Board of Directors

The KIPP Austin Public Schools Board of Directors locally governs all schools in the network. The board meets every two months to handle all governance issues and to ensure that KIPP Austin is on track to achieve its mission. Board governance is also at the committee-level. There are five board committees that meet several times per year. Among its many responsibilities, the Board of Directors focuses on several areas, including strategic planning, sharing accountability for educational and organizational outcomes, and ensuring a culture of excellence and continuous improvement.

To see our latest Board Agenda, CLICK HERE.  

Please click on the following link to view the Board Meeting Minutes for September 12, 2016  - CLICK HERE

 

Gene Austin, Board Chair  - CEO, Bazaarvoice

Gene Austin serves as Chief Executive Officer, President and Director for Bazaarvoice.  Gene has more than 30 years of experience delivering results in high-growth technology companies, with a particular emphasis on SaaS applications. He most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Convio, Inc., where he was the driving force behind the company's success that led to an IPO and eventual sale to Blackbaud, Inc. in May 2012.

Prior to Convio, Gene was BMC Software's vice president and general manager of Enterprise Data Management and previously worked at Dell as vice president and general manager of Internet Servers. He also served as senior vice president of sales and marketing at Careerbuilder.com, where he contributed significantly to growth leading to a 1999 public offering.

Gene holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and BS in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is active in the Austin, Texas, community and has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

 

Nick von Kreisler, Board Secretary  -  Shareholder, Kuperman, Orr & Albers, P.C.

Nick von Kreisler is a shareholder at the law firm of Kuperman, Orr & Albers, P.C., where he has practiced commercial real estate law since 2009.  Nick generally represents owners and developers in various aspects of their commercial real estate business, including acquisitions and sales, project development, leasing, interim and permanent financing, and partnership and corporate formations.  Previously, Nick practiced as a real estate attorney for 16 years at a small Austin real estate boutique firm, and in the areas of bankruptcy and secured lending for 5 years prior to that at the Austin office of Baker Botts, LLP. 

Nick is also very active with the Boy Scouts of America, having previously served as Cubmaster and Committee Chair for Pack 20.  He currently serves as the Committee Chair for Troop 5, one of the largest Boy Scouts Troops in Central Texas, where he has done so for the last 5 years.

Nick, a native of Austin, graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering in 1985, and obtained both his M.B.A and J.D from Texas Tech University in 1989.  He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Kelly, and their four boys. 

 

Steve Shook, Board Treasurer  -  Principal, ProActive Finance Group

Steve Shook is a practicing CPA and is responsible for coordinating tax matters and family home office services, and plays a significant role in the due diligence and structuring of financing and M&A transactions. He has extensive experience in working with high net worth individuals, closely held businesses and private equity groups. His services on behalf of high net worth individuals and their families include summarizing and presenting investment results, participating in multi-generational family matters, and facilitating the flow of appropriate information to other third party advisors in the areas of accounting, tax, estate planning and investment management.

He also has served as a business and tax advisor to growth-oriented companies in the information technology, electronics, financial, real estate and retail industries, including numerous publicly-held companies. Steve has served in an interim finance position with Applied Materials, Inc.’s manufacturing division where he was responsible for financial review of budgets, pricing models, and internal resource allocations. He also held a senior finance position with a multi-facility manufacturing services company supporting the semiconductor industry, where he was responsible for all financial operations, including treasury, capital budgeting and forecasting. Prior to starting his own CPA practice, he was employed by Ernst and Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, including a three year assignment as Director of Tax of PWC’s Honolulu office.

Steve received a BBA and MPA in Taxation from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Jessica D'Arcy, Past Board Chair  -  Executive Director, Webber Family Foundation

Jessica D’Arcy is the Executive Director of the Webber Family Foundation, which has supported a variety of educational programs since 1999.  Currently the Foundation focuses its investments on closing the gap between proficiency and potential for low-income youth, with an emphasis on early childhood education, out-of-school time enrichment programs in academics and the arts, and high-performing charter schools.  Jessica also serves on the Steering Committee for Central Texas Education Funders and the National Conference Committee for Grantmakers for Education.

Previously, Jessica was the founder and Executive Director of Breakthrough Austin, a nonprofit that provides a path from middle school to college for students who will be first-generation college graduates.  She also has worked in public and private schools as a teacher and administrator.

