Governing Board

The Early Matters Dallas Governing Board is comprised of local business and philanthropic leaders committed to ensuring every child has a solid educational and developmental foundation so they are reading on a college-ready pace by 3rd grade. The purpose of the Governing Board is to:

  • Engage community leaders and key stakeholders to coalesce around the importance of supporting and advancing quality early learning
  • Coordinate with other Early Matters initiatives and support statewide efforts to impact legislation
  • Encourage communication and, when appropriate, facilitate coordination of all Early Childhood initiatives and programs (especially, data sharing)
  • Identify trends and gaps, highlight best practices, and monitor progress against the regional Early Childhood Action Plan
  • Identify, at a community level, when additional resources are needed
  • Lead (or identify leaders for) efforts to solicit and/or leverage increased resources

Governing Board Members

Peter Beck

Peter Beck joined The Beck Group in 1981 after graduating from Princeton University with a civil engineering degree followed by an MBA from Stanford. While at Princeton, he pursued a combined program in architecture and engineering from which he began to learn about the challenges and opportunities of integrating design and construction.

After serving as a Project Manager, Peter assumed responsibility for the firm as CEO in the early 1990’s. He brought together a management team committed to achieving order-of-magnitude improvements in project costs, schedule, and design quality through integrating design and construction. In 1999, Beck merged with a 40 person architecture firm and began to build a design practice in each office including Dallas, Austin, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa, and Mexico City.

Over the past few decades, The Beck Group has developed an 82 percent customer retention rate. The firm has invested heavily in strategic technologies to integrate knowledge and practices across disciplines which it now licenses to many firms in the AEC industry. Among other distinctions, The Beck Group has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the “Best 100 Companies to Work For” and has been ranked by Building Design & Construction as the 50th largest builder and the 30th largest design firm in the U.S.

Chief David Brown, Retired

Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown served the Dallas Police department for 33 years as the department’s longest serving chief in modern times. Chief Brown made several remarkable accomplishments during his historic tenure.
Chief Brown transitioned the department into a community policing focused organization recognizing that building and maintaining the public’s trust could only be accomplished through transparency, accountability, and insuring officers are well trained.
Chief Brown’s strength, compassion, and leadership during the department’s most difficult times revealed to the country and the world the Dallas Police department’s dedication and commitment to excellence.
Chief Brown attended the University of Texas at Austin, holds a Bachelors’ degree in Business from Dallas Baptist University, and a Masters’ in Business Administration from Amberton University.
Chief Brown currently serves as an ABC news on-air contributor, Senior advisor for the Rainwater Foundation, Board member for Early Matters Dallas, Co-Chair of Law enforcement Leaders to reduce crime and mass incarceration, and community relations liaison with the Dallas Mavericks. He is authoring his first book, Called to Rise, a memoir, due June 2017.

Jay Clingman

Jay Clingman is the Managing Director of the North Texas Region for Middle Market Banking. His group focuses on companies ranging from $20 million to $500 million in revenue.

Jay joined JPMorgan Chase Bank-San Antonio as a commercial lending officer in 1988.  In 1990, he started the Capital Markets Office in San Antonio working with investments for institutional and individual accounts.  He moved to JPMorgan Chase-Dallas in 1997 and was promoted to Statewide Manager of Capital Markets where his group managed over $10 billion in assets.  In 2000, Jay moved back to San Antonio and became the Managing Director of the Central Texas Region for the JPMorgan Private Bank and later assumed responsibility for Houston as well.

In 2004, Jay returned to Commercial Banking as Market Manager for Middle Market Banking in San Antonio. Most recently in 2013 , Jay moved back to Dallas to assume the Market Manager role Dallas and recently the North Texas Region Managing Director position.

Jay graduated from Texas A&M University with a BBA in Finance.  He received his MBA from the University of Texas- San Antonio. He enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing and all sports.

Regen Fearon

Regen has spent most of her life focused upon the lives of young children starting as a student teacher during high school (Foster Elementary, DISD). She has worked as a teacher, school counselor, head of school, mother and, for the last 30 years, as a civic leader for a variety of organizations serving young children and their families.

