Esther Halford, Chair
Esther Halford is the owner of Halford Busby, a construction consulting firm in northwest Houston. She has over 28 years in the construction industry. At the helm of Halford Busby, Ms Halford has been instrumental in securing projects with some of the most prestigious Architect firms in Texas and across the nation. Her company has worked on several of the more prominent construction projects in the State of Texas including the new University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and Medical Office Building, the Long Term Spinal Cord Injury Facility for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Dallas, and the University of Texas at Dallas Bioengineering & Science Building. Ms Halford’s company went international in 2012 having completed work on the new headquarters for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Halford Busby has enjoyed the distinction of being selected Houston Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Woman owned Business in the City of Houston for the last three years.
Esther was born and raised in Texas. She is a member of the First Baptist Church Tomball since 1978. She is involved in many charitiesand organizations and has a ‘heart for giving’not just her money but her time as well. She attended Prairie View A&M and holds many professional memberships and affiliations. She currently resides in Pinehurst, Texas and has two grown children, Samantha and Mitchell. Esther enjoys sports, boating, working out and working in her yard.
Matthew White, Founder & Vice Chair
Matthew White has over two decades of experience in the healthcare industry working with both hospital providers and health insurers. His experience has been in operations and management with his most recent tenure at one of our nation’s largest health insurers as Vice President of Network Operations. As founder of Shield Bearer, Matthew recognized the need to serve our community by way of offering counseling services by licensed professionals to everyone needing it, regardless of their financial situation.
Matthew has a MBA in Business Administration from the LeTourneau University and an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Matthew holds a license in general, life, and health insurance (lic. #1209402) by the State of Texas. Matthew has been married to Amy since 1992 and has three children.
Gary Gray, Treasurer
Gary Gray is a veteran of both Information Technology (IT) and the US Navy. Gary started Concerto Networks in 2005 with a vision for technology. He has 25 years of IT experience. After working for several software start-ups in the Silicon Valley, Gary and his family moved to Houston, TX in 2003. Here he noticed that lots of small businesses lack dedicated and quality IT support. With the passion for technology and customers, and the support from his wife Michelle, Gary started Concerto Networks to provide IT support for small businesses in Houston area. He is hands-on, detail-oriented and creative in problem solving.
Gary spent 6 years as a Submarine Sonar Technician in the US Navy and 7 years as an Acoustic Intelligence Analyst for the Department of Defense. Gary is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). During his spare time, Gary likes to serve his community and bike. He was president of the Cy-Fair Rotary club in 2010-2011. He is also an active member of Tomball Chamber of Commerce. His proudest biking moment was crossing the finish line at MS150 in Austin in 2011.
Donna McCarty, Secretary
Ms McCarty was born in Washington D.C, where she lived until she was three years old when her family moved to San Jose, California; from there she has lived in a variety of places mostly in California, Texas and Washington states. She graduated from Fortuna Union High School in Fortuna, California. Ms McCarty currently resides in Cypress, Texas.
- Certificate for EKMS Manager Course, San Diego, California
- Life/Health Insurance License, California
- Auto/Homeowners Insurance License, California
- Series 6/63 License, California
- Certificate from UCLA Extension in Business Management
- Certificate from Airline School of the Pacific, Hollywood, California
- Teaching Certificate for Pre-School/Kindergarten Religious Education Program
- Teaching Certificate for Elementary/Junior High Religious Education Program
- Leadership North Houston XIX – Completed in May 2013
- Boots to Business Course – Completed in Jan 2013
Ms McCarty and her husband started Misfit Design Group in June 2010. The company was started to make custom design shirts, stickers, banners, decals, promotional products, signs and more. Ms McCarty entered the Navy after graduating from high school. After serving three years in the Navy, Ms McCarty became a Travel Agent for two years. She then entered civil service, in August 1980. Ms McCarty retired from Civil Service after 33 years.Ms McCarty was a member of Professional Secretaries International holding offices of Second Vice President/Publicity, Interim President, and President. She was voted, Outstanding Member of the Year, in 1994. Ms McCarty taught Religious Education for nine years.
