Keeping Communities Connected Leadership Team

Sandra Bryant

Sandra serves as the CEO/President of Keeping Communities Connected (KCC), which was founded in 2011. Realizing the need for information to be disseminated across the district and to keep parents and guardians involved, KCC was formed. She oversees KCC social media platform, mentoring services, scholarship program and counseling for the organization.

For more than 20 years, Sandra has demonstrated strong passion, commitment, and leadership in serving her community. Her insight and ability to connect with children, parents(guardians), taxpayers, professionals, and elected officials has proven to be extremely advantageous in the county.

Sandra also served as the first elected African American Trustee on the Hays CISD School District from 2011 – 2017. She was elected twice as Vice President and Secretary of the School Board. Throughout her term, Sandra stayed connected to her communities by visiting all 22 schools and volunteering on numerous committees.

Sandra was recognized by the City of Buda, as a being a vital part of creating the First Black History Month Community Celebration. She was also honored for her contributions as a community advocate in the City of Buda and received the Black History Proclamation in the month of February 2020. She is a member of National Association of Colored Women Club and received a certificate in “The History of the Black Experience” from the University of Texas at Austin – Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

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Founder, President & CEO

She is currently the President of Summer Pointe HOA, Vice President and Founder of Buda Police Foundation, Membership Chair of the World Class Centennial Lions Club of Buda, member of Buda Citizen Police Academy and received the Hays County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy Sergeant’s Award.

 

Sandra has used many avenues to reach her community. Her love to engage people started with being on the Amberwood HOA Committee, as the Social Committee Chair. During this opportunity of engagement, she organized and served in the volunteer position for 7 years. She then went on to coach little league basketball and select basketball, serving the needs of youth throughout the city and building relationships with parents.

In her 20 years of coaching, Sandra believed that basketball taught life fundamental skills. A couple basketball fundamentals that she shared and lived by was to work together as a team and communication 101. Sandra credit’s basketball to teaching her how to work with others, increase communication skills, overcome challenges/disappointments, work hard, and never give up until the buzzer in the 4th quarter. Sandra says, “basketball provided me the opportunity to escape being bullied in elementary & middle school.” I love the game!

 

Sandra is a first-generation college graduate, obtaining her Master Degree in Human Service Counseling: Marriage/Family Community Care, & Counseling from Liberty University, a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Texas State University and Associates Degree in Law Enforcement from Austin Community College. She currently works at University of Texas.

 

Sandra also served on the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center (HCWC) and in the United States Army (Reserve). Sandra and her husband (Ray Bryant- Buda City Councilman/former Kyle City Councilman) live in Buda, Texas. They attend Vertical Chapel and enjoy being involved in their community.

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LaVonia Horne-Williams serves as the Director of Procurement and Contracting for Workforce Solutions Alamo (WSA). The WSA Board serves as the governing board for the regional workforce system, a network of service providers and contractors that bring people and jobs together. WSA represents the taxpayers of the 13-county Alamo region.

With more than 20 years of experience managing teams, operations, and personnel at the local, state government and private industry levels, LaVonia has demonstrated strong leadership and comprehensive knowledge of construction management, competitive bidding, contract development and management, federal and state procurement regulations and requests for proposals/qualifications services. Her  passion for her chosen profession is grounded in the words of Maya Angelou, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

Dedicated to public service, Lavonia has served with the City of Buda Historic Preservation Commission, served as a member of the City of Buda Charter Committee, served on the Buda Human Services Grant Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Buda Economic Development Corporation.

LaVonia is a 19-year resident of Buda, Texas and founded a small business consulting firm which is certified as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) with the State of Texas. She is a Texas State Bar registered Paralegal, Certified Texas Contracts Manager, and a Certified Compliance Administrator. LaVonia earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University East Bay in Hayward, CA in Philosophy. She also earned a Master of Arts degree in Legal Studies from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

Holly is an Austin native who earned her bachelors and masters in professional accountancy from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. She has twenty years of accounting experience in nonprofit strategy, finance and operations advisement and currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Finance & Support Services for Upbring, a nonprofit organization working to break the cycle of child abuse. Their $90M budget and 1000 staff members provide social services such as foster care, adoption, residential treatment centers, and education across the state of Texas.

Holly previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Common Threads and as Vice President of Finance and Operations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. She has also heald leadership roles in the nonprofit advisory practice for Maxwell Locke & Ritter, LLP and Ernst & Young's assurance and advisory business services. Holly is an adjunct professor at Austin Community College, teaching sections of the certificate program for Nonprofit Financial Management.

Holly is passionate about education, having served as an elected official in her hometown as a six-year Trustee for the Hays CISD School Board. She is married to Jeff, a Director of Marketing, and has three children; Madalyn, a junior at Texas Tech; Beck and Bristol, a junior and freshmen at Hays High School. Holly loves concerts, movies, college football, and is a great asset to any trivia team.

Dr. Jennielle Médica Strother is Vice President for Student Development & Enrollment Management at Concordia University Texas in Austin. She serves as Concordia’s Chief HSI Officer and leads the admissions, financial aid, marketing, enrollment operations, student development, student academic planning, and student financial planning departments.

Dr. Strother is a first-generation college graduate who earned her doctorate in Organizational Leadership Studies from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where her research is focused on Latinx student success, organizational culture, organizational identity, and the impact leadership has at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). She earned her Associate in Arts from Lon Morris College, Bachelor's in Science from Dallas Baptist University, and Master’s of Education in Enrollment Management from Capella University. A natural-born connector , Jennielle founded two organizations, EMchat and Texas Women in Higher Education: Acting, Reflecting, Transforming (TXwHEART), as a way to help connect higher education professionals with others who have common interests, strengths, and goals. She serves the wider higher education community as a Board Member of the Texas Hispanic Serving Institution Consortium (TX-HSIC), a member of the Legislative Issues Committee of Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admission Officials (TACRAO), and Executive Committee member of Austin College Access Network (ACAN). Dr. Strother’s role models are her fearless husband, her caring daughter, and her hilarious son.

LaKettra Priestly is a licensed clinical social worker, owner, and operator of Hope Family Guidance PLLC. Hope Family Guidance PLLC is an individual therapy practice providing psychotherapy and case management services to individuals and families. LaKettra founded the practice on the social work premise of meeting individuals where they are and supporting them in making life changes to improve their overall mental health and well being.

LaKettra has also worked in various settings in the mental health field including serving as a unit therapist, unit manager, and treatment director for residential programs in central Texas. LaKettra has had the pleasure of working as an adjunct faculty member at Texas State University in the Social Work Department and takes pride in offering guidance and support to new and upcoming social workers. She has worked as a social work supervisor and is currently licensed by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners to provide the necessary supervision for future clinicians to obtain licensure.

LaKettra believes her greatest accomplishment in life is learning to live in the moment.  She was diagnosed at an early age with a rare condition that has had a significant impact on her ability to function daily without physical pain. She has endured many surgeries, medical procedures, medication side effects and most recently in 2018 she had open heart surgery. She is proud that she has not allowed physical health to take away from her ability to accomplish victories in life and uses this as her fuel to continue to support others on their life’s journey to peace and happiness.

LaKettra takes great pride in being a wife and mother. She has 3 children, 3 dogs and has been a resident of Kyle for over 15 years. When she is not working in her practice, you will find her somewhere supporting her children. LaKettra is a proud Texas State Alumni, loves football, family, and enjoying every moment of life.