Meet the DreamSmart Academy Team

Jeff Morris is the Founder of The SpendSmart Nation and Co-Founder of The SpendSmart Companies, (The SpendSmart Nation, Inc. and SpendSmart, Inc. – dba SpendSmart.org, and DreamSmart Academy).

The journey to serve the community and families started in 2009 when Jeff and Gregory Spencer, created SpendSmart.org, a 501c (3) Nonprofit. This organization was established to provide customized and unbiased financial literacy and wellness educational workshops, webinars, and coaching in the areas of: Spending, Saving, Debt, Credit, Investing, Behavioral Economics, Leadership, and Character Development. To serve a larger and more diverse population, Jeff’s vision lead to the creation of The SpendSmart Nation. Jeff leads a team of experts that are seeking to impact the millions of underbanked, underserved, and disenfranchised individuals, families, and small businesses that are experiencing economic and relational challenges. Jeff is skilled as a Certified Master Money Coach, Certified Credit Expert, Life Coach, and Speaker. Morris is considered one of the nation’s thought leaders on Neuro-Behavioral Finance.

Karen Brake Barge

Karen Brake Barge: Director, Graphics and Website Design for SpendSmart and DreamSmart Academy

Karen Barge is an award-winning website designer. She has over 20 years of experience as a graphic and web designer, specializing in the fields of corporate identity, UI design, print design, and branding. Before she started her own business, she worked in the video game division of GTE Entertainment and then for Verizon as the lead UI and website designer for over ten years. Karen will oversee the design, UI and graphic representation and branding of the SpendSmart companies and The DreamSmart Academy's message. She has worked with Jeff for the past ten years creating the DreamSmart brand. Karen also works behind the scene at the SpendSmart and DreamSmart workshops taking pictures and creating video.

Ted Mclyman

Ted Mclyman: Director, Apexx Behavioral Solutions Group

Ted McLyman has over 25 years experience as a leader, educator, financial advisor, business owner, and triathlon competitor. He is the author of the bestselling book Money Makes Me Crazy, and the creator of the industry-renowned Quick Scan System of behavioral finance resources - a suite of tools that helps financial professionals and their clients make better decisions in planning for their financial future. This system includes the highly-regarded Money Temperament™ assessments which uncover how clients’ predispositions influence money decision making.

Terry Hawkins

Terry T. Hawkins DreamSmart Academy - Chief Operations Officer

The journey to serve the community and families started in 2007 when Terry began working with the Houston Hospice as a volunteer serving the needs of others with an understanding that each life is precious from beginning to end. In 2013, he started serving as a volunteer with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department mentor program where he engages with young men to help transform lives for long-term success and self-efficacy. In 2014, he started serving in the Texas Department of Corrections volunteer program through the prison ministry in his church where he engages men and women on the journey of reflective thinking and transformation. In 2014, he began serving in the Fort Bend Juvenile Probation Office engaging with youth to inspire them to dream and have the courage to live life in full purpose. In 2015, he began serving as a volunteer with the Harris County Juvenile Justice Probation Office transforming the lives of young men challenging and inspiring them to go beyond the edge and pursue purpose each day. He has served as mentor, youth coach, educator, spiritual leader and business owner over the past 25 years.

Terry T. Hawkins is a diverse and well-experienced Architect, Developer and Construction Project Management Professional with over 20 years of financial, real estate development, construction and project management accountability. He has substantial financial experience managing millions of capital construction and real estate development projects for corporations such as; CB Richard Ellis $1.2M Capital Improvements, Hartford Insurance Company throughout the US $2.7M Capital Improvements, Memorial Hermann Hospital $1.5M Capital Improvements, MD Anderson Cancer Center $5.1M Capital Improvements, Cobalt Capital Companies $42M Capital Improvements and Real Estate Development Portfolio Houston, TX. and Miami, Fl., Shell Oil $5M, Methodist Hospital $7.2M Capital Improvements and currently University of Houston $100M Capital Improvement projects.