• Paul Strange, President

    Paul Strange, President

    Mr. Strange is retired after spending 45 years in the Packaging Industry. He started his career with Reynolds Metals Company where he held a variety of positions in sales, marketing and sales management. He joined Packaging Corporation of America (a Tenneco Company) as National Sales Manager of the Aluminum and Plastics Packaging Group where he managed a diverse sales force of company and independent sales agents with responsibly for $600M in revenues. During his tenure with PCA he was involved in a number of acquisitions and was tasked with rationalizing and integrating customer bases and sales forces for future growth. In retirement Mr. Strange is a volunteer with SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) a national non-profit dedicated to serving small business through mentoring and education. Awarded Austin SCORE 2015 Mentor of the Year   Mr. Strange earned a B.S. in Packaging Management from Michigan State University. Readmore

  • Elaina Ball, Vice President

    Elaina Ball, Vice President

    Ms. Ball currently serves as the interim Chief Operating Officer for Austin Energy responsible for power generation, transmission, distribution, and related utility operations areas. Prior to this role she served as Vice President of Power Production leading a division responsible for operations and maintenance at Decker Creek Power Station and the Sand Hill Energy Center, Power Production Engineering, and oversight of joint projects at the Fayette Power Project and the South Texas Project. Ball joined Austin Energy in September 2012 as the Decker Creek Power Station plant manager where she focused on plant operations improvements and employee engagement. Ms. Ball came to Austin Energy from CPS Energy in San Antonio where she served most recently as the vice president of Technical Services & Energy Solutions, leading a team of more than 300 employees involved in transmission, substation, and distribution engineering, as well as smart grid and demand response programs. In addition to her electric utility experience, Ms. Ball has experience in quality improvement and process optimization in the chemical industry.   Ms. Ball has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and attended the University of Idaho Utility Executive course. Readmore

  • Cheryl Mele, Secretary

    Cheryl Mele, Secretary

    Cheryl Mele became ERCOT’s senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO) in January 2016. She oversees Grid Operations and Planning, Commercial Operations as well as Governance, Risk and Compliance. Prior to joining ERCOT Ms. Mele served as Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer for Austin Energy, where she led its power operations and planning activities. Ms. Mele has nearly 30 years of experience in the power industry. Her management and executive roles included both power generation and energy delivery before becoming COO at Austin Energy and overseeing all operations, compliance and planning for the utility. Ms. Mele worked for General Electric as both an engineer and system programmer before joining Austin Energy in 1991.   While at Austin Energy, Ms. Mele served on the boards of the South Texas Nuclear Operating Company, the Texas Public Power Association, as well as the RMEL, an electric industry education and networking trade group. A registered professional engineer in Texas, Ms. Mele has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and completed The Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho. Readmore

  • Ronald Dittmar, Treasurer

    Ronald Dittmar, Treasurer

    Mr. Dittmar is a Certified Public Accountant, specializing in small business and individual taxation, as well as accounting services. In the 10 years since receiving his license, he has worked at Durbin Bennett Tax Advisors and previously at The Mangold Group, and now has his own firm, Ronald Dittmar CPA. Mr. Dittmar has performed Treasury and accounting duties as an officer in the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association for the last 17 years and enjoys the fulfillment that comes with volunteering his services for good causes.   Readmore

  • Dr. Barbara ten Brink, Member-At-Large

    Dr. Barbara ten Brink, Member-At-Large

    Dr. ten Brink is a Science Specialist for the Austin Independent School District. Dr. ten Brink finds joy in promoting science to learners of all ages.  She is a science educator of 44 years, 34 years as a science administrator.  She has coordinated science in grades kindergarten through 12 for Texas Education Agency (TEA), Round Rock Independent School District, and Austin Independent School District.  She holds three degrees in science and an additional master’s degree in school administration.  Dr. ten Brink has served as president of the international science teachers, Texas science administrators, and Texas elementary science teachers, a group which she founded.  She was director of and now teacher advisor to the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival.    While at TEA, Dr. ten Brink administered $40 million for science statewide textbook adoption, $250 million for Title II science professional development, and $350 million for Title IV safe and drug-free schools.  In 2000, she was awarded a $2.95 million Technology in Education (TIE) federal grant to study water quality with 150 teachers and their students throughout Texas.   Dr. ten Brink has received the Conservator of the Colorado River Award which she shared in 2008 with Lady Bird Johnson.  The City of Austin presented Dr. ten Brink the distinguished service award in 2004.  Dr. ten Brink has received Texas’s Technology Educator award (2000) and a statewide Time Warner STEM Award in 2011.   Readmore

  • Michele Mann, Member-At-Large

    Michele Mann, Member-At-Large

    Ms. Mann is currently a teaching assistant, graduate research assistant and assistant instructor at the University of Texas at Austin while pursuing her Ph.D. in STEM Education. Previously, Ms. Mann was the Science Endowed Chair of the Kerrville Independent School District where she coordinated science education for K-12th grade; prior to that, she was the Science Department Chair and Science Fair Coordinator at Vista Ridge High School in Leander. Ms. Mann has published extensively and given presentations about science education. She was a participant in the 1985 International Science and Engineering Fair and placed second in her category.   Ms. Mann holds a BS in Biology from Furman University in South Carolina and an MA in Science Education from the University of South Florida. Readmore

  • Steve Howard, Member-At-Large

    Steve Howard, Member-At-Large

    Mr. Howard is a retired public sector executive with extensive experience in intergovernmental relations, program development and management, budgeting, board relations and state and federal grant administration. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Howard served as Chief Operating Officer of the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) where he directed five service and planning departments of regional council of governments serving the greater Houston region, with a combined annual budget of $250 million. Mr. Howard is a long-time community volunteer with the United Way of Greater Houston, chairing its Community Impact Committee and serving on its Board of Directors.  He also served on church finance, personnel and foundation committees.   Mr. Howard holds a BA in Political Science and Business from Stephen F. Austin State University and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas. Readmore

  • Sue Ann DeCuir, Member-At-Large

    Sue Ann DeCuir, Member-At-Large

    Ms. DeCuir serves as the Elementary Science Coordinator for Pflugerville Independent School District. As Coordinator, she is in charge of district elementary campus science fairs and their progress to the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival. During the past 18 years in Pflugerville, she has instructed students and teachers in science as a classroom lead teacher, District Instructional Coach, TAP Master Teacher, and Science Specialist. Serving for 6 years as a Science Teacher Mentor for the Texas Regional Collaboratives, Ms. DeCuir presented at the yearly meetings, and worked to develop science instructional skills with teachers throughout her district. She has been a member of the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival Advisory Committee since 2005, and currently serves as the Elementary Safety Chair. Ms. DeCuir holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in Education from Texas State University.  Readmore

  • Eric Davis, Member-At-Large

    Eric Davis, Member-At-Large

    Mr. Davis is the Quality Assurance Officer for the Austin Water Utility Laboratories. He has worked for the Austin Water Laboratories for 10 years, rising from the position of chemist to supervisor, then QAO. He began his career teaching high school Chemistry and Physics for 4 years. Throughout his career he has contributed to science education through judging science fairs and teaching coop science classes to homeschooled students. He has been a judge for the Austin Regional Fair for 10 years; judging in the Junior and Senior Divisions, including the Best of Fair competition. Mr. Davis holds a BS in Chemistry with a minor in Engineering from Tarleton State University. He also has graduate education in Chemistry and Environmental Science from the Colorado School of Mines. Readmore

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