David’s leadership at the H. E. Butt Foundation spans three decades—he has led the organization through its transformation from a primarily faith-based, camping-focused culture into a culture-shaping organization known internationally for its commitment to hospitality and excellence.
For more than two decades, David led the H. E. Butt Foundation Camp and Laity Lodge programs. During that period, he also launched two new camping programs: Laity Lodge Family Camp and H. E. Butt Foundation Outdoor School. In 2015, he was named President and CEO and has led several new community engagement initiatives in San Antonio and South Texas since, including efforts to support mental health awareness, build capacity for non-profits, develop rural communities, and address the challenge of socio-economic inequity.
David is skilled at relational team building, cultural change management, and leadership development. Under his leadership, the foundation has grown to one of the largest foundations in Texas and one of the largest operating foundations in the United States.
David earned a BA from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in San Antonio with his wife, Deborah Butt Rogers. David and Deborah have three adult children and four grandchildren.
With an extensive career in financial analysis, forecasting, and operational management, Janice has played a significant role in shepherding the financial and operational health of the Foundation during a season of tremendous growth. Named as Chief Financial Officer in 2018, Janice’s highly relational leadership style finds her travelling daily among our San Antonio, Kerrville, and Frio River Canyon locations.
Prior to a call to enter into the nonprofit world, Janice served as the Global Corporate Controller for Rackspace, the world’s largest managed cloud provider. Before that she worked in the oil and gas industry, both as the Vice President of Finance for NuStar Energy and as the Director of Accounting and External Reporting for Valero Energy, the world’s largest independent petroleum refiner.
A graduate of Texas State University, Janice serves on the board of Goodwill Industries of San Antonio. She and her husband James live in San Antonio with their family.
Perri joined the H. E. Butt Foundation in 2004 as Director of Development to increase public support of capital projects and program scholarships. Since then, she has also been instrumental in revamping our guest care services, spearheading a major rebranding effort, and most recently, integrating several initiatives and strategies into the Foundation’s new Community Engagement program.
In that role, Perri runs a multi-year capacity-building incubator for leaders of like-minded youth and family serving nonprofits in San Antonio. Her program also conducts research and pilots initiatives supporting mental health and invests in media and storytelling that lets us better understand the lives of our neighbors.
Before working for the Foundation, Perri served as Vice President of Development for San Antonio’s SAMMinistries. She also served as Associate Director of Development for the Medical College of Wisconsin. Perri graduated from Texas Tech University Human Development and Family Studies, and received her performance measurement certificate from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Executive Education in 2016. Perri lives in Boerne with her family.
Cary is the Executive Director of Laity Lodge Camping Programs, serving campers and families in the same Canyon where his own family began.
Beginning in 1985, Cary spent the 13 summers in the Canyon as a camper, then a program crew member, and finally a counselor at Echo Valley where he met his wife, Jenny (Allenbaugh) Hendricks. They even worked some of the early Family Camp camp sessions at Echo Valley in the 1990s.
Due in large part to these experiences, Cary pursued a career in relational ministry, spending eight years on Young Life staff as an associate area director and area director in both Texas and Illinois. During his time in Illinois, Cary also served more than four years at a Presbyterian church as the youth and college ministry director. In 2017, he completed a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently working toward a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership Development at the same institution.
Cary has been with the Foundation for since 2013, first as a Director of Echo Valley, and since 2015 as the Senior Director of Laity Lodge Family Camp. His history with the Foundation stretches back much further—to 1985, when he attended Singing Hills as a young camper. Cary and Jenny have been married since July 1999, and their three kids—Seth, Stella, and Sloane—have been fixtures in the Canyon and in Kerrville for many years.
Steven has been the face of Laity Lodge for a generation of retreat-goers, leading programming, recruiting, and facilitation of the Foundation’s venerable retreat center. A writer, painter, book-lover, and champion of the arts, Steven has connected the Lodge’s guests to countless speakers, artists, and musicians from around the world, growing the Lodge’s reputation as a culture-shaping institution marked by hospitality and friendship.
