MEET OUR TEAM
At Mission Capital, we see opportunity where others see insurmountable challenges. You’re tasked with moving mountains and we’re here to help. We bring powerful solutions and expertise to help you overcome challenges and create lasting social change.
Originally from South Texas, Madge has been an Austinite since 1997 where she has worked across the public and private sectors. Madge has more than 22 years of experience in community development, philanthropy, business consulting and the healthcare sector.
Previous employers include Equity Research Corporation in Washington, D.C., the National Center for Farmworker Health, Accenture, PeopleFund, and Wachovia Bank in Austin. Madge received a BA in International Relations from Southwestern University and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin.
Madge was most recently the Director of Dental Operations at St. David’s Foundation. In this role, she was responsible for scaling and managing the business operations for the St. David’s Dental Program, recognized as a national model for school-based mobile dental programs in the U.S.
Madge is a 2009 Leadership Austin alumna and served as a 2011 McBee Fellow through the Austin Area Research Organization. Most recently, Madge served as a board member of the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, the Austin Campaign for Philanthropy, and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. She is also a co-founding member of FuturoFund, a Latino giving circle in Austin. Madge currently serves on the boards of the National Mobile Health Clinics Association, KLRU-Austin and Jolt Texas.
Katy has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of organizational assessment, strategic planning, program evaluation and fund development.
Prior to joining Mission Capital, Katy operated her own consulting firm and worked with nonprofits including Casey Family Programs, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, Round Rock Health Clinic, and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.
Katy has also worked extensively within Texas state government to review and recommend improvements to programs and policy, including program evaluations for the Legislative Budget Board, fiscal policy analysis to the Governor of Texas, and strategic planning activities for the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services.
In her free time, Katy loves taking long road trips with her family, or quick get-aways following suggestions from The Daytripper.
As Director of Consulting Services, Megan oversees Mission Capital’s team of consulting experts. She has served the Central Texas nonprofit community for more than 20 years largely working in fundraising and nonprofit administration. Her strengths lie in being strategic, a problem solver, a people manager, and a thought partner. She has contributed at a leadership level in improving workplace culture and supporting teams and leaders experiencing growing pains. Managing through change is one of Megan’s strong suits and something she enjoys immensely.
Megan is particularly interested in working with nonprofits who have an appetite to change and grow, working with teams who are stale and need a refresh, and working with new leaders and people managers who seek mentorship and a desire to be thoughtful and supportive supervisors. She also has a passion for helping fundraising teams build a strong structure, work flows, and annual plans. Megan believes that nonprofits are at their best when their business culture is strong.
Prior to joining Mission Capital, Megan has worked for several ATX nonprofits including SAFE, Any Baby Can, Equality Texas, and United Way for Greater Austin. Megan is a graduate of Indiana University – Purdue University Lily Family School of Philanthropy’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program, as well as Leadership Austin’s 2008 Emerge program. She has served on the board of YNPN and OutYouth and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Austin Chapter.
Carla brings her financial analysis, earned revenue and operations expertise to the nonprofit sector. She has developed strategic business plans, board processes and orientations, as well as financial models for nonprofits.
Prior to joining Mission Capital, Carla was the Chief Financial Officer of Cara, a workforce development nonprofit in Chicago. She previously served as the Vice President of Finance at Lehman Brothers Asset Management LLC. She has extensive management, reporting and budgeting experience. Additionally, Carla has managed financial reporting, accounting and government contracts. At Cara, Carla was also responsible for strategic planning for the organization and its social enterprises.
Carla graduated from DePaul University with a BS in Accounting and has a MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. She is also a CPA registered in Illinois and a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional.
Carla is passionate about being involved in the community and currently serves as the treasurer for both Little Helping Hands and Giving Austin Labor Support. She is also a member of Impact Austin.
Emma is thrilled to bring her social media, email marketing, and UX skills to the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining Mission Capital she served as an account marketing manager for Pflugerville ISD Food Services. She has also worked in the education and convention and tradeshow industries in her native Mexico.
Outside of Mission Capital, Emma can be found around Austin enjoying a live show and discovering new restaurants, or at home binging her latest favorite tv show.
