board of directors

board of directors


Board Chair

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.

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.

Jack Stout

Board Treasurer

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.



Kathi earned a BA in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a JD from University of Texas School of Law. After graduation from law school, she moved to Dallas and began working as a lawyer (at Jackson & Walker) – specialized in employee benefit law, which led her to the actuarial division of Coopers & Lybrand, first in Dallas and then in Minneapolis. Upon returning to Dallas, Child began her 18-year career at JCPenney, starting in the tax department, moving to Human Resources and ending as SVP of Human Resources. She has also served as SVP of Human Resources at Family Dollar Stores in Charlotte, NC and ended her career as SVP of Global Compensation for Walmart in Bentonville, AR. 

In retirement, Kathi has been active with the United Way, serving on the board and finance committee of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (where she was introduced to Café Momentum) and as a steering committee member for Women of Tocqueville. She continues to serve as a panelist for community investment grant panels. 

I am married to Chris Child, who works for the Society of St. Vincent DePaul Disaster Services Division. We have two sons, Pete and Kit, who are both employed in the restaurant industry. 


Board Member

Jennifer Rudenick Ecklund is a Partner at Thompson & Knight LLP. She focuses her practice on litigation and dispute resolution, representing clients before state and federal trial courts. Jennifer practices primarily in the healthcare, complex commercial litigation, and white collar litigation sections.
Jennifer has significant experience handling healthcare litigation matters, including representing healthcare providers in coverage and reimbursement disputes, fraud, defamation, and civil RICO claims. She has resolved affirmative claims on behalf of providers regarding violation of the Texas Prompt Pay Act, claims under ERISA for an insurer’s failure to pay a provider’s claims, and contractual disputes and employment issues between provider entities and individual healthcare providers. Jennifer has also represented healthcare providers in litigation related to qui tam and False Claims Act cases and federal and state anti-kickback provisions and Stark laws. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in these types of matters.

Jennifer also has expertise handling white collar fraud matters in both the civil and criminal contexts. She regularly handles cases in securities fraud, healthcare fraud, tax fraud, and mortgage fraud, as well as matters related to Ponzi schemes and resulting receiverships. She has also litigated numerous complex commercial matters and various contract, tort, employment, business, and tax disputes. Jennifer was previously a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division, representing the United States in all phases of litigation before federal district and bankruptcy courts

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

Prior to her current role, she held the position of Assistant Vice President- Alternate Channels for State & Local Government and Education (SLED). In this role Pamela was responsible for the expansion of sales distribution coverage and growing market share for over 53,000 customers utilizing alternative partnerships. Pamela previously held Director-Chief of Staff positions in Public Sector & Wholesale Solutions; Digital, Distribution & Channel Marketing and Big Data & Advanced Solutions prior to being appointed to her current role. As Chief of Staff, she was responsible for managing human resources, expense budgeting, business management, special projects and operations across the organizations. Prior to this role, Pamela was Director, Enterprise Mobility Business Portfolio Management in the Mobility Product Management organization. She was responsible for managing the $100M+ capital and expense budgets supporting the delivery of innovative, enhanced enterprise mobility products, solutions, and offers. In 2016, she was named a Technology All-Star by Women of Color STEM Magazine.

Pamela has amassed 20+ years of experience in leadership roles spanning Sales, Sales Management, Operations, Human Resources, Product Management, Marketing and Strategy across three of the country’s leading telecommunication companies: AT&T, CenturyLink(Qwest), and Verizon. Throughout her career, she has been committed to serving the communities in which she resides and advocating for women, people of color and young people. Pamela and AT&T were recognized for their work with Christ the King Preparatory High School in 2012 when AT&T was awarded the Christo Rey Award as Corporate Sponsor of the Year. Her work with AT&T and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund was recognized by the White House Jobs Initiative in 2013. She is also a founder of the Tri-State (NY/NJ/CT) Diversity Council and past board of director for the organization.

Since her move to Dallas, TX in August 2013, she has quickly engaged with the community. Pamela was appointed to the Board of Directors for Dallas based Café Momentum in January 2018. She is a member of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Women of Tocqueville Steering Committee and the Board of Directors for the Black Academy of Art & Letters. She devotes a considerable amount of time to supporting, advising and mentoring many of the Employee Resource Groups within AT&T to ensure we are building future leaders. As part of that commitment, she is a founder and Co-President of AT&T’s newest Employee Network– AT&T Women of Business.