In the Dallas community, Regen’s service includes leadership positions at the Child Care Group, Dallas Assembly, Dallas Foundation, Junior League of Dallas, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Dallas County Community College Foundation Board, Dallas for Children, Educational First Steps, Girls’ Adventure Trails, The Hockaday School, Planned Parenthood and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Regen served as the Chair of the Zero to Five Funders Collaborative, an initiative of over 40 Dallas area foundations working together to make measurable progress toward school readiness for one of Dallas’ most needy neighborhoods, which launched the Bachman Lake Together Family Center in 2016.

In business, Regen created an online product, PlumLife, designed to meet scheduling and communication needs of busy families. She is a former Director of Signature Bank Dallas. A Dallas native, Regen is a graduate of The Hockaday School, Yale University and holds a M.Ed from the University of North Texas.

Charles Glover

Charles Glover oversees charitable investments in the areas of education and the arts for the Meadows Foundation, Inc. Glover originally moved to Dallas to establish Teach For America-Dallas, as founding Executive Director. He then served as a cabinet member in Dallas ISD and as the Senior Fellow at Bellwether Education. Charles started his career in Durham, NC as a middle school teacher and football coach. He currently serves on numerous non-profit boards in the Metroplex and across the state of Texas. He is an alumnus of Leadership Dallas and was recognized by the DBJ’s 40 under 40. Glover received his B.S. in Sociology from Texas A&M University and his M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.

Thornton Hardie

Thornton Hardie (“T.”) currently serves as president of The Rees-Jones Foundation, a private grant-making foundation operating primarily in North Texas. Prior to joining The Rees-Jones Foundation in 2007, he was a 30-year lawyer at the Dallas law firm, Thompson & Knight LLP, with practice emphasis on tax and business planning for clients of the firm. T. is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and the University of Texas at Austin Law School.

T. and his wife, Susie, have lived in the Dallas area for 40 years. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren. They are active members of Highland Park Presbyterian Church and they have served in various volunteer capacities for area non-profit organizations.

Over the many years he has lived in the Dallas area, T. has observed the overwhelming needs and increasing numbers of children living in poverty in our community. He has become convinced that one of the most effective means of addressing these needs and creating opportunities for these children is to provide quality early childhood education. He and Susie have personally supported the efforts of various agencies in Dallas to promote quality early childhood experiences, including the education of both young children and their parents. Early Matters Dallas presents an opportunity to encourage broad participation across the whole region in these types of experiences.

Susan Hoff

Susan Hoff is a native of Midland, Texas. She earned a degree in bilingual/bicultural education from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and completed graduate work in early childhood education at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and post graduate work in public administration and policy analysis at the University of Texas at Dallas. In early 2009 she joined United Way of Metropolitan Dallas where she currently serves as Chief Impact, Strategy, and Operations Officer.

Prior to joining the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas team in 2009, Susan was the CEO and President of ChildCareGroup, a Dallas based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, delivering and expanding the best child care services available outside the home. She worked in several other nonprofit organizations including Educational First Steps, Good Shepherd Community Center, and Rainbow Days.

Her professional experience includes the positions of teacher, child care center director, and parent educator in domestic violence and drug abuse prevention programs. She is a trainer and public speaker, has developed curricula and educational publications for children and adults, and is an accomplished fund developer. Susan is a well-known children’s advocate at the local, state, and national levels.

Susan is the Board Chair for First3Years, serves on the boards of Texas Partnership for Out of School Time (TXPOST) and Texans Care for Children, and is a past president of the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. She was appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings to the board of Workforce Solutions Dallas County in 2012 and 2015.

She was the founding board chair of the Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition (TECEC) and served as a member of the advisory board of the Texas Early Care and Education Career Development System, served on the Board of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, and is a past board chair of the Social Venture Partners Dallas and the Jr. League of Richardson.

Susan and her husband Steve are the proud parents of three children, Dustin, Miranda, and Madeline.

