Professional Schools Program Symposium Presenters 2019-2020

Beyond College Prep

Thank You

Thank you to the following community leaders and industry professionals who have graciously volunteered their time to speak to students in the Professional Schools Program.

Ryan Loveless,
Patent Attorney

Ryan Loveless is a patent attorney with experience in all aspects of patent infringement litigation, including pre-suit investigations, infringement and invalidity contentions, electronic discovery, Markman proceedings, summary judgment proceedings, expert reports, and jury trials.

In addition to patent infringement litigation, he also prepares and prosecutes patents in a range of technologies, including telecommunications systems (including mobile/wireless communications, location-based systems, antennas, and network architectures), electronics, computer software (including media and encryption technologies), Internet technologies, semiconductor devices, hydrocarbon production technologies (onshore and offshore), business methods, and medical devices.

Ryan completed his graduate studies with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at Columbia University where he focused on wireless communications and networks—particularly wireless and mobile networks, emerging network architectures, and modern digital modulations. Prior to law school, he worked as an engineering consultant.

During law school, he served as a judicial intern to Judge Lynn Hughes of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

His specialties include patent litigation and prosecution, infringement and patentability studies, intellectual property licensing and counseling, and business transactions involving intellectual property. 

Susan Holt,
Donor Recruiter Consultant, Carter BloodCare

Susan has served as a dedicated Blood Donor Recruiter Consultant for Carter BloodCare since 2013. Prior to working at Carter BloodCare, she was with South Texas Blood & Tissue Center in San Antonio, also serving as a Donor Recruiter Consultant. Over her career, she has worked with thousands of organizations which include schools, companies, government agencies, and churches; spreading the word of the importance of blood donation.

While at Carter BloodCare she has collected 71,872 pints of blood from the territory she manages, which includes Frisco and 18 additional zip codes in the area.

Susan was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and attended New Mexico State University.  She currently resides in McKinney, TX with her husband of 34 years, along with her rescue dogs Oliver, Molly, and cat Cali. She has one grown son and a daughter in-law.   

Alison Leamon,
Pastor, Next Gen

Alison Leamon is a Pastor with Next Gen Ministry, in addition to serving on the pastoral staff at Preston Trail Community Church for the last eight years. While at Preston Trail, Alison has served as the Early Childhood Director and TrailKids Pastor. She is charged with overseeing all matters from newborns to young adults. Her philosophical approach is that church and family should partner together, as the two combined influences are greater than the one influence alone. Accordingly, she focuses her lens on partnering with parents as the primary spiritual influencer in the lives of their children.

Alison attended Baylor University and is currently working on a master's degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has been married to her husband for eight years and they have a 2-year-old son. Alison is an avid book lover and coffee enthusiast.


Christopher Griffin,
CEO & Engineer, Hover Energy

Mr. Griffin has 25 years of experience in renewable energy, finance, M&A, restructuring & portfolio management. Prior to Co-Founding Hover Energy, he spent the last 11 years in Renewable Energy, most recently as CEO of Regenedyne LLC, the Intellectual Property (“IP”) predecessor to Hover Energy.

In the early part of his career, Mr. Griffin served the Energy Industry as VP Investment Banking (M&A/Restructuring) at Morgan Stanley and VP Institutional Municipal Securities for Smith Barney. He also served as Director of Finance at IBEAM Broadcasting and VP & Head of Derivatives at Chapdelaine & Co.

As Founder & CEO of 4G Private Equity, he launched Natural Citrus Products Corp. in 2007, the first Cellulosic Ethanol plant in the United States; Perfectly Green, Inc. in 2010, a ‘Waste-to-Energy’ Distributed Power Generation company; and led the restructuring of Regenedyne LLC in 2011, whose assets and IP in magnetic wind power were eventually acquired by Hover in 2015.

Mr. Griffin has been invited to speak at the United Nations (2010 Distributed Power Seminar); the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA WindPower 2014) for his leadership in the Renewable Energy Industry; and most recently at VERGE Asian-Pacific Clean Energy Summit where he was a Finalist for VERGE Accelerate 2018.

Mr. Griffin studied Aerospace Engineering and holds a BA & an MBA from The University of Virginia, Darden School of Business; for 2 decades held the Series 7, 63 & 66; has been a Licensed Pastor at Gateway Church in Frisco since 2014; Certified LEED GA in 2017 and is currently a candidate for LEED AP (ND). He lives in Plano, is married to his amazing wife Sumer, and is blessed to be Step-Father to Autum, who is a Senior at Legacy Christian Academy.

