About

Our Team

TexProtects Team

Jessica Slie Trudeau, MPH

Managing Director

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Jessica Trudeau serves as TexProtect’s Managing Director leading the agency’s strategic initiatives and managing all organizational staff. Since graduating with her Masters of Public Health degree in 2001, Jessica has worked with and served as an executive director of organizations seeking to prevent child abuse and ensure all children have strong social emotional health and reach their full potential. She has also worked in the fields of HIV/AIDs and injury prevention. She is passionate about working with TexProtects to ensure that all children in Texas can have equitable, positive outcomes. Her work is inspired by her two beautiful children, Jolie and Marcel.

Meggie Abendschein

Vice President of PR & Marketing

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Meggie is a longtime marketing and public relations professional with over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit industry. In addition to her career, she pours her passion for socially conscious, ethical marketing and nonprofit PR practices into her students as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism.

Jordan Watson

Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs

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Jordan joined TexProtects as Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs in March of 2022. She previously served as Director of Operations for the Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She managed initiatives across divisions and developed division-level projects for the CPRO. She brings many years of government affairs, consulting, and public policy experience to TexProtects. Jordan also served as policy staff in the Office of Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Senate, and the Texas House of Representatives. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Communications & Journalism.

Connie Vazquez Kearns

Development Manager

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Connie has 20 years of experience in nonprofit development, with the last ten years concentrating specifically on child welfare, primary education, and women’s issues. For the past eight years, she has served as a Development Consultant with several organizations in North Texas, securing private and public funding for child abuse prevention programs, after-school programs, and literacy programs for children. She is passionate about causes that lift children and families and believes that all children deserve equal opportunities to succeed in life, school, within their communities, and beyond. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Texas and has recently completed an Executive Certificate Program from Cornell University. Now, she serves as the Development Manager and is responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive fundraising strategy at TexProtects.

Gloria Lerma

Communications Director

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Gloria is responsible for developing and implementing internal and external communication strategies that drive policy change. She also leads communications efforts and strategy for the Texas Prenatal to Three Collaborative. Since 2014, Gloria has held critical positions in corporate communications, marketing and digital strategy to achieve measurable organizational goals. She believes that protecting Texas children should be our state’s number one priority.

Kerrie Judice, LMSW

Child Protection Policy Manager

512-299-7925 View Bio

Kerrie advocates for smart, effective strategies to support children and families within the CPS system and reduce the number of children who are removed from their homes. Kerrie has dedicated her career to advocating for children and families in various roles, including working for CPS for eight years. She believes that we all have a responsibility to promote child welfare and safety, and she wants to see the CPS system work effectively for children and families.

Brittney Taylor, MPAff

Prenatal to Three Policy Manager

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Brittney is responsible for leading advocacy efforts to advance child abuse prevention legislation and budget directives, as well as assisting in managing the statewide Prenatal to Three Collaborative.
She has more than eight years of experience working in the child welfare field, first as a CPS caseworker, followed by a nonprofit child-placing agency. Brittany believes every Texas child should have equitable access to healthcare, education and family support to give them the strongest foundation possible.

Parijat (Kitty) Surve, MSc, MBA

Community Alignment Specialist

972-757-0840 View Bio

Kitty is responsible for the execution and scaling of the Family Connects program in Dallas, where she develops relationships, partnerships and coalitions with community resources and services. Kitty has worked globally as an HR professional, predominately in the health care industry, and is passionate about healthcare reform and equity. She understands that racial and cultural perceptions affect the quality of healthcare received by people of color and minorities, and she is committed to using these insights to bring reform and sustainable change.