Jessica graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in American Studies and completed the M.Ed. program in Education Administration at the University of Texas.  She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three children.

 

Adam Wagner - Chairman, Neo Ventures

Adam Wagner is the sole member of Neo Ventures, LLC, based in Austin Texas. Neo Ventures was formed in 1999 to facilitate investments in privately held companies and other investments. Over the last 11 years, Neo has made numerous investments, primarily on its own behalf. Neo Ventures has invested in companies specializing in telecommunications, broadband platforms, internet e-commerce and information dissemination, learning and training management systems, and information and knowledge management.

In 2003, Mr. Wagner, through Neo Ventures, cofounded PlaneSmart! Aviation, LLC. PlaneSmart! was founded to sell and manage fractional aircraft interests of Cirrus SR 22 series aircraft to pilots and non-pilots. In 2008, Neo Ventures acquired control of PlaneSmart! and has installed an aggressive management team that continues to innovate and drive the business. Today, PlaneSmart! has evolved to become a leader in the business of aircraft ownership solutions for general aviation.

Prior to forming Neo Ventures, Mr. Wagner was employed by Wagner & Brown, Ltd., a privately held oil and gas concern. As that firm’s Vice President of Investments, he was responsible for managing the firm’s non-oil and gas investment activity. Prior to joining Wagner & Brown, Wagner worked for seven years at Lehman Brothers in their corporate finance department in New York.  Prior to working for Lehman Brothers, Mr. Wagner worked as a petroleum geologist in Denver for Trend Exploration and later for Fluor Oil and Gas.

Mr. Wagner holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Oklahoma. He is married with one child.

 

David S. Reiter  - Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Luminex

Mr. Reiter has served as the Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Luminex since October 2003. Prior to becoming General Counsel for Luminex, Mr. Reiter was in private practice with the firm of Phillips & Reiter, PLLC, which provides outsourced general counsel services for small to medium market technology companies. Before co-founding his own firm, Mr. Reiter was Vice President and General Counsel for 724 Solutions Inc., a provider of mobile commerce software solutions and applications (NASDAQ: SVNX). Earlier in his career, Mr. Reiter served as senior counsel for Compaq Computer Corporation, supporting the Worldwide Sales & Services, Supply Chain Management and Consumer Products Group during his tenure. Mr. Reiter is a graduate of the University of Southern California (JD/MIR), University of Sheffield, UK (MBA) and the University of Notre Dame (BA). Mr. Reiter is a member of the Texas Bar and the American Bar Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

 

Ray Brimble
Ray Brimble is a local businessman with a portfolio combining entrepreneurial and managerial accomplishments spanning a 35-year career.  He founded his first company at the age of 22.  Through the years, Mr. Brimble has become known for his specialty in bringing together numerous elements such as people, ideas, capital, research, and expertise into one focused effort toward a common goal. His leadership talent has earned him a place as an international leader in Texas business circles with global impact. He is a past chairman and current board member of the International Partnership of Greater Austin, a nonprofit organization bridging cultural, educational, and business opportunities between Texas and the global community.  Mr. Brimble has been active in the logistics sector for over 25 years and has developed, acquired, and/or advised on logistics for real estate transactions exceeding $2 billion.

Mr. Brimble holds a B.A. in International Studies, Ampla Cum Laude, from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University, which he attended as a Scottish Rite Fellow.  In addition, Mr. Brimble served as an International Business faculty member at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin from 1990 to 1993.

 

Tim Dowling  - Managing Director and Head of Market Risk Management for Global Credit, Deutsche Bank

Mr. Dowling is a Managing Director and Head of Market Risk Management for Global Credit at Deutsche Bank. He is also Head of Market Risk Management for the Americas, a member of the Market Risk Executive Committee and the Americas Regional Governance Board. Market Risk Management is responsible for the design and monitoring of Deutsche Banks’ risk limit architecture, as well as communication of the group’s risk profile with senior management and regulators.

Mr. Dowling joined Deutsche Bank in 1997 in Global Markets. He held multiple senior positions including Head of Debt Capital Markets Latin America, Co-Head of Debt Capital Markets North America and Head of North American Structuring..

Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Mr. Dowling worked for 6 years at J.P. Morgan, in Derivatives Marketing and Debt Capital Markets. Mr. Dowling received his MBA from Darden School of Business of the University of Virginia. He also received his BA from the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar. 

 

Arnold Garcia Jr.

Arnold Garcia Jr., 66, is a native of San Angelo Texas. He was educated in Catholic and public schools. He holds a degree in History and Government from Angelo State University (Class of '73). He began his career in journalism as a general assignments reporter for the San Angelo Standard-Times. He moved to Austin in 1974 and worked in a variety of editing and reporting assignments. He was named Editorial Page Editor of the American-Statesman in 1991 and held that post until his retirement in 2013.

He is a veteran of the U.S. Army (1969-71) and of the Texas Army National Guard (1980-1998).

He is the father of two children: Jennifer G. Jetton, MD, who is on the faculty of the University of Iowa Medical School; and Teodoro C. Garcia, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

 

R. James George, Jr
Partner, George and Brothers, LLP

Since graduating from law school in 1969 and clerking for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court, Jim George has been representing clients in litigation and related matters for nearly four decades. He has represented a wide variety of clients in trial and appellate courts throughout the United States. Jim has been listed in Best Lawyers in America in Business Litigation and First Amendment since 1983. He has successfully argued two cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and multiple cases in the Supreme Court of Texas. Jim has successfully tried jury cases in both rural counties and all of the major cities in Texas, as well as in Louisiana and Michigan. He has successfully both prosecuted and defended class action cases. Jim has represented plaintiffs and defendants in patent, securities, media, contract, and tax cases. He has represented National Western Life Insurance Company, individual investors in securities cases, CBS, NBC, Time Warner, Wall Street Journal, Warburg Pincus Equity, LP, the City of San Antonio, and many international corporations, as well as individuals and small business owners.  Jim George’s community involvement has been with the Texas Philosophical Society; Texas Appleseed as a Member of the Board and currently serves on the Executive Committee; and has served on the Board of Trustees, including as Chairman, of Houston-Tillotson College, Austin.

 

Greg Gish
Vice President, Advantage Capital Partners

Gregory P. Gish joined Advantage Capital Partners, an $800 million multi-strategy investment fund, as a Vice President in Austin in 2013. As a senior member of the firm’s equity investment team, Greg is responsible for sourcing and executing new deals as well as providing due diligence and valuation analysis for current and prospective investments. He currently serves on the board of directors of Armada Media Corp. and Mason Manufacturing, and will oversee ACP’s new $150 million Advantage Capital Agribusiness Fund, a new private equity fund designed to invest in the food and agriculture sectors.  

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Gish was a Vice President at Pegasus Capital Advisors in New York, a middle market private equity fund with over $2 billion under management, where he worked for 6 years. While at Pegasus, he oversaw 7 portfolio companies and served on the board of directors of Six Senses Resorts and Spas, iGPS Company, Carol’s Daughter Holdings, Command Alkon, Hain Pure Protein Corporation, and Slipstream Communications. He executed both domestic and international transactions in numerous industries and deployed over $400 million of capital. Mr. Gish remains a consultant and board member of Carol's Daughter Holdings, LLC, a New York-based premium ethnic beauty products company sold in over 2,000 outlets nationwide.

Mr. Gish is a member of the World Affairs Council / Foreign Policy Institute and the Austin chapter of the American Enterprise Institute Enterprise Club. In New York, he served as an advisory board member of the Gramercy Park Block Association, a mentor for Student Sponsor Partners, and was an active member of the National Arts Club and Gramercy Neighborhood Associates.  Mr. Gish is an Eagle Scout, and he earned his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and graduated cum laude from Washington and Lee University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Economics and French.  He is married to his wife of 6 years, Kristin, and has two daughters, Teddie and Cecily.

 

Susie Matzorkis

As a graduate of University of Southern California in 1995, Susie started her professional career with an Internet Start Up Public Record Company, US SEARCH.com located in Beverly Hills, CA. As employee #5, she was instrumental in growing the business to 300 employees playing many different roles including VP Product Development, and eventually Senior Vice President. She also played a significant part in preparing the company for its successful Initial Public Offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1999.

