Steve Carlson

Board Chair

Steve is an accomplished corporate, nonprofit and entrepreneurial leader. After a 25-year career with JPMorgan Chase, Steve began leading both for-profit and not-for-profit start-ups, including serving as the founding Chief Operating Officer of Café Momentum, his second non-profit founding role. In the mid-1990’s he served as founding President of Neighborworks Waco, an affordable housing enterprise that has helped thousands of low to moderate income families achieve their homeownership dreams. Steve’s for-profit  interests are primary in the Food and Beverage industry but also encompass B2B and B2C services. He brings a deep financial expertise and strategic perspective to each of his projects. Steve is an alumnus of the University of Texas and the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU. He has completed Executive Programs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.


Ken Maxwell

Board Vice Chair

Ken is Creative Director and Partner of the Digital and Creative division of LDWWgroup. As a founding Café Momentum board member, he is responsible for the launch of the Café Momentum brand, marketing and digital user experience. Previously, he designed the Youth Village Resources brand and was very excited about partnering with such creative minds to make Café Momentum a reality. Ken’s award-winning work includes branding and creative communication initiatives for clients such as Got Milk?, Motorola Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Crescent Real Estate, American Airlines, Hitachi Consulting, the Big 12 Athletic Conference, ExxonMobil, UT Southwestern Medical Foundation, The Meadows Foundation and Downtown Dallas Incorporated. Ken has won numerous design awards for the successful rebrand of the Dallas Zoo and the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park.



Board Treasurer

Gary is a founder and Principal of Mission Properties, a multifamily real estate investment firm with properties across the eastern U.S. Prior to forming Mission Properties, he cofounded AIT, a multinational engineering and manufacturing corporation that serves clients such as Boeing, Airbus, and Bombardier. An ardent believer in grassroots assistance to those in need, Gary served on the regional advisory board of Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas helping to raise funds for children with life threatening illnesses. The innovative and entrepreneurial Café Momentum story immediately drew him to the mission and he is thrilled to take part in the day-to-day operations as well as serve on the board.




Alyson is a partner with the law firm Clouse Dunn LLP and has practiced law in Dallas since 1986. She is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her practice includes representation of employers and senior executives in a variety of industries. Alyson describes her practice as “hiring, firing, and everything in between.” Before joining Clouse Dunn, Alyson was the general counsel of a national nonprofit organization. She has a commitment to community involvement and volunteerism. In addition to Café Momentum, she serves on the board of directors of the Dallas Running Club, where she also volunteers as a running coach. She also serves on the board of the Dallas Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section and the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee. Alyson has been committed to the mission of Café Momentum since attending the second pop-up dinner, and is passionate about the program’s ability to change the lives of young people in Dallas.

Corey Admire

Board Member

Corey is a public finance attorney who works with governmental entities such as cities, counties, and state agencies, as well as with corporate entities including 501(c)(3) nonprofits, to finance large capital projects with a focus on public-private projects for economic development. She is also a former ER/Trauma nurse who maintains a current R.N. license for volunteer purposes. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Dallas, her nursing degree from Collin College and is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. Having grown up in the North Texas area, she has been active in a number of community initiatives and organizations, both on the volunteer and board leadership level. A passionate believer in the importance of serving others, she is committed to furthering the mission of Café Momentum and to providing the young people it serves an opportunity for a better future.


John Hasley

Board Member

John is an attorney in the family law division of Legal Aid of Northwest Texas who focuses primarily on divorce and child custody cases involving recent incidents of family violence. He works closely with Genesis Women’s Shelter and other organizations throughout Dallas to provide services to low-income residents who otherwise would not be able to secure legal representation. Additionally, John currently serves on the board at Project Transformation. He was born and raised in the Dallas area, and holds a BA from Rice University and a JD from SMU Dedman School of Law.



Board Member

Sophia is Founder and President of ABI, a Dallas-based advertising and communications firm. In eight years, the firm has become a leading agency for public sector entities, non-profit organizations and political campaigns. ABI has an impressive track record of effective, winning campaigns that successfully achieve their clients’ business goals. Johnson leads research, creative design and strategic planning for public engagement and mobilization.

