OUR TEAM

OUR TEAM

From the restaurant to case management, operations to development, the entire Café Momentum team works together to support, train and coach our interns. We surround our interns with an ecosystem of support, providing essential tools and resources, to create real change in these young lives.

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Chad Houser

FOUNDER, CEO AND EXECUTIVE CHEF

Always one to add a little levity to the conversation, Chad often describes Café Momentum as “taking kids out of jail and teaching them to play with knives and fire.” But levity aside, it’s this charisma and passion to teach life, social and employment skills to Dallas’ most at-risk youth that makes Houser a hit with everyone from philanthropists and dinner-goers to the young people participating in the program. After 17 years as a chef, Chad sold his partnership of Parigi Restaurant to devote his full attention to the role of Executive Director of Café Momentum in 2012.

In the community, Chad has previously served as President of the board of directors for Dallas Farmers Market Friends and as Vice Chair of the El Centro Exes Association (Houser received his culinary training at El Centro) where is also a member of the El Centro College Food and Hospitality Institute “Hall of Fame.”

Recently, Chad and Café Momentum were featured in the Starbucks production of Upstanders Season 2, a series created to shine a light on stories of everyday Americans who are doing extraordinarily courageous things. He has also appeared on The Rachael Ray Show, The Chew, The Hero Effect and Pickler & Ben.
Chad has received multiple nominations from D Magazine for “Best Up-And-Coming Chef” (2010) and “Best Chef” (2011 and 2012). In 2011, he received the Edible Dallas/Fort Worth “Local Hero – Chef” award. In 2017 and again for 2018 Chad has been named in the Best 500 Business Leaders in Dallas.

Chad was also selected as Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” and as one of the United States Junior Chamber’s (Jaycee) 2015 Ten Outstanding Young Americans. He has been named to the “Top 50 Under 40” by the Social Enterprise Alliance, an “Urban Innovator to Watch” by the New Cities Foundation, as one of “30 Most Interesting People in the Metro Area” by the Dallas Observer, and one of Good Magazine’s “Good 100,” individuals at the cutting edge of creative impact across the globe.

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Margaret Reid Windham

CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Margaret Reid Windham serves as Chief Development Officer at Cafe Momentum, overseeing all fundraising operations.

Before joining Cafe Momentum in 2016, Margaret served as Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for The George W. Bush Presidential Center. Preceding her work at The Bush Center, Margaret worked with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as Senior Director of Individual Giving and Team Development, overseeing the Tocqueville Society and Leadership Giving Society programs and previously Margaret worked at Northern Trust as the Vice President, Director of Marketing for Texas, responsible for business development, corporate philanthropy and events.

Before returning to Dallas, Margaret spent seven and a half years working in the George W. Bush White House in Washington, DC. Joining the White House staff as a scheduler to President Bush in 2001 through 2004 when she joined the G8 Summit Planning Organization to manage Mrs. Bush’s spousal program in Sea Island, Georgia. After the 2004 G8 Summit, she worked as a Policy Analyst in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Margaret received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Margaret and her family live in East Dallas.

Aly Schmidt

Executive Assistant

Rebecca Ordinario

Business Manager

Paige Litterer

Director of Intern Experience

Torie Reed

Community and Database Manager

Kaileigh Johnson

Case Manager

Chelmek Jackson

Case Manager, LMSW

Quila Johnson

Curriculum Assistant of Intern Experience

Patton Robertson

Chef De Cuisine

Christina Ziekosky

Pastry Chef

Aaron "Fuzz" Collins

Sous Chef

John Mercer

Sous Chef

Victoria Shepherd

Assistant Restaurant Manager

Kandice Ward

Assistant Restaurant General Manager and Catering Director