President & COO
Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Sigmund ‘Sig’ Cornelius is currently President and Chief Operating Officer of Freeport LNG. He retired in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer from ConocoPhillips after serving over 30 years with the company in a variety of assignments.
Mr. Cornelius currently serves on the public company Board of Directors for Carbo Ceramics Inc., Parallel Energy Trust, NiSource Inc. and Western Refining. He also serves on two non-profit boards; Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) and Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) in addition to Lutheran Social Services of the South.
A native of Iowa, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and has Master of Science degrees from Stanford and Purdue.
Glynn Bloomquist is CEO and Chairman of Empresario LLC. He is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Current Solutions, LLC. Current Solutions was sold to Roscoe Medical in 2012.
Mr. Bloomquist served as President and CEO of Barton Medical Corporation from 1998-2008 when the company was sold to Human Care, a Swedish public company. He was President of Back-In-A-Flash until its sale to Fuji Film USA.
Mr. Bloomquist serves on the Board of Regents for Texas Lutheran University, the Board of Advisors for ATX Seed Ventures, and he is a mentor for SKU (formerly Incubation Station).
In 2002 he was recognized with the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from Texas Lutheran University and, in 2005, he was inducted into the Texas Lutheran University Athletic “Wall of Honor.”
Sharon Smith is the Founder and Executive Director of the National Trauma Institute (NTI) in San Antonio, Texas, a 501(c)3 nonprofit she created to raise federal funds and advocate for clinical trauma research. Ms. Smith has administered 16 national clinical research studies taking place in 35 cities and 22 states.
Prior to her work with NTI, Ms. Smith was the Executive Director/Trauma Division Administrator of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She founded the Trauma Institute of San Antonio, Texas (TRISAT), a military/civilian entity.
Ms. Smith has held a number of executive positions in the healthcare industry and as a Healthcare Management consultant in San Antonio, including Psyquel, LP, Humana Hospitals, the Children’s Regional Healthcare System, and Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.
Ms. Smith joined the Upbring Board in February 2015. She received a BBA at Texas A&M University and a Master of Science/Healthcare Administration at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Cathy Zwernemann serves as secretary of the Upbring Board of Directors and has been a board member for LSS/Upbring since 2009.
Before leaving the corporate world in 1992, Ms. Zwernemann worked in the public relations and graphic design field for several Dallas-area companies. She describes her occupation since 1992 as “volunteer and altruist,” working with and serving in a volunteer capacity for several community, religious and charitable organizations. Just a few of her activities include: volunteering at the Dallas Zoo, reading for the North Texas Taping and Radio for the Blind, and helping at the North Texas Food Bank. She also has been active at the congregational, synodical and national levels for the ELCA, attending as a voting member to the church-wide assembly in 2007.
Billy Coe Dyer
Billy Coe Dyer is a Partner with Vinson & Elkins LLP. He has received many honors and accolades, including selection as “Texas Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly and as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law. Mr. Dyer has served on the faculties of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) and the Trial Advocacy Training Program at Louisiana State University Law School. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is member of the American and Texas Bar Associations.
Mr. Dyer completed his undergraduate work summa cum laude at Trinity University in San Antonio with a B.A. in History and Economics. He received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Texas School of Law.
Billy Dyer and his wife, Elisabeth, have three children and live in Houston, Texas.
Mark Etheredge is a Senior Finance Executive with more than 20 years of financial, technology, and project management experience. He was previously the leader of Hitachi Consulting’s SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (“BPC”) focus, and has worked extensively in the Industrial Products, High Tech Products, Financial Services and Consumer Foods industries.
Mr. Etheredge has significant experience in the Pharmaceutical, and Aerospace and Defense industries. He has served in several finance and financial reporting capacities, including Chief Financial Officer of three private companies. Throughout his career working for multiple consultancies, he has helped dozens of clients solve complex financial and technology issues through the implementation of business intelligence technologies.
Mr. Etheredge graduated from Rice University with a Master of Business Administration and Texas Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Arts, Business Degree.
L. Wood Franklin, a Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas, is the Director of Public Works/Assistant City Manager for the City of Lubbock. He has been with the City of Lubbock Engineering Department for more than 15 years. As the Director of Public Works, Mr. Franklin is responsible for overseeing the engineering, water, sanitary sewer, storm water management, street maintenance and traffic – along with a current capital budget for these areas in excess of $400 million.
A native of Lubbock, Mr. Franklin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University and is currently 2nd Vice President of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers South Plains Chapter and past Vice President of the Water Environmental Association of Texas. He has also served as a Board of Director for the Lubbock South Plains Food Bank.
In an interesting historical coincidence, Wood Franklin was adopted as an infant by Larry and Mary Lee Franklin through Lutheran Social Services of the South.
