Board of Trustees
Since arriving in Austin in 1995, Cyndi became involved with LifeWorks and went on to chair its first capital campaign and would ultimately serve as Chairman of the Lifeworks Board of Directors. Subsequently, Cyndi was asked to assist the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central Texas in celebrating its Twentieth Anniversary by chairing the foundation’s Cinderella Gala. She would go on to get involved with fundraising at the Make-A-Wish Foundation through its Over-The-Edge Event, and then serve on its Board of Directors.
In 2007, Cyndi and her husband, Bill, were honored with the Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Austin Chapter.
Dr. Eva Garza-Nyer
Eva has a true passion for helping teenagers plan for their future. She has helped to increase the number of students who apply, enroll, and complete their college education. She currently serves on the Board for Breakthrough and Con Mi Madre (board secretary) and was an advisory board member with Hispanic Scholarship Consortium. Additionally, she works closely in assisting Austin Sunshine Camps, College MAP and College Forward, all non-profit organizations that help low-income, first generation college bound students apply to college.
Eva is a member of the Rotary Club and has participated in Leadership Austin, Hispanic Austin Leadership, and the Texas Public Policy and Candidate Training Program through Las Comrades. She has been a finalist for Austin Under 40, she was Austin Partners in Education- Staff of the Year and was selected as the YWCA Woman of the Year- Leader of Promise.
Ricky D. Green is a Texas native who grew up in Fort Worth, and attended St. Stephen’s School in Austin, Texas for his last three years of high school. After graduating from St. Stephen’s, Ricky went to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he received his Bachelor of Arts with a major in American History. Ricky then attended SMU law school where he graduated in 1993. He began his legal career in workers’ compensation in Dallas, Texas, and then joined Harris and Harris law firm in March 1996. He worked at this workers’ compensation defense law firm for nine years and became a profit partner his last three years of service. On February 16, 2005, Ricky opened the Law Office of Ricky D. Green, and continues to dedicate his practice to representing insurance carriers, self-insureds and third party administrators in workers’ compensation cases in Texas and Oklahoma.
Ricky has specialized in Texas workers’ compensation insurance defense for more than 20 years and travels to every field office in the State of Texas. He is a member of the workers’ compensation section of the Texas State Bar, has regularly spoken at the Texas State Bar Advanced Workers’ Compensation seminar, and is authorized by the Texas Department of Insurance to present certified continuing education courses. Ricky is a member of the Texas Chapter of the Public Risk Management Association, the Austin Black Lawyers’ Association, the Travis County Bar Association, the North and South Central Texas Regional Minority Certification agencies and is also licensed to practice law in Oklahoma. In addition to his legal service, Ricky serves on the Board of Trustees at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, volunteers with Breakthrough Austin, and is involved with other volunteer opportunities. In his spare time, Ricky enjoys traveling, running, theater, arts and is an avid sports’ enthusiast.
Dr. Kevin Ilcisin
Diana has been an active volunteer at the schools her children attended. She also served on the board of trustees for Santa Fe Preparatory; acted as advisory chair for Breakthrough Santa Fe; and was president of her homeowners association in Santa Fe. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Eastern Michigan University, and when she’s not traveling, Diana can be found walking her four dogs; practicing yoga, pilates, or golf; enjoying the eclectic Austin restaurants and music scene; or detailing the family’s German model train.
Danielle McNeely, Treasurer
Rick has more than 20 years of experience in human resources, with expertise in talent acquisition and mergers & acquisition integration with Fortune 500 companies, including NXP/Freescale, Motorola, PepsiCo and USAA. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and currently is on the board of directors for Girlstart as well as the NXP Foundation. Rick was instrumental in helping Breakthrough launch the Breakthrough 9th Grade STEM Academy for Manor ISD students, hosted at NXP. He and his wife Cleo have been longtime supporters of Breakthrough and its work with students.
From 1995 to 2005, Walt founded and served as President and CEO of The Penn Investment Group, Inc., an independent broker/dealer and registered investment advisor specializing in wealth management and alternative investments in the private and public equity arena, including the biotech, real estate and financial services areas. From 1987 to 1995, he served as an investment advisor with Rauscher Pierce Refsnes, now RBC Wealth Management.
