DARS Executive Staff
Debra Wanser has served as DARS commissioner since January 2011. For the previous four years, Ms. Wanser was the DARS deputy commissioner. Ms. Wanser is a registered nurse and has more than 32 years of healthcare administration experience. Before coming to DARS, she was assistant commissioner for adult protective services at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and associate commissioner for family health at the Texas Department of Health. She has a master's degree from the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs as well as degrees from St. Edward's University and Oklahoma State University School of Nursing.
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
Alvin Miller became chief operating officer (COO) for DARS in March 2004. Before coming to DARS, Mr. Miller was in senior management positions with several state agencies. He joined the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' Field Operations Division in 1973 as a state tax auditor and later was assistant regional director of the Northeast Texas Field Operations. He was promoted to director of field operations audit in 1981. He also served as director of the Comptroller's Human Resources, Training, Revenue Management, and Internal Audit Divisions. In 1992, Mr. Miller joined the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) as chief fiscal officer. While with the OAG, he served as chief administrative officer of the State Employee Workers' Compensation System. He also was director of the OAG Child Support Enforcement Information Systems Development Division, where he led the implementation of federal welfare reform. He was chief financial officer for the Texas Commission for the Blind from 1999 until he took on the role of COO with DARS. Mr. Miller is a certified public accountant, a certified governmental financial manager, and a project management professional.
Chief Financial Officer
Mary Wright joined DARS in July 2011. She began her state government career with the Texas State Auditor's Office. She went on to spend eight years with the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS), which now is the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). She served in several roles at PRS/DFPS, including acting deputy director of finance, director of budget and federal funds, and director of internal audit. She also was the chief financial officer/director of administrative resources at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for six years and deputy chief financial officer at the Texas Department of State Health Services. As a member of the State Health Services and Parks and Wildlife executive management teams, Ms. Wright participated in key strategic and policy decisions. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Texas State University in San Marcos and is a certified public accountant.
Assistant Commissioner for Rehabilitation Services
Jim Hanophy began his role as assistant commissioner for rehabilitation services in March 2008. He has more than 30 years of professional and volunteer experience working with children and adults with disabilities in Texas, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Mr. Hanophy came to DARS in 2006 as a program specialist responsible for customized employment services, case consultation, and business development. Before joining DARS, he was an organizational consultant with the University of North Texas and a faculty member in the Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work, and Addictions. He is the immediate past president of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation. Mr. Hanophy has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Binghamton University and a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from West Virginia University.
|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.