MASTERING THE MISSION - OUR LEADERSHIP IN ACTION
After returning home to Dallas in 2015, VR immediately put her business skills to use supporting women via SCORE and WINGS. She continually focuses her energy on developing innovative programs for women, veterans and small business owners—turning visions into realities as the Founder and Executive Director for the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center (VWEC), a national initiative that has broken ground in southern Dallas as the first of many VWECs projected for Texas and our Nation.
A leader and advocate for women veterans, VR testified in support of the original House Bill to make June 12, Women Veterans Day in Texas and organized the first Women Veterans Day 2017 Celebration supported by women Veterans across the region. Actively involved in veteran support, VR serves as the Chair of the Veteran Business Subcommittee for the City of Dallas, Office of Business Diversity. VR was recently appointed as Fellow at the SMU Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity. Ms. Small served as the 2017 VP Veteran Affairs, SCORE Dallas and currently serves on the 30th Congressional District Veteran Advisory Council member. VR supports several local Veteran Coalitions, is an endorsed North Texas LEAD Candidate, U.S. Navy Veteran and proud daughter and sister to U.S. Army Vietnam & Iraq Veterans respectively.
Bill Dwiggins currently serves as the Education Coordinator for Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Education in Greater Dallas-Ft Worth/North Texas Area with over 400,000 veterans. Bill served 32 years in the United States Marine Corps (Ret.). Prior to his current role, Mr. Dwiggins served as the State Director of Veterans Employment and Training Services, State Louisiana. . A Bachelor of FA with honors from Wichita State University, M.S. with honors from Grand Canyon University, and Society for Human Resource Management – Senior Certified Professional. Member of SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society.
He has years of senior decision making experience in operations, security, organization & management development, education, logistics planning and execution, sales, marketing, personnel and administration management, training, human resources, resource management and financial management. His International travels and life experiences are enhanced by education.
A Mustang, honor graduate of Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Amphibious Warfare School, Planning & Reconnaissance, Basic & honors Advance Infantry Officers School (Army), Amphibious Logistics, Federal Inspection/ Investigation Training, National Veterans Institute, Denver. Highly decorated including 2 Legion of Merit awards, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, 4 Naval Commendation Medals, 2 Navy Achievement Medals (Combat Valor), Army Achievement, National Defense, Combat Campaign Medals, Ranger Tab, Gold Parachute Wings, Combat SCUBA and more.
Penny King is currently the Community Development Officer for the Bank of the Ozarks. Prior to joining the Bank of the Ozarks in August 2017, Ms. King worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for 25 years, serving in positions such as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff in the Chairman’s Office.
Ms. King completed the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University (SMU) Dallas, Texas and earned a Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree in Business Communications & Psychology Studies at Dallas Baptist University (DBU). Ms. King is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP).
Redonna Higgins, is a Senior Vice President with Legacy Texas Bank, a community bank located in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex that prides itself on their focus, which is a "Spirit of Success!" The assets of the Bank are 1.6 billion with 21 locations in Dallas and Fort Worth. Redonna is the Manager of LegacyTexas Bank Rosewood Court where she specializes in women owned businesses, professional and executives, doctors, attorneys and various not-for-profit organizations.
Ms. Higgins brings more than twenty years of expertise and experience in the financial industry and values as a true resources by her clients, colleague and company as a banker working with middle market clients and owner managed businesses with revenues of $10 million and more.
Dominique Collins is the presiding judge of Criminal District Court Number 4. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, where she was an Associate Editor of “The Scholar” law review. Prior to pursuing a legal career, she served 12 years in the United States Air Force as an information and personnel manager. Her service includes 7 months in the Persian Gulf during DESERT STORM/DESERT SHIELD.
After receiving her law license in 2004, she began serving Dallas county as an Assistant District Attorney. As an ADA, she worked within several specialty divisions including organized crime, grand jury, public integrity, and the mental health/competency division. Dominique’s professional excellence was recognized when she was selected as “Prosecutor of the Year” by her peers. She was elected to the bench in 2012 and additionally presides over the Dallas County Veteran’s Court Program, which gives veterans an opportunity to have their cases dismissed and expunged.
Aside from serving the Dallas community and demonstrating professionalism, Dominique is a mentor to students at UNT Dallas College of Law and SMU Dedman School of Law.
Dr. Shirley Higgs has dedicated her life’s work to helping students meet their educational and personal goals. With over 30 years of higher education experience, Dr. Higgs is well versed in student needs, motivation, and success factors. She has served as a professional support staff, adjunct faculty, and administrator. Through all of her experiences, she has focused on meeting the needs of students, both traditional and non-traditional students.
Dr. Higgs currently serves as Executive Administrator, DCCCD Foster Care & Veteran Affairs. Previously, she successfully held the following positions: district director of student success for Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), dean of student success at Mountain View College, director of school alliance and institutional outreach at Mountain View College, and various other student services roles. With each of her varied positions, Dr. Higgs has carried with her a commitment to help students achieve.
A few personal success include creating a first year experience program, obtained funding for Estudias technology for all seven DCCCD colleges to insure consistency in academic advising, piloted a partnership with AT&T/UDACITY for DCCCD in an effort to benefit veteran students, coordinated a retention alert program(Journey To Success) specifically designed for students to receive the needed intervention to remain in class, implemented an intrusive case management strategies process, and to insure that students receive the needed support to stay in college and expanded recruitment of traditional/ and non-traditional students.
Dr. Higgs is able to relate to the challenges and concerns of community college students because she is able to share her own personal experiences. She was once a community college student. Dr. Higgs received her associate's degree from Cedar Valley College; bachelor degree in business administration from Dallas Baptist University; master degree in education from American Intercontinental University; and doctorate in higher education leadership from Capella University. Her resume consists of very impressive presentations, many grant development/management, community service, personal awards and honors. Currently she serves on the following board of directors: Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center and Greater Southwest Black Chamber Commerce of Lancaster, Texas.
She resides in Dallas, Texas and enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, and volunteering with community projects.
Advisory Council Members
Tracy Little retired as a Master Sergeant with the United States Air Force on December 31, 1999, as an Assistant Inspector General at the Army & Air Force Exchange Services in Dallas, Texas.
Tracy's significant military accomplishments include, but not limited to; receipt of the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with five oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon, Outstanding Administrator of the Year (MAJCOM and Air Force-level). Mrs. Little also completed the USAF Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) Academy, the USAF Senior NCO Academy and Air Force Basic Training with honors.
Tracy serves on various boards, including the Veterans Coalition of North Central Texas, where she is a founding Board Member and the current Board Chair.