Class of 2017 student biographies were compiled in July 2016.
Janice E. Bruno
Janice E. Bruno has served in the military for thirty years, gaining strategic, operational, and leadership team building experience in the Army and Texas Army National Guard. In addition to receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from Kent State University, she has studied at the Combined Armed Forces College, Rapport Leadership Institute, the Army’s Command and General Staff College, and completed 18 hours of master of counseling courses from St Edwards University (2002-2004) and the Joint Force Staff College. Janice currently serves as Executive Director of the Smithville Community Clinic. She enjoys yoga, bicycling, Christian mission trips, taking care of my 88-year-old mother, creating windows of time, working and helping others.
Megan Cotter joins HDO after nearly ten years of coaching with experience at the high school, junior national team and collegiate level. Megan sees athletics as an extension of the classroom and uses coaching to instill core values into the lives of those she teaches. She herself was a Division I athlete at The University of Wisconsin, Madison where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science. When she is not coaching, you can find her on the ERG working out or at a coffee shop reading anything from coaching philosophy to psychology to city planning. Her favorite book is “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs.
As Senior Vice President of IT, Privacy and Security at Community Hospital Corporation (CHC), Brian Doerr is responsible for the development and implementation of all IT, security and privacy-related programs for CHC and CHC hospital clients. Brian leads IT and information management systems, supports all aspects of Meaningful Use and Pay for Performance, directs Security, Privacy, and Clinical Informatics initiatives, and oversees telecom funding programs.
Brian brings an extensive background in technology services and hospital cost management to CHC. Previously, Brian worked as SVP of Technology Services at Argyle Solutions, Inc. in Irving, Texas; Director of Business Intelligence for Duke University Health Systems; Director of Revenue Reporting and Analysis at Triad Hospitals in Plano, Texas; and VP of Desktop Technology at Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Michigan. Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Brian, his wife Cheryl, and their seven children live in Frisco, TX and enjoy spending time participating in many activities including high school sports, band, theater and live music.
Jeannie Flaherty, CO/LO
Jeannie Flaherty earned her dual Bachelor’s degrees from Northern Arizona University in Zoology and General Studies. She has been a nationally certified orthotist for almost 20 years and specializes in pediatrics. Her focus throughout her career has been on recognizing the individual needs for a person’s long-term independence. This focus has garnered her a wide range of experiences in a variety of healthcare organizations, from private practice to non-profit institutions.
Jeannie is a true dog lover, a joy she shares with her husband. She travels the state competing in canine agility with her Shetland Sheepdog and Australian Shepherd. She is passionate about the bond developed between the dog and handler, and enjoys helping others create this bond. The importance she places on team-building is not only evident in her professional successes, but also in her personal life.
Having worked in education for the last fourteen years, Audra French is the director of an academic tutoring service in her hometown of Houston, Texas. Outside of work, Audra spends time with her husband and two children. She also enjoys yoga, running, and swimming. Audra graduated from Colorado College in Colorado Springs with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences: Family Studies.
Tina Garza earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and has over 10 years of experience working with chemicals in both quality and research and development environments. Tina now works in the food and beverage industry and has recently moved into a learning and development role where she is designing technical training curriculum.
David Green currently serves as the Media Relations Manager for the City of Austin. A retired Soldier, David spent twenty years working in Public Affairs for the United States Army in six countries across three continents. He specializes in Strategic and Crisis communications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Thomas Edison State University.
Vera Natasha Hinojosa
Vera Natasha Hinojosa has always been passionate about understanding how things work and change. As an adult, this passion led her to seek out roles that require a thorough understanding of systems, processes and people. Currently, as a director at a financial services firm and a personal coach, Vera focuses on how technology, operations, and humans intersect to create success.
