Board of Directors

Torrence H. Robinson
President and Founder

Torrence H. Robinson is senior director of global community affairs for Fluor Corporation and president of the Fluor Foundation where he is responsible for the development and execution of global community involvement strategies that help make a sustainable impact in locations where Fluor has a presence, through community engagement, employee volunteerism and philanthropic initiatives.

Robinson has a long history of promoting and supporting quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs in public schools and higher education. He co-founded the Infinity Project—an award-winning national secondary math- and science-based engineering & technology initiative based at Southern Methodist University (SMU).

Past education-related assignments include appointee to the Texas State Board of Education Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Writing Team – Engineering and serving as chair, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Technology Workforce Development Grants Program Advisory Committee.

He currently serves in a variety of volunteer leadership capacities, including that of board member for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and member of the Dallas Regional Chamber Talent Council and Caruth Institute of Engineering Education Advisory Board.

James R. Davis, Ph.D.
Vice President

Dr. James R. Davis has spent more than 30 years as a teacher and public school administrator. He has worked in Illinois, Texas and Mississippi as a public school superintendent and ended his teaching and administrative career as the Superintendent of Schools in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. There he was recognized for his reform efforts that led to some of the highest student achievement gains in the history of the school district.

Dr. Davis has made educational presentations to national and international audiences on a myriad of educational topics and has consulted with numerous corporations and educational institutions on educational issues of the day. These presentations include a reading research paper presented at the Oxford Roundtable at Oxford University in Oxford, England. He has been an adjunct professor in educational leadership at the University of Southern Mississippi and Distinguished Kramm Lecturer at Oklahoma State University. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and approved by the United States Senate to serve on the National Board of Educational Sciences, and he also served on the National Commission on NAEP 12th Grade Assessment and Reporting. He is the recipient of a multitude of awards and recognitions and named the prestigious Mississippi 2005 Superintendent of Distinction by the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents. He was awarded the Outstanding Educational Leadership Award-Congressional Black Caucus Technology Think Tank in 2003. In 2007 he was inducted into the Illinois State University College of Education Hall of Fame. He is a co-author of the book The Changing Landscape of Education Reform.

In 1979 he was the first, and has been the only, African American elected mayor of Rock Island. Dr. Davis has been active in community and civic endeavors all of his adult life.

He has worked on educational projects in South Africa, France and Scotland. His most recent work has been with the United States Department of Education as the Regional Representative for Region VI for U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings. In this capacity he represented the Department of Education in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana.

Florencia Velasco Fortner
Board Member

For 20 years, Ms. Florencia Velasco Fortner’s influence as a grass-roots community organizing has been felt in every community she’s touched.  As the President and CEO of The Concilio, Florencia works to enrich the lives of families in disenfranchised neighborhoods through education and community health initiatives.  Since becoming CEO in 2005, Florencia has dramatically increased revenues, transitioning The Concilio out of the red and into an annual budget of over one million dollars. Throughout this five year transition, The Concilio’s assets have more than quadrupled.  The Concilio’s parent involvement program has grown from four schools in the fall of 2005 to 30 schools in 2010 while the community health program has expanded to reach an audience of over 3000 families.  These impressive efforts have been recognized by the Center for Disease Control, National Council of La Raza, National Alliance of Hispanic Health, and the Plano Independent School District.

In addition to her work with The Concilio, Florencia serves on multiple, diverse advisory boards. She is a graduate of Leadership Dallas and in 2015 she received the prestigious “LA CIMA Nonprofit Leader Award” by the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2015.

Staff

Yvette Robinson
Director