Leadership. Strategy. Success.
The Thompson Conference Center Leadership Board is a group of local leaders focused on supporting the Thompson Conference Center (TCC) in fulfilling its mission.
Key goals for the board include:
- Assisting in setting and monitoring strategic goals and measuring performance and quality standards for Thompson Conference Center services;
- Aiding in the monitoring of design and development of TCC Master Redesign Plan designed to meet the needs of the campus community at an affordable price;
- Advocating for and supporting Thompson Conference Center efforts to rebrand and reposition itself as a preferred educational events and conferencing facility on campus for UT Austin campus departments, state, and non-profit organizations;
- Providing ongoing feedback on current and future services needed for Thompson Conference Center to fulfill TEXAS Extended Campus’s vision for Thompson Conference Center to become the preferred conferencing facility on campus.
Members of the Board
Lee Bash is the Executive Director of Operations in the University Development Office at The University of Texas at Austin. In this position he oversees Development Marketing and Communications, Annual Giving, Donor Relations and Financial Operations. Prior to joining the University Development Office, he was Executive Director of University Events and was responsible for overseeing event production for both the Office of the President and the University Development Office. Before coming to UT Austin in 1995, Mr. Bash held a leadership role at the Texas Society of Architects. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.
Leah Casey has worked for the State of Texas in the Texas Health and Human Services system for the last nine years. Her current role is Senior Policy and Financial Analyst for the Financial Services Division, which oversees more than 39,709 staff and a budget of more than $36 billion, in the capacity of a Cross Division Coordinator. Prior to the State of Texas, she served as the Executive Director of the Monterey County Peace Officers Association, and also worked as the Executive Assistant to the Police Chief for the City of Monterey, California. While an undergraduate, she interned for the Department of Child Support Services of Monterey County for over two years building the Court Liaison Project that continues to serve that community since 2005. She also interned with First 5, a county non-profit organization funded by Proposition 10 Tobacco Tax to improve the health of children ages 0-5 which granted funds to community health improvement projects. Ms. Casey earned a bachelor’s degree in Collaborative Health Human Services and Public Policy with concentration in Public Health and Social Work from California State University Monterey Bay, and is a certified Project Management Professional. Her focus in both career and volunteering is helping families achieve better health outcomes.
Lyn Chasteen is Senior Vice President of Programs and Engagement for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. As a member of the executive team, she provides leadership towards achieving the Chamber’s mission and goals. Chasteen manages a dynamic team focused on membership acquisition, member retention, sponsor sales, and event management that serve members of the Chamber, which is acknowledged as the “Most credible organization on issues” according to an Austin Voter Survey conducted by Baselice and Associates (2017). Prior to the Chamber, Chasteen spent 27 years in the media which included leading the Austin Business Journal (ABJ) as publisher. During her 15-year tenure at ABJ, Chasteen earned four American City Eagle Awards for Excellence, the highest award given for outstanding achievement. She also initiated several successful recognition events for the publication including ABJ Morning Call, Best Places to Work, Best Real Estate Awards, CEO and CFO awards, Fast 50, Health Care Heroes, Profiles in Power and Residential Real Estate Top Producers. Chasteen previously worked in leadership positions at non-profits in Austin including several years as Chief Revenue Office for the Long Center. She also has served as a volunteer board member for the Austin Lyric Opera, Greater Austin Chamber, Heart Walk, Junior Achievement, and Long Center Corporate Council.
Lovdy Grossman is the Director of the Office of Conferences and Training at the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. She has over 15 years of experience developing, managing and executing educational meetings, conferences, long‐term training and educational programs. Her responsibilities at the LBJ School include providing comprehensive conference development and support services for faculty, governmental agencies, non-profits and professional associations on a myriad of topics. In addition, her office provides training in the technical subjects critical to the professional development of public servants. She earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from UCLA and a master’s in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin.
Tom Hatfield is the Director of the Military History Institute in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and Dean Emeritus of Continuing Education at UT Austin. He instigated the OLLI programs in lifelong learning and is the founding President Emeritus of the Austin Community College District. He co-founded UT Austin’s esteemed Normandy Scholar Program, concentrating on the Second World War. He is the author of Rudder: From Leader to Legend, the acclaimed biography of Earl Rudder, and he co-authored Frank Denius’s celebrated memoir, On The Way: My Life and Times. He has been married to Carol Sutherland since 1959.
Debbie Johnson’s career includes over 20 years working for AT&T/Lucent Technologies, ending as regional VP before founding her own business as a consultant to help other organizations grow through strategic planning, marketing initiatives and sales efforts. She met her current business partner shortly after coming to Austin, and in 2009 they formed Successful Giving, a consultancy that helps businesses be strategic with their philanthropy. She has extensive nonprofit experience through hands-on and board volunteering, serving on 20 boards of directors. Debbie is a native Nebraskan, graduated from the University of Nebraska and took additional advanced coursework from MIT and Peter Senge.
Angie Nabors is the owner of Stratevent Consulting where she collaborates with organizations to strategically execute programs and exhibits. Working with Fortune 500 companies, Ms. Nabors has held positions with responsibility for multi-million dollar budgets, which included individual show expenses that exceeded $1M. Her emphasis on conception, strategy, implementation and onsite execution has enabled her to meet business and financial expectations of large and small clients. She continues to empower teams to project manage event calendars that address the objectives of marketing, sales and executive management. Additionally, Ms. Nabors is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and has served on multiple exhibitor advisory boards.
Elizabeth B. Nowicki, ACSW, LCSW, received her BA (’76) and MSSW ('86) from The University of Texas at Austin. She has directed the Steve Hicks School of Social Work's Office of Professional Development since its establishment in 2000. Trained as a clinician, Ms. Nowicki worked in Austin-area children’s acute and residential treatment programs (1986-1992), then served as director of the non-profit Regional Network for Children of Central Texas (1992-2000). Her professional interests include university/community collaboration and distance learning in human services. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Texas Chapter, a member of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and currently serves as the co-chair of the Continuing Education Network (CENET) for CSWE.
Gregory J. Smith is the Assistant Dean for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) at The University of Texas School of Law. He oversees all aspects of the educational and business operations of the CLE department, including program development, event management, marketing, finance and technology. Before joining Texas Law in 2012, he managed the legal publishing departments for several other continuing legal education providers, including the Colorado Bar Association and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He is a Past President of the Association for Continuing Legal Education and a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law and Colorado State University.
Jerry Tapley grew up in a small ranching community south of San Antonio. In 1960, armed with 35mm camera, $20 and a high school diploma, he arrived unannounced in Austin and enrolled at the University of Texas to study photography with Russell Lee. He fell in love with the city of Austin and a coed named Sarah. After graduation, came a career in photography, film and television production and network consulting. He retired after 30 years with 3M in public relations and corporate marketing. Mr. Tapley is a founding board member of the International Television Association and a Lifetime member of the National Association of Broadcasters.