Outside of work, Matt is an avid runner, fan of the Muppets, and Astros fanatic. He serves on the Skillpoint Alliance board and as program designer for the Annette Straus Institute’s campaign bootcamp. He has been recognized by the community as the Best Unsung Behind the Scenester from the Austin Chronicle, a Social Media Award winner from the Austin American Statesman, Social Impact winner from AustinInno, and finalist for Austin Under 40.
Minh brings a variety of nonprofit, government and private-sector experience to Mission Capital. Prior to Mission Capital, she served on Oracle’s Corporate Citizenship team, providing nonprofits throughout the world with free cloud technology solutions. Minh’s background includes business development, capacity-building, fundraising and marketing. She discovered her passion for public service during her undergraduate studies in International Relations at Tufts University, and had the opportunity to nurture those interests while working on various civic engagement projects throughout Oregon.
Outside of work hours, you can find Minh dancing to live music around Austin, bouldering at the gym, playing board games with friends or cooking too many things at once.
Sean’s passion is helping organizations and individuals achieve their full potential. He began his non-profit career 1999 and since then has served local, international, and religious non-profits. His professional expertise and interests include operations, finance, governance, strategy, and organizational change.
He has served in leadership capacities for Project Schoolhouse, the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, the Austin Nonprofit Financial Leadership Group, and the Association of Unitarian Universalist Administrators.
Raised in Idaho, he got his bachelor’s degrees from Bellarmine University in Kentucky and lived a year in Mexico before going to UT-Austin to get his Master’s.
Sean’s personal interests include guitar playing, languages, strategy games and, of course, his family.
Kyla provides direct consulting, business development, and administrative support for the consulting department at Mission Capital. Kyla’s passion for capacity building, social justice, and community engagement brought her to Mission Capital after completing her Bachelor’s Degree at The University of Texas – Austin. During her time at UT Austin, she interned at The Audre and Bernard Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and was selected as a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholar to study Arabic in Ibri, Oman. She also enjoyed giving back to the programs and organizations that were instrumental to her development by serving on the Plan II Director’s Student Advisory Council, working as a language partner for the Arabic Flagship Program, serving as a Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Ambassador, and raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In her spare time, Kyla enjoys water coloring, cooking, watching cartoons, and being outdoors.
Chelsea (@chelseahartness) is passionate about connecting with people and serving the Austin community. Her background in small business and tech industries include both nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurial organizations, with specialization in growing teams and leading outreach efforts. Her areas of expertise include business development, marketing, project management and digital media management.
Prior to joining Mission Capital, Chelsea led consumer marketing and sales for Maggie Louise Confections and served as Membership Manager for Austin Technology Council, where she oversaw periods of major growth and transition for both organizations. A former Career Center Advocate for Dress for Success, Chelsea now serves on the Women of Wardrobe Board as Volunteerism Chair. She also serves as a Sexual Assault Advocate for Eloise House, a community initiative led by SAFE.
Chelsea holds an MBA in Digital Media Management from St. Edward’s University.
Tara has extensive experience building the capacity of people, organizations and communities in nonprofit, government and for-profit settings that she’s developed over the past 19 years. She oversees Mission Capital’s programs and research efforts.
Tara’s Austin-area nonprofit experience includes designing, managing and evaluating programs and projects with Family Forward and theCharles A. Dana Center at UT Austin, grassroots organizing with Austin Interfaith, and leadership and team development consulting with Highest Vision, Inc. She was also a Presidential Management Fellow for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Southwest Border Initiative in Washington, DC.
Tara has a particular passion for keeping Austin a vibrant, creative and affordable community. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Open Door Preschool, and is a graduate of the 2009 Leadership Austin Essentials class.
Robin is an experienced talent development and human resources professional with a background in leadership development and employee training.
Previously, Robin owned and operated RLL Consulting, a talent development and management consulting firm. She also served as Senior Director of Talent and Development at Goodwill Central Texas. Robin holds a BFA from The University of Texas and an MFA from Florida State University. She utilizes her theater arts background to facilitate interactive trainings, focusing on learning through “play.” Robin is TTI Success Insights12 Driving Forces®, DISC, and Emotional Quotient certified. She uses these certifications to develop opportunities for professional development and personal growth.
Robin resides in Cedar Park, Texas where her son and daughter-in-law allow her to be the best playmate to their amazing son, Jax. In her spare time, she enjoys creating art by up-cycling glass and plastic.
