Board of Directors
Rich Babcock was elected to the TPEA Board in 2016.
Rich serves as Senior Warden of the Jester IV Psychiatric Facility in Richmond, Texas. He has been a state employee with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) for 22 years. A native of California, Rich earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Organizational Management from Ashford University before entering the public sector. As Senior Warden, Rich is responsible for more than 380 employees and up to 550 inmates in need of psychiatric care. He also works closely with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, which manages health care at the facility, and Alvin Community College, which provides vocational training.
Outside of work, Rich enjoys backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, theater, music, and spending time with his six children. He has also coached soccer for 26 years.
Tim Fitzpatrick was elected to the TPEA Board in the Summer of 2019.
Tim currently serves as an Assistant Warden of the W. J. Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas. Tim commenced his career in State service with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) at the Jim Ferguson Unit in Midway, Texas in 2005. He then passionately served on multiple facilities with differing missions to include the Goree Unit, the Byrd Unit, the Polunsky Unit, the Michael Unit and the Pam Lychner State Jail before receiving his most recent promotion.
Tim moved to Texas in 1998 and grew up in the North Houston area. He was accepted into the Criminal Justice Program at Sam Houston State University and graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in 2011.
In 2013, the College of Criminal Justice and the Correctional Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston State University awarded Tim a scholarship to attend the Master of Criminal Justice Leadership and Management Program. Tim graduated with his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management in 2015. At the Estelle Unit, Tim is responsible for the oversight, management and leadership of over 1,000 TDCJ and State contract employees and approximately 3,148 offenders.
Jan Thomas is the Director of Human Resources at the Texas Lottery Commission and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of human resources management. She has dedicated her career to employees and knows the importance of pay, benefits and a sound retirement system for maintaining a quality workforce in state government. She believes the work state employees perform is critical to maintaining a healthy Texas economy.
Jan has over 25 years of experience and has worked at the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Employment Commission and the Texas Merit System Council during her career. She has the unique experience of working in small, medium and large agencies and understands the diverse challenges of state employees. Jan was appointed to the ERS Group Benefits Advisory Committee in 2020. She is a long-time member of TPEA and has previously served on the TPEA Executive Committee, Board of Directors and as President of the Capital Complex Chapter.
Jan was named “Woman of the Year” by the Executive Women in Texas Government, received the “Outstanding Woman in Texas Government” award from the State Agency Council of the Governor’s Commission for Women, and is a graduate of Leadership Texas. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor and is the recipient of the UMHB Distinguished Alumna award.
Jan grew up in a military family where she learned the value public service. The frequent relocations also convinced her that Texas is the best state in which to live.
John "Dan" Maxwell
Dan Maxwell was elected to the TPEA Board in 2018. This is Dan’s second tour of duty, as he represented Region 13 for two terms from 2004 to 2010. He has been a member of TPEA since the late 1970s.
Dan commenced his long career in state employment within two days of his high school graduation, taking a job in the print shop at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin University with a B.S. in Communications and Media Studies (where he managed SFA’s television production facility and over the air radio station), Dan served as Media Services Director for the Lufkin State School and Lufkin Supported Living Center from 1976 to 2010. Dan retired from active state employment in 2010, but that has not stopped him from contributing as a leader in TPEA and as President of the Retirees Chapter in Austin since 2015. Dan combines his love of music (he is a drummer and percussionist) with his tireless work as a volunteer. He has received three significant awards recognizing his volunteer service to the Lufkin and Austin Supported Living Centers: the 2009 DADS Vision Award (with his band, The Strat Cats) which still plays monthly in Lufkin; the 2014 DADS Vision Award; and the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award from HHSC Deputy Commissioner Mike Maples.
Carroll Fuchs retired from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) in 1999 after 35 years of state service with the agency. In his tenure at TDI he served many roles, including: Insurance Examiner, Financial Statement Analyst, Director of Accounting, Director of Facilities Planning and Chief of Staff Services.
Since joining in 1965, Fuchs has been an active TPEA member. He served two terms as President of TPEA Chapter 79 and one as President of TPEA Region VII. He was a recipient of the TPEA Ed Riedel award for outstanding service, dedication and tenure to TPEA. In alignment with his passion for serving the state, Fuchs also acted as President of the Texas State Agency Business Administrators Association.
In addition to his accomplishments as both a state employee and state employee advocate, Fuchs served six years in the Texas Air National Guard. He was also elected to the Jarrell Independent School District Board of Trustees, serving one year as President. He has held numerous officer, board and committee positions at his church, Zion Lutheran Church in Walburg, Texas, including 29 years as Chairman of their annual fundraiser, Wurstbraten.
Fuchs now lives in Georgetown, Texas. He attended both Temple College and UT at Austin, graduating with a BBA degree in Accounting.
Mr. Dennis has been a TPEA member for over 30 years. He served three terms as statewide President and currently serves as Vice President on the Board.
Mr. Dennis was a state employee for 31 years with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). He served his entire TxDOT career in the Houston District, retiring as the District Engineer in Houston in 2011. In that role he was responsible for managing all district operations with an annual budget of more than $1 billion. He oversaw department operations in six counties, including Harris County. While managing up to 1400 employees, he had the opportunity to interact with over 4.5 million licensed drivers.
Since 2012, Mr. Dennis has worked in the private sector in the consultant engineering field. He currently is a Vice President with Othon Engineering, a multi-discipline civil engineering firm in Houston. Mr. Dennis graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
Kelly Zrubek joined TPEA in 2006 and was elected to the Board in 2019. In 2017 Kelly received the TPEA President’s Award for her outstanding service to the association.
Her public service role is the Special Assistant to the Director of Permitting and Registration Support with over 25 years of state service with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Austin, Texas. She is a senior project and program manager with a proven track record in risk management, quality assurance, business enterprise policy analysis and legislative strategy.
She began her state career at the University of Texas in the Recreational Sports Division Office. After university, she spent three years in industry raising fish and toxicology biomonitoring organisms for the EPA. She then furthered her state career by joining TCEQ. She worked in Public Drinking Water determining public water system compliance and overseeing rules related to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Czech Language from the University of Texas in Austin. She holds a Master’s Certification in Information Technology Project Management and a second Master’s Certification in Business Analysis from George Washington University. Kelly celebrates more than 10 years as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) by the Project Management Institute.
After more than 23 years of services with Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS), Joe Golson became a state of Texas retiree. During his time there, he served in several positions including Assistant Director of Member Benefits, Director of Benefit Contracts, and Director of Cost and Risk Management. His experience at ERS ranges from front-line supervisor to senior director, with responsibilities like program management, benefits administration, contract administration, life & health insurance administration, retirement administration, legislative research, strategic planning, and policy development.
Golson also worked with the Texas Health & Human Services Commission and was responsible for obtaining federal funds for major information technology projects. He currently holds or has held the following licenses, certifications and designations: Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), Certified Government Benefits Administrator (CGBA), Certified Retirement Administrator (CRA), Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC), Group I Life & Health Insurance License, Real Estate License (REALTOR), and Series 6 & 63 Securities License.
Golson believes that the wealth of experience and skills that he's acquired throughout his career have prepared him for the important role of advocating on behalf of the dedicated employees and retirees of the state of Texas. "TPEA provides a critical function as the advocate for our state’s most vital resource: its employees and retirees!"