Dena Jackson

Dena Jackson joined the Dallas Women’s Foundation in February 2012 as the VP – Grants & Research. In this role, she provides direction for areas of research on topics focused on women and girls, leadership in the $4.2M in annual grants on education, health, safety, and economic security, and is growing the Foundation’s legislative advocacy initiative at the state level.
Dena has worked in both the for-profit and non-profit arenas. Her for-profit work included 12 years in health care administration focused on women’s health and managed care process improvement. She made the jump to the nonprofit arena in 2001 with Susan G. Komen for the Cure where she trained Komen staff and volunteers around the country to develop, manage, and evaluate their local breast cancer grants and oversaw Komen’s international granting program. Dena followed her husband’s job to Boca Raton, Florida working as a consultant with Fund Raising Advantage serving nonprofit organizations and boards from Miami to Palm Beach to build and implement comprehensive fund development plans.
Returning home to Dallas, Dena signed on at The University of Texas at Dallas and opened both the Foundation Relations and later the Research Development offices during her five years there ending up as Assistant VP of Research Development. During her time at UT Dallas Dena lead the team that resulted in a $2.5M grant from the National Math and Science Initiative for STEM education. Before finding her perfect position at Dallas Women’s Foundation, Dena was the VP Education at the Dallas Regional Chamber.
A native Texan, Dena earned her Doctoral degree in Health Studies at Texas Women’s University. She is a graduate of Leadership Texas and Leadership North Texas and currently serves on the leadership councils of After the Bell Alliance and North Texas Asset Funders Network She spends her free time cooking, reading, and traveling with husband, Bob then returning home to their three cats and one dog.

Mary Jalonick

Mary Jalonick, President & CEO of The Dallas Foundation, was hired in 1987 as The Foundation’s first full-time employee. The Foundation was established in 1929 as a community foundation to provide a way for Dallas citizens to make gifts and bequests, the income from which would primarily support the charitable causes of the city and county of Dallas.

A lifelong resident of Dallas, Mary’s background was in the volunteer sector and she continues to be involved in the nonprofit community. She has served as President of the Board of Trustees of The Hockaday School, Girl’s Adventure Trails, Educational Opportunities, Inc. and the Charter 100 of Dallas. Currently, Mary is Chair of the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC), Chair of the Early Matters Dallas Policy Committee, and a member of the Advisory Council of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally she is a member of the Junior League of Dallas Community Advisory Board and the Mayor’s Poverty Task Force.

Mary participates in several national initiatives for the Council on Foundations. She served as past chair of the National Standards Action Team and member of the Community Foundation National Standards Board and is a current member of the National Standards Advisory Committee. Past board memberships include the Conference of Southwest Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers in Washington, D.C.

Clint McDonnough

Mr. Clinton D. McDonnough, also known as Clint, served as Managing Partner of Dallas Office at Ernst & Young LLP until his retirement in June 2015. Over his 34-year career with the firm, McDonnough initially worked in the St. Louis office, then at the global headquarters in Cleveland, before becoming the firm’s managing partner of assurance and advisory business services for the southwest area including northern Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

His previous roles also included serving as national director of real estate advisory services, working to create a unified national real estate consulting practice with focus on development and new services implementation. He also served as managing partner for the Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group as well as a stint as coordinating partner for many of the agency’s clients.

Mr. McDonnough is the Chairman for The Dallas Citizens Council and serves on the Board of the Dallas Education Foundation, Methodist Health System, the Development Board for the University of Texas at Dallas, the Dallas Community College Board and the Chief Executive Officer Advisory Council for the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society.

Drexell Owusu

Drexell is the Senior Vice President, Education and Workforce for the Dallas Regional Chamber, where he leads the Chamber’s efforts to grow and develop our existing regional talent and workforce.

Prior to joining the DRC, Drexell was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brave Capital Partners, an investment company focused on catalyzing minority communities in Dallas. Prior to founding Brave, he served as Managing Director and Chief of Staff for Civitas Capital Group, an investment manager with over $1.3 billion in assets, where he was responsible for strategy, operations, and administration. While at Civitas, he also was responsible for managing the GrowSouth Fund, a double-bottom line investment fund focused on investing in southern Dallas.

Before joining Civitas, Drexell founded a strategy consultancy, The Owl Group. Prior to that, he served in several senior strategy positions for Blockbuster Inc., including as Chief of Staff and Vice President of Corporate and Business Development, where he led all M&A and strategic development activity for the company as well as its 10,000-unit kiosk business called Blockbuster Express. In his career, Drexell has also held a strategy position at FedEx Kinko’s and began his career as a strategy consultant at Accenture.

Drexell earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Rice University, where he was a two-time Track and Field All-American in the triple jump. He is a passionate advocate for education, serving on two non-profit boards in Dallas. Drexell lives in Kessler Park with his wife and three children.

