Board of Directors

 The leadership of the Montopolis CDC, including its board and officers, is 100% comprised of People of Color residing in the Montopolis community. 

Fred L. McGhee, Ph.D President

Fred L. McGhee, an environmental and historic preservation consultant, archaeologist, educator, general contractor and Navy veteran.  In 2009 Dr. McGhee built one of the first homes in Austin certified to the Austin Energy Greenbuilding Five Star standard.  He is an extensively credentialed greenbuilder and sustainability expert with over 25 years of experience in the military, non-profits, and in the private sector.  In addition to formal credentials by the U.S. Greenbuilding Council (, the Building Performance Institute (, The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association ( and other organizations, Dr. McGhee is also a founding board-member of Austin’s Passive House Alliance chapter and is well known domestically and abroad for his advocacy on behalf of the implementation of the standard at historically significant public housing sites.  Dr. McGhee has an extensive record of public service in Austin, and is a former member of the city’s Board of Adjustment, the city’s Community Development Commission, and the 2012 Charter Revision Committee that produced a districts-based city council, among many others.  Dr. McGhee possesses an extensive non-profit background, and in addition to directing the Montopolis CDC also serves as president of Preserve Rosewood ( and Vice President of the Burditt Prairie Preservation Association (  A well known and highly regarded public servant and volunteer in the Montopolis community, he is also a youth mentor and soccer coach of the Montopolis Mantas.

Susana Almanza, Vice President

Susana Almanza, an internationally known environmental justice advocate and founding member and Director of PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources), a grassroots environmental, economic and social justice organization.  An Austin native, Ms. Almanza has spent her life organizing for the advancement of the underprivileged in the neighborhoods of East Austin and beyond.  Ms. Almanza has served on the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Board, the City’s Planning Commission, Environmental Board and the Community Development Commission, and is a former two-time candidate for the Austin City Council.  She has played a leading advocacy role in the financing of numerous community institutions, including parks, affordable housing, and cultural arts programs.

Noé Elias, Secretary

A native of Montopolis, Mr. Elias is a public school teacher with Austin ISD and was a leading member of the grassroots volunteer coalition that preserved the Montopolis Negro School.  An immigrant from Mexico, Elias brings to the board his extensive connections to Austin’s immigrant community.

Lisa Goddard, Treasurer

Lisa Goddard is, an award-winning digital marketing strategist and intranet expert.  In addition to being a founding member of, Goddard has extensive non-profit and not-for-profit experience in Austin, including at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, the Seton Healthcare Network, the Sustainable Food Center, and at University Federal Credit Union, among others.