Big Thought Announces New Board Members & Slate, and Appoints Vana Hammond as Board Chair

DALLAS – July 19, 2023 – Big Thought has elected a new board chair, officers and board members to its board of directors for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

Vana Hammond a well-recognized Dallas community leader, attorney and former police officer, has been elected as Board Chair for the coming fiscal year. Hammond has a J.D. from Texas Wesleyan School of Law and was a Community Prosecutor for the Dallas City Attorney’s Office. She has also served as previous Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’s Chief of Community Relations and GrowSouth, the mayor’s signature economic development initiative in historically underserved areas of the city.

“We are honored to have Vana as board chair and walk along with us in this work. Big Thought values her commitment to reimagine the world we live in and accelerate the next generation of youth across Texas to live their best lives and world.” says Big Thought President and CEO Byron Sanders.

Hammond will be succeeding the previous board chair, Theresa Flores. Flores will still serve the board as immediate past chair. Flores remarks on Hammond’s appointment, “Leadership is about envisioning new horizons, igniting minds, and empowering voices. As the new Chair of Big Thought, Vana will embrace the responsibility to lead the board of directors to foster creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking, weaving a tapestry of knowledge that will inspire a brighter future.”

We are all ecstatic and honored about Vana taking the helm of the Big Thought Board as our new Chair. Her broad public and private sector background, including working as a Dallas police officer, leading the mayor of Dallas’ community relations efforts, and serving as the AT&T lead on regulatory and legislative issues, have provided her with a unique perspective and skillset to help us transition into an even more impactful and transformative organization. The entire Big Thought team looks forward to working with Vana to ensure that all our youth are equipped with the skillsets they need to truly imagine and create their best lives and world.

“I am honored and invigorated to work alongside this awesome Board of Directors,” said Hammond. “I know I speak for the entire board when I say we are optimistic about the future of youth world wide because of the work these executives and staff are executing daily with youth at the center. I hope this year can be a transformative time in the organization where we encounter more youth and create more systems that promote the heathy advancement of all youth no matter their zip code.”

In addition to Hammond, ten board members will serve as board leadership. This year’s board is a collective of professionally diverse and passionate experts.

Big Thought Board Leadership:

Additionally, Big Thought Board has elected four members:



Big Thought is an impact education nonprofit that closes the opportunity gap by equipping all youth in marginalized communities with the skills and tools they need to imagine and create their best lives and a better world. Driven by its mission to make imagination a part of everyday learning, Big Thought has become a national model in arts education, out of school time systems, summer learning and juvenile justice intervention.