Board of Trustees
Eric Makowski, co-owner and president of CORE Health Care, has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare and residential care industries. In recent years, he has translated his extensive knowledge and experience into significant advocacy efforts for those with brain injuries.
In 2005, Makowski was the driving force behind the successful legislation created to protect and increase the funding for Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services, a state fund that helps Texans with traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries receive rehabilitative therapy.
A certified brain injury specialist, he is active in the healthcare industry and surrounding Greater Austin community through his roles with regional and statewide groups to support the rights of Texans with brain injuries. Makowski served on the Austin Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities and is the current president of the Brain Injury Association of Texas, where he is focused on prevention of and education about brain injury, as well as communicating with statewide legislators to further shape public policy.
He also has served on the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services Advisory Committee for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission (now the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services), and on the Financial Advisory Committee for Hill Country Care, a non-profit nursing home in Dripping Springs.
Makowski received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Michigan State University. He lives in Austin with his family and was a winner of the Austin Business Journal's "Healthcare Hero Awards" in 2007.
Dr. Jim Misko
Dr. Jim Misko, co-owner and vice president of CORE Health Care, has specialized in neuropsychology for the past 15 years. He has committed his time and energy to helping improve the quality of life for people who have survived traumatic brain injuries and other neurological disorders.
Besides coordinating treatment at CORE and a number of other local programs, Dr. Misko lectures nationally and throughout Texas endeavoring to raise awareness of brain injury-related issues. In appreciation of these efforts, the Brain Injury Association of Texas awarded him the 2003 Professional Contribution of the Year. Dr. Misko is currently Vice Chair of the American Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists (AACBIS) a standing committee of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).
Dr. Misko received his doctorate from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1988 and is licensed as a Clinical Psychologist. He lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with his wife, Jennifer, and his two sons.
Wendy Makowski has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience. As an accomplished marketing strategist for a major technology company her most recent experience includes driving global brand awareness and creating strategic sales and marketing plans which contributed to significant revenue and profit growth. Offering a rare blend of creative and operational strengths, Wendy has expertise in many aspects of marketing, ranging from product strategy and brand management to the development of marketing and training materials, as well as, managing participation in major industry trade shows.
Prior to Marketing, Wendy was recognized as a top sales performer, selling technology to Fortune 100 accounts. Through her strength in relationship building and account management, she consistently exceeded sales goals and received many prestigious awards including The Circle of Excellence Award which is awarded to the top ten percent of over three hundred sales professionals. Wendy is no stranger to the world of non-profit organizations. She has enjoyed volunteering and organizing group volunteer efforts for The Capital of Texas Food Bank and has lead teams of volunteers for Operation Blue Santa. She also implemented an outreach program to link elementary school students with the elderly to offer companionship and entertainment. Wendy enjoys traveling, photography and theatre.
Jennifer Misko has been a licensed speech-language pathologist for the past 17 years. During her years of practice she has provided speech-language, cognitive, and swallowing disorder evaluation and treatment to adult clients following stroke, brain injury and neurologic disease. The first 10 years of Jennifer’s career she worked in hospital settings; in addition to her duties as a therapist she has provided inservices to medical residents and interns, coordinated graduate student supervisory programs, managed an adult outpatient program and served as supervisor for the adult speech-language pathology program at a local rehabilitation hospital. In 1999 she opened her own private practice and broadened her scope of practice to include voice disorders and foreign accent reduction with a specialization in the evaluation and treatment of stuttering. She is a member of the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association and of the specialty division for fluency and fluency disorders.
Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She earned a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and as part of her graduate work completed a practicum at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
In 2007 Jennifer put her private practice on hold to be able to spend more time with her husband and two sons. She enjoys theater, yoga, and volunteering at her sons’ schools.
Jonas Schwartz is a native of Tipp City, Ohio and a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He also holds a Master’s degree from the University of North Texas-Denton in Rehabilitation Counseling. Jonas began his career in human services at a Center for Independent living as the Employment Specialist. In this position he assisted people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. From there he continued working in the non-profit sector in the public policy and legislative advocacy arena for the last eight years. Most recently as the manager of the Policy Services Unit for Advocacy, Incorporated, the Protection & Advocacy Organization for people with disabilities in Texas. Jonas’s work in state government includes serving as a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor and his current position as the Stakeholder Relations Liaison for the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.
As Executive Director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, Dennis Borel is frequently called on for research, policy analysis and recommendations to the Texas Legislature and state agencies on issues surrounding disabilities. His service on advisory groups includes an appointment by Texas Health & Human Services Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins to the Promoting Independence Advisory Council and by Gov. Rick Perry to the State Independent Living Council. He has successfully advocated for positive change in government policy and practice in employment, transportation, housing, health care and architectural barriers to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in community life. Dennis has twenty-four years' experience as a senior manager of nonprofit organizations, during which time his programs have received numerous state recognitions and national awards from HUD, the Points of Light Foundation, the New York Interactive Film Festival, the Barbara Jordan Media Awards and the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management. In 2006, the University of Michigan awarded him the national James Neubacher Award for promoting rights and increasing opportunities for people with disabilities. He is a former high school teacher and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.