Jason Rush,
Chief Operating Officer, Employee-Owned-Companies

Jason R. Rush is the Chief Operating Officer at Employee-Owned-Companies, Inc. and oversees Vermeer and Bobcat dealership operations in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and the international subsidiary Vermeer de Mexico

Jason started his career at Vermeer Texas-Louisiana in 2000 as a Territory Sales Representative and Directional Drilling Specialist. Jason became Regional Sales Manager in 2009, managing sales and rental operations for the 3 dealerships in Northeast Texas. Starting in 2012, Jason’s area of responsibility was broadened to include the West Texas dealerships as well. Jason became Vice-President of the company in 2014 and started oversight of Vermeer de Mexico. In 2017 Jason was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and maintains an office at the Company Headquarters located in Irving, TX.

Jason sits on multiple new product design teams for Vermeer Corporation where he interacts with structural, mechanical and design engineers on new product feasibility and capacity, Jason is an active member of Distribution Contractors Association (DCA) and is a member of the HDD Steering Committee.

Jason currently sits on the Board of Directors for Employee-Owned-Companies, and Vermeer de Mexico.

Since January 2000, Employee-Owned-Companies, Inc. has consistently grown organically, successfully completed 9 strategic acquisitions, constructed 12 new facilities to operate within, and in 2015 diversified their business model into a secondary premier line with the addition of Bobcat into the product portfolio.

Prior to his career at Employee-Owned-Companies, Jason attended Tarrant County College and served in the United States Marine Corps.


Tom Sherman,
Branch Manager/Senior Loan Officer, Benchmark Mortgage

Tom Sherman is a Branch Manager and Sr Loan Officer with Benchmark Mortgage. Tom leads a team of seasoned mortgage professionals in addition to working closing with a group of highly successful real estate agents that focus primarily in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Tom has received numerous awards within the Mortgage Industry and remains recognized as part of the top 10% nationally.

With a career spanning over 25 years, Tom has built a business model that supports coaching and consulting his clients through what can be their largest financial decision while educating them on becoming better financial stewards.

Tom’s financial business journey started after graduating from Trinity University and continued with creating one of the largest business partnerships with Keller Williams. After leading and developing that company, Tom sold it in 2008 and shortly after joined Benchmark Mortgage and began originating once again. Tom’s servant heart has allowed him to assist hundreds of local families in fulfilling their dream of homeownership.

Tom currently serves on the Board at Prestonwood Christian Academy and the Board at Prestonwood Pregnancy Center. He also serves as a Deacon at Prestonwood Baptist Church. He has been on various mission trips to several countries, working, serving and spreading the Gospel of Christ. In addition, Tom mentors young men in becoming Christ like servants and better leaders in their communities.

Tom and his wife Jennifer have been married for 25 years and have two grown children, Meghan & Thomas

Andy Crabb.,
Captain & Instructor Pilot, Southwest Airlines

Andy Crabb is a Captain and instructor pilot for Southwest Airlines.

He has worked in the aviation industry for 26 years and has flown for Southwest Airlines for over 20 years.

Andy graduated from Henderson State University with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation and has since been certified as a Flight Instructor, Flight Engineer, International and ETOPS (extended overwater ops) pilot and Check Airman. His duties also include training and evaluating in Southwest’s simulator training center.

When not flying professionally, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife of 23 years, and his twin teenage sons (LCA freshman), attending and serving at Christ Church Plano, flying general aviation aircraft, tinkering with cars and his tractor and is a hobby beekeeper.

Dr. Wes Cunningham,
Chief Academic Officer, Frisco ISD

Wes Cunningham was born in Enid, Oklahoma. He was born into a career Navy family and therefore moved multiple times in his early years before settling in Mesquite, Texas, where he attended middle school and high school. He attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) and received a Bachelor of Arts in History. Upon graduation from SMU, he accepted a position with Richardson ISD as an athletic trainer and teacher. After nine years in the classroom, he received his Masters of Educational Administration from Texas A&M University – Commerce and accepted an assistant principal position.

Cunningham served in Richardson ISD and in Frisco ISD for five years as an assistant principal. He went on to earn his Doctorate in Education from Texas A&M University – Commerce. He was named the inaugural principal of the Frisco ISD Career & Technical Education Center and held that position for six years before being named an Area Director for Frisco ISD. He left Frisco ISD for a four-year stint as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction for Marble Falls ISD in Texas before re-joining Frisco ISD as the Chief Academic Officer.

With 27 years in education, Wes is a lifelong learner and enjoys researching innovation in teaching and learning and has a passion for relevant personalized learning instruction. Dr. Cunningham currently resides in Frisco, Texas with his wife of 23 years and his two daughters. His parents and siblings also live in the Dallas area. He enjoys reading, coffee, and attending church at Hope Fellowship.

