Jimmy Cabrera, CSP - Keynote Speaker

Jimmy has been a professional speaker for over 35 years and speaks both in the Educational and Corporate Communities.  As a member of the National Speakers Association he has earned the National Speakers Association Certified Speaking Professional…’CSP‘ designation.  At present there are over 5,000 members within this association… and less than 7% have earned this prestigious certification.  In the Educational Community alone, he has presenting in over 1,700 schools, colleges, and universities where over 1.5 million students, teachers, and parents have experienced his high energy, motivational, and educational presentations.

The research firm, Market Data Enterprises, has ranked Jimmy as one of the top Motivational Speakers. As a leader, his philosophy is, “Don’t count what you have, but what you have given—that total equals your success.”

Jimmy learned some tough lessons early in his life. As a Hispanic he was reared in a predominately segregated community in north Texas. Except for his parents, he always had the feeling that no one cared. The system certainly didn’t challenge Jimmy to be expressive nor think about setting goals. He was even told that ‘his’ kind don’t go to college.  Instead, he experienced bitter rejection and prejudice from a society that labeled him “different.” Eventually he realized that though you cannot forget the past and the pain…you can forgive, learn from it, and move on. In overcoming damaged emotions and rejection, he learned how to turn all the negatives into POSITIVE learning experiences.  Not allowing challenges to become crutches…but stepping stones to ensure success.  To always remember that Attitude is Everything; “Yes You Can! – ¡Sí Se Puede!”

Jimmy’s book, English version: “What’s In Your Backpack?  Packing for Success in Life” – Spanish version: “¿Qué Llevas En Tu Mochila?  Empácala Para Tener Una Vida De Éxito” is a book that outlines eight powerful success tools anyone can apply to their life…regardless of each person’s personal definition of “success.”

To learn more about Jimmy, please visit his website: www.JimmySpeaks.com


Dr. Robert Munoz

Dr. Robert Munoz serves Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus as Vice President for Community and Industry Education. He is a native of El Paso; Texas. Prior to moving to Fort Worth in November of 2008 made Odessa Texas his home. He worked at Odessa College for 16 years most recently as the Dean of Workforce and Technical studies. In 1994 he received the NISOD Teaching Excellence award an organization based at The University of Texas at Austin. In 1998 the management program he chaired   was named an exemplary program by The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In Odessa he served on a number of boards and served as Chairman of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce in 2004-2005 the first Hispanic to do so.

In Fort Worth he has served on board of directors of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and is past Chair of the Central Area Council. He also sits on the United Way of Tarrant County Income Council, is on the site base team for Joy James Elementary of Castlebery ISD, Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee Fort Worth ISD, president elect of the Hispanic Wellness Coalition of Fort Worth and is a taskforce member for Tarrant County Voices for Health. He also sits on the executive committee of The Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color which is housed at the University of Texas at Austin.

He received several awards in Odessa for his leadership in the community. Here in Fort Worth he has been recognized by The Hispanic Women’s Network of Fort Worth with the 2012 Brillo award, Hispanic Heritage Award 2014 from The United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County, and in 2015 with the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber Champion of the Year.

He holds an AAS from Odessa College, BS from the University of Texas at El Paso, Masters in Counseling from Sul Ross State University and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from New Mexico State University.

He is married to Kristi and is father to Jordan their daughter a graduate of Texas State University San Marcos.

David Ximenez

David Ximenez

David Ximenez holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with concentration in Marketing from the University of San Antonio.

He joined Tarrant County College in 2005 with the position of District Director of Financial Aid and has been progressively promoted to his current position, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Academic Support Services. He has previously worked at Richland College, Grayson County College, The University of Texas at San Antonio and Sallie Mae as an Account Executive.

Mr. Ximenez professional experience includes the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA), Texas Guaranteed Student Loans (TG) Advisory Committees, including serving as Chair of Lender/School Advisory Committee in 2002 and serving as Chair of Center for Community Colleges in 2012.

He currently serves on the College Board Southwestern Regional Council and has conducted various presentations at State and other Higher Education events.


Dr. Miguel A. Baeza

Dr. Miguel A. Baeza’s background started in a border town in Mexico where he grew up, eventually earning a technical high school degree in electronics. At the University of Texas–Pan American (UTPA), now named the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), Miguel earned a Bachelor in Business Administration; a Master in Business Administration; and a Doctorate in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management.

Miguel’s work experience initiated early in life. First, by picking crops in the fields with his family during the hot summers in the Rio Grande Valley (southernmost tip of South Texas). Later, as a teenager, Dr. Baeza worked in the Maquiladora industry in Mexico. In his early adulthood, Miguel held various jobs in the United States, ranging from grocery bagger to middle management positions, while attending the university to pursue his American dream.

