Board of Trustees
Esteban is an accomplished professional and a Breakthrough alumnus. He is currently an Associate Project Manager at Blackwell Development, Inc., a growing commercial general contractor in the Los Angeles area. Esteban focuses on building commercial offices, charter schools, and medical clinics throughout Southern California. Previously, he worked as a Project Designer at Dick Clark + Associates, a prominent architecture and interior design firm in the heart of Austin, Texas. Esteban is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design and Architecture in August of 2019. He was active in multiple student organizations including the College of Architecture’s Woodshop, the Corps of Cadets, and in the American Institute of Architecture Students. He also led the local chapter’s Freedom By Design efforts to provide free architectural services to local residents to solve design and construction challenges for those with limited or constrained mobility.
Esteban’s experience with Breakthrough extends back to 2008 when he first joined the program as a middle-school student in Austin ISD. He has been an active participant throughout the program and is a loyal Austin High School graduate from the Class of 2014. Esteban’s parents, Rosario and Esteban, are also actively involved in the program, as are his younger siblings, Xitlali and Hector. Esteban also served as a Summer Teaching Fellow in the summer of 2016 while in college to give back to the organization and support younger students to follow in his footsteps as a first generation college student.
Auerbach lives with her husband, Ernest, in downtown Austin where they are active volunteers in arts and culture organizations.
Irma and her husband Jim have been supporters of Breakthrough since 2017. Irma is a nurse practitioner, originally from South Texas and daughter of first-generation college graduates. Irma has been involved with Breakthrough for a number of years, mentoring Latina students and serving as a panelist for Middle School Career Days. She also serves on the board of the Horizon program at Trinity Episcopal School. Irma and Jim co-chaired the Breakthrough Benefit Concert in in 2021 and returned to serve again in 2022. Irma and Jim serve on the Breakthrough Internship Network Advisory Council and host a Breakthrough intern every summer.
Christie Bybee is a community volunteer passionate about education and public schools. Christie started her career as a fundraiser, first at the University of Chicago and then at United Way of Central New Mexico. She then pivoted to being a parent full time to her two children when moving to Austin and dedicating her time to volunteering for schools and community organizations.
Her list of involvement is widespread and extensive. She served on the PTO of her children’s schools in Eanes ISD, on the District Leadership Team, as a board member on the Education Foundation, and in other district leadership roles. She also became directly involved in multiple nonprofit organizations including Mobile Loaves & Fishes, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church. In 2017, she was honored for her significant leadership and fundraising efforts with the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Austin Chapter.
In 2019, she quickly became an involved and enthusiastic supporter of Breakthrough. She agreed to serve as co- chair for the Breakthrough Challenge Campaign. In April, she and her husband Clint hosted the Campaign Reveal Party. Her passion, energy, and skill as a fundraiser for Breakthrough have been valued by her team of fellow volunteers and staff.
Christina is a director of global hardware solutions at NXP Semiconductors. She is a first-generation college graduate holding a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Edward’s University and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Christina is a multi-generational Austinite and the Breakthrough mission is very personal to her.
Christina became involved with Breakthrough in 2014 and currently serves on Honor Roll steering committee. She has been a steadfast donor and most recently participated in the Celebrate-A-Senior gift drive. Christina recently rolled off the Hospice Austin board after 9 years of service. Her committee work included Finance and Performance Improvement. Other nonprofit involvement includes Texas Exes and Hispanic Impact Fund.
Munira Fareed is a seasoned technology startup executive who has lived and worked in Austin, Texas for 25 years. She is committed to giving back to the Austin community and serves on the board of CASA of Travis County and the advisory boards for ConnectHER and Miracle Foundation. Munira has served on the board of KIPP Texas and worked with Keep Austin Fed and refugee support programs in Central Texas. Munira was most recently the chief marketing officer at Hive9, the marketing performance management company. She also founded and ran Appleseed Partners, a B2B marketing company providing fractional CMO services to technology companies. Munira has served as the VP of Marketing at LifeSize, and in marketing and strategy positions at Motorola Ineto, Netpliance, and Trilogy Software. She holds an undergraduate degree in computer science and economics from Lafayette College, and an MBA from Cornell University. Munira was introduced to Breakthrough by Jessica Slade at the 2020 spring Visitors Day at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.
Governance Committee Chair
Julie Fisher is the Senior Manger of Global Corporate Impact at NI, formerly National Instruments. She manages NI’s Central Texas nonprofit relationships and the expansion of their global philanthropic strategy. As an Austin native, she is passionate about giving back to the community that raised her by championing causes including civic engagement, environmental initiatives, and education. Julie is proud to serve on the board of Leadership Austin and Texas State University’s Development Council.
Ricky Green, Chair
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.
Revlynn is a partner in the Governmental Affairs division at Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California with bachelor degrees in Psychology and Sociology a Master of Social Work. She then received her Juris Doctor from Washington University Law School in St. Louis, Missouri.
