Vice President – Pariveda
Allison has been central to transformative and fundraising efforts around children’s health and children with special needs for over 30 years. She first served as a waterfront director and then program director at a summer camp for children with physical and cognitive differences during college. From the perspective of a Division I athlete, the contrast in the children’s access to education and opportunities for life experiences was disquieting. These encounters were life-changing for her in learning to respect differences in others and in developing as an advocate for including and accommodating people with special needs in all aspects of life.
Allison has dedicated herself to the Houston community with 16+ years of nonprofit board service. Allison currently serves on the Board of Directors for Houston A+ Challenge and the Community Advisory Board for Recipe for Success. She has led transformative initiatives for both the Houston Food Bank and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston through a philanthropic internship program she leads for her company. She has been honored as a Woman of Vision by the Texas Diversity Council, a Role Model by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, an Outstanding Leader by the Greater Houston Partnership, and as the Patrice Johnson Distinguished Alumnus for Class XXXI by Leadership Houston.
Allison has a BA in Biochemistry and Cognitive Science from Dartmouth College. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Science, Engineering, and Technology for graduate work at Stanford University, and holds an MBA in Finance and Management Information Systems from the University of Miami Graduate School of Business. Allison is a Vice President with Pariveda, serving both locally as a market executive and nationally in driving thought leadership for the future of healthcare.
Allison has been a parent of children at Discover Gymnastics since 2015 when her children were enrolled in recreational classes. Now her daughter, Katya, is on the Girls Junior Olympic Level IV team, and her son, Max, is on the Boys Junior Olympic Level VI team. The whole family appreciates the commitment to quality of the Discover leadership team and the collaboration of the athletes, coaches, leaders, and parents in supporting the gym, the Discover Fitness Foundation, and the wider Houston community.
Elizabeth Gipson is currently Director of Local Sales at KHOU11. She’s been a part of the KHOU11 team for 18 years. In her role as Director of Local Sales, Elizabeth works to connect local business with potential customers through targeted marketing strategies. Elizabeth is passionate about multi-media marketing, working with businesses in multiple industries.
Elizabeth is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a degree in Broadcast/ Journalism and Finance. In 2012, during her time with KHOU, she completed her Master of Business Administration at the University of Florida.
Elizabeth and her husband, Kali, are proud native Houstonians. They live the brand, “KHOU 11 Stands for Houston,” and actively participate in station initiatives and community projects. They are proud of their two children, Elise (13) and Kellen (9).
Teacher – Kolbe Academy
Anna Havens is a native Houstonian. She graduated Texas A&M University with her Bachelor of Science. After spending years teaching elementary and middle school ELA in brick and mortar schools, Anna began her online teaching career with Kolbe Academy this fall.
Anna and her husband, Jonny, have three daughters; one is a competitive gymnast and the other two are involved in other sports and activities. Anna and Jonny are active supporters of many great nonprofits in Houston: the Junior League of Houston, Combined Arms and several other Veterans’ Organizations, St. Anne Catholic Church, and the Discover Fitness Foundation. As a teacher Anna is very excited to participate in an organization that helps children be their best and most authentic selves!
Lisa R. Ford is a neonatologist in Canton, Ohio as well as the owner of Diva Gymnastics Academy established in 2010. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Tennessee and received her Doctor of Medicine degree from The University of Florida. She is board certified in Pediatrics as well as the subspecialty of Neonatology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Lisa is a life long fan of the sport of gymnastics and became involved more personally in the sport as the parent of a gymnast in 2002. She opened Diva Gymnastics Academy in 2010 with the goal of providing a safe, healthy and empowering place for children to learn gymnastics in a recreational or competitive program. Diva is affiliated with USAG, AAU and NGA.
Lisa is the mother of two amazing adult children, Aaron and Emily, continues to work part time as a neonatologist, assists her husband, Martin, with Deep Creek Farm draft horses and is enjoying getting to spend more time with her Diva family.
April Weinstein is a native Houstonian. She received her BA in theater from the University of Houston in 1993. She is a health and fitness enthusiast and competed in her first fitness competition in 1994. April received her certified personal trainer license from the Sam Houston Institute of Preventive Medicine in 1995.
She is the co-owner of First Imperial Mortgage in the Heights with her husband, Taff Weinstein. April has two children, Autumn (14) and Addison (17), who attend Heights HS. They took classes at Discover when they were three and continued to do private lessons as they got older. Addison has worked at Discover since he was 15 and loves his co-workers, the kids, and the job experience.
