Board of Trustees
Jeanette Auerbach, Development Chair
Auerbach lives with her husband, Ernest, in downtown Austin where they are active volunteers in arts and culture organizations.
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.
Marc Chavez was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. After graduating from Lubbock Christian University, he attended law school and graduate school at Texas Tech University where he got a joint degree in Law and Business, JD/MBA. He started his career in San Antonio as a defense attorney and had the opportunity to serve as personal assistant to then State Senator Frank Madla. He later went on to be the Assistance District Attorney in Lubbock and then in Travis County. After much preparation, he started his own law firm, Marc Chavez Law Firm, in January 2018, covering a wide range of issues including but not limited to criminal, family, personal injury and real estate law. He’s married to his loving wife, Allison and in January of 2018 they welcomed their first child Mia on the same day that he opened his law firm.
Marc’s passion for supporting first-generation college students is a product of his whole family and what they believe in. From an early age he was lucky enough to have a family who pushed education. Having a mother who has been in education for nearly 50 years and a father’s whose message to leave the next generation better off is what drives his passion to invest in first-generation students who seek college. He believes if we can have more students who can graduate and challenge the norm and impact the community, state, and nation, then the better off we can leave this world.
Julie Fisher is the Senior Community Affairs and Public Relations Specialist at Samsung Austin Semiconductor. She manages Samsung Austin’s nonprofit relationships and employee engagement initiatives. Through her leadership at Samsung, they have become an outstanding corporate leader of philanthropy in the Central Texas community. 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 Keep Austin Beautiful and Leadership Austin.
Julie is a respected leader in the corporate giving and volunteer community. She is also a Breakthrough fanatic, frequently attending fundraising events and program events. Julie has built strong relationships with our school district partners in Manor ISD and with Breakthrough students, most notably college graduate, Gloria Perez, who interned as part of the Future Focus program at Samsung. Outside of her role at Samsung, she enjoys trail running on the greenbelt, taking too many pictures and embarking on new and exciting adventures.
Dr. Eva Garza-Nyer, Chair-Elect
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, Strategy Chair
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.
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
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!
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).
As Chief Operating Officer of Karisha Community Center for Wellness, Javier Valdez is a leader with a commitment to driving positive change and inclusivity in the fields of entrepreneurship, economic development, education, and healthcare. Through nearly 24 years of corporate & non-profit leadership roles at multiple Austin organizations supporting learning, inclusivity, and diversity, Javier brings to Karisha a talent for building strong relationships and communications between stakeholders; managing organizational operations with a focus on increasing efficiencies; reducing costs; and fostering talent in a collaborative team-centered culture
Javier has 19+ years’ experience in non-profit board strategic leadership at several local and national non-profits including Con Mi Madre, Breakthrough Austin, Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI), and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
His 24+ years’ experience as a technology and sales executive in diverse industries will also ensure sound business management as Karisha embarks on its mission to forge a new health care model in Austin. His professional resume includes leadership responsibilities at Oracle, Electronic Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), Cisco Systems, Inc., Renew Data Corporation, Toppan Photomasks, Inc., and Motorola.
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 Vidaurri, Treasurer
Tito’s work experience has included senior roles in government, investment banking, private equity and real estate development. 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.
Dr. Denise Villa, Governance Chair
Neil Webber is Chair of the Webber Family Foundation, which was formed in 1999 and has distributed over $11 million in grants to organizations targeting the educational needs of low-income youth. Neil holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT and has worked at a number of technology startup companies throughout his career, culminating with Vignette Corporation, where he was the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. Neil lives in Austin, Texas.
Past Board Trustees
Mayor Steve Adler
Jessica Slade D’Arcy
Jeri Moe Faykus
Dr. Gregory Vincent