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.

Staff

Board

Madge Vasquez

Madge Vasquez

Chief Executive Officer

Katy Bourgeois

Katy Bourgeois

Director of Aligned Impact

Megan Carvajal

Megan Carvajal

Director of Consulting Services

Emma Finkbone

Emma Finkbone

Marketing & Communications Senior Manager

Madge Vasquez

Chief Executive Officer

Originally from South Texas, Madge has been an Austinite since 1997 where she has worked across the public and private sectors. Madge has more than 22 years of experience in community development, philanthropy, business consulting and the healthcare sector.

Previous employers include Equity Research Corporation in Washington, D.C., the National Center for Farmworker Health, Accenture, PeopleFund, and Wachovia Bank in Austin. Madge received a BA in International Relations from Southwestern University and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin.

Madge was most recently the Director of Dental Operations at St. David’s Foundation. In this role, she was responsible for scaling and managing the business operations for the St. David’s Dental Program, recognized as a national model for school-based mobile dental programs in the U.S.

Madge is a 2009 Leadership Austin alumna and served as a 2011 McBee Fellow through the Austin Area Research Organization. Most recently, Madge served as a board member of the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, the Austin Campaign for Philanthropy, and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. She is also a co-founding member of FuturoFund, a Latino giving circle in Austin. Madge currently serves on the boards of the National Mobile Health Clinics Association, KLRU-Austin and Jolt Texas.

Katy Bourgeois

Director of Aligned Impact

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.

Megan Carvajal

Director of Consulting Services

As Director of Consulting Services, Megan oversees Mission Capital’s team of consulting experts. She has served the Central Texas nonprofit community for more than 20 years largely working in fundraising and nonprofit administration. Her strengths lie in being strategic, a problem solver, a people manager, and a thought partner. She has contributed at a leadership level in improving workplace culture and supporting teams and leaders experiencing growing pains. Managing through change is one of Megan’s strong suits and something she enjoys immensely.

Megan is particularly interested in working with nonprofits who have an appetite to change and grow, working with teams who are stale and need a refresh, and working with new leaders and people managers who seek mentorship and a desire to be thoughtful and supportive supervisors. She also has a passion for helping fundraising teams build a strong structure, work flows, and annual plans. Megan believes that nonprofits are at their best when their business culture is strong.

Prior to joining Mission Capital, Megan has worked for several ATX nonprofits including SAFE, Any Baby Can, Equality Texas, and United Way for Greater Austin. Megan is a graduate of Indiana University – Purdue University Lily Family School of Philanthropy’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program, as well as Leadership Austin’s 2008 Emerge program. She has served on the board of YNPN and OutYouth and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Austin Chapter.

Emma Finkbone

Marketing & Communications Senior Manager

Emma is thrilled to bring her marketing and communications skills to the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining Mission Capital she served as an account marketing manager for Pflugerville ISD Food Services. She has also worked in the education, fashion, and convention and tradeshow industries in her native Mexico.

Outside of Mission Capital, Emma can be found around Austin enjoying a live show and discovering new restaurants, or at home binging her latest favorite tv show.

Matt Glazer

Matt Glazer

Senior Consultant

Kyle Gugel

Kyle Gugel

Aligned Impact Coordinator

Minh Ha

Minh Ha

Consultant

Chelsea Hartness

Chelsea Hartness

Membership Manager

Matt Glazer

Senior Consultant

Matt Glazer is a native Texan with 15 years of experience in the nonprofit community and 10 in consulting and start-ups. His career started with a love for civic and political campaigns. He worked for candidates and causes from the courthouse to the White House across the country. Eventually coming back to Texas to work in the nonprofit community for the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, Equality Texas, Planned Parenthood of America, and countless other organizations of all size. After starting his first consulting agency, which focused on community engagement and communications, Matt was recruited to run and launch Progress Texas — the Texas affiliate of ProgressNow. From there, he shifted focus to workforce development becoming the longest serving Executive Director of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce then eventually running WeWork as the regional general manager in Central Texas. Recently he launched Blue Sky Partners – a boutique consulting group for startups and entrepreneurs. He graduated from the McComb School of Business at the University of Texas May 2019 with a degree in Technology Commercialization.

Outside of work, Matt is an avid runner, fan of the Muppets, and Astros fanatic. He serves on the Skillpoint Alliance board and as program designer for the Annette Straus Institute’s campaign bootcamp. He has been recognized by the community as the Best Unsung Behind the Scenester from the Austin Chronicle, a Social Media Award winner from the Austin American Statesman, Social Impact winner from AustinInno, and finalist for Austin Under 40.