Bryan M. Lowery, M.D.,
Frisco Concierge Medicine

Dr. Bryan M. Lowery is an honor graduate of Plano Senior High, Southern Methodist University, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He completed residency at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago.

Dr. Lowery is a board-certified family physician with 20 years’ experience. His warm approach cares for the entire person and family across generations. He believes everyone needs and deserves a good relationship with a personal physician. Dr. Lowery founded Frisco Concierge Medicine in order to deliver world-class, comprehensive, high-quality healthcare to his patients by providing them with 24/7 M.D. access and a unique range of services and amenities to fit their lifestyles and protect their health. Throughout his career, he has served in leadership positions of medical organizations, businesses and societies. He currently serves as Medical Director for Anchor of Hope Hospice.

Dr. Lowery resides in Frisco with his wife, Courtney, and their two sons, Max (11th grade) and Sam (6th grade) who both attend Legacy Christian Academy.

Doug Frater,
Frater Automation

Doug Frater is the President of Frater Automation in Frisco, Texas. He was born in Columbus, Ohio and attended college at The Ohio University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering which he uses every day in business.

Doug has worked for several of the largest and most well-known industrial automation companies in the world including Siemens, Parker Hannifin, Danaher and Mitsubishi Electric Automation. He is known throughout the industry as a top performing technical salesman covering North America. He has been a member of Parker's prestigious Mentor Program and Danaher's Executive Strategic Planning Council before launching his own sales firm, Frater Automation, earlier this year

The Frater family has been heavily involved in LCA for the past thirteen years. Doug’s wife, Dr. Leslie Frater, is a physical therapist and the founder of FIT Physical Therapy in Frisco. Together they have two sons who have both attended Legacy. Jacob, LCA Class of 2019, is currently a freshman at The College of Wooster in Ohio where he plays football and majors in physical therapy. Nathan is currently a junior at LCA and hopes to major in bio-medical engineering.

Tony Mangefeste,
Service Creation Manager
AWS Worldwide Public Sector

Tony Mangefeste is a Baylor University School of Engineering and Computer Science alumni. His career spans over two decades among some of the top technology companies such as Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and FedEx. During this time, his focus was on launching game changing technology that has changed the landscape of computing. The modernization of computer BIOS, intelligent device communication, and engagement with Public Sector customers to utilize cloud computing resources.

Tony is a graduate of Baylor University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.

Amy Beakley,
Beakley Law Firm

Amy Beakley was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up in Lubbock, Texas. She attended Texas Tech University and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. Upon graduation from Texas Tech University, Ms. Beakley accepted a position with Frisco Independent School District (FISD) teaching kindergarten at Smith Elementary. After teaching kindergarten for seven years, she moved to a position teaching 5th Grade Language Arts & Social Studies. Ms. Beakley attended the night program at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and earned her Juris Doctor degree. In 2009, she formed The Beakley Law Firm. The firm currently has offices in Dallas, Lubbock, Odessa, Round Rock and El Paso. After transitioning into a full-time legal career, Ms. Beakley focused her practice on transactional matters with emphasis on corporate law and estate planning services.

Ms. Beakley is a transactional attorney with a broad range of experience in various areas of law, including significant governmental, corporate and business experience in a variety of industries. She regularly counsels clients in matters of business structure and continued corporate governance compliance, as well as drafting and negotiating contracts, including franchise agreements, purchase agreements, and buy/sell agreements. Her experience also includes wide-ranging estate planning for business owners and individuals, including those individuals and families who need assistance navigating the rules and regulations for long term care and Medicaid. Her firm provides assistance and experience in the preparation of applications for government assistance and benefits in order to help decrease financial burdens on children/heirs in the provision of long-term care.

Ms. Beakley currently resides in Frisco, Texas. Her parents and two of her three brothers and their families all live in the Dallas area. She enjoys getting to spend lots of time with her nieces and nephews. Ms. Beakley volunteers for a non-profit, Hidalgo Ministries and teaches 4-year-old Sunday School at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas, Texas. She is an avid coffee drinker and Red Raider fan!

Roger Nelms,
Director of Analytics, Reporting & Replenishment
The Neiman Marcus Group

Roger Nelms is the Director of Analytics, Reporting & Replenishment at The Neiman Marcus Group. Roger has achieved success with well-established companies such as Tractor Supply, JCPenney, and True Temper Sports, to name a few.

Having spent more than 10 years in Merchandising and Supply Chain, Roger understands what drives business and the importance of technology and innovation within the retail environment. His greatest strengths are his creativity, drive and leadership. Roger is recognized in the industry as a leader in advancing the application of Artificial intelligence and Machine learning to predict changing business trends.

