Founders

Dr. Beth Beck, Founder, CEO

Beth Beck, PhD, in Mars Yard at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Beth retired from NASA in 2018 after three decades in federal service, the majority in Washington, DC, where she championed innovative business practices that leveraged social media, advanced technology, non-traditional partnerships, and community engagement. She co-founded LAUNCH.org and NASA Datanauts, enhanced and expanded the International Space Apps Challenge, and leveraged Twitter and Facebook to build an interactive citizen engagement ecosystem at the frontier of the social media revolution. She believes in the power of collaborative idea-generation built upon diversity of thought, which often comes from unexpected sources -- specifically women!! 

Beth, a Phi Beta Kappa, received her Bachelor of Science from The University of Texas at Austin, Master of Public Affairs from the L.B.J. School at the University of Texas, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Planning, Governance and Globalization from Virginia Tech.

Christine Smith-Atkins, Co-Founder, ARTblock Director

Christine Smith-Atkins Artist portrait

Christine is an artist and serial entrepreneur, with experience in software development, 3D art and animation, web development, and interactive apps. Not only has she formed and managed a small business, she’s worked in the tech start-up environment where she held a number of roles from Director of Operations to Executive Director and CEO. She’s held a number of non-profit Board positions, and is currently President of the Board for the Visual Arts League of Allen. 

Her heart, however, is her art. Christine’s portfolio boasts of oil, acrylic, and gouache; fine art drawings in pencil, pen, charcoal, and pastels; and digital art. She not only creates but instructs classes through the local college and art leagues. Christine studied two years of Commercial and Advertising Art at San Antonio College, and earned her degree in Computer Animation/Multimedia from the Art Institute of Dallas.

Aimee Woolverton, Co-Founder, LIGHTblock Director

Aimee Woolverton, LightBlock Director

Aimee is an Award Winning Photographer, entrepreneur, and founding owner of AimeeLouise Photography. She is an active member of the Professional Photographers of America. In 2013, Aimee earned the prestigious Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation. Less than 2,000 photographers in the United States earned the CPP designation, and Aimee is the only CPP in the McKinney/Allen, Texas area. In addition to commercial photography, Aimee exhibits her fine art photography in the North Texas area. Aimee’s project management experience is quite diverse, with 13 years in Houston as a federal civil servant at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, before becoming one of the top Sales Director at Southern Living at Home. Aimee received her Liberal Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Rachel Lawley, Co-Founder, Program Director

Rachel Lawley, MillHouse Program Director

Rachel is an innovation facilitator with expertise convening systems of stakeholders around complex challenges. She spent her career supporting the development and growth of innovators and organizations looking to change the world. She led the network-centered LAUNCH Food program, and managed the Synthetic Biology Leadership Accelerator Program (LEAP), and served as Vice Consul for the British Government, building connections between biotechnology companies, researchers, funders, regulators, and government agencies in the US and UK. Rachel creates experiences that inspire and delight, foster collaboration, and catalyze action. Rachel received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.

Carol Beck, Co-Founder, WellBlock Director

Carol Beck, MillHouse WellBlock Director

Carol is an author, yoga teacher, aromatherapist, and podcaster based in the Washington, D.C. area. She received her 500-hour Ayurveda yoga teacher (RYT-500) training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts, and 100-hour aromatherapy certificate from New York Institute of Aromatic Studies. Carol is a former US Masters Nationals champion in competitive rowing. Carol combines movement with aromatherapy for a holistic approach to wellness. You can find her two books, BELIEVE and Beauty from Ashes, on Amazon, and her BELIEVE podcast on iTunes.  She has 17 years of professional experience in public relations, communications, and international relations working for Congress and the US government executive branch. Carol received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Political Science from Syracuse University, her Masters in Justice, Law and Society from American University, and her Diploma for Graduates in International Relations from the University of London.

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