Vera’s professional experience began in consulting (Arthur Andersen) and with the insight gained there, continued into Technology/Consumer Goods (Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Dell), and finally, into Financial Tech (NetSpend). In addition, she attended the Coach Training Institute and after nearly two years of work was certified as a Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). One of Vera’s great passions is photography. Not surprisingly, her favorite subjects are humans. Vera’s photography is a great metaphor for her life’s work: The technology (camera), the human and the circumstances work together to capture a perfect moment of success. Even better, unlike life, the moment is captured to be savored indefinitely.
JD Holt is somewhat of an amphibian, at home in seemingly contradictory worlds. While dwelling most of his life in the analytical, mathematical, and engineering realms, JD has been increasingly intrigued with the complexity of relationships and the interaction among people and groups. After achieving a B.S. in Chemistry at Stephen F. Austin State University and conducting post-graduate research in environmental biology, JD has worked as an entrepreneur and employee in diverse areas, from construction to project management to environmental compliance to corporate management. He is currently employed in the HSE corporate services group with Anadarko Petroleum Company managing a team of professionals focused on air quality regulatory issues and environmental legacy liabilities.
JD approaches his work and life with the motto, “It’s not what you do, it’s what you bring to what you do that matters most.” When not engaged with work or family-related activities, he enjoys golfing, cycling, motorcycling, woodworking and the torture of hot yoga.
Dan Ireland was raised in Connecticut where he embraced the outdoors as a source of inspiration at a young age. He attended Roger Williams University, graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and American Studies. He worked for a year in non-profit management for the Boy Scouts of America and in early 2009 joined active duty Army service as a Field Artillery Officer. After six unique years of service, a year of which was spent in sunny Afghanistan, Dan left active duty in late 2015 and moved back to Austin with his wife and two-year-old son, Theodore. He now works at Dell on the Enterprise Quality & Customer Experience team delivering lean six sigma process improvement and enablement programs and is continuing service in the Army Reserves.
Sophie Jehangir holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been in the work force for over five years, with her engineering background focused on manufacturing and production. She looks forward to joining the HDO cohort and learning more about people within the business environment. I enjoy yoga from time to time and keeping fit.
Shannon Johnson, PMP
Shannon Johnson grew up in Austin, Texas and is a Program Management Technology Leader. She started out in IT consulting at Ernst & Young, has worked for large corporations such as Dell and is currently part of the team at BigCommerce. After finishing from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors degree in Management Information Systems, Shannon chose to focus on project and program management due to her interest in the business and people components of projects. She earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2003 and since then has delivered many high-profile projects and programs. Outside of work, Shannon enjoys running to stay active and focusing on how to empower women in the workplace. Her greatest joy is spending time with her two wonderful daughters, one in college and the other in second grade.
Sara E. Llansa
A native of Houston, Texas, Sara Llansa graduated from Brown University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Education. While at Brown, Sara worked with an Eritrean refugee family, co-lead a group that provided free SAT prep to local high school students, and taught English as a Second Language to immigrants in the Providence area. Upon graduating, Sara led a group of high school students in Costa Rica and then returned to her hometown, where she taught ESL at the college level, tutored students, worked at a travel security company, and taught a youth development course at a Yes Prep public school. Presently, she is the Director of EMERGE, which is a Houston Independent School District (HISD) initiative that connects high performing students from underserved backgrounds to top-tier institutions that will offer them the least financial burden and the greatest support. In her free time, Sara enjoys traveling and is planning her next adventure in Argentina. Besides traveling, Sara loves collecting art, exercising, broadening her mind by taking Acumen courses, and exploring all that Houston has to offer.
Stephanie Maddox is part of the Staffing Services organization at Google, where she focuses on optimizing interview coordination efforts across various areas of the business. Prior to joining Google in 2014, she worked for a staffing agency in Honolulu, Hawaii where she specialized in business development and recruiting. Stephanie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Elizabeth J. Matlock, PHR, SHRM-CP
Elizabeth Matlock has worked in human resources at The University of Texas at Austin since 2008. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Texas. During that time, Elizabeth fell in love with Austin and has lived and worked here ever since. She enjoys photography, learning about her Korean heritage as an adoptee, and staying fit, especially helpful in keeping up with her one-year-old son.
