Kristin Finan, President/CEO
Kristin Finan has served as president and CEO of Carrying Hope since co-founding the organization in Austin in 2016. In addition to her work in the nonprofit sector, she is also a journalist, author and editor for numerous local publications including the Austin American-Statesman. She and her husband have been foster parents for six years and have two biological children and two children adopted out of foster care.
Mauri Elbel, Vice President
Mauri Elbel is the co-founder and vice president of Carrying Hope. As a mom of three and a court-appointed CASA advocate for CASA of Travis County advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children, Mauri grew increasingly frustrated with the way children were coming into foster care with absolutely nothing. She helped create Carrying Hope in 2016 as a way to bring positive change and much-needed hope and comfort to the kids who need it most, and she has served as vice president of Carrying Hope since its inception.
Rona Cowand, Treasurer
Rona Cowand is a native Texan, moving from Houston to Austin in 2006. She has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant for eight years with over 20 years of experience in accounting. She joined the Carrying Hope board as Treasurer in September 2018. She is also the mother of twin girls and assists her husband in running his multiple businesses.
Tracey Schwartz, Secretary
Tracey Schwartz joined the Carrying Hope board a year ago. She is originally from Indiana, moving to Austin to get her Master’s at UT. She is a Director of Physician Operations for a healthcare system in Austin and is a mother of two.
Caroline Hedenberg, Volunteer Coordinator
Caroline Hedenberg has been a board member of Carrying Hope in various capacities since its inception. She’s a native Chicagoan who moved to Austin in 2008 and has three children. Caroline is a licensed clinical social worker in the addition and recovery management field.
Robyn Hoffman, Fundraising
Robyn Hoffman is in her third year serving on the Carrying Hope Board. She works in physician operations and teaches business for a local health sciences university. Robyn enjoys watching her two children play sports and also volunteers as a coach for youth sports.
Teresa Lamb, Fundraising
Teresa Lamb is a digital marketing professional who moved to Austin five years ago form New York City, where she spent 10 years as a fundraising professional for nonprofits serving women and children. Teresa is a mother of two boys and has been a Carrying Hope board member for one year.
Mai Ferrara, Fundraising
Dr. Mai Ferrara has a master’s degree and certificate of orthodontics and recently retired from running her own orthodontics practice. She is also the mom of two boys.
Christy Quatacker, Youth Outreach
Christy Quatacker joined Carrying Hope as a board member in 2019. She has been a licensed Texas attorney for over 15 years, performing a variety of pro bono work. After moving from Alaska, Christy and her family settled in Austin.
Vilija Levy, School Outreach
Vilija Levy is a realtor, investor and mother of three. She moved to Austin from Lithuania 14 years ago and started serving on the board in 2020.
Jennifer Sparks, Communications
Jennifer Sparks is a real estate broker and owner of Kifer Sparks Agency, a boutique residential real estate company focused on providing a better real estate experience to buyer, seller and investor clients. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Susanne Kerns, Communications
Susanne Kerns is a writer and marketing consultant with a focus on social media strategy and management. She contributes to many publications around Austin and enjoys spending time with her family.
Alison Pendleton, Gala Committee
Alison Pendleton is a producer, event planner and account manager with experience working with many Fortune 500 and international clients. She is also the mom to twin boys.
Tiffany Derr, Community Outreach
Tiffany is a native Texan who balances her work as a consistent top-producing real estate agent with her family life and “play.” She has been part of Carrying Hope’s board for two years.
Monica Golemo, Houston Coordinator
Monica Golemo is a former elementary educator and curriculum developer who sees the ongoing need for supporting children with knowledge and resources to achieve their full potential. She enjoys time with her family and the outdoors.