2017 Board of Directors
ELIZABETH PEÑA | President
Elizabeth is a native Texan who had her first nonprofit job as a sophomore in high school, working for the Habitat for Humanity resale store in her hometown. She moved to Austin in 2006 to attend school and has been in love with the city ever since. Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from St. Edward’s University and went on to get her Master’s degree in Social Work (Community and Administrative Leadership track) and a Portfolio in Nonprofit Studies from The University of Texas at Austin.
She is currently the Director of Development at the Central Texas Food Bank. In addition to YNPN, Elizabeth is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Austin Chapter and the Junior League of Austin. She’s passionate about health, personal finance, and education related causes. In her free time she enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her husband, Jorge and her doxie, Wendy.
FELICIA PEÑA | Vice President
Felicia graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a certificate degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofits. After graduation, Felicia worked as a Campaign Associate for United Way for Greater Austin assisting with the State Employee Charitable Campaign. Felicia is currently in her fourth year with the Central Texas Food Bank, serving as the Community Engagement Director.
Felicia currently serves as Vice President of YNPN Austin and previously served on the Professional Development Committee for 3 years. She also serves as the President of the Young Hispanic Professional Association of Austin. As part of the Young Women's Alliance, Felicia serves as the Vice President of the Austin Under 40 Awards Gala. Most recently, she became an At-Large Board Member for the YWCA Greater Austin. Felicia was also a participant in the 2013 class of Leadership Austin Emerge.
Connect with Felicia: Email
ERIKA TARANGO | Treasurer
Erika serves as the Assistant Director for Development at The University of Texas at Austin’s Environmental Science Institute. A Southern California native and surfer, her passion for conservation and the environment began at a young age. With over ten years’ experience connecting individuals, foundations, and corporate partners to philanthropic organizations, Erika works to help friends and donors find their passion within ESI's mission of research, education, and outreach. Prior to stepping on to the Forty Acres, Erika worked as a fundraiser for the University of Iowa and the Creative Service Manager for RuffaloCody (now RuffaloNoelLevitz).
In addition to YNPN Austin, Erika is a member of the Junior League of Austin and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Erika holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and History from Southern Methodist University and a Masters of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. In her spare time, Erika likes running long distances for free t-shirts and orange slices, as well as exploring the many delicious Austin restaurants and food trailers.
AUDREY WALTER | Secretary
Audrey, an Iowa native, has been working in the nonprofit field for over nine years serving in a range of positions including youth services, program management, fundraising and event-planning. She discovered her passion for the nonprofit field while interning for several nonprofits while in college. Those experiences led her to an undergraduate degree in Communications/Nonprofit management and she went on to complete her M.A. in Youth & Human Services – both degrees earned at the University of Northern Iowa.
In September 2014, Audrey moved to Austin and currently serves as the Development Manager of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Central Texas. After being involved in YNPN Des Moines, she is excited take on the role of secretary of YNPN Austin. Audrey is also a member of Junior League of Austin and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House at Seton. In her spare time, Audrey enjoys planning her next trip, and exploring Austin with her husband Dylan and dog Porter.
Connect with Audrey: Email
VICKY PRIDGEN | Development Chair
As Development Chair, Vicky is responsible for sponsorship recruitment as well as building and maintaining relationships with donors to advance the mission of YNPN Austin. She is currently providing community outreach and public relations expertise at the University of Texas at Austin. Vicky has provided marketing and development support to both for-profit and non-profit organizations throughout New England and she has also served in the Peace Corps in Niger and Madagascar. Vicky received her bachelor's degree from Rice University in Houston and is thrilled to finally call Texas home again!
AASHNI RUWALA | Communications Chair
Aashni graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before moving down to Austin to work for Oracle. She graduated with a B.A. in Global Studies and minor in Medical Anthropology. Aashni has had experience in the non-profit sector in various capacities including her involvement in Global Brigades during college and in the volunteers branch at Oracle. She is excited to further that experience as the Communications Chair by building public and professional awareness of YNPN in the Austin community. In her free time, Aashni is a dance enthusiast (Latin, Indian, and more), an avid traveler, and is always seeking adventure.
KARA PRIOR | Membership Chair
Kara serves as the Agency Relations Capacity Specialist at the Central Texas Food Bank. In this role, she works with the nearly 300 partner agencies of the Food Bank in building their capacity through strategic projects, grants, and collaborative community partnerships. Kara enjoys working with her community to improve food access by using data and social innovation to drive holistic change. Kara holds a Master of Arts in International Studies from Texas State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Bowling Green State University. Outside of work, Kara enjoys devoting her life to her 2-year-old boxador named Dobby (yes for Harry Potter) and eating all the delicious Thai food that Austin has to offer.
Connect with Kara: Email
LUCY NGUYEN | Strategic Partnerships Chair
Lucy graduated with her Master's degree from The Bush School of Government & Public Service in May 2016 with a track in Nonprofit Management, where she was really able to see that “public service is [indeed] a noble calling.” She currently works as the Development Assistant at the Austin Symphony Orchestra and joined the YNPN Austin board because she believes providing accessible resources our young nonprofit leaders is incredibly vital to our community. Lucy enjoys spending her free time attending all the fun and weird events Austin has to offer, camping in one of the many Texas state parks, and travelling to foreign places!
KATIE LINN | Professional Development Chair
Katie Linn is a born and raised Austinite. She completed her undergraduate career at Texas State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Sociology. She has a passion for helping others and believes in mission driven work.
Katie has volunteered with organizations of all kinds, ranging from poverty alleviation in Turkey to environmental restoration in Costa Rica. In addition to YNPN Austin, Katie is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is currently working on obtaining her Certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
In her free time, Katie enjoys running Lady Bird Lake with her Bernese mountain dog, Fitzgerald, and rock-climbing at the Austin Bouldering Project.
Connect with Katie: Email
2017 Committee Leadership
RILEY WEST | Do Gooder Games Vice-Chair
Originally from Arizona, Riley came to Austin to get her Masters in Advertising at The University of Texas and graduated in 2013. She has worked with a variety of nonprofits over the last 7 years in areas including: volunteering recruitment and management, marketing, event planning, project management, and fundraising. She currently chairs Art City Austin, a local art festival organized by Art Alliance Austin. Riley enjoys running around Town Lake, brunch, and checking out the local art and film scene in Austin.
Connect with Riley: Email
YASMIN PRAKASH PATEL | Development Vice-Chair
Yasmin Jeevan is currently a Special Projects Coordinator for Montessori For All, Austin's first public Montessori school. Yasmin received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and her Master in Public Administration from NYU Wagner. Yasmin has had over three years of nonprofit experience in various capacities including her time at UNESCO. In her free time, Yasmin enjoys traveling and exploring Austin with her husband.
LINDSAY IGNATOWSKI | Communications Vice-Chair
Lindsay Ignatowski serves as Communications Coordinator for economic development nonprofit organization BCL of Texas. Lindsay is bilingual in English and Spanish and believes in making opportunities available to all community members, regardless of language or socioeconomic background.
Lindsay has a background in education and has worked teaching Spanish, training interpreters, and managing outreach for an environmental organization. She received her Master of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois, and earned an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Linguistics from the University of Kansas. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, cooking, visiting local coffee shops, and reading in her hammock.
Connect with Lindsay: Email
SKYLAR SMITH | Professional Development Vice-Chair
Skylar is a native Austinite who graduated in 2016 from Southwestern University earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After graduation, she traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam where she spent 9 months teaching English. Skylar has recently made her way back to Texas to pursue her Master's degree in Social Work at Texas State University starting in the Fall of 2017.
Skylar has worked on multiple volunteer projects over the years and currently enjoys heading out to Community First! Village on Saturday mornings to work in the gardens. She is interested in non-profit work and joined the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network to expand her knowledge of the sector. In her free time, Skylar enjoys running around Town Lake, swimming in Barton Springs, and binging on Soup Peddler smoothies.
STEFANIE REED | Membership Vice-Chair
Stefanie Reed works for Republic National Distributing Company as a National Business Development Manager for Whole Foods Market. Although her career is currently based in the for-profit sector, Stefanie has been involved with non-profits for most of her life. She grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and began volunteering at local charities from a young age. Stefanie’s professional experience includes work with startups and large corporations, both for and not for profit, as a Consultant, Product Manager, and Senior Buyer. Stefanie holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in Business and Communications from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Stefanie is new to Austin so in her free time, she loves exploring the city with her husband, Ben, and Beagle-basset mix, Parker.
LAUREN DOLAN | Strategic Partnerships Vice-Chair
A native Pennsylvanian, Lauren graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2012 with a B.A. in Elementary Education. After time spent traveling and teaching abroad, Lauren moved to Austin without a job and decided to that she wanted to begin work in the nonprofit field. Lauren currently works as a Match Support Specialist with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas and has been with them for over a year. Having volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters in high school and college, Lauren was familiar with the organization before her employment.
Outside of YNPN and BBBS, Lauren also works part-time for Pedernales Brewing Company as an EventSpecialist, is an active volunteer with Planned Parenthood, and has recently taken on the role of local organizer for the Austin chapter ofWanderful, an international community of women travelers. Lauren is excited to build new connections through YNPN and learn more about the nonprofit world.