Martha Salazar is a quiet woman with a dazzling smile and an enthusiastic attitude. We talked with her recently about her Impact Austin experience.
Martha, what inspired you to join Impact Austin?
“My first encounter with Impact Austin was being lucky enough to sit next to its founder, Rebecca Powers, at an event at St. David’s Episcopal Church. She shared with me the story of how it all started and I was captured. It would be a couple of years before I jumped in and joined, but once I made the commitment, I’ve been hooked for the last seven years.”
What positions have you held at Impact Austin?
“That first year I served on the Family Grant Review Committee (GRC) with Connie Lawyer and Debbie Dupin at the helm, leading as co-chairs. I loved it and went on to be on nearly every GRC over the years! This year I’m on the Catalyst GRC and the Membership Committee. We have such a great “nuts and bolts” process. I have enjoyed getting to meet the finalist organizations up close, participating and experiencing how we arrive at our finalist choices for the Annual Meeting.”
What do you do professionally?
“During the day I am a financial budget analyst with an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I moved to Austin from the Land of Enchantment and Hatch green chiles straight out of college, taking a job with IBM, and later with Dell, and now have migrated into a role in the public sector as a budget analyst with the Texas Department of State Health Services.”
What other nonprofits are you affiliated with and how?
“I am an active member of St. David’s Episcopal Church and have enjoyed their community bridge building outreach programs. They have given me opportunities to mentor at Travis Heights Elementary School through Kid’s Hope, to be a part of Foundation Communities Supper Club at Arbor Terrace, and to sing in the St. David’s Singers choir. This April I’ll start training for a pastoral care Community of Hope program.”
What is the most important thing you have learned and experienced by being an Impact Austin member?
“I have learned how much I trust the Impact Austin grant making process. It takes a village to keep this organization running and growing, and all of our members are amazing.”
What might surprise the people reading this interview to learn about you?
“My creative outlet is knitting. I love the tactile process of choosing yarns, following a pattern to visualize the end result, and the combined process and challenge of creating a project from start to finish. It’s fun to play with different color combinations and possibilities; to follow established patterns or customize and create unique patterns. Every project is unique, just like the hands that create it.”
“And, what do I do when I want to get crazy? Well, I’m usually fairly quiet except when it comes to having fun with girlfriends and 80’s themed parties!”