Skip to main content



Jeff Jackson (Board Chair) |  Austin, TX 
Jeff Jackson has a Masters degree in nonprofit management and leadership from Texas State University. He has 30 years of experience using experiential education as a teaching method with at risk teens.  His passion is working with and promoting Texas underground music and art.

Armando Sanchez (Vice Chair) |  Houston, TX
Armando Sanchez is a music industry executive with strong partnerships among many Texas-based
artists of various genres. His awards include two GRAMMYs for his work as an executive producer. Armando is a Texas Aggie’86 and resides in Houston, Texas.

Melanie Morgan (Secretary) | Austin, TX
Melanie Morgan Gomez, Ph.D Ethnomusicology is the Director for Strategy, Analysis and Planning, AP Higher Education for the College Board where she oversees budget, major event planning, and analysis and reporting for outreach efforts to advocate for the Advanced Placement (AP) Program. Prior to this, Melanie worked at the University of Texas at Austin in grant writing and development for the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences, and Business, and as Director for Membership and Public Affairs at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas.

Sean Hale (Treasurer) | Austin, TX
Sean Hale is 2005 graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Finance. He is currently a Finance Manager for an Austin based company providing colocation services primarily in the Central Texas area. Additionally, Sean is a 7th generation Texan and an avid supporter of the native music and culture of the state. 

Derek Garson | Austin, TX
Derek is a business manager and sales strategist currently helping people get jobs at Indeed. In addition to board service at Texas Folklife Derek has supported the Austin community through work with Communities in Schools and various food banks in the area.. Derek holds a MBA from UT McCombs School of Business and a B.S. in Finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Tom Ellis | Dallas, TX
Tom Ellis has been involved in music as a music critic, performer, promoter, biographer, and teacher
since the late 1960s. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

Nydia O. Tapia – Gonzales | Harlingen, TX
Tapia-Gonzales lives in Harlingen, Texas where she achieved 30 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. She began her journey as a tour guide, then tour company co-owner to director of Harlingen’s Convention & Visitors Bureau; experiences which taught her the value of folklore in economic development and tourism. She served on the board of directors of the Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum, the CineSol Film Festival, and the Alliance for Hispanic Arts & Culture. She served in statewide board of directors with the Center for Latino & Jewish Relations and Preservation Texas and worked with top tourism organizations of Texas as director of Texas Birding from 2012 to 2020. Tapia-Gonzales is a visual artist whose work has been exhibited at the Brownsville Historic Museum and the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts. She is a journalist for local publications and publisher of two lifestyle blogs and a historic preservation website dedicated to promoting and preserving mid-20
th-century modern architecture of the Rio Grande Valley. Tapia-Gonzales and her husband are fervent RVers who travel throughout Texas and the United States.