THE STAFF

Vanessa Barker

Founder and Executive Director

(By Taylor)

Vanessa is one of those all-around perfect people that just drives you crazy - clever, charming, creative and hilarious. She can pull off outfits that anyone else would look ridiculous in. Her home is like a real-life Pinterest board. She is both the idea person, and the person who makes things happen. Fortunately she’s also impossible to hate, because she’s incredibly humble, thoughtful, and genuine.

Vanessa is the kind of person who can move across the country with nothing but what fits in her car. She went to Emerson College in Boston, where she was in the famed comedy group Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars, and saw The Fonz speak at her graduation. She lived in a castle in the Netherlands. She taught at a Montessori preschool in the hills of Topanga, California, and in the other hills of San Francisco. She’s been a project manager for events around the country, including building a giant ice wall on the Hudson River for New York Fashion Week. It was the combination of her teaching and event experience that led Vanessa to the idea for The Welman Project in 2008. It’s been her passion ever since.

After a brief 10 year hiatus, she married her high school sweetheart, Travis. Together they enjoy eating queso, and turning even the most mundane task into a hilarious adventure. Their daughter, Joey June, is already proving to be as much of an unstoppable force as her mom. This is both good and bad news for Vanessa.

 

 

Taylor Willis

Founder and Executive Director

(By Vanessa)

Taylor is not one to brag, but she might be the most talented human I know. She says that her resume looks like a mess of indecision, but I say it's a testament to her brilliant brain function. I call her my Jill of all Trades. Taylor has been behind a camera since we were kids, always filming and taking pictures, so its no surprise that she's made one helluva career as a videographer, photographer and editor for high profile projects and companies throughout Texas. She's also a whiz at web and graphic design.

Need a costume or anything manufactured with a sewing machine? Call Taylor.

Need a haircut? Good thing Taylor is a licensed cosmetologist.

Have a large event with A-list celebrities? Taylor has personally sourced a birthday cake for Bill Paxton.

Oh, you want the latest home entertainment technology installed in your house? Call Taylor. I'm not kidding.

Literally the only thing Taylor is not good at is eating meat, because she's a vegetarian. And even then, that's a choice. If she wanted to eat meat I bet she could down a steak better than any 300lb cowboy.

 

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rebecca Jung - President

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.

Lane Hackemack - Secretary

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital

Kate Lovelady - Treasurer

Freelance Theatre Artist

Our History

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Why 'Welman'?

"The Welman Project is named after my birth mother, Shelley Welman. Two l’s in Shelley, one in Welman. She gave me up for adoption so that I could have a better life. I was repurposed, in a way, and selflessly given to two folks who needed a little girl. Her spirit and gift live on through this project, this idea of finding the right for your left."

- Vanessa

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