About the Be A Coffee Bean Foundation

Damon West

Co-Founder and President

Sentenced to sixty-five years in a Texas prison, Damon West once
had it all. 

Damon West, M.S. Criminal Justice, is a college professor, nationally known keynote speaker and best-selling author (with best-selling author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon) of The Coffee Bean: A simple Lesson to Create Positive Change. His first book and autobiography, The Change Agent: How a Former College QB Sentenced to Life in Prison Transformed His World, was published just three years after his release from a Texas maximum-security prison. 

At 20 years old, he was a Division 1 starting quarterback at the University of North Texas, when he suffered a career ending injury. He turned to hard core drugs to cope with disappointments of life. After graduation, he worked in the United States Congress, was a national fundraiser on a U.S. Presidential campaign and eventually trained to be a stock-broker for United Bank of Switzerland (UBS). One day at UBS, he was introduced to methamphetamines; he became instantly hooked—and the lives of so many innocent people would forever be changed by the choices he made in order to feed his insatiable meth habit. 

After a fateful discussion during his incarceration with a seasoned convict, Damon had a spiritual awakening. He learned that, like a coffee bean changing with the application of heat and pressure, he was capable of changing the environment around him. Armed with a program of recovery, a renewed faith, and a miraculous second chance at life, Damon emerged from over seven years of prison a changed man. His story of redemption, grit and determination continues to inspire audiences. today. 

Today, Damon lives a life of recovery and service, going to meetings and sharing his story all over the country with schools, churches, athletic teams, corporations, conferences and inside correctional facilities. Over the past few years, he has been sharing the Coffee Bean lesson with dozens of college football teams such as Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, and countless schools and businesses. His #BeACoffeeBean message has inspired thousands from Walmart to the US Army to the NBA. 

Damon’s story has been featured both nationally and globally. His second book, The Coffee Bean, co-authored with best-selling author Jon Gordon, became an instant best-seller and a part of Forbes’ “Top Twenty Books You Need to Read to Crush 2020.” Damon is passionate about the Coffee Bean message and loves sharing how it changed his life and
how it can change yours, too. 

His latest book (with coauthor, Jon Gordon), The Coffee Bean for Kids, is the genesis for Coffee Bean Clubs being started by students at schools all over America. 

Of all the hats Damon wears, the two most important to him are being a husband to Kendell and a stepfather to Clara. One of his greatest fears upon re-entry was wondering if he would be able to find someone who found him worthy of love and a family of his own. Like most fears we all have in life, this one was unfounded.


Kendell Romero

Co-founder and Executive Director

Kendell obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lamar University and began her career as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit in 2009.  In 2012, Kendell graduated from Texas Tech University with her Master of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner and started her career in outpatient internal medicine and psychiatry until she was offered a position in rheumatology in January of 2015 in which
she remained until April of 2021.

In addition to being a board-certified nurse practitioner, Kendell is also certified by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in quality and safety, and she maintains her certification of CITI training by the Office of Research Integrity. 

Kendell was recently awarded the Christus Physician Group Patients’ Choice Award for 2018 and 2020.

After much self-reflection, Kendell decided, in 2021, to focus solely on volunteering her time and efforts to the Be A Coffee Bean foundation.

Most importantly, Kendell is a mother to her daughter, Clara, and a wife, to her husband, Damon West, co-founder of the Be A Coffee Bean Foundation.

Kendell enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, dancing, playing board games, and taking care of her pets, Hershe’ (the ultimate feminist dog), two Bengal cats (TrixieCat and Lucy), a beta fish (Jewels), and Grandma Turtle, who is an 80+ year old turtle her family inherited.

Kendell is passionate about pre-intervention youth initiatives for criminal justice reform, reducing the school to prison pipeline, strengthening the incarcerated parent/child bond, reducing recidivism rates, and providing opportunities for at-risk youth.  

Kendell is an active member of the Texas Nurse Practitioner Association, Southeast Texas Nurse Practitioner Association, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Helena Park PTA.


Board of Directors

Jeff Boyd

Jeff Boyd is the Chairman of Casa Boyd.

