board of trustees

lifetime trustee

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 Mind Science, 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 Diaz Dennis – Chair

J.D;, Loyola Law School of Los Angeles; B.A., 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.


Alan C. Kramer – Immediate Past Chair

Executive Vice President Commercial Banking Manager, The Bank of San Antonio
M.B.A., The University of Texas at San Antonio; B.A., Philosophy and Political Science, Beloit College

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.


Joshua Essery, Psy.D. – Vice Chair

Licensed Psychologist, Alliance Psychology 
Psychology Doctorate, Wheaton College; American Board of Professional Psychology-Board Certified in Clinical Psychology

Dr. Essery is a licensed psychologist with board certification in Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. His is a managing partner at Alliance Psychology, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry Department at UT Health San Antonio and the Mental Health Coordinator for UT-Health San Antonio’s Cystic Fibrosis Center. Dr. Essery provides psychodynamically informed psychotherapy and psychological assessment services to individuals, families, couples and groups. In addition, he provides organizational consultations, educational presentations, and clinical supervision. Dr. Essery’s professional interests include mentorship, clinical supervision, organizational consulting, program development, the impact of technology on psychology and providing mental health services to families of those with chronic medical illnesses. Dr. Essery is a member of several professional organizations including the American Board of Professional Psychology, the American Psychological Association, the San Antonio Group Psychotherapy Association, and the San Antonio Society for Psychoanalytic Studies.



Randi Brosterman Hutchens – Treasurer

President & CEO, Actionable Transitions LLC; Principal (Retired), Deloitte Consulting LLC
M.B.A. and B.S, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Ms. Hutchens is President & CEO of Actionable Transitions LLC, a San Antonio-based professional services firm providing Executive Coaching to C-suite and senior executives in a range of industries. As a Principal (equity owner/partner) with Deloitte Consulting, Ms. Hutchens was a Strategy and Operations Management Consultant serving the Financial Services Industry for 26 years. Ms. Hutchens’ current board roles include: BioBridge Global (Vice Chair and Treasurer), Emtora BioSciences, and the McNulty Wharton Leadership Advisory Board. Her past board positions include: The Forté Foundation, United Way of Northern Westchester (President); and the de Tocqueville Society of Westchester & Putnam Counties. A longtime member of the Financial Women’s Association of New York (FWA), Ms. Hutchens mentors mid-career women professionals in the FWA’s Pacesetters program. Ms. Hutchens is honored to join the Board of Mind Science.


Amelita Mauzé – Secretary

Realtor with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
M.A., The University of Texas at San Antonio; B.A., Southern Methodist University

Amelita Moorman Mauzé is a third generation San Antonian and the great-niece of Founder, Tom Slick. Amelita has a BA from Southern Methodist University and a MA from The University of Texas at San Antonio.  Amelita has found success as a luxury residential Realtor with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty.  Amelita has served a six year term as a board member of Girls Inc of San Antonio, currently sits on the Texas Biomedical Forum Board as VP Membership, and is involved with many other local organizations.  In her spare time, Amelita enjoys spending time with her husband and their seven year old son, traveling, reading, and playing tennis.


Robert P. Elde, Ph.D. – Chief Scientific Officer

Science Director and Vice Chair of the Board, Hill Country Science Mill
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.


Cat Dizon

As Co-Founder and COO of Active Capital, Cat Dizon is focused on leading companies. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Alamo Angels, the San Antonio-based group of angel investors that invest in local and Texas-based startups.

At Active Capital, Cat runs the business of the firm including investor relations, due diligence for investment activities, and all operations including legal, accounting, and finance.

Before her venture experience, Dizon worked at Rackspace where she was Director of Corporate Strategy and Development leading in areas of mergers and acquisitions, post-merger integration, growth businesses and staff operations.

Dizon chairs the Geekdom board of directors, which also includes David Fonseca, CEO of Velocity TX; Alexandra Frey, Executive Director of 80|20 Foundation; Sean Patterson, Customer Engineer at Google; Bret Piatt, President & CEO of Jungle Disk; and Alberto Piña, CEO of Braustin Homes.
Cat is a proud military spouse, a mother of one, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice, with an emphasis in legal studies.

Houston Frost, Ph.D.

Prior to joining Usio in December 2014, Mr. Frost served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Akimbo Financial, Inc. since its inception in January 2010. Mr. Frost has more than five years of experience in the prepaid and payments industry and eight years of experience in financial services. Prior to Akimbo, Mr. Frost worked in New York as an Associate at JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the Fixed‐Income Strategy team. Mr. Frost earned his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Northwestern University in 2007 and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Colorado in 2003.

Sean Guillory, Ph.D.

Sean Guillory obtained his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth University where he primarily worked with neurosurgery patients to help improve the mapping for brain functions that were personally important to their lives. After taking that experience to help build up a start‐up business incubator aimed at helping humanity (Fruition Tech Labs) and working on data science efforts to help catch online scammers (Consumer Affairs), he now focuses on ways of utilizing his background in automation, biometrics, and social science methodology to help with issues within Defense and National Security for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Along with his board membership for the Information Professionals Association, leading planning efforts for their Phoenix Challenge London, Sean is also a Thematic Task Force lead for the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA), an advisor for the Center for Strategic Defense Initiatives.

