About Us

History. Culture. Creativity.

Celebrate creativity and joy of the human spirit presented at the Carver.

The mission of the Carver Community Cultural Center is to celebrate the diverse cultures of our world, nation and community, with emphasis on its African and African-American heritage, by providing premier artistic presentations, community outreach activities and educational programs.

History & Mission

For over 75 years, The Carver Community Cultural Center (“The Carver”) has served as the San Antonio Eastside’s foremost gathering place of cultural exchange and performance arts. It was originally erected in 1918, as a community center for African-Americans. By the 1930s, the building was repurposed as the Colored Library and renamed the Carver Library and Auditorium, in honor of Dr. George Washington Carver. From the 1940s through the Civil Rights Era, prominent African-American entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong played at the Carver. However due to desegregation, the Carver fell into neglect by the early 1970s.

Carver Community Cultural Center has over 100 years of history of serving San Antonio.

In 1973, the City moved to have the Carver demolished, but community members galvanized in an act of civil disobedience, effectively using their bodies as human shields to protect the building from bulldozers. Under the ownership and management of the City of San Antonio (CoSA), the Carver was renovated and reopened in 1977, as the Carver Community Cultural Center. It now operates as a special project of the CoSA’s Conventions Sports and Entertainment Facilities Department.

Nationally-Acclaimed Performances

Our Board

The mission of the Carver Community Cultural Center is to celebrate the diverse cultures of our world, nation, and community, with emphasis on its African and African-American heritage, by providing challenging artistic presentations, community outreach activities, and educational programs. The Carver Development Board is a 501©3 organization whose mission is to undertake fundraising activities and to provide financial, programming, and advisory support to the Carver Community Cultural Center.

Officers

Della Guidry, Chair

After selling her business interest in AlliedPRA San Antonio in March 2018, Della Guidry currently is the President of DEG Consulting since February 2019. She consults with new entrepreneurs in the area of start-ups, marketing and finance. She also consults in the area of meeting planning and logistics for Corporate and Non-profit Meeting Planners.

Della Guidry also serves as the Chair of The Carver Development Board where she leads 23 board members as the fund-raising arm of The Carver Cultural Center,

Della Guidry was the President and Owner of AlliedPRA Destination Management San Antonio since January 5, 2000, and on August 1, 2009, she expanded her ventures to service AlliedPRA Austin office. Both offices reflect the high standards and consistent delivery of impeccable service that has made AlliedPRA a leader in the industry. While servicing her clients and community, Della has works with many CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies along with networking with celebrities. Della’s background includes managerial experience in Banking and Real Estate industry.

In 2005-2009, Della was appointed by the Mayor’s office to serve as Commissioner on the San Antonio Convention and Visitor Bureau as well as currently hold membership with several local industry organizations. She is a graduate of the University of Houston and has a Master Degree from University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. Della is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Carver Development Board in 2017-2019 and as President of Black Women Leadership Alliance (BWLA).

Among her many accomplishments, she has been married to Theo Guidry II for 37 years; they are proud parents of three children, Cloe, Neichelle, Theo III and four grandchildren.

Sandra Pratt, Vice Chair

Sandra Pratt is originally from Oakland, California. She relocated to San Antonio in 1992. She is currently the CEO and principal of Shiny Penny Property Management Group. Sandra has been in the Real Estate industry for 15 years. She holds a degree from the University of Texas San Antonio. She is also a graduate of the American Academy of Crisis Counseling and works with various community-based organizations. Sandra served in the United States Air Force as an Intelligence Officer. She received numerous awards and decorations during her twenty year career and is an Honor Graduate from the Academy of Military Science. In addition to her service on the Carver Development board, Mrs. Pratt currently serves as president of the Stone Oak Toastmasters and president of What It Takes To Succeed (WITTS), a non-profit mentoring and coaching organization designed to empower individuals by facilitating skill set discovery and personal growth. Sandra and her husband Bryan have lived in San Antonio for 25 years and have three children.