Pastor Emmanuel Jackson is head of staff and Lead Pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church in Katy. As Lead Pastor, he oversees the spiritual health and vitality of his church community, ensuring that Living Word remains focused on its God-given mission and vision. He was first called to Living Word in 2008 as Associate Pastor, and became Lead Pastor in 2012. Pastor Jackson is a gifted preacher and visionary; always exploring new ways to be church in a changing world. He is a graduate of Carthage College and the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.
Pastor Jackson is a native of Liberia, West Africa. He was a child coming of age during a 13-year civil war in Liberia, during which time he, his parents and eight siblings traveled from village to village in search of refuge.
Mr. Jackson immigrated to the United States in 2001, and settled with his family in Lincoln, Nebraska. He then attended Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he completed his undergraduate degree in International Political Economy and Sociology. Mr. Jackson later graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, and was ordained in 2008.
“My story is a reminder that the Christian family is way bigger than any location,” he said. “My hope is helping people see beyond their own world.”
Terry Kieschnick’s professional career included 17 years as store manager and gemology consultant in the wholesale fine jewelry business. She has also served in many volunteer capacities, as Chair of numerous community and service organizations, including PTA, Garden Club, Symphony League, Ballet Society, Junior Forum Senior Citizens Home, and Business Woman’s Club.
Ms. Kieschnick’s volunteer work in the Lutheran Church includes founding planner, organizer, and presenter at pastors’ wives retreats; keynote speaker at Lutheran Women’s Missionary League conventions across the nation; advisory board member of Pastoral Leadership Institute; and member of the Concordia University Mequon Women’s Leadership Institute Advisory Board. Her role as pastor’s wife for more than 40 years has provided opportunity for her to support Jerry Kieschnick’s ministry as Mission Developer and Parish Pastor, District President, and National Church Body President.
Ms. Kieschnick has been a member of the Board of Directors of LSS/Upbring since February 2011. She attended Nixon Clay Business College and the University of Texas in Austin.
Barbara (Babs) Kruse has been involved with LSS/Upbring for more than 20 years and a member of the Board of Directors since 2009. Along with her husband, Paul Kruse, she launched the LSS President’s Council, which was developed to encourage and challenge people to support LSS at a major gift level. She also serves on the Trinity Charter Schools Board.
Ms. Kruse is active in the Brenham community and has been a Sunday school teacher, a Girl Scout leader, and a member of the Brenham Scott and White Foundation Board and the Washington County Youth Camp Board.
Ms. Kruse graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.S. in Clinical Science.
Michael Newman has been in pastoral ministry since 1987 and currently serves the Texas District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as Mission and Ministry Facilitator for South Texas. He has also served churches in Texas, Minnesota, and the Chicago area. He has been active in mission outreach, writing, radio ministry, and in a variety of preaching and teaching venues.
Rev. Newman is the author of several books including his latest, “The Life You Crave: It’s All About Grace” (Concordia Publishing House, 2014).
He currently serves as an advisory member on the LINC San Antonio Board of Directors, an advisory member of the ACTS Network Board of Directors, the chairman of the Center for United States Missions Administrative Cabinet, and as the staff liaison to the Texas District LCMS Board of Mission Administration.
Rev. Newman received his B.A. from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Michigan, majoring in Philosophy and Biblical Languages. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
M. Jordan Scott is a Community Advocate & Investor in Austin, TX. After graduating from The Colorado College with a BA in Economics, Jordan started an Austin-based hedge fund Lonestar Capital Management. He took a one-year break to work as an assistant to his grandfather George Kozmetsky where he focused on project management and economic development in the Rio Grande Valley. In his off hours Jordan worked with friends to create a SaaS product tracking corporate travelers eventually launching Flightlock Inc. After selling that company to Control Risks, a London-based global security consultancy, Jordan worked as Senior VP of Tracking until 2006 at which point he left to pursue private investments.
He spends his time as community volunteer, an investor, and a dad to his three boys Cole, Callum, and Campbell.
Jordan believes firmly that we can all do our part to make this great state even better. He recently finished a term as an Alderman with the City of Rollingwood. He enjoys serving on several community boards including the RGK Foundation started by his grandparents Ronya & George Kozmetsky. Jordan’s philanthropic passions include early-childhood education, & children’s medicine. In his spare time he enjoys coaching youth soccer, wake surfing, watching the sport of cricket (yes… cricket…), Texas Football, vintage Cadillacs, and live music. Additionally, her currently serves as President of the newly-formed Reissa Foundation, based in Santa Monica, CA. His wife Laila recently started her own 501(c)3 Pop-Up Birthday that strengthens the relationships between foster children and their caregivers through personalized birthday experiences.