Barbara Scroggie Knaggs, Board Chair
Barbara Knaggs has dedicated her career to public service in the areas of education and non-profit organization. She served as the Chief Operating Officer for the non-profit news organization, The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune, she was Associate Commissioner for State Initiatives at the Texas Education Agency where she oversaw the implementation of statewide education programs, including early childhood education, dropout prevention and college and career readiness initiatives, adult basic education programs, and programs for limited English proficient students. Currently, Ms. Knaggs serves on several school-level and district-level advisory committees with Austin Independent School District.
A 1987 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Plan II, Ms. Knaggs obtained a secondary teaching certificate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992 and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003.
Ben De Leon
Ben De Leon has served as President and Managing Director of De Leon & Washburn, P.C. since July 1, 2012. His practice focuses on the areas of administrative law, construction law, real estate law, labor and employment, appellate law, insurance law and corporate law. Mr. De Leon’s service-minded nature extends beyond his legal practice to his passion for improving the community. A native Austinite, he is fluent in Spanish, and has represented Spanish-speaking clients as a pro bono attorney through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas since 2005.
Through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, Mr. De Leon was a Big Brother to his Little Brother, Anthony, for nearly 7 years. Ben was named the 2009 National Big Brother of the Year by BBBS of America, out of more than 250,000 mentors nationwide. He is married to Shannon Lee De Leon and they are proud parents of daughters, Anna and Winslow, and son, Henry.
Kendel Martin joined Luminex Corporation in December 2007 and currently serves as Vice President, Accounting. In this capacity, Mrs. Martin has responsibility for Finance and Accounting, Financial Planning and Analysis, and Tax. Prior to joining Luminex Corporation, Mrs. Martin held management roles as External Reporting Manager at Freescale Semiconductor, Internal Audit Manager at Cirrus Logic and Audit Senior Manager at Ernst & Young LLP.
Mrs. Martin holds a B.A. in Economics from Rhodes College and is a Texas Certified Public Accountant. In addition to serving on the Communities in Schools of Central Texas board, Mrs. Martin has served as the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, and on the Finance Committee of Impact Austin, and on the Business Advisory Board at Westwood High School in Round Rock Independent School District. Mrs. Martin and her husband Paul are missing their daughter, who is attending Ole Miss, and spoiling their two rescue terriers.
Dr. Lucio Calzada
Lucio Calzada, Jr., Ed.D., is the Mentoring Director for the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS). He retired from the public school system after 30 years of service to our country’s most precious resource, our children. He began his education career as a high school math teacher in Kingsville, Texas. He led his first school as principal of South Park Middle School in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dr. Calzada later joined the Austin ISD team, first as the principal of Fulmore Middle School, then Garcia Middle School, and he was named the principal of Austin High School in June, 2008. Under his leadership, Austin High School became a State Recognized High School. In January of 2015, Dr. Calzada was invited to join the Hays CISD executive leadership team led by superintendent, Mr. Michael McKie, as the assistant superintendent of secondary schools.
Dr. Calzada earned his doctorate in education leadership from Texas A&M Corpus Christi in 2002. He served his country as a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve. In his spare time, he has served as an adjunct professor for Texas State Univeristy, Concordia University, and St. Edwards University because he loves teaching. Lucio is married to Dr. Donna Calzada, a fellow educator and is very proud of his three grown daughters, Amanda, Catherine and Hannah.
Christopher Kennedy, Board Chair
Christopher Kennedy is Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Austin and a small business owner. Mr. Kennedy previously had a long executive career at the Lower Colorado River Authority. In addition to his board service with Communities In Schools of Central Texas, Mr. Kennedy serves on the Advisory Board at Austin Young Chamber and the Junior League. He also serves on the Board at St. Austin Catholic Church and is a member of the Austin Area Research Organization. He has been on the Boards of the Austin Community Foundation, The Trail Foundation, Leadership Austin, and the Seton Forum.
Mr. Kennedy graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and is a huge Longhorn football fan having missed only one home football game in the last 33 years. His passion for Communities In Schools comes from a growing up in a family of educators and his understanding of the nonacademic challenges CIS helps students overcome so they can be successful in school.
Gregory Perrin is a seasoned fundraising professional, trainer, mentor and creative writer. He has over 25 years of combined experience in fundraising management and higher education. He is passionate about building strong institutions and uses his expertise to accomplish this at each organization he serves. As a chief development officer at several organizations, he has led staff and volunteers in securing philanthropic support, creating a culture of philanthropy, and increasing contributions, donors, and giving at all levels with innovative initiatives and events. As a consultant, he has successfully worked with organizations to plan and implement proven fundraising strategies. As a trainer, he has conducted workshops, seminars and presentations on fundraising and board development. Gregory currently serves as the Executive Director for External Relations in the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.
