The National Parks Photography Project

1916 - Celebrating the Centennial - 2016

- Advisory Committee -

Daisy White / Chairman

daisy white

Daisy White of Houston is a special event consultant. She is vice president of the Texas A&M University Press Advancement Board and a board member of the Texas A&M Health Science Center Foundation. She is a newly appointed commissioner on the Texas Historical Commission. She has served on the Governorʹs Commission for Women. She is also a past board member of the Hermann Childrenʹs Hospital, Boʹs Place, Susan G. Komen Foundation and Houston Ballet.

White received a bachelorʹs degree from the University of Texas and a masterʹs degree in speech pathology from Southern Methodist University.

Jim Fonteno Jr. / Vice Chairman

jim fonteno jr.

Jim Fonteno is a private equity investment banker and attorney based in Houston, Texas. He is a partner in Qatus Advisors, LLC which both advises domestic entities doing business in the GCC area of the Middle East, as well as provides M&A services to foreign clients from the GCC investing in the energy, infrastructure, finance and real estate sectors. Jim is also a Senior Advisor to Wakefield Capital, a private equity real estate firm that invests in healthcare real estate assets throughout the United States.

Jim previously spent 13 years as a banker primarily with UBS Investment Bank. Jim was principally responsible for developing and maintaining senior‐level client relationships. In his career in investment banking, Jim has acted as senior manager on USD$6+ billion of capital issuance.

Jim holds a BA from the University of Southern California, a MSc degree from the London School of Economics, and a JD from Georgetown University. He is a member of the Washington, DC bar, and holds Series 7 & 63 securities licenses.

Nancy Ames / Member

nancy ames

As Owner and Creative Director of Ward & Ames Special Events, Nancy Ames began her career as a singer/songwriter and performer on Broadway, television, and the concert stage. She recorded on Liberty, Epic-Columbia and Sony records. She made multiple appearances as a guest headliner on Ed Sullivan, Hollywood Palace and the gamut of star-hosted shows in the Variety Era, until hosting her own daily show on the NBC affiliate when she moved to Houston.

Nancy Ames has chaired many fundraisers, served on innumerable national and regional boards, and is a Vice President of Preservation Houston (formerly GHPA), the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau Board and the Advisory Board of Hermann Park Conservancy. A graduate of Holton-Arms School and Bennett College, in 1989 she was Recognized as Business Woman of the Year. She and her husband/partner, Danny Ward, received the International Special Event Society’s inaugural Crystal Icon Award in 2009.

Jean Becker / Member

jean becker

Jean Becker has been chief of staff to Former President George Bush since 1994. She served as deputy press secretary to First Lady Barbara Bush from 1989 to 1992. After the 1992 election, she moved to Houston to help Mrs. Bush with the editing and research of her autobiography, “Barbara Bush, A Memoir.” She later assisted Mrs. Bush with a follow-up book, “Reflections,” published in 2003.

She took a leave of absence in 1999 to edit and research, “All the Best, George Bush; My Life in Letters and Other Writings.”

Ms. Becker was a newspaper reporter for 10 years, including a four-year stint at USA TODAY. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 1978 with a bachelor’s in journalism and a bachelor’s in arts with a major in political science.

Kyle Britt / Member

kyle britt

Kyle Britt is a native Houstonian, multi-generational Texan and outdoor enthusiast. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in advertising and he has been involved in marketing, advertising and sales for public and private companies during the past 40 years.

Attending mountain climbing camp in Colorado as a teenager and becoming an Eagle Scout piqued Kyle's early interest in exploring the outdoors. In April 1984, he took his wife to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for her first visit to a national park. Seeing the effect Grand Canyon National Park had on her, he began looking for a way to alert others to the magnificent beauty of our national park system. That spurred Kyle to visit all 59 parks in the U.S. " The U.S.A. was the first country to have a national park system, and every park is different. It's what keeps me thrilled about experiencing the next park," he says. Kyle has visited over 50 national parks and expects to have visited every one of them before the August 2016 National Park Centennial celebration.

Kyle Britt resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife Robin and their mixed breed dog, Burkee.

William G. Britt Jr. / Member

william britt

Bill Britt is a Texas ex-pat, long-time Alaskan, outdoor enthusiast, and National Park supporter. His connection with the outdoors began as a Boy Scout and has continued to this day. He learned to backpack in Big Bend, and earned a BA in biology from the University of Texas at Austin and an MS in biology from Stephen F Austin State University. After earning his master's degree, he moved to Washington where he learned to climb mountains in the Cascades. He then moved to Alaska where he learned to mountain bike, ski, and sea kayak.

Bill has visited 24 of our National Parks, most recently floating the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Bill has worked as an environmental consultant, for federal and state government, and now serves as Alaska Environmental Manager for Hilcorp Energy Company. Hilcorp is a privately-held oil and gas exploration and production company based in Houston. He also served on the board of directors of Recreational Equipment, Inc. for 25 years, including service as the Chair of the Board for 8 years.

Bill lives in Anchorage, Alaska with his wife, Nancy Nolan, and son, Brian.

Edward Collins / Member

edward collins

Edward Collins is a management consultant based in Houston, Texas, providing expertise in corporate governance, risk management and process improvement to public and private businesses.

Ed previously spent 34 years in the energy services industry. He was the Director of Internal Controls for Transocean Offshore and served in a similar capacity for GlobalSantaFe Corporation. His earlier career was spent in the worldwide operations of Global Marine Inc.

Ed is a passionate supporter of the visual arts and nature conservancy. He holds a BA from Yale University and is a member of the Yale Alumni Schools Committee.

