board of trustees
Tom Slick, Jr.
President, Slick Enterprises, Atlanta, GA
B.A., Yale University with Honors in Psychology and Pre-Med; Georgia State University, Graduate School of Business Administration/Accounting
Tom maintains an active role in his father’s prolific legacy as a lifetime trustee of the Mind Science Foundation, Southwest Research Institute, and Texas Biomedical Research Institute (the former Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research). He is active in the Georgia Grape Growers Association, and is the President of the Georgia Winegrowers Association. His special interests are touring wine regions and fishing.
Patricia Smothers – Chair
B.A., University of Texas, San Antonio
Ms. Smothers’ studies focused on education for exceptional children; she has studied and worked with children with autism. Her past volunteer activities include: Chairman, Family Violence Prevention Services; the Bexar County Battered Women and Children’s Shelter; Community Leadership Committee, Planned Parenthood; Treasurer, V.P. Membership, International Women’s Forum. She has a longtime interest in the Mind Science Foundation and its work.
Alice Viroslav, M.D. – Immediate Past Chair
B.A. (Dual), Biology and Psychology, Cum Laude, Southern Methodist University; M.D., University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas
Dr. Viroslav is a Neuroradiologist in private practice with Radsource, a subspecialty radiology group based in Nashville, TN, and is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She is board certified in Diagnostic Radiology with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Neuroradiology, and served as Chief Resident in Radiology at Emory University School of Medicine. She is a Senior Member of the American Society of Neuroradiology, and a member of the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology. In addition to her professional duties, Dr. Viroslav is very active in the San Antonio community. She is a current board member of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation and the San Antonio Mastersingers. She is former Chair of the Board of Saint Mary’s Hall and of The Winston School San Antonio. She is also a current board member and past President of The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research, an international organization that she co-founded in 2002.
Alan C. Kramer – Vice Chair & Treasurer
Mr. Kramer was raised in San Antonio, left for college and after work on several US Congressional campaigns began his professional career back home as a Vice President at the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. He has spent the last 12 years in commercial banking in San Antonio and Austin and is currently serving on a variety of business committees at multiple Chambers of Commerce. Alan has a long standing commitment to organizations focused on the health and well-being of our community to include work with the United Way, various veteran’s groups, and recently served as the Board Chair of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate.
Robert P. Elde, Ph.D. – Chief Scientific Officer
Ph.D., Anatomy, University of Minnesota; Honorary M.D., Karolinska Institute; B.A., Biology and Chemistry, North Park University
Dr. Robert Elde is an internationally recognized expert on the sensory neurons that transduce painful stimuli. He retired in July 2014 from being the Dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences and also the J. B. Johnston Land Grant Professor of Neuroscience. Together with his wife, Dr. Bonnie Baskin, they founded the Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City and he now serves as the Science Director and Vice Chair of their Board. During his tenure as dean, the UMN undergraduate programs in biology rose to become among the best in the nation. His numerous leadership roles in the scientific community include serving as founding chair of UMN’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment; founding University Enterprise Laboratories, a non-profit bioscience incubator; and serving as the Treasurer and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum of Minnesota. He has served on the board and scientific advisory boards of several biotechnology startup companies. Over his career, he was author or co-author of more than 240 scientific publications in cellular and molecular neuroscience research.
Patricia Diaz Dennis – Secretary
J.D., Loyola University of Los Angeles; B.S., University of California at Los Angeles
By the time Patricia Diaz Dennis took on her first board director seat, she had already shattered gender and cultural barriers in private practice, government, and the heavily male-dominated communications industry. Diaz Dennis attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where she was the executive editor of the Law Review. Diaz Dennis went on to be to be associate at Paul Hastings, a prestigious Los Angeles firm, and in 1978 transitioned to the in-house legal team at ABC. Then, in 1983, she was selected by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the National Labor Relations Board. By 1986, she was appointed Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission. President George H.W. Bush went on to appoint her Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Diaz Dennis is a strong believer in giving back. Her desire to serve her community was instilled in her as a Girl Scout where later she served as Chair and Vice Chair for Girls Scouts of the USA in the 2000s.
Patty Slick Beem
Daughter of MSF founder, Tom Slick, she has a deep understanding of our organization’s history and original donor intent. Ms. Beem has said that, “My father started the Mind Science Foundation and I have been a party to its developments over the years. It was very important to him and the last project before his untimely death.” She enjoys time with her family that includes 2 children and 5 grandchildren.
