Best Buddies Dallas to Host Champion of the Year Event: Meet the Candidates
by BROOKS IGO
Advisory Board Member
Best Buddies Dallas will be hosting a Kick-Off Party for its inaugural Champion of the Year fundraising competition on Wednesday, September 10th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at men’s clothing boutique Alton Lane’s beautiful showroom. The Kick-Off will be an opportunity for the community to meet the Champions, who will raise money and awareness for Best Buddies over an eight-week period. The candidate that raises the most money will be named the Champion of the Year and will receive two airline tickets to New York City, two tickets to the Best Buddies Dallas Gala and other prizes.
Here is a quick snapshot of our Dallas Champions:
Angela Boyd is the Corporate Controller of LHP Hospital Group, Inc., a privately held company established to provide essential hospital capital and expertise to not-for-profit hospitals and hospital systems. Prior to joining LHP, Boyd served as the Vice President of Shared Services at 7-Eleven, Inc. At 7-Eleven, Boyd led teams that provided payroll, accounts payable, inventory, revenue and cash services to its over 8,000 stores in the US and Canada and was named by senior leadership as a High Potential Executive.
Prior to 7-Eleven, Boyd served as Director of Finance and Accounting at URS Corporation, a Fortune 500 engineering, construction and design firm. Boyd began her accounting career in public accounting and left that industry as a Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is also co-author of PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ first guide to software revenue recognition.
Boyd is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. Angela is excited to participate as a Champion for Best Buddies because she embraces the diversity of God’s beautiful creations and has a God-son who she cherishes who was born with Down syndrome.
Jackie Collins was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and is married and living in the Preston Hollow area selling real estate with Ebby Halliday Realtors. She attended high school at Ursuline Academy where her service to the community really began by volunteering with the AIDS Services of Dallas.
The Best Buddies opportunity was appealing to Jackie because she lost a sister to spina bifida just over 11 years ago. She recognizes the importance of giving back to those who are a less fortunate than herself and by doing so she hopes to encourage others to do the same. “We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
Jessica Collins lives in Dallas where she works as a personal trainer at SWEAT as well as for Mind Set, training people with Multiple Sclerosis in their homes. She loves cooking, practicing yoga, reading novels and volunteering for both the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Humane Society of Dallas. Jessica is participating in the Champion of the Year fundraiser in honor of her best friend’s brother who was born with Down syndrome and is inspiringly joyful. Through the fundraiser, she hopes to bring recognition and support to such an impactful organization.
Michael Gruber is the music director/DJ for the Dallas Stars. Previously, he spent ten years at Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket as a “drop artist.” Michael is honored to take part in Best Buddies and believes that his years of friendships made within the Dallas community will be a big asset to spreading the word about BB. While he hasn’t done as much charity work as he should, Michael looks forward to BB “jumpstarting” his charitable participation and contributions!
Chris Howell is the Founder & CEO of Chris Howell Communications, LLC, a full-service marketing and consulting firm. CHC offers consultation direction to event planners along with an array of client services. As a father of a 22-year-old special needs son, Chris Howell understands first-hand the importance of a program like Best Buddies, and as an award-winning journalist he is using his more than two decades of industry experience and community influence to help others better understand how the role of a program like this helps individuals with intellectual disabilities to have a better quality of life.
Paige Murray is an entrepreneur at heart and loves supporting small to mid-size companies as a Business Performance Advisor for Insperity. Her company supports all volunteer efforts. She spent 18 months in Chile on a mission trip in 2009. During that time she had the chance to work with and teach several children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her five uncles are all head coaches for several high school football and softball teams. Her uncles make special efforts to place teens with intellectual and developmental disabilities in team leadership roles. She is always amazed at how happy the students with IDD are when they are given the chance to help coach and actively participate on the teams. It was empowering for her. She is so happy to support Best Buddies as a Champion and continue to empower such amazing adults and students!
Barry D. Nalls is the founder, President and CEO of VYBRANZ, a global expense management and cost reduction company. He is the previous Founder, President and CEO of Masergy Communications, a global telecommunications company sold to ABRY Partners in 2011. He has been involved with several non-profit organizations including the Board of Directors of the Denton State School, Pescatore Eye Clinic in Guatemala, Saturday School Program and many others. He holds an MBA from SMU. Barry is a serial entrepreneur and the subject of a Harvard Business School case study titled, “The two lives of Barry Nalls, from big to small”, taught to second year MBA students.
Alex Small’s passion for Best Buddies stems from a special bond with her aunt, Emilie, who has Down syndrome. This college student and fashion blogger has been a long-time fan of Best Buddies and has been involved with the Ursuline Academy and SMU Best Buddies chapters. Her blog Small 4 Style is a source of fashion inspiration and news for many Dallasites, as well as an outlet for her aunt Emilie to show off her fashion style! Alex manages to find time for her passion for this cause and her interest in fashion while studying finance at SMU. Alex is honored to have been chosen to participate in the Champions of the Year campaign and is ready to support Best Buddies!
Ramon Trespalacios is the SMU student body president and the campaign director of “Not On My Campus,” a student lead movement to end the silence surrounding sexual assault and create a safe environment at SMU. He participated in a program like Best Buddies in Mexico, and he loves Dallas and believes that as a community we can help make it better. He is participating as a Champion because inclusion is one of his top personal values, and he believes friendship is one of the best gifts a person can receive.