Prior to that he served as the President of Luggage Free where he managed the company’s day-to-day global operations. He facilitated 15 consecutive years of growth by expanding the domestic business to include an operational footprint in over 100 countries. The company was acquired by a strategic partner in 2019.

With a background in finance, Jeff brings a data driven approach to guiding business development, consumer behavior and digital marketing initiatives. He has a degree in Finance from the University of North Texas.

In his free time, Jeff is a notorious oenophile and cyclist.  If he’s not on the bike or in the cellar, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife and two children.

Dawn Stone Crouch

Dawn Stone Crouch, a Port Arthur Native, is currently living her dream of bringing recovery to disadvantaged men and women in Austin, Texas. She is a woman in long-term recovery and has over 18 years of continuous sobriety. She has spent over 14 years on the Board of Directors for Austin Recovery. She is also a Board Member for the Austin Recovery Network which consists of the University High School, Keystone APG, and Austin Recovery.

She serves on the Board of Directors for the national organization Facing Addiction and is a founding sustainer of the University of Texas: Students in Recovery which developed into a national model for student recovery programs across the US.

She is on the Board of Directors for the Rise School of Austin which serves children with Down Syndrome and a founding member for
Mack, Jack, and McConaughey.

She is a major donor and advocate for Community First Village (homelessness), Foundation Communities (homelessness and job training), Golden Willow (grief recovery Taos, NM), For The Love of Christie (grief recovery), New Milestones Foundation (mental health treatment), Hospice Austin, and Symphony of Soul.

She is the wife of Greg Crouch, and the mother to Matthew and Ella. She enjoys hosting and cooking. She is a carpool-mom warrior and loves spending time with her family and friends.

Dawn is a long-time friend of Damon’s and shares in his life passion and goal for living a life in recovery one day at a time.

Danielle Delgadillo

Danielle offers a vast knowledge of business and legislative policy and strategy, gained from over twenty-six years of federal government, state government, and political experience. 

Danielle earned extensive Texas legislative expertise by serving over a decade under several Texas Senators including: former Senator David Sibley (R), former Senator Kyle Janek (R), and Senator John Whitmire (D), Dean of the Texas Senate, as well as the Chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. In these roles, she oversaw various policy areas, including criminal justice reform, economic development, public and higher education, transportation, appropriations, tax policy, school finance, and natural resources.  

In addition, she has lobbied across the US to strategically advocate on behalf of legislative and business clients. Through this effort, Danielle has developed strong relationships with local and state legislators, as well as state agencies. This makes her uniquely well versed on the legislative and procurement process nationwide, regarding rules, procedures and the everyday ins-and-outs of government.  

In recent years, Danielle supported and helped cultivate an innovative group of venture capital partnerships in raising over $2.4 billion in capital by coordinating with economic developers, as well as state and federal legislators, to review, amend, and adopt capital formation projects and legislation. 

Working for both Republican and Democratic candidates has empowered her to forge and maintain strong bi-partisan relationships with key leaders in both the political and the business world. 

Danielle applies her strong work ethic to everything she does, including supporting her community through volunteering
with several organizations.

Dr. Toriano Holloway

Dr. Toriano Holloway is the Treasurer of the Board for the Be A Coffee Bean Foundation.

Dr. Toriano Holloway is currently serving as the Superintendent of the Quitman School District.  Toriano began his career as a Biology teacher and boys’ basketball coach at Gulfport High School where the team won the state championship in 2002. 

After coaching he served as an Assistant Principal at Gulfport High School for two years before leaving to serve in the same capacity at St. Martin High School.  At the end of his first year as an assistant principal at St. Martin High School he was named Principal for the upcoming school year. 

Toriano served as principal at St. Martin for five years and during that time the school was Level 5 and met AYP every year. His school administration career continued when he was named the principal of Harrison Central High School. During his three year tenure at Harrison Central the school moved from Academic Watch to Successful.  

Discipline referrals decreased significantly and the graduation rate peaked at 80%. After his tenure at Harrison Central he was named the Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Federal Programs Director for the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District for five and a half years. After going through consolidation,  implementing several programs and improving departmental efficiency and effectiveness,  Toriano accepted the position of Superintendent of the Quitman School District. During the last three and a half years, under Dr. Holloway’s leadership, the Quitman School District has improved from a “D” to “C” accountability rating.  The district has been a “D” for the last 7 years.  Additionally, there have been numerous capital improvement projects and several academic initiatives implemented.

