Person Type: Board

Jeff Vernor

Head of Risk Management
Dimensional Fund Advisors

Jeff Vernor is the Head of Risk Management for Dimensional Fund Advisors LP. Dimensional is a global investment manager dedicated to implementing the great ideas in finance.

Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Texas Christian University and was in the inaugural graduating class of the University of Texas at San Antonio’s executive MBA program. Jeff obtained an Associate in Risk Management designation in 2002 and continues his professional development by attending a variety of conferences and courses available within Dimensional.

Jeff supports the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) and served as President of the South Texas RIMS Chapter in 2005 and Chair of the Enterprise Risk Management Committee. He served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Pierce County and also served as 2005/2006 Board Chair for St. George Episcopal Day School in San Antonio. Jeff also serves as a Risk Manager in Residence at universities throughout the USA.

Mark Strama, Board Chair

Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas

Mark is a Professor in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas, and Director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life.  Previously, he spent a decade at Google Fiber working to upgrade the infrastructure used to deliver internet service to homes and businesses in the U.S.  Prior to that he served five terms in the Texas House of Representatives, where he focused on renewable energy, public education, and electoral reform. 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, a former Austin City Hall reporter.  They have three industrious daughters and one very lazy dog.

Malini Rajput

Central Texas Market President
Capital One Bank

Malini Rajput is Central Texas Market President of Capital One Bank. With over 18 years’ experience in the financial services industry, she leads the bank’s overall commercial banking strategy and community engagement in the Austin market. A native Australian, Malini is passionate about giving back to the local Austin community she, her husband, and two children have called home since 2006.

Malini serves on the boards of Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Thinkery. She is also chair of the Seton Fifty. Malini was nominated as one of Austin’s Profiles in Power & Women of Influence by Austin Business Journal in 2013 and 2019, and named to the Business Journals 2019 list of national Finance Influencers. She was awarded the 2020 ChangeMaker of the Year Award by the Austin Young Chamber and named a 2020 Austin Under 40 awards finalist.

Jennifer Poppe, Board Treasurer

Retired Lawyer
Vinson & Elkins

Jennifer is a retired lawyer who has returned to the University of Texas to pursue a degree in astronomy. Jennifer received her first undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Texas in 1995 and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1998. After graduating, Jennifer practiced law for 23 years at Vinson & Elkins LLP. She focused her practice on civil litigation, primarily representing companies and their officers and directors in lawsuits and other disputes with shareholders. But Jennifer always considered returning to school to study astronomy. In 2021, she decided to make that dream her reality; she retired from the practice of law and returned to the University of Texas as an undergraduate student once again. Jennifer’s new studies have just begun, but she is enjoying learning about the universe and all it contains.

Jennifer first became involved with United Way through its Women United donor network in 2009. She was initially drawn to its work with Success By Six and early childhood education. Jennifer then learned more about United Way’s broader mission to help fight poverty in Central Texas and wanted to become more involved. She served on the Executive Committee for Women United for several years before joining the Board of Directors in 2014. She has served on the Board from 2014-2020 and 2021 to the present.

When she is not studying the stars, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family in Austin and Colorado, spoiling her six grandchildren, and being outdoors with her two Lab mixes, Newton and Lincoln.

Bobby Jenkins

ABC Home & Commercial Services

Bobby Jenkins is owner of ABC Home & Commercial Services with offices in Austin, San Antonio, College Station, Bell County, and Corpus Christi. ABC employs over 850 people and 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, water quality, pool cleaning and repair, handyman services, window cleaning and power washing, and appliance repair. Bobby is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in business management.

Bobby is the current chair of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and a past chair of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and past chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He is a past president of both the Texas and National Pest Management Associations and a past chair of the Better Business Bureau. He is a past chair and current board member of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and the Alzheimer’s Texas Association. Bobby currently serves on the board of The Association of Former Students 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 is a past chair and current board member of the American Heart Association and has served as the co-chair for the Heat Walk. Bobby is a past co-chair for the United Way Annual Campaign. He is the co-founder and board member of Recognize Good and past chair and current board member of Austin Gives. He currently serves as a trustee for the Texas Higher Education Foundation and the Better Business Bureau Education Foundation and is a board member of E3 Alliance, the Moss Pieratt Foundation and is the current chair of the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Foundation. He also serves on the executive committee of the Texas Business leadership Council, is on the advisory board for Texas Capital Bank, and is the chairman of the Professional Pest Management Alliance.

Bobby has been married to his wife Jan for 37 years and they have three children; Jessica Pieratt 34, Chelsea 31, and Bo 28. He has four wonderful grandchildren; Moss, Madeline, Frances and Robby.

Jennifer Foster

Head of Americas eCommerce Sales & Field Marketing
Dell Technologies

Jennifer Foster leads Americas SB ecommerce for Dell Technologies. She has over 20 years of technology and financial services experience with more than 10+ years leading global roles. Prior to joining Dell, Jennifer was a commercial and investment banker.

Outside of work Jennifer is heavily involved in philanthropic giving, and her family governs the Jack Foster Family Foundation to further support the community needs.

Jennifer has an MBA from University of Utah and an undergraduate degree from Westminster College. She enjoys travel, skiing, golfing, riding horses, and watching her son Jack in all his various sports.

Jeremiah Bentley

Vice President, Marketing & Community Affairs
Texas Mutual Insurance Company

Jeremiah Bentley is the vice president of Marketing & Community Affairs at Texas Mutual Insurance Company, the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance. He oversees the company’s marketing, public relations, advertising, community relations, digital media, and customer outreach efforts. He previously worked in corporate communications and government affairs over his 20-year career with the company.

Jeremiah is on the executive committee of the Greater of Austin Chamber of Commerce and is member of the board of directors for Leadership Austin, the Austin Ed Fund, United Way for Greater Austin, and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He also serves in a variety of other roles in community organizations throughout the Austin area. Jeremiah is a member of the Austin Area Research Organization and is a 2015 graduate of the Leadership Austin Essentials program. Jeremiah lives in northwest Austin with his wife Brandy and two young boys. He’s a graduate of the University of Texas-Arlington with a BS in University Studies.