• Steve Howard, President

    Steve Howard, President

    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

  • Vic Ramirez, Vice President

    Vic Ramirez, Vice President

    Mr. Ramirez holds a law degree from the St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio. He has served as s a briefing attorney and court coordinator for the 341st State District Court in Webb County, an Associate General Counsel at the Texas Water Development Board and for the Texas Water Commission, now the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, where he practiced and represented the State of Texas in the areas of water quality, solid waste, air permitting and enforcement. Mr. Ramirez currently works at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), representing the agency in environmental and open government matters. Readmore

  • Jonathan Luden, Secretary

    Jonathan Luden, Secretary

    Jonathan Luden has over a decade of experience in consulting and sales across a broad scope of industries and markets. He's currently a Senior Business Process Consultant at Austin Energy, overseeing key vendor relationships and technology implementations across the business. Prior to joining Austin Energy, Mr. Luden pursued his passion for entrepreneurship and the outdoors and founded Tri-County Outfitters, a leader in customizing outdoor gear. Before that he was a Senior Account Executive at Able Lending and held positions at GLG and the College Board. His career began 10+ years ago with an internship at Austin Energy, where he was introduced to the Regional Science Fair. He's been a regular volunteer ever since. Mr. Luden has a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Texas State and a Master of Business Administration from St. Edward’s University. He lives in South Austin with his wife and son and yellow lab. 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

  • Paul Strange, Past President

    Paul Strange, Past 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

  • Sue Ann DeCuir, Member-At-Large

    Sue Ann DeCuir, Member-At-Large

    Sue Ann DeCuir serves as the PreK - 12 Science Coordinator for Pflugerville Independent School District. As Coordinator, she is in charge of district campus science fairs and their progress to the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival. During the past  24 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. Ms deCuir also served for 6 years as a Science Teacher Mentor for the Texas Regional Collaboratives, presenting at the yearly meetings, and working 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

  • Askia Little, Member-At-Large

    Askia Little, Member-At-Large

    A native of Alabama, Mr. Little holds both a Master of Arts in Educational Technology and a Masters in Educational Leadership. He began his career teaching elementary students, in addition to serving as adjunct professor at the University of Alabama College of Education and as a trainer for the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative. Mr. Little moved to Austin in 2016 and now works as the Elementary Science Coordinator for the Round Rock Independent School District.  Readmore

  • Dr. Toni West, Member-At-Large

    Dr. Toni West, Member-At-Large

    Dr. Toni West is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Willerson Center for Cardiovascular Modeling and Simulation at the University of Texas, Austin, where she is a fellow of the American Heart Association. Her current research focuses on finding druggable targets for treating heart valve disease. She received her Ph.D. in 2018 from UC Davis in Biochemistry; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, where her research focused on unraveling the molecular mechanisms that underlie diabetic cardiomyopathy. Before going back to school for her Ph.D., Toni was a secondary science teacher: first at Dripping Springs High School for 5 years, and then Summa Middle School for the gifted and talented (Beaverton, OR) for 7 years. During her time as a middle school teacher, she served as her school's science fair director and adult sponsor for Northwest Science Expo. She found the experiences that science fair offered for students were exceptionally meaningful and so she has remained active as a judge, mentor, SRC chair, safety checker, etc. through the years in hopes that more students will be inspired to solve real-world problems in our society. Readmore

  • Janet Pichette, MS, CEM, Member-At-Large

    Janet Pichette, MS, CEM, Member-At-Large

    Janet Pichette is the Chief Epidemiologist and Assistant Director of the Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness Division of Austin Public Health. Janet has worked in public health for 38 years both at the state and local level. Recently she has led the City of Austin and Travis County’s response to COVID-19 and monkeypox. She is a Certified Emergency Manager and holds a master’s degree in Health Research and Health Care Administration from Texas State University, a bachelor’s degree in Health Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an AAS degree in Emergency Management from Austin Community College. Readmore

  • Tammy Cooper, Member-At-Large

    Tammy Cooper, Member-At-Large

    Tammy Cooper serves as Austin Energy’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Communications. She has extensive experience in the electric industry, most recently serving as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Texas Reliability Entity (Texas RE) where she led the Legal, Communications, and Training departments. Before joining Texas RE, Ms. Cooper worked in private law practice, advising clients on a broad range of energy-related issues. She began her legal career at the Public Utility Commission of Texas where she held several positions, including the Director of Commission Advising. In that role, Cooper supervised a team of lawyers and policy analysts that counseled the Commissioners on electric and telecommunications matters. As a first-generation college student Ms. Cooper supports education initiatives and mentoring programs, including STEM-based programs. Ms. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Science in radio-television-film and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Readmore

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