Sarah and her husband are residents of Austin since 1969. Sarah's strong interest in Arts and Education has led her to serve on Ballet Austin Board of Directors. She has served as Chairman of Board of Directors over the last six years and as President of Ballet Austin Foundation over the last 10 years.
Michael Blue is the managing partner for the Austin office of Ernst & Young. Prior to assuming his roles in Austin, Michael was a partner in the firm's Capital Markets Group in Paris, France and was responsible for European multinational companies going public in the United States and other European multinationals registered on U.S. stock exchanges. He has also worked in San Jose, Frankfurt, Germany and Houston offices.
Michael has more than 26 years experience serving high-growth, technology companies, from venture-backed start-ups to multinational public and privately held companies with a focus on the semiconductor, software and biotechnology industries. He has extensive expertise in SEC reporting, corporate governance, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as international accounting and auditing, and strategic transactions. His clients have included Luminex, GenSet, Whole Foods, Business Objects, Cirrus Logic, Hytek Microsystems, ISSI, National Instruments, SAS, Silicon Laboratories, Topaz Semiconductor, and Xilinx. Michael has served or currently serves on the boards of The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, The University of Texas Accounting Department Advisory Board, and The United Way Capital Area. In addition, he serves on the Audit Committee for KLRU Public Television.
Jennifer, together with a team of advisors at Texas Capital Bank, provides comprehensive wealth management advice and services including concierge private banking, investment management, and trust and estate administration. The advice is integrated by the development of a customized financial and wealth transfer plan designed specifically for each family. A certified financial planner, Jennifer’s role on the team is to seamlessly manage the overall relationship, coordinate with the family’s attorneys and tax counsel, as well as to provide deep expertise on client banking and credit needs. With more than 28 years of experience in the industry, she has expertise in structuring credit needs ranging from simple mortgages to complex interim construction loans and investment real estate loans.
Bruce Irick is the Regional Private Banking Manager for the Hill Country Region and Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo. Bruce is a 32-year banking veteran, primarily in the Private Banking line of business. Previous to joining Wells Fargo, Bruce served as the Austin President for Green Bank. Bruce is a founding board member of the Central Texas Folds of Honor. Folds awards academic scholarships to families of disabled veterans and to the families who have lost their lives in service to our country. Bruce additionally serves on the state board for Capital CDC. Capital CDC is a 504 SBA lending entity that provides funds for small businesses throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico. Prior community involvement includes serving as the Board Chair for the American Red Cross of Central Texas from 2007-2009.
Bruce and his wife, Beverly, have two sons. Bennett is currently serving in the United States Navy and is stationed in Charleston, South Carolina as a student in their Nuclear Propulsion Program. Brandon is a Senior Business major at the University of Georgia.
Everett Plante is the Chief Information Officer for Silicon Labs, a mixed signal semiconductor company headquartered in downtown Austin, a position he has held for nearly a decade. Everett has been in the information technology field for more than 30 years working in various executive roles for Sysco Corporation, Compaq Computer, Manugistics Software, and Harcourt Assessment. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.
Everett is passionate about giving back to the Austin community and makes volunteering a priority both personally and professionally. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for Austin Habitat for Humanity the past seven years, serving as Chairman in 2014 and 2015. He also served as a board member of the Austin Technology Council and chair of the Ballet Austin Technology Transformation committee. Prior to relocating to Austin, he served as chair of the 2006 and 2007 American Heart Association Start Walk in San Antonio, Texas.
Alex is a senior vice president of investments for UBS and manages the financial affairs for a select number of families and privately held businesses in Central Texas. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and former Airborne Ranger, Alex has been in the private banking and investment management business for the last 11 years.
Jon Ivester is a retired high tech executive who now advises early stage companies and advocates for the rights of the LBGT community. His career included 18 years with Silicon Labs, an Austin based semiconductor company where he served as senior vice president of operations. Jon and his wife, Jo, lived in Austin from 1993 to 2015 raising their four children, and they are extremely happy to be back in Austin now along with three of those children and four grandchildren. They are long-time ballet fans, and Jon is elated to be back on the board of Ballet Austin. Jon also serves on the Central Texas Regional Board of the Anti Defamation League.
Nidhi M. Nakra has worked passionately for the past 15 years to advance health policies that reduce preventable disease. She has held leadership roles in both the private and public health sectors. Most recently, she was the Director of Education and Advocacy for a Texas-based nonprofit, The Immunization Partnership. Prior to this position, she served as a CDC Public Health Advisor for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Nidhi also worked internationally as a technical officer for the World Health Organization’s Stop Transmission of Polio/Measles program in the South Pacific. Nidhi began her career as a consultant for healthcare delivery systems and non-profit organizations. She received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, her Master of Public Health degree from Emory University, and completed a Fellowship in Child Advocacy at the University of California-Los Angeles. Nidhi and her husband live in Austin, where they are raising their two children to follow a life of compassion and gratitude. In her free time, Nidhi enjoys reading, yoga, and the performing arts.
Vishal is a director of innovation strategy & planning at Dell where he helps shape the future direction of the company by developing strategies and offerings for new technology and market spaces. Through the course of his career, Vishal has gained strategic and operating leadership experience in B2B and B2C markets ranging from software to material science to hardware. He loves tackling problems that require creative thinking and fresh perspectives. Vishal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in The Program of Liberal Studies (Great Books Program) from the University of Notre Dame and a Master in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. Vishal lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Sabrina, and stepson.
Jare Smith is a past president and past chair of the Ballet Austin board and a former Ballet Austin Guild president. She currently serves on the Long Center Board and the Advisory Board of Texas State University Fine Arts College. Jare is also a past president of the Lone Star Girl Scout Council and served as co-chair of the organization's Capital Campaign.
As chief executive officer of Motion Computing, Cathy Thompson is responsible for guiding Motion's direction and day-to-day activities. Working closely with Motion's chairman, executive team and board of directors, she helps set Motion's strategic direction and oversees company activities focused on growth, innovation and industry leadership. Prior to her position as CEO, Cathy was Motion's chief operating officer and was responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Motion's finance, operations and service and support organizations.
Prior to joining Motion, Cathy served as vice president of finance for Dell's Global Marketing organization, where she was responsible for the controller functions for those chief marketing offices. After beginning her career with Dell in 1993 as vice president of internal audit, she also held roles as vice president and corporate controller, vice president of business operations in the Americas, vice president of customer support within the Relationship Group, vice president of global customer programs and vice president of finance supporting the sales segments in the Americas and Commercial Business Group. Before joining Dell, she was a partner at the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Company where she was director of the Dallas/Ft. Worth telecommunications and utilities audit and financial consulting practices. Cathy is a Certified Public Accountant and received a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Texas in 1974, where she currently is a member of the Advisory Board for the Evening MBA program. She is also on the boards of the Capital Area Food Bank.