- Chairperson, for the Marketplace for Oxnard Women’s Day Committee in 1990
- Former Treasurer for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Forty Support Group
- Former Co-Ombudsman for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Forty
- Former Secretary for Cub Scout Pack 3234
- Former Money Sense Advisor for Family Service Center
- Former Audit Committee Chairperson for the Construction Battalion Center Junior Baseball League
- Former Recreation Chairperson for Civilian Employee Association
- Former Co-Manager for Major League Cardinal’s team for the Construction Battalion Center Winter Junior Baseball League
- Former Coach for Major League A’s team for the Construction Battalion Center Junior Baseball League
- Former Member of the Port Hueneme Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center Secretary Planning Team
- Former President and VP of the Channel Islands High School Parent and Teacher Association
- Former Member of the Port Hueneme Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center Holiday Choir
- Former Committee Chairperson for ” Meet You There”/Curriculum Committee Member/Advisory Board Member for Lone Star College CyFAIR Academy for Lifelong Learning
- Former First VP/ Newsletter Editor of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 828
- Vice President of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 2366
- Former Director of the Advisory Committee for Cypress Cares
- Former The first VP of Outreach/ VP of Programs/Mentor and Expo Committee/Hospitality Committee Member for CY-Fair Express Network
- Expo Chair of Cy-Fair Women’s Expo 2013
- Former Secretary and Vice President of Cypress Historical Society
- American Legion – Current 2nd Vice Commander/Former Chaplin/Former Corporate Donation Chair for 5K Fun Run 2012
- Former Visitor Host Chair/Event Coordinator/ Visitor’s Day Committee/
- Secretary-Treasurer/ for Business Networking International CY-Fair Partners Chapter
- Former President and Education Coordinator for Women Helping Women Grow Network Group
- Former Ambassador Committee Member with the CY-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce
- Former Vice President of the Cypress Symphony
- E.A.D. – Former Leader of Jersey Village/Lead Slip Coordinator
- Network Texas – Founder and Leader of CyFair Chapter/First Chapter
- CFWN – Past President/President/Treasurer/Women of Excellence 2017
- Shots for Holly – Former VP of Marketing
- Salute to the Heroes – Committee Member -2013 to Present
- Shield Bearer – Current Board Secretary
- Federation of Houston Professional Women Education Foundation – Current Member
- Women Helping Women 2 Network Tomball and Cypress – Current Co-facilitator for both Chapters
Ms McCarty is married to Dean McCarty. She has two sons, Edmund Paul Jr., and Christopher Robert. She has one grandson Edmund Paul III.
Mr. Peterson is an attorney and certified public accountant. He received his bachelor of business administration from the University of Texas in 1983, and he received his law degree from the University of Houston in 1990. Upon graduating from college he earned his certificate as a public accountant in 1985, he became a member of the State Bar of Texas in 1990, and he is currently a member of the American Association of Attorney-CPAs. Keith founded his law practice in the Cypress-Fairbanks area in January 1998 and focuses his law practice on business, estate planning, probate, real estate, construction, taxation, and family law. His early years were spent in the courtrooms of Harris County, Texas, and he later added transactional matters to his practice such as business formations, business purchases, wills, trusts, and family limited partnerships.
Keith has been married to his wife, Sandra, since 1984, and they have been residents of the Cypress-Fairbanks area since 1993. They have two children—Trenton and Emily—both of whom are graduates of the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. Keith and Sandra have spent time and resources with 501c(3) organizations such as Cypress-Fairbanks Rotary Foundation, Cenikor Foundation, Odyssey House, and Knights of Columbus. Some of Keith’s past associations include Boy’s Scouts of America, Lone Star College System, State Bar of Texas Professionalism Enhancement Committee, Burnett-Bayland Committee, Family Outreach Center, TIRR, and Christ the Redeemer Finance Committee.
Shari Nightingale has been involved in many aspects of the healthcare industry for over 30 years including healthcare systems I.T. management, office administration, operations and call center management, human resources coordination, and patient care. The last position she held was with a Diabetes management company until about 3 years ago, following the death of her daughter. In April of 2012, her 28 year old daughter, Lindsay, was murdered by an ex-boyfriend, who then committed suicide. Shari immediately began to pray that this terrible tragedy would not go in vain and God would use it in some way. Shari’s sister began a group called Lindsay’s Light as a way to honor Lindsay by helping people in need and eventually wanting to help victims of domestic violence.