Katelyn is a consultant and supports the implementation of the Mission Accelerator. Prior to Mission Capital, she served as Program Associate for Educate Texas where she focused on improving internal organizational systems and developing Educate Texas’ Statewide Collective Impact initiative. Before that, Katelyn taught high school English in Charlotte, North Carolina through Teach For America. Her experiences in the classroom led her to pursue her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, where she interned with Communities in Schools, the Center for BrainHealth and Mission Capital. Her passion for nonprofit effectiveness, education and organizational, community and systems impact brought her back to Mission Capital in 2015.
She came to Austin by way of Lubbock, Texas where she earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Communication Studies at Texas Tech University. When not at Mission Capital you might find Mary playing with her dogs, spending time with her book club, gardening, eating, and/or napping.
Irina has more than 13 years of experience working in child welfare. She began her journey in child welfare volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in South Texas advocating for children in temporary conservatorship of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, where her passion for working with children and families began. Irina worked at Cameron County Children’s Advocacy Center and Concepts of Care, nonprofits in administrative roles, learning the operations side of social service organizations before being drawn back to direct service in child welfare after a tragic child death in Cameron County.
Irina returned to direct service working for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services/ Child Protective Services (CPS) in 2003 providing in home case work services to Spanish-speaking families, and was one of two bilingual caseworkers at the time. Throughout her career with CPS, Irina held various roles from Human Resources, to Operations Administrator to then being responsible for more than 300 staff as a CPS Program Administrator in 2010. As a CPS Program Administrator, Irina was responsible for ensuring best practices in child welfare, developing leaders and teams, analyzing data to address systemic issues, addressing disproportionality and ensuring families received appropriate and respectful service coordination. Irina was instrumental in developing a region wide two-week Intensive Supervisor Training during this time as well as leading Organizational Effectiveness work in Travis County. Irina continued her career with CPS and eventually promoted to CPS Deputy Regional Director in 2015 overseeing service programs and operations for 30 counties in Region 07.
Irina excels at developing leaders and high performing teams and, left CPS in 2016 to pursue her own consulting firm. Irina provided leadership mapping, signature leadership programs, and Myers-Briggs workshops to organizations, private businesses and entrepreneurs. Irina also provided e-coaching to the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and was selected as one of seven coaches to participate on a Coaching Roundtable to provide guidance to the NAPW.
Irina is a Certified Knowing Who You Are facilitator and is ardent about advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Irina is also an Organizational Effectiveness Facilitator and Myers-Briggs Practitioner.
In her free time, Irina is obsessed with paper crafting, enjoys baking and knitting and loves spending time with her family including her 8 nieces and 2 nephews.
Amanda Miller specializes in establishing systems to affect change and multiply impact. She has spent the last decade working in the nonprofit education space within government agencies, spending seven years in the national service sector. Most recently, Amanda worked for Literacy First as their Operations Manager and was responsible for logistics, operations and compliance for the AmeriCorps program. Previously, Amanda worked at the Travis County CAPITAL 4-H Project, where she also served as an AmeriCorps member, and at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology and conservation and a master’s degree in biology. She approaches complex data management and systems development projects like a scientist; observe and ask questions first!
Prior to Mission Capital, Elizabeth gained experience in the nonprofit sector while interning with A Glimmer of Hope and Girlstart. She also spent her college career conducting research on the High Court of Australia for the Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies. After serving as the Education Chair for Texas UNICEF, Elizabeth helped launch UT Austin’s first Generation United Nations chapter as their Marketing Director. Her goal was to build an empowered community of global citizens where students could tell their stories and turn discussion into action.
In her free time, you can find Elizabeth reading a book, planning her next adventure, exploring new food, or spending time with her cat, Lily.
Katie is an expert in workplace culture with a passion for building effective, engaging and fun organizations that people want to be a part of. In her work at Mission Capital, she provides strategic and consulting support in the areas of education, leadership training and talent management.
Prior to joining Mission Capital, Katie spent 12 years with Great Place to Work Institute, most recently directing the firm’s Best Companies Lists program, including responsibility for the evaluation and selection of Fortune Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. She also served as the Development Associate at Habitat for Humanity San Francisco. Katie enjoys applying her knowledge of corporate workplace best practices to the nonprofit sector.
