Staff & Directors

Meet our Staff

Jaime Herrero, Executive Director
Jaime is a native Houstonian who is passionate about providing young people with opportunities for growth and creative self-expression. Prior to joining Workshop Houston as Executive Director, Jaime founded his own community-based arts organization in Brooklyn called Xmental. He also spent two years at Carnegie Hall as the chief architect of NeON Arts: the first grant-making program in the Hall’s 125 year history. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Jaime started his career as a staff attorney at the Bronx Defenders, an innovative, holistic, and client-centered legal office in the Bronx.

Rod “Bass Heavy” Tillman, Program Director
Bass hails from Shreveport, Louisiana where he attended performing arts schools from the age of ten. He went on to The University of New Orleans where he double majored in jazz studies and  engineering. Bass has produced and engineered several big name rap artists such as Mannie Fresh, Mos Def, Big Sean, Snoop Dogg, Juvenile, Rick Ross, and Kanye West to name a few. In his 7 years with Workshop Houston most of it has been spent developing the Beat Shop and mentoring students. Bass also teaches Audio Engineering and Music Production at Houston Community College as an adjunct professor.

Gabriella Flournoy, Experience Manager
Coming from a non-profit and arts background, Gabriella is well-versed in arts fundraising and donor stewardship. A native Houstonian, she is proud of the rich culture Houston, and specifically the Historic Third Ward, has to offer. She hopes to bring her passion for arts education and a dedication to serving the community to Workshop Houston in hopes of engaging the neighborhood, community leaders, and donors. Gabriella graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2016 with a Masters in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Art History and Literature, and is also an alumna of the University of Houston.

LaTasha Brown, Volunteer Coordinator and Community Liaison
A Missouri City native, LaTasha attended Sam Houston State University where she received a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Mass Communication and also received a M.A. in Psychology from Texas Southern University. Her interest in psychology comes from a desire to understand the actions of others and to promote the unity of family. LaTasha has previously worked for a non-profit organization that focused on improving literacy for elementary students, as well as other important life-skills. Actively involved in supporting youth since she was in high school, LaTasha has continued this journey in her role at Workshop Houston.

Bryant Livingston, Discovery Shop Coordinator
Bryant Livingston was raised in San Antonio, Texas. In high school, he often taught youth groups and volunteered at local charities. He received a BS in Social Studies Education from Baylor University in 2008. He continued his philanthropic efforts as he volunteered and tutored in many Waco-area middle and high schools. Upon graduation, Bryant discovered that the educational system was not doing enough to help America’s future leaders. Here at Workshop Houston, Bryant is able to give essential one-on-one time with each student and provide them with tools to be successful both academically and socially.

Ginger Martinez, Style Shop Coordinator
Ginger Martinez has graduated from Houston Community College (HCC) with her A.A.S. in Fashion Design. HCC has given her the opportunity to travel to New York and London to study Fashion Design. Her teachers also helped her find work in fashion at the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet. She owns and operates Gin Martini Designs, where she creates and sews custom costumes for local performers. Ginger’s passion for creativity and problem solving through the arts inspire our youth in their journey with style and fashion.

Meet our Board

John Blackmon, President

A North Carolina native, John holds a BA in Architecture from the School of Design at North Carolina State University and a Masters Degree from Columbia University. After spending 10 years in New York, John relocated to Houston in 1997, opening his own practice in 2001. In addition to sitting on Workshop Houston’s board, John also sits on the Modern & Contemporary Arts Subcomittee at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Andrew “Andy” Stepanian, Secretary

Andy is the Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., one of the largest beer wholesalers in the nation. He is also the co-founder of lifestyle apparel company, the Howler Brothers, and a member of the band Wrinkle Neck Mules. In addition to Workshop Houston, Andy serves on the Board of Directors of Houston wilderness and is also a member of the Jackson Hole Land Trust Open Space Council. He lives in Houston with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children, Katharine, Reese and Driggs.

Brandon Leach, Treasurer

Brandon Leach was born in New Orleans, LA where he attended Xavier University of LA and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 2007. During his matriculation at Xavier, he led the student chapter of the National Association for Black Accountants (NABA) and a team of entrepreneurs that won the first place prize of $50,000 in the Ford HBCU Business Plan competition. In January 2008, Brandon started his accounting career at Cargill’s Corn Milling plant in Memphis, TN as a staff accountant and has since climbed the corporate ladder to his current role as Financial, Planning, & Analysis Leader of Plateplus, Inc. (a Metal One/Mitsubishi group company).

His passion for education and community service has been a consistent theme throughout his personal and professional journey. He’s participated in NABA’s annual day of service, Cargill’s annual United Way campaign, Rice University’s Houston Food Bank volunteer opportunities and the Montgomery County Meals on Wheels program. He’s currently an MBA candidate at Rice University Jones School of Business and spends time recharging with his lovely Parisian wife, Danielle, and his two kids Gabrielle and Brandon Jr (BJ).

