Thrive Youth Center, Inc. Board of
Directors Biographies

Stefanie Gaines, PHR, MBA

Board Secretary

Stefanie has served on the Thrive Youth Center board since 2019. She has been involved with the annual gala, fundraising, reviewing board policies and procedures, and new board member onboarding. Stefanie was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up on Army bases in Virginia and Kansas and graduated from high school in Plano, TX. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University. Stefanie has worked in HR for over 20 years in manufacturing, ranging from food manufacturing to construction materials.

She proudly joined HEB in March of 2020 and supports HEB Manufacturing plants. Stefanie serves as the HR advisor for the Pride PRG at HEB. Stefanie has been involved with the Human Rights Campaign (in Dallas, TX) and on the Fairway to Equality Committee.

Stefanie relocated from Dallas to San Antonio in 2018 where she resides with her wife, Renee, along with three wonderful stepchildren (Lily, 22; Otto, 20 and Henry, 16) and three dogs.

Ryan Russell

Board Vice President

As a part of the Board of Directors, Ryan provides strategic direction for Thrive Youth Center and approves the organization’s strategies, reviews results, and shapes the overall direction of the organization – particularly in the digital, data, and technology space. Working with the board, staff, and strategic partners, Ryan helps to further the organization’s goal of eliminating LGBTQ youth homelessness.

Through his work with Thrive Youth Center, Ryan has spearheaded evaluations, selection, and implementation of text-to-give/text-to-donate systems as well as a CRM system to help streamline organizational processes and allow better relationship management and scalability.

After joining USAA, Ryan got involved in the company’s LGBTQIA employee resource group “BOLD,” moving on to serve as the communications chair then the enterprise lead of the group. During this time, he wanted to get more engaged with LGBTQ-focused organizations in and around San Antonio and quickly saw the amazing work Thrive Youth Center was doing. Eager to get involved, Ryan started attending events and meetings, eventually joining the Board of Directors in March of 2020.

Ryan grew up in Texas and was a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT throughout high school, after which he joined an NROTC battalion at the University of Washington. He finished his Bachelor of Science at Tarleton State University, later receiving a Master of Science in Cybersecurity from Norwich University.

Professionally, Ryan has worked in Telecom, Oil & Gas, and Financial Services, currently at Citi as Vice President, Cloud Security Engineering. He currently holds 8 patents with more than 100 pending and is an avid innovator.
Ryan lives with his husband and dogs in Dallas, Texas.

Callie Hoch

Board Member

Callie Hoch spent over 25 years in the radio industry in marketing, promotions, digital and social brand management roles. Most recently, she oversaw digital and social content strategy, website management, brand design, community and nonprofit engagement, marketing and promotions for 6 iHeartRadio stations in Austin and 8 in San Antonio.

Through her work in radio with non-profit and community organizations, she quickly developed a passion for being actively involved in community in her personal life. Always ready to volunteer, Callie has worked on several committees tied to the community and nonprofit organizations. Callie grew up in rural small-town Iowa with no LGBTQ+ community.

Like many LGBTQ+ youth, she was looking to find a community and selected Dallas Fort Worth as her location for college. She received a bachelor’s degree in art from The University of Texas in Arlington in 1992.

Callie lives with her wife, Andrea, and son in San Antonio.

Paul Villaflor

Board Member

Paul has been serving as a Thrive board member since 2019. He has been involved in decision-making, fundraising, special events and assisted in reviewing policies and procedures of the organization.

Paul was born in Honolulu, HI. The youngest of three, he grew up on several military bases in different parts of the U.S. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He has worked in various industries such as healthcare, fitness, hospitality and retail. Based on the learning efforts and results, he would create Living by pH Balanced LLC, a lifestyle consulting business, in 2020.

Paul lives with his husband, Brian, in San Antonio, while the rest of their family, consisting of their children (Tyler, 26; Kassidy, 23), the children’s mother (Jeannette) and Tyler’s son (John Dexter, 2) reside in Kentucky.

Shannon White, MS, LPC-S

Board Member

Shannon White serves as the CEO and Chief Clinical Director at Guardian House. Shannon is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and is licensed to provide supervision to Licensed Professional Counseling-Interns. With over 20 years of experience in counseling, she works with her team to strengthen families and promote healthy parenting. Shannon is an advocate of creating a safe, therapeutic environment so that children and parents can create healthy bonds and learn new skills.

Shannon’s scope of work includes turning around declining organizations; program and grant management at the local, county, state and federal level; program development, implementation and evaluation; employee and volunteer management; fundraising; outreach and providing counseling to children and families.

Susan MacCabe

Board Member

Susan is an attorney and Fortune 100 executive leader with 20+ years in the financial services industry, including experience in insurance operations, litigation, strategy and planning, risk and compliance, and passionate talent development.

She currently serves USAA’s mission as the CEO’s Chief of Staff overseeing operational aspects of the CEO’s office and providing strategic input to key stakeholders across the company to plan, execute and ensure the effectiveness of initiatives.

Susan is also the Executive Sponsor for BOLD, a USAA Diversity Business Group that promotes an inclusive community for LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies.

Susan obtained her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law, a Masters concentrated in Finance from Harvard University Extension School, and her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Susan served as a military spouse and comes from a family of military officers. She is married with three children, two sons (2012, 2013) and a daughter (2017).

Susan serves as a Board Member for Thrive Youth Center. She is passionate about serving her community by providing pro-bono legal services for the underserved in San Antonio, supporting needs of the homeless and foster children communities, and providing career mentorship to military spouses.

Charlie Wasser

Charlie has a B.A. in Geology from Rutgers University, an M.A. in Physical Geography from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Originally from the East Coast, he worked in tech before going out on his own, building a printing company followed by a print brokerage in California.
Charlie has been a member of Rotary International since 2004. He is a graduate of the Rotary Leadership Academy and has worked at senior leadership roles. In Rotary, Charlie has run the Rotary’s polio eradication program. He has been the PolioPlus Chair for the district in California and the San Antonio area as well as Chief of Staff for the Rotary district. He led the Rotary district mini libraries program which resulted in 24 mini libraries being built around Bexar County and surrounding areas. He is starting to build free medical clinics in San Antonio that will be loosely related to Rotary.
On the Rotary club level, Charlie has been a club President several times and has started a few new clubs. One of the clubs was an LGBTQ Rotary club working on projects in the LGBTQ community around San Jose, California. One of the projects he started was a fundraiser for an organization known as the LGBTQ Youth Space.

Charlie’s passion for working to solve issues within the youth and young adult parts of the
LGBTQ community started in San Jose. San Jose is nicknamed the center of Silicon Valley. There is much wealth there but the young people living on the streets in San Jose see none of it. 40% of the young people living on the street are members of the LGBTQ community. For the most part, they had been thrown out of their homes because they are gay and always seem to be the last to get assistance. Charlie is looking forward to building relations with the young people and locating resources and funding to help them get back on track.
Other community service positions Charlie has held are – Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
Management Corporation as Chairman, San Jose Evergreen Community College District
Foundation Board of Directors as Board Member, Evergreen Valley College President’s
Advisory Board as Member.
Charlie lives with his partner of over 30 years and his two Jack Russell terriers.

Our Youth

Thrive Youth Center in San Antonio
is a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth

1 in 5 members of our community will experience homelessness. That’s why we are working to create a safer future for our youth.