Big Brothers Big Sisters Leadership
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View our Board of Directors >
View our Satellite Resource Board Chairs >
Denise Barkhurst, President & CEO
Armen Babajanian, Chief Operations Officer
Chuck Altmiller, VP of Finance
Tony Elizondo, VP of Satellite Operations
President & Chief Executive Officer
Denise Barkhurst became the fourth President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas in August 2008. As CEO, she leads one of the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations in the country serving 14 counties in South Texas. Her passion for making a difference in her community and the future drove her to success in the social profit sector. During her tenure with the organization, the agency increased the number of children served from 500 to over 3,000 in seven years. Agency revenues also increased to over three million dollars during this period.
Denise first became involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters in 1995 in Oklahoma where she and her family were stationed with the Air Force. When her family moved back home to San Antonio she began her work with the South Texas Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate as Vice President of Programs in 1999, and was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2002, where she provided leadership and inspiration for the employees while also overseeing day-to-day management of agency operations.
Denise graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. She is a Big Sister to Little Brother Christian, age 12, since 2004 and the proud mother of Ariel, a 22-year May 2010 graduate of Trinity University, Lacey, age 17, a senior at Macarthur High School and Zoe, age 8, a third grader at Thousand Oaks Elementary School.
Chief Operations Officer
Armen Babajanian is currently the Chief Operations
Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas. He was born and
raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of
California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in
political science and developmental psychology. He completed his Masters
in Political Science from the University of Texas, San Antonio (UTSA).
Armen worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston for 2 years before
moving to Kerrville in 2003 to restart and run operations for Big Brothers Big
Sisters serving Kerr County. In 2009, Armen relocated to San Antonio to
continue to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters and focus on communications,
marketing, partnerships & public relations, as VP of External
Communications. In 2014, Armen relocated to Warsaw, Poland to help start
and sustain the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Poland affiliate as their Executive
Armen has also been a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, worked
for Head Start and has been a Big Brother mentor to Tyler and Jesse.
Finally, Armen has been involved with the Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce as
an Ambassador, was on the committee for Kerrville’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’
and on the Former Texas Rangers Foundation committee. He has served on
the Government Affairs committee for the San Antonio Greater Chamber of
Commerce, a member of the Rotary Club and was actively involved with the
American Chamber of Commerce of Poland.
Vice President of Finance
Chuck has served as the accountant for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2002, and was named Vice President of Finance in 2009. He graduated from Texas Tech in 1984 and started working for Humana Hospital in Abilene for a year and a half, before being transferred to Humana San Antonio. Chuck then worked as Assistant. Finance Director at Laurel Ridge Hospital for 10 years. In 1997, he moved to Jacksonville Florida, and worked with Planned Parenthood, Baptist Health System and WJWB-TV. Chuck returned to San Antonio in 2000 to be closer to family, working for Operational Technologies until July 2002, when he started with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Vice President of Satellite Operations
Tony has worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas since 2005, when he opened the branch office in Corpus Christi, with a caseload of 17 children. Since that time, the Corpus Christi office has grown to the point where it now serves Kleberg and San Patricio counties as well as Corpus Christi, and has grown its caseload every year. In 2009, Tony was promoted to Vice President of Satellite Operations, where he facilitated the opening of offices in Laredo, McAllen and Eagle Pass. Tony also assumed management of all of the satellite Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas programs, including Kerrville, New Braunfels and College Station.
Tony is a graduate of Mount Marty College in South Dakota, where he attended on a baseball scholarship, and earned his Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling. Tony also served in the US Army for three years.
Vice President of External Relations
Christina Martinez has been with the agency for a little
over 8 months, however her relationship with us began almost six years ago when
she became a Big Sister to Julisa.
Christina and Julisa are still matched today and enjoy shopping, going
for walks, and cooking dinner.
Previously, Christina led San Antonio Youth Literacy to
triple the size of its program in just three years. She also helped to strategically place the
organization on the map and ensure that SAYL was seen as the leading early
literacy organization in the city. Christina began working in the non-profit
sector over 15 years ago at the Witte Museum, and since then she has also
served at the Girl Scounts.
In Christina’s new role as VP of External Relations she is
overseeing the agency’s partnerships, external messaging and marketing
department. She is also working closely
with our fund development and special event staff to ensure that all aspects of
the organization are mission focused with the desired outcome of matching more
children with caring adult role models. She is excited to be part of our agency and looks forward to helping
Big Brothers Big Sisters improve its external messaging.
Board of Directors
Michelle Scott, Chair
Bill Haynie, Vice-Chair
J&S Audio Visual
Ken Olson, Treasurer
Damon Childs, Secretary
US Air Force Civil Service
Denise Barkhurst, President & CEO
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas
Seymour Battle, III
Valero Energy Corporation, Inc.
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
Mason Joseph Company, Multifamily Finance
Norton Rose Fulbright, LLP
Jones Lang LaSalle
President's Advisory Board
Judge John Bull
San Antonio Municipal Courts
Cavender Auto Family
Chief William McManus
San Antonio Police Department
Douglas A. Poneck
Escamilla & Poneck
Mayor of San Antonio
Satellite Resource Board Chairs
Mike Ezer - Kerrville
Steven Harkins - New Braunfels
The Kyle Law Firm
Maria Martinez - Corpus Christi
Roland Schweitzer - College Station
Pablo Tagle III - Rio Grande Valley
Dr. Pablo Tagle III Chiropractic
Lupita Zepeda - Laredo