Our Board of Directors is a group of dedicated volunteers who work toward fulfilling the mission of the Academy. The Board is a development board with a focus on developing policy and seeking financial resources for the Academy. Board members are selected from both Mission Bend United Methodist Church and the community.
Born in Grafton, West Virginia, Mike Ellis graduated in 1978 from West Virginia University with a B.A. in Science/Civil Engineering. From 1978 to 1987, he served as as a Petroleum Engineer with Amoco Production Company in both Corpus Christi and Houston, Texas. In 1987, Mike founded Alta Mesa Holdings, Houston, Texas, where he serves as Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. In addition to his role as Head of the MBCA Board of Directors, Mike has served on the Advisory Board of Petroleum Engineering at West Virginia University since 2009. Mike and and his wife, Mickey, have two adult children, Chrissy and John, and worship at Mission Bend United Methodist Church and Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church.
Doug Gaither graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering in 1985 and earned a Masters in Geology from the University of South Carolina in 1987. He has worked for Marathon Oil, Amoco Production Company, and Petroleum Resources of Texas, and currently serves as President of Gaither Petroleum Corporation. He also serves as President and General Manager for Atlas Petroleum Exploration Worldwide Ltd. (APEX), the international affiliate of the Quantum Group. Doug and his wife, Cindy, live in Katy, Texas with their four children and worship at Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church.
Mike McMennamy was born and raised in Alief, Texas, and currently resides in Richmond, Texas. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Geology. Mike is currently employed by Alta Mesa Services, LP as an Exploration Geologist. He has been a member of Mission Bend United Methodist Church since 1997. In Mike’s free time, he enjoys running, playing softball, and spending time with his family.
A native of Lubbock, Texas, Joe has a B.A. in Finance from Texas Tech University and a Master’s in Business Management from Central Michigan University. He served 6 years in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve then joined the U. S. Navy where he served as a Naval Aviation Officer, flew the S3-A Viking Turbojet off the USS Kitty Hawk, was Alpha Mission Commander of the West Coast, Top Secret Control Officer of Wings Atlantic, Executive Assistant to the Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, and “Special Weapons Officer” for West Pac. He then spent 30 years in the Houston homebuilding market serving as COO of General Homes, Executive Vice President of MHI, Inc., Houston Division President of Hammonds Homes and David Weekly Homes, and President and CEO of Hallmark Design Homes. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Houston Builders Association and the Texas Builders Association and served as Chair of the Texas Windstorm Committee. Joe is the founder of Tree of Life, which provides financial assistance a number of MBCA students. Joe and his wife, Laura, live in Richmond, Texas, and have four children and eight grandchildren.
Carolyn was born in Williamson County, Texas. She attended the University of Texas where she received a B.S. in Education with majors in History and Portugese. Carolyn did her post-graduate studies at UT earning an endorsement in Library Science. She taught English as a second language in Colegio Taylor – Edegio in Bahia, Brazil and Secondary ED (History and Government) in public schools in Texas for 20 years. She served as a public school librarian for 10 years. Carolyn was appointed to the mission field by the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, serving as a missionary for 10 years in Brazil and the British West Indies. She served as Director of Education at Memorial United Methodist Church in Austin TX for 4 years and is currently serving on the District Council for Kairos Outside Houston (KOH). Carolyn is a member of Mission Bend United Methodist Church.
Shann K. Shinn
Shann Shinn received her Accounting degree from the University of Houston and obtained early public accounting experience from UHY-US while obtaining her CPA certification. After working in public accounting for eight years, Shann accepted an opportunity to work for a prestigious Houston law firm where she served as Director of Financial Reporting. She is currently employed at Alta Mesa Holdings where she serves as Accounting Manager of Fixed Assets. Shann is a member of Foundry Methodist Church and enjoys volunteering as a greeter on Sunday mornings. Along with her husband, Ed, and their dog, Jack, they enjoy geocaching through Texas in their motor home. Additionally, twice a year they drive their motor home to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth to watch the NASCAR races.
Marla Timmons, born in Keokuk, IA, grew up in multiple locations in the US and abroad due to her father’s military service. She attended Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, FL in 1978/79. In 1980, she started her career in the property & casualty insurance industry in San Diego CA and earned her Associate in Risk Management and Certified Insurance Counselor designations in 1992. After moving to Las Vegas NV in 1994, she continued her career in insurance as well served as an instructor of insurance and risk management courses for the Southern Nevada Risk & Insurance Management Society and Nevada Independent Insurance Agents Association from 1995-2000. She also taught Nevada Property/Casualty Insurance Agent’s Pre-Licensing as an Adjunct Instructor for the Community College of Southern Nevada from 1997 to 2000. Experienced in all types of commercial insurance, she has focused on the Professional Liability segment for the past 15 years. Marla has been in Houston since 2000, and lives in Mission Bend. She is a Senior Professional Liability Broker for US Risk LLC. Her son, Chad, serves in the US Army, currently stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. In her spare time she enjoys genealogy research, reading, and spending time with her 3 grandchildren.
Born in Portland, Maine, Susan Trainor graduated from LeTourneau University magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in Business Administration. Susan also graduated from University of Houston College of Law and is a licensed attorney. She also holds a degree in Insurance and Risk Management. Susan served two terms on the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee as a public member and served on the advisory board of the Center for Advanced Legal Studies, during which time they became accredited. She has served as Chairperson for the United Way Campaign at Thorpe Corporation and is currently employed at the law firm of Burt Barr & O’Dea, LLP, practicing commercial insurance defense. A member of Mission Bend United Methodist Church for over 15 years, Susan and her husband, Gerald (recently deceased), have four children and three grandchildren.
Marcus Sanders was born in Falls County, TX, but was raised in Houston, TX from the mid-1990s. He is currently a GIS Analyst at Alta Mesa Holdings and freelance Audio Engineer. Marcus graduated from Houston Community College with an AAS in Audio Recording Technology in December, 2014. He is currently working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Technology and Geographic Information Systems. His younger brother is an alumnus of Mission Bend Christian Academy, and the family has seen firsthand the positive impact that MBCA had on his life.