The staff of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas brings together experience from both the public and the private sector to manage the day-to-day activities of the Institute.
Laurie is a native Texan and has lived in Austin for 43 years. She has 22 years of state government experience which includes 7 years with the Texas Real Estate Commission, as administrative assistant in the education section, and 5 years with the Texas School for the Deaf as the agency receptionist.
Laurie brings basic sign language skills, as well as conversational Spanish to her position at CPRIT. She attended Austin Community College majoring in Mid-Management.
Prevention Program Manager
Ms. Frerich serves as program manager for CPRIT’s prevention program. Ms. Frerich holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining CPRIT, Ms. Frerich worked with CPRIT’s predecessor agency, the Texas Cancer Council, and the American Cancer Society’s National Cancer Information Service. Ms. Frerich is responsible for providing consultative and technical assistance in planning and implementing CPRIT’s prevention program. She also manages the prevention program’s progress report and project monitoring process.
Ms. Huddleston has been an accountant and purchaser for the CPRIT’s predecessor agency, the Texas Cancer Council, and for CPRIT since May 2000. She has worked for the State of Texas for more than 29 years, including the Texas Department of Health, Texas Department of Agriculture, in the Accounting Division at the Office of the Attorney General, and Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority. Ms. Huddleston attended Austin Community College and Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos.
Ms. Jimenez has provided administrative support to CPRIT and its predecessor state agency, the Texas Cancer Council, for the past 21 of her 23 years of state service. A native Texan, she received her Associates Degree from Del Mar Jr. College in Corpus Christi, TX. She began her state service with the Texas Department of Transportation.
Prevention Program Director
As CPRIT’s Prevention Program Director, Ms. Magid assists in setting the goals and strategic direction for CPRIT’s prevention program. Her responsibilities range from managing day-to-day operations for CPRIT’s prevention review office to communicating with the public regarding the goals, philosophy, and scope of the prevention program. Prior to joining CPRIT, she served as the executive director for the Susan G. Koman for the Cure Austin affiliate. She holds a bachelor’s degree in medical technology (magna cum laude) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in business administration from Memphis State University. Ms. Magid is a ten-year breast cancer survivor.
As Operations Manager, Ms. Nelson works closely with the chief operating officer to manage the daily operations of the CPRIT office and the grants administration contract. Her responsibilities include contract management, human resources, property and risk management, policy and procedure development, office management and budgeting. Ms. Nelson has served CPRIT and its predecessor state agency, the Texas Cancer Council, for her entire 20 year State of Texas career.
Ms. Read has more than 20 years of broad communications and special projects experience in both the private and public sectors. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, she began her career in Washington, D.C. working with a national industry organization, as well as planning and execution of special events for the Reagan White House. She returned to Texas to work with prominent clientele of a leading public relations and public affairs firm for more than a decade. Most recently, she served as Administrator of the Texas Governor’s Mansion for more than six years. Ms. Read is a cancer survivor.
Ms. Reyes joined the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute (CPRIT) as Executive Assistant to the Executive Director in July 2009. Prior to CPRIT, she worked at the Texas Youth Commission. Ms. Reyes has served as the Executive Assistant to a family owned GM Dealership & manufacturer of oil rigs in New Mexico. Previously, she was employed by the City of Lynwood, California, as the Executive Assistant to the City Manager and City Council.
Mr. Royal is responsible for CPRIT’s day to day financial activity, including budget and reporting. A former Budget and Policy Advisor to Governor Rick Perry, Mr. Royal brings over 19 years of experience in the financial arena to the agency. His previous state government service includes the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the Texas Youth Commission, the Office of the Governor, the Legislative Budget Board and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Mr. Royal holds a BBA from Prairie View A & M University and is a graduate of the of the Governor's Executive Development Program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin and the 2010 Texas Fiscal Officers Academy.
Information Technology Officer
Ms. Simien serves as CPRIT’s Information Technology Officer and is the principal advisor relating to the agency’s technology infrastructure. Primarily responsible for the efficient acquisition of and management of agency technology and information systems, her oversight includes systems development, staff support, policy definition, technology capital planning, and enterprise architecture design and implementation. Additionally, Ms. Simien also oversees IT strategic planning in collaboration with various agency organizational units ensuring a coordinated and effective approach to all new CPRIT technology initiatives.
Ms. Simien previously served as the IT/Engineering Test Manager for a large-scale data storage solution provider, managing an engineering test team while being primarily responsible for all internal infrastructure design and maintenance, including two engineering test labs composed of over 300 independent nodes as well providing support to geographically diverse sales and technical teams based in New York, Colorado, Canada and the United Kingdom.