Hunter Armstrong is a proud native Austinite. Before he started working in the family business in 2008, he studied physics at the University of Texas at San Antonio and did a short stint in tech support. After working nearly every job in the building, he took over as President of Blue Whale Moving Company and Humpback Junk Removal in 2014. Hunter is an active participant in the Austin community, having been a physics tutor and now a mentor to Eanes ISD Students.
Becky Beaver is widely regarded as one of Texas' preeminent family law attorneys. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Becky has practiced law for over 35 years, and handles all aspects of matrimonial and marital property litigation, including conservatorship of children and complex property issues. Her reputation as one of the best lawyers in the state is highlighted by Texas Monthly's recognition of Becky as a "Super Lawyer" for the last seven years. Becky has been an active force in developing and nurturing Austin's culture, having served on the board of directors of the Austin Children's Museum, Austin Women's Center, Planned Parenthood, Peoples Community Clinic, CASA of Central Texas, the Dispute Resolution Center, the Austin Bar Association, Travis County Family Lawyers, Travis County Family Law Advocates, Mexic-Arte Museum and the University United Methodist Church Foundation. She has also served on the Board of Advisors of the Austin Museum of Art. Becky has received the Profile in Power Award from the Austin Business Journal and the Women of Distinction from the Girl Scouts of Central Texas. She has also chaired events for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Austin Community Foundation and serves on various committees for many other organizations.
After graduating from the University of Texas in Austin, Paula's career years were spent in Chicago, rising to Vice President of a major bank. There she was an international banker, specializing in trade finance, letters of credit, and foreign project financing. When she and her husband moved to San Francisco, Paula retired to raise her three daughters while taking on major community leadership positions, including chairing the Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance for four years, serving as Vice Chairman of the Coyote Point Environmental Museum, serving in various capacities for the Peninsula Family Service Agency, and chairing various school and community events. With two daughters deeply involved in dance, Paula also became an active supporter of the San Francisco Ballet. With a return to Austin in 2002, Paula soon joined the Ballet Austin board. Now, with her husband often working in the UAE, and family spread across the country, Paula dedicates her time to travel, family, supporting various local and philanthropic causes, including the Ballet Austin, the Arts, the University of Texas, and Songwriting with Soldiers.
An award-winning space planner and interior designer in Texas since 1976, Marla has been recognized for her professional achievements by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and International Interior Design Association (IIDA). She was elected into the College of Fellows of the International Interior Design Association, and was among the first interior designers to be inducted into the Design Hall of Fame at The University of Texas. Marla also serves as an Honorary Life Member of Zach Scott Theater's Board of Directors.
Nikki Bryant opened Lakehills Lending after more than 20 years banking experience in Austin. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she was named Volunteer of the Year by Austin Chamber of Commerce in 1991 and was a member of Leaders' Club for Top Producers for major bank entity. In addition to serving Ballet Austin, Nikki also serves as Kappa Kappa Gamma House Board President, a Westlake High School volunteer, and is an active member of Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church.
Andy is partner in Austin Anesthesiology Group, a division of American Anesthesiology, and has lived in Austin since 1999. He grew up in the Dallas area and is a graduate of St. Mark's School of Texas. His undergraduate degree is from Duke University, where he studied French and chemistry. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, then did his residency in anesthesiology through Harvard Medical School at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He remained on the faculty for one year at Harvard Medical School before returning to Texas. He is currently an anesthesiologist in Austin, specializing in adult cardiovascular and thoracic anesthesia. He was the chief of anesthesiology at St. David's North Austin Medical Center for six years, where he served on the hospital's Medical Executive Committee and Peer Review Committee. He was elected to and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Austin Anesthesiology Group. Andy and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children.
Bliss Burdett Pak is managing partner of an award-winning small law firm, Farrell & Pak PLLC, in Austin, Texas, with a practice concentrated in elder law, estate planning and probate. She serves on planning committees for Texas State Bar and University of Texas legal conferences, chairs the Peer Review Committee and serves on the board of directors of the Texas Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and speaks on elder law topics to professional groups and community organizations in Central Texas. Bliss has a background in business law and corporate governance from her days as an associate with Hughes & Luce LLP in Dallas (now K&L Gates) and KMZ Rosenman in Chicago, then assistant professor at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea and adjunct faculty at the Singapore Institute of Management. Bliss is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and Trinity University, San Antonio. She grew up in the Texas panhandle and the hill country, and now lives with her family in Austin, Texas.
Dan Byrne is a 30-year plus lawyer representing clients involved in both straightforward and complex commercial disputes in a broad range of areas, including real estate, technology, financial institutions, employment, bankruptcy and general business litigation, both at trial and on appeal. He was voted by peers to Texas Monthly's list of Texas "Super Lawyers" as one of the best Business Litigation attorneys in Central Texas. He is a member of the Austin Bar Association, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Fifth Circuit Bar Association, and the Texas Association of Bank Counsel. His wife, the Honorable Darlene Byrne, is a Travis County Judge.
Greg Casas focuses his practice in antitrust, complex business litigation, and energy and natural resources law. Greg's antitrust practice is international in scope and includes litigating price-fixing, bid-rigging, market allocation claims and providing counseling for DOJ/FTC investigations, joint venture formation, mergers and acquisitions, pricing plans and other contractual relationships. Greg's complex business litigation experience includes international dispute resolution, arbitration and class action litigation. His energy experience includes litigating power plant disputes, disputes arising out of oil and gas leases and joint operating agreements, product liability claims relating to oil field tools and supplies, and personal injury and death cases unique to the oil and gas industry. With regard to natural resources, Greg has experience in greenhouse gas emissions trading under The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and the Kyoto Protocol.
Socar is chief executive officer of Elegant Estates by Auction LLC, a local boutique real estate firm. She is the immediate past president of the Ballet Austin Guild and has been involved in dance since she was a young girl. Both her daughters Guiny and Bella trained with the Ballet Austin Academy for many years and danced in The Nutcracker in various roles. She spends most of her spare time volunteering at Ballet Austin, Foundation Communities, and the Austin Board of Realtors. As a Past Chairman of the Austin Board of Realtors, she has a keen awareness of the need for dancers and other artists to be able to live where they work. She has a passion of the arts and is an advocate for affordable housing!
Rich Cleary is the US Business Development Director at Nexans. Cleary has held leadership roles in sales management, marketing and key account management in multiple business segments ranging from electronics and energy to health care. Cleary holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco. Born in Dallas and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Cleary is proud to call Austin home since 2005. Cleary is a Young Leaders Society Founding Member for United Way for Greater Austin.
