Big Thought Welcomes New Board Chair and 2 New Members

Big Thought is proud to announce the election of a new Board Chair and two new members of the Board of Directors for the 2020-2021 year.

New Board Chair: Danica Mathes

Danica Mathes, partner at Bell Nunnally, was unanimously elected as the new Chair of the Board of Directors for the 2020-2021 year during a meeting of the Board on June 30.

Danica has been a member of the Big Thought Board since 2016 and has served as Chair-Elect, Board Governance Committee Chair and Communications Committee Chair. Danica brings a wealth of expertise in intellectual property, advertising, and brand reputation to Big Thought. She also has a strong personal passion for empowering youth through creativity. Danica is a graduate of Leadership Dallas and Leadership Arts, and her leadership in the community will help her expand Big Thought’s network and reach. 

Big Thought is so fortunate to have you and your brilliant leadership skills,” said Big Thought President and CEO Byron Sanders to Danica during her induction at the Board of Directors meeting on June 30. “It’s an uncertain time now for our nonprofits and the community needs you in this role to serve all of the children of North Texas.”

Danica took the reigns during the Board of Directors meeting on June 30, 2020 from Shaun Dowling, who served as Chair for the 2019-2020 year. Shaun will continue to serve as an Officer as Immediate Past Chair.


New Board Members

The Big Thought Board of Directors also unanimously elected two new members of the Board during their meeting on June 30.

Anthony BegonThe first new member elected on June 30 is Anthony Begon. Anthony is in house Litigation and Compliance Counsel at McAfee where he manage a diverse portfolio of litigation matters and advise company leadership on various pre-ligations disputes. Prior to joining McAfee in 2019, Anthony was an associate at Bell Nunnally where he defended and prosecuted cases involving trademark infringement, trade secrets, and confidential or proprietary information. Anthony also dedicates his professional skills to the Buried Alive Project, providing advocacy and pro bono counsel for individuals serving life sentences without parole.

“Anthony will be an asset to the Board,” shared Danica Mathes during his nomination. “His community and business connections, along with his desire to helping youth in marginalized communities, will help Big Thought strive to achieve their North Star.”


Andrew LeGrandJoining Begon as a newly elected member is Andrew LeGrand. Andrew is a partner at Gibson Dunn specializing in commercial litigation. Andrew’s recent accolades include being named a “Lawyer on the Rise” by Texas Lawyer (2017),  a member of the “40 Under 40”list (2018), a “Minority Business Leader of the Year” (2020) by the Dallas Business Journal, and one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” by D Magazine (2020). He also proudly maintains an active pro bono docket focused on criminal justice reform. Andrew received the firm’s 2016 Frank Wheat Individual Pro Bono Award for his individual pro bono efforts, and he recently detailed his commitment to pro bono during a podcast hosted by the Pro Bono Institute. In additional to his professional work, Andrew serves on the Board of Directors for Hope Cottage Pregnancy and Adoption Center and Cedar Hill Economic Development Corporation.

I met Andrew while we were members of the Dallas Regional Chambers’ Leadership Dallas Class of 2018, and he has already been bitten by the Big Thought bug,” according to Danica Mathes. “His skill set as a lawyer, masters degree in education, and network of professionals in a variety of industries will make him a valuable member of Big Thought’s Board.