Katie holds a BA in Psychology from Southwestern University and a MA in Organization Development from St. Edwards University.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Wayne and his wife, Karla, moved to Austin to start their lives together. Between his family instilling the value of service and volunteering for multiple years at Special Camps, a summer camp for special needs children and adults, Wayne was motivated to join the Mission Capital team to support their mission through accounting functions, administrative services, and his energy and enthusiasm.
He loves going on adventures with his wife Karla, spending time with his family and friends in Chicago and Colombia, and watching TV series like The Office and Sherlock Holmes.
Neyda began working in non-profit in 2011 as a development specialist at Rice University in Houston. Upon moving to Austin in 2013, she worked at the Seton Healthcare Family as an administrative assistant and project coordinator on the development team tasked with raising $50M to fund Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas. She has experience in several other industries such as banking, healthcare, higher education, and interior design.
As a result of having been forced to leave her native Cuba to escape Castro’s Communist regime, Neyda is passionate about social justice and basic human rights. She is also passionate about the arts, Romance languages, children’s issues, education, healthcare and last, but definitely not least, her family. In her spare time, she can been found salsa dancing or hanging out with her amazing grandchildren who are a constant reminder of all that is good in the world.
Katy supports the implementation of projects across Aligned Impact’s Child Welfare and Good Measure portfolios. Prior to joining Mission Capital, Katy completed a Central Texas Externship at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation where she supported grant partners through capacity building and collective impact initiatives. While finishing her MSSW at The University of Texas School of Social Work, Katy held positions at the Andy Roddick Foundation as well as the Austin Independent School District’s Parent Support Office.
In her free time Katy enjoys exploring new hiking trails, traveling abroad, and scouting out the best tacos in Austin.
Stephanie supports Aligned Impact team projects in our Child Welfare and Good Measure portfolios and coordinates the team’s administrative, business processing, tracking and evaluation functions.
After graduating from The University of Alabama, Stephanie knew she wanted to move to a lively community, and Austin was the place to go. Prior to joining Mission Capital, Stephanie interned at Texas CASA and began developing her passion for nonprofit work. This led her to Mission Capital, where she felt very connected to the collaborative work of the Aligned Impact department.
In her free time, you can find Stephanie at the library scouting out new books, eating queso on the patio of Polvo’s, or watching Alabama football (Roll Tide!).
After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Marketing, Kat’s love for sports led her to a career with the University of Texas Men’s Basketball team for 10 years before switching to the nonprofit sector. Kat most recently served as the Deputy Director of Programs at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a nationally recognized leader in providing peer-based emotional support to those grieving a military death. Kat’s heart to serve the Austin community that she feels lucky to have called home for the past 16 years brought her to Mission Capital where she currently serves as the Grants Manager.
In her free time, you can find her staying active with her husband chasing their daughter and dog around the great outdoors of Austin!
Ann has been an active part of the Mission Capital community for nearly 14 years. Prior to her current work as Director of Learning & Leadership, she has served as guest faculty, on the fund development committee, a volunteer, and as a proud nonprofit member.
Prior to rejoining the Mission Capital team in 2018, Ann was Managing Director at Forklift Danceworks, an innovative performing arts organization. She has also served as Development Director for Texas Appleseed, and was the Director of The St. Edward’s Fund at St. Edward’s University. Ann holds a BA in Education from Kent State University and a Master of Arts in Human Services from St. Edward’s.
She loves living in Austin with her husband, Stephen Beasley, and their two smart and kind sons, Micah and Vaughn. At the end of the day, Ann often realizes that she ate tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and that she is happy about it.
Prior to Mission Capital, Elly gained 12 years of experience working in financial planning, treasury and business process roles at Freescale / NXP Semiconductors. At Freescale / NXP Semiconductors, she served on the Finance Committee for the Freescale Foundation, a foundation focused on STEM education.
Elly has also served as a work-study tutor at Burnet Middle School, summer intern at a Boy Scout camp kitchen, and hospitality volunteer at MD Anderson in Houston.
Outside of work, she enjoys staying active, experimenting in the kitchen, and greening her otherwise brown thumb.
Reyda specializes in exploratory, evaluative, and strategic research, in both the nonprofit and the technology sectors. Reyda is particularly passionate about building bridges across the domains of product design and program development, making research and evaluation more accessible and adaptable for nonprofits.
