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  • Impact Austin

A Message from Board President Susan Palombo

Welcome to our newest Impact Austin bundle of joy, born on New Year’s Day to proud parents Christina Gorczynski and Brett Merfish. Mateo Simon Gorczynski-Merfish arrived at 12:32 p.m. Christina returned from her family leave earlier this month; Nicole Genovese did an awesome job during a very busy January at Impact Austin.

Christina’s vision to support member and community education resulted in a new concept for one of our three signature events: Discovery Day. Last summer and fall, Christina set in motion a concept for a series of general and topic-specific tracks (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, Discovering Central Texas Issues, and Philanthropy Education) for online one hour panel discussions with guest speakers from our membership, our community partners, the larger community and national philanthropic experts. A big thank you to Nicole for lots of event logistics and to Margaret von Flatern for her leadership on the series. We also couldn’t have produced this six week series of virtual sessions without our premium sponsors C2C Media and Dochen Realty as well as other key sponsors Breland Facilitation, FVF Law, HEB, Tracey Nelson Executive Leadership Coaching, Allison Marshall and Your Cause/Blackbaud. We had strong member, potential member, and community participation in each session. New models of delivering our mission during the pandemic have emerged, and many will be durable even after we are able to return to our face-to-face gatherings which we all definitely miss.

Our Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) is also in active discussions with Committees and the Board about planning a two year extension of our current three year plan, which runs through the end of this fiscal year. Thanks to SPC co-chairs and board members Sarah Harris and Deanna DeHaven for their work on our strategic plan.

Board Governance Chair Jenny Cotner is actively recruiting candidates for Impact Austin Board service for a term that begins July 1st. If you are interested in service yourself or nominating someone else, please reach out to Jenny at We are specifically looking for candidates who are diverse, have fundraising experience, legal expertise, and/or financial expertise.

Our spring Grant Review Committees (GRCs) have just begun work. If you would like to serve on fall GRC, our committees will review the Equity and Health and Well-Being categories for selection at our Fall Town Hall Meeting. Registration will open July 1.

Thank you so much for the many, many volunteers who power our organization each and every day. We appreciate you. And welcome back, Christina!

Wishing you all well,



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