Alumni Spotlight: Lazaro Alvarez

Lazaro Alvarez Headshot RectangleThe Irving Schools Foundation is excited to announce their partnership with the Irving Marathon Running Series this season! Keep reading to learn more about the Irving Marathon’s Co-Founder & Race Director, and Irving ISD Alum, Lazaro Alvarez. 

Race Director of the Irving Marathon, Lazaro Alvarez emphasizes his love for running. As the years went by, he slowly saw his passion become his life’s work. 

After arriving in the US from El Salvador at thirteen years old, Alvarez enrolled at Austin Middle School and began his track and field career right away. Without speaking English, he quickly became involved with athletics on campus. Alvarez hoped to play soccer, just as he had in El Salvador, but soon realized that his vision was having issues. He says, “At the time, I actually did not know that running was a sport. My eyes were bad, so I started getting worse at soccer… but I was good at running. Running just became what I did.”    

Moving forward, Alvarez joined the track team at Irving High School after wrapping up middle school. Along with ROTC, he learned the importance of community service and his role in giving back with numerous organizations. He says that every single teacher he had at Irving High had an impact on his life. But along the way, Alvarez recognizes the challenges he had to encounter to achieve his goals. He is a strong believer of turning what you have into something that can help you. “Locate your resources. Construct your dream.”

He still remembers writing his scholarship application essays to the Irving-Las Colinas Rotary Club in 2004. Upon graduation, his award helped him attend Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas. But unfortunately, the university did not have a cross-country team. Still without glasses, Alvarez was friends with the campus soccer team members but felt that he did not meet the needed abilities to join them. 

The following year, Alvarez teamed up with the university’s administration to begin a cross-country team. He says, “That’s where I got the drive to realize that just because something doesn’t exist, it doesn’t mean it can’t be built.” Through the rest of his college years and beyond, Alvarez kept running. Once returning to Irving, the Campion Trail had just been built. He describes the days when he’d run for 2-3 hours in a day with no company on the trail. In thought of creating a sense of community in the trail and a passion for running just like his, Alvarez began the Irving Running Club in 2012. 

With fresh minds out of college and new ideas, Alvarez and around 20 of his colleagues wanted to increase their impact on the community. In thought of creating something never seen before in the City of Irving, Alvarez became the co-founder of the Irving Marathon along with Ronnie Chesko. For the first event, around 1,900 people signed up. Soon after, Alvarez left his colleagues and the business. 

From 2013 to 2019, the Irving Marathon only hosted one event per year.IMG 2175 

In 2018, Alvarez was asked to return to the Irving Marathon Team when a higher need was found. As more people moved to the city and the running community grew, Alvarez and his team began seeing 30+ running events in the North Texas area in a single weekend. “Running is a way of helping your body stay healthy and your mind stay sane,” he says. But yet, Alvarez describes that some people still couldn’t find the fun in running. He and his team wanted to change that.

The Irving Marathon decided to change the running experience by hosting numerous events per year. Today, there are seven: Irving Oktoberfest 5-Mile/5k, Irving Turkey Trot, Irving Frost Half Marathon (during December holidays), Love on the Run for Valentine’s Day, Irving St. Patrick’s 5k, Fiesta de Mayo Half Marathon, and the Spring Irving Marathon (A Boston Marathon Qualifier Race). They all unite different ethnicities and demographics in the community. 

“It allows participants to stay motivated year round and have an excuse to wake up in the morning and go train for their next event. For example, our Fiesta de Mayo had 1,500 participants. That’s 1,500 people that throughout the week decided to wake up early in the morning and run to stay healthy.” That is the strong sense of community driven by a common goal that Alvarez’ team seeked to find.  

Today, Alvarez still looks back at all the opportunities that helped him achieve where he is today. In 2004, he was awarded the Irving Schools Foundation Scholarship from the Irving-Las Colinas Rotary Club. As the tables have turned, this year (2021), Alvarez, who is now involved in Rotary himself, served as a scholarship reviewer for applicants of the same award he received 17 years ago. In 2024, he is enlisted to become the Rotary’s President. 

Looking back at his high school self, some advice he has to share with current Irving ISD students is to recognize the importance of reading. Alvarez says, “Sometimes, we don’t know what we don’t know, and if we don’t have the resources around us like certain people to ask [for answers], then we can read.” Another piece of advice he has is to remain connected with your friends. Without his relationships in high school and the alumni network of his college campus, the Irving Marathon would perhaps not be here today. People can give you hope.

LAzaro Alvarez TrophyTaking a look at his present-day goals, Alvarez still hopes to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming the President of El Salvador. “With the marathon, I am learning how to bring people together, have people follow a vision and an idea, and organize people to come together and become inspired.” 

As Alvarez begins working with the Irving Schools Foundation, he aspires to find ways to continue engaging the Irving community to give back and to be a part of what he’s built with his team. Alvarez hopes to deliver the special message to the community to be a part of something new. 

After all, Alvarez hopes more people will be able to experience the feeling one gets after the run is over. All of the hard work pays off. 