Dr. Baeza started his academic career at UTPA as a research assistance, served later as a teaching assistance, and upon finishing his doctorate became a full-time university professor at Tarleton State University. At Tarleton, he was first appointed as a visiting professor, a year later, he was promoted to assistant professor. Miguel teaches Business Statistics, International Business, International Management, and General Business. He is permanently housed in Fort Worth campus.

Miguel’s academic journey has taken him internationally to countries, such as Germany, Spain, Argentina and Uruguay, to name a few. As a result of these global experiences, he has authored scholarly works at international scholar conferences and has published a number of articles including: Competitiveness Review, European Journal of Management, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Journal of Management Development, Organizational Development Journal, among others.

Lupe UTA picture

Guadalupe Robles

Guadalupe M. Robles is an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Recruitment at the University of Texas at Arlington. She was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Her parents are from Mexico and she is the second oldest of five siblings. Guadalupe’s older brother paved the way and set the standard for her and her younger siblings to graduate from high school and college. Guadalupe graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mexican American Studies. Guadalupe has worked in higher education for over eight years and is passionate about helping students and their families understand the great opportunities a higher education degree or certification offers.


Tanya Pierce

Tanya Pierce is a Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law, where she teaches courses in Civil Procedure and Legal Writing. Before joining the faculty, Professor Pierce practiced law at Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright) and at Howrey & Simon. Drawing on her practice experience, her scholarship focuses primarily on complex litigation issues.


Jeff Slattery

Jeff Slattery joined the Texas A&M University faculty in 2017 to direct the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinics and teach related courses.

With a focus on art, entertainment, technology, and education, he has established robust clinical programs at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, published articles, participated in panel discussions, served on non-profit boards, and appeared on public radio.

His dedication to students and the community has garnered recognition for teaching and service, including Professor of the Year and Top Attorney awards.

Prior to entering academia, he made his living as a performer and music industry professional at home and abroad, later graduating from Berkeley with honors and highest distinction before earning his J.D. at Hastings College of the Law and building a boutique art, entertainment, and technology practice


Lynn Rodriguez

Lynn Rodriguez is a Law Clinic Attorney with Texas A&M University School of Law’s Veterans Project.  She supervises law students, teaching them to become practicing attorneys.  Lynn has been a lawyer for nearly 13 years, first as a fellow with Texas Wesleyan’s Law Clinic.  After leaving Texas Wesleyan, Lynn went into private practice for 8 years with the Law Office of Ganoza & Rodriguez, a law firm specializing in the representation of the Hispanic community who are in the lower income bracket.  In January 2016, Lynn began working at Texas A&M as the Veterans Project’s lawyer. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Lynn was a business owner and helped establish businesses for others in California.

Chancellor Dr. Eugene Giovannini.

Dr. Eugene Giovannini

Dr. Eugene Giovannini joined the Tarrant County College District as Chancellor on August 22, 2016. He brings more than 30 years of professional experience at community colleges, including his most recent tenure as the founding President of Maricopa Corporate College in Scottsdale, Arizona, and 11 years as President of GateWay Community College in Phoenix. Now as he leads TCC, the 16th largest institution in the country serving nearly 100,000 students, the Chancellor’s commitment to higher education continues. Chancellor Giovannini previously served as the Board Chair for the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship and as a board member of the American Association of Community Colleges. His extensive experience with workforce development and industrial and economic development programs enabled him to lead the creation of the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI), work that began in 2006 and continues strong today. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Chancellor Giovannini has made giving back and serving others a priority throughout his career, as evidenced by his appointment on numerous boards of directors. He cares deeply about economic impact, collaboration, and proactively pursuing opportunities to strengthen communities. The Chancellor earned a doctorate in Community College Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Education and a Master of Education from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Marina, have three children.

Portrait headshot of Dr. Elva LeBlanc.

Elva Concha LeBlanc, Ph.D.

Dr. Elva LeBlanc serves Tarrant County College District as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, responsible for the institution’s core areas of Academic Affairs and Student Services.  She provides leadership to the six campus presidents and district student services in support of the Chancellor’s vision to ensure the college is student ready.  What makes Dr. LeBlanc the right candidate for this position is her ability to create partnerships and collaboration programs to meet the community needs.

Dr. LeBlanc has provided leadership in creating the first early college high school in Tarrant County, increasing collaboration with the public schools, expanding strategic partnerships with business and industry, developing workforce programs in response to the community needs, and adding a satellite campus at Alliance airport, Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation, and Logistics (CEATL).

Previously, she was President of Galveston College and Executive Vice President for Instructional Affairs at Austin Community College.  As a community college administrator in three different community colleges, she has taken the institutions to new levels of excellence by working closely with partners from business and industry, the public schools, other colleges and universities, and community organizations and internal stakeholders increasing the effectiveness in meeting the educational and workforce training needs of the community.


