Trellis Foundation, a public charitable organization focused on improving college attainment for low-income students and students of color in Texas, has announced the appointments of Ms. Dora Ann Verde as chair and Ms. Alma Garcia as vice chair to its board of directors. Ms. Verde will assume the role of chair from Dr. Mark Milliron, who will now serve as the immediate past chair.

Dr. Milliron, President and CEO of National University (NU), served as the Trellis Foundation’s board chair from 2021-2023. During that time, the Foundation significantly expanded the number of grants awarded to support postsecondary attainment, providing $15.2 million to over 80 distinct grant partners across Texas. Most notably, the Foundation awarded over $2 million to 10 colleges and universities to focus efforts on student mental health and well-being.

Beginning in January, Ms. Verde took over as the chair of the Trellis Foundation Board of Directors. Ms. Verde is a Certified Public Accountant with a private practice in San Antonio that exclusively serves nonprofit organizations. Before, she served as chief of internal audit for the San Antonio Water System and was a partner in a public accounting firm. Her community involvement includes board service for many nonprofit organizations, including ACE Academy in the Northeast Independent School District, National Association of Corporate Directors, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, and Trellis Company. She serves as a corporate board member and chair of the audit committee for a privately held corporation. She is also a member of Impact San Antonio, a women’s giving group, and two women’s networking groups, SA100 and Oakes Club.

In addition, Ms. Alma Garcia will be stepping into the role of vice chair. Ms. Garcia is among the foremost experts on dual enrollment, dual credit, and early college high schools (ECHS) in the state. She started her career as a bilingual education teacher in the Brownsville Independent School District, where she served as an elementary and secondary school principal. She later joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Brownsville, where she designed instructional methods courses for graduate and undergraduate students in secondary education programs and later served as director of GEAR UP, a college awareness, readiness, enrollment, and outreach program. She joined Educate Texas in 2004, and in 2015, she founded a consulting practice serving school districts, administrators, and nonprofits across the state.

A complete list of Trellis Foundation’s board of directors is available at

About Trellis Foundation

Trellis Foundation advances equitable educational opportunities in Texas by supporting postsecondary programs, practices and systems that reduce disparities and lead to success for low-income students and students of color. More information is available at