordable rental housing for several families in the St. John neighborhood.
Al earned his undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Arizona and an M.B.A. from the University of Northern Colorado.

Collin Sewell Thumbnail

Collin Sewell

Vice-Chair – LinkedIn Profile
Sewell Family Companies

Collin finds his roots in two hardware store families in the late 1800s and early 1900s. On his Mother’s side, the Meacham family left their hardware store in Fort Worth, Texas for the newly released Oklahoma territory. In Western Oklahoma, they laid their claim to their own homestead during the Oklahoma Land Run. On his Father’s side, Edward Franklin Sewell started selling Ford Model Ts from his hardware store in 1911. As the Great Depression took its toll in 1929, E.F. loaded up his family and headed west for a new start. That new start landed them in Crane, Texas just south of Odessa. In 1935, The Sewell family began their next chapter of the car business in Odessa, Texas. Brothers, Woody and Carl Sewell, purchased Sewell Ford in 1935.
Four generations and over one hundred years later, Collin Sewell is now the Proprietor of The Sewell Family of Companies which includes:
• Sewell Ford
• Sewell Lincoln
• Sewell BMW of the Permian Basin
• Sewell Cadillac of the Permian Basin
• Sewell Buick GMC of Midland
• Sewell Chevrolet Buick GMC of Andrews
• Press Café
• The Parks Legado Town Center
Collin’s leadership in his family’s automotive dealerships and his people-focused efforts consistently promote living a life in service to others.
Collin currently serves as a member for:
• The Education Partnership of the Permian Basin
• Opportunity Odessa
• EQUIP Global Leadership
• The John Maxwell Leadership Foundation
• Vice-Chair of IDEA Public Schools
His past service includes:
• Two-term President of The National Dealer Council for Ford Motor Company
• Two-term President of The Education Foundation of Odessa
• Member of Growing Leaders founded by Dr. Tim Elmore
• Member of The Lincoln National Dealer Council


Ed Rivera

Treasurer – LinkedIn Profile
Westfall Technik

Ed Rivera grew up in Brownsville, Texas and can relate to the experiences of IDEA’s students in the Valley based on his experience attending schools in the Brownsville ISD.
Ed worked for more than 40 years in the petrochemical and consumer product industries. He has experience in leading global business initiatives in 29 countries, including Russia, China, South Korea, Western Europe, and South America.
Ed is a very active civic leader. He served as the President of the Economic Development Corporation of Laguna Vista, Texas, where he supported the growth of small businesses. He also served as a Trustee for Texas Southmost College and has served on multiple boards, including the Laguna Vista Planning and Zoning Board, the Foundation Board at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Hooked for Life, Brownsville International Airport, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts, and the American Marine Institute.
Ed earned his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Ryan Vaughan UPDATED

Ryan Vaughan

Secretary – LinkedIn Profile
Anderson Bean, Olathe, and Rios of Mercedes Boot Companies

Ryan is the President and CEO of Western Leather Goods Inc., known as Rios of Mercedes. Ryan serves on multiple boards, including Knapp Community Care, Medical Center Foundation, Weslaco Lions Club, Mid-Valley Relay for Life, and the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show.
Ryan earned his undergraduate degree from Sam Houston State University.

Board of Directors

Michael Burke

Member – LinkedIn Profile

Mike is the Chair/Founder of the San Antonio Regional Education Forum and the San Antonio Clean Technology Forum. He previously served as President and CEO of EOTT Energy Corp., a $12B NYSE corporation and the largest independent marketer and transporter of crude oil in North America.
Before joining EOTT Energy Corp., Mike served as director, President/CEO of Fortune 500 Tesoro Petroleum Corporation and led Texas Eastern Corp in several senior-level positions.
Mike also serves as the Board Chair for the IDEA San Antonio Regional Board. Mike’s additional board memberships include the San Antonio Medical Foundation, Southwest Research Institute, Great Hearts Academies, the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University San Antonio, Early Matters San Antonio and Greater Austin, and the Great Springs Project.
Mr. Burke received Texas Education Agency’s Heroes for Children award in 2020 and the San Antonio Education Champion Award in 2018.
Mike earned his undergraduate degree B.S. Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from The University of Texas at Austin.

