Board of Directors

Jeff Jackson
Board Chair – Austin, TX

Jeff Jackson has a Master’s 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.

Linda Ho Peché
Vice Chair – Houston, TX

Linda Ho Peché holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin. She has over 20 years of community outreach experience involving traditional arts, culture, and heritage. She lives in Houston and is the director for a digital humanities project called the Vietnamese in the Diaspora Digital Archive.

Sean Hale
Treasurer – Austin, TX

Sean Hale is a 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.

Nydia Tapia – Gonzales
Secretary – Harlingen, TX

Nydia Tapia-Gonzales lives in Harlingen, Texas where she achieved 30 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. She is a journalist for local publications and publisher of two lifestyle blogs and a historic preservation website dedicated to promoting and preserving mid-20th-century modern architecture of the Rio Grande Valley. Tapia-Gonzales and her husband are fervent RVers who travel throughout Texas and the United States.

Courtney DeBower
Board Member

Courtney DeBower brings extensive experience in both the policy and nonprofit worlds to Texas Folklife. She began her career in Washington D.C., working for then Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison before being appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Media Coordinator at the Treasury Department. She has worked in the Texas legislature as both a staff member and a government relations professional.

At-Large Members

Lisa Marie Avendano
Houston, TX

Lisa Marie Avendano is a non-profit executive with 20 years of experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s in cross-cultural studies at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Lisa Marie is a cultural arts enthusiast and an amateur accordion player. She currently resides in Houston, Texas.

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.