Walt holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Texas at Austin, and is involved with many community organizations, past and present, including the Breakthrough Austin board, The Paramount Theater board, PeopleFund advisory board, The Seton Fund board, The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce board, SafePlace Foundation board, Brackenridge Children’s Hospital council, Caritas of Austin advisory board, and the Texas Capital Bank advisory board.
Vince P. Reyna, Secretary
Vince joined Pennybacker Capital subsequent to his tenure as vice president and senior underwriter with CIT Corporate Finance. At CIT, he analyzed and structured asset and cash flow based loans to middle market companies.
Prior to CIT, Vince helped Prudential Capital Group originate, analyze, and monitor cash-flow loans to middle market companies. His earliest private equity experience was marketing limited partnership interests for private equity funds at JPMorgan.
Vince earned his undergraduate degree in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and an MBA from McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and serves on the Small Scale Development Council of the Urban Land Institute.
From 1995 to 2014, Sergio worked at American Management Systems and CGI Technologies and Solutions as a technology account executive for public and private sector clients in Denver, London, Washington, DC and Austin.
In 2015, Sergio took over the management of a South Texas family ranching business based out of Alice, Texas. Sergio is passionate about education for disadvantaged youth and currently sits on the board of Con Mi Madre. He has taken that passion as a call to action to learn as much as he can about the reasons educational inequity exists for students in our community, having met with thought leaders across the state of Texas about solutions that work.
Lynne Rupp, Vice Chair
Hannah currently serves on the board of directors of Balcones Resources in Austin, Texas and the T.L.L. Temple Foundation in Lufkin, Texas.
For more than ten years, Hannah has been a supporter of non-profit organizations in the Austin area benefitting children and adolescents. She currently serves as a member of the Children’s Trust of Dell Children’s Medical Center. She previously served on the board of directors of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and the Dell Children’s Medical Center Foundation. Hannah also served on the steering committee for the capital campaign to build a new children’s museum in Austin (the Thinkery).
Dr. Denise Villa
Valdez is also past-president of the Young Hispanic Professional Austin Association (YHPAA), the founder of the Mexican American Engineers & Scientists (MAES) student chapter at the University of Notre Dame, and is a former president of the Austin Professional Chapter of Society of MAES, also having sat on the MAES national board. With a passion for giving back to his community, he has also been involved with Un Sabado Gigante, been a Spanish literacy tutor for Austin Partners in Education (APIE), and involved with Hispanic Organizations Working Together as One (HOWTO) Alliance.
Jasmin is an accomplished professional and an alumna of the Breakthrough program. She is currently an Admissions Officer at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. She supports the Lower School admission events and activities, organizes shadow days and visits, and produces and distributes the school’s Admission Newsletter. In addition, she is pursuing her Masters of Arts in counseling at St. Edward’s university. Jasmin’s expertise in Breakthrough goes back many years prior. She joined as a sixth grader as part of Breakthrough’s second class of students in 2003. After graduating high school, she was one of Breakthrough’s first students to travel out of state to college. In 2013, she became the first in her family to earn a college degree with her bachelor’s in psychology from Middlebury College. While in college, she also served as a Summer Teaching Fellow and Assistant Summer Director at the UT site. Her younger brother, Jose Vara, is a Breakthrough graduate, having just completed his degree at Southwestern University. Jasmin’s parents, Maria and Jose, are also very active participants in the program and have helped lead many conversations with families about the path to college graduation for first-generation students.
Tito is an Executive Director and EIG’s Mexico Country Head, where he leads the firm’s investment efforts in Mexico. Prior to joining EIG in 2014, Mr. Vidaurri accumulated 23 years of experience in banking, holding senior leadership positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Tito was Mexico Country Executive as well as Chairman and CEO of Bank of America Mexico, S.A. and was responsible for senior relationships in both the public and private sectors as well as for overseeing the entirety of the bank’s business activities in Mexico including corporate and investment banking, capital markets and sales and trading. Previous to his banking career, he worked five years for the Mexican Federal Government in several areas including the Ministry of Finance.
Tito is a first-generation college graduate, who received a B.A. in Economics from Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico, a M.A. in Economics from the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City as well as a M.A. in Economics and a Master’s in Public and Private Management from Yale University. He is currently a member of the Board of Advisors of the Yale School of Management.
Past Board Trustees
Mayor Steve Adler