Ronnie Jean Ford, Treasurer

Ronnie Ford is the Sr. Manager Risk Finance at Valero Energy Corporation. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Masters of Business Management from the Our Lady of the Lake University, and a Doctoral of Education in Inter-Disciplinary Studies (Conflict Resolution, Human Resources, and Training and Development) from Nova Southeastern University. She possesses a Construction Risk Insurance Specialist designation, a Management Liability Insurance Specialist designation, and Brokerage License for Property & Casualty. She has been with the company since 2002 and has held various positions in Refinery Accounts Payable, Retail Accounting, and Capital Assets. Prior to joining Valero, she worked in various roles Senior Accountant for Coca-Cola, Accounting Manager/Supervisor La Quinta, Lead Accountant Humana, and Accountant Titan Insurance Company.

Board Members

Tracey D. Blakes

Tracey D. Blakes serves as the Senior Director, Human Resources – The Americas for KCI, an Acelity Company and has been in this role since January 2016. She has previously served in HR Leadership roles with CPS Energy, CVS Health, Caremark, InfoNXX and West Teleservices. Prior to her career in the Human Resource field, Tracey served in the United States Air Force where she had two tours in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. In her personal time, Tracey is most dedicated to the civilian career transition and advancement of veterans. She regularly speaks to groups of veterans who are leaving the military and are seeking career guidance. Ms. Blakes has previously served on the board of the Texas Diversity Council and was a member of the National Forum of Black Public Administrators (NFBPA). In her spare time Tracey enjoys reading, traveling and attending music festivals. Tracey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Administration from St. Leo College and a Master’s from Webster University. She and her husband Edwin have one daughter, Lauren.

Dr. Cheryl E. Davis, DMD

Cheryl Elise Davis was born in Moscow, Idaho to the parents of William Conan and Ocia Jenkins Davis.

At the age of 3, the family moved to Portland, Oregon where she attended Shaver Elementary and was an honor student at Fremont Jr. High. At Fremont, she held membership in the science club, ski club; studied piano and violin and was second violinist in the Portland Jr. Symphony Preparatory Orchestra. The family moved to San Antonio. She attended Judson High School and pursued the science/math tract.

Upon graduation from Judson High School, she attended Our Lady of the Lake University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology/Chemistry.

A special EPA Research Fellowship from the US Environmental Protection Agency was an added incentive to attend Prairie View A&M University to pursue a Master of Science degree in Environmental Toxicology.

She became a research assistant in the Department of Microbiology at UTHSCSA; and later that year joined the staff of Shaw-Hawn Laboratories at the University of Alabama at Birmingham working on “The genetic manipulation of HIV.” She was accepted into UAB’s School of Dentistry and graduated with the Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. As a student she presented “The phylogeny of plasmid-containing S. mutans strains from American Blacks,” at the IADR Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

She was commissioned in the USAF, stationed at Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, TX and Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan. Upon discharge, she held an Associateship with Dr. Joe B. Whitley and an adjunct Professor at Northwest VistaUniversity to pursue a Master of Science degree in Environmental Toxicology.

She became a research assistant in the Department of Microbiology at UTHSCSA; and later that year joined the staff of Shaw-Hawn Laboratories at the University of Alabama at Birmingham working on “The genetic manipulation of HIV.” She was accepted into UAB’s School of Dentistry and graduated with the Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. As a student she presented “The phylogeny of plasmid-containing S. mutans strains from American Blacks,” at the IADR Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

She was commissioned in the USAF, stationed at Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, TX and Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan. Upon discharge, she held an Associateship with Dr. Joe B. Whitley and an adjunct Professor at Northwest Vista Community College before accepting the position of Contract Dentist at the Correctional Health Services/Bexar County Jail.

On November 1, 2006 she opened her office, Cheryl E. Davis, DMD, PLLC, Family Dentistry, 210 Chestnut Street, San Antonio, TX 78202 in Historic Ellis Alley Enclave, San Antonio, Texas.

Presently, she is a member of Texas Business Women, American Association of University Women, American Dental Association and Seattle Study Club. She serves on several Boards—Our Lady of the Lake University Advisory Board, Chrysalis Ministries and Women’s Global Connection

Cheryl enjoys snow skiing, reading, playing the piano, traveling and spending time with family.

