An authentically Austin community celebration

The Trail of Lights Foundation is an independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to producing the Austin Trail of Lights as an authentically Austin community celebration. The organization raises the funds from donations by individuals and the business community to produce and ensure the long-term sustainability of Austin’s largest community celebration. It is curated in close conjunction with its long-time partners, Forefront Networks and 3Can Events, who provide turn-key production, marketing, sponsorship and programming services to the foundation. The Trail of Lights has remained in the top three Austin events since the Trail of Lights Foundation adopted the event in 2012.

Meet Our board of directors



Leah Davies, LMSW is the Associate Director of the Texas Office for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities. In this role, Ms. Davies works to build collaboration across the state, facilitate program development, provide education, and engage stakeholders. Davies has 10 years of experience working in the non-profit sector in Austin and is committed personally and professionally to social justice. Davies graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to her work...


Executive Director

James Russell is the Executive Director of the Trail of Lights Foundation. He has oversight of the Trail of Lights event focusing primarily on the community outreach and government relations. As an active member in the Austin community, James also serves as the Vice President of the Police Activities League of Austin and as the Chair of the Parkland Events Taskforce appointed by the Austin City Council.


Mark Williams, currently serves on the Austin Community College board of trustees, Place 1. Former president of the Austin Independent School District board of trustees, Williams is a graduate of the University of Texas, and worked in finance, audit and consulting capacities at Dell Inc. and Arthur Andersen. He served on the Austin ISD board from 2004-2012, and acted as president of the board from 2006-2012. Mark is active in the Austin community, currently serving on the board of Austin Partners in Education, Austin Public Education Foundation, Communities in Schools, United Way of Texas,...


A.J. Bingham is a consultant with Austin-based Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a full-service government affairs and procurement consulting firm. Prior to joining SPI, he was a registered lobbyist and legislative director for one of Texas’ top lobbying firms, representing private and public sector clients on a range of state and local policy matters. A.J. has called Austin home for over 22 years and is a product of its public school system, graduating from the LBJ Science Academy (now the Liberal Arts and Science Academy). In addition to the Trail of Lights Foundation, he serves on the...


Mario Espinoza, public affairs consultant. He has oversight responsibilities of the engineering, toll operations, communications and community outreach divisions. Prior to his work with the Mobility Authority, he was in the External Affairs division of the Lower Colorado River Authority. He also worked for the City of Austin for more than 11 years in the City Manager’s Office and Austin Energy.

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As CEO of A Brand Called U and Founder of Leader Ship Box, Rachel has cultivated her passion for public relations and brand management into multifaceted award winning businesses that operate successfully in competitive arenas such as sports, lifestyle, tech, non-profit, and subscription box services. Rachel's clients have been featured in outlets such as Forbes, Essence, Black Enterprise, CNN, Crain's Business, Inc. Magazine, Mix Mag, and more. Rachel holds a Masters degree in Marketing and as an advocate for continued education she teaches small business courses on public relations,...



  • December 2017
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