LVTRise Staff


Executive Director

Willie Rankin is a Veteran of the U.S Marine Corps and credits the development of his leadership  skills from his extensive training. Along with managing operations,

he has expertise in negotiating contracts and cultivating business opportunities. Having previously served as the Relationship Manager for Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, Willie's areas of expertise are focused on managing nonprofit partnerships for client services and fundraising purposes. He currently serves on the board of directors for Leadership Fort Worth, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s West Area Council, and BRIDGE Fort Worth. Willie earned his executive MBA from the University of Texas in Arlington, and now resides in Fort Worth with his wife, and two young children.


Program Director

Ashley Mortimer has become the friendly face many Las Vegas Trail residents look for in their community. With a BA in Criminal Justice & Criminology from the  

University of Texas at Arlington, she fell into the non-profit sector prior to graduating and has not left since. Previously having worked at the non-profit UnBound, an organization that fights human trafficking, Ashley brings her well-rounded knowledge and dedication to positively impact lives. Whether it's meeting with community partners to potentially bring programs to the Las Vegas Trail area, visiting with kids after school, or distributing food at the food pantry, she does it all. Ashley is proud to have been with LVTRise through its many stages and growth, and as Program Director, is excited to see what the next phases will bring.

Board of Directors


Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office

Assistant Criminal District Attorney

Board President


Ty Stimpson is a native of Tarrant County, and is currently an Assistant Criminal District Attorney with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. He is responsible for investigating and prosecuting individuals with the highest risk of recidivism involving family violence offenses. Stimpson is an active member of the Tarrant County Bar Association, Rotary Club of Downtown Fort Worth, former chair of the Criminal Justice Committee of the City of Fort Worth Race and Culture Task Force, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.


United Way of Tarrant County

Chief Financial Officer

Board Treasurer

Jeffrey Allison is an accomplished Chief Financial Officer and Senior Business Executive with career experience in many organizations. He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer for United Way of Tarrant County, and has spent much of his career in corporate finance and retail management, including roles as at JCPenney, Chico’s,  Express and more.  Jeffrey is actively involved with Board Development Systems, Inc, and in his free time actively looks for opportunities to serve his community.




Executive Vice President of Operations

Board Secretary

Pete O'Brien is currently the Executive Vice President of MineralWare, a software-based company providing a variety services to professionals and companies in the energy industry. In his role, Pete oversees the company's daily operations. Prior to joining MineralWare in 2019, Pete spent his career at Catholic Charities Fort Worth. During his tenure in the non-profit sector, Pete spent time in R&D, operations, donor relations, and strategic planning.  Pete was born and raised here in DFW. He attended Santa Clara University for his undergraduate degree, and received his MBA from the University of Dallas.




Vice President of Sales


Anna Boulware works as Vice President of Sales for M-Pak, starting at the original M-Pak home office after graduating from TCU with a degree in communications. She brings a different perspective to LVTRise, and engages new audiences. Anna is also on the board for the Fort Worth Police Bike Support group and is president of the National Institute of Packaging, Handling and Logistics Engineers. With Texas roots, she currently resides in Fort Worth, TX, and continues to support her local community through leadership and engagement. 


Fort Worth City Councilman

Councilman District #3


Dr. Brian Byrd grew up in Fort Worth and has made waves in his public service work. He loves building businesses such as his own practice, Texas Family Medicine, and practicing medicine in Fort Worth. Brian has represented Fort Worth City Council District 3 since May, 2017 and is a hard-working problem solver who has championed the revitalization of the Las Vegas Trail area. Dr. Byrd is an active member of his church and is involved with prison ministry, particularly the children of prisoners.


United Way of Tarrant County

Corporate Relations Manager


Chris Stolarzyk holds amble experience in gaining traction and initiating success in the non-profit sector. As Corporate Relations Manager for United Way of Tarrant County, Chris brings various skills to LVTRise including legislative relations, public speaking and engagement, and management of non-profits. Having served as the Associate Director of Fund Development for Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, Chris actively seeks out his local community to influence positive growth. Chris is an active member of Steer Fort Worth, and now serves as President-Elect


Fort Worth Police Department



Cynthia O’Neil is the Commander of the West Patrol Division of the Fort Worth Police Department. Throughout her 25 years with the FWPD, she has worked in many positions, including Patrol Officer, Neighborhood Police Officer, Internal Affairs Investigator and Internal Affairs Supervisor. As a Sergeant she was the first female in the Department assigned as the supervisor of the Mounted Patrol Unit, and in her current position, as the Commander of the West Patrol Division, she works closely with citizens of the most diverse areas of the City. 



Vice President


Over the course of his economic development career, David Berzina has been responsible for over 26 million sq. ft. of construction, $6.3 billion in capital investment, and 35,000 jobs. Serving as Vice President with JLL’s Tenant Representation team in Fort Worth, he is currently responsible for securing commercial real estate solutions for a variety of clients. With his vast experience, he is able to provide in-depth knowledge and insights to LVTRise, including any site plans, economic development strategy and incentive negotiations.


