BOARD of TRUSTEES
Peter has functioned in several board and leadership
roles for Refuge House and demonstrates a passion
for helping children using his talents and connections.
In the early stages of development, Peter was
involved in getting the agency up and running
and is excited to see how many young people have
been helped by the work of the staff, foster parents
Considered one of the most connected people in
North American Business Circles, many CEOs and
boards have utilized his "Fireside Chat Style"
to conduct "Accelerated Business" in
an informal and relaxed way! His ability to pick
up the phone and call “Business Leaders”
has been called "Simply Amazing!"
Peter was a former Director of Dell Computer
Corp. and Executive with Grid Systems Corporation
the Inventor of the Laptop Computer.
Peter is the Managing Partner of a private venture
firm called “Inside the Blueline”
and resides in Austin, TX.
Jeannie Duarte co-founded Refuge House with Michele
Gorman in 2002. Since that time she has served
in a variety of roles with both the Board and
as a part-time and full-time employee of the Agency.
She sees her role as primarily an operations resource,
which is supported with her career experience
and education, a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences
in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration.
Ms. Duarte is excited to see the areas in which
Refuge House can grow and expand to find more
ways to serve children and families in need. She
expects to see Refuge House as an innovator in
the industry providing quality care and services
to each population the Agency serves.
Ms. Duarte is happily married to Erick Duarte,
Jr. and enjoys every spare moment they can spend
dreaming of places to go and adventures to experiences.
Her favorite quote is "I am neither especially
clever nor especially gifted. I am only very,
very curious." --Albert Einstein
Thomas C. Meneley was born
in San Antonio, Texas at Methodist Mission Home
and was adopted by Joseph C. and Mary Mildred
Meneley. Mr. Meneley grew up on the Greater Houston
area. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree
in Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin
University, with a minor in Sociology. In 1966,
he married Marilene Randall and together they
adopted two childrent from Edna Gladney Home –
Amy (Meneley) Eckels and Jonathan T. Meneley,
In his career, Mr. Meneley has served in a variety
of capacities in the energy industry, including
Sales Manager at Chemical Express Carries in Houston,
Vice President and General Manager at McNair Energy
Services Corp, Houston, President T.G.C. Operating,
Inc., Houston, Director of Smith Production, Inc.
Mr. Meneley is currently Chairman and President
at Plantation Petroleum Holdings III, LLC in The
As well as his leadership roles in business,
Mr. Meneley has served as an ordained deacon at
Champion Forest Baptist Church in Spring, Texas
and is currently a member and deacon of Prestonwood
Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.
Mr. Meneley joined the Refuge House Board in
Marilene Randall Meneley was born in Houston,
TX to A.P. and Rosafay Randall. Mrs. Meneley was
educated in Houston schools and graduated Stephen
F. Austin University with a Bachelor’s of
Science in Elementary Education. In 1966, she
married Thomas C. Meneley. From 1968 through 1980
Mrs. Meneley served as an elementary school teacher
in Houston, Spring Branch and Richardson, Texas.
Mrs. Meneley has always been an active volunteer
in organizations to support her children’s
activities, as well as other community and church
organzations. Mrs. Meneley served as the Director
of a 100 member girl’s mission organization
at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston.
Over the years, Mrs. Meneley has taught English
as a Second Language to individuals through several
organizations, including her current church Prestonwood
Baptist Church in Plano, TX.
Mrs. Meneley joined Refuge House as a board member
in 2005 and is pleased to celebrate her 40-year
anniversary with her husband Tom this same year.
Michele L. Gorman, Ph.D
Founding Executive Director
A native of Seattle, Washington, Dr. Michele
Gorman came to Texas in 1992. Dr. Gorman earned
her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Jacksonville
College in Jacksonville, Florida. Additionally,
Dr. Gorman is certified in non-profit management
by Center for Non-Profit Management and Brookhaven
Dr. Gorman has many years experience in the State
of Texas in developing and operating Child Placing
Agencies, in addition to advising representatives
from other states in the area of foster care and
adoption program development. She has been actively
involved as a panel member for various State of
Texas legislative boards in addition to serving
on the board for other foster and adoptive care
Dr. Gorman is herself a foster parent for over
5 years and has in 2004 adopted a little boy from
the foster care system. This truly lends greatly
to her understanding and appreciation for the
challenges foster families face, as well as a
keen understanding of the dynamics of foster parenting.
Additionally, she has a special compassion for
the children who have entered the foster care
and adoption system.
Dr. Gorman co-founded Refuge House in 2002 and
has continuously served as Executive Director,
but has worn many hats associated with the operation
from its inception, including that of Case Manager
and Program Director.
Kelly Strople is a partner with her husband in
Zero2 Holdings, which is a private holding company
with interests in more than 50 companies. Their
holdings span industries such as Biotech and Life
sciences, Tech and Telecom, Media and Entertainment
and the Hospitality Industry.
Kelly interprets occasionally for the deaf and
is an active member of the Kairos Prison Ministry.
In her spare time she loves Golfing and Traveling
with her husband.