Our founding board members are all active participants in the day to day activities of developing a school, from fundraising and finances, to curricular development. They are all passionate about education and the mission of the Tillman Academy.
Adam graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2004 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Civil Engineering. He served in the US Army as a Scout Platoon Leader of a Heavy Cavalry unit, and as an athlete in the World Class Athlete Program, where he competed in the javelin throw in the 2008 Olympic Trials. After departing the Army in 2012, Adam held a position in business sales, helping companies large and small hire veterans. During this time, he opened a CrossFit gym, started a real estate investment company, and developed a FitTech mobile application. Adam attended the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, earning an MBA with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Real Estate Finance. Shortly after graduation, he accepted the position as the CEO of Active Water Solutions, a startup manufacturing company constructing equipment that cleans wastewater to protect the environment and public health. During his tenure thus far, the company has seen significant growth and is becoming a recognizable player in the industry. Adam has long been passionate about impacting education on a grand scale and is very excited to do so as the President of the Board of the Tillman Academy.
Emily graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2002 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Systems Engineering. She served in the US Army for 6 years on active duty in various assignments in Korea, Hawaii and Afghanistan. Since leaving the military, Emily has gained 13 years of experience in education. She earned a Masters in Elementary Education from Chaminade University. She volunteered to teach English in Tanzania and Ecuador before beginning her full-time teaching career. She spent seven years as an upper elementary teacher, covering all subjects and serving as a STEM Coordinator. As a standout teacher, Emily was selected among educators from across the nation to attend the prestigious Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in 2015. She was also competitively selected as a NASA Solar System Ambassador, and conducts outreach and educational events related to space exploration. Emily currently works as a curriculum designer for Discovery Education, a renowned online education platform. Her work is currently in use in all elementary schools across the country of Egypt and in Dubai. Most recently, Emily led the upper-elementary school design team to create Discovery Education's newest product, the STEM Connect Techbook.
Rob is a development manager for a global renewable energy company, where he is responsible for creating a portfolio of large-scale solar farms in the eastern United States and Canada. Previously, he served at the US Department of Energy as a Presidential Management Fellow, serving in various roles such as Energy Advisor to the US Antarctic Program and as Chief of Staff for Renewable Power. Rob is an avid outdoorsman, artist and writer. He is an Ambassador for Leadership and Character Development for the Travis Manion Foundation, which focuses on character development for high-school students across the country. Rob has been a guest speaker in classrooms on a wide range of subjects such as environmental science, energy, government, military affairs, and leadership. He also taught English as a volunteer in South America and Africa and has worked on all seven continents. Rob holds a BS in Environmental Science & Engineering from West Point and a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University. He served on active duty as an infantry officer in the US Army for 6 years, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He continues his service as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard.
Terry Weaver enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1999 as a Navy Corpsman. He deployed with the U.S. Marines, serving a tour of duty in Iraq in 2002.
After five years of active duty, Terry received the Pat Tillman Military Scholarship, from which he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mays Business School at Texas A&M. He graduated in 2011 and spent ten years in corporate America in the sales and marketing profession, followed by serving as an associate pastor for two years. In 2014, Terry founded VEL Institute a nonprofit with a mission to “Develop Veterans, Entrepreneurs and Leaders in a collaborative and educational environment so that they will have greater impact in their families, organizations and communities.” In 2017, he moved into a full time role as the Executive Director of VEL Institute.
James Kennedy, the Founder and CEO of SteepSteel, has been working and consulting in real estate investment and development for nearly 25 years.
James holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California as well as a Master of Science in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver. In addition, James has earned the highly-coveted Certified Commercial Investment Member designation. When James isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering for a Houston Area YMCA Board, serving as a board member for the Tillman Academy, and teaching a business fundamentals course for VEL Institute. James is also a disabled veteran of the U.S. military.
Lisa Branch is a life-long educator. She double majored in Elementary Education and Psychology at Houston Baptist University and later, earned a degree in Christian Ministries from Indiana Christian University.
Lisa has taught in all genres of education: public, private, charter, and home school. Throughout her teaching career, she has served students in the capacity of teacher, assistant principal and principal. In 2009, Lisa became the co-owner of three LearningRx Centers in the North Houston area, where she continues to change the lives of students and families in a dynamic way. Lisa is community minded and currently serves on the Board for CASA of Walker, Trinity, and San Jacinto Counties, the Huntsville Leadership Institute Board of Directors, and on the Board for Summit Christian Academy.
Our advisory board provides key insights and direction for the Tillman Academy Founding Board.
Janet Coe has been an educator in private and public schools for over 25 years, serving as both teacher and administrator. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas and a Master of Education degree in instructional Technology from Sam Houston State University. Currently, Janet is the Director of instructional Technology and Innovation at Woodlands Christian Academy. She oversees the educational use of technology with a focus on coaching teachers and administrators on best practices when incorporating technology into curriculum.
Daryl Jones is a public speaker, author, entrepreneur, and visionary in the community. He is the CEO and founder of Born 2 Live, a business that provides tools to, Empower, Encourage, and Equip others to live effective purposeful lives. He connects with our community's youth daily as CEO of ProTraining4Life, which provides coaching and training to student athletes, and as a coach at Legacy Prep. Before becoming an entrepreneur and coach, Daryl was a Major League Baseball Player for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds.
After working full-time for the Pro-Life movement for a total of 9 years, in 2018 Elizabeth transferred her skills gained in the non-profit world to 512 New Media, a digital marketing agency based in Houston, Texas. With a diverse background in founding a start-up nonprofit, traveling the country to consult for non-profit organizations, raising millions of dollars to help nonprofits advance their cause, and serving in communications roles for various companies, Elizabeth loves working with people to achieve godly missions. In addition to her fundraising and marketing experience, Elizabeth brings a zeal for children, a commitment to excellence, and a drive to forge strong relationships.