Samantha Keyes

Board President

Samantha Keyes is a strategic marketing and brand executive with 20 years of experience building b-to-b brands. She has worked in various industries, including IT services, energy, consulting, and health care. From developing insight and formulating strategy to creating integrated and targeted campaigns, Samantha creates opportunities for C-suite executives to engage with b-to-b brands. Currently, she is VP of Research, Intelligence, and Solutions Marketing for Vizient in Irving, Texas.

Dr. Sha-shonda Porter

Board Vice President

Sha-shonda Porter has earned a Ph.D in Interdisciplinary Studies, Humanities and Culture; an MFA in Creative Writing; and a BA in Writing Literature. Over the past ten years of her diverse experience, she has taught in a variety of academic settings, including on-campus, online, and low-residency. She currently serves as Associate Dean of World Languages, Cultures, and Communications at Richland College.

Jeanne Devine

Board Trustee

Jeanne Devine is a Counsel with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, specializing in interpretation and application of banking and consumer laws and regulations. In her spare time, she represents actors, directors and producers in the motion picture, television, and stage industries. Jeanne received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts degree in French and International Trade from Eastern Michigan University. She earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas, where she was Articles Editor of the Texas International Law Journal and a writing instructor for incoming minority law students. Jeanne has previously been on the Board of Directors of literary organizations, theaters, and acting societies. As an avid reader and published author, she has a strong interest in the literary field and is proud to support The Writer’s Garret.

James E. Johanns

Board Trustee

James Johanns is a Dallas-based attorney who focuses his practice on commercial litigation. He has a BA in Mathematics and Comparative Literature with a concentration in the interrelationship of the arts and Spanish literature from Indiana University. James moved to Texas to study law at the University of Texas. He is an alumnus of The Leadership Arts Institute through the Business Counsel for the Arts, and a longtime member of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and several other arts and culture organizations in Dallas.

Julianne B. McCullagh

Board Trustee

Julianne B. McCullagh is the author of the novel The Narrow Gate. She is a Mayborn Literary Conference First Place winner and a Writer’s Digest Literary Fiction winner. Her work has appeared in Rose and Thorn Literary Journal, Ten Spurs Journal, and her online series has appeared on Loyola Press. In her involved history with The Writer’s Garret, she has served as Director of the Community and Mentorship Program (CAMP) and as a workshop instructor.

Starla Patterson

Board Trustee/Fundraising Chair

Once a child without the means to go to pricey summer camps and after school programs, Starla Patterson now seeks out charitable opportunities that allow her to help bridge the gap between people in need and the educational programs they want to take part in. As the fundraising chair for The Writer’s Garret who helms annual events such as the Earth Day Book Swap, she is able to combine her professional background in marketing, strong desire to help others, and passion for the arts to help people underserved communities learn to express themselves practically and creatively so that they are understood, valued, and connected to each other.