I Am Waters Foundation

Today is 09.23.2017

Board of Directors

Elena Davis, Founder & President

Elena Davis is the President of I Am Waters Foundation, the nonprofit organization she founded in 2009. In the 1980s and 90s, Elena was best known as a top fashion model. For over fifteen years, her image graced the covers of magazines, appeared in ads, on the pages of fashions most prestigious magazines, and she has been in more than 40 national T.V.commercials.

She paused long enough to marry Gregg Davis in 1994, and finally retired from her successful modeling career after the birth of their first child. Since 1997, Gregg and Elena and their three wonderful children have called Houston home.

Her feel-good story might have ended here but something propelled Elena to reveal a part of her life she had kept hidden for decades from the world – prior to modeling she’d spent a transient childhood in extreme need and bleak poverty. Very few people knew Elena was one of four kids raised by a single mother on less than three thousand dollars a year and food stamps.

Neither her friends nor her children knew that as a child, Elena lived on the margins on society, attended a dozen schools, and finally dropped out of school in the 8th grade to work and support her family. She was soon introduced to a fashion photographer who took her first shots. She moved to Paris to pursue modeling at age 16.

After a year of modeling overseas Elena returned back to the States and signed with the renowned Ford Agency, to begin what was to become a lucrative and successful career as a print and fashion model.It was the loss of her beloved father-in-law in 2004 that caused Elena to reexamine the comfortable life she had achieved for herself.

After an encounter with a homeless woman seeking water on the streets of Houston, the call to action was strong, she knew her place was to help people living on the streets. Elena launched I Am Waters Foundation.

Today, with the support of Gregg and her family, Elena dedicates herself to expanding I Am Waters to provide spiritual and physical hydration to the American homeless. She is the full-time, President of I Am Waters and manages its day-to-day operations, fundraising and strategic expansion.

Homelessness is a national problem that gnaws at our country’s economic recovery and future. I am so impressed and inspired by the many great organizations that help the homeless with housing, job skills and food. I Am Waters compliments these groups with our straight-forward mission to provide clean water to the homeless on the streets. Water is the body’s the most fundamental need. I Am Waters provides our inspirational water bottles to homeless organizations for free to distribute to their clients in ways they deem best. We also seek to bring a human face to the American homeless which we deliver through our image-based awareness and education campaigns that educate and engender compassion in order to cause change.
Elena Davis Founder & President

Jim Pierce, Board Chairman

Jim Pierce serves as Chairman of the IAW Board. He is also chairman of Marsh’s Energy and Infrastructure Practices, where his principal role is one of team leadership and direction for more than 300 colleagues worldwide.

In the energy sector, he is responsible for overseeing all operations that involve upstream and downstream energy insurances for more than 1,000 companies in the energy sectors worldwide. Jim is a frequent contributor to industry publications and has spoken at RIMS and International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) events, and the World Petroleum Congress, among other venues.

Jim was involved in Big Brothers and Sisters of Houston for a number of years. He and his wife Dabney now focus their energies on raising their own four children.

I have known Elena and her husband Gregg for many years, and I had the pleasure of being part of the early planning days when IAW evolved from a seedling in Elena’s mind to the blossoming tree it has become today. I am delighted to serve as IAW’s first Chairman, helping to serve the American homeless, and setting an example for my children about the importance of serving our community for the greater good.
Jim Pierce Board Chairman

Terri Havens, Board Secretary

Terri Havens is CEO/Owner of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, a destination health spa in Vista, California, located in a secluded valley 40 miles north of San Diego. This exclusive resort, with a 5:1 staff to guest ratio, has an award winning wellness program tailored to suit personal fitness and wellness needs, and was voted the top Destination Health Spa in North America every year since 2008.

A native of New Orleans, Terri graduated from Louisiana State University and promptly entered the field of advertising and marketing in New Orleans. She owned an advertising agency and published the New Orleans social magazine, St. Charles Avenue prior to purchasing the Cal-a-Vie.

Terri, her husband John and three children now live in Houston where Terri is very active with philanthropic activities, especially those that address well being. She serves on the advisory boards of the Children’s Museum of Houston and Bayou Bend Gardens.

She chairs events and programs for many worthy organizations including Texas Children’s Hospital, and Hermann Park Conservancy.As a board member, I Am Waters welcomes Terri’s sharp business acumen and innovative approaches to health and well-being. Terri says,

My goal for my board involvement in the I Am Waters Foundation is to help the organization think boldly and nationally about how to transform the spiritual and physical well being of the American homeless through the body’s most fundamental need – water.
Terri Havens Board Secretary

Robert M. Weylandt, Board Treasurer

Robert (Bob) M. Weylandt, Managing Director, is a Wealth Advisor in the Houston office of the J.P.Morgan Private Bank.