Natalie J. M. McBurney
Natalie J. M. McBurney served as a Human Resources (HR) Soldier/Officer in the United States Army Reserves for 23 years. She has over 15 years of Active Federal Service, with two deployments to Afghanistan. During her first tour, Natalie served as the Personnel Accountability and Strength Reporting (PASR) Manager and the Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Officer in Charge (OIC) for all U.S. Logistical assets deployed to Afghanistan. During her second tour, she served as the Morale Welfare Activities Committee (MWAC) OIC for all personnel station on Kandahar Air Field (KAF), Afghanistan. Natalie is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s in Biology and she received her commission from UT’s Reserve Officer Training CORPS (ROTC), Longhorn Battalion.
Esaú Gonzales Molina
Esaú Gonzales Molina graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Advertising. In his final semester, he interned at Akimbo Financial, a start-up in Austin where he managed social media outlets to build brand awareness and also implement search optimization strategies. He discovered while in this role that he wanted to work in a field that would allow him to utilize his creativity while still being able to impact others. He left the start-up to join the National College Advising Corps. While in the role of a college adviser Esaú fell in love with increasing college access. Being a first generation college student himself, he realized the potential he had to impact students with similar low-income backgrounds. Esaú then applied to and was accepting into the Teach For America Corps. He taught middle school math for two years, boosting his students’ levels by several grades. While teaching Esaú continued to interact with college access and discovered a program that helps under-served students gain acceptance and attend top tier colleges with little to no financial debt. He fell in love with the program and decided to apply. He’s been serving as Program Manager for the EMERGE program for a year and manages program implementation at five high schools in the Houston Independent School District. He has also served on the Curriculum Advisory Committee for EMERGE to develop the curriculum across all HISD high schools.
In his free time, Esaú is passionate about cooking. Cooking has always been a form of relaxation for him and he enjoys cooking for others. He has lost approximately 100 pounds in the past year and is dedicated to health, nutrition, and exercise. Esaú is interested in topics related to first generation college students, specifically Latino males from underserved backgrounds and the low graduation numbers at the university level. Being the first in his family to go to college and now the first to go onto graduate school has given Esaú purpose for ensuring others like him can and will have the chance to better themselves through higher education.
Elizabeth Moliter currently resides in Austin, Texas, where she works as a Staffing Consultant and serves on the Board of Directors for Peak Performers, a non-profit staffing agency. Her previous positions include real estate Sales Manager for several housing and condo developments and Trainer and Recruiter for Spherion@Dell. Before moving to Austin 15 years ago, she lived in New York City where she pursued an acting career while working temporary gigs at Wall Street investment firms. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. In her spare time, she enjoys performing her original music with her twin sister in their folk-rock band, Rare Birds in Flight.
For nearly ten years Lara Reichle has been working as a major gifts fundraiser, predominately fundraising for healthcare needs within two different universities. Most recently she spent two and a half years working for a prominent university in London where she was focused on securing six-figure gifts. While in London, Lara took on management responsibilities as well and greatly enjoyed this challenge. When she returns to full-time work after the HDO program this is the area she would most like to focus on. Outside of work Lara enjoys spending time with her young family, traveling and running.
Jill Saletta is Vice President of Corporate Communications with Tesoro Companies, Inc., a Fortune 100, $40 billion independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products based in San Antonio. Previously, Jill was Director of Communications and Corporate Relations at Whirlpool Corporation based in Benton Harbor; Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Kellogg Company, and Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs at Kraft Foods, Inc. Prior to her corporate roles, Jill owned and operated a consulting business and held roles with Edelman and Burson-Marsteller.
Jill is an avid reader and keeps fit by walking in the Hill Country and taking live spin classes on her Peloton cycle. She and her husband Mike have a daughter entering her senior year at UT Austin, and a son starting his freshman year at Tulane university. Two Labrador retrievers and two cats complete the Saletta home in San Antonio.