Board of Trustees
President of the Board – Brian Brandt, CEO Core Insights
Board Secretary – Jeanne Elizabeth Ramirez, Retired Pharmacist & Stay-at-Home Mom
Board Treasurer – John Morrison, Strategic Financial Advisor/Certified Public Accountant
Board Member – Mary Berry – Retired Educator and Non-Profit Administrator
Board Member – Cynthia Freeman, Retiree Post-Master
Board Member – Pastor Ricky Garner, Pastor of Bethel Hope Bible Church
Board Member – Nate Hill, Experienced Ministry Director
Board Member – Kelli Lomax, Ministry and Community Advocate & On-the-go Mom
Board Member – Jon Moore, Chief Credit Approval Officer, Vera Bank
Board Member – Kellie Pope, Stay-at-Home Mom & Active Community Volunteer
Board Member – Cynthia Riter, Community Volunteer, Riter Family Foundation
Board Member – Trey Yarbrough, Managing Attorney, Yarbrough – Wilcox PLLC
Brian Brandt has spent his life supporting the transformation of individuals and organizations. He is the C.E.O.
of Core Insights, a Texas-based company providing premier training, strategic guidance, leadership coaching,
and keynotes for businesses, nonprofits, and associations. In his three decades of leadership experience, he
has served in such roles as a C.E.O., public relations director, national sales director, executive pastor, and
college tennis coach. Brian holds a Master of Global Leadership, as well as a Bachelor of Accounting. Brian
volunteers for and serves on the board of numerous non-profit agencies. He co-authored Blind Spots: What
you don’t know CAN hurt you, with Ashely Kutach. Brian attends Grace Community Church.
Jeanne Elizabeth Ramirez is a stay at home mom. She grew up in New Mexico and graduated from the
University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy in 1991. She was a Pharmacist in the ICU at Scott and White
Hospital in Temple, Texas where she met her husband, Rigo. They have been married for 25 years and have 3
children. She has served on the school board at Grace Community School for 5 years and also on various
committees there. They attend church at Grace Community Church.
John Morrison grew up in Tyler, Texas, graduating from Robert E. Lee High School. He graduated with a
Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s of Taxation from Baylor University, where he also met his wife,
Ashley. After graduation, John and Ashley pursued opportunities in Texas and Alaska, but family commitments
and a desire to return home and open an accounting practice led them back to Tyler. They have two beautiful
daughters, and a resident mutt named Earl who keeps an eye on the whole crew. Throughout his career, John
has used his financial insight and knowledge of tax law to assist his clients through their toughest challenges
with outstanding results. He holds both a Texas Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license and a Certified
Valuation Analyst (CVA) certification, is a Real Estate Broker and is an active participant in several professional
and charitable organizations.
Mary Berry, now retired, spent 45 years in the workforce as an educator and as an administrator in various
settings, including colleges, universities, nonprofit and home health care agencies. She holds a BS in Home
Economics from Alcorn State University, and a M.Eds in Library Science and an Ed.S. in Counselor Education
from Mississippi State University. Mary attends New Days Community Church in Tyler.
Cynthia Freeman is a retiree of the USPS North Texas District Operations Support, which she was
responsible for the East Texas 755-759 Area. She holds a business degree in Accounting from Tyler
Commercial College. She moved to Tyler after graduating from school in Jacksonville, TX. Cynthia is very
active in the Promise community as evidenced by her work with children, youth, and parents. Cynthia attends
Bethel Hope Church.
Ricky Garner currently serves as Pastor at Bethel Bible Church (Hope Campus) in Tyler. He is a
native of Tyler. After graduating from John Tyler High School in 1983, he served 4 years in the U.S. Air Force.
In 1987 after receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force he moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It
was in D/FW that he accepted God’s call to ministry. He served churches there until 2014 when he returned
home to Tyler. He was assistant pastor at New Days Community Church in Tyler for 4 years before making
Bethel Church his home. His ministry has led him to preach and serve both nationally and internationally
including Kenya, Japan, Greece and Sierra Leone. Ricky is a Texas College Graduate, member of Kappa
Alpha Psi Fraternity, inc. and is very active in serving the Tyler community as a volunteer in several
organizations including Promise Academy, Gospel Village, Grace Community School, The Mentoring
Alliance, Young Life Tyler, Cenikor Foundation and The Texas African American Museum. He has been
married to his wife, Jane for over 35 years. They have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.
Nate Hill has been the Area Director for Young Life since June of 2017. Nate is a strong community and
social services professional that studied Christian Leadership at Southwestern Christian University. Nate is
an experienced Ministry Director as he has also worked as The Mentoring Alliance’s Mentor Coordinator and
as the Executive Pastor/ Community Outreach Coordinator at New Holy Trinity Church. He is skilled in
Fundraising, Leadership, Nonprofit Management, Community Outreach, and Youth Development. Nate
attends Bethel Hope Church.
Kelli Lomax believes living life on mission is not solely meant for the overseas missionaries, but is an
incredible opportunity for each of us locally. Her cross-cultural experiences began while working for a missions
organization at Liberty University taking students overseas. Upon graduating with a business degree in
Marketing, she worked in the Mission Ministry at Grace Fellowship Church, where she also became certified as
a Stephen’s Minister, which is a global organization that equips people for ministry. After moving to Florida, she
worked for The Church of Eleven22 and later became the Perspectives Coordinator of Jacksonville, FL, a
national discipleship course covering aspects of God’s global purpose and heart for all peoples, both locally
and abroad. It was there she started a local network of missionaries ministering to Muslims and refugees in her
community, as well as being an active member in Be The Bridge, a national faith based organization focused
on racial reconciliation within the church. Her passion is seeing community transformation through the gospel
of Jesus Christ. She came to Promise as a parent in 2021, the Advisory Council in 2022 and started on the
Board in 2023. Her and her husband, Steven, have four kids and attend Grace Community Church.
Jon Moore joined VeraBank in 2013 as a Senior Vice President and Central Region Manager and is now the
Chief Credit Approval Officer. He earned a B.A. Degree in Sociology from Baylor University, a M.A. Degree in
Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University, and a M.B.A. from the McColl School of Business at
Queens University in Charlotte, NC. Jon has served on several community boards such as the Mentoring
Alliance, and the East Texas Crisis Center.
Kellie Pope is a stay at home mom and active community volunteer. After graduating from Stephen F. Austin
with a finance degree, she had an 18-year career in the trade show industry in Dallas before moving to East
Texas. Kellie and her husband, Rogers, have five children and enjoy serving at Promise Academy regularly.
They attend Grace Community Church.
Cynthia Riter has been an active community volunteer in Tyler for many years. She was an educator in Austin
and Houston before moving to Tyler 39 years ago. She also currently serves on the board of the Literacy
Council of Tyler and is on the Advisory Council for the School of Education and Psychology at the University of
Texas at Tyler. She also served as a board member and past president of the Alzheimer’s Alliance of East
Texas. Cynthia has been married to her husband, Whit, for 43 years, and they have a son and daughter-in-law,
Paxton and Elise, and two grandsons, Dub and Boots. She is a member of Grace Community Church.
Trey Yarbrough is an attorney with Yarbrough – Wilcox, PLLC, and has been in private practice in Tyler for
forty years. He has previously been a board member of All Saints Episcopal School and mentors a young man
through Mentoring Alliance. He and his wife, Paula, a Tyler native, have been married for thirty-nine years, and
have two adult children and two grandsons. Trey is a member of Christ Episcopal Church.