2018-19 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
In June of 2016, a Board of Directors was slated from a group of parents who expressed interest in serving in a leadership role. The inaugural Board will serve a two year term, and they are looking for help in each of their focus areas. Please let us know if you would like to volunteer!
Lydia Wright - President
I am a part time stay-at-home mom with a five year old, Charlie (GH Cougar class of 2019) and a three year old, Gwenie (GH Cougar class of 2021). My husband, Ben, has a veterinary clinic that has served family pets in our neighborhood for the last twelve years. I have lived and worked in East Dallas for almost twenty years and this is truly my home now. I also previously served as a board member for Heart House Dallas, an after-school program for refugees in the Vickery Meadows neighborhood. When I'm not running after Charlie and Gwenie (which is basically all we do at the current moment), I love cooking with my husband, squeezing in a run, dreaming about our next trip to Italy and hanging out with family and friends.
I previously served as the School Liaison for Pre-G before taking over as President this fall. My pre-Mom life was a career with DISD for fifteen years so hopefully my experience in elementary education will be an asset in this role for Pre-Geneva. I have a strong passion for public education and our corner of East Dallas which drew me to Geneva Heights and Pre-G. The bonus of meeting other moms at the same phase of life as me who I can lean on or pour a glass of wine for is priceless. I am excited about the momentum that is building at Geneva Heights and can't wait to see how Pre-Geneva can help Geneva Heights get better and better.
Future Cougars: Charlie (class of 2020) and Faye (class of 2021)
My husband Brandon and I have lived in Belmont Addition since 2012 and our son Charlie attends Spanish House part time, Faye will attend in 2019. A huge draw to the neighborhood is all of the young families and the dual-language program at GH. Being bilingual, it is important my kids are as well and so glad to see a school offer a great program!
After working extensively in business development with start-ups, I partner with my husband's fitness company in addition to teaching yoga to adults and children in the community.
As VP of Membership, my goal is to recruit and welcome new members. Plan to see me in the area educating parents about the amazing benefits available to members of Pre-G!
My husband Stuart and I are both East Dallas natives. Stuart grew up in Lake Highlands, and I grew up a few blocks from Tietze - my parents still live in the same house. I am a product of Mockingbird Elementary (shh, don’t tell!), J. L. Long and Woodrow Wilson. Fun fact - Principal Hart was my 6th grade teacher so I can vouch for him! Growing up here, we’ve seen how much East Dallas and Lower Greenville has changed for the better, including Geneva Heights! After we got married, we immediately started looking for a house in the area. We first rented a duplex on Miller and a year later we moved three blocks down the road a bought a house on Llano. We love the neighborhood and its walkability.
I own a boutique public relations agency, Dala Communications, and Stuart heads up development for The Concilio, a non-profit in Oak Cliff. We first got involved in Pre-G through Wendy. Wendy’s construction firm is one of my long-time clients. I didn’t work with Wendy directly but we were introduced through her colleague who said, “you have to meet Wendy. She is the queen of moms in your neighborhood.” He was right! The group has grown so much since it began, and it has been a blast to be a part of the excitement and momentum that is Pre-G.
As VP of Communications, my role is to continue to get the word out to the community and our neighbors about all of the wonderful things Pre-G has in store. From creating our monthly newsletters to ensuring our events are well publicized, I’m focused on growing awareness for our fun network of parents and neighbors, with the goal of getting more members and prospects involved. A more engaged community only means one thing for our neighborhood school – a better education for our kids and all who attend Geneva Heights!
Future Cougars: Gwendolyn (Class of 2020) and Madeleine (Class of 2022)
My husband, Thomas, and I have lived in Lakewood Heights since 2012. Prior to moving to our current neighborhood, we were located in Uptown and then moved to Florida for a few years, but knew this was the neighborhood we wanted to be in when we moved back to the Big D! We love the quaint neighborhood feel and all that it entails in the big city. I work full-time for an investment management firm in Uptown, and Thomas is an audit partner at KPMG. Our girls attend preschool at Skillman Church of Christ Child Development Center. When we aren’t chasing after our girls, we love to find the best new restaurants, travel, and spend time with friends and family.
Pre-Geneva Association was introduced to me by a friend that lives in the neighborhood, and immediately I knew this was an organization I wanted to get involved in. I am elated to support this organization and our children’s future school – with a bonus of getting to know some really amazing neighborhood moms (and dads) at the same time!! As Treasurer, I will maintain all financial records and budgets for our organization.
Cougar:Tessa (1st Grade, Dual Language)
Future Cougars: Clara & Julia (Class of 2020)
I moved to Dallas in 2000 and into the Belmont Addition neighborhood in 2002, so I almost consider myself a native by now! When my husband, Scott, and I bought our first home we weren't exactly thinking about schools at the time. We were more interested in the fun lifestyle East Dallas offered, but since then we have seen Geneva Heights transform before our eyes and are thrilled to be part of this school community. Our oldest daughter, Tessa, is in her second year of the dual language program. As she walks through the halls, just about every teacher knows her by name, and it reminds me of the small town school that I grew up in. Geneva Heights truly is a gem, and we are looking forward to our twins, Clara and Julia, joining her in 2020.
