Meet the Board of Directors
- Donna Wald – Executive Director Educational Foundation
- Luke Erlenbusch – Chairman
- Carolyn Benavides – Director/Development
- Dr. Linda Braddy – Director
- Catherine Carlin – Director
- Mary Lovell – Director/Finance & Governance
- Cris Manning – Director
- Elizabeth Martini – Director
- Jeannette Papadopoulos – Director
- Dawn Parnell – Director/CFBISD Liaison
- Alex Sagcal – Director/Nominations
- Laurie Spindler – Director
- Christy Spivey - Director
- James Weichel – Director
- Laurie Wilson – Director/Programs
Donna Wald – Executive Director Educational Foundation
As a Director/District Liaison to the educational foundation, Donna Wald brings a breadth of experience in nonprofit management, higher education and public-school administration and has proudly served with the foundation since 2011. Donna currently serves as Director of the Educational Foundation and is excited to continue her support of the CFB ISD Educational Foundation. Donna’s prior experience includes leadership roles in university advancement and development, community relations and board governance.
A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Ms. Wald holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Art in Speech Communication with extensive research in Persuasive Communication and Narcissism. With her extensive marketing and promotions experience, Donna has worked with teams to create communication campaigns geared towards multi-level audiences and has authored several recognized strategic marketing materials.
In her spare time Ms. Wald can be found behind the podium teaching at many of the Dallas-area community colleges and serving as a volunteer to organizations promoting education and academic pursuits.
Luke Erlenbusch – Chairman
Luke Erlenbusch has been an active parent, PTA & band booster, and volunteer within CFBISD for the last 15 years, having all three (3) of his children attending various CFBISD schools on the West side of the district during that time. Luke has served on several PTA boards and as President of the Ranchview High School Band Boosters from 2013– 2018. Luke has announced for several CFBISD events, athletics, band, and has been the announcer for Newman Smith’s Tournament of Champions band competition since 2015. Additionally, Luke has served on several district committees including multiple years on Campus Improvement Councils for various campuses, a 2-year commitment on the CFBISD District Improvement Council and was a member of the CFBISD Citizens Facility Advisory Committee.
In 2015, Luke received the Texas PTA Lifetime Membership Award, and in 2018, Luke and his wife Jennifer were both honored by the Ranchview High School Band with a Lifetime Booster Membership Award.
Carolyn Benavides – Director/Development
Carolyn Benavides is a 4th generation Texan who grew up in South Carrollton. A CFBISD Alumni, she attended Central Elementary, Dewitt Perry Middle School and earned her diploma from R.L. Turner in 1983. She has earned numerous business and accounting related certifications during her career. Carolyn is currently a member of the CFBISD Board of Trustees.
As a long-standing philanthropist, she has served the Carrollton-Farmers Branch community, as well as Denton, Navarro, and Freestone Counties, for many years. She has served as the treasurer for eight years for the Farmers Branch Little League and ten years with the CFB Soccer Association. She has also served on the CFBISD Educational Foundation board for ten years and five years on the Metrocrest Hospital Authority board.
Carolyn is the Chief Officer for the Benavides Family Charity, serving twenty-four years as an advocate for children, seniors, veterans, and refugees. She is a respected leader and coordinator in the community, bringing together several civic, community, and religious organizations to serve those in need.
Carolyn is the Owner/Operator of Joe's Pizza in South Carrollton and a bookkeeper for American TTS, Inc.
Concurrently she serves as the Chief Officer for the Benavides Family Charity organization. Her former roles include President, LBJ Trucking Co., Inc., and bookkeeper for Ramirez Trucking.
Carolyn is the proud wife of forty years to her high school sweetheart and a mother of four sons and grandmother.
Dr. Linda Braddy – Director
Linda Braddy has recently been named the sole finalist for the role of CEO for the American Red Cross, North Texas Region. Prior to this new role, Dr. Braddy was President of Dallas College Brookhaven where she was responsible for leading initiatives which contributed to the vibrancy, growth, and economic stability of the Dallas County College. She recently also served as the inaugural Provost in an interim capacity for Dallas College as they transitioned from seven independently accredited colleges to a singly-accredited college. She previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) at Tarrant County College Northeast Campus near Fort Worth where she oversaw the library; academic support services; academic divisions, including both credit and non-credit technical programs; dual credit, and early college high schools. Prior to her role as VPAA, she served as Deputy Executive Director of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in Washington, D.C., a professional association for mathematics faculty, where she oversaw programs, public policy efforts, the Competitions Department, and the Meetings and Facilities Department. While at MAA, she increased the externally funded programs portfolio from $8 million to $14.5 million and co-authored multiple publications. She has raised a total of $18.5 million in gifts and grants over the course of her career.
