The volunteer Board of Directors provides leadership and sets policy for United Way for Greater Austin. Board members act as stewards for the monies raised in our community, understand United Way’s legal responsibilities, review existing policies and formulate new policies, review and approve the annual budget and audit, and review and approve agency funding decisions.
Bill O’Brien, Board Chair UWATX
Retired, Vice President, IBM
Bill O’Brien is a retired Executive of the IBM Corporation. Bill has been supporting UWATX with Board service and community involvement for almost three decades. He served as the Campaign Chair in 1989 and Board Chair in 1992. More recently he has served as a volunteer CFO and is a founding member of the President’s Cabinet.
In addition to supporting UWATX, Bill has served on Boards of People’s Community Clinic, Meals on Wheels and More, Austin Humane Society, Austin Museum of Art, Austin Quality Council and the Advisory Council of the Salvation Army. He is a past Chair of the Board of United Ways of Texas and currently serves on their Board as Chair of the Finance Committee.
Jon Armstrong, Board Secretary UWATX
Jon is a retired Accenture Partner, and currently is an advisor, investor and operating executive in the startup community in Austin. Jon was a lead Partner in Accenture’s Financial Services Commercial Banking and Payments/Cash Management practice where he was an early pioneer of using data-driven analytics to support targeted sales activities to grow top line revenue. His clients served the CFO organizations of large corporates, commercial mid-market and small businesses. Jon was also the CEO of Adlucent, a marketing analytics technology company that was ranked in the Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the US, as well as the Top 50 ‘Best Places to Work’ by Advertising Age. Additionally, he has held executive roles including President, COO and CFO in fast growth, technology-based companies.
Jon is also active in local entrepreneurial and philanthropic activities. In addition to the Board of the United Way for Greater Austin where he serves on the Governance Committee, he has been active with the Entrepreneurs Foundation, Austin’s Bootstrap Network, and TechRanch. Jon received a BBA in Finance from Oklahoma University and an MBA from the Neeley School at Texas Christian University. Jon is an avid fan of world travel, music, wine, cooking, art, and enjoys running, swimming and biking around Austin.
Founder and President, Mercury Mambo
Becky Arreaga is a founder and President of Mercury Mambo, a full-service Hispanic marketing agency. Becky spent 10 years working her way from the bottom up at the nation’s largest Hispanic agency (now called Bromley Communications) and helped land their most prestigious account, Coca-Cola USA, in 1989. She earned a BA from Texas Tech University and a master’s in advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. Becky currently serves on the National Board of Directors of the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University as well as the Board of Directors for Latinitas, Inc., an organization dedicated to empowering young Latinas through media and technology. Becky’s recent awards include: 2010 Woman of Achievement – The Sor Juana Festival National Museum of Mexican Art, 2011 YWCA Women of the Year.
Marie Baker retired from CSC where she last served as Director in the Managed Services Sector. In previous assignments with CSC she held various management roles in Europe and the Americas including global account executive for a major outsourcing client, CIO for the Financial Services Group, and director of hosting service strategy. Currently, Marie consults with Austin-area nonprofits on using information technology effectively to advance their missions.
Marie is a past chair of the United Way for Greater Austin’s Women’s Leadership Council. She is active in personnel, stewardship, choir, and service outreach at Hope Presbyterian Church and serves on the Committee on Ministry for Mission Presbytery of PCUSA.
Marie has a B.S. in Computer Science from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the University of Delaware.
Senior Policy Analyst, Economic Opportunity, Center for Public Policy Priorities
An eighth-generation Texan, Don Baylor joined the center in 2004 and focuses on asset building, postsecondary education, and labor markets within the mission of expanding economic opportunity in Texas. He serves as the policy lead for national initiatives such as the Economic Analysis Research Network, Working Poor Families Project, the CFED Assets & Opportunity Network, and the Ford Foundation’s Building Economic Security Over a Lifetime. He directs OpportunityTexas, a statewide initiative to increase income and financial stability, create pathways to good jobs, and promote savings. OpportunityTexas partners with regional and statewide stakeholders across sectors to improve economic mobility and household financial security. Before coming to the center, he crafted and advocated for living wage, anti-predatory lending, and affordable housing legislation before the New York City Council and New York State Legislature. Before that role, he was a management consultant who co-led strategic planning and performance audit contracts for several public entities in California, Oregon, and Hawaii. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in African American and Southern History with honors from The University of Wisconsin at Madison. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of CFED, RAISE Texas, and the Texas Match the Promise Foundation. He also serves in advisory capacity for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), National Community Tax Coalition, and the Texas Association of Community Development Corporations.
