Person Type: Board

Jennifer Wu

Jennifer Wu

Capital Markets Partner
Kirkland & Ellis

Jennifer Wu is a capital markets partner in the Austin office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, an international law firm that serves a broad range of clients around the world in private equity, M&A and other corporate transactions, litigation, restructurings, and intellectual property matters. Jennifer counsels issuers across the technology and energy industries in public offerings, including IPOs and follow-on offerings. In addition, she advises companies on federal securities law compliance, ongoing corporate governance and SEC reporting, and disclosure issues.

Jennifer has consistently been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers and served on Law360’s Capital Markets and Texas Editorial Advisory Boards. Jennifer is passionate about serving our Greater Austin community and has been an active member of the Junior League of Austin for over a decade. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Austin and has also been heavily involved with United Way for many years, serving as a longtime Women United Executive Committee Member. Jennifer is also a proud member of the Leadership Austin Emerge Class of 2016 (BCE!).

Jennifer received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, earned a Certificate in Business and Public Policy from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with a B.A. from Rice University. Before pursuing her law degree, Jennifer taught pre-algebra at YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, where she developed her lifetime passion for education and community.

Cristina Guajardo

Asset and Compliance Specialist
Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation

Cristina Guajardo became involved with United Way for Greater Austin in 2018 as a resident and ambassador for the Jeremiah Program, a United Way funded partner and member organization of the Austin/Travis County 2-Gen Coalition – powered by United Way. She has advocated for student parents and affordable child care by sharing her story at various local and national events, including with the Aspen Institute and as a Zero to Three Parent Representative in Washington D.C. Cristina’s passion for serving her community has continued after graduation from Texas State University in 2021 and through her work at the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation, a nonprofit focused on providing affordable housing to families in East Austin.

Karen Steakley

Senior Manager, Business Development & Public Policy

Karen Steakley leads Business Development and Public Policy for Tesla across much of the US, working to expand Tesla’s footprint and impact.

Prior to joining Tesla, Karen worked in the Texas State Capitol shaping policy and legislative solutions, beginning as a legislative intern in the House of Representatives and leaving as the Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs for the Governor of Texas.

Karen holds a degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and certificates from the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Anjum Khurshid

Chief Data Scientist for FDA’s Sentinel Operations Center
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Anjum Khurshid is the inaugural Director of Data Integration and Associate Professor of Population Health at Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin. He is the principal investigator on community-wide projects for integrating social determinants of health data into electronic health records and developing patient engagement platforms to allow patients to access their health data easily.

Dr. Khurshid received the Health Informatics Innovation Award in 2013 for leading the $13.5 million Crescent City Beacon Community Program in New Orleans and University Blockchain Research Institute’s Visionary Award in 2020 for his seminal work in this area. He has served on the Federal Advisory Committee for Health Information Technology, a congressionally-mandated advisory body, and as a patient engagement advisor to the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Washington DC.

Dr. Khurshid earned his medical degree from King Edward Medical University, Lahore and his Masters in Public Affairs and PhD in Public Policy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Ed Latson

Founder and Executive Director
Austin Regional Manufacturers Association

Ed Latson is the Founder and Executive Director for ARMA—the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, a business group focused on strengthening the manufacturing community through advocacy, workforce development, and networking. Members include some of the largest employers in the area like Samsung Semiconductor, Applied Materials, NXP, ICU Medical, and NI, but also small and medium size companies from diverse sectors, like food & beverage, bio/pharma, automotive, printing, and metal fabrication.

Latson is active in the community serving on boards or advisory groups for the Greater Austin Chamber, the Capital Area Economic Development District, the Seton Fifty, GSG Talent Solutions, Austin Community College, Texas State Technical College, Austin ISD, Pflugerville ISD, and UT School of Engineering. He is a native Austinite and a graduate of the University of Texas.

Alison Walgren

Central Texas Managing Principal

Alison Walgren is a Principal in Deloitte’s Core Business Operations practice with 28 years of broad-based consulting experience. She serves as the Central Texas Managing Principal, leading Deloitte’s multifunctional practice of 1,700 Consulting, Attest, Risk Advisory and Tax professionals in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. She also serves as the leader of the Deloitte Service Delivery and Business Design practice. In these roles, she leads her teams to deliver high-value solutions to Deloitte’s clients to help them transform the way they do business.

Alison is active in the community, currently serving on the boards of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Girls Inc., and United Way for Greater Austin, and previously on the boards of the Texas Advocacy Project and ISHIDA Dance Company.

Alison grew up in San Antonio, lived in several states in the US and in Russia, and has called Austin her home since 2004. She received an MBA in International Business from The University of South Carolina and a BS in Russian and Linguistics from Georgetown University.

Alison is married to Richard Segura, a native Austinite, and they have three children between them who are currently following their passions in music, ballet, and theatre in Virginia and New York.

Laura Huffman

President and CEO
Civic Solutions Partnership

Laura Huffman is President and CEO of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit membership organization that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and advocates on behalf of its members and the broader business community.

Laura is dedicated to solving complex problems with a spirit of collaboration, innovation, and creativity.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Laura served as Texas state director for The Nature Conservancy. During her twelve-year tenure at the Conservancy, Laura worked closely with Texas legislators to draft policy with far-reaching ramifications for statewide water conservation and spearheaded the expansion of water protection funds across Central Texas.

