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.

Christa Sanford

President

Christa is a partner and Deputy Chair of the Intellectual Property Department at Baker Botts, LLP, where she focuses on patent law. She also serves as the co-chair for the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and on the Executive Committee at the firm. A Dallas native, Christa earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Rice University and her law degree at Southern Methodist University, where she teaches patent prosecution courses as an adjunct professor. Christa joined the Junior League of Dallas in 2007 and previously served as Membership Vice President, Development Vice President and most recently President-elect. She also served as Project Chair at St. Philip’s School & Community Center. In addition to the League, Christa serves on the boards for SMU, SMU Dedman School of Law, New Friends New Life and the Rice Engineering Advisory Board and is a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2021. In addition to her legal work, Christa was a head instructor for a cheerleading company for twenty years, and she still practices her skills a few times a year. She and her husband, Ketric, live in East Dallas with their three school-age children.

Emily Somerville-Cabrera

President-elect

Emily is Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of MV Transportation, Inc. Emily has an AB degree in classics from Princeton University and JD and MBA degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Virginia, Emily joined the Junior League of New York in 2007, and after a few years in the Junior League of Austin, transferred to the Junior League of Dallas in 2012. Emily has held several leadership positions within JLD, including serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Governance, Bylaws and Education committees. She has also served on the boards of the Princeton Club of Dallas-Fort Worth and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Dallas Alumnae Association Foundation and was a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2020. Emily and her husband reside in Dallas with their two children.

Vanessa Fuquay

Administrative VP

Born and raised in Middle Tennessee, Vanessa chose to pursue a sociology degree at the University of Texas at Austin. As the Director of Community Service & the Leadership Institute at Parish Episcopal School and the VP of Volunteer Services at Community Partners of Dallas, Vanessa has had opportunities to form relationships with community partners and guide high school students toward a path of engagement and social impact. She has since founded her own consulting firm, Rise Better Consulting, in which she focuses on revitalizing programming for nonprofit agencies. 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 and John Neely Bryan Elementary School in Dallas ISD. She joined the League in 2011 and has served in a variety of roles including Assistant Chair for the Provisional Committee, T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute Committee Chair and most recently as Training VP. She graduated from the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute in 2018. Vanessa and her husband, Jay, live in Dallas with their daughter.

Lauren Combest

Communications VP

A fourth generation Longhorn, Lauren earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas. Hesitant to leave Austin, she stayed to complete her master’s degree in education. Upon moving to Dallas after graduation, she was introduced to the digital advertising field and is currently an account director with Goodway Group. Lauren joined the League twelve years ago and has served in various leadership capacities including New Member Committee Chair, Project Chair for Baylor Twice Blessed House and Recognition Committee Chair on the Development Leadership team. She is a 2015 graduate of the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. Outside of JLD, she is active in the Moss Haven Elementary PTA and serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Alumnae Panhellenic Association. Lauren and her husband, Steve, reside in Lake Highlands with their two daughters and two dogs, George and Peanut.

Lindsay Davis

Community VP

Lindsay is the Assistant Dean for Scholars Programs where she serves as Director of the Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt Leadership Scholars Program and the President’s Scholars Program at Southern Methodist University. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a B.B.A. in entrepreneurial management and a B.A. in theatre. Throughout her theatrical experience, Lindsay has performed on stage with Tony award-winning actors. She earned an M.Ed. in education policy & leadership from SMU in 2014 and completed her Ed.D. in higher education at SMU in May 2021. She joined the Junior League in 2015 and most recently served as the Research & Development Committee Chair. Previously, she has volunteered as the Project Chair for the Dallas Zoo and as Issue Coordinator and Facilitator on the R&D committee. Outside of JLD, Lindsay is an avid reader and consistently reads more than fifty books per year. She and her husband, Joe, enjoy living in East Dallas with their daughter.