Hon. Charles Gonzalez
J.D., St. Mary’s University; B.A., Government, The University of Texas at Austin
Mr. Gonzalez was licensed to practice in 1972 and was in private practice until 1982. He was elected Judge of County Court No.2 in 1982 and served until 1987. He created separate civil docket system and established a domestic violence docket leading to greater specialization and efficiency. Mr. Gonzalez was elected Judge of the 57th State Judicial District Court in 1988 and served until 1997. He initiated and established a district-wide alternative dispute resolution system. He also was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 and served until 2013. Mr. Gonzalez was assigned to the following committees: Financial Services, Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Small Business, House Administration and Homeland Security. He chaired the Special Task Force to determine election results in Florida Congressional District 13. He also chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Daniela Gonzalez de Serna
Master’s Degree, Brown University; B.S. in Neuroscience, University of Florida
Christine has over 25 years of healthcare management experience with positions in professional and consumer marketing, sales, sales training and sales management at Allergan, Pfizer, Parke-Davis, Eli Lilly and Acelity (KCI) where she is currently Vice President of Americas Marketing (U.S. Latam and Canada) Christine has also consulted for five years in all aspects of marketing brands relating to Pharma, Specialty Pharma (particular interest in PAH), Plastic Surgery (Breast Reconstruction and Liposuction) and Various Medical device areas. 4 Elements Strategy and GroMarketShare contributed portions of their profits back to the charities that they supported. Christine has held leadership roles in professional and consumer (DTC/DTP) marketing for over 20 products including Botox, Breast Implants, Urology and Neurology products including Sanctura, Neurontin, Rebif, and Celexa. She played a critical role in the successful launches of Natrelle for Breast Implants, Neurontin for Postherpetic Neuralgia and in the co-marketing launch of Rebif for Multiple Sclerosis with Serono. (Some others include Inspra, Prozac, Accupril, Lipitor, Sanctura.) She is Co-Founder BRAVEcoaltion.org, Board member African Child Foundation, Former Board Member Pink Ribbon Story Foundation, Former Co-President of Beta Foster Care Orange County, Former Board Member of RJW Foundation and Past Board Member of Flying Doctors/AMREF. She holds a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Florida, Master of Business Administration and Masters in Hospital Administration from Nova University. She completed her Executive Healthcare Leadership Masters at Brown University in May 2016.
Jack Guenther, Jr.
B.B.A., Southern Methodist University C.P.A.
A great nephew of MSF Founder, Tom Slick, Mr. Guenther is a long-time supporter of MSF and native San Antonian. He restored and resides in an O’Neil Ford-designed home custom built for Tom Slick and is an avid contemporary and modern art collector. In addition to being a venture capital investor in leading edge technologies, he manages family investments in auto dealerships and hotels.
Jenny Hsieh, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of the Brain Health Consortium, University of Texas at San Antonio;
Semmes Foundation Chair in Cell Biology; Philanthropist/Investor;
B.B.A., Southern Methodist University C.P.A.;
Ph.D. in Biology; John Hopkins University
A nationally recognized researcher, Dr. Hsieh’s work focuses on how to make neurons replicate themselves so a brain affected by disease or injury and replace its own damaged cells and heal. She tackles the challenge using molecular and genetic tools and is focused on understanding the factors that control the brain’s stem cells so she can manipulate and stimulate new growth.
As director of the Brain Health Consortium, Hsieh is expanding UTSA’s work in pluripotent stem cell research and personalized medicine to develop new and innovative approaches to neurodegenerative disease. She also plans to established a new core facility at UTSA to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, among many other efforts to support innovation in brain health research.
Michael MacNaughton, Ph.D.
Vice President, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute
Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, Stanford University (Institutional Trustee)
Dr. MacNaughton holds degrees from Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Stanford University. After completing his PhD in Environmental Engineering at Stanford, Dr. MacNaughton worked for the US Air Force for 6 years as director of the Human Systems Program Office. Afterward, he joined the staff at the Southwest Research institute where he serves as Vice President of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division.
M.B.A., Harvard Business School; B.S., The University of Texas, Austin
Mr. Mays currently serves as President of Running M Capital, a private investment firm, and as Chairman of Digital Defense, a cyber-security company. Prior to that he was President and CFO of Clear Channel Communications. Randall has served on multiple boards including the role of Vice Chairman for Clear Channel Communications, Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Chairman for Digital Defense, Inc. and Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment. He currently serves on the boards of Spinal Stabilization Technologies and N12. He has also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Saint Mary’s Hall and as Vice Chair at San Antonio Academy. Randall enjoys coaching his kids’ sports teams, traveling with his family and fly-fishing in his spare time.