Warren Finch / Member

warren finch

As Director of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Mr. Finch brings over twenty years experience working with the National Archives—first with the Office of Presidential Libraries in Washington DC, then with the Ronald Reagan Library in California, and most recently with the Bush Library.

Trained as an archivist, Mr. Finch was detailed to the Bush White House in 1992 to assist with the move of Bush Presidential Materials to Texas and has been in College Station ever since. Mr. Finch holds an MA in History from Auburn University and a BA from the University of South Alabama.

Shara Fryer / Member

shara fryer

Shara Fryer is a thirty-year veteran journalist and television news anchor whose career path took her from Austin to San Antonio and then to Houston, Texas where she anchored Houston’s number one newscasts at ABC13 for more than 25 years. Stepping outside the anchor desk, Shara earned many national and statewide awards for her reporting and documentary specials, including a 2005 Emmy Award for “Unlikely Liberators”, a documentary entailing the heroism of the Japanese-American warriors, the 100th/442nd RCT, of World War II. Since her retirement from ABC13, Shara maintains an active calendar of speaking engagements and public appearances.

She continues her involvement in world and public affairs as an alumni of the FBI Citizens’ Academy, as a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, and as former chairman and continuing director of the World Affairs Council of Houston, most recently, taking part in delegations to The Vatican, Tokyo, Berlin, Taipei and London. She is a member of the 1918 Society of the World Affairs Councils of America. Shara is also a board member of the Japan America Society of Houston, a board member of the Retina Research Foundation, a member and donor to Texas Women for the Arts, and a member of the International Committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. A cancer survivor, she established the Shara Fryer Research Fund in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Beginning September 4, 2012 Shara will be joining the KTRH 740AM News Team, a Clear Channel station and part of a nationwide conglomerate.

Shad Higdon / Member

shad higdon

Shad Higdon is a Principal with Deloitte & Touche, LLP’s Audit and Enterprise Risk Services practice. Shad is responsible for providing internal audit, technology and business process consulting, and financial audit services to numerous companies within the energy, power and financial services industries in the Houston and New Orleans area.

Shad also works with the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America on the Sporting Clays Committee. He holds a BS in Computer Science and MS in Accounting, both from Texas A&M University.

David Jones / Member

david jones

David began his career in the nonprofit sector as an admissions and development officer for colleges in the northeast United States. David moved to Houston in 1980 to become vice president and then president of the American Productivity and Quality Center. In 1988 he joined Dini Partners, an employee owned consulting firm which assists nonprofit organizations throughout the nation with capital planning and fundraising.

David serves on the advisory boards of Asia Society Texas and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. He is also a member of the President’s Roundtable at his alma mater, Rochester Institute of Technology. In 2008 he received a White House appointment to the Cultural Properties Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State.

James McGrath / Member

james mcgrath

McGrath is a partner at Begala‐McGrath LLC, a Houston‐based communications firm delivering a broad range of services to a respected roster of business, civic, and political clients. He started his career at The White House, where from 1991 to 1993 he served as a writer and editor in the Executive Office of the President. Today, McGrath continues to serve President George H. W. Bush as his speechwriter and liaison with the news media.

From 1997 to 1998, McGrath served as Deputy Press Secretary for George W. Bush’s re‐election campaign for Governor of Texas. To date, McGrath has also edited and written four published books, the most recent being former Commerce Secretary Robert A. Mosbacher, Sr.’s family memoirs titled Going to Windward (Texas A&M University Press). Finally, McGrath directed and produced “Hope and Remembrance: The 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Ceasefire,” a $600,000 documentary project aired in Seoul in July 2003 at the official Korean Government ceremonies marking that historic milestone.

Amy Pierce / Member

amy pierce

Amy Pierce is active in the Houston community. She has been a member of the Theater Under the Stars “TUTS” Board of Trustees since 2005 and currently serves on the Executive Committee, has chaired the Fund Development and Nominating Committees and currently chairs the Education Committee. Pierce co-chaired the annual 2013 TUTS Gala celebrating TUTS 45th Anniversary and the 2011 River Celebration. She is a co-founder of the Leading Ladies, TUTS’ women’s auxiliary organization. She currently serves as Chair-Elect and will become Chairman of the Board in 2015.

Pierce serves on the Board of Directors for SEARCH Homeless Services and had the honor of serving as co-chair of SEARCH's 2011 Picnic in the Park. In addition, she co-chaired The Women's Fund 2012 Rockin Resiliency Luncheon with Lauren Bush Lauren. In 2013, she will co-chair the 2013 luncheon with Olympian Boxer Marlen Esparza.

Pierce was a Trustee for Awty International School for two years, and is currently active on the Advancement, and Buildings and Grounds Committees. She holds leadership positions in the parent organization as well.

Amy Pierce also serves on M.D.Anderson's Advance Team, and is involved with Girl Scouts of America, AIDS Foundation Houston, and St. Martin's Episcopal Church. Pierce and her husband Rob have four children, Kendall, Kyle, Kaitlyn, and Kamren.

Political Fundraising/Campaign Management: Walden&Associates 1998 - 2004 (NY, NY)
Raised funds for federal and local officials and candidates in Houston area as well as referendum and issue campaigns such as Metro Rail and the Toyota Center.

Government Affairs: Reliant Energy 1996 – 1998
Lobbied for state and local issues for company in Austin and Houston.

Political Fundraising/Campaign Management: Walden&Associates 1993-1996 (Houston, TX)

Government Affairs: National Retail Federation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1993
Legislative Assistant for trade association.

Amy Pierce holds a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations and Journalism - University of Texas at Austin (1990).

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