Gary Borders - President
Gary Borders is a longtime East Texas writer and photographer who spent more than 40 years working for newspapers in the area, including stints as publisher in Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Longview, San Augustine and Mount Pleasant. He is the author of four books, is working on his fifth, and serves as a part-time reference librarian and adjunct instructor at LeTourneau University. He and his wife, Dr. Julie Teel-Borders, an education professor at LETU, live in Longview.
Richard Anderson - Board Chair & Founding Board Member
Judge Richard Anderson is a former Texas State Senator and former Harrison County Judge. He is chairman of the I-20 Corridor Council (formerly, Ark-La-Tex Corridor Council). Judge Anderson lives in Marshall, TX with wife, Cristina, who is the Vice-Chair of the GoVet Veterans Transportation Initiative.
Marc Wheeler - Vice President & Founding Board Member
Originally from Grand Prairie, he moved to East Texas in 1977 to work for TXU. Retired 3 years ago after 40 years of service. He was an operations supervisor at the 2250 megawatt coal fired power plant at Martin Lake. He is a former member of IBEW Local 2337 and served for several years as a steward. He has been married for 45 years to his high school sweetheart, Chris Wheeler. Chris is a retired theater teacher at Henderson High School, in Henderson and is running for City Council Dist 1 in Henderson this November. They have two children, Matthew Wheeler & Anne Tabakian and six (soon to be seven) grandchildren.
Laura Bowman - Treasurer & Founding Board Member
Laura Bowman founded Indivisible of Deep East Texas and served as a volunteer coordinator for Beto O'Rourke (during his run for U.S. Senate). She is a leadership Lufkin graduate, CPA, RN, Casa advocate, and has lived in Lufkin for the past 13 years. She has 2 teen daughters and is looking forward to working to make our East Texas communities even better places to live.
Brent Beal - Secretary & Founding Board Member
Brent Beal is a professor of business at The University of Texas at Tyler. He teaches strategic management and writes about corporate social responsibility. He ran for the Democratic nomination in Texas 1st congressional district in 2018. Brent lives with wife, Heather, a professor of education at Stephen F. Austin State University, and their three children (Kennedy, Marin, and Stuart) in Nacogdoches, TX.
Lee Hancock - Board Member
Lee Hancock is an award-winning investigative journalist. Lee worked for 23 years at the Dallas Morning News. She is currently working to encourage voter registration and political engagement in East Texas communities. She is a board member of Tyler-Smith County League of Women Voters. She lives near Tyler with husband Steve.
Neal Katz - Board Member
Neal Katz is the rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Tyler, TX. Rabbi Katz has a long history of civic involvement in the Tyler community, including work for the Hospice of East Texas, the Samaritan Counseling Center, Tyler Proud, P.A.T.H., Leadership Tyler, Art of Peace, the Tyler Ministerial Alliance, and the Cancer Foundation for Life. Katz is currently the statewide board chair of the Texas Freedom Network. In 2018, Katz ran as an independent candidate for the Texas State House. Rabbi Katz is also a musician, having released four solo projects and producing projects for other musicians and organizations. In 2010, he was a finalist in the Kerrville Musical Festival's New Folk Contest.
Former Officers and Board Members
Kate Langston - Past President & Founding Board Member