Laura’s distinguished public service record also includes 15+ years in city management for the City of Austin and City of San Marcos, where she helped safeguard water supply, strengthen the economy, and protect natural assets.

She earned a master’s degree in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Texas A&M University. An Austin native, she enjoys running, swimming, and hiking with her husband and four children.

Hon. Rudy Metayer

Council Member, City of Pflugerville
Attorney, Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody

The son of Haitian immigrants, Rudy is of the first generation in his family to complete higher education, graduating from not only the University of Texas College of Liberal Arts with a B.A., but also a Master in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law. He has been a tireless advocate in the community speaking and working on a host of issues ranging from teaching at-risk children, co-authoring an honor code for the University of Texas, helping forge a partnership with local law enforcement and the State Bar of Texas to address the issue of community policing, and creating Pro Bono legal advice clinics for United States Military Veterans.

Before joining Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, a premiere litigation law firm in Central Texas, Rudy served as Special Counsel to the Health and Human Services Commission. He has also served on several local, state, and national boards and committees including the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, Lone Star Circle of Care, Texans Soccer Club, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Leadership Austin, Texas Bar Foundation, FBI Citizens Academy, US Soccer Federation Referee Program, Community Advancement Network (CAN), Texas Young Lawyers Association, Austin Black Lawyers Association, and Young Catholic Professionals. Rudy has been recognized numerous times as one of the most influential young professionals in not only the Greater Austin area, but the State of Texas. His accolades include being awarded the Pflugerville ISD Community Partner of the Year, Texas Young Lawyers Association President’s Award of Merit, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce Advocate of the Year, Austin Under 40 Government & Public Affairs Award Winner, and the Austin Area Research Organization McBee Fellowship. Rudy has just been named Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year by the Austin Bar Association and Outstanding Young Alumni “Rising Leader” by the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Recently, Rudy was named one of Central Texas’ Top Young Professionals by Austin Black Business Journal. He is a Fellow to the Texas Bar Foundation and the incoming Chair of the African American Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Texas.

On the 40 Acres, Rudy was active in various different groups and organizations including the Texas Wranglers, Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, Texas Rugby, Multicultural Information Center, Texas Law Society Mentor, UT Rec Sports Officials, LBJ School Diversity & Inclusion Curriculum Review Committee, and the Legal Eagles. Recently, Rudy was elected to the UT Law School’s Alumni Association Executive Committee.

Rudy’s true love and passion to the City of Pflugerville has been shown in his service as Vice President of the Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 (Pflugerville Fire Department), a member of the Pflugerville Charter Review Commission, a member of the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, Co-Chair of the Pflugerville Finance and Budget Committee, a member of the Pflugerville “1849” Park Committee, a member of the St. Elizabeth of Hungary FIESTA committee, and Vice Chair of the Boy Scouts of America Blackland Prairie. Rudy is married to his amazing wife Letisha, a longtime Pflugerville resident of almost 30 years, and the father of three, yes three, daughters.

Rudy believes that true collaboration amongst stakeholders is key to keeping Pflugerville the fiscally responsible, economically strong, inclusive, and high quality of life place it is today.

Blake Absher

Austin Market President
Broadway Bank

Blake joined the Broadway Bank team as the Austin Market Executive in December 2020 and was promoted to Austin Market President in January 2022. He plays an integral role in the strategic direction and leadership for the Austin market and contiguous counties. Blake collaborates with the Broadway team members to support them in acquiring new client relationships, working to maintain & deepen existing client relationships, and supporting the community through various nonprofit and civic engagements. He is excited about sharing the Broadway value proposition of being a stable, sound, profitable, innovative, and modern financial institution with the Austin community.

Prior to joining the Broadway team, Blake served in the role as the Austin Market President for BB&T now Truist since 2014. He had nearly a 14 year career with BB&T now Truist, where he served in several roles including Market President for North Houston & The Woodlands and various roles in the Retail & Business Bank. Prior to his tenure with BB&T now Truist, he served as the Retail Sales Manager for IBC Bank in Austin.

He is a proud graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management as well as a Master of Business Administration.

Blake and his wife, Christine, are having fun raising their toddler age son (Luke) and are loving being parents. In their spare time, they are actively involved in several nonprofits including United Way for Greater Austin, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, I Live Here I Give Here, The Long Center for Performing Arts, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas.

Andy Esparza

Retired Human Resources Executive

Andy recently retired following a 38-year career in corporate human resources, including roles as the Chief HR Officer for two global companies, Dell Technologies and Baker Hughes Inc. He was responsible for leading global HR teams that developed strategies and implemented programs designed to hire, develop, motivate, and retain world-class people in support of business objectives.

Andy now works with nonprofit organizations as a consultant, Board member, volunteer, and donor in his home city of Austin, Texas. He has served as a Board member at the Andy Roddick Foundation and the Ann Richards School Foundation, as well as the Advisory Board for the Management Program at his alma mater, San Diego State University. He received his Business Administration degree with an emphasis in human resources management from San Diego State, and enjoys traveling, sports, and spending time with friends and family.