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.

 
CONTACT US

Staff

Board

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Matt Kouri
Chief Executive Officer

Matt Kouri

Chief Executive Officer, Mission Capital

 

Matt (@matthewkouri) leads Mission Capital’s efforts to solve big community problems. His expertise includes social innovation and enterprise, nonprofit mergers, board governance, strategic business planning, and leadership development.

Prior to joining Mission Capital in 2007, Matt was a Senior Manager with Deloitte Consulting, worked on educational policy for the Chicago Public Schools, and was an analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Outside of work, Matt leads an orphan and adoption ministry that works in the U.S. and Ethiopia on behalf of children in need. He serves on the board of E3 Alliance, as an active member of AARO (Austin-Area Research Organization), and on the advisory council of the National Christian Foundation in Austin, and he has previously served on the boards of Austin LifeCare, I Live Here I Give Here and others.

In 2014, Matt received Austin’s Ethics in Business & Community Lifetime Achievement Award and, in 2012, the “Austinite Under 40” award in the nonprofit/community service category.

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Larry Anazia
Consultant

Larry Anazia

Consultant, Mission Capital

 

Larry comes to Mission Capital from Deloitte Consulting, with experience in the public sector helping state and local government agencies across the country solve some of their toughest problems and implement new solutions. His areas of expertise include public policy, management consulting, business process improvement, system implementation, organizational assessment and strategy. At Deloitte, Larry also regularly led volunteer activities across Central Texas as part of Deloitte’s IMPACT Day event, a national day of community service across the organization.

An Austin native through and through, Larry graduated from Lanier High School, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

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Carla Denison-Bickett
Senior Consultant

Carla Denison-Bickett

Senior Consultant, Mission Capital

 

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.

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Katy Bourgeois
Senior Consultant

Katy Bourgeois

Senior Consultant, Mission Capital

 

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.

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Deanna DeHaven
Chief Services Officer

Deanna DeHaven

Chief Services Officer, Mission Capital

 

Deanna oversees Mission Capital’s consulting services team, focusing on scalable solutions for social good.

Previously Deanna was a Senior Director at MAXIMUS, a global provider of business process management and technology services connecting citizens to government programs. At MAXIMUS, Deanna managed projects and implementations for government clients focused on the health and human services.

Deanna has been involved with several nonprofits in the Central Texas region, including Front Steps, Executive Women in Texas Government, Keep Austin Beautiful, and Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Prior to joining the Mission Capital team, Deanna was involved with the organization as a member of the 501 Council and most recently as a Social Venture Partner. Deanna has undergraduate degrees in Social Work and Health Sciences from Michigan State University and Master’s Degrees in Social Work and Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

As a longtime supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Deanna has been a proud “big” to her little brother since 1998.

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Tessa Dennis
Development Associate

Tessa Dennis

Development Associate, Mission Capital

 

Tessa began in the social sector at young age, organizing charity hockey tournaments in her hometown of Houston, Texas. Tessa comes to Mission Capital from the Aztex Soccer Foundation where she served as Foundation Coordinator, managing community appearances and philanthropic efforts to benefit Austin’s underserved populations. She has also interned with several nonprofits close to her heart including theTexas Stars Foundation and Comfort Crew for Military Kids. Tessa is a distinguished alumnae of Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations.

Outside of work, Tessa can be found playing rugby with the Austin Valkyries and petting pups at Zilker Park.

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Rachel Dow
Program Coordinator

Rachel Dow

Program Coordinator, Mission Capital

 

Rachel provides consulting assistance and logistical support for events and workshops.

Before joining Mission Capital, Rachel started out as an Administrative Assistant at the United Methodist Children’s Home, and then worked as a Case Manager for foster and adoptive families at a child-placing agency in Austin.

