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June 2020 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

A Note from Woody

A little over 20 years ago I moved to Texas. It took me a while to understand what the Texas culture was all about. I quickly learned that while most states looked to replicate successes from other states, Texas looked within. Appreciating and then comprehending this approach, I strove to have it imbedded in all my work. In early 2002, I became the Executive Director of the Texas IDA Network, which then expanded into the Texas Asset Building Coalition and finally in 2007 turned into RAISE Texas, the first 501(c)(3) asset building coalition in the nation. Always “Texas” was prominent in the title.

Today I announce that I have decided to step down as the Executive Director of RAISE Texas by the end of the year. We are in great hands with an engaged Board of Directors of active local and state leaders from prominent non-profit organizations and for-profit institutions in our field, and a great Project Director in Lauren Gates to shepherd us over the next decade.

I have been motivated these past two decades living in Texas and pleased to have Texas seen as one of the leaders in the asset-building field. We have strived to continuously elevate our concerns over the lack of financial security for too many Texans, while offering concrete and meaningful solutions that address this serious failing all across our state. From pilot initiatives that expanded the opportunity for all families to move up the economic ladder, to finding ways to better understand the barriers that prevent underserved Texans from reaching their goals and aspirations. What became more and more obvious to me was in order to move this work forward and to find concrete solutions to major systematic problems, it takes a serious amount of time, patient funding, and staunch local and state partners all working together to get the job done. That is our challenge.

We are in uncertain and unchartered waters once again in this state coming from many different fronts. But it is my hope that given the passion, commitment, and dedication of the RAISE Texas network and our strategic partners working with our staff and board, we will aggressively address this unknown future moving forward in a large-scale, high-impact manner that will result in meaningful and systematic change in all 254 counties.

I have enjoyed working and getting to know all of you, the dedicated advocates and the real unsung heroes of Texas.


RAISE Texas Board Leads Search for Next Executive Director

When Woody announced his stepping down as the Executive Director at the end of 2020, the RAISE Texas Board of Directors quickly implemented a Succession Committee to oversee the search process for our next Executive Director. The Board is currently conducting a vigorous search process to find the most qualified candidate to lead RAISE Texas. We wanted to share the job description with our network to make sure we reach as many potential candidates as possible. Feel free to share this job description with your networks. Click here for more information on the application process.