Our Board.

Mitzi L. Brown

Board Chair

Mitzi L. Brown is Chief Legal Officer and Vice President of Business Development for BRIX Holdings, LLC, a Dallas-based multi-brand franchising company specializing in chains with superior products and attractive growth prospects. The current BRIX Holdings portfolio includes the Red Mango® Yogurt Café Juice Bar, Smoothie Factory® Juice Bar, RedBrick Pizza® Kitchen Café, Greenz® and Souper Salad® chains. Prior to joining BRIX Holdings in 2011, Mitzi was Vice President, Legal and Digital Content for Blockbuster Inc., in Dallas, Texas, where she was responsible for studio revenue sharing and acquisition agreements for both physical and digital content, video game revenue sharing and acquisition agreements and all other general merchandise legal matters for Blockbuster Inc. as well as Blockbuster Canada Co. During her 14-year tenure at Blockbuster, Mitzi also served as an Associate General Counsel responsible for all legal matters pertaining to content, intellectual property and business development/strategic initiatives as well as supporting the marketing, advertising, corporate communications, national corporate sponsorship and product departments.

Mitzi is a member of the Florida Bar Association, the Texas Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association, and the American Bar Association and has been a member of Attorneys Serving the Community and Associate of Corporate Counsel. She has been past Chair for the Sports & Entertainment Section of the Dallas Bar Association and for the Sports & Entertainment Law Section of the Texas Bar Association.

Mitzi graduated magna cum laude from Florida State University with a bachelor of arts in Political Science and a minor in Business and received her law degree with honors from the same university. She resides in Frisco, TX with her husband Roy, a U.S. Marine veteran, and three boys Mason, Caleb and Jacob.

Lori Stevens

Executive Director

Ms. Stevens has more than 20 years of dog-training experience, an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for helping others; Lori Stevens became the founder and Executive Director of Patriot PAWS. Since 2006 when the organization was founded, Stevens has provided numerous disabled veterans with dogs trained to fit and assist their needs. She has also partnered with the TDCJ to train prison inmates to train these service dogs. Before Patriot PAWS, Stevens was the owner of Country K9 Academy. She is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy and has also had experience working at THSD, PETCO, and Lone Star Assistance Dogs. Along with being a certified pet dog trainer, her attendance and participation in numerous workshops truly shows how dedicated Stevens is to these animals and the people receiving help from them.

Mike Kovar


Mike graduated cum laude from Texas State University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Following his graduation he worked for the Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young for five years in both their Houston and Dallas offices, specializing in auditing. Subsequent to this, he has served over twenty-eight years in the private sector, including thirteen years at Fossil, Inc. where he was the company’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. Since April of 2013, Mike has served as Vice President- CFO of Fritz Industries, Inc. He is a registered Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Fritz Industries. Mike and his lovely wife, Jana, have two daughters, Kyleigh and Kaity. Mike enjoys watching and participating in all sports, hunting and fishing and spending time with his three lovely girls and the family’s five dogs.

Dr. Rhonda Phillips Black

Board Member

As the owner of Country Friends Veterinary Clinic in Royse City, Texas since 1996, Dr. Rhonda has cared for the dogs of Patriot Paws since the organization’s beginning. She is a perfect fit for this board. She has known Lori for over 20 years and continues to care for the assistance dogs as they progress through the program. Dr Phillips graduated from Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Along with Patriot PAWS, she has served over 12 years with the Royse City Independent School Board, serves on the Royse City ISD Education Foundation Board, and the City of Royse City Animal Shelter/Control Board. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Royse City and volunteers with the youth ministries. Dr. Phillips is also a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association. She is married to Pete and has 3 children, Ryon, Colby and Maggie.

David Marguilies

Board Member

David Margulies has been at the forefront of some of the major issues facing business, government agencies and non-profits since founding The Margulies Communications Group in 1986. He was the spokesperson and managed worldwide media relations when Oprah Winfrey was sued by Texas cattle interests. He has also managed media relations for a number of other high-profile cases, including litigation by Anna Nicole Smith against his clients, the heirs to the estate of the late J. Howard Marshall II.David and his team of professionals at The Margulies Communications Group also help clients build their businesses with positive media stories, innovative marketing programs, community involvement and cause marketing.

Elaine Ford

Board Member

Elaine Ford is a CPA professional skilled in the acquisition, development and management of residential assets. Her professional experience includes Vice President, Hillwood Communities where she manages investments in master planned, mixed use residential developments and Controller, Hillwood Communities where she manages and reports on the financial position of the Hillwood Communities Division. Elaine also has extensive experience serving on other Board of Directors in the community.