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Introducing the FY 2016 Directors of Impact Austin’s Board

Each year, a very special group of Impact Austin members work behind the scenes for the benefit of the entire membership.  In a continuing series of blog posts, we are introducing you to these talented women and hope that this will allow you to get to know them a little better.  You met the Officers in our last “Introducing” article. 

Now, meet the Directors of the Impact Austin Board!

Lisa Apfelberg

Executive Director and Nonprofit Consultant

I am very passionate about all non-profits, having been a non- profit professional in Austin for over a decade.  I was looking to make an even bigger impact on Austin's community and city so when an opportunity came to join the Impact Austin Board, I was thrilled to jump in. I truly believe that through our grants, we touch so many parts of our local community and I want to do everything I can to support our efforts.

I've lived in Austin for fourteen years and in addition to volunteering with or working for local non- profits, I'm busy raising my two children and our many pets.

Betsy Blair

President, Cielo Azul Foundation, Community Volunteer

I am a true Texas girl - born and raised in Dallas and an Austinite since 1974.  

I have been an Impact Austin member for twelve years and am a passionate supporter of the organization. I have served in many different capacities within the organization, including Grants Chair, Volunteer Management Co-Chair and Grants Innovation Chair. Impact Austin has given me the opportunity to use my time and talents, as well as introducing me to some of the most amazing women in Austin. 

Happily retired since 2009 from a career in the high tech industry, I now focus on volunteering, traveling, knitting, reading and tennis, tennis, tennis!!!

Sarah Elliott

Founder, Ellivate Advisors, LLC

After practicing as a CPA for fourteen years, I woke up one morning and realized that what inspires me is not technical accounting, but the people side of my business as it relates to developing our future leaders, supporting women’s success in leadership and driving the benefits of a flexible work model in our profession.

As a result, I founded Ellivate Advisors, an advisory firm dedicated to providing strategic services to CPA firms nationwide and helping them attract and retain top talent. I feel blessed to be pursuing a career I love that provides me with the ability to fulfill my philanthropic passions as well! 

Laura Kane

Vice President, Crockett National Bank

I’m excited to start my third year on the Impact Austin Board of Directors and celebrate my seventh year of Grant making through Impact Austin! I have been fortunate to work with many Impact Austin members by serving and/or chairing a Focus Area Committee each year and working on the Grant Finance team. My favorite committee thus far has been the inaugural Catalyst Grant Committee last year. I love how innovative our group is and to say “Impact Austin was the first,” in offering such a large capacity building grant in Austin, is such an honor! 

I am a founding team member and Vice President of the Austin division for Crockett National Bank where I focus on commercial and ranch real estate loans in the Austin area and across Texas. I am given the opportunity to have fun every day with a group of innovative and like-minded people. We have the ability to customize our loan structures for each and every client, so every day is different. I love talking to new people about their next real estate project, and am blessed to be in Austin – The weather is not the only thing HOT here!

I’ve been in commercial banking in Austin for seventeen years and love everything Austin. I also serve on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Austin Foundation Board.  My weekends are typically spent outdoors with my husband, two elementary aged daughters and two yellow labs.

Connie Lawyer

Community Volunteer

Impact Austin has provided me with my second career! 

After a great career as a Partner at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and in finance at Dell, I had four goals for my early retirement; sleeping until I woke up, reading the NY Times every morning, traveling the world, and giving back to my community. 

A tennis friend told me about Impact Austin in 2003 and my response was “Sign me up!”  Of course, I just wanted to participate in a small way and work on those other three life goals when Anna Klepper asked me to chair a Focus Area Committee. 

This led to two years as chair, three years as FAC Coordinator, and now my third year as Grants chair! 

I am privileged to use my background in technology and accounting to work with passionate women who are helping passionate nonprofits provide excellent services for Greater Austin in unique and varied ways.  And I still manage to find time to fit in family and friends, travel and an additional passion—being a tennis bum!

Jacquie Shillis


One of my favorite things is being with people who are working toward a common goal, so Impact Austin fits perfectly into my mix of semi-retirement activities.

This is my fifth year as an Impact Austin member. I have been an FAC co-chair twice, am heading into my second year as FAC training coordinator, and am excited about serving on the board.  

When I am not working on an Impact Austin project, you might catch me hanging out with my husband at our home in Bastrop County, swimming laps, walking our two Weimaraners, reading, cooking, or working on a contract project facilitating community engagement or public input.


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