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Board of Directors


JasonRobertsJason Roberts, Chair

Jason Roberts is an artist, civic activist, and urban designer whose life’s work has been dedicated to the creation of healthy, vibrant, and sustainable neighborhoods. In 2006, Jason formed the nonprofit organization, Oak Cliff Transit Authority, to revive the Dallas streetcar system, and later spearheaded the city’s effort in garnering a $23 million grant from the federal government to help reintroduce a modern streetcar system to Dallas. In 2010, Jason organized a series of Better Block projects, taking blighted blocks with vacant properties in Dallas and converting them into temporary, walkable districts with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, cafe seating, and landscaping. The project has become an open-sourced international movement occurring everywhere from Melbourne, Australia to Tehran, Iran, and has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Dwell Magazine. Jason has received a Champions of Change award from the U.S. White House, showcased in the 2012 Venice Biennale, and was listed in Planetizen‘s Top 100 Most Influential Urbanists. 

 

 

1e84850Christian Chernock

Christian has 14 years experience in the renovation, new construction and green building industry as owner/operator of Designing Habitats, a design build firm that focuses on the revitalization of historic and conservation districts. He is experienced in residential market analysis, land acquisition, finance structuring, budget management, energy efficient design/building practices and on site project development. As a lecturer he has presented on the real world applications of Integral Ecology and Sustainability at the national Bioneers Conference, Institute of Noetic Sciences and for other various trade organizations.

Christian has a dedicated history of civic and community work. As a Dallas appointed official he served 8 years on the Board of Adjustments, a quasi-judicial board that hears Dallas building code and zoning related cases. He acts as chairperson for the Oak Cliff Gateway Steering Committee, a small team charged with providing zoning recommendations to the City of Dallas for 850 acres adjacent to the Trinity River. He served as a member of the Dallas Green Building Task Force, a public/private partnership focused on the rewriting of city building codes. Christian also has a history of community outreach with organizations like Habitat for Humanity as a core volunteer trainer and project crew chief.

 

 

Jennifer Sanders, Secretary

Jennifer Sanders is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA), a nonprofit public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of a smart cities plan for Dallas. She brings to the role expertise across a broad array of industries, including energy, technology, economic development, and finance. DIA’s goal is to elevate Dallas as a city that is not only prepared for – but a driving force in shaping – the future of cities, and provide opportunities for prosperity for its citizens. While at the DIA, she has collated a network of 30 member organizations, and works with over 20 departments within the City of Dallas and Dallas County to accomplish an aligned smart city strategy, beginning with the implementation of the Smart Cities Living Lab [phase I], in the West End District in downtown Dallas. This Living Lab incorporates eight smart city projects into a compressed corridor, and the resulting platform will pull in startups, entrepreneurs and university researchers to develop and test additional products and solutions. The Living Lab launched in March of 2017.

She is actively involved with numerous civic organizations in Dallas, and has served as the President of the Mayor’s Star Council, on the Board of the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas, an Ambassador for the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), and the Advisory Board for Dallas-based retail and lifestyle startup, Edition Collective, among others. She has been named to Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Dallas Business Journal’s Top Women in Technology, the Dallas 500 and Tech Week 100. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor concentration in Economics.

 

 

Jennifer Snow

Jennifer Snow practices healthcare law with Thompson & Knight LLP, and has experience in business litigation, nonprofit law, and working with small businesses to support their legal needs. Jennifer has been named a Texas Rising Star by Thomson Reuters for the last four years and was named in 2018 to their list of the top 50 up-and-coming female Texas attorneys. When she is not practicing law, Jennifer is active in the Oak Cliff community. She has been a member of the Fort Worth Avenue Development Group Board for the past six years, helping to steer and support its mission of maintaining a high quality-of-life along the neighborhood’s Fort Worth Avenue corridor through thoughtful development, community engagement, and place-making. In 2016, she was named by Dallas City Council to the Reinvestment Zone 15 Tax Increment Financing Board, which provides tax incentives and financial support to encourage development that improves the public realm. Jennifer also enjoys serving on the board of the Twelve Hills Nature Center, a 40-acre blackland-prairie park adjacent to her children’s elementary school. Jennifer and her husband, Andrew, have two children, Harrison, 7, and Georgia, 5. Jennifer loves cooking with, reading to, and making music with her family.

 

 

Reese Collins

A native Dallasite, Reese earned a BA in Business Management and a BS in Commercial Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Since joining in 2010, Reese has spent the past eight years at Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity creating programmatic change. After guiding families through the home-buying process in the family services department, Reese became the manager for Mortgage Services and subsequently the A Brush With Kindness program. Currently, Reese serves as the Director of Neighborhood Empowerment and has been instrumental in crafting a holistic, educated-based approach for Habitat home buyers and existing neighborhood residents. Reese’s mission in this role is to empower residents to have a hand in reviving their neighborhoods and increasing their quality of life.

Reese is actively involved in his community, serving on multiple boards throughout Dallas. Reese is married with a beautiful daughter. He enjoys playing baseball, traveling, and spending time with his dog. He is also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

 

 

Sharon Lyle

Sharon is the founder and president of Ensemble, an experiential design studio based in Dallas. Ensemble works with clients to build programs, experiences, and activations to bring their missions to life. Some of Ensemble’s current clients include the College Football Playoff Foundation, Downtown Dallas, Inc., AURORA, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Educate Texas of Communities Foundation of Texas, and EarthX.

Prior to starting Ensemble, she co-founded Public City, a community engagement firm, which she co-led from 2013-2017.

Sharon started her career as a fundraiser, went back to business school for her MBA, and then had some awesome jobs working with really cool people at the brand/marketing shop Arrow in Austin, TX. After a move back to Dallas in 2009, she started and ran TEDxSMU and TEDxKids @SMU through 2012.

Sharon is currently on the boards of KERA / North Texas Public Broadcasting, KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth, SMU’s Tate Lecture Series, and SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

 

 

Thom Powell, Treasurer

Bio coming soon.