Board of Directors

Ann Stuart, Ph.D., Chair

Previous Chancellor and President, Texas Women's University

LaMonte Thomas, Vice Chair

Market President - South Central, Aetna, a CVS Health Company

Whitney Strauss, Secretary

Senior Counsel – Corporate Social Responsibility, Sunwest Communications

The Honorable Darlene Byrne

Chief Justice, Third Court of Appeals of Texas

Alan Cohen

President and CEO, Child Poverty Action Lab

Don M. Glendenning

Managing Partner, Dallas Office, Locke Lord LLP

Susan Hoff

Chief Officer of Impact, Strategy, and Operations, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Helen Holman

Retired Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer, The Dallas Foundation

Coleman Hubbard, CFA

Institutional Investment Management Portfolio Manager, Managing Director/Analyst, Barrow Hanley Global Investors

Cynthia Izaguirre

Co-Anchor, WFAA Channel 8 News, Dallas

Dr. Anu Partap

Medical Director of Health Equity at Cook Children's Health Care System

Tegwin Pulley

Texas Director, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) Education Foundation

Eddie Reeves

Partner, Vianovo

Stephen W. Roderick

Retired healthcare facility development and commercial real estate professional

Esequiel “Zeke” Sanchez

Founder and owner, DFG Partners, LLC.

Advisory Board

Denise Bates

Sr Interiors PM, Associate, Perkins&Will

Rebel Calhoun

Executive In Action consultant; Technology Sales Executive Integration Solutions Specialist, AT&T; Community Volunteer

Leslie Carpenter

Community Volunteer; Business Entrepreneur; Former Aide to U.S. Senator Paul Simon; Foster Parent

John Castle, Jr.

Retired Executive Vice President, EDS; Chair, Dallas Foundation; Former Advisory Board Member, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)

Leslie DeCillis

Attorney with experience in Software/ IT, Global Commercial Transactions, Privacy, Compliance and Cyberlaw Issues

Debra Decker

Senior Advisor, Stimson Center, Washington, D.C.; Former Consultant, Booz Allen, Washington, D.C.; Award-Winning Editorial Writer, The Dallas Morning News; Lead Author, "Dallas Child Abuse Costs"

The Honorable Maurine Dickey

Former Dallas County Commissioner; Board of Visitors, MD Anderson Cancer Center; Former Board Chair, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Catherine Estrada

Member, Uplift Education Fort Worth Advisory Board; Former Member, Communities in Schools State Advisory Board; Member, CIS of Tarrant County Advisory Board; CIS Foundation Advisory Board

Robert Estrada

Senior Managing Director - Dallas, Chief Compliance Officer, Board of Directors – Chairman Emeritus, Estrada Hinojosa & Co. Inc.

Kathleen Fletcher, MPH, Ph.D.

CEO, Voices for Children of San Antonio

Laura Gardiner

Loyalty Strategy and Marketing Expert; Community Volunteer and Advocate

Tammy Cotton Hartnett

Community Volunteer; Former Washington Political Appointee; Spouse of Former State Representative Will Hartnett

The Honorable Lee Jackson

Retired Chancellor, University of North Texas; Former Dallas County Judge; Former Texas State Representative

Chris Marble, Assoc. AIA

Project Architect, Looney Ricks Kiss

Scott Murray

Founder and CEO of Murray Video Productions; Former Broadcast Journalist

H. Len Musgrove, Jr., J.D.

Founder and Managing Shareholder, Musgrove Law Firm, P.C.

Janet Pozmantier, MS, LPC, LMFT, RPT

Director, The Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston

Stacy Rudd

Operations Manager, Swinerton

The Honorable Peter Sakai, J.D.

District Judge, 225th Judicial District Court of Bexar County; Appointee to the Texas Protect Our Kids Fatality Commission

The Honorable Florence Shapiro

Former Texas State Senator, 1993-2013

Lisa K. Simmons

President, the Harold Simmons Foundation; Southwestern Medical Foundation Board

The Honorable Mark Strama

Former Texas State Representative, 2005 -2013

The Honorable Royce West, J.D.

Texas State Senator, District 23; Managing Partner at West & Associates

Ann Margolin

Former Dallas City Council Member; Entrepreneur and Community Leader; Former Chair of Parkland Hospital

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