Mr. Perrin serves on the CASE District IV, Mid America Arts Alliance, University of Texas Elementary School and Communities In Schools of Central Texas boards; and the advisory council for the Armstrong Community Music School. In addition to his fundraising career, Mr. Perrin has been involved in theater for more than 30 years and has directed, produced and/or performed in more than twenty plays and commercials. He studied with Edward Albee, a three time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, who selected one of Mr. Perrin’s plays for the Edward Albee Playwrights’ Workshop. He earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in theatre from the University of Houston School of Theatre. Mr. Perrin is an accomplishments playwright with five commissions to his credit.
Reyne Christopher Telles has over twenty years of experience in the fields of communication, media relations and marketing. He currently works as the Executive Director of Communication and Engagement for the Austin Independent School District where he serves as part of the superintendent’s executive team. He has worked as a television news reporter for a CBS affiliate and as a press secretary with the New Mexico State Senate. Reyne also has served as the Manager of Media Relations for the City of Austin and as the Director of Communications for Mayor Lee Leffingwell. He holds an undergraduate degree in communication and political science as well as a Masters of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Stacy Armijo is Chief Experience Officer at Amplify Credit Union. Her professional experience spans support for many industries and includes communications planning, media relations, crisis communications, marketing, digital engagement, public affairs and more. She has been recognized by the Austin Business Journal as a Woman of Influence and she is a past winner of the Austin Under 40 Award for “Marketing, PR and Advertising.”
Ms. Armijo is also active in her profession and community, currently as a national Board Member for the American Marketing Association. Ms. Armijo holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently a lecturer in the Moody College of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin teaching “Strategies in Public Relations” to undergraduate students. She also loves spending time with her husband and two boys.
From a very young age, Tiffany Austin knew her call to activism. She has always spoken to issues within her community. In middle school Tiffany was chosen to train with attorneys to mediate conflict amongst her peers. She served as an intern for two summers at an injury law firm and spoke in front of her entire school about goals for the student body to achieve non-violent strategies to resolve conflict. That speech was featured on the news. That moment confirmed her call to speak out on social issues that directly impact her community. The call to learn and to share her knowledge has always been a lifelong goal for her. That drive will continue with her commitment to Communities In Schools.
Octavious Bishop received a football scholarship in 1994 to the University Texas at Austin where he lettered four years and started three years on an offensive line that blocked for Heisman trophy winner Ricky Williams. He was an All Big Twelve performer, and received free-agent contracts to play in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. Octavious was a standout offensive lineman during the 2000 NFL Europe football season, and played for the Chicago Extreme in the XFL.
After retiring from football, Octavious returned to the University of Texas at Austin where he earned both a BA and Masters Degree in the Science of Social Work. Octavious is a PhD candidate in Neuropsychology. He worked for The University of Texas football academics department for three years as an educational mentor and tutor. Octavious has also worked in five different Austin area high schools in the role of XY-Zone Coordinator working with at-risk populations for the non-profit Communities In Schools.
While advocating for the mental health and educational needs of this at-risk population, Octavious began to seek more knowledge and understanding about cognitive processes and the bio-psychological processes of individuals. During Octavious’ time with V5 he developed relationships with parents, coaches, academic advisors, trainers, and student-athletes. Octavious is passionate about issues that relate to holistically assessing educational, physical, and personal growth to develop “The Complete Athlete.”
Principal, Caddo Minerals
Vanessa Gonzalez is a partner at the law firm of Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP, where she leads the firm’s employment litigation group. Originally from South Texas, Vanessa received her B.A. from Texas A&M University and her J.D. from University of Texas, School of Law. She is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specializing. Vanessa has been a longtime advocate for equity in education and diversity in the legal profession. She has developed and led volunteer opportunities for Hispanic lawyers in economically disadvantaged schools through the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin and for entrepreneurs and business owners through the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
When not helping employers to comply with state and federal employment laws or volunteering in the education arena, Vanessa enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two kids in South Austin.
Michele Grieshaber, PhD is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Silicon Labs, Inc., and responsible for the company’s marketing strategies and corporate communications programs. In addition to serving on the board of Communities In Schools of Central Texas, Ms. Grieshaber is a member of Impact Austin, an adjunct professor teaching Global Business Ethics at St. Edward’s University, and a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Texas McComb’s School of Business on a variety of marketing topics.