Adam L. Fuller

Adam Fuller has led the Regions Bank Financial Education program for the greater Dallas / Fort Worth area since 2013.  Prior to joining Regions Bank, Adam spent 9 years with Chase Bank, serving as a National Account Manager in their bank at work program.  The focus of Regions outreach program is providing financial education, helping individuals set financial goals, and enabling them to make sound financial decisions. We also provide the communities we serve with a set of financial tools to help them reach their desired goals.


Bob Probasco

Tax lawyer and CPA, with over thirteen years of experience solving clients’ problems with the Internal Revenue Service.  Prior to starting his own firm, he was a partner with the Dallas office of Thompson & Knight, LLP. He has helped taxpayers ranging from individuals with relatively small (but still important!) amounts at issue to partnerships and major corporations dealing with disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars.  Mr. Probasco writes and speaks often on a variety of tax topics.


He is often quoted by the national tax press in articles on new developments and is currently teaching as an adjunct professor at the UNT Dallas College of Law and in the Tax LLM program at the SMU Dedman School of Law. Mr. Probasco also takes an active leadership role in the State Bar of Texas Tax Section and other professional organizations. Before attending law school, Mr. Probasco had an extensive business career in auditing, accounting, mergers & acquisitions, financial analysis, and consulting.  He worked for one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and a Fortune 50 multi-national oil & gas corporation.  Those experiences and skills help him to understand your business and your problems and get the best results possible in your case.


Carlos Rocha

Carlos Rocha is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who is licensed by the Internal Revenue Service to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels – examination, collection, and appeals.  Carlos has client experience filing individual income tax returns for taxpayers and on resolving tax dispute matters with the IRS.  He has a commitment to working with and on behalf of taxpayers who are low-income or speak English as a second language.  He also has a financial planning background helping individuals proactively plan for the future by increasing financial awareness. Carlos is a graduate of UC San Diego.


Dr. Jaime Gonzalez, Board Member

Dr. Jaime González is the Chief Business Development Officer of the Health Plan Alliance and has more than 29-years of healthcare industry experience of which 16-years have been in the health insurance sector. In his role, Dr. González oversees the business development activities for the Alliance and collaborates with a variety of industry business partners and vendors to support and sponsor the Alliance’s member-focused educational programming.  He also works with these organizations to incorporate their expertise and best practices into the Alliance’s conferences, webinars and other educational programs.  Dr. González also oversees the Health Plan Alliance’s multicultural/healthcare equity programming that is being designed to support the Alliance’s member plans in their effort to serve the diverse populations that comprise their respective memberships.


Teresa Ayala, Board Trustee TCC

Teresa Marie Ayala was elected to the Tarrant County College District (“TCCD”) Board as a Trustee in May 2015. The Board oversees a $400M budget and approximately $1B in assets. She brings to her role vast professional experience working in top 25 Fortune companies, mentoring and managing employees throughout the US, Mexico, Canada, South America and Asia. She also served as a substitute teacher in the FWISD and an adjunct instructor at TCCD. She currently works as a contracts subject matter expert in the healthcare industry.

In 2016 Ayala was recognized as a Great Woman of Texas, for her significant contributions in business, civic, social and for her dedication to family and community. In 2017, Ayala was a nominee for Texan of the Year as a Champion of Education. Ayala has volunteered with several youth organizations and has served on the City of Fort Worth Parks and Recreation Advisory, the Commission for Women Boards and the Community Development Council.  She is on the Executive Council for Read Fort Worth leading an unprecedented coalition of business, civic, education and volunteer leaders focused on ensuring that 100 percent of Fort Worth third-graders are reading to learn by 2025. She has also worked closely with the Rotary, HWNT, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and North Texas Area Community Health Center (NTACHC).

Ms. Ayala attended Tarrant County College and Texas Christian University where she earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts.


