Our Team

Margo Dover

Executive Director

Margo oversees Skillpoint Alliance’s direction and mission as its Executive Director. Margo came to this position after a lengthy career holding leadership positions at nonprofit and for-profit companies. She has spearheaded fundraising efforts for Meals on Wheels and More as its Vice President of Development, led an effort to make Texas businesses competitive on a global scale as the director of the Texas International Center in the Office of Trade and International Relations of the Texas Department of Economic Development, co-founded two highly successful community colleges abroad in Spain and Argentina and founded her own executive service and civic entrepreneurship firm. When not making Skillpoint Alliance the leader in workforce development in Central Texas, she enjoys time spent with her husband and five wonderful children.

    Cat Newlands

    Deputy Director

    Cat specializes in: non-profit operations, talent & management coaching, fiscal management, organizational & structural efficiency, program & curriculum development, and training. At Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, including staffing & programs. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Cat was the Program Manager for YMCA of Greater Seattle Foster Care and Crisis Program and the Program Director for the Skyway (Seattle, WA) Boys and Girls Club. Originally from Austin, Cat graduated from University of Washington with a BA in Sociology – Deviance & Delinquency.  Outside of work, Cat is the mother of two teenage sons and two elementary-aged girls who keep her busy running around Central Texas for music, sports, and fun.

      Lonny Stern

      Senior Director of Business Development

      Lonny specializes in Project and Staff Management; Public and Government Relations; Informal STEM Education; Urban Economic Development; Grant Writing/Development; and Public speaking. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for leading the STEM Workforce Council, which connects industry & education for workforce development in Central Texas. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Lonny served as the Outreach Director at the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) and Communications & Outreach Director for Hope Street Group, both nonpartisan policy organizations. He has also worked as a Research Analyst for the Texas House Research Organization (HRO); led transportation research teams for Good Company Associates and the Congressional Research Service; served as Executive Director of the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF); and held various communications and promotions positions at KO-OP Radio, Project Transitions, and for Florida Governor Lawton Chiles. Originally from Long Island, NY, Lonny spent much of his childhood in Boca Raton, FL, graduated with a Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin in 2004 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications at Florida State University in 1999. Outside of work, Lonny is active in the Alliance for Public Transportation, East Austin politics, spends most of his weekends hiking or at Lake Travis, and is a licensed Realtor.

        Amanda Longtain

        Director of Programs

        Amanda specializes in Project and Staff Management; STEM Education; and Grant Development. At Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for building program capacity, refining existing programs, securing new strategic partnerships throughout all of Skillpoint’s programs. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Amanda was the Project Specialist at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders and focused her efforts on maintaining and growing innovative real-word connections for the students, developing STEM curriculum, STEM summer programming, internship opportunities, and increasing overall awareness of the Ann Richards School mission and progressive education efforts. Originally from LaPorte, Texas, Amanda graduated from St. Edwards with a BA in Media Communications and a double minor in photo-communications and non-profit development.  Outside of work, she nurtures her family, homestead, and advocacy work.

          Jessica Galfas

          FIRST® in Texas Foundation Director

          As the Director of the FIRST in Texas Foundation, Jessica Galfas oversees funding initiatives for FIRST® Robotics programs across the state of Texas. She is responsible for donor relations, grant management and donor cultivation. Before becoming Foundation Director, Jessica administered grant proposals for the University of Texas and more recently managed the coordination of Central Texas FIRST® Robotics at Skillpoint Alliance. Originally from Atlanta, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Jessica graduated with a B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture. She also enjoys playing piano, painting, and running.

            Bethany Paul

            Workforce Discovery Programs Manager

            Bethany is responsible for supporting her talented team in putting together FIRST Robotics events all over Central Texas, serving over 3000 students a year. Additionally, Bethany manages the Future City program staff, who engage students in imagining, designing, and building cities of the future. Prior to her current position, Bethany was a Gateway Program Coordinator, specializing in managing classes of C.N.A. students.  She also has work history in human resources and youth programming. Originally from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Bethany attended Michigan State University as a music therapy major. Outside of work, she runs the Austin Bully Butt Rescue, a 501(c)3 organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes English Bulldogs in the Central Texas area. Bethany also enjoys road trips, corny jokes, and new restaurants.

