The Board of Directors for Well Aware
We are so very fortunate to be guided by the following Board Members of Well Aware. Our Directors are uncompensated and complete terms as set forth by the Bylaws of our organization.
Christine Kempff, Board President
Christine Kempff has over 14 years experience in the nonprofit and youth development arena. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California. She went on to get her MBA at the Fachhochschule Furtwangen in Germany and to do her Masters thesis with Habitat for Humanity of Germany on Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations. From there she went on to obtain a Masters of Arts in Governance and Development at the University of Sussex and work in the field of microfinance for the global nonprofit IMPACT.
Upon returning to America with her husband, Carlos Kempff, she joined the Boys & Girls Club or Bastrop and served as Executive Director for over 4 years. In February of 2007, Christine joined the staff of Junior Achievement where she served as Programs Director for 4 years. In addition to her nonprofit work, Christine has also developed and renovate properties for the last 8 years with her husband Carlos. She has worked with several Real Estate offices and has recently joined The Solomon Group.
Barbara has more than 20 years work experience in the travel business. She received her Certified Travel Counselor credential in 1992; she is a Certified Panama Travel Specialist and Africa Destination Specialist. Barbara also has a in Forestry and Environmental Management, is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Hospice Austin volunteer. She began volunteering for Well Aware in 2010, and now proudly serves on it's board of directors.
"I am so blessed to have been given every opportunity and every resource to provide me a full life. I am compelled to give my time and energies to the people of rural, who do not even have basic necessities of water, food, shelter and education. I am 100% behind the great work done by Well Aware and encourage my friends and colleagues to join me. ~ Barbara"
Our planet's wealth of culture and unspoiled wild places are a siren’s call to Barbara. Her intention is to facilitate memorable vacations that will support and sustain the world's treasures. She hopes to bring Well Aware's donors to Kenya's doorstep, to meet her people and experience first hand the gratification of providing clean, life giving water to a community.
In 2005, Melanie helped create The 5 Minute Connection for Greenlights for Nonprofit Success during her year in Leadership Austin. The unique program trained nonprofits to identify and share compelling news stories then arranged a media tour to take those stories to local news outlets. Through facilitating The 5 Minute Connection, Melanie dramatically increased news coverage of nonprofits.
She is a sought after speaker and trainer for nonprofits and works in marketing at EnviroMedia – the nation’s first full service marketing firm in the U.S. dedicated solely to improving the environment and public health.
Amanda Wilson-‐Torres is a second year volunteer of Well Aware, Inc. and currently serves as a Board Member and Treasurer. Amanda was born in 1979 in Lorain, Ohio; the third child of Wayne and Marie Wilson's five daughters. After her parents were honorably discharged from the United States Army they settled in Leander, Texas where she graduated high school in 1997. With an Intelligence Officer as her father and a Combat Nurse as her mother; she was destined to be successful in whatever professional industry she chose.
After graduating high school, she studied Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. After leaving SHSU she became active in Community Service. Making yearly trips to Los Niños de los ángeles Orphanage located in Reynosa, Mexico. There she helped to educate the children by teaching them English and trade skills. After the Orphanage was closed in 2000, she was employed as a Leasing Professional by a family friend. As her career in Multi-‐Family Housing grew she used her free time to volunteer her services for many Austin Non-‐Profits including Meals on Wheels, Susan B. Komen and St. David's Neo-‐natal Intensive Care Unit.
In 2007 Amanda became a new mother to Kyan Torres and the Director of Housing for Four Star Service, a Real Estate Concierge company in Austin, TX. The following year she leased a house to Sarah Evans, Executive Director of Well Aware. After the two became friends Amanda began to attend organization meetings and volunteer her time. Soon after joining Well Aware as a permanent member she became Treasurer. In 2010, she was voted a Board Member and has worked diligently to promote the vision of sanitary water for all people. She is intricately involved in organizing the annual Shower Strike, Well Aware's largest fundraiser, which raised over $76,000 in July 2011. In 2009 Amanda obtained her Associate's Degree in Foreign Language from Austin Community College. She is currently attending St. Edward's University to complete a Bachelor of Science in International Business, with minor of Finance. She hopes to use her degrees to travel the world and set up Well Aware information and relief stations. This will allow her to help promote the vision of providing sustainable, clean drinking water and resources to communities.
Newton Hopkins has been actively involved with Well Aware for several years. Newton had been searching for a cause to honor the memory of his late mother when he and childhood friend, Sarah Evans, Well Aware Co-Founder and Executive Director, began discussing ways to better improve the lives of those less fortunate. An instant fit was found with Well Aware, and The Patt Christopher Project was created to raise funds for specific water projects identified by Well Aware in Kenya.
Newton brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the Well Aware Board of Directors. Among other projects and ventures, Newton currently serves as Managing Partner for Trademark Development, which he founded in 2005 to pursue both real estate and private equity investments. Newton graduated with honors from Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Business Administration focused on corporate finance and real estate. He is an active SMU alumnus, having served as a representative to the Board of Trustees while in college and the Young Alumni Board after graduating.
While Newton enjoys his current work, he finds that he is happiest when working with charitable causes and devoting his time to helping others. Newton also spends time fundraising for LIVESTRONG and serves on the committee for the Annual Swing 4 Yellow event hosted in Dallas. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Monica, and his son, Rafe.
Kathy is Vice President of Services at Starmount, where she oversees the Services organization and is responsible for overall client satisfaction, project oversight and execution, Services sales, resource management, and forecasting. She brings over 14 years of professional services experience and has spent the majority of her career working for the non-profit industry. Prior to Starmount, Kathy was Vice President of Client Services at Charity Dynamics, where she was responsible for the strategic growth and development of the Services organization. Prior to that, she was at Convio for seven years as a Program Manager, where she pioneered and perfected the art of rolling out highly complex, phased, nationwide deployments across household name non-profit 100 organizations with hundreds of affiliates and involving large numbers of client staff and third-party vendors. Kathy received her bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems as well as her MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, Kathy has maintained her PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) since 2005.
Alan Blake is an animal biotechnology pioneer. He is the CEO and co-founder of Yorktown Technologies. Alan has led the company’s overall strategy and daily operations since the company’s inception in 2001. Through Alan’s leadership, his company overcame enormous hurdles to commercialize GloFish, the first mass-marketed biotech animal. GloFish are now among the most popular pet fish on the market and have introduced the public to biotechnology as never before. Prior to co-founding Yorktown Technologies, Alan started and led a venture capitalist funded internet start-up, which raised over $4 million and employed more than 50 people.
Alan is an active member of Austin’s entrepreneurial community. He has advised numerous start-up companies, been a regular guest lecturer at UT Austin, and presented at multiple IC2 events. He currently serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of the Austin Area and is a former President of EO Austin. Alan is also a winner of the prestigious “Austin Under 40” award.
Mr. Blake graduated with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Business Administration.
Gay Nell Gutierrez
Gay Nell is a senior project manager for AECOM, where she provides environmental consulting services for major petroleum companies and railroads. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in geology from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a registered professional geologist in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and Wyoming. Gay Nell has over 25 years of professional experience in groundwater monitoring and remediation. She is also an active member of the Austin Geological Society where she served as Vice President in 2008 - 2009.