In September of 2015, Shari was introduced to Shield Bearer and Roy Wooten. After Roy described Shield Bearer’s Dating Violence Prevention Program, it was clear from the beginning that this was a relationship that God orchestrated. This began the incorporation of Lindsay’s story into the DVP program and the healing impact that Shield Bearer has had on Shari and Lindsay’s entire family. She has since made the decision not to go back to work, but to devote all her time and energy in raising Peyton and sharing Lindsay’s story, in order to make a difference in the tragic world of domestic violence. Shari and her husband, Chris have been married since 1999, have 7 children and 8 grandchildren between them. They have adopted and are now raising Peyton, Lindsay’s daughter, who was 3 at the time of her mother’s death.
Rick Skinner is a financial advisor for Edward Jones in northwest Houston. He has over 35 years of diverse executive management experience in the financial services, distribution, manufacturing and higher education sectors. Rick earned his bachelors of science degree in business and commerce from The University of Houston-Downtown and his MBA in finance from Westwood College. Rick serves as an Ambassador for the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce and is very active in a number of community organizations.
Rick is a native of San Antonio but has called Houston home since 1982. Rick and his wife Liz are very active members of Cornerstone United Methodist Church serving in a number of leadership roles. Liz is an award winning teacher in Cy-Fair ISD. Rick and Liz have been married since 1991 are proud parents of two grown children and three grandchildren.
Odis Mack has over three decades in the Insurance Industry with Allstate Insurance. He has held positions as a Claims Manager, Regional Quality Manager, Regional Sales Management managing over ninety Allstate agencies and was a member of Senior Staff for the Houston Region for Allstate. Odis has held board positions with the Houston Area Urban League serving as 1st Vice Chair, The Texas Radiation Advisory Board in Austin heading the Financial and Insurance Committee. He is currently a board member of the Langham Creek YMCA, member of West Houston Church of Christ and Cy Fair Chamber of Commerce.
Odis and his wife, Felicia, also attend The Church Without Walls. He is the owner of West Harris County Insurance Associates in Northwest Houston where he serves as Agency Principal. He holds professional designations of CLTC and LUTCF in the insurance industry. He is a 1982 Graduate of Rice University and a lifetime member of the Rice “R” club.
Kevin M. Jones
Kevin M. Jones is a General Practice Business Attorney and Patent Attorney. Kevin is also an Inventor with over 50 patents in 6 countries; He has prosecuted and managed over 2500 patents in 16 different countries. He was Corporate IP Counsel at HP for 3 years, a Research and Development Engineer for 12 years, a Robotics Technician for 3 years and a Software Developer for 5 years. He is licensed in Texas, Louisiana, and before the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C.; He is a Patent Bar Instructor for Southern States and a Part-Time College Professor at South Texas College of Law. Kevin has represented all size businesses, from sole proprietors, to fortune 100 companies. He is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and currently resides in Tomball, Texas. He is the father of 3 sons and a daughter.
Katherine D. Lee
Katherine D. Lee retired following a 27 year career with The Dow Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corporation in May, 2017. She is a servant leader who seeks to develop tomorrow’s servant leaders found in nonprofits, churches, and small businesses. She lives with passion and with purpose and always explores how she can help others do the same. Kathy is certified by the International Coach Federation as a coach and by MentorCoach LLC as an executive coach. She is an accomplished facilitator who led and implemented key leadership development workshops for The Dow Chemical Company. Her coaching clients included executive level leaders as well as emerging leaders. She is known as an accomplished public speaker. Her audiences find her to be an inspiring, energetic, and passionate speaker who can make each audience member feel as if she is speaking directly to them individually. Kathy developed and facilitated customized workshops for Dow audiences, including a global training program to improve financial skills across all levels of the company. Additionally, she also served as quality leader for the company managing products for nine different businesses globally. Kathy lives with her husband of 32 years in Spring, Texas. They have three grown children. Steve and Kathy enjoy traveling, visiting with friends, and volunteering at local non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity and Shield Bearer. Kathy is a lifelong learner who loves creating with her hands through cooking, weaving, quilting, sewing, needle-working, and gardening.