Leadership

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors manages the activities, property and affairs of the Junior League of Dallas (JLD), emphasizing strategic and proactive leadership. The Board sets and revises governing policies and ensures the alignment of the JLD mission and vision at all levels of the organization through policy administration, financial management, strategic planning, operational continuity and public relations.

Elizabeth Dacus

President

A native Dallasite, Elizabeth left the city long enough to earn her bachelor’s and master’s in accounting from Texas A&M University. Her professional career has included a range of finance and accounting roles for both corporate and nonprofit organizations. She’s currently an accounting manager at IFS Industries. Elizabeth first joined the Junior League of Dallas 15 years ago and has held leadership roles across almost every area of the League including Membership Committee Chair, Research and Development Committee Chair, Placement Committee Chair and Recognition Committee Chair. She served as Membership Vice President in the 2012 – 2013 JLD year and Development Vice President in 2017 –2018. A 2020 graduate of Leadership Dallas, Elizabeth also volunteers with The Family Place, TACA and Highland Park United Methodist Church. She lives in Dallas.

Christa Sanford

President-Elect

Christa is a partner and Deputy Chair of the Intellectual Property Department at Baker Botts, LLP, where she focuses on patent law. The Dallas native earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Rice University and her law degree at Southern Methodist University, where she teaches patent licensing and enforcement along with patent prosecution courses as an adjunct professor. Christa joined the Junior League of Dallas in 2007 and previously served as Membership Vice President as well as Development Vice President. She most recently served as Project Chair at St. Philip’s School & Community Center. In addition to the League, Christa serves on the boards for SMU, New Friends New Life, First Baptist Academy and the Rice Engineering Advisory Board. She and her husband, Ketric, live in East Dallas with their three school-age children.

Sara Rockey

Administrative VP

Sara grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. She earned a bachelor’s degree in
business administration at Missouri State University and an MBA with a focus on marketing from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has worked for several retirement and assisted-living communities and also spent five years at Dallas CASA, where she worked as an Events Specialist and Assistant Director of Development. She currently owns and operates Vices in the Kitchen, a custom cake, cupcake and cookie business. Sara joined the League in 2010 and previously served as Chair of the Women LEAD Committee, Assistant Strategy VP, and Signature Projects VP. She and her husband, Robby, live in North Dallas with their three children and a giant puppy named Jake.

Kristen Shear

Communications VP

With a background in journalism, online content management and social media, Kristen functions as both a visionary and long-term strategist for UT Southwestern Medical Center’s social media efforts. She holds a masters degree in emerging media and communications from the University of Texas at Dallas and a bachelors in editorial journalism from Southern Methodist University. She is a Board Member for SocialMedia.org Health and has received numerous awards for science and feature writing and reporting. Kristen joined the JLD in 2006 and has held a variety of leadership roles, including Project Chair for the Dallas Museum of Art, Issue Coordinator for the Health Issue Area and most recently as Brand Strategy Chair. Outside of the League, Kristen leads two Girl Scout troops and is the adult recognition specialist at the Girl Scout Service Unit level. Kristen and her husband, Mark, live in Richardson with their three school-age children and two dogs, Gypsy Rey and Chewbacca.

Carrie Hill

Community VP

Carrie hails from Amarillo, Texas but has called Dallas home since 2005. A proud
Tarleton Texan, Carrie has over 25 years experience in sales, management, and client services. She began her real estate career in 2007 and works for Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. Her love for service and client-first philosophy has earned her multiple years on the D Magazine Best Realtor list, along with the honor of MetroTex Association of Realtors Ebby Halliday Community Service Award in 2018. Carrie joined JLD in 2012 and previously served as a Project Chair, Small Group Advisor, on the Research and Development Committee, as an Issue Coordinator, Transfer Chair, and is a graduate of the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. Carrie and her husband Ted live in Lake Highlands with their growing army of miniature dachshunds: Fritz, Lou, and their newest addition – senior rescue, Scooter.

Leigh Danley

Development VP

Leigh spent 16 years of her professional career in various development capacities, most recently as Director of Development for a National Historic Trust property in Charleston, South Carolina. She has served as a consultant for numerous capital and endowment campaigns in Texas and South Carolina and has also chaired fund development events in both states. In addition to the JLD, Leigh serves on the Board of Directors for The Family Place Partners, Friends of Fair Park, Partnership for Community Partners of Dallas, CASA Children’s Council, the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association and the Early Childhood Education School at Temple Emanu-El Dallas. Since joining the Dallas League, Leigh has served on the Membership team and has held almost every role within Development, most recently as Raffle Coordinator on the Donor Development team. She and her husband, Brian, live in Dallas with their son.

Kim Murphy

Finance VP

Kim earned her undergraduate degree at Duke University and her law degree at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. She currently works as an attorney for 7-Eleven, specializing in real estate litigation and disputes. A North Carolina native, Kim joined the League in 2010 and has held multiple in-league and community placements including Project Chair, Issue Coordinator and Assistant Finance Chair. She graduated from the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute in 2017. Kim and her husband live in Coppell with their three boys.

Elizabeth Anderson

Membership VP

Elizabeth went to Texas A&M University with the intention of becoming a pediatrician. An internship at the Brazos Valley Food Bank led the Carrollton, Texas, native to change directions and pursue nonprofit work instead of medicine. She spent the first seven years of her professional career leading peer mediation and mentorship programs nationwide before switching gears and moving into corporate health care consulting. Elizabeth volunteers with the Birthday Party Project and the Carrollton Police Officers Association. She joined the League in 2012 and has held multiple leadership positions within the League including Project Chair, Issue Coordinator and Placement Committee Chair. She most recently served on the Development team and as a Member-at-large on the Member Engagement team. Elizabeth and her husband, Bryan, live in Dallas.