Dr. Holloway is a 1991 graduate of Gulfport High School.  After graduation Toriano attended Dillard University in New Orleans, LA for three years.  He transferred to Mississippi University for Women and completed his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology (1997). After beginning his career in education Dr. Holloway received his Master’s of Science Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi (2001). Toriano completed his education after completing his Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi (2006).

Dr. Holloway is the proud father of one son, Aaron Holloway (23) and one daughter, Lindsey Holloway (15).  He is also a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Christopher Kirchmer, JD

Treasurer of the Board

Christopher T. Kirchmer practices personal injury trial law focusing on pharmaceutical and medical device product liability at Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, Texas. He is certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1995.

Kirchmer is a member of Michelle Mehaffy American Inn of Court, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Southeast Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the Jefferson County Bar Association and is the former President of the Port Arthur Bar Association.

A University of Texas School of Law graduate, Kirchmer was honored for Outstanding Work in Admiralty with the Sunflower Award. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Baylor University. 

He and his sister Sarah D. Mitchell are the founders of the Clinton R. Dobson Memorial Scholarship at Baylor’s Truett Seminary. Kirchmer works with the Jefferson County Bar Association’s Veteran’s Initiative program to help provide pro bono legal services to veterans in need. 

He also actively supports Living Waters Ministry and World Concern’s One Village Transformed program in Lietnhom, South Sudan.

Chris is a husband to Melissa Christopher Kirchmer, father to Kate Kirchmer, and stepfather to Trevin Sonnier, and enjoys spending time with his many furbabies. He also enjoys sewing and prides himself as mister “fix-it”.  

Chris hired Damon as his legal assistant only two days after Damon had walked out of prison. Chris is passionate about providing “second chance” opportunities for individuals who have overcome their past mistakes.

Mary Ann Reid

Mary Ann Reid is the Community Affairs Advisor for Golden Pass LNG.. Mary Ann has an extensive professional background in community development, public relations, government affairs and emergency medical services. She is the former president of the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce where she was involved in two multi-billion dollar business expansions at two local petrochemical companies. Mary Ann serves on several boards in the Southeast Texas area, and she has been honored with several awards for her community service through the years. Mary Ann resides in Port Arthur, TX with her husband of 28 years. Together, they are the parents of two daughters and two sons.

Genie West

Genie West is the Secretary of the Board for the Be A Coffee Bean Foundation.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She started her career as a Home Economics instructor in 1969 at Charlton Pollard High School in Beaumont, Texas until 1976 when she transitioned into public relations for Hayes Inc. in Port Arthur, Texas. In 1981, she began her journey and her calling in nursing.

After graduation, she worked as an RN at Christus St. Mary’s Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit, the Family Practice Residency Program, and the Emergency Room. She worked as a school nurse at DeQueen Elementary and as a home health/infusion nurse. She also started a company as the Nursing Coordinator and Owner of HealthCare Services-24 Inc. and Amedisys Home Health.

In 2000, she served as the Trauma Coordinator for Christus St. Mary ER then transitioned to Case Manager for Christus St. Elizabeth in Beaumont, Texas until she retired in 2015.

In 2018, she decided to return to nursing as a nurse reviewer for court cases for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm.

As an educator and a nurse, Genie is passionate about helping others manage and overcome hardship and trauma in their lives.

As a mother of a previously incarcerated individual, she understands the family hardship with incarceration. In 2017, she began a support group with Father Shane Baxter of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, for families of incarcerated individuals, PEEPS – Prisoners Empowered by Enlightened Parents and Supporters.

Genie is a wife to legendary, sportswriter Bob West of Port Arthur, Texas. She is a mother to Brandon West and wife, Shana Chandler; Damon West and wife, Kendell Romero; Grayson West and wife, Emily West; and Genie’s English Bulldog, Watson. She is GiGi to Hudson West and Clara Romero.

Genie is excited to continue her lifelong calling with her role at the Be A Coffee Bean Foundation.