CEO, WP Engine
Heather Brunner is the CEO of WP Engine. Formally she was the COO of Bizaarvoice where she oversaw the marketing, product strategy, client services and engineering organizations. Heather has built a career delivering technology to create business value for both privately-funded new ventures and Fortune 500 companies. Before joining Bazaarvoice, Heather served as President and CEO of Nuvo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trilogy and as the COO for B-Side, a privately funded entertainment technology company.
She has been active with UWATX for nearly a decade and currently serves as Chair of the Results Accountability Committee. Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Trinity University.
Central Texas managing Partner, Deloitte
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 also the Central Texas Managing Partner leading over 500 client service professionals in Austin and San Antonio.
Prior roles with Deloitte Tax LLP include Partner Matters National Partner, Deputy National Managing Partner – People, Member of the Tax Executive Committee, Member of the Deloitte Tax LLP Board of Directors, Regional Tax Managing Partner – Mid America Region, Gulf Coast Tax Managing Partner. These firm leadership roles have led to established relationships with our national experts across the nation enabling her to bring the specialists needed for the issues faced by our clients.
She has a Master in Professional Accounting – Tax degree from The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and a Bachelor in Business Administration – Accounting degree from Texas A & M University (TAMU) and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Kathleen is currently Deloitte’s lead relationship partner for UT and has long been a member of The UT Accounting Department Advisory Council and is a new member of the McComb’s School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. She is active in the United Way as a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society and has been asked to serve as a Finance Committee member and co-chair of the 2013 campaign of United Way for Greater Austin. In addition she recently joined the Steering Committee with A Legacy of Giving.
Senior Lecturer in Higher Education Administration, College of Education University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Juan C. González is the Senior Lecturer in Higher Education Administration in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Previously he was the Vice President for Student Affairs and in that capacity, he oversaw a large portfolio of services and programs designed to enhance the academic careers of 51,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Before coming to the university, he served for two years as Vice President of Student Affairs at Arizona State University, where he was responsible for key services to 55,000 students. From 2000 to 2003, Juan was Vice President for Student Affairs at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
His degrees include a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois, a master’s in Bilingual-bicultural Education from The University of Texas in San Antonio and an undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies from Texas Tech University.
Founder and CEO, BuildASign.com
Dan Graham serves as Founder and CEO of BuildASign.com where he oversees growth strategy and plays a key role in the company’s philanthropic efforts and talent acquisition. A native Austinite, Dan co-founded BuildASign.com in March 2005 and has since bootstrapped the company to great success, with operations in four countries, more than 230 employees and $30 million in revenue.
Under Dan’s leadership, BuildASign.com, — a three-time Austin Business Journal Fast 50 award winner and two-time INC5000 company — has maintained a culture of giving, contributing more than $450,000 worth of in-kind donations to over 400 local and national non-profit organizations. In addition, the company has donated nearly 250,000 Welcome Home banners to families and friends of returning military, totaling more than $7.8 million in retail value.
Dan was named a 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and the 2012 Austinite of the Year by Austin Under 40, recognizing his success as a business owner as well as his commitment to philanthropic work. He personally gives back to the Austin community through participation on Boards and Steering Committees for numerous organizations including TeXchange, Austin Pets Alive!, the Executive Committee for the Austin Chamber, 40 Acres Society, Austin Pro Bono, Lights. Camera. Help., the City of Austin and Amplify Austin. He also acts as a mentor to aspiring young entrepreneurs, working with Tech Ranch Austin, Incubation Station and The University of Texas at Austin’s 1 Semester Startup. Dan earned undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from the School of Law at UT Austin.
Partner, Welsbart, Springer, Hayes, LLP
Butch Hayes, is a founding partner at the law firm of Welsbart, Springer, Hayes, LLP. Previously he was with Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. as the managing partner in the firm’s Austin office. His practice was a blend of counseling and litigation and focuses on general employment litigation, employment discrimination claims, administrative investigations, advice and counseling of employers, and employment – related tort, trade secret, and commercial litigation.