              Jenny Foster

              Enrichment Programs Manager

              Jenny specializes in coordination the Enrichment programs. At Skillpoint, she coordinates staff, develops curriculum, and overseas program operations. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Jenny taught high school and coordinated after school programs for First Graduate. She more recently served as the Corporate Training Officer for Greater TEXAS Federal Credit Union. Originally from Texas, Jenny is a graduate of Texas A&M University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Outside of work, she is a budding improv performer and enjoys attending yoga classes.

                Rick Dooley

                Workforce Programs Manager

                Rick specializes in non-profit program management and development. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Gateway and Velocity programs. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Rick was the development officer for the University of Oklahoma where he secured major gifts for the College of International Studies. Originally from Tulsa,OK, Rick graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a Master of Public Affairs. Outside of work, Rick plays saxophone, goes to local parks with his dog and is pursuing advanced SCUBA certifications.

                  Lindsay Bixby

                  Communications Manager

                  Lindsay specializes in project management, communications, and digital media. At Skillpoint Alliance, she oversees the organization’s communication strategy, manages the development of external and internal communications, and contributes to public relations efforts and social media presence. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Lindsay was a Project Manager at Arrow where she managed branding and creative projects for clients including Greenlights, Hill Country Conservancy, H-E-B, and The Driskill Hotel. Originally from Houston, Lindsay graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking and swimming in the Greenbelt, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

                    Renee Welsh

                    Finance Manager

                    Renee is responsible for providing fiduciary oversight and financial guidance, which includes management of the team tasked with accounts receivable, data management, financial reporting, insurance procurement, and the annual audit. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance Renee various held finance positions including Senior Financial Consultant at Dell, Inc; Financial Analyst at Torch Energy; Joint Venture Auditor and Senior Accountant at ExxonMobil. Renee has also been a small business owner and volunteers regularly as Board Treasurer for TreeFolks, a central Texas non-profit. Originally from Louisiana, Renee earned a Masters in Business Administration from UT-Austin and a BS in Finance from Louisiana State University.

                      Sean Chitty

                      IT Manager

                      Sean specializes in networking, IT Support, and technical research at Skillpoint Alliance. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for the day-to-day management of computers and servers used by Skillpoint Alliance’s employees and participants as well as assisting program directors with technical matters. Originally from Houston, TX, Sean is a graduate of Grinnell College where he received a Bachelor’s in Computer Science.  In his spare time, Sean can be found playing video games, painting miniatures, or wrestling his dogs.

                        Ben Holquist

                        Grant Compliance and Research Manager

                        Ben is responsible for grant administration, grant tracking and compliance at Skillpoint. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Ben was Lead EMT for Supply at Children’s Hospital – Minneapolis and more recently as an Administrative Research Assistant at the University of Minnesota. Originally from St. Paul, Ben graduated from Grinnell College with a Bachelor’s degree in History.  Outside of work, he enjoys camping and board games.

                          Leah Grossman

                          Velocity Program Lead

                          Leah specializes in bridging the gap between high school youth and STEM industry. At Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for overseeing the delivery of Skillpoint’s Velocity programs both after school and during the summer. Additionally she enthusiastically supports other programs relating to green technology and renewable energy. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Leah graduated from college and enjoyed traveling cross-country by bicycle and living in the beautiful hills of Western Massachusetts. Originally from Boxborough, Massachusetts, Leah graduated from Hampshire College with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and Landscape Architecture. Outside of work, she loves biking around Austin, exploring new places and spending time gardening.

                            Nathaly Salas

                            Gateway Program Lead

                            Nathaly Salas specializes in building workforce development partnerships and leading program coordination efforts. At Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for scheduling workforce development opportunities across Texas, ensuring successful program delivery to participants, and building workforce partnerships. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Nathaly worked with immigrant and refugee communities in adult literacy, facilitating community involvement and leadership engagement opportunities to build pathways to empowerment and self-efficiency. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Nathaly immigrated to the DC metropolitan area during high school and graduated from Towson University with a degree in Business Administration. Outside of work, she enjoys film festivals, hosting travelers passing through Austin, and learning new intersections of culture and language.

                              Dulce Tonche

                              Empower Program Lead

                              Dulce specializes in program delivery and student service coordination. At Skillpoint, she is responsible for the organization and management of the Empower Program. Dulce joined Skillpoint as an experienced professional with a diverse career background in management, employer relations, customer service, career counseling, and education. Born and raised in Austin, TX, Dulce graduated from Texas State University with a BS in Applied Sociology. Outside of work, Dulce enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her awesome dog.