Reba Cardenas McNair

Member – LinkedIn Profile
Cardenas Development

Reba Cardenas McNair is a Brownsville businesswoman and civic leader who currently serves as president of two Brownsville land development corporations. Her businesses manage land development projects in Brownsville, Harlingen, San Benito, and Rancho Viejo.
Reba served as IDEA Public Schools’ Board Chair from 2017–2018 and serves on the boards of Driscoll Children’s Hospital, the Brownsville Foundation for Health and Education, Gladys Porter Zoo, Educational Results Partnership, Humanities Texas, Texas Business Leadership Council, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Business, and the UTRGV Development Board. She is also a recent recipient of the Preservation Award from the Brownsville Historical Association.
Reba earned her undergraduate degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and a graduate degree from Columbia University.

David Earl

Member – LinkedIn Profile 
Earl & Associates

David L. Earl was born in San Antonio, Texas, December 15, 1964, admitted to the Texas bar in 1989. Mr. Earl is married (Megan Earl), and has three children (Julie, John, and Jeffrey).

Education: St. Mary’s University (BA, 1986, J.D. 1989). Practice areas: Municipal Law, Annexation Law, Land Use/Zoning Law, Water Law, Public Utilities Law, Economic Development Law, and Environmental Law.

Mr. Earl started his legal career serving as Assistant City Attorney to the City of San Antonio. Mr. Earl rose to the level of Deputy City Attorney III, and represented the City in municipal law, annexation law, utility law, development law, real property, and environmental issues and served as legal counsel to the Zoning Commission, Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment and other City departments and boards.

Mr. Earl served as a City Attorney for the City of San Antonio from 1989 through 1993. While representing the City of San Antonio, Mr. Earl drafted many of the zoning, land use, and development regulations designed to protect the sustainability of the San Antonio community.

Mr. Earl became Environmental Counsel for the San Antonio Water System, the largest single municipal water system in the United States, from 1993 until 1996. While Environmental Counsel for the San Antonio Water System, he was very involved in property rights issues and water rights issues, including the formation of the Edwards Aquifer Authority and the related litigation around the EAA issues. In addition, Mr. Earl was the author of the Edwards Recharge Zone Protection Ordinances, San Antonio Tree Preservation Ordinances, Well Permitting Ordinance, and many other key land use and development restriction regulations.

Mr. Earl began practicing law in the private sector in 1996 when he joined the firm of Kaufman & Associates, P.C. where he represented the San Antonio Real Estate Council, the GSABA, and many private clients in the areas of municipal and development law, as well as political relations and lobbying. In 1999 Mr. Earl founded the Law Firm of Earl & Associates, P.C. As President of the firm, Mr. Earl provides legal representation to clients in the area of annexation issues, platting, land use, vested rights, open meetings and open records, franchise issues, municipal contract issues, airport and municipal aviation issues (ground lease, use agreements, etc.), drainage issues, utility entitlements issues, federal and state entitlement and grant issues, state and federal legislative and lobbying services, legislative tracking, ordinance and resolution crafting, prosecutorial services, police and fire department support issues, and related matters. Mr. Earl has served, by engagement, as City Attorney for more than eight (8) Texas Municipalities, including, Helotes, Texas; Castroville, Texas, Hill Country Village, Texas; St. Hedwig, Texas; etc.

In the area of Economic Development Law, Mr. Earl has created over 25 special districts (PIDs, MUDs, etc.) that have generated over seven billion dollars ($7,000,000,000.00) in new projected tax base, and have resulted in over five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000.00) in reimbursement rights. Mr. Earl also owns several development companies, and is currently participating in the development of over 5,600 acres of residential, commercial, retail and industrial development projects in the Austin, McAllen, Donna/Rio Bravo, Laredo, San Marcos, and other Texas markets.