Dr. Sherri Shoefstall

Dr. Sherri Shoefstall is currently an Instructor in the Department of Psychology at Lamar University (until May 2021 retirement). 

Prior to joining the Lamar faculty, Dr. Shoefstall taught on the faulty of several elementary schools in the Beaumont area as both a regular/general classroom teacher
from 1985-1991. 

Dr. Shoefstall also owned a local tutoring center-Future Prep Learning Center
from 1992-1995. 

Dr. Shoefstall formerly worked as Director of Student Support Services, which was a grant funded program at Lamar University designed to help first generation students succeed in college from 2005-2007. She later became Director for Student Advising and Retention Services, which was a combination of new programs aimed at helping students succeed in college for Lamar University from 2007-2015. In this position she wrote many grants aimed at helping first generation, low income and minority students succeed in college. Most of the grants were awarded and she was responsible for implementation as well as fiscal responsibility and oversight of the allocated funds.  She was also adjunct faculty at Lamar University for the Psychology Department since 2010 and moved to full-time faculty in 2016-2021. 

Dr. Shoefstall has published an article in the following international peer-reviewed journal: Mentoring and Tutoring. 

She has made numerous conference presentations for the National Academic Advising Association, National Learning Communities Association, and the College Reading and Learning Association. She has served as a reader for the National Academic Advising Association. 

Dr. Shoefstall received her Baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education from Lamar University, with a Reading specialization and Kindergarten Certification. She later obtained her Master’s degree in Community Psychology and has also earned a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with a focus on Multiculturalism and Diversity
from Lamar University.  

She is a member of Leadership Southeast Texas, Psi Chi Honor Society, National Academic Advising Association, Council for Opportunity in Education, Texas Psychological Association, and is a proud Lamar Alumni. 

Dr. Shoefstall’s primary research focus interests include freshman retention issues and student success programs. She has been actively involved in the field for over 14 years.

Zena Stephens

Zena Stephens was re-elected Sheriff of Jefferson County, Texas on November 3, 2020. She has 30 years of extensive experience in law enforcement management and operations. Stephens is a dynamic leader who has established a professional culture at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.  She leads by example, and encourages others to get training so that they can continue to improve.  She is passionate about making a difference in the community and helping others.  She understands that enhancing diversity is important in improving relationships by building trust between law enforcement and the community.  She is dedicated to recruiting, hiring, and promoting professional leaders that reflect diversity
within the community. 

Since becoming Sheriff, she operates a 43-million-dollar budget. She has added a full time mental health staff within the correctional facility and a discharge planner to connect inmates with outside resources upon release, increased the number of deputies on patrol, and assigned school resource officers in Fannett schools with no increase in cost to taxpayers, had the lowest property crime rates since 2016, and reduced overtime budget by more than 1.5 million dollars. Stephens is also committed to re-entry training and trade programs that help inmates prepare for release.

Stephens began her law enforcement career in 1989 with the Beaumont Police Department where she worked for 7 years. She worked at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office in various management roles for 19 years. In 2013, Zena Stephens became the first female Chief of Police at Prairie View A & M University.   

Zena Stephens has earned many community awards and has been recognized across the country for her law enforcement accomplishments.  She serves on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board for Lamar University, Spindletop Mental Health Advisory Board, Texas Council of Family Violence Board, HIDTA Executive Board, Texas Southern University School of Public Affairs Advisory Board, Family Services Board, and Jefferson County Bail Bond Board. She is a member of the Links Inc., National Sheriff’s Association, NAACP, Texas Sheriff’s Association, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Officers Association, Triangle Caucus, Southeast Texas Democratic Women, and Domestic Violence Task Force.    

Zena Stephens was the first African American Female Major and Deputy Chief at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.  She was also the first African American Female Chief of Police at Prairie View A & M University. Zena Stephens is the first African American and the first female Sheriff in the history of Jefferson County, Texas.  

Zena Stephens made history again when she became the first African American Female Sheriff in the State of Texas. 


Our Partners

The world is a pot of boiling water.
You have 3 choices:

The Carrot
Be like the carrot and
turn soft (sad and weak)
The Egg
Be like the egg that turns
hard (mad and mean)
The Coffee Bean
Be like the coffee bean that
changes the water (positive)