Kyle Gugel

Aligned Impact Coordinator

Kyle works as the Aligned Impact Coordinator to support the Aligned Impact team through his passions for collaboration, thought partnership, and organization. Kyle has worked in the nonprofit sector for six years and is experienced in project management, operations, and program development. Prior to joining Mission Capital, Kyle lived and worked in Jordan and the Palestinian Territories where he provided operational support for educational and capacity building initiatives.

Kyle is currently completing his degree in International Relations and Global Studies at The University of Texas at Austin with minors in Arabic and Entrepreneurship. On weekends, you can find him at a local brewery, hiking the Austin greenbelt, or catching the latest film.

Minh Ha

Consultant

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.

Chelsea Hartness

Membership Manager

Chelsea is passionate about connecting with people and serving the Austin community. Her background in small business and tech industries include both nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurial organizations, with specialization in growing teams, creating products, and leading outreach efforts. Her areas of expertise include business development, community building, marketing, project management and digital media management.

Prior to joining Mission Capital, Chelsea led consumer marketing and sales for Maggie Louise Confections and served as Membership Manager for Austin Technology Council, where she oversaw periods of major growth and transition for both organizations. A former Career Center Advocate for Dress for Success and member of the Women of Wardrobe Board as Volunteerism Chair, she now serves as a Sexual Assault Advocate for Eloise House, a community initiative led by SAFE.

Chelsea holds an MBA in Digital Media Management from St. Edward’s University and a certification in Patisserie & Baking from Le Cordon Bleu. You can find her reading… everything.

Robin Llewellyn

Robin Llewellyn

Learning and Leadership Manager

Katelyn Lowrey

Katelyn Lowrey

Senior Consultant

Mary Marcum

Mary Marcum

Program Specialist

Irina Meza, SHRM-SCP

Irina Meza, SHRM-SCP

Chief of Staff

Robin Llewellyn

Learning and Leadership Manager

Robin is an experienced talent development and human resources professional with a background in leadership development and employee training.

Previously, Robin owned and operated RLL Consulting, a talent development and management consulting firm. She also served as Senior Director of Talent and Development at Goodwill Central Texas. Robin holds a BFA from The University of Texas and an MFA from Florida State University. She utilizes her theater arts background to facilitate interactive trainings, focusing on learning through “play.” Robin is TTI Success Insights12 Driving Forces®, DISC, and Emotional Quotient certified. She uses these certifications to develop opportunities for professional development and personal growth.

Robin resides in Cedar Park, Texas where her son and daughter-in-law allow her to be the best playmate to their amazing son, Jax. In her spare time, she enjoys creating art by up-cycling glass and plastic.

Katelyn Lowrey

Senior Consultant

Katelyn Lowrey brings a unique background of in business growth planning, operations, education, youth development, and collective impact to Mission Capital. Prior to joining the Mission Capital team, Katelyn served as the Program Associate for Educate Texas and developed their Statewide Collective Impact Collaborative. Katelyn has extensive experience in the education and youth development fields. She was a high school English teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina through Teach For America. At Mission Capital, Katelyn specializes in board and staff facilitations, strategic planning, board development and collective impact for the Consulting department.

Katelyn earned a master’s degree in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s in Science from Indiana University Bloomington in Human Development & Family Studies with minors in Psychology and Sociology. She serves as a board member and governance chair for Austin Partners in Education.

Mary Marcum

Program Specialist

As the Program Specialist for Mission Capital, Mary supports the programs in the departments of Learning & Leadership, Consulting, and Aligned Impact departments. Prior to Mission Capital, Mary worked with multiple nonprofit associations by managing their conferences, membership retention and growth efforts, marketing and communications, and board support and training. Mary started in the nonprofit world with American Cancer Society and supervised a team in the fundraising and donations department.

She came to Austin by way of Lubbock, Texas where she earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Communication Studies at Texas Tech University. When not at Mission Capital you might find Mary playing with her dogs, spending time with her book club, gardening, eating, and/or napping.

Irina Meza, SHRM-SCP

Chief of Staff

Prior to her time at Mission Capital, Irina served as the Deputy Regional Director at the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services where she oversaw executive and administrative HR operations for over 800 employees/26 offices. Irina has more than 15 years of leadership experience including developing and managing high performance teams with an emphasis on accountability, retention and performance outcomes. Throughout her career, Irina has demonstrated her commitment to developing and nurturing staff talent in her Employee Relations and multiple Leadership/Management roles.

