The Historical Commission's Speakers Bureau

The Collin County Historical Commission sponsors a Speakers Bureau to help organizations and individuals find subject matter experts and authors to speak at meetings and workshops.

The speakers' information below is provided to us by the speakers, and is subject to change.

You do not have to be a Collin County resident to be included on the Speakers Bureau. If you are interested in being added as a speaker, please contact

NOTE: Please contact individual speakers directly regarding any appearance fees that may be charged.

Available speakers include:

Speaker & Contact Info Topics

Valerie Alvarez

(210) 316-8677

​Human remains (recovering them and what to do in the event of finding human and non-human remains)

Other Medical Examiner topics

Alfred Arias

(469) 406-4840

Teaching children about Archaeology with a hands-on learning approach

Using technology to further historical preservation

Hidden Collin County history

James "Rusty" Brenner

(214) 686-0014

Tombstone preservation

Cemetery mapping/burial databases

Ground penetrating radar

Monument condition assessment

​Donna Jenkins

(972) 814-8928

​Historical Assets Survey: speaks on how to research historical assets in your community or city and submit the information to the Historical Assets Committee for inclusion on the Collin County interactive map at

Robin Cole-Jett

(214) 404-3459

Ghost towns (of the Red River Valley)

Cattle trails

Bonnie & Clyde

Hunt for the Red River

The Great Bend of the Red River

Railroads along the Red River Valley

Red River architecture

Kathy Lathen

(903) 583-5558

​Sam Rayburn (U.S. Congressman and Texas State Representative;  speaks on his life and the Texas Historical Commission's ongoing preservation and interpretation of his home)

Beverly Lenoir, Ph.D.

(325) 665-7515

​The story of her great-great-grandmother, Maria Seitz Reich, and her trip to Northeast Texas in 1850

Telling your family stories

Justin Simmons

(214) 738-7726

​501(c)(3) basics

Becky Villareal

(214) 335-1852 

Organizing family history night events

How to engage children in family history

Thinking outside the toybox

Combining your writing with your research

Ari Wilkins

(214) 886-5070

Black and white Southern families in plantation records

Mysterious relatives

Getting the most bang for your buck out of the library

Funeral home collections

Organizing and identifying photograph collections

Using apprentice records to trace free people of color

Records of the Freedman's Bureau

Karen Zupanic

(972) 569-6909

​The Heard legacy

Texas Regional Art Collection

Creating a family history board game