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Meet The Arc of Katy Board

Margaret Laney, Vice President/Acting President

Margaret was elected to The Arc of Katy Board of Directors in 2012, became vice-president in 2015 and has been acting/interim president since November 2016. She previously chaired the organization’s Communications Committee.

A native of Denver, Colo., Margaret has more than 30 years of experience in public, government and regulatory affairs and communications, mostly in the energy industry. She is currently Director of Industry & Regulatory Coordination for BP’s Global Wells Organization.

Margaret has served on the boards of directors and committees of a variety of energy industry trade associations as well as several non-profit organizations in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado and Illinois and is a 2005 fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago. Margaret completed the Kellogg Management Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from The Metropolitan State College in Denver.

Margaret lives in Katy, Texas, with her husband, Steve Laney, who is a day program instructor for The Arc of Katy. They have four adult children and three grandchildren.

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Donna Bode, Secretary

Donna has been a member of The Arc of Katy for more than 10 years. She is the parent of a child with Down Syndrome. Donna served on the committee to develop the Day Program that opened in Feb. 2005 and as one of the instructors. She continues to volunteer at The Arc of Katy Day Program on occasion. She served four years as social director, and five years as secretary. Donna is a retired Katy ISD school teacher. She and her husband Bob have two sons, a daughter, and two grandchildren. They attend Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church.

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David Brown, MBA, CPA, Treasurer

David Brown was elected to The Arc of Katy Board in 2016. A native of Atlanta, Ga., David has more than 30 years of experience in business planning and analysis, accounting and tax compliance with a strong emphasis in not-for-profit organizations. He is currently operating Brown Arrow Consulting LLC which provides financial operating leadership to small businesses. David has also pursued a passion to write and has authored five books including 4 science fiction novels. David is on the board of the MIT Club of South Texas where he has served since 2013 and operated Gift Bags for the Homeless since 2009.

In the past David has served on the board of directors of a variety of charitable and community service organizations in the areas of community development, private schools, public assistance and self-help. David has been a certified public accountant for almost 30 years and has held an active license in Texas since 2008. He earned an MBA from the Williams College of Business at Xavier University in Cincinnati, a Master of Ministry in Theology from Cincinnati Bible Seminary at Cincinnati Christian University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. David also completed graduate studies in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. David lives in Katy, Texas, with his wife, Yasmin, who is a global carbon industry expert for Jacobs Engineering. They have four children – Paige, Elicia, Christopher and Andrew.

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Marisa Adams, Board Member

Marisa Adams has been active in the Katy community since she was a student here. She graduated from Katy High School and then attended Texas A&M University where she earned a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies before returning to Katy to teach. She then received her Masters of Science in Educational Leadership and became an Assistant Principal in the Katy Independent Schools District. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Education at Texas A&M. After working as an administrator at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels, Marisa now works with Title I schools in KISD and is responsible for ensuring campuses are in compliance with federal and state laws.

Marisa is passionate about working with children of all ages and in all facets. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Katy Visual and Performing Arts and is also a member of the First United Methodist Church of Katy where she leads the dance ministry, In His Steps, volunteers in the youth ministry and serves in the Worship Arts Ministry.

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Amy Campbell, Board Member

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Amy also grew up in the Houston/Memorial area and attended school in Spring Branch I.S.D. After graduating from Sam Houston State University in December of 1981, Amy began her teaching career as a substitute teacher in Spring Branch I.S.D in the Spring of 1982, and then as a Special Education teacher at Katy High School in the Fall of 1982. While at Katy High School, she piloted the Life Skills Program and helped to start a swim program for students with special needs that later became known as the Adaptive Aquatics Program. She later moved to James E. Taylor High School in 1995 and started the Life Skills Program and Vocational Adjustment Program there. Amy served as a faculty sponsor of the James E. Taylor High School Best Buddies Club from its start in 2001, as the 2nd high school Best Buddies Club in the State of Texas, until December 2016.

In 1989 she was present at the first organizational meeting of Katy I.S.D. staff and parents of students with special needs who worked together to form a local chapter of The Arc. Amy has been a member of the organization since its original charter in August of 1990. She later served as a member of the Board of Directors, and then as Vice- President of the organization, and was recently elected again to the Board of Directors in May of 2015.