Ryan Coaxum, an Austin native, is a vice president at Guaranty Bank & Trust who works with customers in a variety of industries focusing on their loan, deposit, and private banking needs. At Guaranty Bank & Trust, Ryan also serves on the marketing and Community Reinvestment Act committees. In addition to banking, Ryan is a member of the KIPP Austin Public Schools: KIPP Night Out and Soul of Austin Cultural Festival host committees, and previously was a member of the Austin Trail of Lights Foundation: Night Lights Preview Party host committee. Ryan is known for his striking energy and enthusiasm for life, which drives him to serve his community in various capacities. Ryan is an active member of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, The University of Texas at Austin Blanton Museum of Art: Art Crowd, Young Men’s Business League, Real Estate Council of Austin and the Austin Area Urban League. Ryan was as a 2018 table mentor and apart of 2019 host committee for Give Back Jack through I Live Here, I Give Here; and is as a member of the 2019 Andy Roddick Foundation Leadership Council. Ryan is also a member of Finance, Banking and Industry working group of City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s task force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities implementation phase. Always keeping in mind the needs of others in his community, Ryan volunteers for many charities and foundations in the Austin area such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas and the United Way for Greater Austin HEB Feast of Sharing.
Ryan graduated magna cum laude from Huston-Tillotson University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Ryan lives in North West Austin with his wife Laura. They are members of St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Pflugerville where Ryan serves as a member of the board of trustees.
Jeff Coddington is a senior vice president of capital markets and national director of Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL), which provides commercial real estate and investment management services worldwide. Based in Austin and the San Francisco Bay Area, Jeff assesses, strategizes and executes on the complex commercial real estate requirements of investors, corporations, public entities and non-profit organizations. Pleased to have started his real estate career in Austin in 1984, Jeff's clients include Applied Materials, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Starwood Capital Group, the Thinkery and numerous others. Jeff formerly worked with the Austin affiliate of Cushman & Wakefield, another global commercial property services firm, for 20 years. Jeff double-majored in Finance and Real Estate at the University of Texas at Austin.
Ada I. Corral, AIA, is a partner at Jobe Corral Architects, a woman-owned architecture firm with an emphasis in residential design. Ada has practiced in Austin since receiving her architecture degree from The University of Texas. In addition to practicing architecture, Ada has taught at Austin Community College, and is active in several community organizations such as Austin Mothers of Multiples, Maplewood Elementary, and Leadership Austin, where she recently completed the Emerge program. Ada is originally from Puerto Rico, and now lives in Austin with her husband and three children.
Priscilla G. Cortez serves as Executive Director of Volunteer Legal Services, a nonprofit pro bono civil legal services provider. Additionally, she serves as a nonprofit consultant with Lee+ Associates, assisting organizations with program design and implementation, governance and management, and fundraising. Priscilla earned a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in education administration from The University of Texas at Austin, and a law degree from St. Mary's University. She is involved with the Junior League of Austin and is a founding member of FuturoFund Austin. She is a graduate of Leadership Austin's Emerge Program and Essential Class. Priscilla and her husband John-Michael enjoy traveling, giving back to the community, and spending time with their daughter, Isabella.
After 25 years of working in major advertising agencies, Steve began his real estate career with Moreland Properties. In his first year he was named “Rookie of the Year” and shortly afterwards was “Top Producer” in the Moreland’s Lake Austin office. Throughout his time in real estate, he has been a consistent sales leader and a multimillion dollar producer.
After graduation from The Ohio State University, Steve joined Ogilvy & Mather, a large multinational advertising agency in New York City. There he worked in various account management capacities creating advertising for clients such as Lever Brothers, American Express, Bristol Meyers, Mercedes-Benz, Cessna Aircraft and Hershey Foods and was named one of the youngest Vice Presidents ever in Ogilvy.
After 10 years in New York, Steve transferred with Ogilvy to Mexico City as VP, Director of Client Services and led the agency from 17th to third largest in Mexico. Subsequently, he returned to Ogilvy & Mather/Houston where he helped that agency win the Compaq Computer account and led that business.
Soon after his return to the States, he was recruited by GSD&M, one of the top agencies in the Southwest as Senior Vice President, Group Account Director. There he led marketing and advertising for numerous accounts and participated in and led dozens of new business pitches. He was a member of the agency’s strategic leadership team that formulated the policies and general direction of the agency. He also helped create and lead Idea University, the agency’s in-house training program.
Steve enjoys travel, particularly international travel. He is on various boards and is actively involved in his church mentoring and working in various volunteer activities. Steve is married, has one daughter and two amazing grand kiddos in Atlanta. He keeps fit (or at least tries to) by running 15-20 miles a week.
Kristen serves as the Community Relations and Inclusion Program Manager for NXP Semiconductors. She oversees the NXP Inclusion Council and guides the strategic initiatives that support the NXP Community Engagement Council and Foundation. Kristen has more than 16 years human resources experience and has worked in a variety of industries including finance, publishing and technology. Kristen's love of dance began with her first ballet class at the age of 5. She received her degree from the University of Texas and received her SPHR certification in 2009. Kristen is a member of Leadership Austin’s Essential Class of 2016. She is also an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Austin and volunteers with the Regents School of Austin.
Robert Dintzner joined Dimensional Fund Advisors in 1994 and played a key role in developing the company's communications function as chief communications officer. Today, that group provides full-service creative support to the organization and its professional clients through the marketing group. In 2013, he assumed his current position, in which he leads the preservation, enhancement, and articulation of Dimensional's values and history. Working closely with senior management, Dintzner coordinates efforts to instill firm principles and culture in marketing initiatives, employee engagement, special events, client communications, and other business functions. Robert has career experience in multimedia communications, including the development of distance learning programs for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He received his BFA at Emerson College in Massachusetts, where he studied writing and literature.
Cliff has practiced law for approximately 30 years, the majority of that time with the Austin law firm of Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody. Cliff was born in Bartlesville, Okla., and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oklahoma State University with his law degree coming from The University of Texas. Cliff and his wife, Martha, have one son.
Kathleen Farlow joined Deloitte in 1983 and became partner in 1994. For most of her career, Kathleen's role has been and continues to be as a client service tax partner on large multinational clients and high net-worth individuals. Kathleen is currently the Central Texas managing partner leading more than 500 client service professionals in Austin and San Antonio.
Cynthia Fresch is a native Austinite. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the University of Texas - Austin and worked as a Senior Vice President at Bank of America for 25 years. She is currently a Relationship Manager in the RPS Prepaid Products Group, Government Division with U.S. Bank, covering Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Iowa. She also worked 10 years for First American/CoreLogic.
