CAST Schools » CAST Schools » A Creative Force Joins the CAST Schools Nonprofit Board
A Creative Force Joins the CAST Schools Nonprofit Board


CAST Schools welcomes Erik Ford, proud parent of a student at the Advanced Learning Academy and Principal and Digital Director at Heavy Heavy, to the nonprofit board of trustees. Originally from New York City, Erik relocated from Los Angeles, California, to San Antonio, TX, in 2010, where he would meet one of the Heavy Heavy co-founders, Steven Darby. Founded in 2013, Heavy Heavy has been responsible for several brand designs, including Hemisfair, Geekdom, Codeup, Techstars, Revolución Coffee + Juice, Wonder Theatre, Highwheel Beerworks, and Plus One Robotics.

I look forward to working with CAST Schools alongside dedicated board members and the dynamic student body to innovate education and empower every student’s potential,” shared Ford.

The CAST Schools nonprofit board of trustees consists of community leaders committed to reinventing learning to maximize opportunities for students while preparing them for college AND careers. Current members include:

  • Lisa Lewis, Board President and Chief Administrative Officer for CPS Energy
  • Dr. Shari Becker Albright, Charles Butt Foundation President
  • Katie Chain, Education and Workforce Manager for H-E-B
  • Rene Dominguez, Texas Research and Technology Foundation (TRTF) Chief Operating Officer
  • Erik Nieves, Plus One Robotics Co-Founder and CEO
  • Dr. Lyssa Ochoa, Vascular Surgeon and Founder of The SAVE Clinic
  • Jeanne Russell, Executive Director of the CAST Schools Network


Board members act as co-creators for CAST Schools, providing invaluable insights that help shape the nonprofit’s future trajectory. From school design to shaping students’ career and life readiness through mentorships, real-world experiences, and job opportunities, members constantly provide creative solutions to break barriers between industry and high school students.


As a small network focused on innovation, we’re delighted to welcome a new board member who is passionate about design, and who will push us to include the arts as we prepare our students for career and life success,” said Jeanne Russell, Executive Director of CAST Schools. 


Ford’s wealth of experience, creative insight, and dedication to pushing the boundaries of design will steer CAST Schools Nonprofit towards new horizons. His presence will guide the nonprofit toward new innovative possibilities as the research and design partner for 4 area public school districts.


Copyright © 2024 CAST Schools

200 E. Basse Rd.,
San Antonio, TX 78209

For questions, email:

501(c)(3) Tax Exemption Number: 82-5253554

The Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Network is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. CAST Schools are partnership schools with a focus on STEM careers, project based learning and work-based learning. Key partners include public school districts, higher education institutions, and local employers from target industries.