Executive Team and Board

Our Leadership


Dr. Kelty Garbee

Executive Director

Dr. Kelty Garbee serves as Executive Director of Texas Rural Funders. Dr. Garbee has 20 years of experience with non-profits, state government, and philanthropy. She previously served as Director of Postsecondary Programs at Educate Texas and Director of Early College High Schools at the Texas Education Agency. In both roles she developed and led large-scale statewide networks with budgets of over $7 million and collaboration between K-12, higher education, and workforce partners. She also worked in the Development Office at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Garbee holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Texas-Austin. Her passion for ensuring equity and access in rural Texas is fueled by her upbringing in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Lynchburg, Virginia, and her work in communities across Texas.

Shukri Bana

Program Coordinator

Shukri Bana is the Administrative Coordinator of Texas Rural Funders. She is passionate about work that facilitates sustained growth and development of underserved communities. Prior to her role at TRF, Shukri completed a fellowship with The Fulbright Program, and worked in Research Administration at Grand Valley State University. In addition to work experience, Shukri has also been engaging with non-profit organizations at the volunteer level for over ten years: in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan she has worked with organizations focused on children’s arts education, teaching, writing and women’s empowerment; she has also worked with the Austin Public Library. Shukri is currently obtaining a PhD in African/African American Studies from the University of Texas-Austin and holds a master’s degree from the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas-Austin, and a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University.

Rick Rhodes

Rural Engagement Coordinator

Rick is the Rural Engagement Coordinator for Texas Rural Funders, and he is proud to be a native Texan. After graduating from Sweetwater High School, he attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a degree in Business Administration.

Rick’s rich and varied career has included small business ownership and commercial banking. He served on Governor Rick Perry’s economic development team for 3 years, followed by ten years as administrator for the Office of Rural Affairs at the Texas Department of Agriculture. He served four terms as mayor for the City of Sweetwater and was instrumental in the creation of the Texas Midwest Community Network, an alliance of 52 communities stretching across 32 counties in west central Texas that focuses on economic growth. Rick serves as a board member for the Texas Workforce Investment Council.

Rick and his wife, Pam, are blessed with 2 married sons and 6 grandchildren.

Board Members

Abena Asante St. David’s Foundation
Cheryl Pekar Stanzel Family Foundation
Christine Yanas Methodist Healthcare Ministries
Dr. Wynn Rosser T. L. L. Temple Foundation
Ellen Ray Still Water Foundation
Judy Quisenberry Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation
Leslie Gurrola Greater Texas Foundation
Michelle Monse Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation
Mike McCoy The Meadows Foundation
Ryan Franklin Educate Texas
Shelley Sweatt The Priddy Foundation