Irina has experience providing leadership mapping, building & facilitating signature leadership programs, and providing Myers-Briggs workshops to organizations, private businesses and entrepreneurs. Irina also provided e-coaching to the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and was selected as one of seven coaches to participate on a Coaching Roundtable to provide guidance to the NAPW. Irina is a Certified Knowing Who You Are facilitator and is ardent about advancing racial equity, diversity and belonging. Irina is also an Organizational Effectiveness Facilitator and Myers-Briggs Practitioner.

Throughout her time at Mission Capital, Irina has been a core leader in our internal equity work and capacity building with staff and board, as well as with external stakeholders through Aligned Impact’s Child Welfare Race Equity Collaborative. Irina holds a Master of Public Administration and a SHRM-SCP certification (Society for Human Resource Management – Senior Certified Professional).

In her free time, Irina enjoys DIY projects and papercrafts and loves spending time with her husband, son and miniature schnauzer.

Amanda Miller

Amanda Miller

Data & Systems Manager

Elizabeth Park

Elizabeth Park

Executive & Development Coordinator

Katie Popp

Katie Popp

Learning and Leadership Senior Consultant

Wayne Risner

Wayne Risner

Finance & Operations Assistant

Amanda Miller

Data & Systems Manager

Amanda Miller specializes in establishing systems to affect change and multiply impact. She has spent the last decade working in the nonprofit education space within government agencies, spending seven years in the national service sector. Most recently, Amanda worked for Literacy First as their Operations Manager and was responsible for logistics, operations and compliance for the AmeriCorps program. Previously, Amanda worked at the Travis County CAPITAL 4-H Project, where she also served as an AmeriCorps member, and at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology and conservation and a master’s degree in biology. She approaches complex data management and systems development projects like a scientist; observe and ask questions first!

Elizabeth Park

Executive & Development Coordinator

Elizabeth’s passion for community development and social justice led her to Mission Capital following her graduation from the University of Texas at Austin. Her degree in Anthropology and International Relations & Global Studies has given her the ability to create and sustain partnerships across diverse groups and sectors throughout Central Texas.

Prior to Mission Capital, Elizabeth gained experience in the nonprofit sector while interning with A Glimmer of Hope and Girlstart. She also spent her college career conducting research on the High Court of Australia for the Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies. After serving as the Education Chair for Texas UNICEF, Elizabeth helped launch UT Austin’s first Generation United Nations chapter as their Marketing Director. Her goal was to build an empowered community of global citizens where students could tell their stories and turn discussion into action.

In her free time, you can find Elizabeth reading a book, planning her next adventure, exploring new food, or spending time with her cat, Lily.

Katie Popp

Learning and Leadership Senior Consultant

Katie is a workplace culture enthusiast with a passion for building effective and engaging 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 talent management, talent development, and organizational learning.

Prior to joining Mission Capital, Katie directed Great Place to Work Institute’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 through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

Katie holds a BA in Psychology from Southwestern University and a MA in Organization Development from St. Edwards University. When not at work, she can be found with her spouse and child—hiking, swimming, or working in their backyard vegetable garden.

Wayne Risner

Finance & Operations Assistant

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Wayne and his wife, Karla, moved to Austin to start their lives together. Between his family instilling the value of service and volunteering for multiple years at Special Camps, a summer camp for special needs children and adults, Wayne was motivated to join the Mission Capital team to support their mission through accounting functions, administrative services, and his energy and enthusiasm.

He loves going on adventures with his wife Karla, spending time with his family and friends in Chicago and Colombia, and watching TV series like The Office and Sherlock Holmes.

Stephanie Shaw

Stephanie Shaw

Aligned Impact Associate

Kat Stanley

Kat Stanley

Grants Manager

Elly Tai

Elly Tai

Director of Finance

Reyda Taylor

Reyda Taylor

Data & Research Senior Consultant

Stephanie Shaw

Aligned Impact Associate

Stephanie supports Aligned Impact team projects in our Child Welfare and Good Measure portfolios and coordinates the team’s administrative, business processing, tracking and evaluation functions.

After graduating from The University of Alabama, Stephanie knew she wanted to move to a lively community, and Austin was the place to go. Prior to joining Mission Capital, Stephanie interned at Texas CASA and began developing her passion for nonprofit work. This led her to Mission Capital, where she felt very connected to the collaborative work of the Aligned Impact department.

In her free time, you can find Stephanie at the library scouting out new books, eating queso on the patio of Polvo’s, or watching Alabama football (Roll Tide!).