She helped start The Arc of Katy’s Pilot Adult Day Camp in 2005, and that same year she was also named James E. Taylor High School’s Teacher of the Year. In 2014 she was recognized for her service to The Arc of Katy by being named as honoree of their Annual Triumph Gala Event. In addition to being a member of the Board of Directors, Amy also serves as co-chair of the Communications Committee, and is a member of the Program Committee.Amy recently retired from a rewarding teaching career after 34 years with Katy I.S.D., but plans to continue serving The Arc of Katy for many years to come.

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Ellen Candito, Board Member

Ellen was born, raised and educated in Boston, MA, but got to Katy as quickly as she could. Ellen was elected to The Arc of Katy Board in 2012, and serves on the Development Committee, as well as on the Gala Committee.

Ellen is employed as a Speech Language Pathologist with KISD, and works with the junior- and senior-high populations. She received her undergraduate degree from Bridgewater State University, MA, in Communication Disorders, with a minor in Special Education and Psychology. She did graduate work at University of Houston and University of Denver.

Ellen was a Speech Pathologist with HISD before moving to Denver, where her son and daughter were born. From there, she lived in Dallas, and Billings, MT, before arriving in Katy in 1994.

Ellen has been a confirmation catechist at Epiphany of the Lord for the past eight years, and taught CCE while her children were going through the program. In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities including kayaking, biking, traveling and spending precious time enjoying family and friends.

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Dennis Combrink, Board Member

Dennis Combrink joined The Arc of Katy Board of Directors in 2015. He and his wife, Jeanne Ann, moved to Katy from San Marcos in 1994 and got involved with The Arc of Katy and Special Olympics with their daughter Joy. She was one of the first campers in the Day Program and really enjoyed it. They chair the Social Committee for The Arc of Katy and are coaches of the Katy Comets bowling team for Special Olympics.

Dennis is the City Director of Houston for CRU/Campus Crusade for Christ and the Priority Associates marketplace ministry. He is a graduate of Kansas State University in Business Administration. He and Jeanne Ann have been on staff with CRU for 46 years. Dennis and Jeanne Ann have five other children and 15 grandchildren. They are members of Grace Fellowship of Cinco Ranch.

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Sherry Davies, Board Member

Sherry Davies joined The Arc of Katy Board of Directors in August 2016. She also is actively involved with the Katy Area Economic Development Council (Membership Committee 2016/2017), Katy Chamber of Commerce, Texas Networking-Katy Chapter, Katy Continuity of Care, Katy Military Affairs and The Ballard House.

Sherry has been employed by Service Corporation International (SCI) for 23 years, beginning her career in Dallas, at Sparkman-Hillcrest. She transferred to Houston in 1998 and managed the construction project for Katy Funeral Home, which opened in 2013.

Sherry and her husband, Horace, have four grown daughters, Jennifer, Pamela, Miki and Jordon, and a much loved fur-kid, Walter an Airedale Terrier. She is an avid runner and cyclist and enjoys activities outdoors such as kayaking, gardening, spending time on the beach or floating a river, as well as hunting through a good antique market.

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Don Elder Jr., Board Member

Don Elder Jr. was raised on a rice farm and ranch in Katy, Texas, where his dad and two uncles farmed for over 33 years. Don graduated from Katy High School and attended Sam Houston State University where he received Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees. He taught college courses at both Sam Houston State University and Hill College. Don has over 30 years of experience in sales/marketing in the Ready-Mix business. He owns Elder Consulting where he works with school and governmental entities.

Don served on the Katy Independent School District Board of Trustees for two terms. After that, he was elected to the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) County Board. He served on this Board for ten years, two terms as president. He resigned from Katy City Council to run for Mayor and was elected May 12, 2007. He ran unopposed in the May 2009 election and was re-elected for a second term. He again ran unopposed in May 2011 and served until 2013.

Don serves on the Talent Committee of the Economic Development Board as well as the Governing Board of the EDC. He has served on the Business Development Board of Sterling Bank and presently serves on the Development Board for Houston Community College (HCC). Some of Don’s other community involvement, to name a few, are past member of the Katy Athletic Booster Club; past president of Katy High School Alumni Association; honorary member of Katy FFA, as well as other schools in the district; member of the Katy FFA Sales Committee; member of Board of Directors for Katy Area A&M Club; past president of Katy Area A&M Club; member of Board of Directors for Katy FFA Rodeo Committee; member of the 12th Man Foundation, Texas A&M University.

