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Bee Moorhead, Executive Director
Bee Moorhead is the Executive Director of Texas Impact, a position she has held since April 2000. She is also the director of Texas Interfaith Power & Light, Texas Impact’s environmental program. During Bee’s tenure, Texas Impact's membership has more than quadrupled and the organization has received national recognition for its work on environmental, health care and criminal justice issues.
Before coming to Texas Impact, Bee spent seven years as a senior state fiscal policy analyst for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. In that position, Bee was responsible for the Comptroller's attention to public policy issues related to health and human services. She was the chief architect of Family Pathfinders, a unique program linking Texas congregations and civic organizations with families on public assistance, as well as a key member of the Comptroller's Texas Performance Review.
Bee holds a Master's Degree from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from UT-Austin. She spent four years as a freelance theatrical costume designer and staff costumer at the UT Performing Arts Center.
An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Bee has been a member of University Presbyterian Church in Austin since 1983. She is married to Robert Moorhead, a long-time staff member of the award-winning PBS television show "Austin City Limits." The Moorheads have three children.
Cara Chiodo, Office Manager
Cara Chiodo joined the staff of Texas Impact as Office Manager in February of 2007. In this position, she is responsible for day-to-day operations of the office, financial record-keeping, and grants administration. Cara received a Bachelor of Arts in World Religious Studies from Loyola University New Orleans, graduating summa cum laude. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, she moved back to her hometown of Austin, finished her senior thesis on Zen Catholicism, and began pursuing work in interfaith social justice. As a life-long member of First Baptist Church of Austin, she is thrilled by the changes and expansion that her own faith community has undergone in the past decade. Cara is an avid traveler and has studied and worshipped with people of many different faiths in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. When not at work or jotting around the globe with a backpack, she enjoys spending time in Austin’s many coffee shops, attending music festivals, and searching for the world’s perfect taco.
Emily Shelton, Policy Outreach Director
Emily started at Texas Impact in June 2008 as an intern and has moved rapidly into increasingly responsible roles ending up as Texas Impact's Policy Outreach Coordinator. In this role, Emily connects individuals and congregations with the resources they need to be informed and engaged advocates. She works closely with the United Methodist Women, helping plan the Texas UMW Legislative Event, as well as other programs.
Emily graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in December 2008 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in German. While at UT, Emily was involved in Project Opportunity-- an organization that mentors low-income children-- serving both as Events and Recruitment Director and Political Action Director. She was also involved with the Social Inequality, Health and Policy strand of the Bridging Disciplines Program. In 2007, Emily received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation to research early childhood education through Research Experience for Undergraduates. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Emily is a member of University United Methodist Church, where she has served on the Campus Ministries Student Advisory Council and on the Amos Commission. Emily is an at-large member of United Methodist Women and regularly volunteers with Open Door Ministries, UUMC's food and clothing pantry.
In her free time, Emily enjoys riding her bicycle (which is named Sugarplum), swimming at Barton Springs, speaking in German at people and applying for grad school.
Rob Borowski, Childhood Obesity Prevention and Wellness, Project Director
Rob joined Texas Impact as project coordinator of the children’s obesity prevention and nature initiative. Through this program, Rob will pursue the connections and intersections of some of his lifelong interests, namely: children’s wellness, protection of creation, and healthy communities. Rob has been immersed in environmental and sustainability issues for more than 20 years, and is currently pursuing a PhD in community and regional planning at the University of Texas with a focus on community-based environmental management and watersheds. He has held positions with the UT-Environmental Science Institute and with the UT-Center for Sustainable Development, including as the assistant director; he has also been involved in a wide range of projects from long-range planning for the Galveston Bay Estuary to campus sustainable energy initiatives. Prior to his UT experience, Rob helped design and implement pollution prevention, community outreach and environmental management programs at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and was the first Manager for Environmental Affairs at H-E-B Grocery Company. Rob enjoys traveling, exploring and trying to grow things with his wife Kathy and their children, Henry, George and Luci. As Cubmaster for Brykerwoods Pack 9, Rob enjoys helping a new generation learn and share in his love of nature and the outdoors.
Amanda Robinson, Texas Interfaith Power & Light Coordinator
Amanda Robinson joined the staff in May 2008 and coordinates Texas Interfaith Power and Light (TXIPL), the environmental program of Texas Impact. TXIPL is one of 38 state Interfaith Power and Light programs.
Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1999, where she graduated summa cum laude. She worked in publishing for a few years and then in 2004, was hired as the Director of Religious Education (DRE) at First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Worth. She served there for three years, then for two years at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church in Cedar Park, TX. Amanda is a part time student at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, working on a Masters in Theological Studies.
Amanda worships at Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin. She and her husband Mark, the Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction at Lake Travis High School, live in Cedar Park with their two boys, Ezekiel (10) and Elijah (8); their one-eyed pug dog, Maxie; two bearded dragons, Cosmo and Bright Eyes; an assortment of fish and one really mean gecko.
Follow Amanda's blog here.
Aerin-Renee Toussaint, Policy Analyst
Aerin has been at Texas Impact since February 2009. During the 81st legislative session, she did bill tracking and analysis on issues relating to health insurance and children's health and wellness. Aerin currently works on projects related to the state budget, economic recovery, health, and criminal justice.
Aerin holds a Masters degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. A native Austinite, Aerin received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas A&M University in 2006, and worked with student and young adult leadership programs in churches before deciding to pursue a degree in the public affairs/public policy arena. When not working at Texas Impact, Aerin can be found running at Town Lake, enjoying concerts around town, or trying out new and obscure dining establishments in Austin.
Selena Xie, Disaster Preparedness Education Coordinator
Selena Xie joined Texas Impact and the Texas Disaster Recovery Project in September 2009. She is developing publication materials that provide information to faith communities on how to prepare, respond, and recover in the event of natural or manmade disasters. She is specifically interested in how faith communities can provide ministry to those affected by disaster.
Selena received a Bachelors of Arts from Amherst College in May 2009 in Political Science and Economics. After Hurricane Katrina, she developed her interest in disaster relief after spending the summer in New Orleans working with Habitat for Humanity to help gut and rebuild houses. She also created and developed the Mustard Seed, a free goods store, to provide food and baby supplies for the residents of St. Bernard Parish. She has also worked as an 8th grade English teacher with Breakthrough Collaborative and as a Research Assistant with Root Cause, a nonprofit consulting firm in Boston. At Amherst, she DJed for four years at WAMH 89.3 FM and is extremely excited to move to Austin where she finds the live music scene really awesome.
Andrea Earl, Disaster Recovery Policy Coordinator
Andrea recently joined Texas Impact to assist with the Texas Disaster Recovery Project. Andrea received her Bachelor’s in Communication Public Relations from Appalachian State University in 2006. While pursuing her undergraduate degree Andrea enrolled in a local AmeriCorps project inspiring her to continue her education. In May 2009, Andrea earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Appalachian State University. A native of North Carolina, Andrea has worked on varying economic and community development projects with the N.C. Rural Center and rural N.C. municipalities. She is interested in the issues of economic development, environmental policy, community development and emergency management.
In her spare time, Andrea enjoys participating in various outdoors activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking and running. She is a newcomer to Austin, and looks forward to engaging in new activities. Specifically she is excited to explore the City, attend shows, meet new people, and experience Austin’s incredible music scene.