Butch was admitted to practice law in Texas in 1992. He is certified as a specialist in Labor and Employment law by the Texas Board of Legal specialization. In addition, he is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court; Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; all Texas state courts; and all federal district courts in Texas.
He is a member of the America Bar Association, Texas Bar Association, Travis County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association, Austin Chapter. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville; and a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law.
Founder and CEO, MagRabbit
Thanh (Tommy) Hodinh is a Vietnamese American who came to the United States in 1972. In 1976, Tommy earned a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas-El Paso. After his graduation, Tommy joined IBM where he worked for 15 years. His tenure at IBM included Management in Manufacturing, Product Development and Sales. He continued to further his studies in the MIT Logistics and Transportation Executive Summer Program, as well as completed the Advance Management Education Program for CEO and the Corporate Board of Director program for CEO at Kellogg of School of Management at Kellogg School of Management.
Tommy started MagRabbit, Inc.in 1990 and today MagRabbit is a leading Global Software Services and Supply Chain Management to Fortune 1000 companies. Tommy is the Founder & CEO of MagRabbit, Inc, and its subsidiaries MagRabbit- AIW (San Antonio), – MagRabbit- Dedicated Fleet ( TX), MagRabbit –Integrated Solutions ( Tokyo) and MagRabbit Vietnam, Ltd.
Philip Huang MD, MPH
Medial Director and Health Authority, Austin / Travis County Health Department
Dr. Philip Huang is currently the Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin/Travis County Health Department. Prior to this, he served as Medical Director for Chronic Disease Prevention at the Texas Department of State Health Services and Chief of the Bureau of Chronic Disease and Tobacco Prevention at the former Texas Department of Health (TDH). Philip received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Rice University, his MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and his Master’s in Public Health from Harvard with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. While at Harvard, Philip led the successful movement to have Harvard divest of its tobacco stocks. Philip completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, and was Chief Resident during his final year. He served two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assigned to the Illinois Department of Public Health where he conducted epidemiologic studies in chronic disease and infectious disease outbreak investigations. He is an author or co-author of numerous publications related to public health, chronic disease and tobacco use prevention. Philip is Board Certified in Family Medicine.
Pricilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Child Development, The University of Texas at Austin
Aletha C. Huston is the Pricilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Child Development at the University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in understanding the effects of poverty on children and the impact of child care and income support policies on children’s development. She is a Principal Investigator in the New Hope Project, a study of the effects on children and families of parents’ participation in a work-based program to reduce poverty, and a collaborator in the Next Generation Project, a cross-study investigation of child care, income, employment effects of welfare and employment policies.
In the past, she was an investigator in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, and conducted a program of research on television and children, co-directing the The Center for Research on the Influences of Television on Children (CRITC).
Her books include Children in Poverty: Child Development and Public Policy, Big World, Small Screen: The Role of Television in American Society, Developmental Contexts of Middle Childhood: Bridges to Adolescence and Adulthood, and Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and their Children. She is Past President of the Society for Research in Child Development. She has won numerous research awards, including the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology, and the SRCD award for contributions to Child Development and Public Policy.
Owner, ABC Home & Commercial Services
Bobby Jenkins is owner of ABC Home & Commercial Services with offices in Austin, San Antonio, College Station and Corpus Christi. ABC offers a wide variety of services including pest and termite control, lawn care and mowing, landscaping and irrigation, tree trimming, air conditioning and heating, plumbing and electrical, pool cleaning and repair, handyman services and security system installation and monitoring. Bobby is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in business management.
Bobby is a past chair of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. He is a past president of both the Texas and National Pest Management Associations and a past chair and current board member of the Better Business Bureau, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and the Alzheimer’s Association. Bobby currently serves on the Agricultural Development Council and Mays Business School Development Council at Texas A&M University. He is a past chair for Caritas of Austin and has served as a tri-chair for the bond oversight committee with AISD. He has served as the co-chair for the Heat Walk for the American Heart Association and is a current board member. Bobby is the current co-chair for the United Way Annual Campaign. He is the co-founder and board chairman of Recognize Good and is a current board member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He is currently serving on the Transit Working Group for the City of Austin.