Prior to Dr. Braddy’s transition to the non-profit world in D.C., she served as dean of the Division of Health and Natural Sciences at TCC South Campus, during which time she assisted with the transition of the Nursing program to the Trinity River Campus, and subsequently served as dean of the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the South Campus. Immediately prior to her tenure as dean at TCC, she chaired the Department of Mathematics at East Central University (ECU) in Ada, Oklahoma, where she was a tenured, full professor.
Dr. Braddy has embraced change throughout her career and welcomed opportunities to lead major organizational and cultural changes at multiple organizations. She has worked throughout her career to promote the use of evidence-based teaching practices that improve student learning outcomes, and in the past decade, she has focused on promoting social justice in society through higher education.
Catherine Carlin – Director
Catherine has been active in CFBISD since joining the Farmers Branch Early Childhood PTA when her daughter was an infant. In the 20+ years since, she has held leadership positions in Local, Council, Area and Texas PTA, and in 2019 received the National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also received the Delta Kappa Gamma Friend of Education Award and the City of Carrollton Neighborhood Leadership Award. She has served on various District committees, including the Citizens Facility Advisory Committee, the CV2030 Committee and currently the Bond Oversight Committee. She also serves on the Carrollton Aqua Racers summer swim team board, and is a Destination Imagination Regional Director. And she owns Green Bay Packers stock…Go Pack Go!
Mary Lovell – Director/Finance & Governance
Mary has volunteered for CFBISD schools since 1991 through community organizations such as North Dallas AAUW, C-FB Association for the Gifted & Talented (C-FB AGT), various PTAs and community advisory committees. She is a Texas PTA Extended Life Member recipient and in 2008 was selected as “Parent of the Year” by the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented. She also serves on the boards of the Harvard Business School Club of Dallas, Hope International, C-FB AGT and CFB AAUW Foundation Inc. Her friends describe her as pleasantly persistent in her advocacy for our public schools.
Cris Manning – Director
Cris Manning is a seasoned higher education professional with over a decade and a half of experience developing and managing strategic alliances between universities and employer-partners. Currently, Cris serves as a Senior Consultant with Colorado Technical University. In this role, Cris negotiates and executes academic partnerships, aligns University products, services, and resources to expressed partner needs, and coordinates communication and engagement strategies across partnering organizations.
Prior to joining the CTU team, Cris served as Strategic Account Manager with DeVry University, Director of Partner Engagement and Recruitment with Abilene Christian University, and Account Executive with Apollo Education Group. His wealth of experience in brand development and strategic account management has produced successful partnerships between the universities that he has represented and many of the most recognizable and respected global brands.
In addition to being a member with the CFBISD Educational Foundation Board of Directors, Cris’ is Co-Lead for the Watch D.O.G.S. program at his daughters’ elementary school, and a member of the District of Innovation Committee for Lewisville Independent School District.
Cris holds a Bachelor of Science/Business Management, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Management/Public Administration. He has also participated in Innovator’s Accelerator, Ferrazzi Greenlight Sales Effectiveness training, Disney Institute Relationship Management program, and has completed coursework toward a Doctor of Management with a concentration in Organizational Leadership.
Outside of his professional work, Cris enjoys time with his wife and two little girls, coaching softball, exercising, and spending time in nature.
Elizabeth Martini – Director
Beth Martini is a CFBISD parent of four children who have been active in Band, Athletics, and dual credit. This has provided opportunity for involvement in many areas of the school district from AGT and Destination Imagination Boards, to PTA and Band Booster Boards.. As a member of the Citizen’s Facilities Advisory Committee she contributed to the bond development and gained views of plans for the future of CFB.
As the granddaughter, daughter, sister, and mother of public school employees, Beth’s heart is in public education. She has seen how much students get out of public education with what they put into it with support and help from educators, parents, and the community.
Her education includes a BS in Pharmacy from UT Austin and an MBA from UT Dallas. Working for Texas Oncology for over 25 years balances her servant heart for oncology with that of education and research.
Jeannette Papadopoulos – Director
Jeannette Papadopoulos has served the greater Dallas Ft Worth community for 23 years. Her expertise includes experience in educational leadership, strategy, and client management with a focus on cultivating new partnerships through collaboration with school administrators, superintendents, principals, and city officials.
