Leadership and Staff
Bliss Coulter is an achievement-driven executive who has dedicated over 15 years experience working to empower survivors of domestic violence, low income individuals, and families through innovative programming, leadership and strategic vision.
In 2019, Bliss was named the CEO of The Ladder Alliance. In her first year, she was able to double the amount of operating cash and reserve, transformed the annual golf event from the traditional green grass fundraiser to TopGolf, which increased new attendees by 80% and helped The Ladder Alliance achieve the “Best Place for Working Parents in 2020″ designation award.
Mrs. Coulter spent her first year at the helm doing an environmental scan/assessment of what it would take to advance The Ladder Alliance to the next level and devised a well-executed plan to ensure agency elevation. By placing substantial emphasis on capacity building, scalable and equitable community change, diversifying the existing funding portfolio and having clear outcome goals The Ladder Alliance has seen tremendous success over the past year.
Mrs. Coulter has a passion and extensive experience for serving the community in various roles, from mentoring youth and other emerging leaders, engaging key stakeholders at all levels, to creating avenues for systems change.
Bliss received her Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling from Texas Women’s University with a major in Counseling and Development. She previously graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree and has her certification in Business Management. Bliss is a licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Texas and a National Certified Counselor.
When Bliss is not working, she enjoys spending time with her wife Ashleigh, her son Stetson and her horses at her ranch.
Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations
Susan Smith has more than 35 years of service in non-profit advancement. Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Texas Christian University in English with a minor in Art History. Both disciplines remain Susan’s passions. She has been the Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations for The Ladder Alliance since 2012. In her fundraising roles, Susan has been devoted to making a difference in the lives of others.
Director of Programs and Operations
Jessica Seidel MS, NCC, LPC
Jessica is a fastidious and compassionate director who has dedicated more than 10 years in the nonprofit field. As a Program Director she has built and maintained community relationships with local organizations and school districts, coordinated class schedules, managed 7 programs including 3 grant local and state-funded programs and has managed over 60 staff.
Utilizing her degree, background, and experiences, Jessica comes to The Ladder Alliance with a wealth of knowledge in both program management and helping individuals in a variety of capacities.
Jessica received her Master of Science Degree in Clinical Counseling from Texas Woman’s University with a major in Counseling and Development. She previously graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.
Jessica is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas and a National Board-Certified Counselor.
When Jessica is not working she spends her time with her husband Michael, daughter Sophie along with her two basset hounds and enjoys her few moments of peace and quiet to read and teach herself crochet.
Director of Development
Katie Purcell is a seasoned fundraising and development professional with over 5 years of nonprofit leadership experience, 5 years in the sports industry, and 12 years in results-oriented environments. Katie graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Communication with a minor in Business. As a Director of Development, Katie has coordinated over 17 successful charity events in the DFW area. She thrives in donor retention, marketing, fundraising, program support, and major gift giving.
In her spare time, Katie is an avid waterfowl hunter and enjoys spending time in nature with her rescued red lab, Chance. She also enjoys giving back to the special needs community by volunteering or going on outings with her special friends.
Frank Thomas has been with The Ladder Alliance since 2012. Prior to The Ladder Alliance Frank was an entrepreneur with his own tech support company that provided support services to the small office/home office business sector. He also volunteered extensively within his own community and has worked to make learning about computers and software fun if not exciting. In his spare time, Frank enjoys genealogical research, magic and just clowning around for his grandchildren.
Carrie Todd is originally from Oklahoma, and also lived in Chicago for many years before moving to Texas. Her educational instructional experiences range from training teachers on art integration into reading curriculums to teaching science principles to preschoolers. Carrie has worked at The Ladder Alliance since 2012, and one of her primary goals is to help her adult students achieve mastery in critical thinking and problem solving skills. Carrie works diligently to promote a fun and supportive classroom on a daily basis, and has been extremely successful in maintaining a stellar retention rate. She has a Bachelor’s in Speech and Theater, which helps keep the students engaged, and entertained.
Alex has worked with various schools and organizations, as an educator for English as a Second Language programs, secondary school computer tech, and refugee English survival courses. In his spare time, Alex volunteers to help immigrant citizens secure a legal pathway through volunteer programs, and is passionate about fighting for the rights of those less fortunate. Along with his volunteer efforts, Alex is an avid visitor of art museums in his hometown of Fort Worth, loves to cook at home with his fiancé, and enjoys attending rock concerts. Alex has been with The Ladder Alliance since 2019 as an IT Instructor.
Bilingual IT Instructor
Ruben has more than 16 years of experience in the IT industry along with 12 years of experience in business management and customer service. Ruben developed a passion for technology at a young age, by the time he was 14 he wrote his first program on a Commodore 64 computer. Since then, Ruben has found a love for helping others in sharing his passion of computers and technology and helping spark excitement in those that he teaches.
Stacy Stelzel has over 12 years of experience at several non-profit organizations and specializes in social media marketing and management, photography, communications and web/content management. Stacy has a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University with a degree in Film and Digital Media and has been on social media since The Facebook was first introduced at Baylor. Also while at Baylor, Stacy was a member of the Golden Wave Marching Band and Sing Alliance. Stacy has a passion for photography and can be found running around with her camera, capturing life. Stacy has been with The Ladder Alliance since 2019 as the Program Coordinator.
Administrative Services Coordinator
Melissa Fabila is the Administrative Services Coordinator at The Ladder Alliance and is also a graduate of The Ladder Alliances’ Basic Computer Skills Training and Professional Office Skills Training programs. In 2016, Melissa started as an intern after completion of the programs and was hired on as receptionist shortly after. Outside of the work she does at Ladder Alliance, Melissa has made it her personal mission to reach out to low income areas to help them obtain the same opportunity she was afforded.
In her spare time, she likes to give back to the community by helping with benefits, fundraisers, back to school events and Christmas toy drives through the ULC (United Lowrider Council). Melissa also loves spending time with her dog Gizmo.