Board consists of family descendants and two non-family member Galveston, Texas residents. Board members are elected to serve a three year term and are eligible to serve an additional term of five years.
San Antonio, Texas
Ceci moved to San Antonio in 2010 after living in Houston for more than twenty years. She grew up in Savannah, Georgia, but calls both Savannah and Houston home. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BS in Human Development and received a Masters from Rice University to teach Art.
In San Antonio, Ceci serves on the board of Artpace, a local, regional and international residency program that supports artists and curators worldwide. She also acts as Advisor and Director for Kids 4 Kids With Cancer, a charitable foundation founded by her two sons that provides scholarships for childhood cancer survivors. A continued patron for Planned Parenthood South Texas, Ceci recently rolled off of the board after six years of Board Service. She has served as a director for the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund since 2013.
Washington, District of Columbia
Randall Kempner is Executive Director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The network’s members provide critical financing and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) that create positive economic, environmental and social impacts in developing countries. ANDE’s nearly 300 members have operations in more than 150 emerging market countries. ANDE operates staffed chapters in eight emerging market regions.
As inaugural executive director of ANDE, a program of the Aspen Institute, Randall oversees the implementation of ANDE’s extensive program and advocacy agenda. These efforts include training programs for investing in emerging-market businesses, advocacy for greater investment and donor support of emerging-market SGBs, and the promotion of entrepreneurship as a tool for job creation, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. He is a frequent author and public speaker on the topics of emerging market entrepreneurship, the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems and impact investing.
Randall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an MBA and a Master of Public Affairs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard College.
Emily is a Galveston BOI (Born on the Island). Emily loves Galveston and all that it has to offer including being one of her major influences for pursuing a career in social work. Emily graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2009 with a Masters of Science in Social Work and has been practicing in the field ever since. She has worked for non profits such as Communities in Schools and United Way as well as for the state of Texas at the Health and Human Services Commission.
Emily lives in Austin with her husband Keith Bray and identical twin daughters. She is very excited to be a part of the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund board and looks forward to giving back to the community where she grew up.
New York, New York
Andrew Mytelka is originally from New York and has lived in Galveston, Texas for over 30 years. His legal practice involves mostly securities litigation and other complex litigation matters as both plaintiff and defense counsel. He obtained degrees from Grinnell College (B.A. Chemistry), Tulane University (J.D.) and Boston University (LLM Taxation). He is admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States as well as numerous other Federal courts.
Andrew was involved in the formation of the Offshore Energy Center and helped in the original acquisition of the Ocean Star Rig. He has also been involved with numerous charitable organizations as a board member and legal counsel. He served as President of the Galveston Independent School District for several years. Andrew was named to the Best Lawyers in America 2014-2018 in commercial litigation.
Benjy grew up in Galveston and lives on the Island with his wife and two children. He is currently managing partner of Simpson, Beeton, Shabot, & McConnell, a civil litigation law firm in Galveston. Following law school, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office before going into private practice. He obtained his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from South Texas College of Law. He has previously served on the board of directors for United Way of Galveston, the Advocacy Center for Children of Galveston County, and Galveston Island Meals on Wheels.
London, United Kingdom
Mr. Daniel K. Thorne is President of Star Lake Capital, Inc. He was a founder and remains an active member of the Board of Directors of Hamilton Thorne Ltd. a leading biotech company in Boston specializing in creating the state of the art tools needed for genetic research. He was a founding partner of Thacher Associates, an industry leader in integrity monitoring and in disrupting the influence of organized crime in private enterprise.
He is Chairman of Global Heritage Fund and on the Board of Directors of the Global Heritage Fund UK. He also is Chairman of the International Wildlife Trust, dedicated to the disruption of organised wildlife crime.
In the past Mr. Thorne served as Vice-Chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and as a Trustee by Wildlife Conservation Society and as Vice-President of the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund.
Hetta (Peaches) Towler Kempner grew up in and lives in Galveston. A graduate of Ball High School she received her B A from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served for many years as a Life board member of the Fund.
Volunteering first at St. Mary’s Hospital, Peaches has a sixty year career as a volunteer on the island. She has mopped floors, taught CPR, served on many boards and committees, organized film festivals, raised funds, and asked for blood (donations.). Active in the community, she has been vocal about local issues and elections. Peaches is a co-founder of the Women’s Resource and Crisis Center and the Galveston Arts Center. Nationally, she served on the boards of the American Social Health Association and the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.
She has been honored to receive recognition from the Jefferson Awards and has been named a Steel Oleander.
Robert L. K. Lynch is the past president of the Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund. He has been very involved in the Galveston community, having been president of the Galveston Arts Center, the Galveston Historical Foundation, and The Grand 1894 Opera House. He served on the Galveston City Council for six years along with being on the Galveston Arts Commission, Planning Commission, Galveston Parks Board, and Galveston Port Facilities Commission.
Dr. Sasser was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. She received her BA from Vanderbilt University and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where she now resides.
She is involved in community service in Galveston, having served as president of Congregation B”nai Israel, past president of the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, board member of the Sasser Family Foundation, and Chairman of the Galveston County Recovery Fund which raised and distributed over $3 million in private funds after Hurricane Ike hit the area in 2008.
Without previous experience in film making, she established Frieder Films in 2011 to make “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust”, a documentary film about her maternal grandfather and his family who rescued 1300 Jews from Nazi occupied territory by resettling them in the Philippines.