TSAE's Rising Lone Star Winners

justin ables

Justin Ables, CAE
Digital Content Manager

Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO)

With nine years of experience in association management, Justin combines his creativity, strategic thinking, and passion for design to positively impact public education in Texas. He enjoys interacting with members and helping them tell their stories. This month he is celebrating his nine-year anniversary with his spouse. Additionally, he has three kids: Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center the dog (aka Ladybird), and two cats Selena and Gomez.

elisa barnes

Elisa Barnes, CAE
Vice President of Operations

Houston Building Owners & Managers Association (HBOMA)

Elisa Barnes serves as the Vice President of Operations at Houston Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), where she is responsible for program operations, staff administration and human resources, student outreach and development, and financial management for Houston BOMA, the Houston BOMA PAC, and the Houston BOMA Foundation. Previously, Elisa served Houston BOMA as Managing Director, overseeing and ensuring the successful coordination and performance of Houston BOMA’s programs and events comprised of five staff members and total revenue of $2 million. In this role, she took on many high-impact projects, such as coordinating a leadership development program for emerging professionals, creating an educational course for an underserved membership sector, and developing new fundraising sources for the Houston BOMA Foundation. Before serving as Managing Director, Elisa began her role with Houston BOMA as Manager of Membership and Professional Development. Elisa is enthusiastic, driven, and passionate about association management. She holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential. She plans to continue her educational pursuit by applying for the Institute for Organization Management — the nonprofit leadership training program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in January of 2024. Elisa lives in Katy, Texas, with her husband Sean, daughter Olivia, and son Sylas.

kelsey copeland

Kelsey Copeland
Communications & Events Director

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of Texas (PHCCA)

Kelsey Copeland is driven by a desire to create positive change in organizations dedicated to serving others. Her journey began in 2015 after earning a bachelor of science in public relations with a concentration in digital media from Texas State University. Even early in her career, she knew with certainty that her mission was clear: to do good work for good people. A versatile problem solver, Kelsey thrives on collaborative challenges and brings a compassionate, analytical approach to simplifying complex issues. In her roles within the association community, she served as a Communications Specialist at the Texas Rural Water Association, Director of Membership and Digital Platforms at the Texas Chemical Council, and Director of Communications and Events at PHCC Texas. In each capacity, Kelsey made significant contributions, cultivating lasting relationships and expanding her expertise in communication, design, program development, events, advocacy, and strategic planning. In 2021, Kelsey furthered her education by earning a master’s degree in strategic communication and Innovation from Texas Tech University. She is currently pursuing the CAE designation, reflecting her dedication to lifelong learning and professional growth.

christy reynolds

Christy Reynolds
Membership Engagement Manager

Texas Library Association (TLA)

Christy Reynolds is a native Texan and a proud Longhorn, hook ‘em! Her background in the service industry, combined with her studies in cultural anthropology and women and gender studies, has given her the skills to connect with people from many different backgrounds. Her depth of experience helped her blossom in her new position as Membership Engagement Manager at the Texas Library Association. In this role, Christy led her association’s transition to a new AMS, tackling many challenges along the way. She’s fulfilled many roles and had many responsibilities in the association world, including registration, conference planning, speaking, volunteer management, procuring exhibitors, managing scholarship and awards programs, and of course — membership, where all the aspects of the association world meet. Her family and friends are the most important aspect of her life; and in her off time, she loves to plan and take trips with her loved ones.

tiffany schwartz

Tiffany Schwartz, CNAP
Finance & Operations Director

Strategic Association Management (SAM)

Tiffany Schwartz, CNAP serves as Finance & Operations Director for SAM. She ensures that each association’s finances are strong, clean, and adhere to current industry standards as well as oversees general office operations, helping the team develop and implement processes that drive efficiency and follow best practices for both the company and the SAM partners as a whole. Since joining SAM in 2012, she has served in several roles during her tenure, making impact on more than 30 associations and nonprofits while earning the Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional designation. Tiffany extends her knowledge and passions while volunteering as Treasurer for the Texas Chapter-National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges (NAWGJ), and formerly served as the Secretary for the Austin Area Alpha Phi Alumnae Chapter. She has volunteered on multiple TSAE Committees over the years and is currently a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), AMC Institute, and the Association of Nonprofit Accountants & Finance Professionals (ANAFP).

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