Mr. Earl’s achievements include being a co-inventor of a storm water pollution technology (Aqualogic-patent issued), being a trained and certified Mediator and trained in alternate dispute resolution, assisting in the negotiation and drafting of progressive environmental and natural resource regulations such as the City of San Antonio’s Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone Protection and Pollution prevention regulations and was recognized by the EPA for enforcement efforts under the Clean Water Act contributing to the receipt of the Region Six Environmental Excellence Award.

Mr. Earl has been a featured speaker on municipal law issues, development law issues, water law issues, open meetings and open records issues, and vested rights in events sponsored by the EPA, Texas Bar Association, Edwards Aquifer Authority, and other governmental and non-governmental agencies.

David Handley

Member – LinkedIn Profile
Methodist Speciality & Transplant Hospital

David Handley recently joined Huffman Developments in San Antonio. During his 20 years of executive leadership career in hospital administration, and the last ten years as a hospital CEO, he oversaw the development of numerous clinical sites, including physician practices, wound care centers, vascular centers, prenatal clinics, onsite employer clinics, and medical office buildings. After retiring from hospital administration in 2016, David turned his attention to commercial real estate.
Raised outside of Chicago, David earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his Master of Healthcare Administration from Tulane University. He currently resides in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas with his wife Kelly and son Ethan. David also serves on the IDEA San Antonio Regional Board.

Erich Holmsten

Erich Holmsten

Member – LinkedIn Profile
ECapital Management

Erich Holmsten is the Founder and Managing Partner of ECapital Management, LLC, a Fort Worth based private equity fund. He was previously a Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group at Merrill Lynch in New York, New York. Before moving to New York, Erich lived in San Francisco, California where he worked in the Equity Research Group at Morgan Stanley.
Erich is active in a variety of boards and organizations. He is currently a board member of Performing Arts Fort Worth Inc. Previously, he was a member of the University of Texas 1883 Council and a Partner for the Next Generation Fellows at Robert S. Strauss Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Erich serves as Chair of the Tarrant County IDEA Regional Board.
Erich and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and live in Fort Worth. He earned his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and his M.B.A from Rice University


Xenia Garza

Member – LinkedIn Profile

Xenia is an experienced Speech Therapist and worked for the Temple Independent School District. Currently, employed as the Practice Administrator for the Cardiology practice of Juan Joel Garza MD, PA for 15 years. Co-owner/managing partner JXIII Ranch LLC.

Xenia earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A. from The University of Texas-Pan American. Xenia is also a certified Yoga instructor and IDEA parent for the last 10 years.

Saam Zarrabi

Saam Zarrabi

Member – LinkedIn Profile
Rodeo Dental

Dr. Zarrabi co-founded Rodeo Dental and Orthodontics (a multidisciplinary large group practice) and has been a leader of practice culture since its inception.
Involved with multiple professional dental organizations, including the CAMBRA Coalition, the Crown Council, and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Dr. Zarrabi remains current on technology, science, and methodology. His board seat assignments on the Pacific Dugoni Foundation Executive Committee and the Board of the National CAMBRA Coalition reflect his high-level strategic approach.
Dr. Zarrabi was named an Entrepreneur of Excellence Winner in 2019 by Fort Worth Inc., and in 2021, Rodeo Dental has been named as a Certified B-Corp for its mission driven culture and positive company culture. Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of verified social and environment performance, transparency, and accountability.
With a personal commitment to improving oral health and the lives of young leaders, Dr. Zarrabi’s charitable commitments include The LEAP Foundation and Dentists Who Care.
He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and his D.D.S from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry.


Bill Martin

Raymond James

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Regional Board of Directors

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Regional Board of Directors

Board Meetings and Agendas

Governance Committee

Academic Committee

Fiscal Policies

Last Updated: October 2020

Governance Policies

Last Updated: March 2021

Personnel Policies

Last Updated: March 2021

Student Policies

Last Updated: August 2020

Special Education Policies

Last Updated: October 2020

TEA Communications

Last Updated: September 2020


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