Who We Are
In August, 1970, a “Town Hall” meeting of parents and persons interested in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities was held in the Community room of Northeast National Bank in Birdville, TX. From this meeting emerged the Birdville Arc. Chartered and incorporated in May, 1971, the organization is affiliated with The Arc of Texas and The Arc of the United States.
Since its founding, the Birdville Arc has been expanding its influence across the DFW Metroplex, becoming The Arc of Northeast Tarrant County in 1995, then Arc Greater Mid Cities in 2016, and The Arc of DFW Area in 2019. Throughout all these changes we have remained true to our grass-roots advocacy heritage, and we are still an all-volunteer membership-driven agency.
Ellen Bauman President
Ellen Bauman of Joshua is a grassroots advocate for people with disabilities and their families. Her journey has evolved out of personal experience while navigating life in search of resources for her granddaughter. Her passion is to inform, educate and empower not only these individuals and their families, but those who are in places of authority, responsible for protecting their rights and providing for their needs. She strives to secure the best quality of life possible for every individual. Her goal is that all people are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Ellen is the Special Needs Ministry Liaison for First United Methodist Church in Arlington and is a Certified Christian Educator. She serves on the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, Texas Council on Consumer Direction and Health and Human Services Commission IDD Strategic Planning Group. She serves as Vice Chairperson of Texas Parent 2 Parent Board of Directors, and the Department of Aging and Disabilities of North Central Texas Advisory Committee member. She attended Texas Wesleyan University and Tarrant County College.
Allana Banks Vice President
Allana resides in Haslet TX. She moved to Texas from St. Louis, Mo in 2014. She is a graduate from Maryville University, St. Louis, MO – Bachelor of Science, E-Marketing, Magna Cum Laude and Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO – Masters in Nonprofit Administration. Allana currently is a Lead Marketing Manager for AT&T in Dallas, TX. Although her career is in Marketing, she is passionate about helping families and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Allana has two children (Ariana and TJ) and a fur baby named Cocoa. She enjoys traveling and listening to live music and spending time as a family. She is honored to serve her community by supporting individuals to live their best lives.
Sylvia Sparby Secretary
Sylvia has been a disability rights advocate since 1982. Her daughter and two grandsons are her motivation. Sylvia is currently serving as Chairman for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance of DFW. She has also participated in many annual events hosted by organizations supporting people with disabilities and has served as a volunteer with Equest Therapeutic Horse Ranch (now Texas Horse Park) for the last 10 years. Professionally Sylvia has been in the Insurance business since 1982. Her professional accomplishments include becoming a State of Texas Licensed Insurance Agent in Property and Casualty Lines. She has completed several insurance courses through Kaplan University and has also taken Psychology courses at Tarrant County Community College.
James Lunday Treasurer
Currently serving as Treasurer for The Arc, James Lunday has worked in the accounting field for 20 years; the past 8 as Controller for Tenaska Power Services Co in Arlington. James, his wife of 10 years Michelle and their 6-year-old son Luke live in Trophy Club. Luke has an intellectual disability and cortical visual impairment (CVI).
James is an active member of the Metroport Rotary Club of Southlake, currently serving as Treasurer for its non-profit Metroport Rotary Charities, Inc. Other volunteer experience includes Junior Achievement (Tulsa, OK), Presbyterian Night Shelter (Ft. Worth) and various mission projects through his church, Whites Chapel UMC. He and his wife Michelle are also members of the Pediatric Cortical Visual Impairment Society.
Beverly Black joined The Arc of DFW Area board of directors in 2018. She and her husband, Wayne, have been married for over 40 years and both live life with a disability. Beverly is also a retired worker and an active advocate for people with disabilities. She is a member of United Advocates and The SelfDetermination Group. She has served as President, Sergeant of Arms and Treasurer. Beverly can often be seen walking the halls at the Texas Capital speaking up for herself and those who don’t have a voice.