A native Austinite, Rachel is passionate about serving as a small group leader for Young Life at the University of Texas and being involved withFostering Hope Austin through her church, Grace Covenant. Outside of work, Rachel can be found running the hike & bike trail, listening to live music, and checking out local foodie hotspots

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Amber Fogarty
Director of Learning and Leadership

Amber Fogarty

Director of Learning and Leadership, Mission Capital

 

Amber is leading the evolution of Mission Capital’s learning and leadership offerings by bringing together nonprofits and strong local leaders to solve big challenges. Amber is passionate about empowering leaders to do good, always advocating for John F. Kennedy’s assertion that “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

Prior to Mission Capital, Amber spent 14 years as a leadership, communications and development professional for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. At SOS Leadership Institute, Amber created the SOS Gr8 Women Leaders Program, a thriving year-long leadership program, and she founded Austin Leading Ladies, a group of women who meet monthly to bring their leadership to life. Amber has also served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at St. Edward’s University and Concordia University Texas.

She is a passionate advocate for those experiencing homelessness and currently serves as the Board Secretary for Mobile Loaves and Fishes. She has also volunteered extensively for the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO).

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Melissa Grau
Communications Coordinator

Melissa Grau

Communications Coordinator, Mission Capital

 

Melissa facilitates external communication through email marketing, social media management and content marketing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations, with an emphasis in technical writing and marketing from Virginia Tech.

Prior to joining the Mission Capital team, Melissa served as a chapter founder and president with Nourish International, where she developed a passion for solving complex community problems through innovation and ingenuity. While attending Virginia Tech, she volunteered at the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley, fundraising and coordinating food drives.

As a proud Hokie, Melissa lives by her university’s motto “Ut Prosim,” That I May Serve. In her free time, you can find her spoiling her dog, exploring hiking trails with her fiancé or planning her next beach trip.

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Minh Ha
Associate Consultant

Minh Ha

Associate Consultant, Mission Capital

 

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.

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Sean Hale
Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Sean Hale

Chief Financial and Operations Officer, Mission Capital

 

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.

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Kristina Jakstas
Membership Manager

Kristina Jakstas

Membership Manager, Mission Capital

 

Kristina (@KJakstas) has a background in communications and development, and serves as the primary liaison for Mission Capital members.

Kristina started out doing marketing for an ed-tech start-up by day, and spent her nights and weekends volunteering for organizations includingColin’s Hope and Austin Pets Alive!. It was then that Kristina realized her passion for nonprofits, and took on the role of Donor Relations Manager for Austin Pets Alive!. In 2013, Citizen Generation named Kristina one of Austin’s Top 10 Female Philanthropists You Don’t Know Yet.

Outside of work, Kristina is an avid distance runner and has completed five full marathons. If she isn’t out for a run, you might find her watching cooking shows, practicing yoga, or exploring the sights and sounds of Austin.

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Tara Kirkland
Chief Program Officer

Tara Kirkland

Chief Program Officer, Mission Capital

 

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.

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Katelyn Lowrey
Business Processes and Strategy Manager

Katelyn Lowrey

Business Processes and Strategy Manager, Mission Capital

 

As the Business Processes and Strategy Manager, Katelyn is a consultant, manages the internal business processes for the consulting department, and supports the implementation of the Mission Accelerator.

Prior to Mission Capital, Katelyn 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.

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Monica Maher
Finance and Operations Manager

Monica Maher

Finance and Operations Manager, Mission Capital

 

Monica brings more than 13 years of experience providing administrative support to nonprofits to her role at Mission Capital.

Prior to Mission Capital, Monica was the Operations Manager for Conspirare, and has worked for the Workers Assistance Program and The Texas HIV Connection. She also has experience overseeing four annual, national conferences while supervising an administrative support team.

Monica is the 2014 Vice Chair of the Austin Nonprofit Financial Leadership group and enjoys bringing financial leaders together for resource and knowledge sharing. In her spare time, Monica is often behind the lens of a camera and jokes that her nieces wouldn’t recognize her without it.

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Christin Monts
Executive Assistant

Christin Monts

Executive Assistant, Mission Capital

 

Christin’s passion has always been about doing social good. Having started her career as a Youth Project Leader at a volunteer agency in her hometown in Germany, Christin worked toward inspiring young adults to take the time to give back and help those in need. Since then, she has volunteered in various capacities at homeless shelters, humane societies and nursing homes.

Prior to joining Mission Capital, Christin was an executive assistant with VROB GmbH in Dresden, Germany. In addition, she has extensive experience in marketing, office administration and customer service.