As a Real-estate Mortgage Loan Officer, Jeannette relies on her client management and customer service experience to ensure families change the trajectory of their life through finance counseling and home ownership. A mortgage is one of the most significant purchases a person will make, Jeannette’s keen listening skills will ensure each customer’s needs are met by asking the right questions before suggesting a mortgage solution that complements a borrower’s budget and finance strategy.
Jeannette is also very active In the community, she is a devoted volunteer and dedicates her time to serving on the board of the Education Foundation of Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD and as a member of the DFW Hispanic 100, a local network of Latina leaders. She has owned and operated several private businesses and in her free time enjoys spending special moments being a mother to two lovely daughters and as a wife to her high school sweetheart.
Dawn Parnell – Director/CFBISD Liaison
Dawn Parnell has more than 17 years of experience in public education. Currently, she serves as the Chief Communications Officer for Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. Prior to that, Dawn served in Tyler ISD as the Executive Director of Communications and in Killeen ISD as Director of the Education Foundation and Grants.
Ms. Parnell earned a BA and MA in Communications from the University of North Texas. She has an honorary life membership from Texas PTA and a CPC designation (Certified Public Communicator) from Texas Christian University.
Dawn and her husband Dennis have one grown daughter, Natalie, and enjoy camping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Alex Sagcal – Director/Nominations
Alex is an active member of the community and is a passionate supporter of our Public Educational System. Representing Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford and Five Star Chevrolet of Carrollton as Community/Public Relations Manager, Alex is active in three (3) Chambers of Commerce, is a Life-time PTA Member Recipient, and has been an Adjunct Professor at El Centro College/ DCCCD. Having raised his daughter in the CFBISD system (K-12), Alex’s family has experienced the good care and attention to detail available to all of our families.
Laurie Spindler – Director
Laurie Spindler is a Partner in the Bankruptcy Department at Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP in Dallas, TX. Laurie has previously served on the Board of Directors of CurePSP and facilitates an on-line support group for the adult children of patients with PSP, CBD and MSA, which the foundation supports. Laurie currently serves on two other boards and enjoys volunteering at her child’s elementary school, in her community and in the communities that her firm represents. She also enjoys travel, hiking, fitness and reading, among other hobbies.
Christy Spivey - Director
Christy Spivey has dedicated her career to education as a former teacher and in multiple roles within the educational technology space including curriculum and assessment development, virtual school services and customer success.
She and her husband were active volunteers for Band, Athletics, and PTSA while her son attended Ranchview High School. She held board positions on the PTSA and Band Boosters, and in 2019, Christy was honored by the Ranchview High School Band with a Lifetime Booster Membership Award.
Christy currently is the Vice President of Customer Success for Istation, whose mission is to support educators, empower kids, and change lives. She leads the Customer Support and Professional Services teams in their work to help districts and schools achieve successful outcomes.
Her education includes a BA in English from the University of West Georgia and an MA in English from East Tennessee State University.
Outside of her professional work, Christy enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening, and watching baseball.
James Weichel – Director
James Weichel is a Commercial Banker with WaFd Bank and has been in the banking industry for 28 years. James works with commercial clients in the Dallas-Ft Worth area to address their banking needs.
James is very involved in the community and currently serves on the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce (Addison, Carrollton and Farmers Branch) as a board member and previously as Chairman of Board. He also serves on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Education Foundation as a board member. James is a member of the Park Cities Rotary Club and has participated in volunteer projects with the North Texas Food Bank, Dallas Meals on Wheels and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
James lives in Rockwall, TX and has been married for 26 years. He and his wife Kristen have two children: Anna-Kate (age 21) who attends the University of Oklahoma and Griff (age 14) who attends Cain Middle School.
Laurie Wilson – Director/Programs
DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES - As the Administrative Services Director, Laurie Wilson oversees the City Secretary’s Office, Municipal Courts, Resolution Center, Utility Billing, Special Projects, and the Solid Waste Contract. She began her career with the City of Carrollton in 2012 as an Administrative Intern in the Parks and Recreation Department. She has also served as Administrative Services Manager/City Secretary, Marketing Coordinator, and Marketing Assistant. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from the University of North Texas. Laurie is a Texas Registered Municipal Clerk, a Certified Public Manager, and completed the Metrocrest Chamber’s Leadership Program in 2016. She is the past President of the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas and is a member of the Texas City Manager’s Associations, North Texas City Manager’s Association, and International City Manager’s Association. Laurie is on the Board of Directors for the C-FBISD Educational Foundation, the Incoming President of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Rotary Club and has chaired North Texas Regional Leadership Day.