Roger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management and Marketing from The University of Tennessee. He is a member of the Counsel of Supply Chain Professionals and has several certifications including APICS, and Certified Analytics Professional (CAP). Roger lives in Plano with his wife and son Knox. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and cheering on the Volunteers football and basketball teams.

Susan Phillips,
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Susan Phillips was born in Massillon, Ohio and grew up in Euless, Texas where she graduated from Trinity High School. She went on to study marine biology at Tarrant County College and then on to the UT Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. Although she was drawn to her studies in marine biology, she ultimately decided that life at sea was not the best place to raise a family and she started working on a BS in Nursing at UT. After gaining experience working as an RN in the ICU and in operating rooms, she went on to pursue certification as a nurse practitioner in the field of anesthesia.

She has provided anesthesia services for many types of procedures on a wide range of patients from premature babies all the way to patients over 100 years old. She has practiced in every specialty area from brain surgery to bunions and everything in between. Her career has enabled her to practice in many different settings and in a variety of arrangements. She has worked as an employee of a hospital, a member of a medical group, and as a private contractor with surgeons.

Susan loves that her career as a nurse anesthetist affords her the opportunity to continue to learn as treatments and technology progress at such a rapid pace. She has also served as clinical coordinator of the nurse anesthetist program at Texas Women’s University where she supervised the education and training of residents in the clinical portion of the program including didactic, practicum, and rotation assignments.

Over the course of her career, Susan has also enjoyed serving in the mission field, having served on numerous short-term medical missions on six continents. Her steadfast faith in the Lord has always provided peace for her even in the most stressful situations in the operating room.

Nellie Caulkins,
Clinical Supervisor, Brain Injury Programs at Center for BrainHealth
Senior Clinician, Training Initiatives at Brain Performance Institute

As a cognitive neuroscientist and licensed speech pathologist, Nellie emphasizes equipping individuals to translate cognitive potential in performance. She is dually involved in conducting research and translating clinical practice between the Center for Brain Health and the Brain Performance Institute. As a researcher, her studies have involved the efficacy of SMART training in adult veteran and civilians, as well as pediatric populations with chronic traumatic brain injury. Nellie promotes a paradigm shift across the lifespan assessing and training professionals, veterans, athletes, and students by challenging the way they use their brain daily. Nellie believes that everyone, with or without injury, can maximize efficiency and build cognitive reserves for the future.

Nellie was born and raised in Denton, Texas. She attended Texas A&M University and studied Communication and Spanish before directing a women’s discipleship ministry in upstate New York for a few years. There she fell in love with hiking and rock climbing in God’s playground of the Adirondack Mountains. She returned to Texas to obtain her graduate degree in Communication Disorders and licensure in Speech Pathology and was captivated by the Lord’s intricate design for the brain, particularly for communication and what happens when something goes awry. She began working at the Center for BrainHealth due to a successful initiative with low SES middle school students and their learning capacities given the development of the frontal lobes during adolescence. She began researching children with traumatic brain injury and then expanded that practice into adults with TBI as well. In learning that you don’t need an injury to have an inefficient brain, Nellie began initiatives to equip students and professionals in all walks of life, with and without head injury to better use and better serve their brain on a daily basis. She has always loved learning and decided to get an additional degree in Cognition and Neuroscience a couple of years later. She earned both of her graduate degrees at the University of Texas at Dallas. Nellie believes that our mind is one of, if not the most, power asset we’ve been gifted to possess and we are in a wonderful position to serve it well.

Nellie currently resides in downtown Dallas with her husband David, her 2 year old daughter Raleigh, and her adorable dog, Nala. She still enjoys rock climbing, running, and making connections between God’s Truth and the design He made of the human brain.

Mark Caswell,
Minister of Serve Teams
at Frisco First Baptist Church

Mark Caswell is a native Texan, born in Houston and raised in Denton. He attended school in Denton from elementary all the way through earning his Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UNT. He then went on to earn a Master's Degree in Theological Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

During his undergraduate time at UNT, though he had planned to pursue teaching and eventually becoming a principal, he felt God calling him to ministry. Mark heeded that call and first accepted a part-time position as a youth pastor at Era First Baptist Church near Sanger. His career path continued in the vein of youth ministry, though he felt a larger calling to serve in the church ministry at large. After 15 years in various roles of youth ministry, he was led to Westfield, Indiana and planted Legacy Stone Church there in 2014, where he served four years. He was then led to his current position at Frisco First Baptist Church were he is Minister of Serve Teams.

Mark and his wife Terra have two boys, Hudson (age 12) and Jack (age 10), who are both students at Legacy. They enjoy spending time together as fa family in sports and various church activities as well as spending time with friends and extended family.