Cynthia has been involved with numerous Ballet Austin committees and groups during her time as a board member, including CORE, Ballet Noir, the Artistic Director Search Committee, and the Management Committee.
Renée Gallagher is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in advertising. Her career is in investments and began more than 13 years ago at an investment advisory firm in Houston. She currently works with Comerica Bank, and her primary role is investment management for institutional clients and retirement plans nationwide. Over the years, she has been a supporter of several nonprofit organizations, including literacy programs for adults to aid to children worldwide.
Jennifer Garcia has 15 years of experience in civil engineering-specializing in land development, dam safety and U.S. Naval shipbuilding. She has extensive experience in land development in Central Texas performing project management, engineering design, and regulatory permitting of mixed use, master planned, single family, retail and office development projects. She is experienced with dam safety, design and emergency action planning for the State of Texas. Jennifer is extremely knowledgeable in providing engineering design and project management services for all aspects of land development and engineering design projects in Central Texas. She is proficient in performing site investigations and producing conceptual site planning and construction plans. She has effectively worked with government agencies and has spoken at multiple City Planning and Zoning Commissions and City Councils for zoning and development proposals. She has spoken at numerous workshops throughout the State of Texas on providing knowledge to the public on Emergency Action Planning for dam safety. She is responsible for technical and supervision leadership over Professional Engineers, Engineers In Training and CAD Designers, and QA/QC for dam safety, site development and utility projects.
Native Texan, Wade Giles is a realtor with Moreland Properties, serving the Central Texas area. He earned his degree in Finance with a concentration in Real Estate from Louisiana State University before starting out on his own business endeavors that led him across the globe to Australia, Guatemala, Southeast Asia, New York City, and finally, back to where he knew he ultimately belonged: Austin, Texas. Since his return, Wade has completely immersed himself in Austin's culture, specifically within the arts. Having studied at the International Center of Photography in New York, Wade has a true appreciation of all art in all forms and understands the importance of keeping culture alive and thriving in our city.
Richard is a partner in the Intellectual Property Group of King & Spalding LLP, an international law firm having offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Richard specializes in intellectual property law (patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, internet, domain name, and related matters). Richard holds a Bachelor of Engineering Science in Environmental Engineering degree from The University of Texas at Austin and received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. Richard has represented some of the most well-known brands in the world, and he specializes in providing creative solutions, strategic planning, and problem solving for businesses in branding and trademark issues. He is a frequent presenter and speaker, and has received a number of professional honors, including recognition in the World Trademark Review 1000; Chambers, USA; Legal 500 USA; The Best Lawyers in America, trademark law; Texas Super Lawyer, intellectual property; and designation as an IP Star by Managing Intellectual Property and a Global IP Luminary by Trademark World. In his free time, Richard enjoys writing music, primarily on guitar and keyboard.
Dave Harrington retired from IBM after a 30-year career, 20 of those years with IBM Austin. He held numerous senior management and executive positions, retiring as the Director of Strategy and Plans for IBM’s Personal Systems Division.
His wife, Martha, was a member of the Ballet Austin Board from 1980 until 2003, a time during which Martha and Dave were deeply involved in Ballet Austin and in the first Board of Arts Center Stage that eventually became the Long Center. During those years, while Martha helped build the Long Center, Dave chaired the Austin Opera’s strategic planning efforts.
In 2003 Dave and Martha hopped aboard a motor coach to see the US and Canada, ending that journey by settling in Kerrville. In 2010 Martha was sadly diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She fought the disease with Dave by her side for nearly 8 years and in February of 2018 Martha lost the battle.
Though it feels in many ways as if Dave is actually returning to our Ballet Austin family, he is most excited to become a part of the Board bringing with him a dual sense of logical, mathematical mind and a long history of Long Center and the Austin arts scene.
At Martha’s passing, Dave made a $25K endowment to the Ballet Austin Foundation in Martha’s memory and has since pledged to take the endowment to $50K.
E.D. Hill is the CEO of the Lazy 8 Ranch Specialty Food Company, which specializes in kosher, organic and gluten free products. Previously, she co-hosted "In the Arena" on CNN, "Fox and Friends" on the Fox News Channel, and anchored the evening news in New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Waco. Her work as a reporter earned her an Emmy and a Golden Quill. She has interviewed numerous world leaders, sports heroes and business leaders as well as written two books. E.D. is a graduate of Dripping Springs High School and attended S.M.U., Harvard, and the University of Texas. E.D. and her husband, Joe, have eight children and live in Driftwood where they raise exotic animals.
Aileen Hooks regularly provides legal counsel to clients on regulatory and permitting matters relating to environmental, health, and safety issues, including air and water quality, solid and hazardous waste, and fuel regulations. Additionally, Aileen works on the environmental and facilities-related aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, including international matters. She is active in the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development. On a pro bono basis, she worked on the drafting and negotiation of a memorandum of understanding between the Council and the U.S. EPA on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Fields of Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development. Aileen received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, and her J.D. from the University of Texas.
Chris Hosek is a principal of Texas Star Alliance, specializing in direct lobbying and state agency relations. Chris has experience with a broad range of legislative issues and policy initiatives including a specific expertise in the energy sector. Chris served as the chief of staff for five years to the chair of the Railroad Commission of Texas, Elizabeth Ames Jones. Prior to his work at the Railroad Commission, Chris was also the legislative director for Jones in the Texas House of Representatives for the 78th and 77th sessions. Chris served as the House's committee aide to the Appropriations Committee, responsible for drafting the state's two-year budget. He was also committee aide for Jones on the House Energy Resources Committee, where he received his background in the energy field. Chris served in various roles for elected officials where he managed and developed legislative issues. Other committees Chris has worked on include the Urban Affairs and State Recreational Resource committees.
During his time in the Legislature, Chris was instrumental in setting up Texas' first umbilical cord blood bank. The Texas Cord Blood Bank was created by statute in 2001 and funded in 2003. Chris worked to secure a $1 million initial state grant for the bank, as well as an additional $2.5 million private/public matching grant. Chris has met with numerous international trade delegations at the Railroad Commission. He also participated in the Texas Trade Mission to Mexico, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. In 2008, Chris was selected by the American Council of Young Political leaders as a delegate to participate in an overseas governmental exchange with Taiwan. Chris graduated from Texas State University at San Marcos with a Bachelor's degree in Communications. He is a member of the Texas State at San Marcos Alumni Association and the Phi Delta Theta Alumni Association. Chris and his wife, Chandra, live in Austin, Texas.
Jannette Keating is an art advocate. She hails from Canada where she enjoyed a career as a French Immersion teacher. In the United States, her passion for dance, and visual art has become the focus of her energy. Involvement with art museums such as LACMA and The Contemporary Austin as a volunteer art educator has enriched her personal lifework as an artist. A recent graduate degree in Art Education/ Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Texas has directed her energy toward service on various local art-related boards of directors, including the Texas Society of Sculptors and The Contemporary Austin.
