Board of Directors

Josh Blake w beard cropped

Josh is the Chief Operating Officer at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home. A Waco native, Josh graduated from Waco High School, Baylor University, Amarillo College, and Leadership Waco, Class XXXV, through the Greater Waco Chamber. Josh is actively involved in Selected Independent Funeral Homes, an association in which membership is by invitation only. He is a graduate of Select's Leadership Academy and currently serves on the Board of Directors. Josh also has several years of experience working with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and with their families. He continues to be an advocate for mental health. In his free time, he enjoys spending quality time with his family, especially his nephews and niece. He enjoys running the trails in Cameron Park, playing tennis, traveling, and supporting the Baylor Bears.

Jonathan Olvera is a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Centex, REALTORS®, and has earned the GRI designation. Jonathan and his wife, Alex, have two daughters: Priscila and Ximena. Jonathan serves as the Secretary for the Cen-tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (CTHCC). He also serves on the Executive Board of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) as the Vice-Chair of Young Professionals and as a formal representative of CTHCC. Jonathan also serves as a committeeman for the Heart O' Texas Fair & Rodeo's Esperanza Committee, as a board member of the Animal Welfare Awareness Board, and as Worship Leader at Ministerios Betania Waco. Jonathan has also been selected to be a part of the 10th cohort of the LeadershipPLENTY Institute. He looks forward to creating a positive impact in the Hispanic community, as well as the Greater Waco area by increasing the Chamber's influence within today's growing neighborhood and business sectors. 

W88A3347
Hermann Pereira

Hermann is the Chief Program Officer at Prosper Waco and is passionate about finding collaborative approaches to serving people. He has spent the past 15 years in education in a variety of roles such as teacher, coach, director, assistant principal, and principal. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Baylor University and a Masters in Educational Administration from Baylor University. Hermann believes community partnerships are the vehicle to creating sustainable solutions. Hermann is active in the community serving on boards of the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, City of Waco Parks and Recreation and the McLennan County Hunger Coalition. Hermann has been recognized by the Waco Chamber of Commerce as one of the "Top 40 under 40" individuals in the community and Educator of the Year by the Centex African American Chamber of Commerce. Hermann is married and has 2 children. His time away from campus is spent with his family, coaching his kids teams, enjoying the outdoors or rooting for all Houston sports.

Vice President and lending officer with American Bank. He is a life-long Wacoan. After graduating from high school at Texas Christian Academy, Mark attended MCC for two years and then transferred to Baylor University to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and a Bachelor’s Degree in Risk Management and Insurance. He is very active in the community by serving as a board member of the Building Standards Commission for the City of Waco, treasurer of City Center Waco, and Chairman of the steering committee for the LaSalle Avenue Overlay District. He is passionate about donating resources and time to his life-long parish of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, playing sports, or relaxing with family and friends. Mark is proud to represent his employer and family, both having long ties to chamber growth and community development. Mark looks forward to building professional and personal relationships with all chamber members by seeking opportunities to work together on mutual goals. He is happy to lend a hand with upcoming projects, growing the chamber one experience at a time.

W88A3366
W88A7220

Bridget Heins serves as the Director of Community Relations for Rapoport Academy Public School. As a life-long resident of Waco with over 15 years of classroom teaching experience, she now works to connect Rapoport Academy students and staff with the surrounding community through partnerships and volunteer programs such as Rapoport on the Road which takes hands-on, engaging STEM lessons to public events and area neighborhoods.

Bridget graduated from the Baylor University School of Education in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  Her first 15 years of teaching were spent at Waco Baptist Academy with a loving, supportive school family. With a desire to grow professionally, she accepted a position with Rapoport Academy and served as a fifth-grade teacher for 2 years before accepting her current role in the district.

Out of gratitude for the many life-changing opportunities provided throughout her life, Bridget is committed to serving the community that formed her in so many ways. She currently serves on the Centex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board, the United Way Community Investment Council, the Waco Chamber Freedom Ball Committee, the Waco Hispanic Leaders Network Planning Committee, and has most recently returned to the First United Methodist- Waco Youth Group leadership team adding to 20+ years of serving in youth/college ministry.

Bridget and her husband Michael have two grown children: Becca Cox (26) who is married to Tyler and works for Baylor University’s Development Department, and Mikey (21) who is a Senior at the University of North Texas in Denton. They live in Waco with their two dogs: Remi (15) and Bear (4).

Pat Atkins is a local attorney. He recently completed 17 years of service on the Waco ISD Board of Trustees, serving as President for nine years. He is a founding board member and current Board Chair of Prosper Waco. Pat also serves on the board of trustees of the Ascension Providence Healthcare System. He has served in several leadership positions in the community including serving on the boards of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Community in Schools, the Waco Humane Society, Friends of the Waco-McLennan County Library, and Lake Air Little League.  He and his family attend Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church, where he has served two terms on the vestry. Pat is a partner in the law firm of Atkins Wright, PLLC and is a Life Fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation. He and his wife, Sandy, have three children, Ben, Alexandra & Nick.

Tekell & Atkins, LLP
headshot

Bianca is a Waco native who graduated from Reicher. She is a local entrepreneur that has strong ties to the community. She is currently an insurance agent under Truett Insurance services and has a passion for helping others. She enjoys building relationships with clients and helping them learn and understand how to use their insurance. She is a new addition to our board and is happy to learn and help us grow and serve the community.

Jose Palacios has over 27 years of experience in workforce development. His extensive experience and knowledge gained through 23 years with Texas Workforce Solutions and private sector staffing has afforded Jose experience in working with both public and private business sectors. Jose has a natural talent for developing strong business relationships built on trust and respect. His strong leadership skills provide direction and purpose to his business ad community projects. Jose earned a Bachelor of Arts in political Science from the University of Texas in Arlington. Before attending UTA, Jose attended University High School and McLennan Community College. Jose provides solid results driven by customer service to the Heart of Texas business community. Jose looks forward to continuing to build relationships with the chamber directors, members and the communities the chamber serves. he is excited to carry out the chamber's mission statement in the best interests of the business community.

Jose Pic Bio-updated
Stevie

Stevie began her real estate career in 1993. In 1995, she made the decision to return to college, after all of her children were in school full time and earn a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Baylor University in 1997.  After a successful career selling real estate in Waco, Austin and surrounding areas, she joined Bentwood Realty when the doors opened in 2011 and then earned her Brokers license in 2018.  Throughout her career, she has always given back to her community by serving in leadership roles with several wonderful non-profit agencies such as American Cancer Society, Avance, March of Dimes, Waco Family Abuse Center and Waco Chamber of Commerce.  Stevie and her husband of 33 years have one son, two daughters and an amazing Grand Daughter.  Stevie is extremely excited about the opportunity to represent and work with the members of the Centex Hispanic Chamber and the community it serves.