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Audio Archive

Ronna Cross

Ronna Cross Personal Testimony - December 18, 2019

After practicing law and holding leadership positions in law firms for 18 years, Ms. Cross founded Cross Country Advisors in 2014 to bring people, companies and deals together to optimize client service and economic value.

Prior to forming Cross Country, Ms. Cross served for six years on an AmLaw 100 firm’s Global Strategic Advisors team comprised of firm leaders and former Presidential Cabinet members, Senators and Ambassadors. She developed relationships with global institutional investors while traveling the world with a former United States Treasury Secretary and his Deputy. Ms. Cross was responsible for managing their projects in the U.S., Europe, China and the Middle East, including a $9 billion infrastructure project in Saudi Arabia with a former European Prime Minister’s team, and projects in London, Madrid, Hong Kong and Shanghai for one of the largest privately owned conglomerates in China.

Her relationships with Canadian public pensions began in 2013 when she originated a $1.325 billion fund-of-funds that invested in the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System’s (OMERS) $12.5 billion Global Strategic Investment Alliance. She has presented off-market commercial real estate and/or oil & gas investments ranging from $125 million to $1.6 billion to CPPIB, Ontario Teachers/Cadillac Fairview, OMERS/Oxford Properties, PSP and AIMCo, as well as sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies and family offices.

Ms. Cross graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Business Administration. She was a Visiting Student at the University of North Carolina School of Law, received her Juris Doctor degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law, and is certified in Strategic Negotiation Skills through Pepperdine School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and North Carolina. She holds real estate licenses in Massachusetts and Texas. She also holds the NCPERS Accredited Fiduciary (NAF) designation for possessing the key competencies critical to public pension governance as demonstrated by substantial professional experience and superior examination performance.

Lauren Wheeler

Lauren Wheeler Personal Testimony - November 20, 2019

Lauren Wheeler is a Senior Vice President and Credit Services Officer with BTH Bank, a 104-year old Texas-based community bank with a focus on commercial lending. Reared in Abilene, Lauren resides in the Lakewood neighborhood of Dallas with her husband Austin and two children, Lillian (6) and Seay (1).

She currently serves on the Foundation Board of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and has previously served on the boards of the Dallas chapters of Women’s Finance Exchange and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.

She is a member of the Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation Scholarship Advisory Committee and the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA. Lauren earned her BS from the University of Texas at Austin and her MBA from Texas Christian University.

Lauren is excited to share her testimony with DREM. In particular, she will focus on the most recent year and a half of her life, during which she and her family endured a battle that she believes was waged in the Heavenlies. The battle manifested in the physical when her son Seay was born with cancer, specifically a neuroblastoma tumor on his spine and in his abdomen, which caused complete paralysis in the lower half of his infant body. Lauren will share the story of God’s miraculous healing, as well as four ways she found power to fight this spiritual battle on behalf of her precious son.

Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys Personal Testimony - October 25, 2019

Jeremy Dys, Esq., is Special Counsel for Litigation and Communications for First Liberty and host of the First Liberty Briefing.

Dys earned his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law in 2005. After law school, Dys clerked for the Hon. Russell M. Clawges, Jr., chief judge of the Circuit Court of Monongalia County in Morgantown, West Virginia. For six years prior to joining First Liberty Institute, Dys led a public policy organization where he led research and advocacy efforts on matters of life, marriage, and religious freedom.

Dys graduated from Taylor University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, degree in Communication Studies, with minors in U.S. History and Philosophy. During his undergraduate career, Dys studied at the American Studies Program in Washington, D.C., where he interned with the late David Orgon Coolidge as part of the Marriage Law Project of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

In support of his clients, Dys has made numerous appearances in local, state, and national television, print, and radio outlets. His written commentaries have been featured at the Wall Street Journal, FoxNews.com, New York Daily News, TheHill.com, Des Moines Register, Dallas Morning News, DailySignal.com, Washington Examiner, Indianapolis Star, Charleston Gazette-Mail, Outcomes Magazine, TheFederalist.com, and others.

Steve Riach

Steve Riach Personal Testimony - September 25, 2019

Steve Riach is an award-winning filmmaker, best-selling author, speaker, and subject matter expert in cultural issues. He is also the founder of a national nonprofit that is transforming the lives of underserved youth.

Steve is the producer, and co-writer, of the soon to be released feature film, ONE HEART, based on a dramatic true Texas story.

As a producer, writer, and director, Steve’s films and television programs have been distributed worldwide, as well as through ESPN, FOX Sports, NBC, and a variety of broadcast, digital platforms, and cable television outlets.

He has produced content around the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA and NCAA Championships, NASCAR, major golf tournaments and college football Bowl Games; and has worked with legendary sports figures such as Joe Gibbs, Reggie White, Tom Landry, John Wooden and Pete Maravich.

For the past 30 years, he has produced and directed The Bart Starr Award live on the site of the Super Bowl. He was the story producer on the groundbreaking 2018 Amazon Prime series All or Nothing: The Michigan Wolverines.

As an author, Steve has written 18 books, including the bestseller, Amazing but True Sports Stories.

He is the founder of the One Heart Project, a national nonprofit devoted to providing youthful offenders and underserved youth with the tools, skills and healthy relationships necessary to experience a true second chance in life.

Steve also created Heart of a Champion, a personal development and social and emotional intelligence training system, that has produced dramatic success with Fortune 500 companies, schools, sports teams and other audiences.

The success of these initiatives has led to Steve being honored at the White House and testifying before the United States congress.

From a multi-generational real estate family, he is also a principal in two real estate companies, with a primary focus on retail properties in Texas and California.

A cancer survivor and a former college baseball player at the University of the Pacific, Steve speaks to conference audiences, universities, corporate groups and churches. He and his family reside in Colleyville, Texas.

Lauren Mackenzie Gardner

Lauren Mackenzie Gardner Personal Testimony - July 24, 2019

Lauren Mackenzie Gardner is a 17 year old, who lives in Dallas, Texas. As a person, she abides by the philosophy of fully evolving into who you are and stopping at nothing to pursue your dreams. Lauren lives for art, writing, music, and experiences. She believes that society often creates a facade of negativity around many issues; ultimately creating a community of insensitivity, un-awareness, and isolation.

She wrote The World Is Still Learning with the purpose to hopefully make change in how people view certain topics as well as bring a sense of connection and hope to what many people are going through. She believes that everyone should strive to stretch themselves beyond their own self and try to understand the sides of others different than them.

Lastly, Lauren hopes to shine a light on the rawness of reality and encourage others to speak out and step towards vulnerability within their communities; realizing there is no room for people to feel alone. As the world continues on, Lauren believes it is imperative for us to open our minds and to learn how we can create a world of healing and love for all people.

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