Board of Directors and Executive Team

Holly Roden
President and CEO
Business Owner

Throughout her career, Holly has worked in the medical field, the securities compliance industry, and has owned and operated businesses. Her experience united with her compassion for others makes her uniquely qualified to offer direction to ACE.

Alec Weaver
Board Member
Executive Director and Board Member
Film and Digital Media Professional and Owner of LightStory Studios, LLC

Alec has a BA in Film and Digital Media from Baylor University. He is a gifted film-maker and director, has extensive experience creating corporate, promotional videos and has worked for entertainment companies such as Nickelodeon, Cross Creek Pictures, and NBC Universal.

Sandra Tonack
Community Relations Director and Advisory Board Member
Affordable Housing Specialist and Business Owner

After working in the affordable housing industry for 9 years, Sandra now dedicates her time to working with businesses and property managers to coordinate programs for residents.

Rachel Naldi
Learning Director, Secretary and Board Member
Media Industry Professional

Rachel has a BA from Baylor and a MA in Media Industry Studies from UNT. She leads the curricula development team and provides expertise in marketing, branding and public relations to ACE.

William Roden
Treasurer and Board Member
Business Owner and Finance Professional

With 40 years of working in Senior positions Citi Bank, U.S. Bank, G.E. Finance, CIT, The Associates, and currently Triumph Commercial Finance, Mr. Roden brings a wealth of leadership and guidance to ACE.

Olivio Naldi
Board Member
Business Owner

With a heritage rooted in Italy and Brazil, Olivio is fluent in 4 languages, is a talented chef, and has expertise in construction, restaurant and event management. The ACE team depends on him to make events run more efficiently.

Alan Albarran, PhD
Film and Digital Media
Advisory Board Member

Dr. Albarran was Professor and Chair of the Department of Radio, Television and Film at University of North Texas before retiring in 2018, and he was founding Director of the Center for Spanish Language Media at UNT (2006-2012). He has also taught at Sam Houston State University and Southern Methodist University and is internationally recognized as one of the leading scholars in the field of media management and economics.

Pastor Rebecca Porter
Assimillation and Mentoring
Advisory Board Member

With a Master's Degree in Counseling from Dallas Seminary, Rebecca brings experience, wisdom and direction to ACE in the mental health field.

Willard H. Howard, III, D.O.
Physician and Advisory Board Member

As a passionate advocate for excellent patient care, Dr. Howard has practiced medicine for over 23 years. After years of specializing in Emergency Medicine, he transitioned into Convenient Care for Mercy Health System in NW Arkansas. He serves on the Mercy Convenient Care Advisory Council and is the former president of Rutherford Emergency Medicine.

Catherine Howard
Miss Louisiana 1993
Advisory Board Member

As Miss Louisiana 1993 and a Miss America contestant, Catherine served as spokesperson for President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" program. She is a passionate advocate for children and dedicated to encouraging young people to say "yes" to their dreams and "no" to drugs.

Our Program Directors and Service Providers are experienced professionals who aid the Ascendant Community Education team by providing services to residents of the properties we collaborate with. We seek out providers who share our values of kindness, respect for others, resident access to opportunities, and empathy.

Leadership Team

Kayleigh Barnes
Administration and Fundraising Director
Terry Tulipane
Social Services Director
Hayley Haws
Education Director
Youth Programs

Management Team

Katherine Brizendine
Donor Relations Manager
Debbie Pitcher
Resident Consultant and Program Facilitator
Justin Barnes
Music Production and Digital Media Manager
Claire Moore
Craft and Activities Manager
Deanna Frazier
Project Coordinator
Ashley Garcia
Program Facilitator
Gabriela Covarrubias
Youth Activities Manager

Service Provider and Tutoring Team

Arushi Mehrotra
Jude Bearden
Walker Schrumf
Kate Wahnschaffe
Susie Ward