Restoration Center



Having founded the faith-based Restoration Center, Derwin Harris was one of the biggest components on pushing the new community center forward to serve Las Vegas Trail. He heads efforts through the Restoration Center to deliver youth ministry, food & clothing ministry, and living assistance to local community residents. As the head Pastor, local residents have begun to look at Derwin for hope, guidance, and support during challenging times.

Sparks Law




Graham Norris is a trial lawyer with experience you can trust and fight you can count on. As a former prosecutor with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office, Graham has a well-earned reputation for passionate advocacy. He was honored as the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 attorneys for criminal law, recognized by Texas Super Lawyers as a Rising Star, and named one of Fort Worth Magazine’s Top Attorneys and a “Lawyer to Know.’ A strong advocate for LVTRise and empowerment, Graham brings that extra something that LVTRise needs.


Catholic Charities- Dallas

Chief Operating Officer


A sixteen-year veteran of social services, Jari has worked as a Case Worker, Supervisor, Program Director and for the last eight years- as VP of Programs and COO at a major non-profit.  Prior experiences include roles as a Vice Principal, a Translator, Program Manager and Job Developer both here domestically in the US, and abroad. Jari comes as a great addition the LVTRise Board of Directors, for his wide variety of experience and understanding of the non-profit sector, and how it should operate to be successful. 



City of Fort Worth

Neighborhood Services Liaison

Joanna Hudspeth is the Neighborhood Program Coordinator for the City of Fort Worth Neighborhood Services Department. As the Neighborhood Program Coordinator, Joanna helps increase community engagement and provides supportive services to reduce poverty and create pathways to self-sufficiency. Prior to, Joanna served as Community Educator for the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth, where she gained valuable experience in the non-profit sector. Joanna has served LVTRise since the inception of the LVT Steering Committee in 2017. 


Leadership ISD

Program Manager


Johamna might not be a local to Fort Worth, but she undeniably has made waves in the local community. She started her career as a classroom teacher in Buffalo, NY. Soon after teaching she joined the staff at Teach For America. Since then, she has worked on education policy as an Urban Leaders Fellow and has worked on several campaigns committed to advancing racial equity in education. Johamna now serves as the Assistant Director of Programs in Tarrant County for Leadership ISD, striving to achieve educational equity & excellence for all students.



Product Manager for Capital Markets


Karthikeyan Dhanpal is a proven operations leader with extensive experience in equality assurance, process improvement, cost reduction, and revenue identification & growth. With a real passion for helping people thrive, reduce expenses, and drive profit, Karthikeyan makes a great addition to the LVTRise Board of Directors. With more than 18 years of project management, he now works as Product Manager for Capital Markets at CBRE. 


MPG Ventures, LLC

Chief Executive Officer


Michael Grace is a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in business development and leadership roles in industries including oil and gas, social media, music, mining, and food processing. He now serves as business consultant to MPG Ventures, where he is President & CEO. Michael works to increase poverty solutions, research initiatives, and income-generating social enterprises to better support organizations. With multitudes of expertise to bring to the table, Michael is a great contributor to the Board of Directors for LVTRise. 


Fort Worth After School



Miguel Garcia has led FWISD's Fort Worth After School program since late 2000. FWAS is a collaborative effort of the City of Fort Worth and FWISD, funded from FWISD’s general funds and the City of Fort Worth’s Police Department’s Crime Control Prevention District. He has overseen significant growth of the program from 52 sites to 76 sites, serving more than 5,000 students on a daily basis. Also an After-school Alliance National Ambassador, he is regularly asked to consult and speak to elected officials regarding development and merits of after-school programming. 



Community Advocate

Paige is a life- long Fort Worth resident. She is happily married to her husband, Jason Charbonnet and has two wonderful children, Knox and Grier. Being active members of the community is important to Paige and her family. The family lives a short drive from the Las Vegas Trail neighborhood, and after learning about the needs in the area, Paige has become very involved. She began working with the team in the initial phases of LVTRise and has enjoyed watching the nonprofit grow.  

Catholic Charities- Fort Worth

Policy Research Specialist 



Shannon Rosedale is currently the Policy and Research Specialist at Catholic Charities Fort Worth. Her job focuses on intersecting public policy, community development, research, and social services. Her background in social work brought her to Fort Worth five years ago, and she has loved ever moment since. In 2018, she helped design and operate the original LVTRise Mobile Community Center, and later moved to District 3 to continue supporting the initiatives. She plays an active role in the success of LVTRise.


Blue Zones

Director of Strategic Partnerships


Stephanie Jackson has built an extensive career working with FWISD for over 30 years. Starting out as a teacher with Lena Pope Home and Leonard Middle School as the Special Project Coordinator for Community Partnership, Stephanie coordinated the Vital Link program that served 3,000 students annually. She then served as the Director of Parent and Public Engagement. After leaving FWISD, she stepped into the role of Schools Manager for the Blue Zones Project. Stephanie is extremely active in the community, serving on multiple Boards.


U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

Public Affairs Officer


Ty Petty is the regional lead for the Opportunity Zone initiative at the U.S Department of Housing and Management. Prior to joining HUD, Ty worked on the Hurricane Harvey recovery team at the Texas General Land Office, for the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Texas House of Representatives. He also owned his own consulting business. Ty is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He served 5 years on active duty in the United States Army and continues to serve as an Officer in the Texas Army National Guard.


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