Kat Stanley

Grants Manager

After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Marketing, Kat’s love for sports led her to a career with the University of Texas Men’s Basketball team for 10 years before switching to the nonprofit sector. Kat most recently served as the Deputy Director of Programs at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a nationally recognized leader in providing peer-based emotional support to those grieving a military death. Kat’s heart to serve the Austin community that she feels lucky to have called home for the past 16 years brought her to Mission Capital where she currently serves as the Grants Manager.

In her free time, you can find her staying active with her husband chasing their daughter and dog around the great outdoors of Austin!

Elly Tai

Director of Finance

Prior to Mission Capital, Elly gained 12 years of experience working in financial planning, treasury and business process roles at Freescale / NXP Semiconductors. At Freescale / NXP Semiconductors, she served on the Finance Committee for the Freescale Foundation, a foundation focused on STEM education.

Elly has also served as a work-study tutor at Burnet Middle School, summer intern at a Boy Scout camp kitchen, and hospitality volunteer at MD Anderson in Houston.

Outside of work, she enjoys staying active, experimenting in the kitchen, and greening her otherwise brown thumb.

Reyda Taylor

Data & Research Senior Consultant

Reyda is passionate about making both knowledge and knowledge production more inclusive and accessible. In her role at Mission Capital, she takes a systems entrepreneur approach to building creative collaborations that address data alignment and access challenges in the local social and public sectors. She also leads our data and evaluation consulting practice area, which is anchored in empowerment and participatory approaches.

Reyda got her professional start as the Research and Evaluation Specialist at the Girl Scouts of Citrus in Orlando, FL. Upon moving to Austin in 2011, Reyda worked for Shore Research where, as a Senior Researcher, she managed the full lifecycle of research and evaluation projects for clients in the non-profit and education arenas. In 2013, Reyda delved fully into user experience research—building an independent consulting business, PKE Insights, which provided generative and evaluative research on multiple types of products and services in the technology sector, using both remote and in-context strategies.

Reyda loves staying engaged with her community and focuses much of her energy on efforts to make applied research more accessible and equitable. With a strategic focus on addressing disproportionate representation and inequitable access in the research workforce, Reyda co-founded Capacity Catalyst, an organization connecting early career professionals and students to nonprofits with research and evaluation needs, as well as to mentors with experience and networks. Reyda also co-founded and co-organizes the Texas Applied Anthropology Summit, a biannual statewide conference committed to bridging the gap between applied and academic anthropology.

Reyda Taylor completed a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2010 and completed a BA in Psychology from Ouachita Baptist University in 2004.

Ashley Thompson, Board Chair

Ashley Thompson, Board Chair

Managing Director, Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact

Thomas Miranda, Immediate Past Chair

Thomas Miranda, Immediate Past Chair

President, Sparkovation Advisors

Anna Robinson, Past Chair

Anna Robinson, Past Chair

CEO, CERESA

Diana Mil, Treasurer

Diana Mil, Treasurer

CPA, Maxwell Locke & Ritter

Ashley Thompson, Board Chair

Managing Director, Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact

Ashley Thompson is the managing director for the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact. Through this role, she is responsible for driving Blackbaud’s extensive research and best practice content. She also serves as a Social Venture Partner with Mission Capital’s 2017 Investee, Allies Against Slavery. She is on the AFP, Greater Austin Chapter board as vice president of partnerships, a regular contributor to npENGAGE, part of the 2018 Giving USA Editorial Review Board, and a member of the Nonprofit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.

Thomas Miranda, Immediate Past Chair

President, Sparkovation Advisors

As the President of Sparkovation Advisors, Thomas has been actively involved in advising startups, CEOs, corporations and investment portfolios on value creation, IT leadership, digital business strategy and growth. Thomas served as an engineer, manager and executive for nearly two decades within high growth Fortune 100 Silicon Valley firms HP Palo Alto and mostly Cisco where he led product development, corporate strategy, Enterprise IT to operating and management. Thomas formed his first tech startup at 15 years of age, with a penchant for innovation and entrepreneurship, he later began his engineering career at HP Palo Alto then at Cisco led product development / engineering teams to deliver successive billion-dollar flagship products from concept to market.

Thomas has been deeply involved in many social impact causes including education, workforce and inclusion and served as a past Chairman of The Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Austin Ed Fund and EGBI. Thomas currently serves on several boards including Mission Capital (Chair), Texas Lyceum, Capital Area Workforce Development Board (TWC), the Austin Area Research Organization and is on 5 regional advisory boards. He graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and has earned project management and executive leadership credentials from George Washington University, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Anna Robinson, Past Chair

CEO, CERESA

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.