April was a supporter and donor of all of her children’s schools (Zion, Travis, Hogg, and Heights HS) and is currently a supporter and donor of Child Advocates, Trees of Hope, Friends for Life, the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation, and DFF.
Education: B.A. Degree; Texas A & M University (1983)
Owner, Heart of Texas Gymnastics (1999 to present)
Gymnastics Coach (1991 to present)
National, International and Private Clinician (1997 to present)
Teacher, Physical education classes for Providence Classical School in Belton, Texas (2015 to present)
Gym Owner / Manager Representative for USA Gymnastics Safesport Committee (2018-2022)
Founding Board Member for Movement Matters International
Presenter and Board Member for Gymnastics Association of Texas (1998 to present)
National Instructor for USA Gymnastics (state, regional and national congresses)
National Instructor for USA Gymnastics Kinder Accreditation for Teachers (KAT)
National Instructor for USA Gymnastics Movement Development and Lesson Plan Development (MELPD)
National Instructor for USA Gymnastics R102 Preschool Fundamentals
National Instructor for USA Gymnastics R103 Hands-On Training School Age
National Instructor for USA Gymnastics R301 Brain & Body: Beyond the Basics
National Instructor for USA Gymnastics M200 Men’s Developmental Coaches Course
Instructor for Gymnastics Educational Workshops, privately owned by Cheryl Jarrett
Served USA Gymnastics Safety Review Board
Served USA Gymnastics Preschool Advisory Board
Joined Discover Fitness Foundation Board, 2023
Multiple Appearances in Gymsmarts “Gymnastics Minute” and USA Gymnastics “Nuggets of Knowledge” videos
Consultant in the field of Inclusive (special needs) Gymnastics for Flaghouse, Inc.
Mentor for University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program, 2020
International Association of Child Development Programs, Ambassador and Panelist, 2020 – Present
Co-Author: Gymnastics Association of Texas Instructor Training Program for Recreational Gymnastics
Co-Author and Director: Gymnastics Association of Texas Instructor Training Program for Preschool
Author and Director: Gymnastics Association of Texas Instructor Training Program
Brain and Body (adopted by USA Gymnastics in 2013, as a national course)
Author: USA Gymnastics Brain and Body: Beyond the Basics
Author and Director: Gymnastics Association of Texas Instructor Training Program
“Kickstart for Boys ” (premiered at the 2015 GAT Gathering in Austin, Texas)
Co-Author: USA Gymnastics Hands-On Training for School Age
Author: Discover Fitness Foundation Special Needs Handbook (2020)
Organized Chaos: There’s an Anaconda in our Class, Technique Magazine, 1998
Organized Chaos: The Great Cone Dilemma, Technique Magazine, 1998
Coaching to the Learning Styles, The Gym Press, August 2008
What Do Ya’ Do If?: A Roundtable Discussion, Technique Magazine,
Chapter Two: Understanding the Preschool Child, Technique Magazine,
The Moments We Coach For, Gym Momentum, 2011
So, You’re Coaching the Little Boys, Eh?, Technique Magazine, 2014
Special People in Our Gyms: Understanding Special Needs, Technique Magazine (pending publication)
Presentations include various topics covering Preschool and Recreational Gymnastics, Men’s Gymnastics and Special Needs.
Expert Witness: July 2015-Present
Gymnastics Association of Texas Distinguished Service Award, 2003
ABC Television “The View” Remarkable Women Award, 2005
Gymnastics Association of Texas Distinguished Service Award, 2007
USA Gymnastics National Instructor of the Year, 2012
Temple Education Foundation Outstanding Service All Star Recognition 2014
Gymnastics Association of Texas Life Member Award, 2014
Bell County Judge and Commissioner’s Committee on People with Disabilities Rusty Award, Business of the Year, 2015
Temple Daily Telegram Reader’s Choice Award Best Gymnastics in Bell County, 2015
Temple Daily Telegram Reader’s Choice Award Best Gymnastics in Bell County, 2016
Temple Education Foundation Outstanding Service All Star Recognition 2017
Temple Daily Telegram Reader’s Choice Award Best Gymnastics in Bell County, 2018
Temple Daily Telegram Reader’s Choice Award Best Gymnastics in Bell County, 2019
Fitness and Nutrition Awards 2020: Pre-School Gymnastics Programme of the Year – Central Texas