                                Rochelle Athey

                                FIRST in Texas Grant Lead

                                Rochelle specializes in grant management for the FIRST in Texas Foundation. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Rochelle worked as a university research administrator, where she directed sponsored research offices for several universities. Originally from central Ohio, Rochelle graduated from Ohio State University with a Masters of Public Administration. Outside of work, she spends her time going to concerts, reading, and enjoying Austin.

                                  Chelsea Biggerstaff

                                  STEM Camp & NEXT Program Lead

                                  Chelsea specializes in program coordination for Skillpoint’s Enrichment Programs. At Skillpoint Alliance, she supports the overall planning and delivery of STEM Innovation Camps, which are designed for students 6 – 15 years old to spark interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. In addition she oversees Skillpoint’s Next programs, which provide customizable intermediate job training and professional development to adults and youth. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Chelsea served as an AmeriCorps volunteer at 4-H CAPITAL and College Forward and more recently as a Program Leader at the Behive Austin, a free afterschool and summer program dedicated to providing a safe haven and academic support to low income elementary school children. Originally from Avilla, Indiana, Chelsea is a graduate of Indiana University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts Education. Outside of work, she likes to go thrift shopping, listen to podcasts, and refurbish old furniture.

                                    Noah Bickford

                                    Robotics Program Coordinator

                                    Noah specializes in program coordination and competition production for Skillpoint’s robotics program in coordination with Central Texas FIRST. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for working with JrFLL, FLL and FTC teams in the Central TX area, producing local and regional tournaments for these programs, and planning and delivering the JrFLL, FLL and FTC regional youth robotics programs. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Noah was Floor Supervisor at the Thinkery and managed daily operations, supervised gallery and program staff, and made sure every visitor had a great experience. Originally from San Antonio, Noah graduated from Southwestern University with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and English Literature.  Outside of work, he is an active member and performer with Sky Candy Aerial Arts, spends time finding new breakfast taco spots and coffee houses.

                                      Sara Burnett

                                      Employment Coordinator – Workforce Programs

                                      Sara specializes in professional development and post-program outreach communication for Skillpoint’s Workforce Development programs. At Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for facilitating professional development skills training, fostering a connection between industry professionals and students, and maintaining alumni relations. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Sara was the Office Manager with the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colorado. Originally from Austin, Sara graduated from UT-Austin with a Bacherlor’s degree in Geography and a minor in Education. Outside of work, Sara aspires to adventure and explore new places in this dynamic, every-changing city and beyond.

                                        Gabi Almanza

                                        Recruitment Coordinator - Workforce Programs

                                        Gabi Almanza specializes in recruitment and outreach for Skillpoint Alliance’s Gateway and Velocity Programs. Before starting at Skillpoint Alliance, Gabi relocated to Austin, TX from her hometown where she worked as a job placement specialist for California Welfare to Work clients in order to take a position as an early literacy tutor with AmeriCorps. Originally from Lodi, CA, Gabi graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s in International Relations with a focus on Middle Eastern Peace and Security Studies, and a minor in Middle Eastern History. Outside of work, Gabi enjoys cooking, hiking, DIY projects, watching San Francisco Giants baseball, and spending time with her adorable dog, Bochy.

                                          Steven Harris

                                          Workforce Program Coordinator

                                          Steven specializes in coordinating and oversight the Gateway Rapid Training Workforce Program. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for the program recruitment, classroom management, and helping class participants find employment after completion of the program. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Steven was a Psychiatric Nurse Assistant III and he was responsible for assisting the Charge Nurse and also managed as well taking acute care of mentally-ill people admitted to Austin State Hospital. Originally from Austin, Steven Harris graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Degree in Social Work. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, attending sporting events, and cooking great food.

                                            Esther Johnson

                                            STEM Event Coordinator

                                            Esther is responsible for maintaining event databases for event registrations, registrant contact information and producing events. Prior to joining Skillpoint, Esther was with the State of Florida as State Homeland Security Training Coordinator. She was responsible for overall coordinator and first contact point for event participants, first responders, local, state and federal agencies and media throughout her roles in emergency and event management. Originally from Tallahassee, Florida, Esther graduated from Austin Community College with a Certification in Meeting and Event Planning. Outside of work, she is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration at Texas State University. She also enjoys visiting Zilker Park on the weekends.

                                              Matthew Bell

                                              Workforce Program Coordinator - Waco

                                              Matthew Bell specializes in program coordination for Skillpoint Alliance in Waco. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for program oversight, recruitment, and coordinating Gateway programs in the Waco area. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Matthew worked in nonprofits for more than 10 years, and in higher education specializing in student services. Originally from Hillsboro, TX he graduated from Navarro College with an Associates Degree in Sociology and is currently pursuing his Masters and then Doctorate degree specializing in Psychology. Outside of work Matthew enjoys working in his community and in his church, and spending time with his family, especially his nieces and nephews which are dear to his heart.