B.A. in Music Composition, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Paul M. Montalvo, born and raised in San Antonio, has worked as a firefighter for the City of San Antonio for over 15 years. He owes his love for classical music to his parents who introduced him to piano lessons at a young age. From that gift grew his strong desire to pursue the study of music in his mid-twenties. As a co-founder, Board Member, and the Artistic Director for COSA, Paul is eager to serve the community and help present classical music to a wider audience through education and performance.
Kimberley Phillips, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Trinity University
Ph.D., The University of Georgia; M.S., The University of Georgia; B.S., Wofford College (Institutional Trustee)
Dr. Phillips currently teaches and works with Trinity undergraduates. Her research program focuses on understanding the neurological and biological basis of primate behavior, particularly skilled motor actions. Most of her research utilizes capuchin monkeys as a model for these investigations. Capuchins are known for their manual dexterity and manipulative propensities in foraging contexts, making them an excellent model to investigate questions pertaining to behavioral and neural aspects of skilled behavior. Her lab use the non-invasive methods of MRI and DTI for brain imaging, and present various problem-solving tasks to the monkeys to measure motor skill and hand use. In addition, she is the President of the American Society of Primatologists.
Emilio F. Romero, M.D.
Former Professor and Deputy Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, UTHSCSA (Institutional Trustee)
Medical School, University of Zaragoza, Spain; Psychiatry Residency, UTHSCSA; C.G. Jung Psychoanalytical Institute, Kusnacht, Switzerland, specialization in dream analysis
Dr. Romero is a member of the American College of Psychiatrists, the Admissions Subcommittee Medical School UTHSCSA, and the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, and a past member of the M.H.M.R. Advisory Board. He was made a Knight of the Order of Malta in 1987. His special interests include sculpture, reading, travel, dream interpretation, international relations, and guiding medical students.
Masters and Bachelor degrees, St. Mary’s University
Prior to forming Sosa Consultation & Design with her husband, Lionel, Kathy Sosa served as president of Garcia•LKS, the Southwest’s largest independent Hispanic ad agency, which she founded as KJN in 1987. Kathy has served in multiple roles during her 20-plus year marketing career, including ad agency principal and entrepreneur, strategist, planner, creative director and copywriter. In addition to commercial advertising experience on accounts from Dr Pepper and Mexicana Airlines to Sî TV and Budweiser, she is experienced in both education-related marketing and public service communications, and is a veteran of over 25 political media campaigns. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from St. Mary’s University. Kathy currently serves on the Generation Texas Board of Directors. She was appointed by former Governor George W. Bush to the Children’s Trust Fund of Texas Council, and by Governor Rick Perry to the Founding Board of The Texas Conference for Women. Kathy served as a member of the Girl Scout National Board, a member of the National Board of Directors – AVANCE, and is past-chair of City Year San Antonio. She also was named by Inc. magazine as an Entrepreneur of the Year. A renowned artist, Kathy was commissioned by the Texas Women’s Conference to do a portrait of keynote speaker Martha Stewart, to whom she personally presented the work. She received national recognition for her traveling exhibition “Huipiles: a Celebration”, which debuted at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Latino Center’s 2007 summer season before traveling to the Museo Alameda in San Antonio in 2008. 2009. Currently, she mounts shows in New York City and Tulsa. Her work has been featured on CNN, in FiberArts Magazine, in Skirt!, San Antonio Woman, Country Lifestyle, Destinations, and is available in San Antonio through AnArte Gallery and the Regalo Gift Gallery at the Museo Alameda. She is also represented by galleries in Boerne, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Most recently, Kathy, and her husband Lionel Sosa, created and produced the critically-acclaimed documentary titled “Children of the Revolución – How the Mexican Revolution Changed America’s Destiny,” a 20-part storytelling series which chronicles never-before-told American history of the Texas/Mexico borderland.
D. Thomas Stone, Jr., Ph.D.
Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin; M.A., Counseling Psychology, Assumption College; B.A., Existential Phenomenological Psychology, The University of Dallas
Tom is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and on the Board of the International Board of Certified Group Psychotherapists. He has presented nationally and regionally on such topics as shame, countertransference, values in professional practice, and the impact of trauma on mental health professionals. He is also an author on topics about the residential treatment of juvenile offenders.
Robert R. "Bob" Cocke, Ph.D.
B.A., M.A. and Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin; PHS Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, University of Rochester Medical Center
Professionally, Bob has an active interest in the relationship between the mind and disease resistance. Personally, he spends a lot of time enjoying, and working to preserve, the Texas Hill Country. He resides in Austin, Texas.
Mary S. Cocke
Mary has long managed her family’s independent oil and gas company. In the past she owned an antiques business specializing in oriental rugs, helped run two restaurants and owned a catering business. She is an alumna of the Hockaday School in Dallas and attended the University of Texas as a History major with a minor in Classical Civilization.