Don’s wife of 50 years, Ida Faye, was also raised in Katy and they have one son, Shane. Both Ida Faye and Shane are Katy High School graduates. The Elders are active members of the First United Methodist Church in the “Heart of Katy.”

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Ida Faye Elder, Board Member

Ida Faye Elder was raised in Katy, Texas, where she attended Katy Elementary, Katy Junior High and Katy High School. She graduated in May of 1966 from Katy High. She and Don got married that same year and moved to Huntsville. She attended Sam Houston State University for one year. She also had a full-time job at the college as secretary and then later worked at the Huntsville prison as a file clerk. They moved to Hillsboro, Texas, where she worked as a secretary and also attended classes to receive her Associate of Applied Science Degree. They moved back to Katy where Ida Faye worked for the Katy School District as an administrative assistant. She retired in December of 2011 after 35 years of service.

Ida Faye has been a member and president of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. She was involved in Katy athletics when their son, Shane, was in school and later was an officer with the Katy Aggie Mom’s. Along with Don, Ida Faye has been involved with the Katy A&M Club, Katy FFA & Rodeo and church committees at First United Methodist Church where they are members. She currently is on the City’s Parks and Recreation Board. During the 6 years that Don has been Mayor, she has been involved in many city activities and functions.

Since Ida Faye’s retirement, she enjoys finding time to exercise, cook and work in the yard. She and Don are still involved with Aggie football as well as Roadrunner football. Don and Ida Faye have been married 50 years in May, 2016.

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Denise Hester, Board Member

Denise is a Managing Director in KPMG’s Advisory Services practice with over 16 years of experience in contract compliance, internal audit, and SOX compliance. She is a member of KPMG’s Global Software Asset Management team and leads the KPMG Global Oracle licensing team.

Denise has her MS in Information Systems, MS in Accounting, and BS in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and a Certified Information Systems Auditor. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounting; Institute of Internal Auditors; Information Systems Audit and Control Association and National Association of Black Accounting.

Denise is originally from Louisiana, but moved to Texas in 1999. She and her husband live in the Reserve of Katy. They have three sons ages 20, 13, and 5. They enjoy spending time with their sons in the park. They are also sports fans so whenever they get the chance, they are attending sporting events.

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Carolyn Kares, Board Member

Carolyn was elected to The Arc of Katy Board of Directors in May, 2015. She is a native Texan having been born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas. She has an autistic nephew who attends the Arc Day Camp and began volunteering with the Summer Camp, Day Camp and Gala Committee. She also enjoys volunteering with Interfaith Ministries Katy Meals on Wheels, the Katy Fussell Senior Center and Katy’s Wolf Pack Special Olympics Team. She serves on the boards of the Houston Junior Forum and All Saints Third Age Learning Center. She is a 50 year member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and has served in various offices including President of the Houston Council and is a recipient of the sorority’s highest honor, the International Award of Distinction.

She and husband Joe, a recently retired CPA, attend Tallowood Baptist Church and have a daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons.

Carolyn serves as The Arc of Katy Program Committee Chairman and participates on the social and development committees.

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Vicki Knowles, Board Member

First introduced to the Arc by volunteering for the National Charity League, Vicki was invited to head the Gala Committee in 2010. She joined the Board the next year to fill a mid-term vacancy. A Texas A&M graduate in Engineering, Vicki has a wide variety of work and volunteer experience, particularly in event planning at school, Scouts and church. She and her husband, Steve, lived overseas in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia before returning to Houston with their three children in 1996.

Vicki's primary focus with a commitment to the future development of a permanent home for all of The Arc of Katy's programs. Vicki currently serves as the Gala Chairman and is Chair of the Development  committee.

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Mike Lattal, Board Member

Mike joined The Arc Board in May 2010 and is past president of the Board. He also has supported The Arc as a volunteer assisting in fund-raising and charity events and the program committee. He has developed his passion for Arc participants through his wife, Therese, who is a counselor for the Day Camp program. He has spent over 30 years in the oil and gas business specializing in Natural Gas and Gas liquids business with BP and Statoil.