In 2000, she and her husband Nick started a family and Susie decided to take a break from the professional world to raise their family. Since then, she has been an active volunteer in various school parent organizations as well as her children’s’ classrooms. The Matzorkis’ also own a rental property in Colorado which Susie manages all aspects of negotiations, contracts and financial transactions.

Susie is a native of Austin, and she currently resides with her husband Nick and three children in Tarrytown, but also spends time in Colorado and California each year.

 

Mac McElwrath
Managing Director, Oden Hughes

Mac McElwrath serves as Managing Director of Oden Hughes, LLC. Mr. McElwrath is responsible for the development, acquisition, and asset management of all multifamily projects. He joined Oden Hughes in 2010, and has since managed the development process of over 15 communities totaling more than 5,500 units. Prior to Oden Hughes, Mac was a Development Associate at Simmons Vedder Partners – a highly regarded real estate firm specializing in the development of over $1.5 billion in commercial space. Mr. McElwrath began his career as a Principal of Austin City Realty (ACR) – a real estate brokerage and investment company that he co-founded.

He is a member of the Real Estate Council of Austin and the Urban Land Institute, as well as a broker of the Texas Real Estate Commission. Mr. McElwrath also sits on the Vestry at All Saints Episcopal Church.

Mac and his wife Vanessa are founding members and serve on the Executive Committee for the KIPP Austin Alliance.  He holds a BBA in Real Estate Finance from the University of Texas at Austin where he was a Terry Foundation Scholar.

 

Katherine Wright

Katherine Wright is the Executive Director-Austin of the Wright Family Foundation, which supports a variety of education programs including K-12 education, out-of-school-time enrichment, teen parenting programs, and arts education.  Katherine also serves as the Secretary of the Board of the Texas Book Festival.  A graduate of Bennington College, Katherine is married and has three children.

 

Jeff Nydegger - Member, Winstead PCs Public Finance Group

Jeff is a member of Winstead PC’s public finance group in Austin, Texas.  He represents both governmental issuers and nationally recognized underwriters in both traditional and non-traditional bond transactions.  Jeff’s primary focus is in financing complex public-private revenue generating projects, including transportation, privatized student housing, and energy development. Jeff is experienced in negotiating favorable financing covenants for his clients, as well as advising underwriters on important securities laws disclosure and compliance issues.  Jeff graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in English and earned his J.D. from the University of Texas, School of Law.

Jeff’s involvement with KIPP Austin began in 2013, when Winstead provided legal assistance for the school to finance its renovation and expansion from an enrollment capacity of 3,870 students, to a final enrollment capacity of 5,619 students.  Jeff joined KIPP Austin’s finance committee in the Fall of 2015.

 

Eugene B. Shepherd, Jr. - CEO, Brigham Resources

Gene Shepherd has been the Chief Executive Officer of Brigham Resources since April, 2013.  Before joining Brigham Resources, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Brigham Exploration from June, 2002 until the sale to Norway based Statoil ASA in December, 2011. Prior to joining Brigham Exploration, Gene had approximately 20 years of financial and operational experience in the energy industry.  Gene served as Integrated Energy Managing Director for the investment banking division of ABN AMRO Bank, where he executed merger and acquisition advisory and capital markets transactions for energy companies.  Mr. Shepherd had a similar focus in his role at Prudential Securities Incorporated, Stephens, Inc. and Merrill Lynch Capital Markets.  Prior to his stint in the financial services industry, Mr. Shepherd worked for over four years as a petroleum engineer for both Amoco Production Company and the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Gene serves on the Executive Board of the Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  He has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and a MBA, both from the University of Texas at Austin.

Gene is also a member of the Engineering Advisory Board of the University Of Texas Cockrell School Of Engineering.

 

John Duchala - Senior Managing Director, Wells Fargo, Southwest Region 

John Duchala is Senior Managing Director for the Southwest Region of the Wells Fargo Private Bank based in Austin, Texas.  Mr. Duchala is responsible for the delivery and overall execution of the Wealth Management Strategy in the Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas markets.  Advisory practice includes investment management, financial planning, trust and charitable services, private banking, estate planning, and insurance.  Mr. Duchala rejoined Wells Fargo in 2008 as the Regional Manager for the Wells Fargo Private Bank Eastern Markets based in Manhattan.

