Board of Directors

Lisa Chmiola – President
Lisa M. Chmiola, CFRE is the Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving at St. Agnes Academy, a Catholic college preparatory girls’ school in Houston, Texas. She is responsible for transformational fundraising, particularly related to capital campaigns and the 1906 Society for legacy donors.

Previously she served as Director of Advancement for the University of Houston College of Technology, where she oversaw fundraising, alumni relations, marketing and communications efforts. She was part of a task force in 2009 to develop the college’s social media sites, strategy and policies.

She has presented several times locally, nationally and internationally on fundraising and social media, and was responsible for the AFP Houston chapter’s social media site development. She is an AFP Master Trainer and an official member of the AFPeeps, a flock of volunteers dedicated to spreading the word about AFP and the International Conference on a variety of social media outlets. She serves on the AFP International Collegiate Chapter Support subcommittee, and the task force that coordinates the annual National Philanthropy Day Honors event. She currently serves on the Planned Giving Council of Houston board as president.

Lisa’s 15 years of development experience also includes fundraising for the American Heart Association and the City of Lake Charles, Louisiana. In addition to a bachelor’s in journalism at UH, she earned a master’s in public relations from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Lisa is also a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston, and a graduate of Leadership Houston’s Class XXIX and the Center for Houston’s Future LeadershipNEXT program. Personally, Lisa enjoys traveling, running and dancing, and is an independent consultant with Beautycounter.

Cindy Atmar – President Elect
cindy-atmar-photoCindy joined M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2014 with more than twenty-five years of fund development and management experience. Over her career she has served in regional and national capacities for the American National Red Cross, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Since both her mother and her grandmother were patients at M.D. Anderson, she is especially honored to be working with our wonderful donors to create legacy gifts that will make a lasting impact.

She is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, Association of Fundraising Professionals and National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO). Her volunteer leadership roles include serving as a board member and 2010, 2016 and 2017 Conference Chair of the Planned Giving Council of Houston, founding Chair of Community Health Charities of Texas and Co-Chair of the NACCDO Planned Giving Committee.  Cindy, a cum laude graduate of UMass Boston and a Certified Fundraising Executive, enjoys traveling, reading and real estate.  She and her husband Richard, a third generation Houstonian, also enjoy time with their teenage son, Jack, and two German Shepherds.

Karen Burton – Immediate Past President/Membership Chair
karen-burtonMs. Burton has over 25 years experience in Trust including both administrations and operations. She joined Amegy Bank’s Wealth Mangement group in 2006 after many years with JP Morgan Chase and Merrill Lynch in their Wealth Management / Trust groups.

Ms. Burton has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. She also has her Masters in Accounting from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA). She graduated with Honors from Cannon Trust School (Cannon Financial Institute).

Ms. Burton is active in the Houston Estate and Financial Forum, the Houston Business and Estate Council, and the Women’s Finance Exchange. She served on the Texas Bankers Association Wealth Management and Trust Council and served the Education Chair from 2007-2011. She currently serves on the Texas Banker’s Association Trust Schools Advisory Board. Ms. Burton lives in Friendswood with her husband Bruce and their twin teenagers.

Tanya Castro – Membership Co-Chair
Mrs. Castro has sixteen years of experience in the financial services industry. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston with a B.A. in Finance.  She is an alumni of Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma, as well as a graduate of the Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School. She obtained the Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation from The Institute of Certified Bankers and holds her Series 7 and 66 Securities Licenses. Her long standing memberships include Houston Estate & Financial Forum, Planned Giving Council of Houston, Financial Women in Texas – Gulf Coast Chapter, and the American Bar Association.

She started her career at a major bank in its Retail Banking Department and is now a part of Cadence’s Trust group in Houston, Texas and is the assigned Marketing Officer for all of South Texas.  Mrs. Castro is a proud wife and mother and makes her home with her family in Katy, TX.

Robert (Bob) King – Treasurer
Mr. King joined the University of Houston in 2014 as the Director of Gift Planning in the Office of University Advancement. In his current role, Bob oversees the University’s gift planning function and assists University fund raising professionals with both donor development and gift planning strategies as well as the legal, tax, policy, and due diligence issues of giving charitable gifts to the University. He works with current gifts, bequests, beneficiary designations, charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts and various assets. He assists in making gifts acceptable to the University, including negotiating gift agreements, assisting the University in adopting policies regarding charitable gifts, and other matters relating to donating to the University.

Bob currently serves on the board of the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources (NAEIR) and previously served on the board of directors of the Knox County YMCA, the Galesburg Civic Art Center and Galesburg Area Crimestoppers.

Before joining the University of Houston, Bob was the Senior Director for Gift Planning and Special Counsel for Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Prior to entering the field of charitable planning, Bob worked in estate administration at  The Northern Trust Company in Chicago, Illinois and later served as Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer for the Farmers and Mechanics Bank in Galesburg, Illinois where he managed all matters relating to trusts, estates, tax and investments. Bob holds a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois and a J.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.