Mike served on the Board and as president of the Natural Gas Processors Association, an industry organization associated with Natural Gas Midstream Operations. Originally a native of the Chicago area, he received his Masters in Business Administration Degree from DePaul University, and undergraduate degree from Western Illinois. He currently is a member of Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church in Katy, and assists the St. Vincent DePaul organization. Mike and Therese have three children and two grandchildren.

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Margaret Lawton, Board Member

Margaret Lawton was born and raised in Uvalde, Texas, and moved to Houston in 1976. Shortly after the birth of her youngest daughter, she moved to Katy and became very active in the community. As her daughters were growing up, Margaret volunteered as a Sunday School teacher and youth leader, sponsoring and planning numerous activities, trips, and camps. Additionally, she served as the Co-President of the Katy High School Band Boosters for six years.

A teacher at the Little People’s School in Katy for 22 years, Margaret has a deep sense of passion for helping and educating children. She retired to help care for her grandchildren fulltime and volunteer in Katy schools as they were growing up. She is also very active as a member of the First United Methodist Church in Katy where she has served on and chaired numerous committees and volunteers as a lead usher and the Wee Joice Choir Director, the choir for four- and five-year-old children. In 2010, she received the United Methodist Men’s Sweetheart award in recognition of her years of service to the church. She has also served as judge for the Katy Future Farmers of America Rodeo Parade and continues to volunteer at local Katy elementary schools even though her grandchildren no longer attend.

Margaret has two daughters, two sons-in law, and four grandchildren who live in the Katy and Austin areas.

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Jimmy Moran, Board Member

Jimmy Moran was elected to The Arc of Katy Board in late 2016. A native of New Orleans, Jimmy has more than 35 years of experience in the energy industry. He is currently Chair of the BP Houston Citizens Action Program (CAP).

Jimmy completed undergraduate work at the University of New Orleans and earned his Master’s Degree in Business and Finance from NOVA University Southeastern in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Jimmy lives in old Katy, Texas, with his wife Marti. They have one daughter and three grandchildren.

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Kristie Ondracek, Board Member

Kristie Ondracek is a native Nebraskan who moved to Houston six years ago for her employment. She enjoyed her time here immensely so four years ago she convinced her mother and sister to join her. Kristie works full time for TransCanada as a financial reporting accountant. In her TransCanada position, she coordinates quarterly and annual filing.

Outside of work, Kristie volunteers for the Houston Certified Public Accountants Society and is on their board of directors. For the past two years, she was chair of the CPA Society’s Helping Schools Committee. She also was involved in the Silent Auction for the Scholarship Extravaganza that occurs annually to raise money for accounting scholarships.

In addition, Kristie volunteers with Special Olympics with the Katy Wolf Pack as a chaperone and assists with the golf tournament. She also is active with her church community. Kristie’s hobbies include scrapbooking, making handmade cards, reading and participating in various runs including 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons.

Kristie’s sister, Wanda, is a participant in The Arc of Katy. Kristie is her guardian.

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Andy Wohlgemuth, Board Member

Andy was born in northern Missouri and raised in the Missouri Ozarks. He attended college shortly before entering the US Air Force in 1976. He earned an Associate’s degree and certification as an Air Force Meteorologist.

After his military completion in 1981, he came to Texas to start a business as a US Government Service Contractor providing meteorological support services at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport. In the summer, he expanded the business to Houston where it grew and operated for 24 years. During this time, Andy purchased a home and raised three children in the Woodlands area.

Andy moved to Katy in 2009 and worked for Brookshire Brothers, then to H-E-B at the opening of the I-10-Pin Oak location. In this position, Andy served as the Area Community Coordinator for the company, held several champion roles in wellness, diversity, the United Way, handled community engagement, events, volunteerism, and donations. He was an Ambassador with the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce and served on the Rice Harvest Festival Committee. He was very involved with Katy ISD in areas from serving on campus advisory teams to serving in other advisory roles. He was on the Leadership Katy Cohort and mentored students as a part of the Keys Program.

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Programs & Events

Arc of Katy Socials

socials

Our socials are held at the Katy Family YMCA, 1100 South Peek Road at Westheimer Parkway, Katy, Texas 77450 from 7 - 9 p.m.

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Adult Activity Day Camps

camp

The Adult Day Activity Camp serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a safe and fun environment.

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Summer Camp

summer camp

We offer three annual Summer Camp sessions that give campers and their families flexibility for camp and other summertime activities.

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