Terah Moxley

Secretary

Terah received a bachelor’s in political science at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. After doing some campaign work in Boston during the 2006 midterm elections, she decided to pursue law school and ultimately graduated first in her class from Baylor University School of Law. Terah is currently a partner with Estes Thorne & Carr PLLC, a women-owned law firm, where she focuses on labor and employment law, an area in which she’s certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her work has earned her recognition on Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars listing of the top young attorneys in the state and recognition by D Magazine as one of the area’s Best Lawyers Under 40. She joined the League in 2014 and most recently served as Issue Area Coordinator for Education. Terah lives in Dallas with her two dogs, Frankie and Terry (named after players on Terah’s favorite soccer team).

Neda Bahramnejad

Signature Projects VP

A native Dallasite and first generation Iranian-American, Neda studied international business at Texas Tech University and earned a masters in organizational development from SMU. She currently works as a Business Development & Partner Manager for a global management consulting firm specializing in software asset management, licensing, and compliance services. Fluent in Farsi, Neda also speaks Spanish conversationally and has visited six of the seven continents. She joined the League in 2013 and served a variety of roles including Women LEAD Committee Chair and Assistant Vice President for Signature Projects before becoming our Signature Projects Vice President. Neda graduated from the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute in 2018 and as of January 2020, she is a recipient of Parkland’s Community First Award. She and her husband, Edel, live in Dallas with their dog, Cosmo.

Heather Bennett

Strategy VP

A native Dallasite and travel lover, Heather graduated from the University of Wyoming and started her career in public relations before completing her MBA and MA in International Business at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her career has spanned various industries and roles across communications, marketing, business development, strategy and change management, currently as a VP for Woven Metal Products in Houston. Since joining the League in 2007, she has divided her time between her love for Community and In-League, with years as a CASA, Project Chair, Issue Area Coordinator, Small Group Advisor Director, 95th Anniversary Chair, Executive Sponsor and more. She graduated from the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute in 2013 and volunteers with Our Friends Place, Dallas CASA, Ronald McDonald House, Highland Park United Methodist Church and with her son’s schools. Heather and her husband, Alex, live in Dallas with their two young boys and a dog named Tucker.

Vanessa Fuquay

Training VP

Vanessa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with special honors in Sociology. She began a career in nonprofit management when she moved to Dallas in 2005. Vanessa has been Director of Community Service and the Leadership Institute at Parish Episcopal School and VP of Volunteer Services at Community Partners of Dallas. In addition to her volunteer work with the League, Vanessa serves on the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center Board and is a member of the site-based decision-making committee at Cigarroa Elementary School in Dallas ISD. She joined the League in 2011 and has served in a variety of roles including AssistantChair for the Provisional Committee and most recently as Committee Chair for the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. She graduated from the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute in 2018. Vanessa and her husband, Jay, live in Dallas with their daughter.

Laura Johnson

Sustaining Advisor

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Laura Johnson has spent most of her professional career working as an intellectual property paralegal. She joined the Junior League of Dallas in 1996 and served as President in the 2013 – 2014 JLD year. During her years as an Active member, Laura held multiple leadership roles including both Community Vice President and Training Vice President. She also served as Headquarters Chair, Underwriting Chair, Issue Coordinator for Health and Project Chair. Outside the League, she remains involved with numerous nonprofit and community organizations including Children’s Health, Meals on Wheels, Community Partners of Dallas, New Friends New Life and LaunchAbility. She and her husband, David, have a college-age daughter and live in downtown Dallas.

Leadership Council

The Leadership Council implements the programs and policies of the Junior League of Dallas. These leaders and their committees govern their respective responsibilities within the policies set by the Board.

Auction: Katie German
Donor Development: Heather McNamara
Brand Strategy: Sarah Thursby
Centennial: Andrea Cheek
Community Advisory Board: Katherine Haskel
Community Outreach: Ashley Branecky
Diversity & Inclusion: LaNasha Houze
Education: Emily Somerville-Cabrera
Executive Sponsors: Bianca Hernandez (Comm/Tech), Natalie Lesikar (Development), Renita Smith (Diversity/Inclusion), Kimberly Dean (Membership/Culture) and Rhonda Williams (League Impact)
External Communications: Claire Catrino
Finance: Christina Eubanks
Governance: Miranda Wilson
Grants for Innovative Teaching: Megan LaDriere
Headquarters: Elisabeth Zuerker
Internal Communications: Lauren Yamaoka
Kids in the Kitchen: Courtney Gear
Luncheon Chair: Erin Pope
Luncheon Chair-Elect: Isabell Novakov Higginbotham
Membership: Jennifer Eells
Member Engagement: Valencia Naidoo
New Member: Debbe Velasquez
Nominating: Tracy Steiner
Placement: Courtney Johnson
Provisional: Katherine Fayne
Public Relations: Kara Shannon
Recognition: Brenda Bailey Latman
Research and Development: Lindsay Davis
Research and Planning: Heather Roberts
Special Events: Staci Thetford
Sustainer President: Nancy Gopez
T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute: Jessica Pantano
Technology: Taylor Morrison
Transfer: Heather Lorch
Underwriting: Wynne Cunningham
Women LEAD: Adrienne Santaularia
Arts and Cultural Enrichment Issue Coordinator: Kimberly Blanton-Day
Education Issue Coordinator: Caitlyn Royal
Family Preservation Issue Coordinator: Laura Gazette
Health Issue Coordinator: Ashton Keller
Poverty Intervention Issue Coordinator: Katherine Ratley
Violence Intervention Issue Coordinator: Lauren Ives