Development Council

Susan Avant

About Susan

Susan​ ​Avant​ ​was​ ​raised​ ​in​ ​Southern​ ​California​ ​and​ ​received​ ​a​ ​Bachelor​ ​of​ ​Science​ ​degree​ ​from Southern​ ​Methodist​ ​University.​ ​Susan​ ​and​ ​her​ ​husband​ ​Charlie​ ​have​ ​two​ ​grown​ ​children.

She​ ​is​ ​a​ ​Broker​ ​Associate​ ​with​ ​Austin​ ​Portfolio​ ​Real​ ​Estate​ ​and​ ​has​ ​been​ ​selling​ ​homes​ ​in​ ​the Austin​ ​area​ ​for​ ​more​ ​than​ ​25​ ​years.

Susan​ ​has​ ​a​ ​long​ ​history​ ​of​ ​community​ ​service​ ​including​ ​the​ ​Women’s​ ​Symphony​ ​League, Coats​ ​for​ ​Kids,​ ​Central​ ​Texas​ ​Food​ ​Bank​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Food​ ​In​ ​Tummies​ ​program.​ ​Along​ ​with​ ​two other​ ​women,​ ​Susan​ ​was​ ​instrumental​ ​in​ ​establishing​ ​the​ ​first​ ​National​ ​Charity​ ​League​ ​chapter in​ ​Austin.​ ​She​ ​has​ ​served​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Boards​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Junior​ ​League​ ​of​ ​Austin,​ ​National​ ​Charity League​ ​-​ ​Austin​ ​Chapter​ ​and​ ​Eanes​ ​Education​ ​Foundation.​ ​She​ ​is​ ​also​ ​a​ ​member​ ​of​ ​the Leadership​ ​Austin​ ​2010​ ​Essential​ ​Class.

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Malia Aycock

About Malia

Malia coordinates St. Andrew’s Upper School Admissions process, plans events for prospective parents and students, organizes shadow visits and parent interviews, and visits local middle schools to recruit future Crusaders. Malia is also a St. Andrew’s parent to two daughters.

Brittney Barnette

About Brittney

Brittney has worked in the fashion industry for over 15 years after earning a BS in Fashion Merchandising from the University of Texas at Austin.

Brittney is passionate about volunteering in the Austin community. She is currently the Co-Chair of fundraising for Texas Heritage Songwriters Association, a member of KLRU Next and Room Mom at her children’s preschool.

Brittney was introduced to Breakthrough in 2013 and became an instant advocate for the organization. She chaired the Champions event in 2014 and joined the Development Board in 2017.

Brittney lives in Lakeway with her husband Josh and two children, Blake and Nash.

Cyndi Bock

Breakthrough Central Texas Board Member Cyndi Bock

About Cyndi

Cyndi Bock is a community volunteer having been active in non-profits in the Austin area for over twenty years. She is particularly drawn and devoted to causes involving issues surrounding our community’s youth, both in terms of care and education.

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. 

Margaret Casey

About Margaret

As the Chief Operations Officer, Margaret is not only responsible for the execution of our client experience, but also for managing the firm’s human capital, compliance, technology, and other strategic initiatives.   She has over fifteen years of experience in the wealth management industry, serving in various roles within client service, relationship management, portfolio administration, marketing, compliance, and IT.

Prior to joining Durbin Bennett, Margaret spent eight years at Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough, LLC,  a wealth management firm in San Francisco specializing in investment management and financial planning.  While there, she managed and oversaw the internal business operations, helping the firm grow from $500 million in assets under management to over $2 billion.  Margaret also served as a former consultant to a start-up RIA firm where she helped them develop a strategic plan for their operations and technology.  She began her financial services career at the Capital Group, a private global investment management company, and was one of five participants in their highly selective global rotation associates program.

Margaret holds an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in both International Relations and East Asian Studies from Brown University.  She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a member of the Financial Planning Association (Austin Chapter).  She serves on the Schwab Technology, Operations & Service Advisory Board and also the Development Council of Breakthrough Austin.

Kim Fernea

About Kim

Kim is the Vice President of Regional Development at Corridor Title Team and brings a level of commitment to proactive service, and a history in sales and marketing that is a compelling fit for Corridor Title in both the Dripping Springs and Greater Austin markets. Kim was one of four sales representatives given the task of creating and growing Dell’s K-12 public education division, and her responsiveness and dedication to the client’s needs played a crucial role in her proven track record of success throughout, and subsequent to, her work at Dell.