Catherine Nixon Cooke
B.A., Communications, Stanford University
Ms. Catherine Cooke is not a newcomer to the Mind Science Foundation. She served as executive director from 1983 to 1998, and returned in 2012, serving during that time as interim president. She is the author of a biography about MSF’s legendary founder—philanthropist, wildcatter and explorer Tom Slick (Tom Slick Mystery Hunter, Paraview, 2005). She is a former CEO and president of the Mountain Institute, an international nonprofit working in the Himalayas, the Andes, and Appalachia, and recently published another historical biography, The Thistle and the Rose (iUniverse, 2013).
Richardson B. Gill, Ph.D.
B.A., History; B.E.S., Engineering Science; B.S. Mathematics; B.S., Physics; M.A., Anthropology; Ph.D. Anthropology
Dick Gill is a native San Antonian with a background in successfully stating and managing companies ranging in size from startups to larger organizations. His strong technical and scientific educational background combined with a love of learning results in the ability to quickly learn a business and achieve results. He is the author of The Great Maya Droughts: Water, Life, and Death (2005, University of New Mexico Press), which was also translated into Spanish. A one-hour documentary about Dr. Gill and his archaeological accomplishments was produced by the BBC in 2001. He is fluent in Spanish and French.
Paul Ingmundson, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Paul Ingmundson is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the diagnosis and management of sleep disorders. He first became interested in sleep, dreaming, and the science of consciousness while pursuing his graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He stays busy in professional practice, research, and teaching. He is active in a number of professional societies and organizations, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Fellow of the Bexar County Psychological Association, and Treasurer of the San Antonio Society for Psychoanalytic Studies. He first joined the Board of Trustees of the Mind Science Foundation in 2001.
John Kerr is a co-founder of Texas Next Capital and its affiliate, Acacia Capital Fund. He is also a Principal of Moorman Kerr Interests, a family investment office with a diversified investment portfolio, and has extensive experience as an investor and entrepreneur in the biotechnology sector. John began his career as a securities lawyer, as a partner in the Houston law firm Andrews Kurth and later with Cox Smith in San Antonio.
John is extensively involved in the non-profit and charitable sector, as a member of the board of trustees of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, where he served as Chairman for nine years and as President from 2006 to 2008. In addition, he serves on the boards of directors of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, which oversees the National Museum of the Pacific War, the McNay Art Museum, the Menninger Clinic Foundation, the Texas Research & Technology Foundation, the San Antonio Medical Foundation, the Environmental Defense Action Fund, and Humanities Texas. He a member of the three-person Distribution Committee of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, the largest in San Antonio.
B.B.A. Finance, University of Miami, Florida
Sandy served as past Chair of Saint Luke’s Episcopal School, past Chair of the Rock Art Foundation of Texas and served as Project Manager of its recently published Lower Pecos DNA Project. He also serves on the San Antonio Advisory Board of the Nature Conservancy of Texas and on the State Parks Advisory Board of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
John "Chico" Newman
John “Chico” Newman Jr. is the Rivard Report vice chairman and the president of the John and Florence Newman Foundation. Over the years, Chico and his wife Ann have supported various nonprofit media, ranging from the Washington D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity, Texas Tribune, Texas Public Radio, and KLRN – TV. They’ve also been instrumental to the well-being of our city’s public library system and the San Antonio Public Library Foundation.
Pemmaraju N. Rao, Ph.D. (In Memoriam)
Senior Scientist, Chairman, Department of Organic Chemistry, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (Retired); Senior Vice President of Research, Evestra, Inc. (Retired)
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Calcutta University, Calcutta, India
Dr. Rao published more than 100 research articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and presented several invited lectures at national and international conferences. He held many patents in steroid hormone synthesis and various immunoassay methodologies. In his spare time, Dr. Rao enjoyed photography, growing roses and organic vegetable gardening. One of Tom Slick’s first hires at what is now Texas Biomedical Research Institute, he passed away in 2015.
Ruth B. Russell
B.A., Art (History and Studio), Minor in Spanish, Trinity University
Ruth is an active supporter of Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, Texas Wildlife Association, Respite Care, and Terra Genesis. A devoted mother, Ruth also finds time for jumping horses, art, and mind-oriented studies.
Peter C. Selig
Peter Selig studied at the University of Texas at Austin and returned to San Antonio to conquer the food scene. He’s the co-founder and president of two River Walk restaurants, Acenar and Biga on the Banks. His latest adventure is opening the new Southtown restaurant, The Maverick.