Diana Mil, Treasurer

CPA, Maxwell Locke & Ritter

Denise Davis, Secretary

Denise Davis, Secretary

Attorney & Founding Partner, Davis Kaufman, PLLC

Jenny DuFresne, At-Large Member

Jenny DuFresne, At-Large Member

CEO, DuFresne Solutions Group

Toya Cirica Bell

Toya Cirica Bell

Deputy Chief Ethics Officer, Texas Health & Human Services Commission

Mike Clifford

Mike Clifford

EVP, Strategy & Operations, UFCU

Denise Davis, Secretary

Attorney & Founding Partner, Davis Kaufman, PLLC

Denise is a native Texan with nearly two decades experience working in the Texas Legislature. Ms. Davis has extensive experience in drafting winning strategies on complex legislation, administrative rules, legal memoranda and briefs for clients in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Davis has been consistently ranked as one of Texas’ top lobbyists by Mike Hailey’s “Capitol Inside,” most recently in the top 50 of its 2015 Texas Lobby Power Rankings and #1 on the 2013 Rising Lobby Stars list. Davis Kaufman PLLC is ranked among the top 10 law firm lobby practices in both 2013 and 2015.

Before founding Davis Kaufman PLLC in 2012, Ms. Davis served as Chief of Staff to House Speaker Joe R. Straus. As Chief of Staff, she provided strategic and operational advice to the Speaker and the entire House leadership, and oversaw the legislative agenda and daily activities of the Speaker’s Office. Prior to her tenure as Chief of Staff, Ms. Davis served for several sessions as House Parliamentarian and Special Counsel to the Texas House of Representatives, where she advised the Speaker and members of the House on all ethics, legal and parliamentary matters relating to the Texas House of Representatives, including points of order, House Rules and precedent, and open records. Her public service also includes work as General Counsel to Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff, Director and Counsel to the Texas Judicial Council under Chief Justice Tom Phillips, General Counsel to the Senate Jurisprudence Committee under Senator Rodney Ellis, Legislative Counsel for the Texas Legislative Council and as Assistant Public Information/Press Officer for Lt. Governor William P. Hobby. Ms. Davis received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. While at the Law School, Ms. Davis served as Notes Editor for the American Journal of Criminal Law.

Jenny DuFresne, At-Large Member

CEO, DuFresne Solutions Group

Jenny is the CEO of DuFresne Solutions Group, a training firm supporting leaders and teams to improve effectiveness, communication, and organizational practices. Her 10-year service as a United States Marine forms her leadership foundation.

As a trailblazing leader, she applied these leadership lessons to found the only all-male public charter elementary school in Washington, DC. She is the international bestselling author of the book, From Empty to Overflow. In the book, Jenny highlights five radical actions women leaders need to create happy, harmonious, and joyful lives. Jenny holds degrees from Harvard University and George Mason University.

Toya Cirica Bell

Deputy Chief Ethics Officer, Texas Health & Human Services Commission

Mike Clifford

EVP, Strategy & Operations, UFCU

Mike is an experienced senior-level executive at several high-growth companies. He has also become an investor and advisor with small, startup companies looking to become technology suppliers to the type of corporations where he once served as an executive.

In August, 2018 he joined University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) as their VP – Information Technology/Chief Information Officer. He continues to hold board memberships in several Austin-area non-profits.

was previously the Chief Operating Officer at Redbird Flight Simulations. Mike combines his project management and people leadership experience, and his technology development background into all areas of manufacturing operations. Both Redbird and Whole Foods Market are companies dedicated to a higher purpose than producing or retailing products. While their products are quite different, their missions are similar: to change the way people relate to and consider traditional industries, values which match Mike’s interests.

Preston James

Preston James

CEO/Co-Founder, DivInc

Chris Palmisano

Chris Palmisano

COO, Rocket Dollar

John Thornborrow

John Thornborrow

Founder, Austin Impact Capital

Preston James

CEO/Co-founder, DivInc

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.

Chris Palmisano

COO, Rocket Dollar

Chris Palmisano is Founding Chief Operating Officer and Chief Revenue Officer at Rocket Dollar. He has held leadership roles in sales, marketing, business development, and operations at several technology companies including Khorus, SolarWinds and Google.

He is a mentor at startup accelerators, a guest lecturer at business schools, Founding Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, and an advisor to several startups. He is also a Social Venture Partner with Mission Capital. Chris is a former Marine Corps officer. He holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, an MS from Boston University, and a BS from RIT. He lives in Austin, TX.

John Thornborrow

Founder, Austin Impact Capital

John Thornborrow is the Founder of Austin Impact Capital and 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.

Join Our Team

Open Internships and Staff Positions

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?

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.

CONTACT US