John Thornborrow, President (Austin, Texas) February 2007-present
Board Specialization: Financial Development and Operations
John Thornborrow is an accomplished executive with over 14 years experience in senior financial and executive management roles including President, CFO, and COO of organizations ranging from high growth to turn-around and from pre-revenue to over $100 million in annual sales. John is currently CFO of Austin-based company Hart InterCivic, a leading provider of election management solutions exclusively serving state and local government markets.
A note from John: There are so many aspects of DiscoverHope that inspire support. Some of our supporters and volunteers are inspired by supporting women and their families. Others are passionate about helping families lift themselves out of poverty. I am personally inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit which enables these women to create a new future for themselves and their families. One of the amazing gifts of humankind is our ability to change our own circumstances. We have the ability to create the change we want to see in the world. Entrepreneurs create a future for themselves, their families, and society that would not have otherwise existed. They simply want a better life for their families, for them to have safe and healthy homes and for their kids to go to school. Many of the same goals we have: to provide their children with more opportunities then we may have had. That is why I am inspired to support DiscoverHope. We provide a hand up, not a hand out to these new entrepreneurs. Women who are intent on creating a new future for themselves and their families.
Maggie Z. Miller, Founder & Secretary (Austin, Texas) April 2006-present
Board Specialization: International Program Development
After nearly two years of living in Cajamarca, Peru, Maggie was chosen as a research fellow for FINCA and FriendshipBridge to conduct grassroots research on poverty and the power of microcredit with indigenous communities in Panajachel, Guatemala. Upon returning to the U.S., Maggie transformed The HopeBank project into DiscoverHope in February 2006 and served as the organization’s Executive Director for five years until 2011.
Prior to DiscoverHope, Maggie worked for six years as a nonprofit Program Director in San Diego, focusing on program design and evaluation for youth development programs for peace. She also served as an adjunct Instructor of Communication Theory and Research Methods for five years during and after the completion of her MA in Communication at San Diego State University. Maggie has more than twelve years of work experience in the nonprofit field, specializing in program management and evaluation. She received her certificate in Nonprofit Leadership & Management through Texas Associations of Nonprofit Organizations and works also as a freelance consultant, specializing in the process of nonprofit formation and evaluation of programs.
A note from Maggie: I’ve heard many people scoff at the phrase “Be the change” as if it is unobtainable. I didn’t and still don’t see it that way. We have the opportunity to change this world everyday! Changing the world is possible and easy for all of us – it means you follow your bliss by giving your greatest strengths to the world moment by moment. When you do this, others do everything in their power to help you succeed because they are magnetically drawn to you. This means that you inspire everyone you know to do the same, as they want the same feeling for themselves. Then they create their own paths and draw people to them. All of this equates to affecting countless people who are just like us. We (together) change the world.
DiscoverHope is a place where people help to inspire and discover personal greatness. To discover is to be enthusiastic about the impending birth regardless of the courage it will take. This is discovery— meeting yourself on a new path with no trail blazed, whatever that is. It may be the job you’ve always wanted, the art you want to create, the decision to be a parent, buying a new home, forgiving someone, creating a passion and enacting an intention. In this new place you meet yourself again. You are different and changed. This ripple goes infinitely into the Universe. It changes who you once were, who you are, and who you will become in that decision. You begin with new opportunity. This is hope – a chance to create a new vision for yourself. We are here to inspire with you!
Amber Bennett, Treasurer (Austin, Texas) August 2010-present
Board Specialization: Finance
Amber Bennett serves as Executive Director, Large Enterprise Americas Finance at Dell.
With Dell since 1998, prior to her current position, Amber served as Director of Americas Financial Planning and Business Controls, Director or Enterprise Product Group, Desktop Product Group, and Transactional Product Group Finance organizations. Before joining Dell, she spent 13 years at IBM in a variety of roles including Manager of Latin America Planning & Special Pricing, Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis and Business Controls for PC Company Mfg in Austin, and other financial planning and accounting positions.
Amber holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas, Austin.
A note from Amber: I have been lucky enough to work in Latin America and to travel throughout the region. It is a beautiful region with a lot of natural resources and amazing people. With all of that I have been shocked at the extremes in wealth and poverty that I have seen. I see discoverHope organization as a way for me to help make a difference. Through offering women microcredit loans that provide a way for them to start small businesses and most importantly the training that we provide we can leave a lasting impression for these women, their families and the communities that we support.
