TIFA Board of Directors
Savannah Eldrige – Board Chair
Savannah Eldrige is a registered nurse and founder of Be Frank 4 Justice. She formed Be Frank 4 Justice to help ensure access to justice after realizing obstacles while assisting her brother Frank in appealing the egregious life sentence he received under the outdated habitual offender statute. Through the organization, she advocates for meaningful changes in the criminal legal system and the empowerment of system-impacted families.
Bill Cook – Treasurer
Bill has invested much of his life in volunteering with and mentoring youth and adults. Many have experienced absent parents and the lack of positive adult role models, which opened the door to being a surrogate Father figure in many lives. An abundance of data suggests these young people, without healthy home environments and financial stability, seemed more likely to experience life in and out of incarceration. Bill’s desire for resources to help those he had developed mentoring relationships with led to his joining TIFA in 2013, first as a member, then as Chapter Chair and Sr. Chapter Chair. Now he has the privilege of serving on the TIFA Board as Treasurer. Bill is a CPA, working in the industry and public accounting over the past 40 years. He has experience in petroleum, banking, real estate, hazardous waste, and commercial and residential construction. Bill is proud of his two adult daughters, who serve others through education as a teacher and librarians.
Nabil E. Valencia
Ms. Valencia is an Administrative Investigator with the Travis County Public Defender’s Office. She is part of a holistic defense team serving indigent residents with various legal issues. Her grassroots organizing and community-building experience has led her to work in spaces such as the Connecticut Probate Courts, The Texas Civil Rights Project, and the Forensic Project (a unit of CAPDS). As a post-conviction investigator, she has traveled throughout the state, visiting several TDCJ facilities and working on cases where convictions resulted from unreliable DNA evidence at the Austin Police Department’s crime lab.
Nabil received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut and later obtained her MSc in Latin American Development from King’s College London. She has served on several boards and commissions and continues to be involved in the community in different capacities. Nabil is a first-generation American fluent in Spanish, having grown up with Guatemalan/Colombian parents.
Emma Hilbert, Secretary
Emma Hilbert is a Senior Attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project. There, she works in TCRP’s Voting Rights Program, which uses litigation, advocacy, and community lawyering to dismantle systems that suppress the vote. Before coming to Texas, Emma worked as an intern and fellow at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Richmond, Virginia, where she advocated for clients in both LAJC’s Economic Justice and Youth Justice Programs. Emma is a graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law and Haverford College, majoring in anthropology.
Faith N. Castillo
Ms. Castillo is an Election Protection Legal Fellow at Texas Civil Rights Project. She is a St. Edward’s University graduate with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Criminal Justice. She later graduated from the SMU Dedman School of Law.
Faith has worked as a Project & Research Assistant at the Buried Alive Project and as a student attorney at the SME Dedman School of Law Innocence Clinic. Faith has a rich background in volunteer work, including trips to Peru and South Africa, working on projects in poverty, education, and HIV/AIDS.
Sharon McKinney – Executive Director
Sharon is the Executive Director of the Texas Inmate Families Association. She teaches the New Family Workshop for families whose loved ones are entering the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Parole Workshop for families whose loved ones are approaching parole eligibility.
Sharon is system-impacted and has a passion for criminal justice reform. Sharon is a Certified Mental Health Peer Specialist and a Certified Reentry Peer Specialist.