Our Story

Everything that’s ever changed the course of community began with that community’s leadership. Leadership is the key element of any kind of collective success.

It is with these thoughts in mind that we’ve created BoardBuild as a world-class pairing of robust governance, resource and leadership training with state-of-the-art matching of candidates with social sector board openings.

The idea is simple – the best way to strengthen the social fabric of any community is by strengthening the fibers of its leadership. BoardBuild is all about alignment, opportunity and strength.


To strengthen communities through the training and matching of emerging and established leaders with qualified nonprofit boards.


Community trusteeship

Board of Directors

Jeffrey Allison is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Way of Tarrant County. As BoardBuild’s lead financial director, he utilizes his financial, operational and planning expertise to manage the organization’s business operations.

Jeff’s board service includes previous roles on the Texas A&M Center for Retailing Studies Corporate Advisory Board, University of Oklahoma JCPenney Leadership Program Board and the JCPenney Business Ethics Committee. He is a council member of Gerson Lehrman Group, an executive member of Financial Executives International and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Jeff earned his Certified Public Accountant license from the State of Ohio. He received a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Oklahoma Price College of Business.

Ramon Guajardo, Jr. is the vice president of Ramel Company, LLC, which provides financial, development and construction consulting services to the Texas Housing Authorities, municipalities, banks and private developers.

Ramon is an engaged community trustee as Leadership Fort Worth’s president-elect and the vice president of the organization’s LeaderKids program. In addition to his service on BoardBuild’s board of directors, as President, Ramon is also a member of Leadership Fort Worth’s board of directors and a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tarrant County and Fort Worth ISD’s Vital Link and Career Day programs.

In 2017, Ramon was named one of Fort Worth Business Press’ 40 Under 40. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from Southwest Texas State University.

Harriet B. Harral, Ph.D., is the executive director of Leadership Fort Worth and the principal consultant of The Harral Group: Specializing in Organizational Effectiveness.

Harriet serves on the national boards of Baptist News Global and Northern Seminary as well as the local Renaissance Heights Development Group and Mayfest boards.  Previously, Harriet served on and chaired the international board of the Community Leadership Association, the national board of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the local board for Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, Inc.

She was honored by SafeHaven of Tarrant County in the 2018 Legacy of Women, Fort Worth Business Press in the 2015 Great Women of Texas and Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, Inc. as the inaugural recipient of the Will A. Courtney Award for Outstanding Service in 2013. Additionally, Harriet was named an Outstanding Woman of Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Commission on the Status of Women, received a Linda Keithley Award for Women in Public Management and was awarded by the American Society for Training and Development with a Distinguished Individual Achievement award.

Harriet is the author of “Instructor’s Manual: Speaking @ Work,” “Strategies for
Interpersonal Communication: Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank (6 editions)” and “Communication: Leadership Skills for Women.” She earned a doctorate degree from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Baylor University.

Leah King is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of United Way of Tarrant County (UWTC).

A passionate advocate for community service, Leah has served on various boards and committees, including the Child Study Center, Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail, Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County, UWTC’s Women’s Leadership Council, Circle Theatre, Catholic Charities Refugee Services and Brighter Outlook, Inc.

In addition to BoardBuild, Leah currently serves on the board of directors for Cook Children’s Medical Center, the Trinity River Vision TIF and was elected to the Tarrant Regional Water District board in 2017. She is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and a founding member of UWTC’s Women’s Leadership Council.

She is a member of Leadership Fort Worth’s 2010 LeadershipClass and Leadership North Texas’ 2011 class.

Benjamin Robertson is the director of business development for Byrne Construction Services.

As an advocate for community empowerment and growth, Benjamin serves on more than 10 boards and commissions, including BoardBuild, Leadership Fort Worth, Rising Tide Initiative, East Fort Worth, Inc., Eastside Economic Development Alliance, Historic Randol’s Mill Valley Alliance, Eastside Community Assistance, Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth Roadhouse Committee and the City of Fort Worth’s City Plan Commission. In addition to his board governance, Benjamin provides business and nonprofit consulting, helping organizations learn how to succeed at their core capacity and operate as profitable businesses.

In 2016, he was named one of Fort Worth Business Press’ 40 Under 40. Benjamin earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from Northeastern University.

TD Smyers is the president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County. Prior to joining United Way, TD served as CEO of the American Red Cross, North Texas Region. He entered social sector executive leadership after a 31-year career in the U.S. Navy, completing his uniformed service as Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base.

In addition to BoardBuild, TD is vice chair of North Texas Leaders and Executives
Advocating Diversity (LEAD), governance chair of our community’s Continuum of Care Board and a member of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Executive Council.

TD earned a Bachelor of Science from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Science from the National Defense University’s Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.

Advisory Board

Carlo Andreani

Pacheco Koch

Cindy Boyd

Nonprofit Consultant

Tina Jenkins, PhD, LBSW, LPC

Assistant Professor | Behavioral Sciences Department
Project Manager | Visions Unlimited Program
Tarrant County College

Marcus Mitias, MBA, MPH

Program Director, Government Affairs & Advocacy
Texas Health Resources

James Sharp

Strategy Director
VLK Architects

Brenda Hicks-Sorensen

Economic Development Assistant Director
City of Fort Worth

Regina R. Williams, LMSW

Vice President, Community Investment
United Way of Tarrant County

Nina Wollman

Vice President, Global Director of Strategic Consulting


As BoardBuild’s staff lead, Pam Cannell directs content development, marketing and recruiting for the organization’s training program. She also supports project management for the Building Steering Committee, serves as a liaison for the Board of Directors and provides support for BoardBuild’s office operations.

With more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management services and board governance, Pam brings to the team expertise and passion for creating opportunities for diverse audiences to enact community change. In addition to BoardBuild, Pam serves as the founder and executive director of Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition (FWDPC) and the founder of Cannell & Company.

Through her work with FWDPC, Pam was awarded the 2017 USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Hero Award and a 2016 Certificate of Recognition from the City of Fort Worth. She also serves as a board member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, board member and executive committee member of Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition, a trustee of Garrett Family Preserve, and a member of U.S. Masters Swimming, Rotary Club of Fort Worth and Tarrant County Child Fatality Review Team.

Pam holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and pursued graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania.