Who We Are
Allen has been Executive Director of Austin Voices since 2010, taking over leadership from AVEY founder Amy Averett. A long time educator and community activist, Allen helped spearhead successful community-based school reform efforts at Webb Middle School and Reagan High School. With his wife Julie, he also created Family Resource Centers, which currently provide wraparound school-based services for families at 7 AISD campuses. In 2009, Allen, in collaboration with AVEY Board Member Susan Moffat, formed Save Texas Schools, a statewide coalition of public school advocates. He has been recognized for his positive impact on education by the Texas Education Agency, Bank of America, Liveable City, and is a Hall of Fame member of Austin Parters in Education. Under his leadership, the St. John Community has won numerous awards, including the "100 Best Communities for Youth Award", given by the America's Promise Alliance led by General Colin Powell.
Director, Webb Family Resource Center
Julie Weeks serves as a coordinator for the Family Resource Centers. From its inception, Julie has developed all of the systems and training for the Family Resource Center project. Julie has extensive experience in healthcare, both as a nurse and nurse educator for the Seton Family of Hospitals. Her work at Seton included developing network education systems, training for the School Health Assistant Program, and network accreditation systems. She is also experienced in community development and directed nursing aboard a large hospital ship in West Africa for four years. Julie has been recognized by the Bank of America for her work, and has been recognized as a semifinalist for the Robert Wood Johnson National Community Health Leader Award.
Communications and Programming Specialist
Alice coordinates Creative Expressions, the Fulmore Middle School Stand Up Club and manages the AVEY website and publications. Alice worked previously as a Youth Consultant at Austin Voices where she developed a youth-designed Student Planner. She has served as an Americorps member, worked at the Texas Center for Service Learning, GenAustin and the Austin Discovery School. She is a Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentor. for her fourth consecutive year. Alice was recognized as the 2008 Young Woman of Achievement from the YWCA of Austin. Alice currently majoring in Psychology and Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin.
Director of Operations
Kate volunteered with Austin Voices for many months before joining the team as Director of Operations. She is a licensed attorney and a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law where she worked in the Immigration and Death Penalty Clinics. She attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate, where she studied Social Policy and Asset Based Community Development and won Student Activist of the Year.
Diana Manzo, LBSW
Social Worker, Dobie Family Resource Center
Diana is a licensed social worker as well as a Medicaid Case Manager through the State of Texas Health and Human Services Department. She also worked in adult education and in early childhood social services for many years. Before joining Austin Voices, she worked as a volunteer at the Webb Family Resource Center, helping families apply for CHIP and Medicaid, and was recognized as the Webb Middle School Volunteer of the Year.
Annie helps translate documents for different Austin Voices projects, and works on Save Texas Schools, Project AIM coordination as well as other special projects. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin before teaching in Spain for one year and Hawaii for three. She moved back to Austin to start her M.A. at UT's School of Education. She is excited to use her Spanish and background as a teacher to affect change in Texas's education system through Austin Voices.
Director, Dobie Family Resource Center
Dean spent thirty-three years as a senior pastor of four different churches in Detroit, Chicago, San Antonio, and Austin where he has served with many organizations that reach out to families in crisis and the homeless. He is one of nine founding pastors of the Micah 6 ministry in downtown Austin, a ministry to homeless families in Austin. Dean is the founder of Urban Connections Austin, a faith-based community development organization, and also has founded the North Austin Community School Alliance, which brings together numerous partners around school improvement in the Dobie Middle School area.
Angelita Tobias, LBSW
Social Worker, Webb Family Resource Center
Angelita graduated fro Texas State University in 1993 with her Bachelors in Social Work. She came to Austin Voices in September 2009 after over seven years at Any Baby Can. She and her husband are very active in community work in their hometown of Kyle, Texas. Rosalio Tobias Elementary school in Kyle was named in honor of the Tobias family's dedication the community.
Youth and Community Facilitator
Gabriel worked for the Austin Independent School District for 20 years. He spent 19 of those years as a 5th and 6th grade teacher at Zavala Elementary in East Austin. While there he was an active member of Zavala's renaissance as a nationally recognized community-based school reform model. His efforts in Zavala's turnaround included leading educator development of school reform through community collaborations, house meetings over issues brought forth from community members and teachers, and actively initiating programs that enriched the education of the student's at the school. He believes in public education and its promise to give everyone the opportunity to be successful.
Board of Directors
AVEY Board Chair. Noel Durrant a 33-year electronics industry veteran, with the last 23 years at Intel Corporation where he is a Quality Program Manager. Noel has a depth of experience in business process quality optimization, reliability, technical curriculum development, and customer technical support. He served as the chairman of the International Sematech Quality Council and is author of industry publications on semiconductor quality and reliability. As a volunteer serving Austin and beyond Noel has taught English as a Second Language and computer literacy skills to adults, served as trustee of the Covenant Presbyterian Foundation and led Intel Education Service Corps projects in Kenya and Senegal. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University, Class of '77. He is an avid scuba diver and underwater photography hobbyist. Noel and his wife Joy are active members of Covenant Presbyterian Church of Austin and raised two sons K through 12 in AISD. 'Supporting students to achieve includes supporting the participation of their families and inputs of their communities in the education process."
Associate, DLA Piper LLP (US). Vasu has broad-based litigation practice that includes all manner of business and commercial disputes in state and federal court practice. Vasu graduated from the University of Texas School of Law with honors in 2005 and moved back to his home town to serve as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Ricardo H. Hinojosa in McAllen, Texas before joining DLA Piper in 2007. As part of his practice, Vasu is dedicated to pro bono matters, and he is also involved in various diversity initiatives within DLA Piper and through the State Bar of Texas as an appointed Committee Member of the State Bar's Standing Committee on Racial Diversity in the Profession. He has also been a mentor through Austin Partners in Education for the last three years to a student who is now attending 6th grade.
Community Volunteer. A former journalist and legislative researcher, Susan Moffat is a seasoned community activist focusing primarily on issues related to education, equity and the local economy. She is the current Education Chair of Liveable City, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, and is a founding member of Save Texas Schools. A strong proponent of the arts, Moffat serves on the steering committee of the Creative Classroom initiative. She is married to Nick Barbaro, founder and publisher of the Austin Chronicle; they are the parents of an AISD graduate.
STRATMARK Senior Vice President of Consulting and Client Services.
Zack is passionate about brand development, fundraising and quite simply helping nonprofit organizations communicate their mission so that donors are increasingly more committed to the cause. He is a gifted leader who has served more than 25 local, national, and international nonprofit organizations over the past 24 years.
Zack Aspegren joined STRATMARK after 10 years most recently with industry icon World Vision where he launched and chaired one of the largest fundraising initiatives in the history of the organization. As national director of philanthropy, his caring team partnered with donors who give at the highest levels to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for children in need around the world. Zack holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Biola University.