Randee Spittel-Ramsey

Randee Spittel-Ramsey is the Executive Director of Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP). She creates and executes educational events, film mixers and lectures while working to reinforce strategic partnerships. She creates the annual budgets, runs summer camp and is in charge of fundraising and social media. She is also faculty for Houston Community College’s Filmmaking Program. As an Adjunct Professor with HCC, her teaching experience includes show running, TV Field Production, Production Management and various basic video and film production courses, as needed, each term. She rebuilt the course curriculum for TV Field to offer students more hands-on experiences. Each semester she updates and changes the films presented based on evolving industry standards.

She also taught Production Management, which included budgeting and scheduling. She researched and gathered new curriculum materials to enhance class understanding of budgeting and scheduling and created a one semester Production Management curriculum that incorporated previous materials and new items to give students a full picture of scheduling and budgeting film and videos. She also reviewed student budgets and schedules for their individual projects.

Dr. Juan Antonio Sorto

Juan Sorto was born in Dallas, Texas. As an infant, he and his mother returned to her hometown of San Miguel, El Salvador, where they lived through parts of the 1980s Civil War in extreme poverty. In 1991, his mother made the decision to immigrate for a second time to the United States and assigned his grandmother, as his primary caregiver. In 1992, he reunited with his mother in Houston, Texas. He entered the public school system as an English as a Second Language (ESL) student in Kashmere Gardens and Aldine school districts. By academic metrics, he was not considered an honors student until completing his bachelor’s degree and graduated with Cum Laude Honors. Today, Juan holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Master of Public Administration (MPA), and possess a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Political Science.

He has served in various leadership roles with numerous community, public service, and educational organizations, including the City of Houston Super Neighborhood Alliance, HISD,

San Miguel, El Salvador Community, the Star of Hope, and Texas Southern University. He launched the initiative to broadcast the City of Houston Super Neighborhood Alliance board meetings, was recognized in the Houston Chronicle with a half-page article highlighting my achievements and improvements at HISD Title I schools, organized annual food and toy drives, recruited and managed teams of volunteers, directed activities to prepare 1000+ meals per month, designed and deployed marketing initiatives to promote the missions and values of numerous nonprofit organizations, and was appointed to the TSU Board of Regents by the Governor of Texas.

He is passionate about driving positive change in both our local and global communities and has been recognized for his achievements. The City of Houston proclaimed December 15, 2020, as Juan Antonio Sorto Day as a result of his efforts. He has also been named Houstonian of the Year by the Houston Chronicle and received the 2021 Presidential Life Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Service Award, TEA Heroes for Children Award, Shell Hurricane Harvey Heroes Award, George and Barbara Bush Points of Light Award, and the Houston Dynamo Charities Award.

Alexis Melvin

Alexis Melvin is a gender-fluid transgender woman. Beginning in the mid-1960s, she worked as
a grassroots community organizer to challenge discriminatory policies and work to elect proequality policy makers. An independent consultant, transgender activist, photographer, charity
fundraiser, and lecturer located in Houston Texas, she is president of the Transgender
Foundation of America, the Managing Principal and Senior Consultant for MCONSERV
consulting, the Managing Associate of InVoter.us, and a regular on the Transadvocate Podcast.
Alexis formerly served as Chair of the Houston Transgender Unity Committee (HTUC), is a past
member of the Board of Trustees of the Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus, a founding member
of International Foundation for Gender Education, and an initial member of TransGender San
Francisco. As a successful independent consultant, she provides consulting services to
multinational corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and public charities
in the areas of information technology, strategy, crises management, organizational structure,
event management, diversity, and general business management.

Gene Preuss

Gene B. Preuss, Ph. D. is a native of Central Texas, and came to UHD in 2004. He has taught at Texas Tech University, Texas Southern University, and for the Lone Star Community College District. At UHD, he has served on various departmental and university-wide committees and was Special Assistant to the President from 2014 – 2016; Faculty Senate President; History program coordinator; and has worked on several student success projects, including the director of the Achieving the Dream student success initiative from 2007 – 2011; co-chaired the High Impact-Practices Committee from 2011-13; and as a co-investigator on a Title V grant.

He is a member of the Houston Independent School District’s Hispanic Advisory Committee, and active in state, regional, and national history organizations, has served on numerous committees of the East Texas Historical Association, and the Texas State Historical Association, the board of the West Texas Historical Association, was president of H-NET Council, and was president of the East Texas Historical Association.

He has served as faculty advisor for Phi Alpha Theta, the International History Honors Society, the Garna Christian Chapter of the Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, and the campus League of United Latin American Citizens, and Student Government Association.

J. Allen Provost

J. Allen Provost has extensive experience in negotiation, conflict resolution, and mediation. His creative problem solving techniques have proven valuable to boards of nonprofit groups and organizations.

Mr. Provost is the former president and vice president of the North Forest Independent School District board of education, a former board member of the Northeast YMCA, and a former member of the Tri-County Black Chamber of Commerce. He is a life member of the NAACP and served as the NAACP Economic Committee chairman. As a Houston Media Source board member, Mr. Provost was appointed by former Mayor of the City of Houston Bill White and subsequently reappointed by Mayor Annise Parker and Mayor Sylvester Turner. Mr. Provost is a member of St. Peter Catholic Church.

Mr. Provost holds a master’s degree from Texas Southern University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston.