Bobby has been married to his wife Jan for 30 years and they have three children; Jessica Pieratt 27, Chelsea 24, and Bo 21. He has a brand new grandson John Moss Pieratt Jr.
Regional President, Wells Fargo’s Central Texas Region
Don Kendrick leads Retail and Business Banking in 180-plus banking stores with more than 1,700 team members throughout San Antonio, Austin and the Hill Country as Regional President for Wells Fargo’s Central Texas Region. Don has been with Wells Fargo since 1983 in numerous positions including Community Banking president for the Kerrville, Hill Country and San Antonio markets.
Dedicated to his community, Don currently serves as the Corporate Walk Chair for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s South Central Texas Chapter Light The Night Walk and previously served as co-Chair for the 2008 United Way for Greater Austin Campaign and Chair for the 2006 Juvenile Diabetes Walk To Find A Cure. At this time, Don participates on several non-profit boards including PeopleTrust – Austin’s Community Land Trust, the Greater Austin Economic Development Corp., and Ballet Austin.
Publisher, Austin Business Journal
Heather Ladage fell in love with the media industry as a copy writer at Indiana University’s award-winning newspaper. She has since worked in television, for print magazines and newspapers and now across multimedia platforms.
Heather was named publisher of the Austin Business Journal in February 2012 and has spent the last decade with American City Business Journals where she won the Chairman’s Eagle Award for Excellence in 2004, 2005 and 2007. She was the circulation and marketing director for the Austin Business Journal from 2001-2008 growing paid circulation by more than 25% over a 5-year period. The past four years she has held several positions at the corporate level including Circulation Sales Development Director, Regional Circulation Marketing Director and National Audience Development Director – Sales. Prior to her tenure with ACBJ, Heather spent time at Destination Marketing Hawaii and Publicitas/Globe Media representing national titles such as Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Midwest Living, Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New Yorker and Outside Magazine.
Heather is a previous board member of the Austin Advertising Federation, Boys & Girls Clubs Emerging Leaders, Seton Forum and the Ballet Austin Guild. She currently sits on the advisory boards for The National Association of Corporate Directors Texas Tricities Chapter and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Austin program and was co-chair for the 2012 Austin Film & Food Festival. She is also on the Development Council for HAAM and will join the Austin Chamber board in January 2013.
Heather lives in the historic neighborhood of Travis Heights in Austin, Texas with her husband of 15 years, Alex, and her cat Indy.
Catherine Q. Morse
General Counsel and Director of Public Affairs, Samsung Austin Semiconductor
Catherine joined Samsung Austin Semiconductor in August of 2007 as local General Counsel. Catherine later added to her job responsibilities the role of Public Affairs Director and serves as the primary liaison between Samsung and the Austin community.
A graduate of Louisiana State University and the University of Houston Law School, Catherine has been an active member of the Austin community. She has served on the Boards of Directors for The Travis Light House for the Blind, Any Baby Can Family Resource Center, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas and Mobile Loaves and Fishes.
Catherine currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and on the Advisory Board of Family Eldercare. Catherine is also a member of the Austin Area Research Organization.
Upon her graduation from law school, Catherine worked in the labor & employment law section of Vinson & Elkins in Houston and later joined the Austin Office of Fulbright & Jaworski, where she also specialized in labor and employment law. Catherine began her in-house counsel career with Applied Materials. She subsequently worked at Freescale Semiconductor as Director of Labor & Employment law before joining Samsung.
Senior Vice President, Director of Client Service for Sanders Wingo Advertising
Rodney relocated to Austin in July 2012 from Chicago to become a Senior Vice President, Director of Client Service for Texas based Sanders Wingo Advertising.
Driven by a desire for sustainable growth and positive change – Rodney has been a global marketing executive for the past 25 years and continues to grow his craft daily. A classically trained brand marketer, he has led billion dollars businesses and managed multimillion-dollar budgets for some of the top global CPG companies.
He has spent considerable time and energy designing new and innovative products, processes and testing methodologies resulting in successful global product launches in numerous categories. Throughout his career he’s had extensive experience and responsibility in leading multidisciplinary teams and takes pride in his team member development.
Rodney received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of California at Riverside and continued on to complete his MBA degree with an emphasis in Corporate Finance and Marketing Management at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
Mark was recently named head of Google Fiber in Austin. Previously, he represented the north Austin area in the Texas House of Representatives. Mark received Honorable Mentions on Texas Monthly’s Ten Best Legislators list in three of his five sessions in the House. Texas Monthly said “Strama cares as much about others’ success as his own.”
