Board of Directors
Chris-James Cognetta, President
Hailing from New York City— Chris made his home in Texas in 1989. Currently he is a resident of Dallas, and active in the community in and the world of nonprofit organizations helping people and their causes move forward.
He is retired from the World Comedy League and mostly from acting and comedy. These days he can be found either as a corporate educator or as a psychotherapist at his private practice, A Mind at Ease.
Previously, he has been the chair of the board for Youth First Texas, Development Chair for the Turtle Creek Chorale, Fundraising Chair for Uptown Players and a curriculum developer for the Ford Foundation. Chris’ focus for the last 3 decades has been focused on helping forward the LGBTQ community and allies through volunteerism and education.
Holly Hoffer, Vice-President
Holly Hoffer is a New Orleans native who attended Louisiana State University. Having relocated to Dallas in ‘86, she has enjoyed being a longtime resident of Oak Cliff and has served on her neighborhood board as Board Member as well as the position of President. In addition, Holly has served on the board of Habitat for Humanity in a long term capacity, and as an acting Volunteer Coordinator near her hometown in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.
For 30 years, Holly has worked as a hairstylist who enjoys giving individual attention to detail to her clients, currently serving the Oak Lawn/Park Cities area. And further, animal-lover Holly works as a dog sitter and enjoys many four legged Dallas clients.
Holly is a self-proclaimed southern foodie, wine lover and a newly intrigued traveler.
Barb Esquivel, Secretary
Barbara Esquivel is in her second term with the GLFD board and comes with 4 years of board experience with Paws in the City, a Dallas area animal rescue group where she currently serves as the Business Admin.
Her passion for animals extends to pet sitting in the Dallas area as her own boss for Wild Kingdom pet sitting. Barbara works for Maharam, an interior design fabrics company in Uptown. She is a native of San Antonio and earned her BA from the University of Incarnate Word.
Michael Kurr, Treasurer
Michael is a Utah native who relocated to Houston, Texas in 2009. After spending seven years in Houston as a Salon Manager, he was given the opportunity to move to Dallas in 2016. He recently decided to make a career change from the salon industry to commercial real estate. Michael has discovered his passion and ability to connect with people and has decided to join the GLFD Board of Directors in hopes to give back to his community in as many ways as possible.
Sondra Lynn Padlo, Membership & Events
Sondra is an Alaska native who has lived in Dallas for ten years. A lover of animals, the arts, and the environment, she earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For the past 17+ years, she has served C-Levels and clients across a myriad of industries, fulfilling her passion for great customer service and helping those around her to do better.
Sondra feels strongly about people, processes, and living your best life in a world of equality and harmony. She loves living in Turtle Creek amidst nature, coupled with the ability to enjoy all that our amazing city of Dallas has to offer with her boyfriend and two elderly puggles.