Prior to rejoining Wells Fargo, Mr. Duchala served as Senior Regional Director for JP Morgan Private Client Services, responsible for the Northeast Region.  He also served as a Regional Sales Director and Regional Investment Manager for the Wells Fargo Private Client Services in Texas, and held similar roles for Victoria Bank & Trust and Norwest Bank.  Mr. Duchala began his financial career in public accounting with Coopers and Lybrand in Washington, DC.

Mr. Duchala earned his B.S. in Industrial Technology from the State College of New York at Oswego and has an MBA in Finance from Old Dominion University. 

Mr. Duchala and his wife, Cindy, reside in Austin, Texas.

 

Jill Kolasinski - Founder of KIPP Austin Public Schools

Jill Kolasinski is the founder of KIPP Austin Public Schools and served as its executive director from its establishment in 2001 until 2012. Jill entered education as a Teach for America corps member in 1994 in Houston, Texas; the same year that KIPP was launched as a pilot class in the Houston Independent School District. In 1995, she was a founding teacher at the KIPP Academy in Houston when the school opened as a district charter. In 1999, she moved to Austin and taught in AISD for two years before becoming a Fisher Fellow and opening the first KIPP school in Austin, KIPP Austin College Prep. During her time as executive director at KIPP Austin Public Schools, she laid the groundwork to grow a network of KIPP charter schools in east Austin, which will eventually serve over 5,500 students in ten schools, grades K-12. 

Jill continues to work with KIPP in Austin with fundraising and other board initiatives. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program, where she teaches the Plan II/KIPP Partnership class. As well, she is co-owner with her husband, Rip Esselstyn, of Engine 2 For Life. Jill serves on the Education Service Center 13 board of directors, and is on the advisory boards of both EXPLORE Austin and Magnolia Montessori For All. A graduate of Northwestern University, Jill received the Austin Under 40 Educator of the Year Award in 2007 and was recognized as one of Ten People of the Year by Tribeza magazine in 2012. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, their three children, and two dogs.

 

Shana Ravnsborg 

Shana is a resourceful, innovative Operations executive with 20 years experience across finance, technology, and manufacturing.  She provides comprehensive organizational and planning capabilities in customer-facing technology organizations.    After managing large teams in rapidly changing organizations, she has a lot of expertise around culture change, career pathing, employee engagement, and recruiting / retention.  Shana has a recently-found passion for education and the leveraging of technology to provide the most effective learning path for non-typical students.  Currently, she is the Director of Operations at R2Sonic, a sonar manufacturer, as well as a consultant to EdTech Action, an education technology incubator, and active participant and mentor in EdTech Austin.

 

April Young 

April Young is a KIPP Parent of a 9 year-old son attending KIPP Austin Connections. April currently works as a Storage Global Commodity Consultant for Dell, Inc. Since joining Dell in 2010, she has managed the Commodity Buyer-Planners responsible for parts planning and procurement and a team of Solution Architects supporting warranty requests.

Prior to Dell, her experience includes 11 years of Logistics/Supply Chain experience spanning across the electronics, telecommunication and retail industries.  Positions include Sr. Customer Solutions Manager for NAL Syncreon and Logistics Manager for Menlo Worldwide, where she managed projects for multiple customer projects and program implementations. 

April holds a BBA in International Communications from Texas Christian University and a MBA in International Management from the University of Phoenix. 

She currently fulfills the Ignite Youth Ambassador role for Central Texas at Dell.  This role includes the coordination of activities and events with charity partners and Dell employees that support youth learning.  During her free time, she enjoys running, antiquing and adventures with her son.

 

Nicole Franklin 
Nicole Franklin has been a part of the KIPP family since 2002 and is a mother of eight:  Kent Markel–25, Kiara–23, Kamuel–19, Kenedy–17, Kya--15, Kaleb–13, Kimorah–11, and Keighten–8.

In 2002, Ms. Franklin served on the first KIPP Austin Board as the parent representative.  She has worked for the City of Austin at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for the last 12½ years.  She serves on the Human Resources team and focuses on employment/hiring.  Ms. Franklin enjoys her work because she likes helping people.   She is very family oriented and KIPP is very much a part of her extended family