TaKeisha Campbell

Board Member

TaKeisha Campbell

Board Member

TaKeisha Campbell joined CoreLogic in 2003, where she has held multiple positions within the company such as Professional Accountant, Operations Supervisor and now as a Professional, Human Resources.  She is a part of the CoreLogic Connect team which consists of 4 Pillars, Live More, Play More, Learn More & Give More.  TaKeisha is the Chair of CoreLogic’s Give More Pillar, which helps to promote, organize, and facilitate volunteer and charitable giving opportunities that help people while fostering teamwork and connection in the workplace for over 1,800 employees at the Dallas Campus.  Through the Give More Pillar she has established multiple philanthropic relationships within the community and is driven to help others and drive engagement for all involved.   

TaKeisha currently holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Texas A& M University – Commerce and is pursuing her SHRM CP certification.

Elizabeth Kern

Board Member

Elizabeth Kern

Board Member

Elizabeth Kern serves as the Director, Supply Chain of Micropac Industries, Inc, an aerospace electronics manufacturer providing mission critical products to the space, aerospace, military, medical, and industrial markets.  In her role as Director, Elizabeth is responsible for all aspects of the supply chain including contract negotiations, disruption mitigation, production planning, source selection, and legal compliance.  Elizabeth supports employee development through mentoring, training, education and career coaching.

Elizabeth developed a passion for business as a young girl watching her parents build a thriving business.  Her core business values were established through watching her mother and father build and run a business, nurture their employees, help the community, all while balancing the challenges of raising a family.  She truly embraces a “win – win” philosophy, believing that in all aspects of life, success is measured in balancing one’s passion with the ambitions of others.

Elizabeth has progressed through increasing levels of responsibility supporting and managing purchasing, production planning, Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) implementations, and Government audits.

Elizabeth earned her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Dallas, successfully presenting her team capstone project.

Elizabeth lives in Irving with her husband, Joel, and their two daughters.

Brian Summers

Board Member

Brian Summers

Board Member

Brian Summers has lived in Irving almost his entire life. He attended Brandenburg Elementary, Travis Middle School, and graduated from MacArthur High School.

Brian has worked for Consolidated Electrical Distributors since 2011. He’s been the owner of a  bartending service for more than 40 years and enjoys playing Santa Claus during Christmas holidays.

Vianey Mansoori

Board Member

Vianey Mansoori

Board Member

Vianey Mansoori is a former elementary and middle school educator who has lived in Irving for over 30 years.

Whether it be through her time spent tutoring students in the classroom or organizing student concerts as a board member of the Irving Symphony League, Vianey has spent time understanding the educational priorities and challenges of the Irving community.

As a volunteer and board member with the Irving School Foundation, Vianey is passionate about advancing educational and leadership opportunities for all students.

She has three daughters and enjoys traveling, reading, Yoga, and spending time with her family in her free time. 

Christine Kellogg

Board Member

Christine Kellogg

Board Member

Christine Kellogg is a vice president with Frost’s private banking group. She joined Frost in 2023 and has been in the financial industry for more than 15 years. 

Her responsibilities include helping clients navigate their sophisticated and diverse financial needs by developing a tailored plan and unique combination of services designed to protect and grow wealth to reach future goals.

Christine is a General Securities representative and an Investment Adviser Representative. She also holds her Texas General Lines for Life, Accident, Health and HMO and Property and Casualty insurance licenses.

Christine previously served as an ambassador for Junior Achievement and was an advocate for Project Cure in Houston, Texas. In addition to her work at Frost, she is an avid reader of all genres and enjoys writing. In fact, Christine published a young adult novel in 2013 and plans to have a second career in writing during retirement. She also enjoys trying new restaurants and loves suggestions on new places to try.

 

Teresa Villasenor

Office Manager

Teresa Villasenor

Office Manager

Teresa is a proud born and raised Texan. She attended schools in Arlington, TX and graduated from Lamar High School in 2001 (go Vikings!). She received a Professional Computer Secretary Diploma from Iverson Business School in 2002 and attended Tarrant County College where she earned her Associates Degree in Office Administration in 2007.

Before joining ISF in 2024, she worked for 20 years with the best firefighters in Texas (maybe the whole United States but we may be biased) here in Irving. She loves to meet new people and go to new places. Her favorite trips are her annual summer and winter road trips with her niece and nephew. Her free time is well spent with her wonderful family.

In her role with ISF, Teresa will serve many roles, including serving as your main point of contact for any questions or assistance you might have/need as a Board Member, so I know you will get to know her fast!

Ashley Mozek

Director of Operations

Ashley Mozek

Director of Operations

Ashley’s bio coming VERY soon!

Bethlyn Fisher

Programs Assistant

Bethlyn Fisher

Programs Assistant

Bethlyn is a native to the Wise County area and holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in Elementary Education from Tarleton State University.

Bethlyn comes to Irving Schools Foundation with a background in teaching. Prior to her time with ISF, she taught in Irving ISD at Elliott Elementary for 6 years. She also has experience in Irving ISD as a swim instructor for the district’s Swim Safe program. Bethlyn’s main passions include helping the community and teaching others.

