RBLP Instructors

Our Resilience Building Leadership Program instructors are experienced leaders who have gone through the program themselves and are certified RBLP-T instructors.  Our instructors are experienced with the official Resilience-Building Leader Program curriculum that is designed to meet or exceed the education/training requirement for each level of Resilience-Building Leadership Professional (RBLP) certification.

Kanessa Trent, RBLP-T

Kanessa Trent was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Kanessa retired from the U.S. Army September 30, 2020 after serving 29 years as a Public Affairs professional and educator. She retired as a Sergeant Major having served in a variety Public Affairs positions from brigade to four-star command. She deployed numerous times including tours in Haiti, Panama, Bosnia, and Afghanistan as well as to more than a dozen countries across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Kanessa spent the final four years of her career teaching in the Department of Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational Operations at the Sergeants Major Course, United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.

She holds a master’s degree in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Texas – El Paso, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism with a double minor in Marketing and Mass Communication from Thomas Edison State University. Kanessa is an adjunct instructor for the Resilience-Building Leader certification program. She has one son, Koa. Kanessa enjoys traveling, reading and anything that involves sun, sand and surf.

 Location: Dallas, Texas

Maria Hamelers

Maria Hamelers is no stranger to hard work and dedication. A native of Bolivia, South America, she spent 25 years in the United States Army as a Human Resources Professional, specializing in the field of Talent Management.  When she joined the military service, Maria set out to reach the highest rank an enlisted soldier can attain, that of a Sergeant Major.  Upon promotion to Sergeant Major, she was assigned to the First Cavalry Division, the largest organization within the Army. As the only Hispanic female Sergeant Major on staff, she led 50 human resources professionals to achieve their full potential. Thanks to her guidance and leadership, the First Cavalry division consistently exceed all expectations.  Maria spearheaded several Diversity and Inclusion initiatives as well as new HR processes that were adopted by the rest of the Army. Other assignments allowed her to travel the world and throughout the United States, including a combat deployment to Iraq.  Maria was awarded The Legion of Merit for a Distinguished career and recognized for her professionalism and selfless service through a time of war and peace. In addition to several Meritorious Service Medals as recognition for continuous improvements to Talent Acquisition, Diversity & Inclusion and Retention programs across the Army.

After retiring from the service and working in a male-dominated environment, she joined Attitudes & Attire, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help women achieve self-sufficiency leading to increased self-esteem and confidence within themselves. She developed, created, and implemented workshops that continuously challenged her client’s comfort zone, thus enabling them to find the inner strength to keep moving to find better opportunities in life. Maria also built a Spanish only program from the ground up, incorporating the cultural differences and allowing Hispanic women to take advantage of the fantastic programs the agency offers.

Maria’s passion for teaching and developing others have led her to become a Certification Instructor at the Resilience Building Leadership Program. She helps leaders create a favorable working climate, build trust, develop resilient teams that help organizations thrive and achieve their competitive edge.

Location: Melissa, Texas 

Neil Katz, RBLP-T, SPHR

Neil Katz has over 25 years leading, advising, and consulting C-Suite executives navigating the human capital challenges while aligning people and business strategies. His HR leadership in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, and startup has helped companies to navigate their strategic plans while achieving employee and companies’ full potential. Currently Neil provides advisory services to 2 start-ups, a growing law firm and a non-profit while serving as the VP, People & Culture for a rapidly scaling medspa. He understands the needs of companies and helps them understand the value that Human Resources can bring to the company with positive people and business results.

For the past 15 years Neil has also been providing executive coaching to CEO’s, Board of Directors, and executive professionals. He enjoys working individually with people to help them achieve their business and career goals, which helps them to continue to grow professionally.

Neil received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Texas Lutheran University and his MBA from Amberton University. He completed the Executive Coaching program through the University of Texas at Dallas and has his SRHM certification. Neil has served on speaking panels on various topics including networking, how to navigate the interview process, and employee engagement. Neil also serves on the Board of Directors for Hope International an adoption agency based in Dallas and previously served on the Board of Directors for Gift of Adoption and Halo Senior Care.

 Location: Dallas, Texas

Alvin Keen, RBLP-T, PMP,-ACP,-RMP,-SP

Alvin served 34 years in the US Army and retired as an O5/Lieutenant Colonel. Alvin has earned the Resilience Building Leadership Professional-Trainer (RBLP-T) in January 2020, and has been assisting and training clients since January 2020 in all three levels of the RBLP Certification Program. He actively works with all time zones to support clients on their RBLP journey. He has earned the following certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP); Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP), Stanford Certified Project Manager (SCPM), DOD Level-II in Program Management; DOD Black Belt and Green Belt certification.

Alvin has worked as a Project Manager roles at The Boeing Company, Vestas (Wind), TechnipFMC (oil-gas), and US Army as Acquisition Program Officer and is currently a PM consultant-instructor. He earned an MBA in Finance from Pepperdine University and Master of Project Management (MPM) from Keller Graduate School of Management and graduate of DOD Program Management Course. Alvin is also currently an adjunct faculty at several universities teaching project management courses, organizational theory, finance, and leadership courses in both graduate and undergraduate programs. Alvin is an avid reader of many topics and enjoys tennis, golf and riding his Indian Chieftain Vintage motorcycle.

 Location: Houston, Texas

Jason Harris

Jason Harris is currently a Vice President Human Resource Business Partner for BOK Financial. In this role, He partners with senior leadership and executives across 8 states to improve business practices. Jason grew up in rural Oklahoma and has always had a passion for business and leadership. Most days were spent outdoors fishing, hunting, and playing sports. At the age of 17, Jason enlisted in the Marine Corps with a burning desire to serve his country.

Jason spent 11 years as an infantryman moving up through various leadership roles. He was responsible for the development and overall wellbeing of those under his charge. During this time, Jason deployed overseas five times including multiple combat tours to the Middle East. While on active-duty Jason earned his B.S. in criminal justice. In 2012 he was selected to serve in a recruiting capacity and remained in that career field for the next 9 years. He served in multiple HR roles including recruiting, management, quality assurance, and lastly as the HR director responsible for overseeing the onboarding of new enlistees from 26 states.

In 2018, Jason attended the University of Oklahoma and earned a M.A. in leadership. This decision was to build upon his passion and then to apply these skills in business. In 2019, Jason got involved with the Resiliency Builidng Leader Program and received the RBLP-T certification. He was brought on as an adjunct instructor due to his leadership experience and facilitation abilities. As an instructor he completed certification prep for multiple students at various levels of leadership. Jason is passionate about leadership and the development of others. He is always looking for ways to better himself and his organization.
Prior to military retirement in 2021, he earned a Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification. In 2021, He accepted a role as a Sr. HR Business Partner for Arcosa Wind Towers a manufacturing company in Tulsa, OK. During his tenure he was responsible for the restructuring of the onboarding program and the reduction of turnover by 15%. He was able to increase employee engagement by 25% by training leaders to build trust and resiliency among their people. He believes that coaching and development is a powerful thing. We must always have the mindset of a student and be ready to learn.

Location: Tulsa, OK

For more information or to register contact:

Texas A&M University – Texarkana
Extended Education and Community Development
Phone: 903-334-6683
Email: eecd@tamut.edu