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.
Lucia DeBauge-Harcum, PhD, board president
Lucia holds a PhD in Architecture, is an active TDLR (Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation) Registered Accessibility Specialist, and emeritus member of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners. Her service to several local nonprofit and City of Waco boards incudes being an officer and chair. Throughout her career of 25+ years, she was a university faculty member teaching environment/behavior, codes, and building specifications. Lucia also writes a bilingual weekly column on topics relevant to the Latino community, formerly for Tiempo newspaper and now for La Cara. In December 2019, she will complete the Nonprofit Professionals Certificate Program offered by Baylor University Continuing Education, and she has completed many nonprofit trainings offered by Junior League of Waco, United Way of Waco, Waco Chamber of Commerce, and Cooper Foundation’s Nonprofit Training Network.
Jaja Chen, LCSW, CDWF, board vice 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.
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.
Stefanie Wheat-Johnson, board treasurer
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.
Devan Stahl, PhD, MDiv, board member
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.
Caroline Thornton, board member
Caroline is cofounder and former community director of WacoWork, the first coworking space in Waco. She started her first business, Second Me, while studying for her bachelor’s degree at Baylor University. When she graduated in 2016 with a degree in Corporate Communications, Caroline knew she wanted to stay in Waco as long as she could. She dissolved Second Me after a successful two years to launch WacoWork. Committed to seeing Waco thrive, Caroline also serves on the first junior board of the YMCA.