Rick Goff

H. Rick Goff was commissioned in the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1981. While on active duty, Rick served in many duty stations world-wide and earned many awards and decorations for outstanding performance. Rick also served as Vice President of Operations for Six Flags Theme Parks from 2001-2010. He oversaw world-wide operations for over 35 theme and water parks and managed a staff of over 10,000 full and part-time employees. In addition, Rick was Vice President of Facilities, Real Estate, Security, and Critical Systems for Sirius XM Satellite Radio from 2011-2016. Rick served as President of the local American Business Clubs (AMBUCS) chapter in Edmond Oklahoma. Mr. Goff has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia and is a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force ROTC program. Rick is currently in semi-retirement and living in San Antonio with his wife Carol V. Goff.

Jo Ann Harris

Jo Ann Harris is currently retired and was employed by Alamo Community College for 25 years (15 years St. Philip’s College and 10 years San Antonio College) as Professor in the Department of Nursing Education. She also retired from the United States Army as a Major.

Ms. Harris obtained a Associate of Arts from Schreiner College, Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from St. Mary’s University. She has served on the San Antonio State Hospital Volunteer Service Council, and the Texas Volunteer Service State Council Board. At present time she is the District 2 representative to the San Antonio Library Board of Trustees.

Currently she is a volunteer for Bexar County Detention Center Match/Patch Program, Texas Peer Assistance for Impaired Nurses and Alpha Tau Omega Senior Opportunity services.

Delores Lenzy-Jones

Delores Lenzy-Jones is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & Treasurer of CPS Energy, where she oversees CPS Energy’s Accounting & Finance functions. In this position, she is responsible for Accounting & Financial Reporting, Corporate Financial Planning, Cost Management & Operational Excellence, as well as Capital Markets & Cash Management, Strategic Pricing & Cost Recovery, and Enterprise Risk Management.

Delores is a results-driven global finance executive with extensive experience proactively implementing finance, audit and accounting solutions at Fortune 50 companies. She has the unique skill of being able to translate complex issues in simple terms by addressing the most critical issues in creative ways with analytical rigor and precision. Throughout her career, she has effectively communicated across all levels of the company to deliver excellent operational and financial performance in complex, fast-paced and matrixed work environments.

Prior to joining CPS Energy, Delores served as Vice President of Finance & Accounting at BGIS, a data center and facilities management company. She has experience at Microsoft and Dell Inc. and her background also covers the utility industry, with 10 years spent at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) as Transmission & Energy Services Business Manager, Lease Administrator and Senior Accountant.

Leaving a place better than she found it is one of her core values. As an active community leader, serving others is a part of her DNA. In addition to her work experience, Delores has served on the Board of Directors of Any Baby Can, President and Trustee for the Dynamic Urban Opportunities Foundation, Inc. and President & Chapter Co-Founder for the National Black MBA Association, Austin Chapter.

Delores earned an MBA and BBA in finance from St. Mary’s University and is a graduate of Harvard’s Executive Education Program. She earned a second BBA with a concentration in accounting from UTSA. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and a Distinguished Toastmaster.

Delores is native Texan and enjoyed growing up in San Antonio, TX. She is married to Dr. Cornel Jones, aka “Mr. Wonderful”. Delores enjoys traveling and has traveled to 75+ countries, and 6 continents.

Evelyn Miles Rivera

Evelyn Miles Rivera is a Senior Manager of Treasury at NuStar Energy L.P. She has worked for both Valero and NuStar Energy for a combined service of 20 plus years with the companies in various departments from Accounting, Internal Audit, Marketing and now Treasury. She graduated from University of Texas at San Antonio with BBA in Accounting and obtained her MBA from Webster University. She has been a member of the San Antonio’s Association for Financial Professionals since 2010. She was the Supervisory Chairperson for the Synergy Federal Credit Union from 2007 – 2014 and has been a director on the Credit Union’s board since 2015. She served as a board member for San Antonio Independent Living Services (SAILS) from 2012- 2014. She is currently a member of the NuStar Energy’s employee volunteer council and has mentored students in elementary through high school. She and her husband Michael have two children.

Nishell Robinson

Nishell Robinson, a dedicated banker for 20 years, currently serves as a Business Banker at Comerica Bank. Nishell works with personal account holders as well as small business owners to determine their needs. She specializes in developing and deepening full relationship banking to include personal and small business loans, lines of credit and depository solutions for her clients. She is very committed to her clients and long term client relationships that she’s developed over the years. Nishell also serves as a Board Member for Ella Austin community center on the Finance Committee. Nishell has a very strong since of self and is very committed and involved with her church and community events in the San Antonio market. Ms. Robinson has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Wayland Baptist University.

BillyRay Sheppard

BillyRay Sheppard, saxophonist living in San Antonio Texas has been performing since the 80’s. His musical roots run deep with earliest experiences in Blues, R & B, Reggae, Latin, Tejano and Country bands. It’s his love for music that keeps him grounded and his love for jazz that keeps him performing. He has shared his talents on stage with Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, Willie Nelson, Roy Hargrove, The Dirty Dozen Band, Johnny Bush and many more. With his rich, warm soulful tone he has made a name for himself with his saxophone. In addition to performing in concerts, BillyRay is available as a soloist, or band performer (leader of The Main Event Band of San Antonio TX) for private functions including conventions, weddings, private parties, fashion shows etc.

George Williams, Jr., Ph.D.

George A. Williams, Jr., Ph.D. serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Assistant Professor at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree from Bethune-Cookman University, master’s degree from the University of South Florida, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, with distinction, from the University of New Mexico (UNM). Dr. Williams has held positions as a special education teacher and Academic Student Success Manger by managing the academic accommodations of university students with disabilities.

Dr. Williams has presented and served as a guest lecture at the state, regional, national, and international levels addressing topics such as diversity, leadership, and cultural responsive teaching. Among many earned academic accomplishments, such as Teacher of the Year with the School District of Hillsborough County and recipient of the Presidential Luminaria award for diversity, Dr. Williams has also served as a community trailblazer. He fulfilled positions as an international board member of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society, president of the New Mexico Association on Higher Education and Disability (NM-AHEAD), and a school board member for the Las Puntas Charter School. Currently, Dr. Williams is completing three successful terms as treasurer of the Texas Council for Exceptional Children, serves as chair of the Scholarship Committee with the San Antonio Dr. MLK, Jr., Commission, board member of the Carver Development Board, and board member of the Healy Murphy Center.

Dr. Williams vowed to make a difference in the lives of youngsters. From the start of his career in educating children with disabilities and children that demonstrate school dependence, his personal motto has been for them to Own the Knowledge.

Sponsors

The Carver Community Cultural Center wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation for the kindness shown to us by the following corporations, organizations and foundations. Their support enables the Carver to continue offering the quality programming for all to enjoy.

  • A Dream Weaver Florist
  • Alamo Beer Company
  • ARTS San Antonio
  • AT&T Foundation
  • Avista Products
  • City of San Antonio, Department of Arts and Culture
  • City of San Antonio, Department of Convention and Sports Facilities
  • City of San Antonio, Department of Human Services
  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Greehey Family Foundation
  • H.E.B. Helping Here
  • H.E.B. Tournament of Champions
  • Kiolbassa Smoked Meats
  • KONO FM 101.1
  • KRTU FM 91.7
  • Lifshutz Foundation
  • Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation
  • Muñoz & Company
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Performance Network
  • New England Foundation for the Arts
  • David Robinson Foundation
  • Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts
  • San Antonio Current
  • San Antonio Express-News
  • San Antonio Food Bank
  • San Antonio ZULU Commission, Inc.
  • Spare Parts
  • Starbuck’s
  • Texas Commission on the Arts
  • The Big Bib BBQ
  • The Chop Shop Produce Co.
  • The MightyGroup
  • The Rivard Report
  • Trinity University
  • Tucker’s Kozy Korner
  • USAA Foundation A Charitable Trust
  • Valero Energy Corporation
  • Water 2 Wine
  • San Antonio African American Community Fund
  • Sisters of the Holy Spirit
  • San Antonio Chapter of Links
  • John L. Santiko Charitable Foundation
  • San Antonio Area Foundation
  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation

2018-19 Cavalcade Sponsors

  • USAA
  • AON Empower Results
  • CHUBB
  • City of San Antonio Department of Convention & Sports Facilities
  • City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture
  • Liftshutz Foundation
  • San Antonio ZULU Commission, Inc.
  • Valero Services Inc.
  • St. Paul United Methodist Church of San Antonio
  • Frost
  • Second Baptist Church