Governor Abbott Appoints Eight To Texas State Independent Living Council
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Leah K. Beltran to the Texas State Independent Living Council for a term set to expire on October 24, 2018. He also appointed Thomas Michael “Mike” Bates and Keisha Rowe Nunn for terms set to expire on October 24, 2019, and appointed Debra A. Lyon, April Pollreisz, and Wendy J. Wilkinson for terms set to expire on October 24, 2020. Colton J. Read and Jonas E. Schwartz were reappointed for terms set to expire on October 24, 2019 and October 24, 2020 respectively. The council develops the State Plan for Independent Living and serves as a resource to state and local organizations on Independent Living and related issues for persons with disabilities.
Leah K. Beltran of Abilene is executive director of Disability in Action, Inc. Center for Independent Living. She is chair of the Texas Association of Centers for Independent Living and member of the Texas Department of Transportation Stakeholders Committee for the City of Abilene. She is also a volunteer for 211 Texas - A Call for Help and former member of the Mental Health Association of Abilene and the ADA Advisory Board to the City of Abilene. Beltran received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from The University of Texas at the Permian Basin.
Thomas Michael “Mike” Bates of Monahans is a volunteer peer skills trainer for people with disabilities. He is state director for the American Council of the Blind and a member of the National Federation for the Blind and volunteers for the American Cancer Society. Bates is a graduate of Arlington High School.
Keisha Rowe Nunn of Pflugerville is the director for the Office for Independence Services at Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Nunn received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Austin College in Sherman and a Master of Healthcare Administration from Texas State University.
Debra A. Lyon of Austin is the operations and policy director for the Civil Rights Division at Texas Department of Transportation. Lyon received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Texas State University and a Master of Business Administration in operations management from Saint Edward’s University.
April Pollreisz of Amarillo is a former customer service professional in the insurance industry. She is a current board member of the Panhandle Independent Living Center. Pollreisz received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and a Master of Arts in interdisciplinary studies West Texas A&M University.
Wendy J. Wilkinson of Houston is an attorney and previously served as director of the Southwest Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center. She is a founding of the National Women with Disabilities Empowerment Organization. Additionally, she is former co-chair of the Disability Issues Committee for the Texas Young Lawyers Association and former director of the Miller Theater Advisory Board. Wilkinson received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Saint Andrews Presbyterian College and a Juris Doctor degree from Florida State University College of Law.
Colton J. Read of New Braunfels is a retired Senior Airman of the United States Air Force. He is a former Honor Court Justice for St. Mary’s Law School, former mock trial team member, and former communications chair for the criminal law association at St. Mary’s Law School. He is also former Supreme Court Justice for the Texas State University Supreme Court, former vice-chair of the Texas State University Election Board, former treasurer of the Texas State Veterans Alliance, and former mentor for Wounded Warrior. Read received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Texas State University and attended St. Mary’s Law School.
Jonas E. Schwartz of Austin is a program manager for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program at Texas Workforce Commission. He is a board member for the Easter Seals of Central Texas and the Core Foundation. He is a former member of the Brain Injury Association of Texas and United Cerebral Palsy of Texas. Schwartz received a Bachelor of Science in rehabilitation services and sociology from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Master of Science in rehabilitation counseling from the University of North Texas.