Joe Bartolotta

Joe is a Manager for Deloitte Consulting LLP in Houston, TX where he supports clients through their business and organizational transformations. Before working at Deloitte, Joe’s career was focused in the education and youth development nonprofit space. While in college, he worked at Children’s PressLine, a New York based nonprofit focused on empowering youth through journalism and working to include more young voices the media. After graduating, he joined Teach for America and taught in Houston ISD for his two-year corp member commitment. He continued teaching at YES Prep Public Schools where he was a high school English teacher and supported new teacher development through the Teaching Excellence program. Joe is a native New Yorker, but has considered Texas home for almost a decade. He graduated with a BA in Politics and Journalism from New York University and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin.

Andrew Davis​

Andrew Davis is Dean of the College of the Arts at the University of Houston. His work focuses on integrating interdisciplinary training opportunities into the curriculum and on establishing the arts as a leading force for social engagement and community impact. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Immanuel and Helen B. Olshan Foundation, Music Doing Good, the PhiBeta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Houston, and the Texas Society for Music Theory. A music theorist by training, he is the author of two books and numerous articles on the opera and instrumental music of the 19th century.

Elizabeth Herndon

A native Houstonian, Elizabeth received a B.A. from the University of Texas and an MBA from Duke University. She became interested in Workshop Houston after being introduced to the organization through The Children’s Fund, where she and her husband Rogers have served on the board for over five years; including last year as co-presidents. A former Zoo Friends member, she has also served on the founding board for Heartgift Houston and enjoys volunteering at the Houston Foodbank and her children’s school. She loves raising her three daughters, Lola, Charlotte, and Frances.

Kristen Heyburn

Kristen Heyburn is the Regional Vice President for Nationwide Financial covering the Wires and Banks in Houston, Texas.  Kristen started in the business in 1996 with AIM Investments. She has over 20 years of industry experience and has been with Nationwide Financial since 2003. Throughout her career, she has helped Financial Advisors successfully build investment strategies to help their client’s plan and prepare to live in retirement. Kristen graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is licensed with her Series 7, 63 and Group 1 and is a designated Chartered Retirement Plan Consultant, CRPC. Kristen is a Native Texan and lives in Houston with her husband Paul and her two children John and Elizabeth.

Mary Hale Lovett McLean

Mary Hale is a leading real estate broker, community leader, fourth-generation Houstonian, and a graduate of the University of Texas.  She is a 28-year member of the UT Health Science Center Development Board, serves on the UT School of Nursing Partner Board, Medical School Advisory Council, UT Chancellor’s Council, and Medical School Scholarship Committee, and belongs to the Faculty Wives.  She raised the first $3 million for the laboratory for The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases and co-chaired the first IMM capital campaign.  Mary Hale is a member and past chair of The Menil Collection’s development, real estate and corporate committees, and serves on the boards of Friends of Smither Park, and the advisory board for Asia Society, Houston.  She raised the essential funds for the lot purchase and building of the new Looscan Library in 2004; is a former board member of Houston Ballet, Christ Church Cathedral Vestry, and The Garden Club of Houston, and served on the Rice University Centennial Committee.

Frank Montgomery

Frank grew up in Houston and is a graduate of Wabash College in Indiana. He’s currently a managing partner of a closely held real estate investment firm, which owns and operates income producing real estate throughout Houston’s Museum District. Frank has an interest in early education and has been involved with several local non-profit organizations.

Holden Rushing

A native Houstonian, Holden is a graduate of Pepperdine University and Rhodes University. He’s been actively involved with multiple non-profit projects and organizations for many years including finishing the 2,170 mile Appalachian Trail for St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, TN; volunteering as an “On-Call Musician” for Musicians On Call in NYC and serving as a board member for MD Anderson Cancer Center. During the day Holden works as a commercial real estate for NAI Houston, and in the evenings plays in several bands around town. He enjoys travel, cycling, surfing and music, and believes that the education and encouragement provided by Workshop Houston is the key to building a better community.

Rishija Misra, Board Fellow

Rishija Misra grew up in multiple cities in India. He did his bachelors in Avionics and worked on three satellite missions at the Indian Space Research Organization. Rishija moved to Houston in 2013 to pursue his Masters in electrical engineering and subsequently joined Schlumberger as an electrical engineer. Currently, he works as an Associate Applications Developer for Corporate & Investment Banking in J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. while also pursuing his MBA from the Rice University Jones School of Business. His enthusiasm in the field of education, creativity and non-profit organizations led him to be a part of Rice Board Fellows Program which matched Rishija with Workshop Houston in November 2017.