Our Councils

Meet Our Council Members

April Pollreisz


April Pollreisz was a former customer service professional within the insurance industry field. April has been a board member for the PILC (Panhandle Independent Living Center) where she now is Chair of the board. She received her Masters of Arts in interdisciplinary studies, which her studies also include: Sociology Psychology, and Criminal Justice. Currently, she also Chairs the council board for TXSILC (Texas State Independent Living Council). April was born with visual based impairments, and has been active within the disability communities.

Joe Rogers


Joe Rogers began his career in the IL (Independent Living) networks since 2008 as a Transportation Coordinator for PILC (Panhandle Independent Living Center). Throughout the years Joe grew with the organization and in 2015, Joe became Chief Executive Officer to PILC. As CEO Joe has successfully expanded the number of PILC’s consumer based programs while building strong partnerships to better serve the disability communities with effectiveness. In 2018, Joe was appointed as a CIL (Center For Independent Living) Representative to the TXSILC (Texas State Independent Living Council) as a council board member.

Heisha Freeman


Heisha is a CRP GMS-T in the Dallas, TX area where she is a Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer at MoveCenter. Her Board of Director experience includes: Agape Resource and Assistance Center, The Arc of Texas DFW Area, Help Stop Cruelty to Animals, and the Cary Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. She founded Autistic Social Meetups in DFW and Special Needs Parents of North Texas. Heisha is a Special Olympics coach and previous steering committee member. Proud mother of an autistic son and vocal advocate for the disability community, Heisha authored a magazine cover story on the challenges of relocating with a special needs child. Heisha holds a B.A. in Psychology from Austin College, has taken advanced courses at Princeton and Yale, and is a Executive MBA degree candidate.

David Lunt


David Lunt of Haslet is a Senior Supplier Diversity Manager at Fidelity Investments, LLC. He is a member of the Disability:IN North Texas Board and the Fort Worth Mayor’s Committee on Persons With Disabilities. Additionally, David is co-founder and former Chair of Fidelity Investments Enable Texas Employee Resource Group and the founder of the Fidelity American Sign Language Club.

Mike Bates

Council Member

Mike Bates, is legally blind and lives in West Texas. His advocacy began after attending a blind/visually impaired support group, realizing how others in communities could benefit from such support he started outreaches in: rural area transportation, assisted living, retirement communities, nursing homes, and assistive technologies. Mike received a certificate as a Coach Trainer in “A Matter of Balance”, started a weekly radio talk show at the Recording Library of West Texas. He also is a NFB, member and former president of the Able Center, the only Independent Living Center in West Texas. He also formed the West Texas Desert Chapter of ACBT and fomer state director. Mile is a recipient of the ‘Who’s Who Among Blind Texans’.

Micheal Garrett

Council Member


Melva Henderson

Council Member


Rebecca “Hunter” Adkins

Council Member

Rebecca “Hunter” Adkins of Lakeway is a volunteer at the Ride On Center for Kids in Georgetown and a former member of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities. Additionally, she was a guest lecturer at Texas A&M Veterinary School where she taught incoming physical therapy students about equine assisted activities for people with disabilities. Adkins was a contestant in Miss Wheelchair Texas and 2019 PATH International Rider of the Year.

Ex-officio Members

Debra Medellin

Texas Department of Transportation

Debra Medellin of Austin is a compliance analyst for the Civil Rights Division at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and was appointed to the SILC in 2020. She assists in the administration of TxDOT’s ADA and Title VI programs and helped with the planning of ADA 30: Moving Forward, a virtual event celebrating 30 years of the ADA with other partner agencies and organizations. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin and enjoys live music and playing with her boxer Frida.

Bonnie Notargiacomo


Bonnie Notargiacomo, has over 25 years of experience working with people with disabilities and promoting independent living, currently serves as TWC’s Program Specialist for the Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program within TWC’s Vocational Rehabilitation division. Prior to joining TWC, she worked with independent living centers in McAllen and El Paso, including as a deputy director in McAllen. In her career, Notargiacomo, who holds a master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation (VR), has been a VR counselor, a VR teacher and a VR program specialist. She is a past recipient of the Aubrey Boyd Tipps Award, which is  presented to an individual who consistently provides outstanding employment services to persons who are blind or visually impaired in competitive careers consistent with their interests, skills, and abilities. The award is given by the Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Notargiacomo  has been legally blind since age 16 and encourages others to live by her own personal philosophy, “Don’t let blindness get in the way of accomplishing your goals in life and fulfilling your dreams.”