I work at an advertising agency downtown, and Scott is enjoying a 20+ year career in the ever-evolving telecom industry. Given that I have one foot in Geneva Heights and one foot in Pre-G, the role I play best is School Liaison between the PTA and Pre-G. You can almost always find me at the monthly school tours, which is one of my favorites activities, because I love showing off the school to potential families. Outside of work and school (and the various activities our girls participate in), we enjoy going camping, walking down to Greenville for gelato or just riding bikes around the neighborhood. And while we don't get to do it as often as we wish, we love to travel, especially to visit Scott's family up in Canada (ideally in the summer) or to visit my family in west Texas (ideally NOT in the summer)!
My husband, Matt, and I moved from Santa Cruz, California to Dallas in July 2017 for Matt's job. We moved to the Lakewood Heights neighborhood in May of 2018 because we love the families and the sense of community that is growing around the school. Prior to moving here, I worked as a Middle School History, English Language Arts, and Cooking teacher. Now, I'm home chasing after my sweet and rowdy girls, participating as a Board Member of Pre-Geneva, and mentoring for Shine Project, a female empowerment program designed to support teenage refugees in Dallas. In our free time, our family likes to camp, travel, hike, road trip, snowboard, swim, and spend as much time as possible outside. You can often find us climbing trees at Tietze.
As the VP of Community Outreach, I am responsible for spreading the word about Pre-Geneva events and activities to our families, neighborhood associations, and community. I am so proud of the work our Board is doing. As a firm believer in the old adage that "It takes a village to raise a child," I'm very pleased to have moved to this area and to be a part of a growing village of families that care about the education of our children and the continued growth and support of our local public elementary school.
Future Cougar: Jamis (Class of 2022)
My husband, Jarrett, and I are both Dallas/Fort Worth natives. He beat me to the neighborhood in 2009, but I was quick to join him, with us buying a home together in the Belmont Conservation District home in 2012. It has been incredible to watch the area grow and thrive, and particularly exciting to see so many young families move in. We love East Dallas, particularly the character, traditions, and unique people that it encompasses, and could not be more excited about what is to come.
We soak up as much time as possible with our son Jamis, who currently attends Skillman Child Development Center and will start kindergarten at Geneva Heights in 2022. I work full-time as an employment litigation attorney at DLA Piper LLP (US) located in downtown, and my husband is a multi-family developer. We love traveling (even with a toddler), live music, sailing, and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.
As the Parliamentarian, I try to ensure we dot all of the i’s and cross all of the t’s so that Pre-Geneva can continue to do the amazing work that it is doing. It is so exciting to be part of this incredible organization that has already made such a marked difference in just the few years since it was established—not just for our school, but for our neighborhood and in bringing our community together.
Abigail Hopkins - Underwriting Chair
New to the area in the summer of 2018, my realtor (a fellow pre-G mom) recommended the Greenville area because of the amazing restaurants and good schools, but what really made the difference was the community! My husband, Keith and daughter, Penelope have been welcomed into this area and I do not know where I would be without the Pre-G moms! So far we are loving our East Dallas experience and look forward to seeing the neighborhood continue to grow.
I work as a full time Financial Planning and Analytics Vice President at BlackRock Asset Management and my husband works in Irving for a media company.
As the underwriting chair, my main job is to provide support to the board and help drive support of our fundraising initiatives.
Holly Smasal - Secretary
Recent Dallas transplants, we moved here in February 2018 to be closer to family and raise our son with helping hands nearby. My husband, Drew, was born and raised in Midlothian, TX, and I grew up in northern Virginia. I spent the last five years in Los Angeles, where we met at our workplace, Tinder (not on Tinder!), and decided to move our lives here to Dallas to welcome our new son and grow our family. I now spend my days as a stay-at-home-mom and Drew is a mentor for startup tech companies, a real estate investor, and also co-founder of a sports app
Prior to being a SAHM, I ran two offices in LA and San Francisco as assistant office manager. I was itching to be back in an administrative role, so serving as Pre-G’s secretary is the perfect fit for me! Drew is a former finance Director and now utilizes his experience advising others in the startup world. His passion lies within real estate and flipping homes, so the journey towards becoming the next Chip and Joanna Gaines has just begun! As new parents, we spend most of our time either on the swings at Tietze Park, cruising our son, Lawson, around Lower Greenville in his Radio Flyer wagon, or touring houses to flip. You can usually spot us in the mornings on our front porch swing!
As the Secretary, my role is to support the President and ensure our meetings run smoothly by keeping everyone on track!