Bob joined the Private Bank after practicing law in Houston at Baker Botts L.L.P. for 20 years, where he was a partner for twelve years and head of the Business & Estate Planning Practice Group for eight years. Bob is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and serves on the Charitable Planning & Exempt Organizations and the Estate & Gift Tax Committees for the College. He is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a past President and Director of the Houston Estate and Financial Forum and is a past Chair of the Probate, Trust and Estate Law Section of the Houston Bar Association. Bob also is current Co-Chair of the Gift Planning Advisory Council for the University of Texas, and he also serves on the Local Advisory Council for Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national nonprofit organization providing support to neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Bob received both his B.B.A. and his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Robert Weylandt Board Treasurer

Joseph Benson, Board Member

Joseph Benson, SEARCH Homeless Services Volunteer & Community Outreach Associate, is a double amputee and was homeless in Houston for four years. His decision to partner with SEARCH set his life back on the road to become a contributing citizen of Houston again.

Joseph advocates for the homeless on many different fronts. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Change Committee (Consumer Advisory Board), is an active member of the Healthcare for the Homeless Houston’s Board of Directors, is an active member of the National HealthCare for the Homeless National Consumer Advisory Board and former Marketing Coordinator for the Company Kitchen (a business enterprise created by SEARCH to encourage employment in the culinary arts within the homeless community).

Joseph Benson Board Member

Abigail Rodgers, Board Member

Abby is currently Global Brand Manager at ExxonMobile. She fills this roll after achieving a position of great influence as an executive within the Coca-Cola Company for over twenty years, culminating as the leader of Global Sustainability of Strategy and Communications. She is a marketing and communication executive and creative strategist, with expertise in corporate reputation, sustainability and stakeholder management. Abby embodies a deep understanding of consumers and the macro trends shaping demand. As an action oriented manager she is able to inspire, mobilize and lead large, diverse international teams of people. Her accolades are many and her endorsements are glowing, hard-earned and well deserved.

Abby’s commitment to I Am Waters provides a foundational strength that helps us to achieve our goals. Her insight guides us so that we may not only reach the homeless who need us, but also educate the American public to the facts of homelessness in our country.

I have admired Elena's vision and determination in bringing I Am Waters to life. I first met Elena over five years ago, when I was an executive for The Coca-Cola Company and was proud to help connect her with the resources she needed to package a water with the assurance of quality and product integrity. Over the years, I have been inspired by Elena's mission-based focus and her passion for the cause which extends far beyond basic hydration. I Am Waters continues to grow and every week there are new partners, more bottles served and more lives touched. I am proud to now serve on the I Am Waters board and hope to help expand the physical and spiritual hydration footprint.
Abigail Rodgers Board Member

Dwayne Benn, Board Member

Dwayne Benn is an independent consultant with 20 years of experience in consulting and in operating roles, Dwayne has led the development and execution of numerous strategic initiatives. He has: led the development and implementation of a performance management scorecard and review process for an electric utility in the Caribbean; assessed the market for professional learning technologies for a global philanthropy; facilitated strategy development for the offshore oil and gas industry; and assessed the smart grid market for an electric service company.

Dwayne has served as a Senior Director with Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting in Houston, specializing in strategy development and performance improvement for Fortune 500 and privately held companies, philanthropies, and public sector organizations. He has been President of Stradian, LLC, a consulting firm focussed on construction, education, healthcare, and high tech. Previously, as a Managing Director at Duke Energy, Dwayne managed strategic investments in early stage energy trading and risk management technology companies. He served as Director of Strategic Alliances for iVita Corporation, a web-based software and services company. At Compaq Computer Corporation, Dwayne defined market development strategy for the enterprise computing business, led product marketing for internet and eCommerce business solutions, and developed and launched an online business networking and B2C commerce platform for IT professionals. Additionally, Dwayne served as an Associate at A.T. Kearney, Inc., where he performed strategy and performance improvement projects, and as a Senior Consultant at Andersen Consulting.

As you can see, Dwayne embodies deep experience in a number of pillars that I Am Waters Foundation will benefit from in the development of the Foundation. We are very fortunate to have his insight and attention while we strive to make I Am Waters the most strategic and beneficial organization that it can be.

Dwayne Benn Board Member

Board of Advisors

Joey Hunter, V.P. Modelwire Inc.

Joey Hunter is the vice president of Modelwire, a software company that provides services to the modeling and talent industry. Mr. Hunter was formerly a co-president of Ford Model Management, one of the most prestigious modeling agencies in the world. He has been part of senior management at Ford since 1975 as executive vice president and later, a partner.

Mr. Hunter was also the founder and president of the New York branch of Karin Models Paris from 1998 to 2000.

Mr. Hunter was formerly the president of the International Model Management Association, a position he held for over ten years. Currently, he is a consultant in the modeling industry, well sought after for his knowledge and expertise.

"Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere Nor any drop to drink." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge I can’t believe how true this quote is for the men and women who have served our country and are now homeless. How can it be that in this time we are in, in a land of plenty, that they don’t have access to clean drinking water? I salute I Am Waters Foundation for their efforts to right this terrible injustice in America.
Joey Hunter

Pam Patterson, President 14-forty

Pam is Founder and Creative Director for the award-winning advertising and graphic design firm, 14-forty. She and Elena have worked closely together over the years to establish a unique and remarkable presence for the IAW brand. Pam is deeply experienced in traditional advertising messaging as well as new media platforms and branded identities.

In a world where ideas are the new value commodity, Pam and her team at 14-forty add conceptually remarkable positioning to brands. Always thinking. 24 hours, 1,440 minutes of every day. 14-forty.com

Pam Patterson