Dr. Craig Kuglen has been active in arts organizations for more than 40 years. After "mostly retiring" from medicine, he moved to Austin and has worked with Chorus Austin, The Austin Chamber Music Center, Austin Lyric Opera, Ballet Austin, and The Austin Symphony in various board positions. An honors graduate of Colgate University, he obtained an MD degree from the University of Alabama and moved to Texas for internship and residency in Galveston at UTMB. Craig founded an ophthalmology clinic in the Rio Grande Valley, which expanded to include major subspecialties and operated two surgery centers. He and his wife Peggy, have four children and seven grandchildren.
Nora is the Executive Director of HousingWorks, an affordable housing advocacy organization. Previously, as a consultant, she served clients in the areas of management efficiencies, project implementation and fundraising for nonprofits and political candidates. She spent the first 12 years of her career in state government management, including serving as the first executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission. As a community volunteer, Linares-Moeller currently serves on the board of directors of the Sally M. Kingsbury Knock Out Sarcoma Foundation Inc., as president of the board of the LBJ Museum of San Marcos, treasurer of the board of the Friends of the Family Justice Center (Hays County), and secretary of the La Tina Foundation. She was appointed as a national board member of the La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) organization (founded by Cesar Chavez) in 2006. A graduate of Southwest Texas State University (SWTSU), now Texas State University, she is also a 1989 graduate of Leadership Texas and a 1990 graduate of Leadership America. Linares-Moeller currently resides in Wimberley, Texas, with her husband Michael Moeller.
Dr. Marcella Madera came to Austin from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she was a faculty Instructor of Neurosurgery and an AOSpine fellow. She completed her residency in neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati and Mayfield Clinic. Marcella performs both spinal and cranial surgery to treat a variety of conditions for central Texas residents.
Marcella has studied ballet since the age of 9, and she minored in ballet at Washington University in St. Louis. She continues to enjoy classes at Ballet Austin living downtown with her husband, Austin software entrepreneur, Mark Obrecht.
Sly Majid is the City of Austin’s Chief Service Office. He believes there is magic at the local level where innovative ideas can take shape and scale to make an impact on society. Sly attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a BA in government. Sly is focused on developing and delivering strategic initiatives that address the priorities of Mayor Steve Adler and the City of Austin. Additionally, Sly serves as an advisor on intergovernmental relations, veterans’ issues, homelessness, community engagement, and innovation/technology. During his time in the Mayor’s office, Sly was vital in helping Austin secure the HUD designation for ending veteran homelessness in Austin, developing the Civic I/O program at the South by Southwest Conference & Festival for mayors across the country, and serving as the Mayor’s special advisor on the development of the Innovation Zone. Sly’s vision for the future is to make Austin the model city for innovation, collaboration, and community building.
Kristin Marcum is a shareholder and chief operating officer of Elizabeth Christian Public Relations (ECPR), a full-service firm in Austin specializing in media relations, video production, digital strategy, crisis communications and public affairs. The firm represents a diverse range of clients, including St. David’s HealthCare, Google and Texas Mutual Insurance Company, among others. Kristin joined ECPR in 1999 and enjoyed Ballet Austin as one of her earliest clients. Kristin is a graduate of Leadership Austin’s Essential Class, a former Austin Area Research Organization McBee Fellow, a 2016 AU40 finalist, a Hill School volunteer and a Manor ISD mentor.
George E. Martin, Ph.D., has been president of St. Edward's University since 1999 and has led the university's collaborative effort to attain national recognition as one of the best small universities in the country. Currently, the university is ranked 20th in the West by U.S. News & World Report, and donors have responded to Martin's vision by investing more than $70 million in St. Edward's. Martin volunteers with a number of higher education organizations and is equally dedicated to community development and the arts in Austin, serving on the boards for several important civic and artistic organizations.
Jennene Mashburn has been an active Ballet Austin Guild member for 14 years, serving as president in 2000/01. She has held several volunteer postions in Assistance League of Austin since 1993, and currently serves as one of their Thrift House day chairs. Jennene is married to Ray Mashburn and has two married daughters and three grandchildren.
Judy is a long-time supporter of various animal and arts-related organizations in the Austin area. She currently serves on the boards of Austin Chamber Music Center, where she was repeat Gala Chair, and Texas Pets Alive! As a volunteer at her daughter’s former school she served in many capacities, such as Annual Fund Parent Chair for two years and Fine Arts Booster Club Co-Chair. For almost a decade she has supported Austin Pets Alive! as a former founding board member and a continuing supporter. In previous lives she spent several years as an Account Manager at GSD&M and went on to teach psychology as an adjunct instructor at Austin Community College. She received a BS in Advertising and an MA in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. Judy and her husband Michael have a daughter Grayson, currently in college. The family loves to travel, host chamber music concerts, and spend time at home with their rescue cats who run the household.
Lobbyist and political fundraiser Andrea McWilliams is a skilled strategist, combining grace with grit and patience with persuasion. Known for her meticulous attention to detail, McWilliams brings her unique expertise to every issue she engages, drawing on her time in both the private and public sector.
The national media—including FOX News, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, USA Today, CNN, BBC, and NPR—have all reported on McWilliams' role as a leading fundraiser and political strategist. She is a national political commentator and has been profiled in a number of Texas publications as well.
McWilliams is a proud recipient of the Austin Business Journal's "Profiles in Power Award" and was bestowed by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas with the "Woman of Distinction" Award. In 2012, Andrea received the "Austin Under 40" Award. The Austin American–Statesman has also honored her as a member of its Glossy 8 list.
Nikelle became associated with Brown McCarroll LLP in 1998. During prior legal appointments she has served as judicial intern for Justice Jack Hightower of the Supreme Court of Texas, as a legislative intern for State Representative Dawnna M. Dukes, and as an associate attorney with the law firm of Minter Joseph & Thornhill, PC. Her practice involves representation of clients before local and state agencies, and she provides legal advice in the areas of procurement, transportation, commercial and residential real estate, business negotiations and transactions, economic development incentives, zoning, platting and land use. Nicole's professional affiliations include the State Bar of Texas, the College of the State Bar, the Austin Bar Association, the American Planning Association, the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association, the Real Estate Council of Austin, and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. She is currently the president of the Hill Country Conservancy. Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992 and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law in 1995.