Kim is a resident of Dripping Springs and a graduate of the University of Texas. Kim’s active involvement in the Dripping Springs Community is significant, as she serves on the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee and is a consistent and valued presence at City of Dripping Springs Council and Commission Hearings. And, related to Corridor Title’s service to the Austin Market, Kim’s professional and personal history in Austin, as well as her increasing involvement in the Real Estate Council of Austin and Urban Land Institute, distinguish her as an effective leader, present and future, of Corridor Title’s development efforts in service to the Greater Austin Market. Kim and her husband, David, are the proud parents of sons Weston and Ethan.

Ricky Green

About Ricky

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.

 

Rick Geyer

About Rick

Rick provides strategic development and philanthropic counsel to nonprofit organizations and funders — matching, optimizing the passions of the funders with the honed priorities of leading NPOs. For much of his career, Rick has been working “for” students and teachers, schools and universities — as a capital, and annual, campaign consultant and previously as chief development officer for University of Texas at Dallas, St. Mark’s School of Texas, and People’s Community Clinic. In 2002, Board member Ted Whatley introduced Rick to Jessica D’Arcy, Breakthrough’s founding Executive Director. With “founding support” in place from Applied Materials, The Webber Foundation, and a handful of others, Jessica and Rick produced BT’s first 3-year development plan. Not long after, Rick became a volunteer — like scores of others, he has been “hooked ever since,” driven by the passion and quality of all who work “for” Breakthrough’s 1,400+ students.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, B.A. Political Science, Geyer’s prior Board service includes: Arthouse, Dallas’ KERA TV and St. Mark’s School of Texas, and Westminster Presbyterian Day School (president). Rick has been a principal development consultant for clients in various sectors, especially arts, education, public-private partnerships/parks conservancy, and health, including: Waller Creek Conservancy, UT Austin Department of History, Arthouse, People’s Community Clinic, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas Zoological Society, Episcopal School of Dallas, Fort Worth Country Day School, Goals for Dallas, Laguna Gloria Art Museum (bond election), Trinity Episcopal School of Austin, and The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas.

Rick is host and executive producer of People give to People: It’s all about relationships, a DVD brainstorming and training series for board members, staff, and volunteers.

An avid fan of architecture, and its impacts on education, Rick frequents UT Austin School of Architecture lectures and shoots abstract photographs all along Waller Creek, and wherever he travels. He thrives on championing Central Texas’ most cherished NPOs for people who want to plug in more — and rev up philanthropy in Austin!

Emily Jung

About Emily

Carolyn Long

About Carolyn

Carolyn Long a community volunteer passionate about conservation and education. She has chaired parent annual fund campaigns at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and Pomona College (Claremont, California) where her children attended college. She is a Texas Master Naturalist and has served as a director, and ultimately Advisory Council Chairman, at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. She is a Trustee for the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, serves on the Texas Nature Conservancy’s Austin Advisory Council, is a TNC Global Ambassador, and is on the Global Priorities Campaign Committee. Carolyn holds a BBA from Baylor University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University and her professional career was in commercial banking. Other interests include road cycling, bird watching, reading, cooking and traveling with her husband, Jack.

Diana Lowe

About Diana

Diana Lowe served as a board member for the Freescale Foundation benefiting STEM education and provides healing touch services to the terminally ill at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House. Along with her husband, Diana is a co-chair for Way of Greater Austin’s 2014 campaign. Diana has lived all over the world, including Detroit, Munich, Nice, Houston, Dallas and Santa Fe, before relocating to Austin with her husband Gregg, President and CEO of Freescale. Diana and Gregg have two children: daughter Vanessa, an MBA student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and son Kevin, a mechanical engineering graduate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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.

Melissa Muckenthaler

About Melissa

 

Eva Munoz

 

About Eva

 

 

Karey Oddo

About Karey

Karey Nalle Oddo is pleased to be a sixth generation Austinite.  As a graduate of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, Vanderbilt University (BA Spanish and French) and Baylor Law School, she believes in the importance of education and its impact on our children’s success.

