Executive Committee

John Merlino


John Merlino is Regional Director for AT&T in Florida. He began his career with Southern Bell in 1988. His current responsibilities include working with community organizations throughout the state, administering corporate contribution budgets and working with the AT&T Foundation. He has been extensively involved with the AT&T Pioneers for more than 25 years. He also serves on the board of the Florida Education Foundation.

John Staggs

Vice Chair

Gloria Pazel


Gloria has been a very active Pioneer for many years. She served as Florida’s Chapter President and held most officers positions as well as chairing many committees. Gloria also was the AT&T Chapter Manager for 6 states for 12 years and is the Past AT&T Pioneer National Chair

Kris Wells


Kris Wells is an Area Manager in External Affairs in Reno, Nevada . She began her career with Nevada Bell in 1978. Her current responsibilities include working with local communities, local and state elected officials and managing the Nevada corporate contributions budget as well as Nevada’s AT&T’s Foundation budget. Kris has been a Pioneer for more than 30 years, serving many positions with the Silver State Chapter where she is currently the Chapter Treasurer. She is the Board Chair of the Nevada Humane Society and also serves on the board of directors for Jobs For Nevada’s Graduates.

Shirley Sanz

AT&T Community Engagement Liaison

As a Senior Project Manager in Volunteerism, Shirley’s primary responsibility is serving as the AT&T Pioneers National Coordinator and Employee Resource Group (ERG) liaison for the Community Engagement organization.  Shirley has been actively involved in Pioneers and ERGs for over twenty years which complements her current position with the Community Engagement organization.  Shirley has held various Board positions in the Pioneer leadership and currently serves on the TelecomPioneers Board of Directors and chairs the Operations Committee.  She resides in beautiful San Diego, California.

Joe Holbert

Immediate Past Chair

Joe went to work for Southwestern Bell as a Lineman in Lubbock, Texas and retired 33 yrs. later as Area Mgr.-Eng./Const. in Midland, Texas. He and wife Connie live on a small ranch in central west Texas. He has been active in Pioneers for 37 years and has held every elected office on the Club, Council and Chapter levels. He has served as Awards Chair for the Texas Pride Chapter for several years.


Athena Hernandez

Ray DuBuque


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