Jennifer Millspaugh completed her PhD in fashion entrepreneurship at the University of the Arts London, where she explored the brand development and internationalization strategies of emerging fashion companies based in London and New York. She is the co-founder of Aesthetic Ventures, a venture production consultancy for the fashion industry, which advises and connects innovative companies in fashion with the resources they need. In this role she applies her academic research to design innovative brands and business models for a new era of fashion.
She is also the founder of the Austin Fashion Initiative, a social impact organization launched to enhance Austin's fashion ecosystem. She serves on the Independent Fashion Advisory Board (IFAB), an international network of professionals advancing business transformation for fashion, retail, and creative technology. Jennifer has served as a visiting scholar for Texas State, an entrepreneur-in-residence for G51, spoken at TEDx, and is an enthusiastic volunteer with Ballet Austin Guild.
Her unique background and work experience has led her to recognize the importance fashion holds for our economy and humanity, and how entrepreneurship and innovation can open up access to this dynamic, complex and creative industry.
Virginia Miracle is Chief Customer Officer at Khoros (built from Spredfast + Lithium), where she leads the customer success, support and professional services teams globally.
Virginia has worked in digital since dinosaurs roamed the internet. Before joining Spredfast in 2012 to develop its customer success team, she led the North American social media consulting practice at Ogilvy & Mather. She gained her passion for word of mouth marketing with a stint at Brains on Fire and served on the board of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association for 6 years after holding marketing roles at Trilogy Software and Dell.
Virginia is a former board member of Generation SERVE and proud member of Leadership Austin's Essential Class of 2019. She spends her off hours with her 1 husband, 2 human kids and 2 tiny dogs. She has a passion for 80s movies & music and loves dancing at Ballet Austin. She holds a BA in English from Princeton University.
Emily Moreland plays an integral role in the day-to-day operations of the real estate company she started in 1986. Her top priority is supporting her agents and their clients, but she still finds the time and energy to be very involved in many organizations that create the quality of life that we all enjoy in Austin. Emily was privileged to serve on the board of directors of the Long Center for the Performing Arts from its inception until 2008. At the present time, she serves on the advisory committee for the Long Center. Additionally, Emily is a past president and former chair the board for Ballet Austin. As a member of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, she actively supports the Opportunity Austin initiative, which the chamber created to focus on bringing and keeping jobs in Austin. Emily is president of the Dell Children's Medical Center Foundation Grandparents Club and actively supports raising funds for the hospital. She also currently serves on the steering committee for Foundation Communities, which provides housing for the working poor.
Meeta Awasthi Morrison is the founder and principal of Meeta Morrison Designs LLC. However, in reality she is the master of taking the scenic route, the circuitous path and the road not taken because she really does end up on both paths. The idea that we are limited to one passion does not play into her belief system.
She spent the first half of her career being a studio artist, a painter to be specific. She started selling her artwork as a teenager at a local gallery in Galveston. She then pursued a degree in art and art history at Rice University and spent the next 13 years painting, showing and selling her artwork. Ultimately, she knew that she had to pursue her degree in Architecture. It was what she had wanted to do since she could remember. It took almost 7 years and two graduate schools due to an unforeseen move and an intervening residency in Australia.
Meeta Morrison Designs LLC is growing after 3 years of being in business and pursuing projects in the residential and commercial sectors. Her goal is to continue to educate her clients about making better choices for the environment when it comes to building and remodeling.
Meeta is addicted to volunteering. Most recently she has volunteered for Women and Their Work as a board member, for Aids services of Austin, for Foundation Communities, The Long Center, and Rice University.
Paul is the director of obstetric anesthesia at The Women’s Center of Texas and the secretary of the medical staff for St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, where he has also served as the chief of anesthesiology.
Paul obtained his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine before starting his career in medicine as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force, working with pilots and special operations forces. After completing his residency and fellowship training in anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School, he was happy to return to his home state of Texas and join Austin Anesthesiology Group, where he is a full partner.
As an early adopter of downtown Austin living, Paul has appreciated the benefits provided by living only a short walk from Ballet Austin and the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
Charles is a managing director in Deloitte Human Capital’s Organization Talent Practice. With more than 18 years of consulting experience, Charles’ primary focus has been to provide strategic advisory services in the areas of: business transformations, software implementations, and mergers and acquisitions (due diligence through post merger Integration). He has deep expertise in the design and execution of global talent and change programs comprised of: communications, training, business readiness and adoption programs to solve all manner of leadership, culture, talent, future of work and organizational challenges across the finance, IT and HR functions.
His project experience has been assessment through implementation phases, individual contributor to program lead. Charles is currently the global management of change lead for a Fortune 10 media company, undergoing a global finance transformation.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Charles worked as a benefits consultant at Hewitt Associates, Towers Perrin and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Charlie holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Penn.
Deborah Portman moved to Austin from Laredo, Texas 12 years ago and serves as First Vice President of International Bank of Commerce (IBC Bank). She has worked in the banking Industry for 22 years, both in Laredo and Austin. Deborah received her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, and studied ballet at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland while in college. She is actively involved with activities of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Austin. Deborah has four children and eight grandchildren.
Elizabeth is an associate with the Austin law firm of Hopper Mikeska PLLC, and focuses her practice on estate planning, estate and trust administration, and guardianship. Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree from Boston University and her J.D. from the University Of Texas School Of Law. She is a member of the Austin Bar Association, the Estate Planning Council of Central Texas, and the Travis County Women Lawyers' Association. Elizabeth is from Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended the Boston Ballet School and performed in the Boston Ballet's Nutcracker.
Forrest Preece is a fifth generation Austin native who grew up seeing Austin's ballet company perform on the cement stage at Zilker Hillside Theatre in the 1950s. He has been involved with Ballet Austin since 1993. After earning his degree in Plan II/English from the University of Texas at Austin, he worked in the advertising business for 39 years until he retired in 2005. The last 28 years of his career, he ran Good Right Arm Advertising Agency. Currently, he is on the board of the Visit Austin Foundation, is the Master Scribe for the Knights of the Vine/Austin Chapter, and serves with his wife, Linda Ball, on the Directors Council of the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas. He and Linda have endowed annual "Young Authors Awards" for elementary/middle school/high school students in the Badgerdog creative writing program at the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. Forrest has been a board member of Visit Austin (formerly the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau), the Austin Advertising Club, Badgerdog Literary Publishing, and the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival. He was a board member and founder of Longhorn Associates, a support group for UT Women's Athletics, and has held leadership roles with other organizations. Since 2001, he has written a personalities column for West Austin News. Forrest and his wife are now active dilettantes. They enjoy traveling and being part of the Austin social scene.