Bethlyn lives in Bedford with her husband, Dillon, and 2 cats, Gadget and Gizmo. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, baking, crafting, exercising, and caring for her plant collection.

Bethlyn Fisher

Programs Assistant

Bethlyn Fisher

Programs Assistant

Bethlyn is a native to the Wise County area and holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in Elementary Education from Tarleton State University.

Bethlyn comes to Irving Schools Foundation with a background in teaching. Prior to her time with ISF, she taught in Irving ISD at Elliott Elementary for 6 years. She also has experience in Irving ISD as a swim instructor for the district’s Swim Safe program. Bethlyn’s main passions include helping the community and teaching others.

Bethlyn lives in Bedford with her husband, Dillon, and 2 cats, Gadget and Gizmo. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, baking, crafting, exercising, and caring for her plant collection.

Adriana Colunga

Development Manager

Adriana Colunga

Development Manager

Margie Stipes

Director Emerita

Margie Stipes

Director Emerita

Margie Stipes has been an Irving resident since 1955. She and her late husband, John, raised three children together, Randy, now deceased, Larry, and Stacie. Margie worked 30 years as a secretary at American Airlines, receiving the company’s Customer First Award.

She has been active in schools and the community, serving on several bond program committees and with the city’s Charter Review Committee. Margie was president of the Nimitz High School Booster Club for several years and has been a longtime member of both the Keep Irving Beautiful Board and the Irving Schools Foundation Board of Directors.

Margie’s accolades include the High Spirited Citizen Award, Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, Irving Schools Foundation Gala Award, and multiple local and national PTA awards for extended service. In 2014, she was inducted into the Irving Sports Hall of Fame. Margie is honored to be a namesake for IISD’s John and Margie Stipes Elementary School in south Irving.

Randy Randle

Board Member

Randy Randle

Board Member

Randy Randle is a lifelong resident of Irving. He attended Otis Brown Elementary School, Bowie Junior High School and graduated from Nimitz High School.  Randy attended The University of Texas at Arlington and received a Business Administration degree in accounting.

Mr. Randle has been married to Lynda for 28 years and has two sons who attended Irving Schools.  Randy has long been serving in leadership roles in both our schools and our community.  He has served as PTA fundraising chairman, Band Booster president and chairman of baseball concessions for the Booster Club.  Randy has served on two campus improvement committees and the District Improvement Committee.

Randy served on the Irving City Council for six years and was chairman of the finance committee. He also served as chairman of the City of Irving Bond Task Force.

Randy has attended the same church for 66 years and serves as a trustee, as well as chairman of the building committee.  Randy works in the family business, which has been in Irving for 60 years.

Andy Jones

Board Member

Andy Jones

Board Member

Andy is Vice President and Learning Experience Development Team Manager for Texas Capital Bank.

He has received the Volunteer of the Year Award at Texas Capital for the last two years. Andy continues to volunteer at the Resource Center Community Health Clinic (9 Years), the AT&T Performing Arts Center (6 years), Make a Wish Foundation (5 years), Oak Lawn United Methodist Church Administrative Board (1 year) and the Dallas Titans (9 years), a local softball team where he has coordinated raising over $120,000 to give back to the community in the form of back-to-school supplies, food for a local food pantry and sending children with cancer to summer camp.

Andy has a Masters Degree from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor Degree from Winthrop University.

Kitty Boyle

Board Member

Kitty Boyle

Board Member

Kitty has held many leadership positions throughout her 55 years in Irving, TX including founding and serving as past chair for the Community College Association for Texas Trustees. Kitty is presently Chair of the board for the Ranch Academy, a charter school, where she have served on the board since 1998.

All six of her children graduated from IISD as have five of Kitty’s grandchildren as well. In 2011, Kitty and her husband John were named the Irving High Spirited Citizens. Kitty has a genuine heart for the citizens of Irving and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Tracy McNeil

Secretary

Tracy McNeil

Secretary

Tracy McNeil is a Senior Sales Agent at Liberty Mutual Insurance/Comparison Insurance Agency. Prior, she retired from Enterprise Rent a Car after 27 years, with her achievements ranking her repeatedly in the top 10% nationwide.

In 2015, Tracy was voted Liberty Insurance Rookie of the Year for both Auto and Home. That same year, she joined ISF, serving on the Board of Directors before taking on the role of  Secretary of the Executive Committee. She has volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House Charities for Children and has great passion for the youth in Irving ISD.

Roger Carbajal

Personnel Chair

Roger Carbajal

Personnel Chair

Shannon Brown

Chair Elect

Shannon Brown

Chair Elect

Shannon has been a member of the ISF Board since 2019, having previously held the position of Development Chair. He currently serves as the Chief Compliance Officer at CoreLogic, which has its largest office in Irving and is an established corporate partner of ISF.

Shannon has lived in the DFW area since 1995 and in his spare time enjoys traveling, boating, and tennis; he participates on a softball team that has raised over $150K for DFW charities over the past 11 years. While having no children of his own, Shannon is passionate about helping the Irving ISD students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

David Pfaff

David Pfaff

Chair Emeritus

David Pfaff

Chair Emeritus