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  • Impact Austin

Member Profile: Tonya Netzley, Zones Coordinator

Just like sailing a boat, coordinating Zones events requires planning, logistics, and communication. Thankfully, Tonya Netzley is at the helm.

After retiring in 2016 from working at various Texas state agencies for 30 years, Tonya now spends her time sailing on Lake Travis, volunteering, reading, baking/cooking, traveling, doing yoga, drinking wine, and traveling (pre-COVID-19). She loves connecting with family and friends and just being outdoors, especially with her husband, Mike, and their dog, Dock, an Aussie Catahoula.

This makes her the perfect person to be

Impact Austin’s Zones Coordinator, teaming with other Zone Captains to plan regular social opportunities for members, who live close by and from all Zones, to get together.

Here is Tonya's Impact Austin story.

How did you first hear about Impact Austin? What prompted you to join?

I first learned about Impact Austin reading a newspaper article about philanthropy and Austin-area nonprofits. A year later, after watching a local news feature about the 10-year anniversary, I checked out Impact Austin’s website to learn more. I connected with Impact Austin’s mission as a collective giving women's organization, so I joined.

Tell me about the roles you’ve had with Impact Austin and what has been meaningful to you about them.

I've been active with Impact Austin each year since joining in 2013. My first year, I participated on a Grant Review Committee (GRC) since it was the foundation of our organization. For many years, I continued participating on GRCs, Grant Finance Committees, and then later became a Community Partner Liaison. I learned so much about the Impact Austin grantmaking process from training for GRC members, GRC leaders, meeting discussions, site visits, and post-award support of Community Partners. The past three years I have been the South/Southwest Zone Captain besides being the current Zones Coordinator.

Through my Impact Austin membership, I have developed friendships with many smart and thoughtful like-minded women who I wouldn't have met otherwise based on my professional career. My participation as an Impact Austin volunteer has helped me grow professionally and personally. Being a Community Partner Liaison allowed me to establish deeper relationships of support with these nonprofit partners.

How have Zones gatherings changed during Coronavirus? How do you come up with ideas and what have been really successful events?

Impact Austin established neighborhood Zones to create a deeper sense of connection and community to enhance the individual member experience. Zone events give members and guests opportunities to engage with each other through smaller, casual social activities. Past successful events have included wine tasting, dinner, joint Zones happy hours, a cooking class, and joint Zone/recruitment events.

As with other Impact Austin events, before COVID-19, Zone events were in-person, though now are mostly virtual gatherings. When we scheduled the first virtual Zone events in spring 2020, they were Zone-specific Zoom get-togethers with Q&A to learn more about each other. Then we transitioned to Zoom events in which members from all Zones could join, meet, and connect. Ideas for Zone events come from Zone Captain meeting discussions about creative themes (e.g. trivia night, chocolate tasting) and other suggestions. We try to make our virtual Zone Zoom events fun, interactive, and engaging.

In late August and mid-November, we scheduled special Zones group community service opportunities at the Central Texas Food Bank. Doing volunteer work during this time has been well received by members with strong participation. It's rewarding having such opportunities for giving back to the community.

Why do you continuing volunteering with Impact Austin and why would you urge other women to join?

I enjoy volunteering with Impact Austin to stay connected with members and be supportive. If you are philanthropically minded, like I have been for years, being a member is a special way to support the local community. Blending our funds to award grants that make a transformative difference for nonprofits is invaluable. When you join Impact Austin, it's so rewarding to get involved, even if only in a small way. Meeting and interacting with other members gives me a stronger connection with the organization.

If you haven’t yet participated in a Zones event, you’ll find that it’s a great way to connect with other members, including in your neighborhood! Click here for more information about Zones!


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