DARS Executive Staff
|Veronda L. Durden||
Veronda L. Durden was appointed DARS Commissioner by HHS Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek on July 1, 2013. She has two decades of executive-level experience. Ms. Durden has served as an assistant commissioner at the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and worked for the Texas Department of Human Services and the Texas Department of Health in various regulatory roles and as the director of the Office of Minority Health. She also worked at the Office of Attorney General in the Medicaid Fraud Division for more than seven years. Ms. Durden served on the board of directors for the Greater Austin Alzheimer's Association for several years, and she served on the Association for Health Facility Survey Agencies Board in a variety of roles, including president. Ms. Durden has a bachelor's degree in education from Northwestern University and a master's degree in health administration from Southwest Texas State University.
Deputy Commissioner Glenn Neal has been at DARS since its inception and has played important roles in developing the agency. When four previous state agencies were consolidated in 2004 to form DARS, Mr. Neal was asked to join the new department to help manage communications and legislative affairs during the transition. He began serving in his current role in July 2011. Before serving in this position, Mr. Neal was the director of the Center for Program and External Relations, which is responsible for government, media, and stakeholder relations; consumer inquiries; and data analysis and reporting. Mr. Neal has 16 years of experience in state government working for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, and the Texas Secretary of State. He has a bachelor's degree in government from the University of Texas and a master's degree in public administration from Texas State University.
Director of Internal Audit
Karin Hill came to DARS in December of 2012. She has two decades' experience in state government internal auditing as chief internal auditor for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and a staff auditor for the Texas Commission for the Blind. She served in the United States Air Force during which she was a cost analyst and administrator for an internal control review program. A member of the Institute of Internal Auditor's (IIA) Committee of Research and Education Advisors, she also is a member of the State Agency Internal Audit Forum (SAIAF). Karin holds a master's degree in business administration from Southwest Texas State University, a Bachelor of Science degree in management/accounting from Park College, and an associate's degree in financial management from the Community College of the Air Force. She earned her Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation in 1997, the Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) designation in 2000, and Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) in 2011.
Chief Operating Officer
Daniel Bravo was appointed as COO in September 2013. In his previous position, Mr. Bravo served as the HHSC Director of Regional Administrative Services, managing its facilities, the cost pool budget for leases and associated operating expenses, and providing inventory and asset management support. He has held numerous leadership positions within the HHSC Enterprise and previously worked at the Department of Human Services, Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Office of the Attorney General. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
|William D. Briggs||
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Briggs joined DARS in September 2013. He brings more than 30 years of Texas state government accounting, budgeting, and systems experience to DARS, having served in both the public and private sector as a state administrator and independent consultant. He has more than 14 years of experience as a CFO and strategic member of several Texas state agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Water Commission, Texas Department of Community Affairs, and the engineering agencies within the Texas A&M University System. He also served as Director of Operational and Management Audits for the Texas General Land Commission. Mr. Briggs also has a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification; as a consultant, he assisted more than 40 Texas state agencies in the planning, selection, and project management of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. For more than 15 years, Mr. Briggs worked directly with HHS executive management at the agency and Enterprise level to provide consultative assistance for business process re-engineering, systems evaluation and selection, and contract management. During that time, he managed the 2000–2004 implementation of the Health and Human Services Administrative System (HHSAS) across all HHS agencies. As the Statewide Enterprise Project Manager for the Texas Comptroller, he assisted the HHS agencies during the transition from the HR/Payroll system (AccessHR) to the statewide Centralized Accounting and Payroll/Personnel System (CAPPS).
Assistant Commissioner for Rehabilitation Services
Cheryl Fuller was named Assistant Commissioner of DRS in August 2013. She served as Director of the DARS Center for Learning Management (CLM) since February 2011. CLM provides training to DARS staff, including vocational rehabilitation professionals in DRS and the Division for Blind Services (DBS), which maximizes employee competencies and ensures professional growth in a variety of areas.Before coming to DARS, Ms. Fuller served for more than 11 years as Director of the Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Office of the Governor. The council promotes the development of a well-educated, highly skilled workforce for Texas and helps the Governor and Legislature plan for and evaluate the Texas workforce system. Before working at the state level, Ms. Fuller spent almost nine years in local workforce programs. She held several progressively responsible positions in employment and training programs often partnering with local vocational rehabilitation offices in the area. Ms. Fuller helped design and implement a network of workforce centers in the 19-county West Central Texas region. She also led initiatives in quality and continuous improvement for the West Central Texas Council of Governments, which the U.S. Department of Labor recognized with a national quality award. Ms. Fuller graduated from Angelo State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
|Barbara J. Madrigal||
Assistant Commissioner for Blind Services
For more than 30 years, Barbara J. Madrigal has provided services to Texans who are blind , working in direct service delivery, program development and implementation, and management. She has taught deaf and hearing-impaired students, served as an instructor for the migrant program at St. Edward's University, and worked with the American Red Cross in its services to military families. On the national front, she serves on the executive committees of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind and the Council of State Administrators for Vocational Rehabilitation. Her many honors include Texas Commission for the Blind Employee of the Year, recognition from the Texas House of Representatives for her efforts to enhance employment opportunities for blind Texans, the State Agency Council's Outstanding Women in State Government award in management, and the Texas RehabAction Network Award for Lifetime Achievement in Public Vocational Rehabilitation. Ms. Madrigal has a bachelor's degree in education for the deaf and master's degrees in counseling and human services administration.
Assistant Commissioner for Early Childhood Intervention Services
Kim Wedel joined DARS in August 2006. She began her state service in 1998 at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Prevention and Early Intervention Division and later led the agency's Contract Administration Division. In 2004 she became the director of community services in the Provider Services Division at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Before entering the public sector, she spent 17 years working with community-based nonprofit organizations in California, New York, and Texas. Ms. Wedel holds a master's degree in public administration from Columbia University and a master's degree in social work (licensed master of social work) from Hunter College School of Social Work of the City University of New York.
Assistant Commissioner for Disability Determination Services
Mary Wolfe became the assistant commissioner for disability determination services (DDS) in March 2004. She started her public service career with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission (TRC). Ms. Wolfe has worked in TRC and now DARS for more than 34 years, holding both staff and management positions. She served as the interim commissioner of TRC and was responsible for administering policy, oversight, and administrative functions for both DDS and DRS. Ms. Wolfe is a graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin with a degree in public administration. Among the honors and recognitions she has received are Texas Rehabilitation Commission Manager of the Year, National and Texas Rehabilitation Association Rehabilitation Professional of the Year, Texas Rehab Action Network (TRAN) Ken Vogel Leadership Award, TRAN Max Arrell Lifetime Achievement Award, recognition from the Texas Senate and the Outstanding Women in Texas Government awards program, and numerous Social Security Administration Commissioner citations for leadership and excellence.
Director, Legal Services
Sylvia Hardman-Dingle has served as general counsel and ethics advisor for DARS since its inception in 2004. She works closely with executive management providing legal and ethical guidance to staff, as well as administering the Public Information Act and administrative and due process hearings. Before joining DARS, Ms. Hardman-Dingle served as the deputy commissioner for legal services, general counsel, and ethics advisor for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission from 1998 to 2004. She was a staff attorney in the Fraud Unit of the Texas Department of Insurance for two years and an assistant attorney general in the Tax Division of the Office of Attorney General for six years. Ms. Hardman-Dingle received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law. She also is a graduate of the Governor's Executive Development Program.