Deanna Rankin started her career at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 1998. As a registered senior client associate for The Heidmann/Jefferson Group, one of the largest private wealth management teams in Central Texas, she is the team lead for event planning, marketing, and client communications. Rankin is currently serving on the Advisory Council for Young Women’s Alliance of Austin as well as the Campus Advisory Council for Kiker Elementary School. Previously, Rankin served five years on the board of directors for Young Women’s Alliance as both President and Chair for the Austin Under 40 Awards Gala. As a Texas native, Deanna graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University in 1996.
Ryann Reaud was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She attended college at Southern Methodist University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Ryann went on to graduate with honors from the University of Texas School of Law. She then served as a law clerk for United States District Judge Royal Furgeson in the Western District of Texas. She currently works as a prosecutor in the Travis County Attorney's Office.
Stephen Redman was born and grew up about 50 miles east of London, U.K., and began his love affair with dance about 1970 after seeing a performance by the Nederlands Danz Teater. After immigrating to the United States in 1975, Steve took jazz from the San Francisco Ballet from 1976 until the jazzercise craze hit San Francisco in 1978. Today, Steve is a professional wealth manager and financial advisor with a major international financial services firm. He divides his leisure time among painting, collecting art and supporting several arts non-profit organizations in Austin.
Edie and her family moved to Austin in 2009. Her work experience includes planning public programs for the Smithsonian Institution and management consulting for Ernst & Young. She previously served as Parents' Association President and Board Member of St. Mark's Episcopal School in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. She has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. Edie and her husband, Cotter Cunningham, have three children.
Shon Saliga works as a market manager for IBM, focusing on service-related offerings for the financial sector including banking, financial markets, and insurance and supports marketing programs that drive more than a quarter of a billion dollars in annual sales. During the past 25 years, he has held numerous executive and senior management positions that span many aspects of IBM's business, from operating system design and development, to server strategy/competitive analysis, pervasive computing operations and accessibility research. In his spare time, Shon is the president of Our BellaRosa Group LLC, an Austin-based company specializing in the design and construction of exceptional Tuscan farm homes and villas. Shon and his wife, Jani, have four children.
Pilar Sanchez has more than 18 years of experience in the public housing industry and is currently the vice president of housing and community development (HCD) at the Austin Housing Authority. Prior to joining the HCD department, she oversaw the quality control department, the hearings officer, grants management and the fraud prevention program. Sanchez oversaw the founding of SHCC’s PBCA program in Texas in 2000 and was responsible for oversight of all core tasks from 2000-2001. Sanchez was an active member of HUD’s first PBCA working group in 2001. She is regarded as a subject-matter expert and has made numerous industry presentations regarding EIV, quality control, strategic asset management, and executive oversight at the Texas Chapter of NAHRO and National NAHRO, as well as at the Southwest AHMA. Sanchez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and moved to Austin in 1989 to attend the University of Texas.
Cord and his wife, Anne, are one of our youngest Ballet Austin families. Cord has been involved with Ballet Austin since 1991 and Anne since 2002. Cord has served on the Board since 2001, and Anne was president of the Ballet Austin Guild from 2005-2006. Cord is a residential realtor with Moreland Properties and was the No. 1 realtor in Austin from 2002-2007, 2009 and 2011-2014 (Austin Business Journal). In addition, he has been Moreland Properties' top salesman for 10 years. He is among the top one percent of producers in Austin and Texas. Formerly a realtor with Moreland Properties, Anne now stays at home with their 4 children Tatum, Tinsley, Banks and Bevo.
Polly Shrewsbury is a proven management consultant with over fourteen years of spectacular success in both consulting and the corporate environments. Polly has a stellar track record of setting strategic direction, establishing operational excellence, and formulating viable solutions that drive revenue and margin growth.
Her background includes a unique combination of strong business acumen and scientific knowledge base stemming from a Ph.D. in Bioengineering coupled with significant experience managing multimillion-dollar P&Ls, orchestrating successful turnarounds, and providing strategic vision for business operations.
Polly holds a Ph.D.in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco; a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington University, St. Louis; and a B.S. in Chemistry from Centre College, Danville, KY. She additionally completed the MBA Essentials Program at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business and earned a Management of Technology Certificate from the University of California, Haas School of Business. Polly has authored several articles published in top, peer-reviewed scientific journals and is lead inventor on three issued US patents.
In her spare time, Polly enjoys golf, tennis, travel, food and wine.
Originally from Austin, Matt Swinney, is a serial entrepreneur. He is the founder of iconic Austin-based companies Rare Magazine, Austin Restaurant Week, Austin Fashion Week, Modern Home Tours and Eat Out for Good. He is currently the CEO of Fashion & Style Events LLC, the parent company for Austin Fashion Week, Fashion X Dallas and Fashion X Houston. He runs Eat Out for Good as a separate entity. Upon graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio, Matt spent two years with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) working on projects for Bank of America, Conoco, BioSpace.com and Energy.com in Houston. He and his wife, Kara, moved to San Francisco in 2000, where Matt took a professional services role with Moai Technologies, an auction-style software startup.
Seeing the dot com bubble burst, Matt moved back to Austin, where he began his first magazine, For Sale by Owner and Builder, with noted real estate attorney Wally Tingley. Upon selling his stake, Matt began his career in lifestyle-driven publishing, marketing and events by launching Rare Magazine in the fall of 2004. Highly successful with a burgeoning readership, Matt founded Austin Restaurant Week and his love of event production and marketing took hold.
In March 2009, Matt sold his interest in Rare and began large-scale event production and promotions company Launch787. The company’s first project, Austin Fashion Week, debuted in July 2009 and has expanded into the 4th largest fashion week in the United States. It has been named one of the top 5 Fashion Weeks in the South by Southern Living Magazine. In 2014, Matt expanded the Fashion Week concept by launching Fashion X Dallas, a critical success in the DFW market after just two years. In 2016, Matt will launch Fashion X Houston with corporate partner, Cadillac.
Matt and his wife Kara are incredibly devoted to the Austin community. As a native Austinite, Matt was taught early and often to give back when possible to help support his home city’s growth and those that often get left behind. Matt was the Board President (January 2015 – April 2016) for I Live Here, I Give Here, the organization that operates Amplify Austin, one of the most successful 24 hour giving days in the country ($8.5 million was raised for local nonprofits in 2016 in just 24 hours). He is also dedicated to the mission of the Rise School of Austin and has co-chaired the organization’s Heart & Soul event (and emceed) 3 years running. Each event has raised more than $250,000 for the inclusion school. In 2016, Matt launched a new series “Style Setters” as part of Austin Fashion Week. That program benefitted Ballet Austin, ZACH Theater, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and the Austin chapter of the American Heart Association. Eat Out for Good is a social revolution based on micro donations made by local restaurants. In 2015, The Rise School of Austin received over $10,000 from Eat Out for Good and Buick. The 2016 nonprofit partner is Urban Roots. Matt was twice a final-5 finalist for Austin Under 40 Awards in the Arts, Media and Entertainment category. Matt continues to live in Austin with Kara and his kids Sadie (8) and Cashion (6).