In her spare time Christin attends all kinds of cultural events from theatre performances to live music and she enjoys Austin’s diverse culture with her husband.

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Katie Popp
Senior Consultant, Learning and Leadership

Katie Popp

Senior Consultant, Learning and Leadership, Mission Capital

 

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.

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Alaina Raby
Digital Marketing Specialist

Alaina Raby

Digital Marketing Specialist, Mission Capital

 

Alaina came to Austin North-by-Northeast: a native New Yorker who spent her most recent years in Minnesota. She is a natural communicator with a background in media relations, graphic design, and digital/interactive marketing.

Prior to joining Mission Capital, Alaina coordinated special events and communications for BestPrep, worked in crisis communications at PadillaCRT, and she has held internships with the City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department, managing traditional and digital media campaigns, and with Haberman, Inc., doing PR for various cause-based clients.

In her spare time, Alaina enjoys spending time with her husband David, running and traveling – especially to visit family and friends.

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Katy Sauer
Aligned Impact Fellow

Katy Sauer

Aligned Impact Fellow, Mission Capital

 

Katy provides departmental coordination of Mission Capital Aligned Impact administrative, business development, tracking and evaluation functions. 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 had field placements at the Andy Roddick Foundation and 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. She also loves spending time with her large family and relentlessly spoiling her nieces and nephew.

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Kristina Thompson
Director of Marketing and Communications

Kristina Thompson

Director of Marketing and Communications, Mission Capital

 

Kristina specializes in strategic marketing for the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She has an extensive background in project management, digital marketing, advertising, media relations and graphic design.

Prior to Mission Capital, Kristina led the strategic marketing efforts as director at Creative Action, the leading provider of creative youth development in Central Texas. Previously, she served as the marketing manager for the Center for Child Protection, a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center in Travis County. Additionally, Kristina has experience in various corporate industries including oil and gas, financial services, insurance and information technology.

In her off time, Kristina can be found at one of Austin’s many film festivals or live music venues. She enjoys making art, traveling with her family and spoiling her dog.


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Brianna Walsh
Learning and Leadership Specialist

Brianna Walsh

Learning and Leadership Specialist, Mission Capital

 

Brianna brings masterful organizational and event planning skills to her role in effectively supporting Mission Capital’s learning and leadership department.

Prior to Mission Capital, Brianna worked with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism in the marketing department and later as a prospect liaison, helping bring jobs to Texas. Brianna has also worked as the Special Projects and Benefits Manager at Capital CDC and, most recently, she was the Assistant Director for The 100 Club of Central Texas.

Brianna is actively involved at her children’s elementary school and spends the little free time she has being a chauffer, walking her dogs, or enjoying a good book.


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Marisa Zappone
Research Manager

Marisa Zappone

Research Manager, Mission Capital

 

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.



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John Thornborrow, Board Chair
Vitesse Capital Partners

John Thornborrow, Board Chair

Managing Partner, Vitesse Capital Partners

 

John Thornborrow is the Managing Partner at Vitesse Capital Partners, in Austin, TX. John brings 20 years of executive financial management experience in both public and private companies, both large and small. His experience ranges from angel, venture capital and private equity financings to a wide range of secured and unsecured debt financings. In addition to his role with Vitesse, John is an investor and serves on the Board of Directors at Charity Dynamics. He is also active in the Austin-area non-profit community and serves as a Director on the Boards of DiscoverHope Fund, Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin, and the Austin Community College Foundation.

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Josh L. Galatzan, Board Vice Chair
Meridian Wealth Advisors

Josh L. Galatzan, Board Vice Chair

Managing Director & Founder, Meridian Wealth Advisors

 

Josh has more than sixteen years of experience in working with high net worth clients, providing advisory services focused on comprehensive wealth and investment management. Prior to founding Meridian Wealth Advisors, Josh served as Sr. Vice President, Investments for Raymond James & Associates. Prior to his time at Raymond James, Josh Served as Vice President and Senior Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch & Co. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, Josh has earned the Certified Investment Management Analyst certification from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business executive education program.