Dr. Guillory was a Mind Science intern in 2009‐2010, and served as cohost with CEO Meriam Good for 2020’s Mind Matters webcasts.

Jenny Hsieh, Ph.D.

 University of Texas at San Antonio

Professor and Department Chair, University of Texas at San Antonio;
Department of Neuroscience, Developmental and Regenerative Biology;
Semmes Foundation Distinguished Chair in Cell Biology;
Director, UTSA Brain Health Consortium
B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology; UC San Diego
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.

Amanda Keammerer


Amanda Lee Keammerer is the Managing Director of gener8tor Cybersecurity, and the founder and CEO of Javilud, a firm building creative collaborations at the intersection of people, politics, technology, and art.

Previously, Amanda was the vice president of cybersecurity and director of CyberSecurity San Antonio at the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. While in DC, Amanda implemented federal cyber policy at the White House, and worked at the Kaiser Family Foundation and the LULAC National Office.
Currently, Amanda serves as the AETC Civic Leader representing the 502d ABW – JBSA Ft. Sam Houston-TX.

From 2019 to 2021, Amanda served as an Honorary Commander with the 502d Communications Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio. In 2020, Amanda was nationally recognized as a Latinx Next Generation Leader in National Security & Foreign Policy.

Amanda is the author of a forthcoming children’s book on cybersecurity, and the founder of National Cyber Signing Day. Amanda is a proud San Antonio ISD alum, and serves on the Family Service Board of Directors, as well as the SAISD Foundation Board of Directors.

MA, Global Communication, with a double concentration in national security policy and IT policy from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.
BA, Russian and Government, Smith College

Jeff Kerr

CEO and Founder, CaseFleet; Director, Factual eDiscovery
B.A., Rice University; J.D., Emory University School of Law

Mr. Kerr was raised in San Antonio, where he developed an early love for computer science and mathematics. After attending college at Rice University and later law school at Emory University, he worked as an employment litigation and e-discovery attorney at Mays & Kerr LLC in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2015, Jeff left his law practice to found CaseFleet, a software company that builds document review and fact chronology software for attorneys, investigators, and journalists around the world. Jeff is self-described “maker” whose hobbies include everything from tinkering with electronic circuits and writing code to building furniture and writing songs. Jeff and his wife Lindy live in Atlanta, Georgia with their son, Benjamin, and identical twin daughters, Anna and Grace.

James Keys

Southwest Research Institute

Vice President, Research and Development, Southwest Research Institute
MS, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Institutional Trustee)

Travis Kowalski

Mr. Kowalski brings over 15 years of experience in the event industry, joined The RK Group in 2009, and is responsible for directing and coordinating integrated large‐scale events and operations across the United States, as well as tenting and equipment sales, operations and logistical support in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston.

Travis and his wife, Jamie, served as Gala Chairs for Mind Science in 2021, and are the parents of 2.

Kimberley Phillips, Ph.D.

Trinity University

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.

Rick Ramos Dominguez, M.D.

Rose Reyes

President and Chief Operating Officer, Giant Noise

Rose Reyes is President of the San Antonio Office at Giant Noise, an Austin-based full-service public relations firm with experience handling corporate, media and entertainment clients. She manages relationships with clients, oversees Giant Noise’s San Antonio office, coordinates programming for events and advocates on the company’s behalf. 

emeritus Trustees

Patty Slick Beem

B.A., University of South Carolina; M.L.S., Emory University; J.D., Atlanta Law School

Daughter of Mind Science 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.

Robert R. "Bob" Cocke, Ph.D.

Former Co-Chair, MSF Board of Trustees
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

President, Cocke Minerals, Inc.

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

Author and Consultant
B.A., Communications, Stanford University

Ms. Catherine Cooke is not a newcomer to Mind Science. 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 Mind Science’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.

Former Treasurer, MSF Board of Trustees
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.

Clinical Director, Alamo Sleep Disorders Center; Director, South Texas Veterans Health Care System Sleep Clinic; Clinical Professor of Neurology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
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 Mind Science in 2001.

John Kerr

Former Chair, MSF Board of Trustees

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.

Sandy McNab

Former Chair, Mind Science Board of Trustees
B.B.A. Finance, University of Miami, Florida

Sandy is an Associate Board Member of the Witte Museum. He has 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 is a former member of the State Parks Advisory Board of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

John "Chico" Newman

Former Chair, MSF Board of Trustees

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.

Emilio F. Romero, M.D.

University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio

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.

Ruth B. Russell

Owner, Dutch Cattle Co.
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

Former Vice-Chair, MSF Board of Trustees

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.

Patricia Smothers

Former Chair, Mind Science Board of Trustees
Principal, SGIC investments; Owner, Hendley Market Intl.; Principal, Smothers Foundation

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 Mind Science and its work.

Alice Viroslav, M.D.

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.



Meriam Good


For the last 20+ years, Meriam has held leadership positions with several non-profit organizations; she joined the Mind Science Foundation in 2008 as director of programs and development. With a degree in nonprofit management, she has specialized in operations, program development and donor relations. She is passionate about the role of both institutional and personal philanthropy in effecting meaningful social change. She and her husband of 32 years are the proud parents of a young-adult son and an energetic Jack Russell terrier. A native of San Francisco, she adores her adopted home state of Texas.

Pin It on Pinterest