Meg Wallace, MA, LMSW, organizer
Meg completed her Master’s degree in Social Work at Baylor University, with a specialization in public dialogue strategies, in 2018. She started her career in 1988 as a community organizer and adult educator, then worked for two decades as a freelance writer, editor, and book indexer while raising her two daughters in Chicago. Meg’s engagement with intentional Christian communities and personal experiences with disability and family dissolution set the stage for her to launch the Amberley Collaborative, with the goal of strengthening organic support systems for people facing challenging circumstances.
Jaja Chen, LCSW, CDWF, board president
Jaja is a private practice therapist specializing in burnout, trauma, and maternal mental health. Jaja and her husband own Waco Cha, an organic bubble milk tea stand. Jaja is passionate about supporting helping professionals, entrepreneurs, and individuals who are caring for loved ones who have experienced trauma and mental illness. She is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and has previous nonprofit work experience in the field of domestic violence.
Stefanie Wheat-Johnson, board vice president
Stefanie is program director for Creative Waco’s ARTPrenticeship program, which connects creative students in the Waco Independent School District with professional artists to collaborate on works of public art that engage and reflect the communities around them. A believer in the power of creative work for growth and healing, Stefanie has worked as an arts educator and has a background in theater arts. Having grown up overseas as a third-culture kid and having personal experience with disabilities and mental health challenges across cultures, she’s passionate about supporting families and caregivers navigating these challenges.
Veronicka Thompson, board secretary
Veronicka is the community director at WacoWork. She previously worked at Baylor University in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and as the interim program director for the Leadership Living-Learning Center at Baylor. Veronicka is also the owner of Flower + Ink Designs, a wedding and event floral design business that will soon be teaching people of all skill levels how to create beautiful flower arrangements through classes and workshops. Veronicka strongly believes in the power of creativity and kindness, and hopes to help provide a voice to every individual.
Devan Stahl, PhD, MDiv, board treasurer
Devan Stahl is an assistant professor of religion at Baylor University. She received her Ph.D. in Health Care Ethics from St. Louis University and her M.Div. from Vanderbilt University. Devan has experience teaching bioethics and medical humanities to undergraduates, medical students and residents, nursing students, and veterinary students. She has also worked as a clinical ethicist in tertiary hospitals and has trained as a hospital chaplain. Her research interests include medicine and the visual arts, theological bioethics, and disability studies.
Rae Jefferson, board member
Rae is the communications director at the Family Health Center, where she spends each day promoting the medical, dental, and behavioral health needs of Waco’s most underserved communities. Previously, she served as the director of marketing and communications at Creative Waco, where she helped establish the Waco Downtown Cultural District and promoted various arts initiatives, including the Cameron Park Sculpture Zoo and a pop-up gallery that eventually became Cultivate 7Twelve. A Baylor University alumnus, Rae is also a 2018 graduate of Waco’s Leadership Plenty Institute and a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Waco Foundation’s Communications Co-Op. Her newest personal endeavor, The Hopeist, provides an online platform for sharing stories at the intersection of mental illness and faith.
Paula Solano, board member
Paula is the Member Advocate and Outreach Specialist II for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, STAR Kids, serving a 31-county region. A Waco native, Paula has 15 years’ experience working for various health and government entities in Waco and McLennan County. Paula is a member of the Junior League of Waco, serves on the United Way of Waco-McLennan County Community Advisory Council, and actively participates in various coalitions, boards, and community initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tarleton State University, is a certified Community Health Worker, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Health from Baylor University.
Jeff Lewis, board member
Jeff is a Nebraska native who is hard-of-hearing, Jeff is also the owner and operator of Waco Wonk, a business operations and technology firm. When he is not working, Jeff is spending time with his partner, Jeffrey, and their wonderful son, as well as their fur babies, Pants, Pixel, Millie, and Odie.