Shandra Carter, Interim Executive Director
Shandra Carter was named the Interim Executive Director of TJJD in April 2022, having previously served as the agency’s Deputy Executive Director for State Services. Carter brings a wealth of knowledge to the position as an expert in juvenile justice. An accomplished professional with more than a decade of experience working in corrections, she has dedicated her career to promoting public safety and has specialized in child development, abuse and neglect, and sexual violence treatment. She has worked primarily in residential and correctional settings, developing trauma-informed programming and programs to serve child sex-trafficking victims.
Carter earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Law, Societies & Justice from the University of Washington. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Social Work at Eastern Washington University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Supervisor in Texas as well as a Licensed Childcare Administrator. When not on the job, Carter enjoys spending time with her husband, trying to keep up with her energetic teenager, and playing with the family’s three dogs.
Sean Grove, Chief of Staff
Sean Grove serves as TJJD's Chief of Staff. An accomplished lawyer, Sean has worked in the public sector in county-level criminal justice agencies and assisted Governor Abbott’s policy team on criminal justice issues during the 85th Legislature. Immediately prior to joining TJJD, Sean was in private practice representing governmental entities on a wide range of issues. He grew up in Dallas and received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Kansas Wesleyan University. He earned his law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, where he concentrated on criminal law, justice, and policy issues.
Emily Anderson, Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Emily Anderson joined the agency in 2014 as the director of fiscal affairs. In August 2018 she became the chief financial officer, and in January 2020 she assumed the additional title of chief operating officer. Anderson has deep experience in state government. Before her work at TJJD, she spent 11 years at the Texas Department of Transportation, where she worked as a lead budget analyst and a manager of business operations. A proud Red Raider, she is a graduate of Texas Tech University and worked in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Lubbock for three years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and most importantly, spending time with her young son.
Jeannette Cantu, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
Jeannette Cantu provides administrative support to the TJJD Board of Directors and leads the agency's administrative support staff team. Cantu joined the former Texas Youth Commission in June of 2008. She was awarded the Dedication to Excellence Award by the Texas Youth Commission Board of Directors in 2011. Cantu also worked with the Texas Attorney General's Office Division of Families and Children and the Child Support Division. She began her career at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Endangered Species Program in 1993.
Nate Jackson, Chief Information Officer
Nate Jackson is a veteran administrator and strategic thinker with extensive experience in governmental and non-profit organizations. He has specialized in program management, strategic planning, policy development, and data analytics. He previously worked for such respected organizations as Deloitte, Bonner Group, and Master Key Consulting. He earned a Master of Public Administration with a focus in criminology from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati.
Lou Serrano, Deputy Executive Director for Probation Services
Lou Serrano has worked in the field of juvenile justice since 1989, beginning in Deaf Smith County as a field supervision officer. In 1990, Lou was appointed Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Deaf Smith/Oldham Counties. While serving in this capacity, Serrano was able to obtain both state and local funding to open the Deaf Smith County Youth Home, a 12-bed residential facility for male delinquent offenders. At the time, the facility was noted for its innovative and creative approach in dealing with delinquent offenders. In 2001, Lou was appointed the Director of Juvenile Services for Ector County. The department employed over 50 dedicated juvenile justice professionals and administrative staff. The department operations included the Ector County Youth Center, a 48-bed secure juvenile justice facility. The Ector County Youth Center "post-adjudication" program was the first of its kind in the State of Texas, opening in 1974. After retiring from Ector County in 2016, he was hired by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department as regional county program administrator. Serrano is a past member of the Panhandle Juvenile Probation Officer's Association and the West Texas Juvenile Chief's Association. He is a member of the Texas Probation Association. Serrano is a graduate of West Texas A&M University, obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice Administration in 1988.
Preston Streufert, Director of Stakeholder Relations
Preston Streufert started as a Texas House intern during his last year of undergraduate studies in business at the University of Texas at Austin, and that is when he caught the bug to continue work in state government and politics. After a brief stint with a press organization covering the Texas Capitol, he worked two sessions for State Senator John Carona of Dallas. Preston took off the 2011 Session to get his JD from Texas Tech University School of Law and become licensed by the State Bar, but he returned to the Texas House as General Counsel and Interim Committee Clerk for then-Representative Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham in 2013. In 2015, he returned the Senate as Legislative Director for State Senator Joan Huffman of Houston, which paved the way for him to be a criminal justice advisor in 2017 for the Governor’s Office of Budget and Policy. Applying his Capitol experience to state agency work, he liaised between the Legislature and the state’s Medicaid program for the Health and Human Services Commission for the 2019 Session. As Director of Stakeholder Relations for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, he brings over fifteen years of Capitol experience to help communicate and cultivate TJJD’s mission with the Legislature, Governor, state agencies, local probation departments, and advocates.
Christian von Wupperfeld, General Counsel
Christian von Wupperfeld oversees the Office of General Counsel, which provides in-house legal services for TJJD. This includes providing legal counsel to the TJJD Board and management, including counsel regarding rules, policies, practices, and proposed legislation; managing the youth grievance system; disciplinary hearing findings or the findings of abuse, neglect and exploitation investigations; managing the functions of the Release Review Panel, which makes decisions regarding release to parole, discharge from TJJD custody or extended lengths of stay; conducting administrative due process hearings for youth and employees; and overseeing any litigation involving TJJD.
Prior to joining TJJD in September 2018, Mr. von Wupperfeld’s legal practice focused on defending law enforcement and governmental entities, and government contracting. He also served as General Counsel for group of privately held companies engaged in government-funded research, data-center operations and operation of a regional airport.
A career Infantryman with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr. von Wupperfeld retired as a colonel from the United States Army on June 30, 2018, after 35 years of Active Duty and National Guard service. He has extensive experience advising allied-nation law enforcement and conducting civil-military operations. His awards include the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star medals. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s Degree in Strategy from the United States Army War College, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center.