Ms. Grieshaber has a PhD in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and was a Fulbright scholar to France in 1988. In her spare time, Ms. Grieshaber volunteers as a docent at the Blanton Museum of Art on the UT campus. She enjoys Austin’s vibrant local food movement and is a supporter of Farmshare Austin.
Michele Guzmán, PhD
Michele Guzmán, PhD is Senior Director of Evaluation for the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization established in 2013 to provide policy research and development to improve mental health services in Texas. Prior to joining the institute, she worked at the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health for six years. In addition to leading and coordinating the Hogg Foundation’s evaluation efforts, Ms. Guzmán developed and managed grant programs related to mental health provider workforce issues and mental health research. She taught both undergraduate and graduate counseling psychology courses at The University of Texas at Austin for 10 years and served as Assistant Vice President for Diversity Education Initiatives from 2007-2011.
Ms. Guzmán received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Vassar College and completed her doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the The State University of New York at Albany. She completed graduate coursework in Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston. She served for two years (2014-2016) as President-Elect and then President, of the Magellan International School Parents Association, where her two children, ages 8 and 11 attend. Michele enjoys walking, listening to audio books, and wine tasting.
Craig Hester, CFA has been actively involved in professional investment management since 1972. Prior to becoming Principal with Luther King Capital Management in January 2013, he served as CEO and founder of Hester Capital Management, LLC from 1989-2012.
Mr. Hester currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Employees Retirement System of Texas, and is a Member of the Advisory Committee of the MBA Investment Fund, LLC of the University of Texas Graduate School of Business. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the St. David’s Foundation, and is Chairman of the Investment Committee. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. He also serves on the Board of Directors of San Jacinto Services.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (BBA, 1971; MBA, 1972), he received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1977 and the Chartered Investment Counselor designation in 1992.
Aynsley has a demonstrated history of working in political and non-profit industries; being particularly skilled at event planning and management. She opened RedWave Consulting, LLC in 2011 to focus on political fundraising, and has since transitioned to event consulting. With 13 years of experience in advocacy & legislative work, political & non-profit fundraising, event construction & management, and donor relations, Aynsley has a proven track record of efficient and effective work.
Having lived in Austin for a cumulative total of 15 years, Aynsley has been a direct service volunteer since college, primarily focused on pediatric healthcare & access. She is married to Gerardo, and has 3 young children. Her other community service endeavors include the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board, the Dell Children’s Trust, the Junior League of Austin, Mothers’ Milk Bank, and is an avid volunteer at St. Austin Catholic School.
Petie Lewis joined the Communities In Schools of Central Texas board in 2015. She was a member of the Communities In Schools WISE Women’s Giving Circle for four years. Ms. Lewis is a trustee of the PRJ Foundation and on the Seton Development Board. She served on the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School board and has been a volunteer for Lifeworks and Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. Ms. Lewis has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas. In her free time, Ms. Lewis enjoys spending time with her husband Bryan and visiting her children Margaret and Dawson who both live and work in New York City.
Carter McCrary is currently executive vice president at Quarri Technologies, an Austin-based internet security software company. Mr. McCrary has more than 25 years of business leadership in the technology industry as founder and executive of various companies. Previously he was president and CEO of Energetic Solutions LLC, a company that designs and manufactures a chemical-free pest repellent. Prior to joining Energetic Solutions, he was COO for Absolute Software Corporation, a publicly traded security software company and market leader in computer theft recovery, data protection, and asset tracking. Before Absolute, he was Area Vice President and General Manager at Dell: Responsible for a team of ~1800 Dell-badged employees at seven sites in five countries, including Sales, Marketing, and Operations, as well as five outsource providers with over 500 employees, with annual revenue of ~$2.4B. Prior to Dell, Mr. McCrary was president of Digital Axis, a large Value Added Reseller of computer products and consulting services.
Leticia Mendoza is a Public Affairs Manager for H-E-B. She was named H-E-B Woman of Distinction in 2008 and is a Hispanic Austin Leadership Alumni. Ms. Mendoza graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio. In addition to serving on the Communities In Schools of Central Texas board since 2015, Ms. Mendoza is also on the board for the Mexic-Arte Museum.
Michael Raiford is the Corporate Vice President of the FAB Engineering Division at Samsung Austin Semiconductor. His role consists of leading the overall factory operation, including the equipment management of productivity and yield improvements. He is currently leading a companywide transformation from being a IDM manufacturer to a pure play foundry model. Michael also serves on the Cost Champion Team and the Great Work Place Committee. Michael enjoys being an instructor for leadership classes and holding open employee development forums.