He is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association, serves on the board of directors and as Past Board Chair for Mission Capital and is a member of the advisory board of directors for R Bank of Texas. Josh’s other community involvement, past and present, includes Social Venture Partners, The Dell Children’s Council, The Rise School of Austin, The Sportsman’s Club, Hand to Hold and The Seton Forum.

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Harold Ingersoll, Board Treasurer
Atchley & Associates, LLP

Harold Ingersoll, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA, CM&AA, Board Treasurer

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.

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Crista Bailey, Board Secretary
TextureMedia

Crista Bailey, Board Secretary

CEO, TextureMedia

 

Crista joined TextureMedia, formerly known as NaturallyCurly.com, in 2007 as VP, Marketing and has been CEO since late 2009. Though her locks are straight, she is energized by the company’s role as a community platform for sharing empowering messages of embracing one’s true self.

Specializing in marketing and business development, Crista has worked with both startups and global brands, including CitySearch, Ticketmaster, IAC, Nestle, J. Walter Thompson, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.

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Max Scoular, Board Executive Committee
PierceGray, Inc.

Max Scoular, Board Executive Committee

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.

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Steve Aycock, CFP
Aycock Financial Group

Steve Aycock, CFP®

Managing Partner, Aycock Financial Group

 

Steve serves as Managing Partner for the Aycock Financial Group, a family-owned financial planning organization.

Steve also serves on the Executive Committee for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). In this role, Steve is responsible for key strategic planning initiatives, including the association’s legislative advocacy efforts.

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Vince Cali
Deloitte

Vince Cali

Former Deputy to the Global CEO, Deloitte

 

Vince was a management consultant for over 35 years, serving clients in both the public and private sectors. He has performed, managed, and directed over 300 engagements domestically and abroad in a variety of industries assisting clients with business strategies, operational excellence, organizational design, dispute resolution and recovery from business interruptions.

Since his retirement Vince has offered his time, expertise and business perspectives to several community organizations. He is chair of the Concord University Business Advisory Council and is a member of the finance committee of Faith Academy Marble Falls Texas.

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Dennis Cavner
Cavner Social Enterprises, LLC

Dennis Cavner

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.

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Clayton Christopher
Deep Eddy Vodka

Clayton Christopher

Co-founder and Chairman, Deep Eddy Vodka

 

Clayton is the founder and former CEO of Sweet Leaf Tea Company that he started in 1998 with $10,000 in savings, an old delivery van and a recipe from his grandmother. He is also co-founder and Chairman of Deep Eddy Vodka, and co-founder and Chairman of Rhythm Superfoods.

Clayton sits on the boards of several other food and beverage companies and is a co-founder of Incubation Station, an accelerator for young brands. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization and serves on the advisory board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas where he has been a “Big” to his “Little” for 7 years.

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Matthew Dowd
ABC News and Paradox Capital

Matthew Dowd

ABC News Chief Political Analyst and Founder, Paradox Capital

 

Matthew Dowd is a cultural commentator and strategist, and currently serves as a special correspondent and analyst for ABC News where he appears on This Week, Good Morning America, and Nightline, and he has written regular pieces for publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post.

He recently started Paradox Capital, a social impact venture fund which is focused on for-profit social good companies.

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Dan Graham
BuildASign.com

Dan Graham

CEO, BuildASign.com

 

Dan oversees the growth strategy of BuildASign.com and plays a key role in the company’s philanthropic efforts and talent acquisition. Dan co-founded BuildASign.com in March 2005 and has since bootstrapped the company to great success.

As a native Austinite, Dan personally gives back to the Austin community through participation on the boards of numerous organizations, including United Way for Greater Austin, Caritas of Austin, Citizen Generation and the Austin Chamber of Commerce among several others. He also acts as a mentor to young entrepreneurs, working with Capital Factory, Incubation Station and The University of Texas at Austin’s 1 Semester Startup.

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Cole Harmonson
Far West Capital

Cole Harmonson

Co-Founder, President & CEO, Far West Capital

 

Cole is co- founder, president and CEO of Far West Capital (FWC), an independent asset based lending and factoring company that provides working capital to growing companies.

Cole serves on the boards of the Commercial Finance Association, the American Factoring Association, the Entrepreneur’s Organization, is past chairman of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Access to Capital committee, and is a member of the Independent Banker’s Association of Texas, the Texas Banker’s Association, International Factoring Association, and the Association for Corporate Growth.

