LifeHouse is a Christian residential facility providing care, counseling and support for young women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
About | Board
Ben Cowart • Past President
Ben, the Chief Executive Officer and Chariman of the Board of Vertex Energy, has been involved in the petroleum recycling industry for almost 25 years. He is the founder of the Vertex group of companies and has served such companies since 2001. Ben was awarded the 2003 Business Man of the Year Award from the National Republican Congressional Committee, and served on the National Oil Recyclers Association Board of Directors as its President in 2008. Ben is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.
Ben has been involved with LifeHouse for several years as a Board Member and in 2012 he stepped into his role as President of the Board.
Sue Baumgarten • Board Member
Sue Baumgarten has been involved with LifeHouse since the early 90’s. She first served on the board in 1992 then moved onto staff to serve as the housemother from 1995-1997. Sue served as President of the LifeHouse board from 2005 to 2012. She has also served on the boards of Carolina Creek Christian Camp, The Forge for Families, Inc. and the Refuge Community Development Center. She participates in the College of Biblical Studies Women’s Guild. She and her husband Gil have three children. They attend First Presbyterian Church of Houston where Sue co-leads W.O.W. – Women of the Word Bible Study and volunteers in the youth department.
Buzz Baker • Board Member
Greg “Buzz” Baker has served as President since he co-founded Network Funding in 1998. With more than 20 years experience in the Mortgage industry, Baker has expanded Network Funding into one of the fastest growing mortgage companies in the nation, employing over 500 originators in 38 states with licenses to do business in 47 states. Previously, Baker served as a loan officer and then a producing manager for North American Mortgage Company. He has also served as the production manager and wholesale manager for Irwin Mortgage Corporation. Baker holds a degree in Finance from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Buzz and his wife, Lisa, resided in Houston with their children and attend Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Bill Donovan • Board Member
Bill Donovan and his wife, Karen, moved from Dallas to Houston in 1979. He owned his own his own physical distribution business operating in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio until 1993 when He sold it to a multi-national corporation. A life-long Episcopalian, Bill is an active member of Saint John the Divine Episcopal Church where he has served on the Associate Vestry, is currently on the Foreign Missions Committee and is chairman of the Maintenance Guild. He has also been a participant in Bible Study Fellowship since 1989 and is at this time a children’s leader.
Bill and Karen lost a son in 1989 but have a daughter, son-in-law, and three granddaughters, all residing in Houston. Bill sees LifeHouse as a wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord by helping brave young ladies who are in great need.
Nathaniel Richards • President
Nate is President and Founder of Entrance Software. He is a graduate of Rice University, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science & Economics. He remains an active alumnus through his involvement with Rice Engineering Alumni and the Rice Business Network, and serving on the Young Alumni and Alumni College Committees. Nate is also a member of Entrepreneurs' Organization, the Texas Electricity Professionals Association (TEPA). He serves on the Board of Directors of Houston Achievement Place and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including the Mission Training Center and Houston Beagle and Hound Rescue.
Nate serves as a member of the board for LifeHouse.
James Marshall Rorie, Jr. • Board Member
Marshall is a Christian counselor with a variety of life experiences which includes his service in the United States Navy, teaching for 15 years, as well as, being a part of the staff for his church. He has been married for 37 years, has four adult children, and five grandchildren. Marshall enjoys his family, being outdoors and collecting Thomas Kincaid.
Marshall has been a long-time supporter of LifeHouse after serving on the Advisory Board for many years and joined LifeHouse's Board of Directors in 2011.
Jim Weatherall • Board Member
Jim Weatherall and his wife, Ruth, are long-time residents of Houston. Jim has enjoyed a long term career as an business information technology consultant. Ruth is a speech-language pathologist. They worship at Grace Presbyterian Church and both are Presbyterian elders and deacons. Jim has served on the missions committee and is very interested in local and foreign ministries to make God’s love known in His world.
The Weatherall’s have four adult children and ten grand-children ages 1 to 15. The blessing of all these babies is the source of so much joy in Jim and Ruth’s lives. It follows naturally that they have a strong interest in ensuring the lives of babies to grow up in strong, loving families and seeing young mothers grow into successful adults. Jim proclaims, “God has a perfect plan for children to grow and prosper in a family setting. Lifehouse’s program is very effective in breaking the cycle of poverty, dependence and lack of effective parenting in our community. Lifehouse is also teaching the love of Christ in such a compelling way it will be in the hearts of these young women into eternity.”
Bob Shults • Board Member
Bob grew up in the Dallas Area and after gradating from Baylor University, came to Houston and attended the University of Houston School of Law.
Bob went on to become the Assistant District Attorney for Harris County. Upon leaving, he began practicing civil law and has done so ever since. He is now at the the firm of Luegenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard where he continues to represent insurance companies in major coverage actions and engage in general civil litigation.
Bob is married to Phyllis, the two of them are avid travelers. They also have two sons, Tyler and Andy.
Houston Lane • Board Member
Houston Lane has been an independent corporate growth consultant since 2009. Prior to starting his practice he held several leadership positions in entrepreneurial businesses, and also had experience as in investment banker and strategic consultant.
Houston and his wife Paige moved to Houston in 2001 and have three boys. They are members of Grace Bible Church and are involved in several non-profit organizations around town.
Houston was inspired to join the Board of LifeHouse after realizing how powerful the work of the ministry is, in its ability to change lives and spread the Word of God.
Jeff Cranford • Board Member
Jeff has served as General Manager of Accron, LP, a privately held chemical marketing organization, since joining the company in November of 2005. Prior to that, he spent nineteen years in the chemical industry serving in various sales, marketing, operational and management positions. Jeff received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M University-College Station, Texas in 1986 and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut-Storrs, Connecticut in 1997.
Jeff and his wife Nanci reside in The Woodlands with their two daughters. The family attends Grace Presbyterian Church where Jeff serves as a deacon.
Kevin Delaney • Board Member
Kevin has served as Senior Vice President – General Counsel & Secretary for Quanex Building Products since 2003, an NYSE company where also serves as Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Human Resources Executive. Previously, he was Chief Counsel for Trane Residential Systems in Tyler, Texas and prior to that he was the Vice President – General Counsel for GS Roofing Products in Irving, Texas. Kevin graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and earned his law degree from Baylor School of Law in 1987. Kevin and his wife of 20 years, Kathy, have served in leadership and volunteer roles in Christ United Methodist Church in Sugar Land and currently attend Sugar Creek Baptist Church. Their children attend Fort Bend Christian Academy.
Cathy Hale • Board Member