Joining Samsung Austin Semiconductor in 1996, Michael led the team that designed and implemented the IT infrastructure in both the original FAB built in 1997 and the new 300mm FAB built in 2007. During his career with SAS, he has held a variety of roles including System Engineering, Manufacturing, and Innovation.
In the Austin community, Michael serves on the Texas State CIS Advisory Board, the Legacy of Giving Steering Committee, Chair of the Austin Heart Walk 2017 and Austin Rodeo Ambassador committee. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in CIS from Southwest Texas State University and a MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Ellen Richards serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for Austin Travis County Integral Care overseeing the areas of strategic and community planning, resource development, government affairs, communications and outreach. Richards’ has dedicated her professional and volunteer endeavors to improving public systems in order to positively impact the lives of individuals who are disenfranchised. Over the past 15 years, Richards has developed in-depth knowledge of Central Texas issues through her work with the City of Austin, Travis County and Central Health. Richards earned a Master of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from St. Edward’s University.
Richards is the Chair Emeritus of the Ann Richards School Foundation and actively supports the success of the school and students. Other volunteer commitments and interests include voter registration, women’s health and social justice issues.
Shaku Selvakumar is a marketing innovation leader with multi-country, multinational and start-up experience having worked for Fortune 500 companies like IBM, Shell, and fast growth companies and fast growth startups. She is also a speaker and prolific writer; her articles have appeared in various publications globally.
Currently she is the founder and ceo of Activateen, a collaborative program for teenagers that combines technology understanding with emotional wellness. She also serves as the Community Impact Advisor at CognitiveScale, a fast growth enterprise AI company.
Prior to this, she was the Vice President, Marketing for CognitiveScale. Here she led the company’s marketing strategy and execution from its inception and was instrumental in positioning it as one of the leading core artificial intelligence startups garnering awards, influencer endorsement, and driving demand with Fortune 500 customers and partners.
Shaku holds Bachelor’s in Arts in Literature and Sociology, a Post Graduate degree in Mass Communications and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Bradford. She is passionate about education reform. She is a certified yoga teacher and an avid hiker. Her poetry is often inspired by the trails of Central Texas.
As the owner and founder of HR Directions, Marcia Silverberg provides strategic talent management consulting as well as executive coaching and meeting facilitation for small and midsized companies and nonprofit organizations. Marcia “retired” in 2013 as Vice President, HR Strategic Initiatives and System Office Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Ascension Health. For the six years prior she served as Sr. Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for the Seton Healthcare Family, a local health ministry within the Ascension system. Prior to her healthcare and consulting careers, Marcia spent 14 years with Mutual of New York (MONY) in both human resources and information technology leadership positions. Under her direction, MONY was designated to Working Mother magazine’s “100 Best Companies” list three consecutive years and Seton was designated a “Best Place to Work” in Austin three times. Marcia served on the Planning-Allocations staff of the United Way of Central New York for five years.
Marcia has a Master of Social Work degree, with a concentration in Organization, Planning and Administration, from Syracuse University. She has over 20 years of experience serving on boards of directors, including the boards of United Way of Capital Area, LifeWorks, Communities In Schools, Seton Cove, Leadership Austin, and the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Marcia and her husband Barry have lived in Austin since 1995 and are the proud parents of two grown “children”.
LEADERSHIP CIRCLE MEMBERS
Austin Independent School District
Suzanna Caballero and John Caballero
Vantage Bank and Austin Independent School District
Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.
Cole Law Firm
Mary Lockwood Crouch
Charisse Hughen and David Hughen
Jo Lyn Kallison and Kal Kallison
Rogers & Whitley, LLP and Community Leader
Jane Kretzschmar and Peter Kretzschmar
The University of Texas at Austin and United Way for Greater Austin
Michael R. Levy
Michael R. Levy Charitable Foundation
O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo, PC
Representative Elliott Naishtat
Dr. Anna Pedroza and Robert Chapin
Community Leaders and Arcadis, Inc.
Kate Rhodes and Dr. Richard Rhodes
AT&T and Austin Community College District
Liz Rodriguez and JP Rodriguez
Charles Schwab and JP Rodriguez & Qualle Investments
Southwest Strategies Group
The Entrepreneurs’ Fund
Enviro Water Minerals Company, Inc.
La Corsha Hospitality Group
Pileus Group, LLC
Dr. Gloria Williams
Austin Independent School District
Susan Wittliff and Reid Wittliff
Price Wealth Management and Wittliff Cutter, PLLC
The University of Texas at Austin