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Courtney Read Hoffman
CRH Capitol Communications

Courtney Read Hoffman

Owner, CRH Capitol Communications

 

Courtney is owner of CRH Capitol Communications, a Texas governmental relations firm that represents non-profit associations, corporations and individuals in the political, legislative and regulatory realms.

Active in a number of preservation efforts, Courtney is a member of Preservation Texas, Friends of the Governor’s Mansion, Texas Downtown Association, and is past president of The Heritage Society of Austin. She is also a past board member for University Christian Church and the Texas Bible Chair, is currently on the Texas Book Festival Auction Committee, and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Austin.

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Preston James
Ascension International, LLC

Preston James

CEO and Founder, Ascension International, LLC

 

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.

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Dena Jansen
Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP

Dena Jansen

Partner, Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP

 

After graduation, Dena joined a local public accounting firm in Lubbock for one year focusing her efforts on audits of local governmental entities. Dena moved back to Austin in 2003 and joined Deloitte & Touche. She left the firm as a senior manager and during her time there she audited governmental and nonprofit entities including state departments, local municipalities and institutions of higher education. Dena joined Maxwell Locke & Ritter in 2011 and is excited to be working for such a reputable firm that values its clients and people. She looks forward to developing a diverse client base with a primary focus on governmental and nonprofit entities in the Austin and Central Texas area.

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Thomas Miranda
Sparkovation IT Advisors

Thomas Miranda

Founder and President, Sparkovation IT Advisors

 

Thomas is Founder and CEO of Sparkovation IT Advisors, a management and technology advisory firm specializing in strategic planning, capability alignment and enterprise architecture for various companies.

He’s an AARO 2011 McBee Fellow, the immediate past Chairman of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and serves on Mission Capital, Austin Partners in Education Foundation (APEF) and Austin Chamber boards.

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Anna Robinson
McKinsey & Co.

Anna Robinson

Partner, McKinsey & Co.

 

Anna is an entrepreneurial leader and expert in US healthcare reform, performance improvement, and M&A. She is passionate about not-for-profit work; her experience extends across the US and UK includes serving a global foundation on a $200M healthcare grant strategy across Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania and Egypt. Anna is skilled in creating innovative partnerships, not-for-profit strategies, grants, governance and culture transformations; negotiating/structuring performance contracts; and building mentorship/development programs. At McKinsey & Company, where she was elected early as a partner in 2012, Anna’s health care reform strategy/performance transformation work includes private and public sector projects.

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Suzi Sosa
VERB

Suzi Sosa

Co-Founder & CEO, VERB

 

At VERB, Suzi oversees the strategy, well-being and results, leading the team by anchoring the company vision, values and purpose. Before co-founding Verb, she led the Dell Social Innovation Challenge at the University of Texas at Austin and joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin in 2010 as the Associate Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service and as an Associate Adjunct Professor.

Suzi has been involved in the social entrepreneurship space for more than 10 years. Prior to joining UT she was the Founder and President of the MPOWER Foundation and was Chief of Staff at MPOWER Labs (now Rev Worldwide). She also co-founded several Austin nonprofits focused on social innovation and entrepreneurship, including Innovation+ (now Mission Capital) and Austin Women Entrepreneurs.

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Jennifer Vickers
Co-founder, Community Investment Corp.

Jennifer Vickers

Co-founder, Community Investment Corp.

 

Jennifer has been working with community enterprises in Austin for the past 20 years. Under the umbrella of Community Investment Corp., a fund she started with husband, Lee Walker, Jennifer has worked on projects that range from environmental initiatives, to microcredit and entrepreneurial support, to livable urban space design.

Jennifer also serves on the boards of the Project for Public Spaces, Ampersand, and is on the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Food Center.


Join Our Team

 

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Are you a dealer in hope? Do you want to help create a community where everyone can prosper? Are you ready to join the team that’s leading change in Austin and Central Texas?

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Board Engagement and Leadership

Our board of directors care deeply about our city and improving the lives of our neighbors. If you’re interested in board leadership, start by joining our Social Venture Partner network.

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