Our Leadership Lives United

At United Way for Greater Austin, we know we do our best work when we take care of one another. We can only make progress in the fight against poverty when we give it our all, every day – and engage community leaders with a wide range of expertise and experience.

Board Leadership

Mark Strama, Board Chair
Jennifer Poppe, Board Treasurer
Kristin Marcum, Board Secretary
Blake Absher
Jeremiah Bentley
Jennifer Byrd
Dr. Joshua Childs
Mollie Duckworth
Allison Dwyer
Andy Esparza
Jennifer Foster
Jay Fox
Ryan Frederick
Michele Glaze
Jehmu Greene
Kristie Gonzales
Cristina Guajardo
Patrick Hadlock
Cathy Harm
John D. Holmes
Laura Huffman
Bobby Jenkins
Dr. Anjum Khurshid
Shawn Kotoske
Ed Latson
Hon. Rudy Metayer
Abbi Miller
Dr. Sarojani Mohammed
Dr. Richard Rhodes
Yvette E. Ruiz
Scott Rust
Michele Scott
Amy Simmons
David C. Smith
Karen Steakley
Charles Thornburgh
Jeff Vernor
Rina vonFrisch
Alison Walgren

Staff Leadership

David C. Smith

Chief Executive Officer

“I Live United because I love this Greater Austin community, and I know it can be even better.”

David C. Smith has been in Executive Nonprofit Leadership for more than 25 years in Austin, Texas, leading mission-focused and results-driven organizations to substantial growth. David’s philosophy to nonprofit leadership is that while there are many factors that go into a successful organization, one common thread through all is reaching out to diverse parts of the community to collaboratively find solutions that create real impact.

Alison Bentley, Ph.D.

Director of Data and Evaluation

“I Live United because together we create a stronger, more resilient community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

Alison Bentley leads the Data and Evaluation team, to ensure that data-driven decision making is used to create positive social change in our community. She works collaboratively with United Way team members and community organizations to manage and analyze data to provide valuable insights into the needs and challenges faced by our community, determine the effectiveness of programs and interventions, and measure impact of our community coalitions. Alison has a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Texas at Austin.

Cathleen Berdan

Chief Development Officer

“I Live United because everyone can make a difference and leave a meaningful legacy here in our community.”

Cathleen leads the Resource Development team, driving growth and sustainability for United Way’s innovative work across the region. With over a decade of experience in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, audience engagement, and large-scale event production, Cathleen is passionate about mission-driven philanthropy.

Aaron DeLaO

Vice President of Strategic Programs and Coalitions

“I Live United because I believe systems change is more easily achieved by people coming together to collectively create a world where all can access opportunity and prosper equally.”

Aaron DeLaO is an experienced and strategic leader who has successfully created and expanded impactful programs in community and mental health, hunger relief, affordable housing, and employee wellness in Central Texas. In all his work, he aims to collaboratively disrupt the prevailing status quo of inequity and foster a society where all people can achieve their self-determined happiness.

Catherine Gonzalez

Chief Operating Officer

“I Live United because I believe there should be no demographic tendencies on who is granted an opportunity to thrive.”

Catherine Gonzalez is responsible for executing transformational strategy and operational excellence. Her 20+ years of experience and leadership in Austin, Texas have been focused on developing and delivering long-term solutions, ultimately providing excellent support to our partners and community.

Cathy McHorse

Vice President, Success By 6

“I Live United because I believe together we can create a community where all young children have equitable access to the care, resources, and opportunities they need and deserve.”

Cathy McHorse is the Vice President of Success By 6 for United Way for Greater Austin. Together with our community partners, Cathy leads local efforts to improve early childhood programs and services for children and families – with the goal of ensuring that all children enter Kindergarten happy, healthy, and ready to succeed.

Ashley Mitchell

Chief People Officer

“I Live United because there is “common unity” in the word “community” and together we can achieve more.”

Ashley Mitchell has more than 15 years of HR leadership experience and a strong passion to support employees and the community. In her free time, Ashley enjoys volunteering, nature walks, urban ballroom dancing, and hanging out with friends.

Amy Mizcles

Vice President of Williamson County

“I Live United because everyone should have the opportunity to thrive.”

Amy Mizcles leads the organization’s work in Williamson County. She is passionate about bringing the community together to address the underlying causes and consequences of poverty. Amy brings 20+ years of experience in public policy, government relations, program development, and nonprofit leadership.

Ashley Pierce

Chief Marketing Officer

“I Live United because every person has a unique perspective… and our community is better when we’re curious, listen, and learn from each other.”

Ashley Pierce leads the marketing and communications team. Driven by her values for inclusive storytelling and equity, Ashley works with her team to share the story and impact of United Way here in our community.

Amy Price

Navigation Center Vice President

“I Live United because Central Texas is better when we all have the resources to thrive.”

Amy Price leads the Navigation Center which includes 2-1-1, ConnectATX, and health care navigation programs. Her previous experience includes being a librarian and special education teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and a master’s degree in Library Science from The University of Texas.

Ellen Richards

Vice President of Addressing Cancer Together

“I Live United because I believe that working together we can create opportunities for every person to build the foundation they need to reach their full potential.”

Ellen Richards serves as the Vice President of Addressing Cancer Together. Ellen is a strategist, problem solver, and connector who brings more than 25 years of experience in health, social services, and education.

Ingrid Taylor

Chief Impact Officer

“I Live United because divisions and inequities in our community inhibit opportunity to imagine and build better ways to help each other thrive. We can all live more vibrantly when we work and live together united.”

Ingrid Taylor brings a highly organized and enthusiastic manner to her work, which over the span of her career has included positions as an elected school board trustee as well as in nonprofit and governmental roles.