Julie Baker Finck, Ph.D., President for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, has more than 20 years of experience in the field of K-12 education. Prior to this role, Dr. Finck served on the executive leadership team of the Houston Independent School District as Chief Academic Officer and Chief Major Projects Officer. She has served in leadership positions at both a regional and state level in Ohio leading large-scale, education reform initiatives. Prior to her move to Houston, she served as a senior director at Battelle for Kids, a national nonprofit organization. Dr. Finck began her career as a middle school teacher in Kentucky. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in education administration from Ohio State University.
Kristen Oesch Stubbs has over 20 years of experience in non-profit fund development and volunteer management. Throughout her career, she has raised millions of dollars for large national non-profits organizations and has led several large teams in fund development and event execution. Prior to her start with the Foundation, Kristen served as the Executive Director of JDRF and the Regional Vice President of Strategic Philanthropy with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society during which she developed a successful strategic development strategy for individual and major giving and fundraising events. Kristen earned her Bachelors of Arts in speech communications from the University of Texas at Austin.
José Paulo Calvillo, Director of Operations for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, has more than 10 years of experience in the private and K-12 education sectors. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served for five years as an executive assistant to the Houston Independent School District’s Chief Academic Officer and Chief Major Projects Officer. In this role, Mr. Calvillo led several high-profile special projects, was responsible for coordinating administrative staff across nine departments and served as a liaison within the community. Mr. Calvillo earned his Bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University.
Kime Smith, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Foundation graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans with a BA in Mass Communications and a minor in Business Administration. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kime served as the Director of Recruitment for Big Brothers Big Sisters helping to mobilize volunteers, as well as creating corporate and community partnerships in the Houston area. She has served as a Big Sister for the last 10 years, and is currently matched to a 11-year-old Little Sister. Kime is passionate about empowering youth to reach their fullest potential, and loves spending time with her Little – baking, reading, and attending Houston sporting events. During her free time Kime enjoys following the latest health, beauty and fitness trends. She believes that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to having a happy life.
Ricki Hendrix, Operations Manager for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, is our newest member to the Foundation. She is a native Houstonian who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston with a Bachelors of Science in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Throughout her professional career, Ricki has aided in raising substantial amounts of money for large scale events. She has also played a major role in managing the annual A Celebration of Reading event for the past seven years. Outside of work Ricki enjoys spending time with her husband and adorable 1-year-old son. She also loves cooking and entertaining for her friends and family.
Throughout Amanda’s undergraduate studies at Texas Tech University, she was involved in meeting coordination and event planning as she earned her Bachelors of Science in Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management in 2010. She worked as a Catering Administrative Assistant in a large hotel in Chicago, but soon realized her passion for helping others and making a difference. This realization led Amanda to start working in the nonprofit sector in 2011 while pursuing a Masters of Nonprofit Management in 2012 from The New School in New York City.
Beth Horner joined our team this Spring as the Development VISTA. She has been enjoying her service through preparing grants, fundraising events, building relationships with community partners and recruiting volunteers. Beth moved to Houston in 2015 and brought along her passion for fostering the skills of lifelong learning and literacy which drew her to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. Beth has over 10 years of experience in the field of education as a teacher specializing in reading and an assessor performing pre-reading assessments with preschoolers. She graduated with a Bachelors of Art in Psychology from University of Connecticut and received a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Chapman University. When her service year is completed she will further devote her time to developing her career and commitment to the field of education. When she is not at the Foundation she is with her husband, daughter and energetic 2-year-old Australian Shepherd on the Hike & Bike Trail in the Heights.
Marina Khalid has joined our team as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Program Management. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Global Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. During her senior year, she was the president of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship of Citizen Scholars (IECS), an organization devoted to supporting undergrad research and grad school ambitions. While at BBHLF, she hopes to gain experience and learn all the necessary skills in creating, managing, and executing a successful non-profit program. She aspires to get her Master’s in International Relations and Public Policy and work to better the lives of those who struggle to do so on their own. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, watching Friends, volunteering, and doing puzzles.
Mercedes Landry is an AmeriCorps member serving as the Literacy Awareness Campaign VISTA. She attended Texas A&M University, became a member of Delta Sigma Pi, studied abroad in Cuba, and graduated in 2017 with a degree in Business Management. After her service with AmeriCorps, she plans to pursue a law degree and a career in higher education. She values her time at the Foundation contributing to the cause here in Houston, learning how non-profits operate and make an impact in the community. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, volunteering, working out, and shopping.
Brooke Wages started at The Foundation in June as an Operations VISTA. She graduated from North Carolina University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During her time in college she founded the Christian Mentoring Association. After graduating she joined BP North America and completed their Leadership and Development Rotational Program and went on to work as an Area Maintenance Engineer for offshore and subsea pipelines. Her desire to join The Foundation came from her own experience from dealing with Dyslexia throughout adolescence. She plans on becoming a social entrepreneur and develop an organization that places ex-offenders in skilled trades. In her free time Brooke enjoys studying Mandarin Chinese, painting, and volunteering.
Olivia Anne Lewis is the newest member to The Foundation and has joined our team as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Program Management. Olivia has recently graduated from Rice University with a degree in Cognitive Science. During her time in college she designed and led a STEM outreach program in underprivileged HISD schools. She is hoping to learn more about nonprofit management because in the future she plans to start a nonprofit that translates modern neuroscience research into best practices in education. She is a native of Los Angeles, speaks fluent French, and is currently learning Arabic. In her free time Olivia enjoys hiking, watching movies, and eating delicious food.
Shalethia Jones is another addition to our team who has joined us from AmeriCorps as a Web Solutions VISTA. She is an ambitious student who is completing dual degrees in Healthcare Administration and Human Resource Management. During her time in college, she has decided to become a dedicated business professional whose primary goals rests in developing technological and medical advancements in communities all over the world. By joining The Foundation she is hoping to gain more understanding of the tech and business management aspect of the nonprofit world. Her ultimate goal is to be able to change at least one person's life for the better. In her free time, she loves reading, sewing, origami and being herself.
Cameron Zein-Eldin has joined our team as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Program Curriculum. He recently graduated from Belmont University in Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts, studying Religion and Ethics. Following his year of service, Cameron hopes to return to school in pursuit of an MSW with a concentration on research in Macro-practice. In the past, he has interned and worked under writers and community developers in the Nashville area. In his spare time Cameron loves to write about things he reads, play disc golf, and talk and joke with others about life experiences.