SHIRLEY JAMES, Board Member
Shirley moved to Austin in 1968. She was an active volunteer throughout the years her five children were in school, and in the community including work with Volunteers for Vision, an organization founded by Luci Johnson that tested the vision of Head Start children.
She began her career with the Johnsons in 1974 as Luci Johnson’s assistant and was involved with Mrs. Lyndon Johnson’s activities at the LBJ Ranch –thus began her love affair with the Ranch. In 1992, Mrs. Johnson asked her to return as her executive assistant and she remained until Mrs. J’s death. She says it was an honor and a privilege to work for her dear friend. During those years, Shirley wore many hats but she especially relished the innumerable events she planned and executed for Mrs. Johnson at the LBJ Ranch. Shirley refers to herself as “an old family retainer.”
It was Shirley’s idea that Mrs. Johnson should have a U. S. postage stamp honoring her centennial birthday. With persistence and the help of many, the Lady Bird Johnson stamp was unveiled 9 short months after Shirley first conceived the idea. She is very proud of this achievement.
Shirley has held diverse positions at the U.S. Department of Education Office of Public Affairs; The University of Texas System Development Office, DBG&H Advertising and Public Relations, Syscorp International, Attorney General Mark White’s press office; and Director of Special Projects at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State). She also assisted Liz Carpenter with her syndicated newspaper column and book, “Getting Better All the Time.”
SHELTON COLEMAN, Treasurer
Shelton was born and raised in Johnson City, Texas and graduated from LBJ High School and attended Southwest Texas State University. He has worked in the insurance industry for 30 years eventually owning his own agency at Port Isabel/South Padre Island. He sold his agency in 2011 and moved back to Johnson City to be closer to friends and family.
While in South Texas, Shelton volunteered much of his time with the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce serving twice as president and as chairman for the “Annual Longest Causeway Run and Fitness Walk” and the “World’s Championship Shrimp Cook-off”. He also served as a member and Chairman of “Leadership Laguna Madre Steering Committee” for the South Padre Island Chamber. He was appointed to the Dune and Beach Advisory Council by the Town of South Padre Island. Shelton was also active in the Port Isabel Rotary Club and was recognized in 2004 with the “Paul Harris Fellow” service award. He has for the past 27 years been in charge of ticket sales for the Blanco County Fair & Rodeo Assn.
MARIA LONGLEY, Development Coordinator
Assists the Friends with membership initiatives, communication, board development, and administrative duties.
TESSA SCHMIDTZINSKY, Board Member
TONI REYES, Chair
Toni Reyes was born in Beaumont and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising.
She retired from Pedernales Electric Cooperative in 2012 after working there nearly 27 years. While at PEC, she served as the manager for several different departments. Prior to PEC, she worked in communications at Gulf States Utilities in Beaumont. She has one daughter, Meredith, and lives in Austin.
SUSANNE MCDONALD, Park Superintendent
LBJ National Historical Park
DANIEL OPPENHEIMER, Board Member
Born and raised in San Antonio, Daniel is a fifth generation Texan. Daniel works for the Hill Country Alliance (HCA), a non-profit, as the organization's Land Program Manager. At HCA, Daniel works with landowners and communities across the Central Texas Hill Country to support their land stewardship and conservation goals. When not working, Daniel enjoys hunting, fishing, and reading up on Texas history; he has a Masters in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and lives in Gillespie County.
Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless