Meet Your Board

Pierre Koshakji

Chairman of the board

Pierre Koshakji, co-founder of Apollo Development and experienced executive in the energy sector, also chairs the Authentic Leadership Foundation. With degrees in engineering and business from Vanderbilt University and Southern Methodist University respectively, his leadership extends beyond corporate reorganization to promoting character-based leadership. Through his work with the ALF, Koshakji is committed to advancing leadership programs that emphasize principled decision-making practices in business, educational institutions, and nonprofits, leveraging his vast experience to foster authentic leadership across various sectors.

Darren Smith

co-founder and board member

Darren Smith, Chief Unlearning Officer at Cima Strategic Services and Co-Founder of the Authentic Leadership Institute, embodies a unique leadership philosophy focused on fostering authentic leadership and community within organizations. A native Texan and graduate of Dallas Jesuit and Texas A&M University, Darren's extensive global experience includes leading 100 strategy programs across 35 countries. Through developing the Authentic Leadership Loop, he aims to establish a common language and seamless accountability, overcoming the primary challenge of building a committed community: the lack of connection. Darren believes in the transformative power of effective feedback and organizational transparency to optimize enterprise performance.

Will Hodges

board member

Will Hodges, President of Cadence McShane Construction Company, brings a wealth of experience in general contracting and construction management to the Authentic Leadership Foundation. With a career starting in 1992, Will's expertise spans various sectors, including commercial real estate, healthcare, and education. Renowned for his commitment to excellence and community service, Will has significantly contributed to the Dallas Botanical Gardens and led the Hodges Gardens' donation to Louisiana. His passion for building not just structures, but also teams and relationships, underscores his role on the board.

Sally Smith

treasurer and board member

Sally Smith, board member and treasurer of the Authentic Leadership Foundation, brings extensive financial expertise to her role. With a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and progress towards her CFA, Sally has excelled in strategic development, M&A, and financial analysis across various industries in Dallas, Texas. Her career includes significant positions at Tenet Healthcare, Service King Collision, ACOSTA, and in the heavy equipment sector. Married to Darren Smith, they share a commitment to fostering authentic leadership and have five children together. Sally's analytical acumen and strategic vision contribute significantly to the foundation's success.

Matt Vereecke

board member

With a distinguished career in educational leadership and a strong commitment to community welfare, Matt Vereecke stands out as an invaluable addition to the Authentic Leadership Foundation board. As CEO of the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, he's dedicated to mental health awareness. His tenure as Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas showcased his management experience, overseeing 37 schools and directing a significant staff and student body. Matt's strategic vision in marketing, system-wide development, and community engagement, coupled with his educational background, aligns perfectly with our foundation's goals to foster authentic leadership and community impact.

St. Catherine of Sienna

honorary board member

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) was an influential Italian mystic and theologian, known for her deep piety and leadership within the Catholic Church. She dedicated her life to serving God, advocating for peace, and reforming the Church. Renowned for her role in persuading Pope Gregory XI to return the papacy to Rome, she exemplified courage and conviction. Her writings, particularly "The Dialogue," offer profound spiritual insights and continue to inspire youth by emphasizing the importance of faith, compassion, and personal integrity. St. Catherine's legacy as a devoted servant of God and a reformer underscores her enduring relevance in guiding young people toward a life of purpose and moral strength.