Executive Director

Paul Gilford, LCSW

Paul Gilford, LCSW, is the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Houston Achievement Place and Project CLASS.  Since 1977, Mr. Gilford has helped children, youth, teachers, parents and care-providers learn the skills and develop the relationships for life success.  Educational background includes: undergraduate attendance at London School of Economics (London, England); a Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan; Honors College; Phi Beta Kappa); and a Masters Degree in Social Work, University of Washington (Seattle, Washington).  Mr. Gilford has extensive work experience in staff training and program evaluation and has served as consultant and evaluator for a number of social service agencies nationally. 

Areas of expertise include: residential services for abused children; elementary school and early childhood programming to teach children core social skills for school and life achievement; innovative and extraordinarily effective training services- including Project CLASS (Children Learning Appropriate Social Skills).  Mr. Gilford believes that a heart-centered commitment to service must be paired with strong business practices and focus to effectively make a positive difference in the lives of children, families, schools and communities.

Program Director

Denise Larson, LMSW

Board of Directors

Norma Acker
Social Worker

Madeleine Appel
Experienced Volunteer

W. Clifford Atherton, Jr.
Gulfstar Group, Inc

John R. Breeding
Uptown Houston

Kevin KC Carmody
Pathfinder LLC

Susan Cohen
Indigo Minerals

Chad Deaton
Baker Hughes, Inc. (retired)

John Dobelman
Rice University

Katya Dow
University of Houston Law Center

Milby Dunn II
Columbia Lloyds Insurance

Larry Ellis
Regions Bank

Keith Ellison
U.S. District Judge

Ron Farmer

George Ford
Children’s Protective Services (retired), Attorney

John Hartman

Tom Hopwood
Executive Advice

Anissa Jones-Thomas
Educational Consultant

John Kajander
Partners for Community Health

Carol Lewis
Texas Southern University

Paul Lombardo
PCSL, Inc.

Therese McGovern
TierPont, LLC

Allison Miller
Shepherd Prewitt Miller PLLC

Linda L. Murphy
Experienced Volunteer

A.Y. Noojin III
Shell Oil (retired)

Bruce Padilla
MCM Worldwide

J. Victor Samuels
Victory Packaging

Martha Seng
Jackson & Ryan Architects (retired)

Keith Short
Real Estate Attorney

Cynthia Swaren
Experienced Volunteer

Jason Swaren
Oasis Petroleum

Emily Taylor
Walker and Byington

Karen Tripp
Tripp Law

Margaret Tucker
Experienced Volunteer

Adrian Villacorta
Villacorta Law Firm

Robert Warren
Energy & Oilfield Services

Jason Williams
Bissinger, Oshman & Williams LLP

Jeff Zaruba