Debbie Ballard – Secretary


Richard Buffett – Programs Chair
richard-buffetRichard is currently the Director of Major Gifts and Legacy Planning for the Houston Grand Opera. He is a Certified Wealth Advisor and previously worked for the Cleveland Institute of Music as Director of Development and the Cleveland Clinic as Director of Gift Planning. After spending 24 years at KeyBank (Cleveland, Ohio) as a Senior Vice President for Institutional Asset Management and Trusts and Estates and was the Discretionary Trust Distributions Chair of KeyTrust, Richard decided to enter the gift and legacy planning profession. Richard also serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Ars Lyrica Houston, sings with the Christ Church Cathedral Choir and has served on various not for profit boards for a number of years while residing in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tina Melo – Programs Co-Chair
Tina Lundy Melo received her J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1981, and graduated with high honors from the University of Tennessee in 1977 with a joint degree in political science and journalism. Prior to joining Fizer, Beck, Webster, Bentley & Scroggins in 1991, Ms. Melo was an associate attorney with the Houston law firm Vinson & Elkins and the nationally-recognized health law firm of Wood, Lucksinger & Epstein.

During her over thirty years of legal practice, Ms. Melo has represented a wide variety of tax-exempt and governmental organizations, has lectured on numerous topics affecting such entities, and has served on the faculty of the LINE (Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives) continuing education course at Rice University. In addition to tax-exempt work, her practice has included estate planning for individuals, charitable giving, and general corporate work.

Ms. Melo is currently a member of the planned giving council at the University of Virginia.  She is a past chairman of the planning committee for the University of Texas Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute. Locally, Ms. Melo is a past director of Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, the Junior League of Houston, Inc., the Houston Alumnae Panhellenic Association and its tax-exempt scholarship foundation, and currently serves on the board of the Center for Hearing and Speech Foundation.

Ms. Melo is licensed to practice law in the state of Texas.

Jacqueline Gartland – Sponsorship Chair

Elizabeth Hickman – Board Member
hickman-elizabeth-headshot-2Elizabeth Calvert Hickman, who joined South Texas Money Management as Senior Investment Advisor in January 2003, brings significant wealth management experience to the firm.

She provides a broad range of services to the firm’s existing clients and has responsibility for new business development and client service in Houston, where she is based. Her knowledge of family and estate-planning issues, wealth preservation and wealth transfer, added to her expertise in private foundations, charitable trusts and the needs of the non-profit sector, enhance the firm’s abilities to meet the needs of its clients.

Prior to joining STMM, Mrs. Hickman was Vice President of Global Philanthropic Services in the Wealth Management Consulting Group of the JPMorganChase Private Bank. With over 20 years experience in all areas of personal trust administration, she advised clients throughout the southwest United States, designing strategies to help them achieve their overall philanthropic goals.

A San Antonio native, Ms. Hickman began her working career at Frost Bank in personal trust administration. Since moving to Houston in 1984, she has held positions as a senior trust administrator at Bank of America, as well as JPMorganChase.

Active in the charitable community, she currently serves on the Board of the Junior League of Houston Foundation, as well as a member of the Planned Giving Advisory Council for Star of Hope Mission in Houston. She is a past treasurer and board member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, and has served on the professional advisors board for the Houston Baptist University Development Council, the Campaign Cabinet for the Star of Hope Mission, the Development Committee of the Greater Houston Community Foundation and DePelchin Children’s Home. Ms. Hickman is a former board member for Lifehouse of Houston, Inc., as well as past president of the Planned Giving Council of Houston. She has also served as treasurer of the Houston Presbyterian Cursillo Community.

Ms. Hickman holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Princeton University. She has taught at the Advanced Trust School of the Texas Bankers Association on subjects relating to charitable trusts and private foundations, and speaks in matters pertaining to trusts, charitable giving and private foundations.

Lori Dunaway – Board Member
Lori has worked with many non-profit organizations throughout Louisiana and Texas for the past 25 years. She has raised funds for hospitals, health and human service organizations, educational institutions and religious organizations such as General Health Foundation, Girl Scouts, United Way, University of Houston and Rice University. She has helped donors make significant gifts of six, seven and eight figures to improve society and meet philanthropic objectives. Lori has presented on the topic of planned giving at numerous local and regional events. Lori is a past-president of the Planned Giving Council of Houston and previously served on the Nominating Committee of the National Committee on Planned Giving.

Nancy Ehrenkranz – Board Member
As principal and owner of Market Momentum, Nancy Ehrenkranz offers clients over 30 years of experience in writing, editing and strategic marketing communications. She spends much of her professional time interviewing donors and underwriters, telling stories which demonstrate the importance of planned giving, and the benefits of leaving a philanthropic legacy on both an individual and organizational level.

An early pioneer in professional services marketing, Nancy served as the first Manager of Marketing for Deloitte Touche/Houston, then, as Fulbright & Jaworski’s first Marketing Director, spearheaded business development for all 10 offices of the country’s seventh-largest law firm.

On the non-profit side, Nancy served as Executive Director of the Kelsey-Seybold Foundation for Medical Research and Education and the Executive Vice President of Houston Building Owners and Association, the high-rise office industry’s international trade association.

A past Vice President of the International Association of Business Communicators/Houston, she is currently a Director on the Board of Jewish Family Service and a member of the Advisory Board of the Integrative Medicine Program at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

She attended Northwestern University and the University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in advertising and marketing. A resident of Houston’s Museum District, she has two adult step-children and a rescue dog she adores.  She enjoys volunteering, working out at the gym and pursuing her newest hobby, playing the piano.