Buckner Int. gets a new director of government relations


Andrea Sparks, a veteran children’s rights advocate, has been named director of government relations for the non-profit organization Buckner International. Sparks comes to Buckner from the office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, where she led the governor’s team on child sex trafficking for 5½ years. In her new role at Buckner, Sparks will work with stakeholders to improve public policies and investments to protect children, strengthen families and serve seniors.

“Andrea Sparks has an impressive record fighting to protect the children of Texas, and we are thrilled to have her join the Buckner team,” said Buckner International President and CEO Albert Reyes. “Andrea’s guidance and leadership will help us work with our elected officials to transform the lives of our most vulnerable people.”

As founding director of the Texas Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, Sparks led her team and stakeholders to develop local care coordination teams and a regional continuum of care for children. young survivors, as well as new laws and policies for the prevention and identification of trafficking and for the responsible detention of exploiters.

Sparks has also served as Executive Director of the Texas Regional Office of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Director of Public Affairs for Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), and as a solo practitioner representing children and families in the areas of child protection, juvenile justice. and adoption cases.

“I have spent most of my career building teams, systems, services and programs to advocate for young survivors traumatized by abuse, neglect, exploitation and trafficking,” Sparks said. “It is an honor and a true blessing to join Buckner, where we focus on preventing harm by empowering and empowering youth and families. I look forward to sharing the incredible hope Buckner brings with the parties. stakeholders across Texas and beyond.


Steven Goulet was named the advertising director of The Beaumont Enterprise. Goulet has worked in advertising and marketing for approximately 25 years. As he says, he started by selling “the original search engine” – Yellow Pages. Since then he has spent many years as Director of Digital Sales and most recently spent the last six years at the Seattle Times as Director of Integrated Marketing Sales.

He has also been married for over 25 years and has three children and three grandchildren. He says he loves everything outdoors, especially hiking. Goulet also noted that he enjoys golf, saying, “I realize that I’m just not that good…which ironically has increased my enjoyment of playing.”



Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that his agency received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its Fiscal Year 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (ACFR), which was released in February 2021 .

The agency has received this honor for 31 consecutive years. The certificate is the GFOA’s highest form of recognition in the field of government accounting.

“I want to express my gratitude to all the hardworking employees in my office and the hundreds of financial reporting professionals from state agencies and universities across Texas who worked together to produce an ACFR that exemplifies transparency and accountability. “, Hegar said. “The Certificate of Achievement is a prestigious national award that recognizes compliance with the highest standards in the preparation of state and local government financial reports.”

Texas ACFR presents a complete picture of the state’s financial situation by combining annual financial reports from all Texas state agencies and universities. It provides taxpayers, customers, investors, and government creditors with a general overview of its finances and demonstrates accountability for the money it receives.

Unlike a budget which provides a plan for a future period, an ACFR illustrates the actual results of the financial activities of the previous year (revenues, expenses, changes in fund balances, liabilities, etc.).

Readers can visit the Comptroller’s website to view the Texas ACFR.

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