Reyda has been providing research services in Central Texas since 2011- first, as a Senior Researcher at Shore Research, providing program evaluation, then in independent practice since 2013 with an additional focus in user experience research and usability testing. Reyda got her professional start as the Research and Evaluation Specialist at the Girl Scouts of Citrus in Orlando, FL. She has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Florida and a BA in Psychology from Ouachita Baptist University.
Reyda likes to spend her spare time outdoors, hiking, kayaking, gardening, and working on house projects with her husband.
Marisa coordinates Mission Capital’s research on the Central Texas nonprofit sector. She also provides consulting to nonprofit and public sector clients, and manages the tracking and evaluation functions for the consulting department.
Prior to Mission Capital, Marisa spent five years with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) where she worked as a trainer and consultant. She has also served as a program manager for Communities in Schools of Central Texas, and has worked or interned for several other agencies including Helping Hand Home for Children and Austin Child Guidance Center.
Marisa got her start in the nonprofit field serving as an Americorps VISTA Volunteer. She is honored to now support the efforts of so many wonderful nonprofits.
CEO, Key Concierge
John Thornborrow, Immediate Past Chair
Founder, Austin Impact Capital
Founder and CEO, Sparkovation Advisors
Prior to founding Sparkovation Advisors, a management consulting firm, specializing in Digital Business Strategy, Enterprise Architecture and Digital Transformation, Thomas spent 15 years in technology & business leadership roles for Fortune 50 Technology firms Dell, HP & Cisco.
He has an engineering degree from UTSA and executive leadership credentials from Stanford, GWU and MIT universities. He is active in the community and serves on the Boards of Austin Ed Fund (AISD Foundation), Mission Capital, Texas Lyceum and AARO. He’s also a past Chairman of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and served on the boards of Leadership Austin, Austin Chamber and EGBI.
Attorney & Founding Partner, Davis Kaufman, PLLC
Denise is a native Texan with nearly two decades experience working in the Texas Legislature. Ms. Davis has extensive experience in drafting winning strategies on complex legislation, administrative rules, legal memoranda and briefs for clients in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Davis has been consistently ranked as one of Texas’ top lobbyists by Mike Hailey’s “Capitol Inside,” most recently in the top 50 of its 2015 Texas Lobby Power Rankings and #1 on the 2013 Rising Lobby Stars list. Davis Kaufman PLLC is ranked among the top 10 law firm lobby practices in both 2013 and 2015.
Before founding Davis Kaufman PLLC in 2012, Ms. Davis served as Chief of Staff to House Speaker Joe R. Straus. As Chief of Staff, she provided strategic and operational advice to the Speaker and the entire House leadership, and oversaw the legislative agenda and daily activities of the Speaker’s Office. Prior to her tenure as Chief of Staff, Ms. Davis served for several sessions as House Parliamentarian and Special Counsel to the Texas House of Representatives, where she advised the Speaker and members of the House on all ethics, legal and parliamentary matters relating to the Texas House of Representatives, including points of order, House Rules and precedent, and open records. Her public service also includes work as General Counsel to Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff, Director and Counsel to the Texas Judicial Council under Chief Justice Tom Phillips, General Counsel to the Senate Jurisprudence Committee under Senator Rodney Ellis, Legislative Counsel for the Texas Legislative Council and as Assistant Public Information/Press Officer for Lt. Governor William P. Hobby. Ms. Davis received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. While at the Law School, Ms. Davis served as Notes Editor for the American Journal of Criminal Law.
CEO & Founder, Chipper
Tony Aguilar is founder & CEO of Chipper, the first payments and rewards app that allows borrowers to chip away student debt through everyday transactions. He is also co-founder and former CEO of Student Loan Genius, where he invented the student loan benefit, a perk allowing companies to contribute to employees’ student debt.
In addition to serving on the board of Mission Capital, he also serves as Chairman of Concordia University’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Board and is also a member on the Forbes Financial Council.
Director of Small & Minority Business Resources (SMBR) Department, City of Austin
Veronica has held multiple positions in SMBR including Assistant Director, Certification and Administrative Manager and Administrative Manager. Prior to SMBR, she was a Policy Aide to Austin City Council Member (Raul Alvarez) and the Agenda Manager in the City of Austin’s City Manager’s Office. Veronica has worked for the City of Austin since 1999. Veronica serves on various community boards including the Austin Metro YMCA, PeopleFund, and is a founding member of FuturoFund, a Latino philanthropy collective focused on engaging the Austin community through philanthropy and leadership.