Revlynn was introduced to Breakthrough by Maya Smart. They both are active members of the Town Lake (TX) chapter of The Links, Incorporated – a service organization for African-American women. For the past six years, Revlynn chaired the scholarship committee. Additionally, Revlynn has served as the Vice-President of the Board for Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas and
served on the Austin City Music Commission Board. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Beta Psi Omega Chapter.
Revlynn graduated high school from Reagan High School (now known as Northeast High School) here in Austin, but prior to that grew up in Houston. She is passionate about children’s welfare, education and youth opportunity.
A native of Austin, Carolyn Lewis has had a dual career as both a successful business person as well as a public servant at both the national and state level. In 2004 Ms. Lewis was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Board of Governors of The United States Postal Service (USPS)from 2004-2010. She was elected and served as Chair of the Board of Governors in 2009-2010.
Prior to that Ms. Lewis served on the President’s Special Commission to develop a vision for the sustainability of the USPS (2003-2004). She also served two six year terms on the Board of the Employees Retirement System of Texas (1996-2007), chairing that Board twice, and as an Independent Board Member of ERCOT (2005-2008). In addition to her public service career Ms. Lewis had had a successful career acquiring and growing companies, including Texwood Furniture, a leading manufacturer of wood casework and furniture for schools that she bought in 1988.
After managing the business for twelve years she sold the company to Sagus International in 2000. In 1995 Ms. Lewis was awarded the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Ernst & Young, LLC and was named Top Woman Business Owner by the Austin Business Journal in 1996. She is currently Chair of Lewco Interests, LLC, a private investment company. Ms. Lewis earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1976 and an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1982. She has been a community leader in Austin for many years, serving on numerous non-profit boards. In 2021 she was elected Trustee Emerita of St. Edward’s University after serving 28 years as a Trustee and two separate terms as Board Chair.
Mysha is a litigation senior associate at Baker Botts. She is a first-generation college graduate and attended The University of Texas at Austin earning a bachelor’s degree in French and Accounting, a Master’s of Accounting from the McCombs School of Business and a Juris Doctorate from UT School of Law.
She is dedicated to serving the local community through organizations focused on empowering those seeking social mobility. She is also dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to survivors of domestic violence and the organizations that support them.
Mysha has served in leadership positions in the Young Women’s Alliance, co- chaired Austin’s 40 under 40 event, and served as Board Treasurer for The Dream Come True Foundation. She has been a steadfast donor to Breakthrough since 2014 and since then has served on Breakthrough’s Young Professional Outreach Committee, has volunteered as a college application coach and spoken at numerous career days.
Dr. Charles Martinez, Jr.
Dr. Charles R. Martinez, Jr. is the 12th dean of the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Martinez began his tenure as dean on January 1, 2019. Martinez’s scholarly work focuses on identifying factors that hinder or promote the success of children and families who are from vulnerable and underserved populations. He is particularly interested in how immigrant Latino families adjust to life in the U.S. and how to better harness culturally specific protective factors to ensure their success in navigating the many challenges associated with immigration. Martinez has led numerous national and international research projects designed to examine risk and protective factors involved in linking social and cultural factors to education and behavioral health disparities for Latino children and families, and to develop and test culturally specific interventions for at- risk families in the U.S. and in Latin America. Prior to joining Texas, Martinez was the Philip H. Knight Professor in the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership at the University of Oregon, where he also served as founding director of the Center for Equity Promotion. He is a nationally recognized scholar on organizational equity, cross-cultural research, and community engagement.
A first-generation college graduate, Martinez received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pitzer College, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Martinez holds the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair in Education and the Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair. He is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology.
Jeffrey McDowell, Honor Roll Chair
Jeff McDowell is passionate about educational equity and became involved with Breakthrough in 2019. He currently serves as a high school application coach and tutor and co-chairs the Breakthrough Honor Roll. In his role as co- chair he has raised more than $80,000 mostly from new-to- Breakthrough donors.
Jeff has three daughters who attend St. Stephen’s, St. Andrew’s and Trinity Episcopal Schools, where he served on the board as well as finance and investment committee for many years. He has a bachelor’s from Vanderbilt University and Masters in Accounting from St. Edward’s. He is a trustee of McDowell Family Foundation. His eldest daughter Daisy was also an SSES Saturday mentor.
Karey and her husband Chris Oddo have been Breakthrough supporters since 2015. Karey served on the Champions committee that year, invited by event chair Laurel Simmons. Karey joined the Development Council in 2016 and has been a significant contributor to our fundraising efforts. She and her husband Chris chaired the 2018 Champions Celebration and did an excellent job engaging their network. Karey is a 6th generation Austinite from the Nalle family, an Austin family dating back to the mid 1800’s.
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. Karey has volunteered for numerous local charities and has passionately served on the Board of Directors of several non-profits 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 is 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.
