The mission of Skill QUEST is to lift working adults out of poverty into family living wage careers through education. We do this through a multifaceted sponsorship/workforce intermediary program tailored to the unique circumstances of each individual and designed to assure the highest likelihood of multigenerational success. Our vision is a future in which every person has access to the highest quality education to develop their full potential at affordable costs.
Chartered in Texas as a nonprofit corporation in 2012, Skill QUEST took over the operations of QUEST:Dallas/Collin, a 2010 expansion project of Project QUEST, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas (http://www.ProjectQUEST.org) started with JET funds from the State of Texas. Skill QUEST is an outgrowth of the ongoing institutionally based community organizing efforts of Dallas Area Interfaith (http://www.DallasAreaInterfaith.org) responding to the needs of the Dallas area community.
Shaniqua Rischer, First Project Manager for QUEST:Dallas/Collin,
with first class of QUESTERs, 2010.
Skill QUEST has been designated a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity by the United States Internal Revenue Service, and contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Consult your tax professional for details of how this might affect you and your taxes. For a copy of the IRS designation letter, please CLICK HERE.
While awaiting IRS designation, Skill QUEST has operated under the financial auspices and supervision of Project QUEST, Inc. and the Interfaith Education Fund, Inc, both 501(c)(3) designated Texas registered nonprofit corporations.
Skill QUEST staff and management is an energetic team with a wealth of knowledge in nonprofit operations from diverse cultural, educational, and experiential backgrounds.
Reginald Grant was selected as the executive director of Skill QUEST in December 2014. Reginald, who received his bachelor’s degree from Howard University in Washington, DC completed a 22-year career in non-profit administration in 2008 with the Boy Scouts of America after serving in seven metropolitan areas. His last position with Boy Scouts of America brought him to North Texas. Prior to joining Skill QUEST, Reginald served as development director for the College of Engineering at the University of North Texas in Denton. In addition to his executive level experience, Reginald has extensive community involvement as a Rotarian, a Paul Harris Fellow, and through many faith based initiatives. His community service began as an Eagle Scout in 1976 and continued through college where he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Reginald is married to Jill, his wife and best friend for more than 30 years. They have a daughter, Tyler, a graduate student at the University of Denver.
Director of Participant Services, Samanda Gronstal, B.A. in Spanish and English, is a certified bilingual teacher, and secondary Spanish, reading and writing instructor. She implemented and managed a school Peer Mediation Program and also resolved disputes between management and tenants. Her long involvement with Dallas Area Interfaith (DAI) gives her extensive knowledge of community resources, adult education, goal setting and long-term strategies.
Career Counselor, Trevor Lampkin, is completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership and Ministry. He has worked in the mortgage industry helping qualifying individuals modify home loans and retain their homes. He has also served as a financial advisor and as part of a conflict resolution team. Mr. Lampkin served 4 years in the Marine Corps as an Administrative Specialist where he briefed senior officers on promotion procedures, handled pay, supply budgets, promotion, and travel arrangements. Mr. Lampkin is married. He and his wife Jennifer have two children, Camryn and Joseph.
Career Counselor, Lauv Bruner, has a BS in Psychology, MS in Criminal Justice and is working toward PhD in Psychology. Discovering the passion of helping others led her from a career as a Data and Telephony Engineer to Social Services where she began as a volunteer with At-Risk Youth. Lauv has served North Texas communities as a mental health counselor, crisis intervention clinician, and program manager for underserved populations.
Andew Skrhak, Career Counselor, started with Skill Quest July of 2015. Before Skill Quest he worked as a Distributed Equipment Technician for 4 years at Arrow Value Recovery in Coppell, TX. He holds Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas. While at UTD he completed a semester internship at the “I Have a Dream Foundation” in Dallas where he assisted staff, students and teachers at the Onesimo Hernandez Elementary School in Dallas.
Employment Coordinator: (to be hired) will develop and maintain relationships with local employers, assist students in development of individualized training programs, and facilitate job placement.
Skill QUEST Board of Directors at 2013 Strategic Planning Session,
joined by facilitator Dazzie McKelvy of Workforce Matters;
Mr. Willie Bennett, Lead Organizer for Dallas Area Interfaith; and
Sister Pearl Ceasar, IAF Coordinator for Workforce Training Programs
Skill Quest has a diverse and experienced Board that works on business relations, funding, program and administrative development and implementation, community outreach and support at program information sessions.
Shannon Fitzgerald, PhD, a retired epidemiologist with a MS in Kinesiology and a BA in Psychology with over 15 years working on federal grants, is a volunteer Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader, parent volunteer for two secondary schools, and a leader with DAI.
Alan Lummus, retired, entrepreneur and executive, has organization-building experience from commercial construction, international mining, commercial sheet metal fabrication, software development, and Internet marketing.
Ada T. Simmons, retired educator in special population instruction, assessment and teacher education/certification, and coordination, is a dedicated volunteer with extensive board experience.
Karen Rayzer, with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, a Master of Public Administration, and a position as Assistant Director of Housing/Community Services for the city of Dallas, brings both theory and practical community development and management skills to the Skill QUEST Board. Karen contributes a broad range of experience in human and social services, housing and community development, project and contract management, financial analysis, personnel management, and telecommunication. As a result of her experience with city services, Karen offers a reservoir of community contacts.
Kevin Brown, a Financial Advisor and small business owner with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, brings a strong financial management and cost accounting and analysis background with major US corporations to our board, in addition to strong communities ties.
William deHaas, an Account Management Director for Magellan Health for 18 years with Master Degrees in Counseling, Theology, and American History, brings a strong emphasis on managing behavioral health, well-being, and workplace balance for numerous Fortune 500 companies. With experience and certifications in Employee Assistance Programs, substance abuse, and trauma/crisis management along with effective connections to Dallas area church and behavioral health communities, he is able to leverage these skills in support of Skill QUEST.
Charles Griggsby, President. Facility Interiors Inc. Charles grew up in Missouri and went to school in Kansas City. He served in the US Navy, and was stationed in San Diego, Calif. After migrating to New York, Charles graduated from Long Island University with a degree in accounting. He went to work with Peat Marwick Mitchell, now a part of KPMG. Charles moved to Dallas in 1982, and worked with Furniture Marketing Group. Facility Interiors was established in 1994 by Charles Griggsby as a full service installation company. Charles saw a need in the Dallas marketplace for a company of integrity and commitment. He partnered with Furniture Marketing Group to perform all of their installation and warehouse service. Now, twelve years later, FI has locations in Austin, Dallas and Houston. The company offers new furniture installation, reconfiguration of existing product, full asset management, and product refurbishment.
Reverend Aaron White was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex area. He received a B.A. in religion and theatre from Austin College in 2004, studied abroad in Scotland and England, and earned his Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 2007. After returning home to serve congregations in Texas, he was called to serve as Associate Minister at First Unitarian Church of Dallas in May of 2009. Aaron has served on the Skill QUEST Board as a representative of the institutions comprising Dallas Area Interfaith since January 2015.
Job training classes are delivered through the faculty and resources of Dallas County and Collin County community colleges.
Volunteers from DAI congregations serve as mentors, tutors, and alumni coordinators, and assist in VIP sessions. Community volunteers such as Dallas North Bank and Attitudes & Attire lead some of the weekly support sessions.