Regional Advocacy Director – Collin and Denton Counties
Missy Bender joined the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation as the regional advocacy director for Collin and Denton counties in fall 2019. She served as a trustee on the Plano ISD Board of Trustees for 13 years, including three years as the board president. During her elected service, she promoted future-focused strategic planning efforts, the transformation of instructional and learning strategies, and the addition of a full-day early childhood program in Plano ISD. With an interest in statewide legislative advocacy, Missy partnered with other trustees and superintendents to inspire statewide trustee colleagues to move away from solely compliance-based governance to an approach enabling each student to maximize their personal potential. Over the course of six legislative sessions, Missy led legislative accountability and school finance advocacy efforts and convened educational, nonprofit, and business organizations to find common legislative ground.
Missy currently serves on the Chairman’s Council for Texas Health Resources Plano, the Southern Methodist University Simmons School of Education Counselor Preparation Advisory Council, and the board of directors for the Plano ISD Education Foundation.
Missy received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Texas Association of School Boards, was recognized as a “Girl Boss” by Plano Magazine, received the Distinguished Leadership Award by Leadership Plano and was named Citizen of the Year by the Plano Chamber of Commerce.
Before her extensive investment in civic engagement and service on several nonprofit boards, Missy was a management consultant at IBM specializing in developing strategic planning and technology solutions with manufacturing clients and earned the Golden Circle designation.
Missy was the first in her family to graduate from college — her mother was the second. Bender earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing from Southern Methodist University and married her college sweetheart, Doug. Their daughter, Madison, attends Southern Methodist University.
Dare to dream big. Never fear to fail. Take actions with love. - Debasish Mridha
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