Elisabeth McHugh

Development VP

Elisabeth is a fifth generation Texan who was born and raised in Henderson. After graduating from Southern Methodist University with a B.A. in history, she served as a Teach For America corps member in Houston where she taught first grade and kindergarten. Elisabeth continued teaching beyond her two-year commitment and earned an M.Ed. from University of St. Thomas. In the fall of 2019, she started work towards a masters degree in counseling at SMU’s Simmons School of Education. Elisabeth has been a member of the Junior League since 2009 and has served in various placements including Community Partners of Dallas Project Chair, Education Issue Area Coordinator and Membership VP. She is also a graduate of the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute as well as a former Committee Chair for TBPLI. Outside of JLD, she served as the President of the Partners Auxiliary for The Family Place and holds chair positions on University Park Elementary and Highland Park Middle School’s PTA. Elisabeth is married to Gregg and is the mother to three boys and two dogs

Theresa Hill

Diversity & Inclusion VP

Theresa is a manager in PwC’s Organization and Workforce Transformation practice. She holds a Master of Arts in philanthropic studies from Indiana University, a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in advertising, public relations & public science from Texas Christian University. She is a first-generation college graduate and the only lawyer in her family. Theresa has been an Active member of the League for thirteen years serving in a variety of In-League and community placements. She previously served in leadership roles in the JLD such as Training Vice President, Strategy Executive Sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion, Diversity Committee Chair and she is thrilled to serve as JLD’s first Diversity & Inclusion Vice President. Theresa graduated from the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute in 2013. In addition to her service to the League, she is active with several area nonprofits including Our Friends Place and the Turtle Creek Conservancy where she is a current Board Member. Theresa lives in Dallas with her dog, Sugar.

Christina Eubanks

Finance VP

Originally from Kansas City, Christina moved to Dallas in 2006. Before settling in Texas, she lived in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia metro areas. She is the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for Main Event Entertainment. Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Missouri. She continued her educational journey by earning an M.B.A. and a M.S. in accounting from the University of Texas at Dallas. She joined the JLD in 2012 and enjoyed serving the community at St. Philips School & Community Center as a volunteer and as Project Chair. Christina has served the Research and Development Committee in various capacities as a Financial Analyst, Issue Coordinator, Facilitator and as Community VP. Christina is a 2018 graduate of the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. Aside from her volunteer work, she loves to read and try out new recipes especially from Gordon Ramsay. Christina lives in Garland. Her son will be attending Stanford University in the fall.

Courtney Johnson

Membership VP

Although born in Ohio, Courtney grew up in Dallas. Carrying on a family tradition, she moved to College Station to attend Texas A&M University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science. Courtney works as Director of Managed Care for United Surgical Partners International. She joined the Junior League six years ago. Her first Active placement was a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Dallas CASA, where she remains a volunteer outside of JLD. She has also served as Project Chair at Booker T. Washington and most recently, as Placement Chair. She currently lives in Lake Highlands with her husband and their shih tzu pup, Collin. They will welcome their first child in the summer of 2021.

Kimberly Blanton-Day

Secretary

Kimberly is the Senior Associate General Counsel for Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). She earned a B.A. in political science from Austin College and received her J.D. from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. Kimberly began her Provisional year in 2012 and has since served in a variety of community and In-League placements including volunteering at The Family Place, Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Dallas Museum of Art where she later served as Project Chair. She has also served on the Research and Development Committee as a Researcher and Issue Coordinator. Outside of practicing law and volunteering her time with the League, she loves to find unique fabrics to sew clothing for herself and others. Kimberly and her husband reside in East Dallas with their son.

Leslie Mba

Signature Projects VP

Born in Wisconsin, Leslie got to Texas as fast as she could. Her parents immigrated from Nigeria to Madison, WI for graduate school. Her family later moved to Dallas and she has been a Texan ever since. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of North Texas and a J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law. Leslie is currently Senior Counsel at Texas Instruments. She joined the League in 2010 serving in a variety of community placements and In-League positions including a Researcher for Grants for Innovative Teaching and Community Outreach Committee Chair. Leslie and her husband, Obi, live in Lakewood with their goldendoodle named Copper.