Previously, she was vice-president and director of corporate communications for a Dallas-based institutional investment firm. There she co-authored several papers on trends and issues affecting the financial advisory industry. Sophia was responsible for the firm’s marketing, public relations, and document compliance work. Sophia is the current Board Chair for The Concilio and serves on the board of AT&T Performing Arts Center, Harmony Community Development Corporation, and on the New Friends New Life Advisory Board. Formerly serving on the board of Girls Inc., Tapestry Ministries and as a member of the City of Dallas’ Commission on Productivity and Innovation, she continues to be involved in civic organizations including Boy Scouts of America, local minority business advocacy organizations and she is active with her congregation, Concord Church. Sophia is a graduate of Leadership Dallas 2010 and was class advisor for Leadership Dallas 2011. She is a graduate of Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth’s Minority Business Executive Program and of Sunset School of Biblical Studies. Sophia began her undergraduate work at the University of California at Los Angeles and transferred to the University of California at Berkeley for her last two years.

Sophia is married to Willis Johnson and is the mother of four children – two recent college graduates, one completing her studies in the summer of 2015 and one still at home solving Lego puzzles.




Julie has more than 30 years’ experience as a matrimonial lawyer. Although she practices traditional litigation with her husband, Chuck and son, Chris Farish, she focuses her practice primarily on collaborative family law. The Collaborative Process enables Julie to guide her clients through their family law issues, with a focus on creating a respectful resolution that strives to meet the goals of both parties instead of engaging in destructive litigation. Julie has been recognized by D Magazine as one of the Top Woman Attorneys in Dallas and by her peers in Best Lawyers in America and as a Super Lawyer in family and collaborative law. She serves on the governing body of collaborative organizations both locally and statewide. Julie provides pro bono services to those in need and volunteers and serves on the Board of Directors of multiple community organizations dedicated to helping the children who are often forsaken or neglected in our society. She has been involved with Café Momentum since the second pop-up dinner and is in awe of the progress made by the young men she has encountered through the program. Julie is passionate about her responsibility to help those who are in need of assistance and feels that being a part of Café Momentum has enriched her life immeasurably.


Jack Stout

Board Member

Jack Stout is Vice President of Merchandising at 7-Eleven, Inc., where he has worked since 2003 in a variety of roles, including Vice President of Strategic and Financial Planning and International Business Consultant at Seven Eleven Japan in Tokyo. Mr. Stout is a graduate of Duke University, holding a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business. He also holds a Master’s of Science in Applied Statistics from Wright State University. Mr. Stout previously served as an officer in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of Captain. Additionally, he held positions at Booz-Allen & Hamilton and TXU Energy. Mr. Stout was born and raised in Dallas where he currently resides with his wife Emily, their two sons and three American Brittany spaniels.


Curtis Smith

Curtis was a senior police officer in the Houston, Texas for over 31 years. He served as a Detective for the burglary and theft unit, Investigator First Responder Criminal Investigation and in the Juvenile Physical Abuse Unit. Curtis was used in this capacity with a multitude of responsibilities including working closely with Crime Scene Investigation Units (CSI), interviewing suspects, witnesses, and victims as they try to piece together the story of how the crime being investigated occurred. Curtis was very invested with the Juvenile Physical Abuse Unit to ensure identified juveniles received justice and abusers apprehended. As a Senior Police Officer he was called on to train new detectives in his unit. He was one of the original mentors of a juvenile at risk group, Urban Mentors. Currently, Curtis serves on the Civil Service Board and the Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board with the City of Duncanville,Texas.


Abraham Salum


With Lebanese, Italian and Spanish heritage, Abraham Salum grew up in Mexico City. In 1989 Abraham left Mexico for the United States where he attended and graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont.  After completing his formal culinary education, he decided to continue honing his skills by working in kitchens in Provence, France and Brussels, Belgium before returning to his native land of Mexico and the resort town of Cancun.  In 2000 Abraham returned to the United States and began work in San Antonio, Texas as the Executive Chef at the Havana River Walk Inn. In 2001, Dallas, Texas called and Abraham joined Parigi Restaurant as the Executive Chef and later partner. In 2005, Abraham opened his namesake restaurant, Salum, to rave reviews in the trendy area of Uptown in Dallas.  A highlight for Abraham was becoming a US Citizen in 2010 as he celebrated the fifth anniversary of Salum and opened Komali Restaurant to showcase the contemporary Mexican cuisine he grew up with.



Wade is a financial executive with over 25 years of experience advising operating companies and affluent families.  Wade is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Imaginuity, a full service digital agency and technology consultancy.  Before that, spent that time structuring and managing complex credit transactions in the commercial banking sector, managing wealth within the ultra-affluent Private Client sector and leading North Texas community banks.  In addition, Wade spends a good bit of time providing service in the community in addition to his service to Café Momentum.