Chelsea McCullough, Director (Austin, Texas) September 2008-present
Board Specialization: Marketing, Business Development
With a foundation in marketing and advertising, Chelsea’s professional experience is rooted in creating and marketing value-driven communication and social impact initiatives for entrepreneurial companies. She specializes in helping firms develop their strategic positioning so that they can best connect to their consumers through communication and product development. Chelsea is a principal at Intercambio, a consulting company focused on connecting companies to opportunity.
Prior to founding Intercambio, she served as Marketing Director for MPOWER Labs, a global business accelerator dedicated to financial empowerment for the underserved, where she led marketing strategy and execution for the company’s North America efforts, Mango and GoalMine. Prior to MPOWER, she held senior marketing positions with the Texas Lottery and the Office of the Governor (Texas). In 1999, she co-founded Vento Marketing Organization, an advertising agency in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to DiscoverHope, her community involvement includes serving as founding Program Director for RISE – an annual conference series dedicated to connecting and inspiring entrepreneurs. She is a graduate of the 2010 Essentials Class of LeadershipAustin and is a LeadershipAustin Emerge Committee member. She has also served on the LifeWorks Executives and Professionals (LEAP) Steering Committee, SetonCove Board and was a founding member of the Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA).
A note from Chelsea: My intention in joining DiscoverHope was to be involved in an organization that makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives. I had no idea it would make such a fundamental impact on mine. By following the creed of “listening in order to serve” I have witnessed the power of positive change that community, training and economic access can create. From the founders, staff, board members, volunteers, clients and supporters, I have come to know a group of smart, caring, generous people that are in love with the idea of helping others reach their potential. I am so honored to serve with them.
Andrea Wolfe, Director (Austin, TX) May 2012 – present
Board Specialization: Marketing
Andrea Wolfe brings years of marketing experience that ranges from developing marketing campaigns for worldwide brands like McDonald’s to leading statewide public awareness campaigns for government agencies. She specializes in strategic campaign planning, media integration and grassroots outreach. Currently, she manages global marketing efforts at Whole Foods Market for the beer, wine, cheese, health and beauty departments. Andrea has a Master’s in Business Administration from St. Edward’s University, Austin.
A note from Andrea: DiscoverHope has a very special place in my heart because I’ve been a long-time volunteer before taking this board position. I joined the organization when it was operated single handedly by Maggie and was able to be a part of the growth into what it is today. Watching the organization grow has been an inspirational journey, and after taking a short hiatus to complete my MBA I was immediately drawn back by the passion and vision of everyone involved with DiscoverHope. I strongly believe that the microcredit plus model DiscoverHope envisioned is a solid approach to providing sustainable sources of income for communities in need. It’s my hope that my contributions to DiscoverHope will raise awareness of the model and the organization so that it can continue to provide support to women entrepreneurs all over the world.
Hector U. Dominguez – Director (Austin, Texas) May 2012- present
Board Specialization: Technology Strategy and International Relations
Hector Dominguez serves as Vice President of Technology for VerdTek, Inc. With close to 20 years of experience in the technology industry, and a lifetime passion for technology in general, Hector has been involved in providing and leading technology services teams for fortune 500 customers around the world. After spending 6 years building and managing technology departments for start ups in Austin, TX, he spent 10 years at IBM/Tivoli as a Services Executive. While at IBM, he managed consulting teams in the Americas with heavy focus in Latin America. Hector is currently the VP of Technology for VerdTek, Inc, a technology services corporation, that he co-founded, which focuses on providing consulting services to Fortune 500 and Government customers around the world in Cloud, Security and Storage technologies. Hector is a native of Mexico City and moved to the USA when he was 16 years old.
A note from Hector: I was immediately interested in helping as soon as I learned about how the organization got started and the details of the Microcredit PLUS model that Maggie developed. DiscoverHope’s model is living proof that empowering those in need with financial help, bundled with education, yields tangible results. I am honored to serve along so many talented and socially conscious individuals. I look forward to growing the organization and assist with reaching in other geographies in the near future.