As Executive Director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD), Dennis is frequently called on for research, policy analysis and recommendations to the Texas Legislature and state agencies on issues surrounding disabilities. He serves on multiple advisory groups to state health and human services agencies and was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the State Independent Living Council and by HHSC Executive Commissioners to the Promoting Independence Advisory Council, the State Medicaid Managed Care Advisory Committee and the Drug Utilization Review Board. He has successfully advocated for positive change in government policy and practice in employment, transportation, housing, health care and architectural barriers to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in community life. He was Project Director for CTD’s history-making Team Everest expedition, an internationally-recognized expedition by a team of people with diverse disabilities to the world’s tallest mountain.
Dennis has 40 years’ experience as a senior manager of nonprofit organizations, during which time his programs have received numerous state recognitions and national awards from HUD, the Points of Light Foundation, the New York Interactive Film Festival, the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management and the Barbara Jordan Media Awards. In 2006, the University of Michigan honored him with the national James Neubacher Award for creating opportunities for people with disabilities, in 2009, he received the National Advocacy Award from the National Council on Independent Living and in 2019, he was accorded the national Health Equity Award from DentaQuest. He is a former high school teacher and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.