Karey spent years as a commercial litigator with both Clark, Thomas & Winters and with Winstead.  Currently, she is general counsel for a real estate company that owns and manages commercial properties in Austin and San Antonio.  Karey won the 2014 Preservation Austin Merit Award for Restoration of a National Landmark property in downtown Austin. She is devoted to historic preservation as it celebrates our past and connects us to our future.

Karey is married to Chris Oddo (of Barron, Adler, Clough & Oddo) and proud mom to two precious pre-teens and two dogs – a labrador and a puggle.  In her free time, she loves to travel with her family, entertain friends, keep current with political news, and read a good mystery.

She has volunteered for numerous local charities and has passionately served on the Board of Directors of several non-profits (in addition to Breakthrough) such as: Helping Hand Home, The Junior League of Austin, Women’s Symphony League, Elizabeth Ann Seton Board, Preservation Austin, Inherit Austin, and Pioneer Farms.  She is a past Coats for Kids Chair, which provided over thirty thousand coats to needy central-Texas children, and she is also a graduate of Leadership Austin.

Karey was introduced to Breakthrough Central Texas by a friend and was immediately drawn to its mission of promoting and supporting first generation college students. She finds that spending time with students enrolled in Breakthrough is truly inspirational because they are willing to work hard and persevere to make it to college and a brighter future.

Walt Penn

About Walt

In 2005, Walt Penn established Wealth Advisory Services of Raymond James, along with his partner Jenny Miller, to combine the full scope of his 28 years of experience in investments and asset management with the comprehensive resources of Raymond James. His goal was, and continues to be, to serve the unique and often challenging needs of wealthy individuals and families.

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.

Linda Poole

About Linda

Mike Ramirez

About Michael

Michael Ramirez is currently a Vice President on the commercial lending side of PlainsCapital Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH).  Founded in 1988, the company has grown to $7.2 billion in deposits as of June 30, 2017 and has 62 branches, ranking PlainsCapital 6th among banks based in Texas.  In his role as Vice President, Michael serves 200+ clients across the state, assisting with all financial services ranging from day to day banking needs to personal & commercial financing requests.  He currently concentrates primarily in real estate, commercial, and private banking.

Prior to beginning his role at PlainsCapital Bank in 2009, Michael earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University Of Notre Dame.  Before attending Notre Dame, Michael was born and raised in Austin, TX, where he currently resides.  Michael is an active member in the community, serving as a member of the Real Estate Council of Austin, YMBL, and the Development Council for Breakthrough Central Texas.

In his free time he is an avid golfer, participating in amateur events across the city & state.  

Vince P. Reyna

About Vince

Vince Reyna oversees strategy, process, and partnerships along the continuum of Pennybacker Capital’s investments. He brings business and technical acumen to sourcing, closing, underwriting, and analyzing deal structures. Vince closely monitors existing investments and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee.

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.

Laurel Simmons

About Laurel

Laurel Simmons graduated with a BA from Vanderbilt University. After college, Laurel moved to New York City to work at J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. Her Texas roots called her back, and she joined GSD&M advertising agency. She is now a full time mother to three elementary-age children.

Laurel currently serves on the Board of Trustees at St. Matthews Episcopal Day School and is a volunteer at St. Andrews Episcopal School. She is also a member of the Dell Children’s Trust.

 

Katie Stolp

About Katie

 

Hannah Temple

About Hannah

Hannah Temple is an attorney-mediator and the founder of Nine Dots Mediation, which specializes in divorce, post-divorce, and elder mediation.  She holds a B.A from Pomona College and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1999. Hannah previously worked as an attorney in the Travis County Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, and Texas Legislative Council.

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).

Ted Whatley

About Ted

Ted Whatley is an educator, civic leader, and founding board member of Breakthrough Austin. Whatley earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees at Harvard University. In between, he served for three years as an infantry and communications officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He pursued a career in education at private schools all over the country, teaching history for eleven years and serving as a headmaster for thirteen years at St. Mark’s in Dallas. Since 1988, when he returned to his native Austin, Whatley has volunteered with organizations including People’s Community Clinic, the University of Texas Visiting Committees for History and Libraries, and many more. He also served many years on the Board of Trustees for Austin Independent School District. In 2001, Whatley joined as a founding board member of Breakthrough Austin, helping lead the organization to tremendous growth and significant impact from 2001 to 2013.

Breakthrough Central Texas

180 Grand Ave #1225, Oakland, CA 94612, USA