Alex Luster

I am Alex Luster, a proud board member, treasurer and current community producer at Houston Media Source. With more than 30 years of experience as a visual storyteller, I have expertly crafted impactful videos of all kinds.

As the co-founder of The Storyhive, a video production firm in Houston’s historic East End, we specialize in creating videos and animations for a wide range of clients, including Fortune 100 companies. Our mission is to tell unique and engaging stories.

Throughout my career, I have worked with major networks such as ABC, Telemundo, and Fox. In 2005, I created and produced the Emmy-award-winning program Volumen for Azteca America, which first aired on Houston Media Source in 1998. Additionally, my 2011 documentary, “Stick ’Em Up!”, premiered to sold-out shows at the River Oaks Theater and screened at the MFAH.

I encourage Houston area residents to utilize HMS, an excellent resource available to all. Let’s share our stories and contribute to our dynamic community.

Ovi Galvan

Ovi Galvan serves as the University Registrar for the University of Houston-Downtown. As a first-generation student, Ovi knows how difficult and challenging navigating higher education can be. Ovi’s goal is to work with his team, and colleagues across the University of Houston-Downtown, in ensuring that the UHD processes and functions are as approachable as possible to the prospective students and community patrons. In doing so, Galvan hopes to open the doors to more individuals who wish to get a higher educational credential, while also supporting the integrity of his office and our institution.

Ovi Galvan has served as Past President of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, Gulf Coast Region, as well as recipient of the Civitas Learning Next Generation Higher Education Leadership Award.

As the University Registrar, Ovi Galvan serves as a member of the Enrollment Management leadership team and handles oversight the university’s Registrar’s Office supplying executive leadership for all functions including the student information system, registration, grading, degree and enrollment verification, academic records management, transcripts, compliance, application processing, and articulation, graduation auditing, and awarding of degrees.

Ovi Galvan has over 13 years of experience within higher education and has worked for many higher education institutions in our region. His roles have included programing for Student Activities, Core Academic Advising, Workforce Program Advising, TRiO Student Support Services, Dean of Student Services, and Associate Professor of Political Science.

Ovi is an avid collector of physical media – movies, records, tapes – and enjoys camping and fishing with his family.

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Texas A&M University

Master of Liberal Arts in Political Science, University of Saint Thomas

Sylvia Cavazos

Sylvia Cavazos has more than 20 years of experience in radio and television broadcasting and public relations. Ms. Cavazos consults on external and internal communications, media relations, and multi-cultural marketing, demonstrating particular expertise in the Latino Communities in the U.S. and Latin America.

Ms. Cavazos has worked with Fortune 500 corporations developing public relations strategies and campaigns as well as creating image enhancement programs in the Unites and internationally. In public affairs, she consults Houston business leaders in community outreach and communications for emerging markets, having assisted corporations as well as political campaigns in the Houston area.

An award-winning producer of marketing videos, television spots, and radio commercials, Ms. Cavazos also acts as a Spanish-speaking liaison and spokesperson for her clients. She is a graduate of the University of Houston.

Jessie Rodriguez

Jesse Rodriguez has 20 years of customer service knowledge, 40 years of experience in radio media, 30 years in the entertainment business, and 20 years of management experience. In these roles, he plans, implements, executes, produces, and programs successful formats, events, and businesses. As the marketing director, general manager, and music programmer for several successful businesses, Mr. Rodriguez has created winning strategies to increase traffic, sales, and brand awareness. In his work as assistant superintendent of the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, he supervised over 200 employees and manged over 100 parks, pools, athletic fields, and athletic programs.

As a lifelong active community member of Houston’s East End, Mr. Rodriguez has served as the board chair for Talento Bilingue de Houston, the president of the Pine Valley Civic Association, an advocate at the Knights of Columbus Council 3077, a director on the Texas Hispanic Council on Aging board, and the chair of the National Hispanic Professional Organization.

Mr. Rodriguez attended Lantrip Elementary School, Jackson Junior High, and Stephen F. Austin High School. He studied at the University of Houston and is the recipient of an honorary degree from Houston Community College for his outstanding community service and educational involvement.

Jerold LaBeaux

Jerold La Beaux premiered his professional career as a talk show host on ABC network in the early 1980s. He went directly into National Radio doing voice over work and station identifications, leading to many national and international commercials that were broadcast from coast to coast and abroad.

After touring the world, he was offered both a major movie and record deal, though he turned away from both for family reasons. Instead, he turned to teaching and developing beauty and talent. He taught at various modeling and dance schools as well as theaters before being hired to do artist development for various record labels.

Out of this demand came the Jerold La Beaux Modeling and Talent Agency, complete with a full-service artist and celebrity management firm. The agency managed the training, management, and marketing of over 5,000 models, shows, television programming and radio commercials. He has served on many boards to promote the arts, entertainment, music, beauty, and fashion industries. The Je La Beaux Agency aims to be a one stop shop for industries ranging from live performance to television and film, stage and concerts, music, magazines, commercials, public relations and more.

Je La Beaux Inc. acquired the oldest talent agency in the south, Lynn Modeling and Talent Academy. The d’Lynn Pageant System was one of the leading companies providing winners for the Miss America and Miss Universe Pageant Systems while continuing to place national and international performers throughout a wide range of industries.

Jerold La Beaux double majored in Mass Communications and Business Marketing while minoring in theater, before moving forward to Corporate Law, specializing in Entertainment and Media.