Leadership

Staff

Steve Banta headshot

Steve Banta
Executive Director

Prior to joining Literacy Texas, Steve Banta served as President of the Southwest Region for Verizon Communications. His was responsible for public policy, governmental, regulatory, and corporate philanthropy matters. Steve’s connection with literacy began when it was the number one giving priority for the Verizon Foundation. Understanding the overwhelming challenge, he became a passionate supporter of nonprofit initiatives and worked to raise awareness in the public policy arena.

Steve is honored to serve as the Executive Director of Literacy Texas and to work with nonprofit literacy organizations across Texas to help those in need.

Kathryn Bauchelle

Kathryn Bauchelle
Communications & Training Specialist

Kathryn Bauchelle has spent her whole working life connected to education and training. Beginning her career as an educator in languages and literacy in Sydney, Australia, she took her first non-profit job after moving to London, UK. Her work at the Jubilee Debt Campaign (now Debt Justice), an international social justice NGO, sparked her interest in non-profit work and first exposed her to the power of good story-telling and communications.

After moving to Houston, TX in 2008, Kathryn volunteered as an ESL tutor at Literacy Advance of Houston, then joined the staff, holding roles over the next decade in volunteer management, program direction, fund development, grant writing, program evaluation, communications, training, and marketing. She helped guide Literacy Advance toward a successful merger with Memorial Assistance Ministries in 2018, and since 2019 has worked as a consultant.

 Kathryn works with Literacy Texas on a part-time basis, focusing on the annual conference, regional symposia, and other training events, along with newsletter, social media, website, and all things communications.

Board of Directors

Ernest Lewis III headshot

Ernest Lewis III
Board President

Nonprofit veteran Ernest Lewis III has a diverse background in the areas of management, fund development, media, literacy, arts administration, and community development. The New Orleans native has called Houston home for more than 15 years. Ernest has acquired varied experience in developing and shaping signature programming focusing on basic needs, disaster recovery, youth development, adult and family literacy, senior services, workforce development, art education, and homeless prevention. 

During 20 years of service in the nonprofit arena, Ernest has cultivated, secured, and managed more than $20 million in private, federal, and public funds to advance the mission of many noteworthy nonprofits in New Orleans and Houston. Ernest served as President and CEO of the Adult Education Center in Pearland, TX until early 2022 and is currently Senior Director, Economic Initiatives at BakerRipley.

The American Leadership Class XL Senior Fellow and ARTreach of Katy Board President holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in business and is excited to be part of  the Literacy Texas Board of Directors.

Alba Austin headshot

Alba Austin
Board Vice President

Alba Austin is the current Executive Director of the Permian Basin Adult Literacy Center and previously worked several positions at various non-profits throughout the years. When Alba was a child, her mother always said: “Education, Knowledge, and Learning are things no one can take away from you.” That really stuck with her and she has always been passionate about learning and continued education whatever form that takes – whether it’s learning a new skill, new language, new leadership or business skills. If you continue to learn you continue to grow. An educated community is an informed community!! 

Alba is passionate about the work and the difference non-profit organizations like Literacy Texas make across the world. In her spare time she enjoys reading, antiquing, gardening, decorating, photography and travel.

Mike Meyers headshot

Mike Meyers
Board Treasurer

Mike Meyers believes that education is the gateway to success and that helping adults achieve a high school degree leads to a better life. Mike, a CPA, served as CFO of Moni Smart Security which is one of the nation’s largest security alarm companies with over one million customers. 

Mike has experience leading finance, accounting, HR, IT and operations functions. He currently serves on the Board of Eyewitness Surveillance and served as a Director and Treasurer of Arlington Arts League. Mike holds an MBA from UT Austin and teaches a graduate case study class at TCU

Mike’s passion is all types of music from indie-rock to classical and loves attending concerts.

Wes Young headshot

Wes Young
Board Secretary

B.B. King once said, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” A lifelong learner, Wes Young has made it his mission to help adults and families rise up through educational opportunities. He holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science and brought his experience working in public libraries to his current role as Executive Director of Tarrant Literacy Coalition in Fort Worth. 

When not teaching classes or tutoring, he can be found perusing local vinyl record shops, fishing throughout his rural Wise County, or with his nose in a graphic novel or manga.

Kathy Schatz headshot

Kathy Schatz
Board Member

Reading has been Kathy Schatz’s passion as far back as she can remember. In her work as a lawyer, the written word is an essential tool of the trade; in her free time, it is an ever-changing window into the wider world. Kathy is deeply committed to Literacy Texas’ mission to promote literacy among all adults, and enthusiastic about the path it opens for helping others to acquire this most basic foundation for success. 

Kathy works as an employment attorney at Jackson Lewis P.C. and is a member of Rotary International. When she is not reading, Kathy loves to travel, explore other cultures, hike and enjoy nature.

Wayne T. Franke headshot

Wayne T. Franke
Board Member

Wayne T. Franke is the owner of MJWT Consulting, a political and business development consulting company located in Austin. He is a founding partner in Business Partners, Ltd, a political and business development consulting firm located in Austin. He previously led GTE’s Government Affairs team in Austin, Texas. 

Wayne is very civic-minded, as demonstrated by completing terms on the Boards of the Angelo State University Alumni Association, Angelo State University Foundation (Vice Chairman and Chairman), West Texas Boys Ranch Foundation (Vice Chairman and Chairman), and Hays Independent School District Education Foundation. Wayne served on the Board of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Foundation and remains active in various other civic and charitable activities. He currently is a part of ASU’s President’s Circle.

 Wayne appreciates the challenges Texas faces in addressing adult literacy education and is excited to be part of an organization dedicated to this cause. Wayne is married to Regina Gale Franke. Gina and Wayne have three children and five grandchildren.

Carlos Carpizo headshot

Carlos Carpizo
Board Member

Carlos Carpizo is a member of the Private Directors Association with 10 years of experience on for-profit and non-profit boards. He’s a Mexican-American former executive turned entrepreneur and is passionate about social innovation. 

Carlos is the founder of Kosmos, a social venture at the intersection of art, technology, and opportunity through which he’s carrying out his mission to increase economic growth and social inclusion for disadvantaged young adults on both sides of the border. 

Carlos sees literacy as a foundation for both social inclusion and economic growth. He’s a graduate of the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico (ExATec) and Southern Methodist University (SMU).

Jonathon Vasquez headshot

Jonathon Vasquez
Board Member

Jonathon Vasquez is the Executive Director of Operations at the South Texas Literacy Coalition. He possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Sports Management from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and is currently working on his Master’s in Public Affairs. 

For over half a decade, Jonathon worked with high school and college students, helping them transition into higher education. Jonathon oversees the STLC book distribution initiative and Higher Education Transition program, along with programming in Family Literacy, Financial Literacy, and Health Literacy.

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