Board & Staff
Board & Staff
Ward Tisdale, Executive Director | email | Ph.: 512-387-3180
Ward Tisdale is a proven association and corporate executive with more than 20 years of management, public affairs and public relations experience.
With six former Austin mayors and city council members, Ward founded the ATXelerator in 2017. The annual, three-month program recruits and trains community leaders interested in advocating for future-focused city policy, serving on a city board or commission or, in some instances, running for city council. Vanessa Fuentes, a 2020 ATXelerator alumna, became the program’s first graduate to win a city council seat (District 2) in 2020.
Prior to founding the ATXelerator, Ward served as president of the Real Estate Council of Austin, a 2,000-member trade association, and spent 13 years at Advanced Micro Devices as a director and manager in public affairs and communications.
Prior to AMD, Ward served as communications director of the Texas Association of Health Plans, deputy press secretary for the Texas Attorney General’s Office and newspaper reporter for The Monitor in McAllen, Texas.
Ward is very active in industry and civic organizations, serving on the boards of more than a dozen organizations, including the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Trail Foundation, and Capital Metro’s Project Connect Community Advisory Committee. He is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Austin.
Ward has a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin. He has lived in Austin for more than 30 years and is the parent of four children — two sons and two daughters. Between recruiting members for the Lake Travis Chamber, you can usually find Ward paddleboarding on Lake Travis or riding his bicycle around Austin.
Seeking Board of Directors for 2022We are now accepting applications for the 2022 Board of Directors. If you or someone you know is interested, find out more about the role and fill out the application HERE.
Executive Committee Officers
Christy Black – Primrose Schools – Chairwoman of the Board
Kristi Jones - Heart Gift Foundation - Chair Elect
W. Tom Robinson, CPA – Treasurer
Jeff Haley – Watkins Insurance Group – Secretary
Annmarie Hatfield – College Inroads – Past Chair
New Board directors to serve a two-year term:
Michelle Smallwood -Owner Tutor Doctor Lakeway
MBA IT Management, BS Computer Science.
Michelle started her career in the Air Force where she was a communications operator. She served 4 years at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico. She relocated to San Antonio TX to work as a DOD contractor with Computer Sciences Corporation doing computer security. While in San Antonio she used GI Bill to get her bachelors degree and married her husband Daniel. Michelle and her husband decided to relocate to Stuttgart Germany less than a year after marrying. After being in Germany 5 years Michelle and her husband welcomed their first son, two years later they welcomed their 2nd son. They relocated to Bee Cave in 2013 and Michelle worked as an IT supervisor for the Texas Attorney General's office. She earned her MBA in 2016, became Director of IT for a Non-profit in 2018, and started Tutor Doctor Lakeway in January 2019. Owning and running a business was a lifelong goal for Michelle, Tutor Doctor was a perfect match because Michelle knows education is the path for a better future for her students and generations of students to come. Her motivation is hearing of her student's success and loves giving back to the community.
Michael Benitez - Whataburger
My name is Mike Benitez. I was born and raised in San Antonio, a native Texan. I relocated to Austin for a promotion opportunity over 10 years ago. I have been blessed to lead at Whataburger for the last 23 years and has been my only job. In my now, career, with Whataburger I have been able to lead and build teams up to 300 family members. I’ve assisted in their development to grow within the Brand and create their own life changing careers. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in opening many Whataburger restaurants across the country and was excited when I was asked to lead the team here at Whataburger in Lakeway. One of my most favorite aspects of the role is community outreach. Being a brand ambassador, fundraising. and giving back to the community we serve is a Core Value of the company. In my off time I enjoy spending time with my wife Beth and raising our two beautiful children.
Josh Tollett - Josh Tollett - State Farm
Josh Tollett has been a State Farm Insurance agent in Lakeway for 6 years and has been in the insurance industry for over 12 years. Josh represents the #1 insurance company in the U.S. and is proud to protect so many families in the area. Josh is involved with organizations such as BNI, NAIFA, GAP, LT Chamber of Commerce and others. Josh is an active and engaged member of the Lake Travis community and will strive to improve this area as much as he can. Being accepted to the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is an honor that he won’t take lightly and he will endeavor to live up to the responsibility with professionalism and respect.
Phyllis Campos - Community Impact Newspaper
Phyllis Campos has been General Manager of the Lake Travis/Westlake edition of Community Impact Newspaper for over 10 years. With 35 years of experience in news and entertainment media, Phyllis is a news junky who favors bringing community news to residents in their own neighborhoods. She has been very involved with the Lake Travis Chamber for many years as Leadership Chair, board member, and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. She is also an advocate for disability rights, an animal lover and avid rose' wine drinker.
Evalene Murphy - LTISD
Serving as the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Evalene has been employed with the Lake Travis Independent School District for almost five years. With more than 25 years of experience in public education, she has supported students and staff as a special education aide, teacher, special education administrator, and human resources administrator. Evalene earned her bachelor's degree, general and special education teaching credentials, administrative credential and human resources certification while in California. She relocated to Texas in 2016 and enjoys all that Central Texas has to offer, including her small family ranch. In her current role with the district, Evalene leads all aspects of human resource functions including staffing, wage and salary administration, wellness, benefits, leaves, performance appraisals, and employee relations and communications districtwide. A graduate of Leadership Lake Travis, she actively supports the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce. Evalene looks forward to building upon the long-standing and mutually-beneficial partnership between the chamber and the school district.
Clint Garza - City of Bee Cave
Marco Alvarado - LTISD
Jarrod Wise - City of Lakeway
2020 Strategic Plan
View 2020 Strategic Plan HERE