Prior to running for public office, Mark founded the first company to enable Americans to fill out a voter registration form on the Internet – 700,000 people used this technology to register to vote in the 2000 election cycle. Earlier, Mark was Director of Programs at Rock the Vote, a non-partisan organization that works with MTV and the music industry to engage young people in the political process. He previously worked for former Texas Governor Ann Richards and Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis. Mark graduated from Brown University with degrees in philosophy and political science. He is married to Crystal Cotti, who owns and operates the Sylvan Learning Centers in Austin. They have two young daughters, who fervently, desperately, want a dog.
Senior Vice President – General Manager, H-E-B – Central Texas Region
Jeff Thomas is Sr. Vice President and General Manager of the Central Texas Region of H-E-B, which includes 75 stores throughout Central Texas; south to San Marcos and north to Burleson; east to Bastrop and west to Kingsland; as well as the cities of Austin and Waco. These 75 stores represent over $5 billion in sales and employ over 17,000 partners. Jeff’s umbrella of leadership also includes other important areas of the business such as Real Estate, Marketing, Public Affairs, Loss Prevention, Human Resources, and Facilities.
Jeff began his career in 1975 as a courtesy clerk while attending high school. During his 37 years with H-E-B he has held a variety of leadership positions throughout Texas in operational and administrative roles. He was General Manager for the first Central Market operation in San Antonio and eventually led the entry into the Dallas/Fort Worth market. He also served as Administrative Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer. Jeff spent eight years as Sr. Vice President and General Manager for the South Texas Region, which included 72 stores in the Coastal Bend area and south to all stores along the border of Mexico from Brownsville to Del Rio.
In January 2005 Jeff moved his family to Austin. Jeff has embraced the Austin lifestyle and enjoys all of the amenities that Austin has to offer. He serves on the advisory board has been the Co-Chair for the 2011 and 2012 campaigsn for the United Way for Greater Austin, the Hill Country Conservancy Stewardship Council, board member of the Texas State Aquarium, board member of Texas C-5 Foundation, Texas PTA Advisory Council and is a board member of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Jeff graduated with a BBA in marketing and management from the University of Texas–San Antonio and the University of Southern California with an MBA. He continued his education with the Harvard Business School in the General Manager program.
Denise M. Trauth
President, Texas State University
Denise M. Trauth began her tenure as President of Texas State University in August, 2002.
Denise is very active both in civic projects in Central Texas and in higher education organizations on the state and national levels including the Austin Area Research Organization, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, KLRU, Southwest Research Institute and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. She also serves on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Women in Higher Education and as the Presidential sponsor of that organization’s Texas Network for Texas Women in Higher Education.
Denise earned her Bachelor of Arts at the College of Mount St. Joseph, her Master of Arts at Ohio State University and her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa.
Vice President/General Manager, Enterprise Holdings
Howard Zaroff is the Vice President/General Manager for Enterprise Holdings operating Enterprise, Alamo and National. He is responsible for Car Rental, Truck Rental, Car Sales, and Fleet Management operations consisting of 90 locations, 900+ employees, 12,000+ vehicles and in excess of $150 million annual revenue. He has been with Enterprise since starting his career as a Branch Manager in California in 1992. He has a degree in Finance from San Diego State University.
President, United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX)
UWATX President Debbie Bresette has worked at United Way for Greater Austin since 2003 and served as the interim president and Chief Professional Officer for nine months before becoming President in Dec. 2009.
Among the efforts directed by Debbie during her tenure at UWATX, are expansion of the United Way Navigation Center which houses 211 Texas and Central Health’s call center, and a redesign of the Volunteer Center into a civic engagement model now called Hands on Central Texas. Debbie also was a 2009 finalist for the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power and Women of Influence award. Prior to UWATX, Debbie was a founding member of the Family Crisis Center in 1981 and the Executive Director of the non-profit for 22 years. During her tenure, Debbie created emergency shelter and a wide variety of critical services specifically for women and children in four rural counties in Central Texas. Under her leadership, 21 transitional housing units were developed, built and funded along with support services for battered women and their children. This effort increased affordable housing by 10 percent in the community.