Before coming to Laity Lodge in 2006, Steven served as one of the managing directors of Schloss Mittersill, an internationally renowned Christian retreat and conference center in Austria, where he founded an arts conference in 1998. Steven also serves on the Board of Directors for Image Journal.
Steven earned his Masters of Christian Studies from Regent College where he studied Spiritual Theology with an emphasis on its integration with the arts. He is the author of Even Among These Rocks, a title that synthesizes narrative, poetic, and visual artistic impressions. A native of Texas, Steven lives with his family in Boerne, Texas.
As Executive Director of Storytelling and Communications, Patton is charged with leading the Foundation’s strategic messaging and cultivating the Foundation’s narrative voice and brand expression across its six programs and myriad channels. He leads our engagement to drive narrative change around the plight of vulnerable families and children, using storytelling to help us better understand the lives of our neighbors.
Patton brings 20 years of experience in media, publishing, and communications to the Foundation. He has served as editor of multiple national publications and has been widely published in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Newsweek, TheAtlantic.com, CNN.com, and Christianity Today among others. Previously an instructor at the United States Air Force Academy, Patton has taught courses in composition, literature, and film studies. He holds a doctorate in religion and literature from Boston University. His most recent book is The Prayer Wheel: A Daily Guide to Renewing Your Faith with a Rediscovered Spiritual Practice (Convergent). Patton lives in San Antonio with his family.
The H. E. Butt Foundation is an operating foundation that runs charitable programs focused on spiritual formation and health in families and children.
Elizabeth Le’anani Coffee has lived in San Antonio her whole life and loves it like a sibling. She often says: “my story is wrapped up in its story.” While her formal training is in advertising and public relations, her work experience reflects a decade working alongside religious non-profits and leaders through community engagement predominately in San Antonio and South Texas. She is a master’s student studying philanthropic studies at Indiana University in the Lilly School of Philanthropy and is a research associate for the Lake Institute of Faith and Giving engaging with American patterns of giving and gathering for religious causes. She also serves on the Advisory Council of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, as a board member for the One Another Project, and as the Vice Chair of the board of The Impact Guild.
Dana Williams is a native Texan and graduated from Nueces Canyon High School in Real County. Prior to her career with the H. E. Butt Foundation, Dana graduated from Southwest Texas Junior College and Shorter University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Human Services. While in Georgia, she worked with Highland Rivers Mental Health Services and served as Executive Assistant and HR Generalist for a small network of churches in the area for over a decade.
Dana joined the foundation in 2010 as Registrar and Assistant to the newly forming Laity Lodge Family Camp. Since then, she has served the foundation in multiple roles, including Camping Programs Administrator, Camping Programs Operations Manager, Operations Business Manager, and now in her current role as Community Engagement Director. Serving primarily in Real County, Dana sets the course for the Real County Community Initiative, strategizing with rural development leaders around the world to determine the best ways to help Real County residents navigate the complexities of rural life. Her certifications in Nonprofit Management, Change Management and Six Sigma aid in her executing the mission and vision to cultivate health and well-being for children and families.
Dana and her husband Billy currently live in Boerne with their family.
Carlos Navarro started working in the Canyon as a summer employee when he was 16 years old. He started as a temporary grounds helper. In 2014, Navarro was hired as a full-time groundskeeper. He moved on from groundskeeping to maintenance and then the tech department, fixing appliances, diagnosing problems and making sure the things behind-the-scenes stayed behind-the-scenes.
Today, he serves as the senior director of Canyon operations, heading teams totaling about 30 people who together manage the property—from installing handwashing stations in the cabins to ensuring the water system runs properly. Navarro enjoys helping all of his employees do their part to ensure those guests have a great, fun experience and find space to grow closer to God.