Susi Olmos, TCU

Susie Olmos-Soto is Associate Director for Organizational Development at Texas Christian University since August of 2014. She is part of the Human Resources team at TCU where she has implemented online courses, professional development for rising leaders, courses for managing differences in work and life, to facilitating onboarding for new employees to TCU. Susie also serves as Advisor to the Sigma Lambda Alpha sorority since spring 2015.
Prior to arriving at TCU, Susie held positions at TCC NW Campus as Director for Continuing Education, adjunct faculty, counselor and advisor from 1996-2014. She attended North Side High School, is a first-generation college student and the first in her family to earn a graduate level degree. She earned her associate degree from TCC, bachelor degree from UT-Arlington and master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from TCU. She remains passionate to encourage and provide higher education learning opportunities to her Tarrant County and Fort Worth community. Susie believes everyone has the potential and capacity to fulfill their professional and life-long goals.
In March of 2016, Susie was recognized by the City of Fort Worth – Human Relations Commission as one of twelve (12) Fort Worth women as Mujer Poderosa: The Legacy of Strong Latinas in Fort Worth. She is a strong supporter of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Fort Worth, North Side High Legacy Foundation and Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts.
Susie is the proud mom of two young adults, Candace and Joshua Soto. Both are students at TCU and continuing the Horned Frog legacy in the family. Her daughter was accepted and transferred to TCU after graduating from TCC NW Campus as a collegiate high school student, earning her high school diploma and associate degree. Josh has attended TCC Trinity River & NW Campuses as a summer student to build his credit hours towards his bachelor degree.
Susie will remain committed to the learning success of Fort Worth and the Tarrant County community!


Elizabeth Torres

Elizabeth Torres is a graduate of Trimble Tech High School in Fort Worth. She is a FWISD Community Scholar and in her senior year at TCU studying Mechanical Engineering.

Elizabeth is involved in different organizations on campus like The Society of Women Engineers, Sigma Lambda Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the United Latino Association. She is the founder and current preseidnet for TCU Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club, Girl’s Inc., Cowtown’s BEST Robotics Competition and programs that are STEM related.

Elizabeth is eager to join the workforce after graduation in May 2018 from TCU!


Christina Palacios, Financial Aid Specialist

Christina Palacios is a Financial Aid Specialist at Tarrant County College’s (TCC) Trinity River campus. She has been with TCC for a total of 20 years, 16 of which have been in Financial Aid. She has an Associate of Arts degree and Certificate in Mental Health Social Work from Tarrant County College and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Tarleton State University. With the help of her colleagues, she organized a woman’s mentor program called COMPASS for female students at the Trinity River campus. Ms. Palacios currently serves as the Vice-President of Membership for the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, a professional organization committed to the improvement of educational and employment opportunities for latina/os in higher education.


Dr. Anita Castañeda

Dr. Anita Castañeda worked as a bilingual teacher, coordinator and instructor for Fort Worth ISD for over 30 years. Presently, Anita is a full-time university professor at Tarleton State University- since 2001- for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where she prepares individuals to become certified teachers and second language acquisition specialists in K‐12 public school settings.

Throughout the years, Anita has adjuncted at Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, Texas Wesleyan and University of Texas Arlington in subject matters regarding reading, bilingual education, ESL Methods, Literacy Development, etc. Anita has also served as a consultant for various publishing companies that produce materials for second-language learners: Scholastic, Inc. Publishers, MacMillan McGraw Hill, Scott Foresman Publishers, and more.

Dr. Anita Castañeda earned a B.S in Elementary Education & Bilingual/ESL Education; M.Ed. in Reading & Bilingual Education; and a Ph.D. in Reading from Texas Woman’s University.


Dr. Tetsuya Umebayashi

Tetsuya Umebayashi is the Director of Vocational Nursing at Tarrant County College in Texas. He received a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Walden University. His primary research project was to adapt the TeamSTEPPS approach to the institutional context in order to produce highly effective medical teams that achieve the safest patient care. He believes fostering civility in a team is a key to enhancing the relationship with people. He shows an attitude of value for the person, acknowledges the value of the others’ contributions, listens carefully, and communicates respectfully. His most recent honor was the NISOD Excellence Award. He currently serves as a scientific committee member of the Nursing World Conference. In addition, he has been focusing on developing policies and programs to attract, retain and promote diversity.


Beth Pulliam

Beth Pulliam is the Associate Director of Neeley Employer Relations at Texas Christian University.  She is a skilled public speaker and excellent communicator, with a problem-solving mindset and over 7 years of experience in the education industry, dedicated to the holistic development and leadership training of students and individuals for their attainment of personal and professional goals.


Dr. Albert Gonzalez

Albert Gonzalez is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Waddell & Reed in Southlake, TX and has over 14 years of experience in the finance industry.


Dr. Gilbert Marez

A dynamic speaker and a person committed to social justice, Dr. Marez is co-founder and pastor of Camino de Paz Christian Church in Fort Worth Texas.  He is currently   Director of Public Relations for Cuidado Casero Home Health and Hospice. He developed the Camino de Paz Institute as a non-profit organization in response to the needs in the community in such areas as English as a Second Language(ESL), General Education Development(GED), Computer Training, Employment Preparation Training, Home Ownership, and Marriage and Family Counseling. Presently he is establishing a school of music and youth leadership program. He served as a visiting instructor for Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Instituto Ministerial Hispano Bible Institute and is presently developing a culturally proficient Hospice program.