Lori Gracey, CAE
Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA)
Association Professional of the Year
LORI GRACEY CURRENTLY serves as the executive director of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) with a staff of 21 dedicated individuals serving more than 80,000 members around the space. During her 14 years in this position, she has led TCEA in membership and revenue growth, helped to pay off their building and purchase a new, larger building (also paid off), and implemented new conferences, partnerships with other associations, and professional development opportunities for members and non-members.
Lori earned her CAE in 2014. She has served on the TSAE board and regularly presents at different TSAE events, including Association 101, New Ideas, webinars, Learn@Lunches, and the CEO Forum. She leads a weekly meeting with executive directors of other educational technology associations and has also organized and led several governance events for volunteer leaders in similar associations from around the world.
Prior to entering the association space, Lori garnered 28 years of experience in education, with 22 years as a curriculum and technology director. She served on the TCEA board of directors for 13 years previously. Lori is a past presenter at the International Society for Technology in Education and a regular presenter at the TCEA convention. She has served as the ISTE 2017 and 2013 Conference Program Chair and the 2007 NECC International Conference Chair Person, and has conducted professional development for the Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education, Texas Association of School Boards, and hundreds of school districts across the country.
A MA in English and a BS in Education have helped Lori to manage the intricacies of whatever challenges she encounters.
LaChelle Evans, CTA, CSEE
National Sales Manager
Affiliate of the Year
LACHELLE HAS BEEN making things happen in hotels and convention and visitors bureaus for more than 30 years. She was part of the opening team for several Dallas/Fort Worth area hotels, including Frisco’s Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center.
In 2007, LaChelle joined Visit Frisco where she earned a Certified Sports Events & Tourism credential and built the sports market for Frisco, known today as Sports City USA. LaChelle then turned her attention to the association market and, again, put Frisco on the map for both local and national association meeting planners. She has enjoyed working with the clients in this market and has been very involved ever since.
She became a member and volunteer with the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) and served on the organization’s Board of Directors from 2018 to 2020. While serving on the TSAE Board, LaChelle was instrumental in helping create the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion Position Statement, and she served on Destination International’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion committee, as well. LaChelle served on the Communications Committee for Meeting Professionals International’s Texas Hill Country Chapter (MPI THCC) and held their VP of Communications Board of Directors position from 2022 to 2023. As of July 2023, she serves on the Dallas Fort Worth Association Executives (DFWAE) Board as their Convention & Visitors Bureau Director.
She considers her time serving in these industry roles as major career accomplishments, but to LaChelle true success is measured by the success of her clients.
Going on 20 years in Frisco, LaChelle continues to be excited and proud to sell, serve, and lead in one of America’s fastest growing cities. In addition to being a member of Leadership Frisco Class 27, LaChelle passes along her love of the hospitality industry by speaking to high school hospitality and tourism students at Frisco ISD’s Career and Technical Education Center.
When LaChelle isn’t working, she enjoys spending quality time with family, volunteering for Frisco’s National Breast Cancer Foundation, and creating special moments and memories for those close to her. Instead of saying ‘nailed it’, her team coined the term ‘Chelled it’ when someone goes above and beyond finding and connecting emotional, special touches that truly make the difference.
Independent Bankers Association of Texas
Project: Bankers Helping Bankers
Texas Association Impact Award
THE INDEPENDENT BANKERS Association of Texas (IBAT) and FedFis have partnered on a mission to save community banking. By establishing Bankers Helping Bankers (BHB), data experts in fintech and banking plus the leading association of community bankers are pioneering an entirely new way for banks to band together, by forming a community of bankers, where conversations are driven by fact and data.
The BHB ecosystem includes access to capital, executive support with access to experts, a roadmap to navigate financial technology integrations, a direct connection to FinTech sponsor banks and a marketplace of community bank customers. It is the most complete end-to-end ecosystem for community bank and community banksupportive technology companies.
Over the years, IBAT and FedFis have individually built a wealth of networks to support the banking and FinTech community. This includes: The FinTech Cowboys, The Roundup Conference, and Bankers Digest. Each brand has a unique approach that serves banks, vendors, fintechs, and friends in between. All built on the foundations of trust and honesty, they are the go-to resource for education, data, and support. They believe technology should not be a black hole for bankers. There is not another community that reaches the audience they have through their various brands with the same level of trust and excitement.
Bankers Helping Bankers proudly partners with 88% of the State Associations. They know each state works hard for their community banks and providing the tools and resources necessary to be competitive and thrive in a complex, fast-changing environment is what the goals of BHB and the state associations aim to achieve.
The Independent Bankers Association of Texas believes community bankers can make the right decisions and thrive if they have the right information. With Bankers Helping Bankers, they show banks how to make more money with cutting-edge technology. BHB provides cheaper, faster, and more compliant ways to embrace technology – that is the secret sauce. Now that banks have figured out that this is a path to prosperity, they are rallying to Bankers Helping Bankers as defenders of their cause. To support Bankers Helping Bankers is to support community banking.