Paul joined the foundation in 2019 with a diverse professional background including stints in public accounting, industry, and small business. Recently named as Controller, Paul oversees the accounting, payroll, tax compliance, and budgeting functions of the foundation.
Prior to joining the foundation, Paul, a Certified Public Accountant, owned and operated his own practice in Kerrville assisting nonprofits and small businesses across the Texas Hill Country. He has also held various managerial roles in accounting, financial reporting, and planning and analysis capacities in the midstream energy sector. Paul started his career with Deloitte, a global public accounting firm, where he was recognized on multiple occasions for his exceptional client service.
Paul earned his BBA in Accounting and MS in Finance from Texas A&M University.
He currently serves on the boards of several local nonprofits in the area and lives in Harper with his wife Courtney and their four children.
Gwenda joined the H. E. Butt Foundation in 2013 as a new human resources department was being formed to update policies, build processes, and ensure compliance during a time of unprecedented growth. In addition to these essential functions, Gwenda and her team now provide foundation staff with development opportunities, unique and exciting benefits, an employee rewards and recognition program, and numerous other ways for employees to be engaged throughout their employment cycle, from recruitment to retirement.
Before working for the foundation, Gwenda’s career included time with Texas Instruments, Dell Computers, and Ethan Allen before transitioning to nonprofit work with churches, church schools, and eventually, the H. E. Butt Foundation.
Gwenda graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University with a major in Human Resources Development and a minor in Business. Since joining the foundation, she also received her professional HR certification. Gwenda lives in Kerrville with her husband Steve and feels richly blessed to be a part of the foundation family and its ministry.
Erik joined the H. E. Butt Foundation in 2011 to start the foundation’s outdoor school program. During his tenure as senior director of the H. E. Butt Foundation Outdoor School, the program provided impactful outdoor experiences for approximately 2500 young Texans each year.
In April 2020, Erik officially changed gears by stepping into the role of Senior Director of Risk Management, where he plays a key role in the safe delivery of our amazing Canyon programming.
Prior to joining the foundation, Erik spent 13 years in public education and 2 years as university faculty. He has been honored as Recreation Professional of the Year by the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, and his work has received the Outstanding Program Award from the Texas Outdoor Education Association. Erik completed his Master of Science degree from Texas State University.
Erik and his wife, Liz, live in Kerrville with their two boys.
Marcus directs all expressions of the Foundation brands across web, social, email, print, video, and audio. He also serves as director of the Foundation Archives and managing editor of Echoes magazine, a quarterly publication reaching 24,000 subscribers with encouraging stories about our friends and neighbors across Texas.
Marcus has served the H. E. Butt Foundation since 2005 in a variety of positions, including as editor of The High Calling and Christianity Today’s Faith in the Workplace. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including 32 Poems and Books and Culture (and oddly Zombies! the Magazine). His poetry collection Barbies at Communion was a finalist for Englewood Review’s Book of the Year.
Marcus taught English and Latin for ten years prior to joining the foundation, and he especially enjoyed his time as a publications teacher and as a reader for College Board’s English and Lit AP test. Marcus lives in Kerrville with his family where they are active in their church and their local community theater. He is also president and founder of the Kerrville Robotics Alliance, which has led local teams to the world championship three times.
Christy joined the Communications Department at the H. E. Butt Foundation as the Website Coordinator in 2008. Through that role, she worked with various foundation programs and became invested in their online processes and needs. She eventually helped the organization move to an enterprise management system for foundation data and online operations.
Throughout her time at the foundation, Christy has continued to work with teams across the organization and currently leads both the IT and Kerrville Facilities Departments. In this role, she is able to coordinate streamlined processes for each department and ensure necessary collaboration between the two.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Christy worked as an elementary school teacher and website developer after graduating from Texas A&M in 1993.
Christy and her husband live in Kerrville.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Howard Butt, III
President eCommerce and Mexico Operations, H-E-B
President of Central Market, H-E-B
retired Chief Financial Advisor, H. E. Butt Foundation