Bianca Hernandez

Strategy VP

A ninth-generation Texan, Bianca grew up in Irving and returned to the area after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a journalism degree. After working in marketing and communications for several years, she went back to school to earn a master’s degree in marketing management from UT Dallas. She currently works for Parkland Community Health Plan, managing member communications programs. Since joining JLD in 2009, Bianca has served in many roles, including Small Group Advisor, Brand Strategy Chair, Communications Vice President and Executive Sponsor. She is also a graduate of the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. When not working or volunteering, Bianca spends time at home with her miniature dachshunds, Gilda and Murray, binge watching her favorite comedies and adding to her encyclopedic knowledge of movie and TV quotes. In addition to her involvement with the League, Bianca is active in the Dallas Texas Exes and was the 2018 chapter president.

Katherine Fayne

Training VP

A Dallas native, Katherine ventured outside of Texas to pursue her dreams of becoming a lawyer earning a B.A. in political science from Northwestern University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. After starting her career in Washington, D.C., she moved back home to Texas and is currently Of Counsel at Amy Stewart Law. She began her Junior League journey in 2007 and has since served in various roles including Issue Coordinator, Governance Chair, Secretary and most recently Provisional Chair. She is a 2012 graduate of the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. Not only does Katherine give her time to the League, she also volunteers with Dallas Attorney Volunteer Program, Attorneys Serving the Community and Lakewood Service League. She enjoys traveling and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Katherine and her husband reside in Dallas with their son.

Karen Shuford

Sustainer Advisor

Karen has been a leader and volunteer for more than 25 community agencies that support medical care, education, social services and the arts in Dallas. After graduating from Ursuline Academy of Dallas, she attended Southern Methodist University where she was the only female to earn a degree in electrical engineering. At SMU, she served as Vice Chairman of the Lyle School of Engineering Executive Board, Advisory Board Chairman of the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education and co-chair of the engineering school’s steering committee for SMU’s Centennial campaign. She has played a vital role in events including the Cattle Baron’s Ball, the Senior Source Luncheon, the Beaux Arts Ball and the Crystal Charity Ball where she continues to serve as chairman of the Crystal Charity Endowment Fund. Past civic involvement includes president of Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas and board positions for Communities Foundation of Texas, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Educational Opportunities, Inc., St Mark’s School of Texas and the YMCA Urban Services Board. She is a graduate of Leadership Dallas and a JLD past-president, and currently serves as trustee on the League’s Centennial Endowment Foundation. Karen and her husband, David, live in Dallas. They have two sons and five grandchildren.

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: Page Pustmueller
Brand Strategy: Lauren Yamaoka
Centennial: Andrea Cheek
Community Outreach: Sarah Keller
Diversity & Inclusion: Jennifer Eells
Education: Tandra Allen
Executive Sponsors: Taylor Morrison (Comm/Tech), Margaret Black (Community Awareness), Shannon Fisher (Development), Sara Rockey (Membership/Culture) and Rhonda Williams (League Impact)
External Communications: Jacqueline Wasem
Finance: Katherine Kaye
Governance: Lara Bubalo Manor
Grants for Innovative Teaching: Harmony Hilton
Headquarters: Megan Gemas
Internal Communications: Megan Clontz
Kids in the Kitchen: Priscilla Wood
Luncheon Chair: Isabell Novakov Higginbotham
Luncheon Chair-Elect: Heather McNamara
Membership: Jessica Berend
Member Engagement: Jessica Pantano
New Member: Renita Smith
Nominating: Megan Pharis
Placement: LaNasha Houze
Provisional: Neda Bahramnejad
Public Relations: Kimberly Dresdner
Recognition: Kristen Shear
Research and Development: Katherine Ratley
Research and Planning: Terah Moxley
Special Events: Brittany Montgomery
Sustainer President: Patti Flowers
T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute: Elizabeth Brush
Technology: Jennifer Johnson
Transfer: Dulari Mehta
Underwriting: Marisa Partin
Women LEAD: Ileana Barrientez
Arts and Cultural Enrichment Issue Coordinator: Laura Zamora
Education Issue Coordinator: Martha Bogdon
Family Preservation Issue Coordinator: Nicole Rodriguez
Health Issue Coordinator: Valencia Naidoo
Poverty Intervention Issue Coordinator: Emily Ronck
Violence Intervention Issue Coordinator: Elizabeth Minton