                                                Lindsay Legate

                                                Human Resources and Office Coordinator

                                                Lindsay specializes in office management and Human Resources and at Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for coordinating the office and HR department. Prior to joining Skillpoint, Lindsay worked at JHL Company as an Account Manager specializing in non-profit and association fundraising events. Originally from Austin, TX, Lindsay is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Learning and Development with an emphasis in Youth and Community Studies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and exploring new Austin restaurants throughout the city.

                                                  Ben Nelson

                                                  Empower Coordinator

                                                  Ben is responsible for coordinating the logistics of the Empower Computer Proficiency program. Prior to joining Skillpoint, Ben studied at the Guilford College, where he was part of the school newspaper’s web team, and before that, was a marketing intern for MintTwist LTE, a web design company located in London, England. Originally from Miami, FL, Ben lived in Charlotte, NC for a number of years before recently relocated to Austin.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Guilford College, a small school located in Greensboro, NC.  Outside of work, he loves tennis, video games, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and hanging out with friends.

                                                    Gina Watts

                                                    FIRST in Texas Outreach Coordinator

                                                    Gina specializes in communication and grant outreach for FIRST in Texas. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Gina was an assistant at the A. Frank Smith Library Center, where she worked in special collections and interlibrary loan. Originally from Los Angeles, Gina graduated from Southwestern University with a BA in Communication Studies.  Outside of work, she spends her time swing dancing, travelling, and writing.

                                                      Sarah Gebhardt

                                                      Programs Assistant

                                                      Sarah is responsible for volunteer placement for FLL and FTC competitions and student data entry for Gateway classes and Velocity Prep classes. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Sarah was an AmeriCorps member through 4-H Capital where she taught Engineering, Space and Animal Behavior. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Sarah is working to obtain a degree in Aviation History. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys cooking, watching hockey and going dancing.

                                                        Laura Calderon

                                                        Empower Program Assistant

                                                        Laura specializes in program assistance and completion of administrative duties regarding the Empower Computer Proficiency Program. At Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for the database management of Empower’s participants and aiding enrollment and retention through effective, personal communication with all applicants. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Laura served as a Legal and Administrative Assistant for Kiester, Lockwood, Ciccone, & Bollier, LLP, and also maintained internships at KLRU Austin PBS, and LifeWorks Youth and Family Alliance in their Development & Grant Writing Departments. Originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco (MX), Laura was raised in Houston and is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric & Writing and Spanish Literature at the University of Texas at Austin.  Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering with TED Talks as a member of the Open Translation Project, reading a variety of novels and non-fiction books, advocating for the immediate need of political, educational, and financial reform, and spending time musing outdoors with her dog, Maya.

                                                          Kelly Fitzgerald

                                                          Finance Assistant

                                                          Kelly specializes in Accounting and Finance at Skillpoint Alliance and assists with accounting for the First in Texas Foundation.  Prior to joining Skillpoint, Kelly held various accounting positions specializing in construction in and around the Austin area. Originally from Houston, Kelly grew up in Vancouver Canada and moved back to Texas after she finished school.  Outside of work Kelly enjoys traveling, music and spending time with family and friends.

                                                            Kayla Wallace

                                                            FIRST in Texas Finance Assistant

                                                            Kayla  specializes in Accounting and Finance, and at Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for accounting for the FIRST in Texas Foundation. In addition to working for Skillpoint Alliance, Kayla also runs her own CPA firm located in Round Rock, TX. Originally from Coleman, TX, Kayla graduated from East Texas State University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Outside of work, Kayla enjoys reading, eating out, and spending time with her grandchildren.

                                                              Tommy Willms

                                                              Office Manager

                                                              Tommy specializes in supporting the administrative and facility oversight of Skillpoint Alliance. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for the overall operation of Skillpoint Alliance including administrative management, facilities, instructor contracts, vendor contracts and services, printing procurement, and employee needs. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Tommy enjoyed a 30 year career in the printing industry. The last 15 years as a manager of the printing department with The University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Lockhart, Tommy is currently pursuing an Associate degree from Austin Community College in Health Information Technology.  Outside of work, he is a woodturning artist who also enjoys gardening, fishing, camping, and the outdoors.