Amber Scanlan

Amber Scanlan is Vice President and Director of Client and Community Relations for PNC. In her role, Amber oversees numerous responsibilities on behalf of PNC’s Dallas-Ft. Worth Regional President to include local marketing, communications, client and community relations strategies, branding, sponsorships, and all philanthropic giving on behalf of PNC and the PNC Foundation.
Originally from Florida, Amber earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Master of Business Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University.
She joined PNC in 2009, and by way of PNC’s 2012 expansion into the Southeast U.S., she relocated to Birmingham as Director of Client and Community Relations for the state of Alabama. While there, she served on the Boards of Directors for YWCA Central Alabama and the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.
Amber and her family relocated to the DFW area in November 2016 as part of PNC’s Corporate Bank expansion to Texas. She and her husband have two young boys, ages seven and one. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Texans Care for Children, First3Years and the Governing Board and Policy Committee of Early Matters Dallas.

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith currently serves as Vice President of Rainwater Inc. and Executive Director of Charitable Services. Smith joined the Rainwater Charitable Foundation in April of 2009 and assumed the role of Executive Director in 2011. He directs the foundation’s giving in the areas of K-12 education, medical research and education-related gifts in India and East Africa.

Prior to joining the Rainwater team, Smith worked in management consulting for almost four years, first with McKinsey & Company, serving clients in consumer packaged goods, technology and health care; and later as an Associate Director with DenuoSource LLC, primarily in marketing and organizational design. Prior to McKinsey, he worked in operations research at Merck & Co., where he managed global operations improvement projects in both Latin America and Asia.

Fluent in Spanish and proficient in Chinese, Smith is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Divinity School. He received his BS in engineering from the University of Arkansas, where he spent one year teaching in an elementary classroom and received a District Outstanding Teacher of the Year award. Smith also currently serves as a board member at Lumin Education, Dallas Zero to Five Funders Collaborative, TFA DFW Board of Advisors, First Three Years, the FW Education Foundation as well as the Texas Christian University Board of Visitors.

Daniel Waldmann

Daniel Waldmann (Dan) serves as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Tenet Healthcare leading the strategic communications arm for one of the nation’s largest healthcare companies. Dan and his team are focused on promoting a common understanding of Tenet’s operations, values, mission and strategy through government and community relations initiatives and communications addressing all the company’s stakeholders.

Dan’s tenure with Tenet began in June 2005. He first served as the company’s Vice President of Government Relations and was Tenet’s principal representative in Washington, D.C., before moving to Dallas in 2010.

Dan is passionate about the Dallas community, and enjoys contributing to the efforts of numerous organizations involved with the arts, education and social justice. Today, he serves as a trustee of the Dallas Theater Center, as a member of the Dallas Citizens Council and as a partner in Social Venture Partners of Dallas. He is a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2011. Dan and his husband, Giles Davidson, reside in Kessler Park.

Todd Williams

Highly committed to public education, Todd is the founding Chairman and Executive Director of The Commit Partnership, the nation’s largest collective impact organization with over 190 institutions (including 15 school districts and eight higher ed institutions educating over 790,000 students) focused together on meaningfully improving post-secondary completion levels across the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He also serves as the Education Policy Advisor to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Todd is a current trustee and former board chair for Austin College, one of the region’s leading liberal arts institutions located in Sherman, Texas. With his wife Abby, Todd also serves on the board and was the founding chair of the regional advisory board for Teach for America in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and also helped establish in 2007 the Williams Preparatory School, a K-12 free tuition public charter school operated by Uplift Education that educates over 1,500 primarily low-income children in northwest Dallas. 100% of its graduates since its first senior class in 2011 have been accepted to a four-year college or university. Todd is the former Chair of the Citizen Budget Review Commission for Dallas ISD ($1.7 billion budget educating 160,000 students) and the former Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for Uplift Education, a public charter school management organization serving almost 15,000 students across the D/FW area. He is also the former chairman of both the Real Estate Finance and Investment Center (located at the University of Texas) and the Real Estate Council of Dallas, the city’s largest real estate organization. Prior to dedicating his efforts full time as a volunteer to public education, Todd served as both a partner and as global co-head of Goldman Sachs’ real estate private equity investment area, retiring in 2009 following a 20-year career with the firm in their New York, Los Angeles and Dallas offices. Total assets under management purchased by GS-managed real estate funds exceeded $100 billion in cost, including $10 billion of equity invested by Goldman Sachs and its managing partners. A public school graduate from Bryan Adams H.S. in Dallas ISD, Todd earned an M.B.A. with distinction from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in 1982.

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