Ms. Osborne has had the great fortune to be part of an United States Air Force family that is committed to service. Through relocating often both domestically and internationally, she has been exposed to diverse cultures and thought. This drives her commitment to building and developing diverse, high performing teams. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from Indiana University and currently resides in Las Colinas (Irving), TX. She is the proud mother of Eric Osborne who is a second generation AT&T employee.


Board Member

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.

Abraham Salum

Board Member

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.


Board Member

Charisse Smith is the Partner Resources Director for Starbucks. In this role, she is responsible for leading a team and setting the HR strategy for the South Central Region. Charisse joined Starbucks after being an HR Director at 7-Eleven, where she provided support to the Chief Merchandising Officer, Fuels, Operations Support, and Total Rewards. Prior to joining 7-Eleven, she spent over 10 years at Pfizer, where she held various roles that included HR support for Latin America, Europe, US Sales, R&D, Payer/Channel Access, and Corporate Finance.

Throughout her career, she has supported several acquisitions and has been able to partner with businesses and various HR support functions to deliver programs and processes that are aligned with overall company goals.
Charisse has worked with organizations, such as, Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center, Crisis Nursery, YMCA Black Achievers, and was a founding member of Communiversity, where they partnered with Colleges and Universities to educate those in the community at locally owned businesses.
Charisse holds a BS in Sociology from Hamline University and a MA in Human Resources and Industrial Relations (HRIR) from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Curtis Smith

Board Member

Curtis was a Senior Police Officer in 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.


Board Member

Grace Smith is a Vice President at JPMorgan Chase Bank, where she manages a portfolio of not-for profit and municipal clients in North Texas. For the past 20 plus years, Grace has worked in several areas within the financial services industry including Project Management, Business Development and Sales Administration.
Grace currently serves on the Board of Directors for S.M.I.L.E.S. and as a Board Trustee of Greenhill School, as well as, the Executive Committee of The Links, Inc. in Denton County, Texas. In addition to her current community service, over the years Grace has volunteered with the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Junior League of Dallas and Children’s Medical Center Women’s Auxiliary. Committed as an active volunteer, Grace has also held leadership roles as Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Fundraising Chair, Ethics Chair and member of Nominating Committees.
Grace holds a B.S. in Finance and Master of Public Policy and Administration from Jackson State University. She resides in the Dallas area with her husband and two children.


Board Member

Debra is the Southwest Region Growth Markets Leader at EY. In this role, she is responsible for setting direction and executing across the Growth Markets service platforms of Entrepreneurship, IPO, PE/VC, and Family Business. Debra also serves as Global Coordinating Partner for innovative and hyper-growth Russell 3000 and private companies. Debra also serves as the America’s Director for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® program. In this role, she oversees the 20+ regional programs in the US and 10 additional country programs in Canada, Mexico, South America and Israel. Debra also spearheads the EY Entrepreneur of the Year® program for an eight-state region in the Southwest geography.

Debra is a graduate of the University of North Texas where she received her BBA in Finance and Accounting in May 1982. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the AICPA and Texas Society of CPAs. Debra has completed the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management Executive Program and the Harvard Business School Strategic Leadership Program through EY. Debra is Past-Chair of the Board of Directors for United Ways of Texas, and served 12 years on the Board of Directors of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD). She is a member of the UWMD Foundation Board of Directors. Debra has also served the UWMD Campaign Cabinet, Strategic Planning Committee, Tocqueville Society Chair, past chair of Women of Tocqueville, Advocacy Committee, Resource Development Committee, and Volunteer Engagement Cabinet. Debra is the President of the Dallas Chapter of International Women’s Forum and serves on the World Affairs Council Board of Directors. She is Past-President of the Dallas Regional Chamber Executive Women’s Roundtable and serves on the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Corporate Recruitment committee.

Debra and her family enjoy adventure travel and they have fished, hiked and rafted throughout North America, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Peru and Spain. In her leisure time, Debra enjoys outdoor gardening, exercising, cooking and reading. Debra and her son, Kevin, completed cooking schools in Italy, Spain and the California wine country


Board Member

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 co-founded 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.

Every dollar goes farther on North Texas Giving Day

Café Momentum, a Dallas-based restaurant and culinary training facility, transforms young lives by equipping our community's most at-risk youth with life skills, education, and employment opportunities to help them achieve their full potential. Donate at and Café Momentum Board Members will match every dollar donated to Café Momentum, up to $50,000.