Breakthrough Challenge Co-Chair
In 2005 Walt Penn established Wealth Advisory Services of Raymond James, along with his partner Jenny Miller. From 1995 until 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
Walt Penn is a former Breakthrough Central Texas Trustee, serving from 2013-2018. He also chaired the 2016- 2018 Growth Campaign, successfully raising $2.3M for the organization. Undeterred, he spearheaded the next campaign, the current $10M Breakthrough Challenge. Walt is a fierce advocate for Breakthrough students and its mission in Central Texas.
He has a long history of involvement with many other local organizations, including 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. In 2016, Walt was recognized as the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of the year by the Associate of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Austin Chapter.
Mike serves as Austin Market President for VeraBank. Born and raised in Austin, TX, Mike attended O’Henry Middle School and Austin High School before venturing to the Midwest for college at the University of Notre Dame. After graduating with a B.A. in Finance in 2009, Michael began his career in Commercial Banking with PlainsCapital Bank in Austin. After 11+ years Michael joined VeraBank, where he currently leads the Market’s commercial banking team specializing in small business & commercial real estate lending, private banking, and treasury management services.
Mike has been involved with Breakthrough in various capacities since 2014, including serving on the Development Committee, co-chairing the Honor Roll Steering Committee and fundraising for Amplify Austin and the Breakthrough Benefit Concert. Outside of Breakthrough, Mike has also volunteered with the Young Men’s Business League, Austin Sunshine Camps, the Real Estate Council of Austin, and most recently the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society where he was recognized as Central Texas Man of the Year.
Jabrell Scott, Alumni Network Co-Chair
Jabrell joined Breakthrough the summer before 7th grade as a part of the 2015 Austin cohort, spending his Breakthrough summers at UT and his Breakthrough Saturdays at St. Stephens. He graduated from LBJ High School and went on to attend UTSA where he became an active leader with the Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, NAACP and Men of Honor groups on campus. He also gave back as a Breakthrough AmeriCorp Summer Teaching Fellow and participated in the Breakthrough Internship Network. Jabrell graduated from UTSA with his Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Public Administration in December 2019. In May 2022, he earned his Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. Today, Jabrell works as an analyst for Ernst & Young and serves as the co-chair of Breakthrough Alumni Association’s inaugural steering committee.
Taylor Sisson, Finance Chair
In addition to serving clients, Taylor also is the leader for the Central Texas EY Entrepreneur of the Year program, which annually recognizes high-impact entrepreneurs whose successes help make Austin the best city in the world!
Jessica founded Breakthrough Central Texas in 2001 and was the executive director until 2007. Since then, she has served as executive director and now executive leadership officer for the Webber Family Foundation.
Jessica has stayed involved with Breakthrough and most recently served as a co-chair for the Breakthrough Challenge Campaign. Additionally, she has served on the boards of KIPP Texas, MindPop and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Jessica has three children who attend public and private schools throughout Austin.
Jessica graduated with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University and a master’s in education from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jasmin Vara, Secretary
Jasmin is an accomplished professional and an alumna of the Breakthrough program. She is currently a Counselor at Lower School. 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 Vidaurri, Treasurer
Tito’s work experience has included senior roles in government, investment banking, private equity and real estate development. He is the current Principal at Castle Road Capital.
His current professional focus is on energy and infrastructure investments in Mexico and affordable housing for working families in Central Texas. From 2014 to 2019, Tito worked for EIG Global Energy Partners where he led the firm’s investment efforts in Mexico. Prior to joining EIG, Tito 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.
Monica Maldonado Williams
Monica Maldonado Williams is the manager of community affairs for UFCU where she supports UFCU’s grants and employee volunteering programs and leads the credit union’s diversity initiatives. She is a first-generation college graduate with a degree from Southwestern University and has lived in Austin for 25 years with her husband and their two teenagers.
Monica is the co-founder of The New Philanthropists, a nonprofit with a mission to increase the diversity of community leadership. She also serves on the steering committees of Central Texas Asset Funders Network, the Austin Corporate Engagement Council, and the Cornerstone DE Society. Monica’s background is in communications and marketing, having been a director at several nonprofits including the Austin Community Foundation and Austin Opera. She is also the founder and director of GivingCity Austin, a multichannel media company sold in 2020 that covered Austin’s philanthropic and civic sectors.
Kristen has been with Google for 8 years and in recruiting leadership roles for 10+ years. In her current role as Senior Program Manager, Kristen leads staffing-related programs for the sales, marketing, and corporate functions at Google. She is an active leadership and career coach and has completed her ICF certification through the Co-Active Training Institute.
Kristen spends much of her time raising her two boys (one middle and one high schooler) and supporting the causes she’s passionate about. As a first-generation college graduate, she is especially motivated by Breakthrough Central Texas’ mission and proud to serve as chairperson of the Breakthrough Honor Roll. She is an enthusiastic member of Sonic Guild (fka Black Fret) and previously served several terms on the board of the Austin Public Library Foundation.
Past Board Trustees
Mayor Steve Adler
Jeri Moe Faykus
Dr. Denise Villa
Dr. Gregory Vincent