Jocalyn lives in Mansfield, Tx. She is a proud mother of two. Her son is a sophomore at UNT, and her daughter is in 7thgrade in Mansfield ISD. Jocalyn graduated from Baylor University with a major in education and a minor in English. She is a certified teacher for grades K-8 and a certified teacher of students with visual impairments (CTVI) for ages birth to 22. She taught in Texas for a total of 6 years. She currently manages territory sales and creates and implements sales and product trainings for Tempur-Sealy International, where she has worked for 13 years. She is also a 2020 graduate of Texas Partners in Policymaking. Jocalyn has passionately advocated for school inclusion and home and community-based supports for people with disabilities at both the local and state levels for the past 10 years. She is very grateful to the Arc for the networking opportunities and resources they’ve provided her family which she believes helped set the trajectory for her daughter very early on. In her spare time, Jocalyn enjoys reading, golfing and swimming with her family, playing with her dogs, and binging Netflix shows with her husband.
Julia is the District Transition Specialist of an area school district, former Board president of REACH Resource Centers on Independent Living, an experienced speaker on transition- and sibling-related topics, and most importantly, the sister of a brother with autism, Bobby. Julia is passionate about preparing individuals of all ages, as well as their families, for the transition from school-aged entitlement services to the eligibility system that is in effect after graduation. She is especially interested in helping to change the absolutely despicable state of services for individuals with disabilities in the State of Texas, including funding of Medicaid waiver program slots and increasing pay for attendant care services.
John is a husband, a parent of three boys (one of whom has Down Syndrome), a special education teacher at McKinney North High School, and a long-time coach. John coaches Miracle League baseball in Frisco and has coached adult Special Olympics in McKinney. He has run programs through St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in McKinney for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. John has experience serving on a number of statewide committees and boards including the Early Childhood Intervention Advisory Committee, Children’s Policy Council, Task Force for Children with Special Needs, and the Arc of Texas’ Public Policy and Advocacy Committee.
Marie Cooney joined The Arc of DFW Area board of directors in 2018 and is the mother of 6 children, 2 that she adopted when they were very young. She has 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. One of her grandchildren lives life with a disability which leads Marie to try and help others. Her desire to help others began when she was young. Marie has always gone out of her way to make others comfortable. She worked in the aircraft industry for over 30 years and during that time Marie was selected by her union to serve others at Lockheed Martin representing the International Association of Machinists on the Contribution Club which later became the AERO Club.
As a member of the executive board for 14 years, Marie served both employees and the community before retiring in 2010. She also served on the Crisis Relief and Area on Aging with United Way for 8 years. After meeting Beverly Black in 1981 they formed a bond that eventually led to her working in the disability field. Marie joined The Arc of DFW Area board of directors and strives to help others understand the need of people with disabilities to live the life they imagine.
Vanessa Daniel joined The Arc of DFW Area board of directors in 2019. Vanessa had what she considers the fortunate experience to be raised at a state hospital in Logansport, IN, as the result of being a child of the state hospital chaplain. She had the unique opportunity of being introduced to the mentally ill residents who lived there at a young age. Vanessa was able to accompany her dad for various activities with hospital residents. This nurtured her passion for becoming a nurse which led to where she is today.
Trained as an RN, Vanessa has worked most of her career as a case manager, also working for major insurance carriers, third party administrators for group health and workers’ compensation. She has worked in the areas of Medicare, Medicaid, Med/Surg and Mental Health. It is her desire to use her knowledge to be of assistance to others any way she can.
Heisha’s desire to help others began when she was young. As a teenager, she founded an organization to educate pet owners in an effort to help stop animal abuse. During her years at Austin College in Sherman, TX where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Heisha volunteered at an emergency shelter for youth. In later years, when her son was diagnosed with Autism, Heisha founded and served on the board of a group working to create positive socializing opportunities for children with autism. She is a Special Olympics coach and previous steering committee member. She is also a volunteer for Paws in the City, Dallas Cat Lady and Feral Friends. Passionate about helping those with disabilities, Heisha started a Facebook group for Special Needs Parents of North Texas to create an online place for sharing and learning with the goal of working toward a 100% inclusive society. An author and public speaker, most recently, Heisha penned a magazine cover story on the challenges of relocating with a child with disabilities and was interviewed in a podcast on how corporations can take steps to increase the number of disabled employees they hire.
Interested in Serving on Our Board?
We can always use your help. The Board officially meets 10 times per year.
- Board Requirements
- Board Nomination Form
- Conflict of Interest Policy
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form
Complete Board Nomination Form and submit by August 1st.