Board of Directors and Staff


Coleen Heaton

Executive Director

Coleen joined The Arc in 2023 with a wealth of  experience in both the disability sector and the non-profit industry. Her journey began in 1993 when she volunteered in the special education classroom at Groesbeck High School as a high school student.

Coleen’s unwavering dedication, expertise, and genuine passion for serving individuals with disabilities and their loved ones make her an invaluable asset to The Arc and the community it serves.

Jessica Romo

Program Director

Jessica Romo joined The Arc of McLennan County in 2023 as the Program Director with over 30 years of experience in supporting children and families.

Jessica’s educational journey includes an associate degree in early childhood education from McLennan Community College and a bachelor’s degree in educational studies from Grand Canyon Christian University. Her commitment to education has equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of the field and the tools necessary to support children’s growth and development.

Prior to joining The Arc, Jessica worked as a teacher and the Site Manager for EOAC HeadStart, overseeing operations and ensuring a safe environment for 3- and 4-year-olds. Her experience in this role honed her leadership skills and deepened her understanding of the unique needs of young children. She has also served as a kindergarten teacher at Waco Charter School.

Jessica’s personal journey as a single parent to a son with Autism has further fueled her dedication to supporting families and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She intimately understands the challenges faced by parents, families, and educators and is committed to providing them with the guidance and resources they need.

Outside of work, Jessica finds joy in gardening and creating a serene outdoor space. Quality time with her son is also cherished, whether it’s enjoying trips to the movies or simply staying at home together.

Laurie Brown

Office Manager

Laurie joined The Arc in 2022 as the Office Manager. She was born and raised in McLennan County and has many years of Administrative service.
Jaleanna Jackson

Program Assistant

Jaleanna was born and raised in Groesbeck, Texas. She has an associate’s degree in Child Development and loves spending time with family and friends, as well as working with diverse populations that include children and adults with disabilities. She began her career with The Arc as a part-time summer camp staffer in 2023 and was offered the position of Program Assistant in the fall of 2023. She is a vital part of the Opportunity Center and After School program.
Lupe Dempsey

After School Assistant

Rachel Heyduck


Rachel is a master of social work student at the University of Arlington, serving her foundations internship at The Arc until May 2024. She has a masters in Christian service from Brite Divinity at TCU and is ordained as a deacon in full connection with the United Methodist Church. Rachel has served at various churches and ministries with various populations. While ministry is her first call, she is excited to explore how to better serve others with this master’s. She lives in Woodway with her husband, two children, and two cats. Rachel loves people and has a passion for equality.
Sarah Hyman

Opportunity Center

Sarah began volunteering at The Arc of McLennan County and joined the staff in November 2023. She has always had a passion for working with individuals with disabilities. Sarah grew up in Tyler, Texas, and moved to Waco in 2021 to be closer to family. Traveling, outdoor activities such as taking walks, hiking, swimming, and spending time with her twin sister and nieces are her favorite things to do outside work.


Kandy Money

Teen/Young Adult & Opportunity Center

2023 Officers and Directors

President—Charles Johnson

First Vice President, Chair of Program Committee—Greg Salome

Second Vice President, Chair of Fundraising Committee—Carlie Gause

Treasurer, Chair of Personnel Committee—Kristal Lowry

Recording Secretary—Cristi Phipps

Corresponding Secretary, Chair of Planning Committee—Tiffany Brooks

Returning Directors—Lisa Goldstrich

Jeff Stubbs, Saba Toor

New Director—Brad Neimer 

Board meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month starting at 5:30pm.

girl with down syndrome doing painting