Janice Ta is an intellectual property lawyer who regularly provides legal counsel on patent, trade secret, copyright, and trademark issues. She helps clients protect and maximize value from their intellectual property portfolios across a broad range of technologies in a variety of industries, ranging from computer software to consumer electronics to biotechnology. A first generation college student, she graduated in 2003 from Stanford University with a B.A. in Art History and a B.S. in Symbolic Systems. Before law school, she worked as a product designer at Plaxo, Inc., a start-up in Mountain View, California, which was later acquired by Comcast. She also served as the Interim Director of Disability Mentoring Day when she worked at the National Association of People with Disabilities. From 2007-2010, she attended Yale Law School and was appointed in 2010 as the President of the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities. After law school, she served as a judicial clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. Janice has been recognized as a 2018 and 2019 Texas Rising Star for her work in intellectual property litigation. She lives in Austin with her husband, John, a professor at the University of Texas, and her two kids. Her daughter is an aspiring ballet dancer at Ballet Austin.
Born in New York City and raised in Houston, Texas, Judge George Thomas graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio in 1998 with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in History. He then earned his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 2002. After graduating, he worked as a legislative assistant in the Texas House of Representatives and practiced immigration law in Houston. He moved to Austin in 2004 and became a criminal prosecutor for the City of Austin. In 2010, he accepted a position as a prosecutor with the Travis County Attorney's Office-Criminal Division. After almost 10 years of being a prosecutor, he was appointed as a Judge to the Municipal Court of the City of Austin in 2014. He is the first Indian-American judge in Travis County history. He has been active in a variety of local civic and political organizations in the Austin-area for several years.
Jeff Trigger is the founder of La Corsha Hospitality Group, a hotel management and consulting company. La Corsha Hospitality was recently selected to oversee the restoration and repositioning of two historic Texas hotels, the St. Anthony Hotel in downtown San Antonio and the historic Stoneleigh Hotel in uptown Dallas. The company will also oversee the construction and manage the planned Seaholm Plaza Hotel in downtown Austin. Jeff has previously overseen the transformation of The Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin, as well as The Mansion on Turtle Creek and The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. Jeff is also on the boards of the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Austin Public Library Foundation, Communities in Schools, and Housing Works Austin.
Since her days of Ballet and Ice Skating, the arts have had a special place in her life. One of her favorite sayings is Art is home, because there is something magical that happens between artist and attendee that is comforting. Natasa Valocchi has been active in the Austin community for over 15 years. Shortly after arriving from Los Angeles, where she was in the fashion industry she joined The Junior League of Austin. As a League Member, Natasa held several different leadership positions including Resale Shop Chair, Financial Development Chair, and several roles in the A Christmas Affair. Natasa Co-Chaired the Young Master’s Program, a collaboration from the Texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission of the Arts. She further enhances her love of the arts with her active membership of the Texas Women for the Arts. In her free moments she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and her 4 legged child.
David Webber, AIA, is a native Austinite. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree with Highest Honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992 and founded Webber + Studio Architects in 1997. David has established himself as a prolific presence on Austin's architectural landscape, and the Studio has built a diverse portfolio of residential, retail, personal services and public projects. His award-winning designs have been featured internationally through print, Web, and broadcast media. A member of the American Institute of Architects, he is active in the Texas Society of Architects, and sits on the board of directors of The Frameworks Community Development Corporation. David resides in Austin with his husband.
Tom joined EZCORP in April 2009 and has responsibility for the legal, compliance, government relations, loss prevention and risk management functions. Prior to joining EZCORP, Tom was vice president - legal and general corporate counsel for Dell Inc., where he had primary responsibility for legal support of Dell's corporate securities, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, financial services, executive compensation and benefits, facilities, corporate governance and general corporate matters. Prior to joining Dell in May 1995, Tom was vice president - corporate development of Parker & Parsley Petroleum Company (predecessor to Pioneer Natural Resources), Midland, Texas, where he was primarily responsible for merger and acquisition, corporate securities and corporate finance matters. Before joining Parker & Parsley in July 1992, Tom was a shareholder with the law firm of Johnson & Gibbs, P.C., Dallas, Texas, having joined the firm upon graduation from law school in 1980.
Tom received a B.S. degree in Management from Purdue University in 1977 and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1980. Tom has been active in past United Way annual campaigns (serving as chair of the Professional Division for two years) and had the pleasure of doing meaningful volunteer work for Caritas during his career break (April 2008 to April 2009). Tom and his wife, Sally, have lived in Austin for 15 years and have two daughters.
Dr. Aisha White is a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction and cosmetic procedures. She graduated from Howard University with a B.S. in microbiology and then completed her medical education at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She has also completed the MBA program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. White completed her internship and residency in General Surgery at SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn and a Plastic Surgery residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. White grew up in New Orleans, but has lived in Austin since 2012. She is a graduate of the Leadership Austin Essential Program, a member of the Leadership Austin Board, a member of the AIDS Services of Austin Board, a Sustaining Member of the Junior League of Austin, and a former member of the CommunityCare Board. Dr. White is also faculty at the Dell Medical School. When she is not otherwise actively engaged in the Austin community, Dr. White enjoys baking, swimming, and playing tennis.
Jason Wills is the senior vice president of development for American Campus Communities, the largest developer, owner and manager of high-quality student housing communities in the United States (NYSE: ACC). Wills has a diversified background in the functional areas of the student housing industry ranging from residence life, management operations, marketing, leasing, development and finance. He began his career in student housing in 1993 as a resident assistant at the University of Texas at Arlington. He continued his career in student housing operations when he joined American Campus Communities in February 1997. After serving in increasing operational capacities with ACC, in 1999 he moved into the company's on-campus development division. In 2003, Wills was promoted to the position of senior vice president of development and selected to lead American Campus Communities highly successful on-campus development business segment.
Wills also played a key role as a member of the company's senior management team when ACC led the student housing industry to a new plateau to become the first student housing company to go public. He is a frequent speaker on trends in student housing at industry conferences and served as a trustee on the ACUHO-I Foundation. In 2005 Wills was one of the founding members of the 21st Century Project, an ACUHO-I think tank seeking innovation in student housing. He continues to participate on the 21 Century Project's steering committee.
Scott Yarborough is director of sales operations for eHealth, a leading private omni-channel health insurance marketplace. Prior to eHealth, Scott held key roles at Aquasana and the Global Consumer Group at Dell Inc. Scott received his M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina and a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College.