When it comes to professional engagement, Veronica also serves as President of the International Hispanic Network (IHN). Veronica served on the board of the Austin Hispanic Network in many roles, including President. Most recently she cofounded and co-chairs ‘Woman to Woman’, a City of Austin employee affiliation group for women. She has a Masters degree in Public Affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas as well as undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Government.
President, Cavner Social Enterprises, LLC
Dennis is an Austin entrepreneur and community activist. Through Cavner Social Enterprises, LLC, he helps high net worth families realize their personal and community goals.
In addition to serving on the Mission Capital board, his current community engagement includes: Chairman of College Forward, board member and Past Chairman of LIVESTRONG, and board member of Social Venture Partners International.
VP - Information Technology/Chief Information Officer, University Federal Credit Union (UFCU)
Mike is an experienced senior-level executive at several high-growth companies. He has also become an investor and advisor with small, startup companies looking to become technology suppliers to the type of corporations where he once served as an executive.
In August, 2018 he joined University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) as their VP – Information Technology/Chief Information Officer. He continues to hold board memberships in several Austin-area non-profits.
was previously the Chief Operating Officer at Redbird Flight Simulations. Mike combines his project management and people leadership experience, and his technology development background into all areas of manufacturing operations. Both Redbird and Whole Foods Market are companies dedicated to a higher purpose than producing or retailing products. While their products are quite different, their missions are similar: to change the way people relate to and consider traditional industries, values which match Mike’s interests.
Harold Ingersoll, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA, CM&AA
Partner, Atchley & Associates, LLP
Over the last 35+ years, Harold has served many individuals and organizations in the Central Texas area as President of Ingersoll & Ingersoll, P.C., as a Partner with Faske Lay & Co., L.L.P and currently as a Partner of Atchley & Associates, LLP. Harold also co-owns Bug Guys Pest Control, LP and Wholesale Insurance Network.
His professional and civic memberships include: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Business Valuation, Forensic & Litigation Services Section; Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants; National Society of Accountants; National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts; Association of Merger and Acquisition Advisors; Rotary Club of Austin; Austin Asset Management Company; Mission Capital; and Retired United States Air Force.
Prior to founding Ascension, a consulting and advisory services company to small businesses based in Austin, Preston spent 25 years in Enterprise IT Solution industry. Throughout his 20+ years at Dell, Preston served in various leadership roles including as a National Enterprise Sales Director in Dell’s Federal Government business segment, and as the Managing Director of the Dell Global Center for Entrepreneurs.
Preston received his BSME from Howard University. He serves on the board for a number of nonprofits such as the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce and Four Points Basketball Association. He is an increasingly active member of the Austin startup ecosystem as a member of Central Texas Angel Network and a mentor at Capital Factory in Austin.
Partner, Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP
Executive Director of Commercialization, Dell Medical School
She is an active member of the Texas entrepreneurship community and a winner of the prestigious Austin Business Journal’s 2015 Profiles in Power Award as well as the 2014 Tech Titan Award. She is a proud member of the Board of Directors for Leadership Austin and the Sustainable Food Center. She is also a founding Advisor to Texas Competes and currently serves on the Social Innovation Council and the Technology Advisory Committee for Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
Managing Director, PierceGray, Inc.
Max started his career with the U.S. government working on international trade issues in Washington, D.C. and Mexico City. He then joined McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant and later became a key executive with FreeMarkets, the B2B e-commerce company. Max founded XG2, an executive roundtable provider, and currently owns PierceGray, an executive search firm.
Max is past Chairman of Westcave Preserve and a former board member of Bamberger Ranch.
Managing Director, Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact
Ashley Thompson is the managing director for the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact. Through this role, she is responsible for driving Blackbaud’s extensive research and best practice content. She also serves as a Social Venture Partner with Mission Capital’s 2017 Investee, Allies Against Slavery. She is on the AFP, Greater Austin Chapter board as vice president of partnerships, a regular contributor to npENGAGE, part of the 2018 Giving USA Editorial Review Board, and a member of the Nonprofit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.
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