Board of Directors
Chief Operating Officer
Texas Nurses Association
Julia’s career in human resources allows her to help businesses succeed by providing employees the opportunity to do what they do best. Julia began her HR career with a telecommunications company, and quickly realized HR was where she wanted to be. As an HR Consultant for 13 years, she worked with small businesses in Austin advising them on all aspects of HR. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the Texas Nurses Association, where she oversees Operations and HR, ensuring employees have the support and resources they need to be successful. Julia grew up in Austin and graduated from St. Edward’s University with her BBA, summa cum laude. She holds senior HR certifications and has been active with the Austin Human Resource Management Association (AHRMA). Before serving on the Board of Directors of AGE of Central Texas, she volunteered with Meals on Wheels and Communities in Schools.
BOARD VICE CHAIR/President Elect
Nielsen Law PLLC
Attorney Liz Nielsen of Nielsen Law PLLC has guided hundreds of families through the estate planning process, serving as their trusted advisor to bring peace of mind to their lives. As a wife, mother, and business owner, she understands how overwhelming an estate plan can feel. As an attorney, she knows just how important it is to have that plan in place. Liz is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She practices exclusively in the areas of estate planning, special needs planning, and estate administration. Liz received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Psychology and Religion with a concentration in Human Rights from Barnard College of Columbia University, and her J.D. with honors from The University of Texas School of Law. Liz is very engaged with the legal community as well as the larger Austin community. In addition to serving on the board of AGE of Central Texas, she is on the board of the Travis County Women Lawyers Association and serves as the Publicity Co-Chair. She is an active member of Impact Austin, one of the largest women’s philanthropy groups in the nation, serving on grant review committees for the past three years. When she is not working or volunteering, Liz and her family enjoy going on walks around their Northwest Austin neighborhood, traveling around the world, spending time with friends and family, and watching sports, including the Texas Longhorns, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Chicago Cubs.
Shalana Poole CFP®, CDFA®
Flashpoint Financial Services
Shalana Poole CFP®, CDFA®, began her professional career in the Aerospace industry as a software engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems. It was during this technical period that she learned how to explain complex situations in layman’s terms and uses this skill as an added benefit in her financial planning career, particularly as it relates to the details of financial matters like IRAs, annuities, investing and retirement/financial planning. She also found that she really enjoyed the teaching/education component of the role. Finally, it was also during this time that she realized the importance of planning and that carries over today in her fundamental belief of having a financial plan before anything else. In parallel with advancing her technical career, she also decided to further her education and received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Arizona: Eller School of Business, which eventually helped to evolve her career into the financial planning industry. After relocating to Austin, TX and starting a family, she launched her new career in the financial services industry as an Advisor with Edward Jones where she cut her teeth, learned the ins and outs of the business, and grew a successful business in a small suburb outside of Austin. She later transitioned to JP Morgan Securities for a several years, earned her CFP® designation, but decided to work in a smaller organization, especially given the very personal nature of finances, and thus started her independent business with Flashpoint Financial Services, a financial planning and wealth management business, alongside a long-term colleague. As a result of several life changing experiences and going through a domestic restructuring (i.e. a divorce) – and given her passion for “helping those that help others” – she decided to focus on the specific requirements of groups of individuals that have also gone through similar transitions, and who are willing to work on helping themselves just as they help others and their families through financial planning. Her overall mission is to give back to our communities by offering a sense of understanding and planning that will help guide their financial lives individually and through their families.
Gary "Chip" Skinkis
Retirement Business Services
Chip has more than 20 years’ experience in the Retirement and Savings industry. In his current position with Charles Schwab, he provides business services to clients of the Retirement Business Services group, working closely with various operation teams to ensure accuracy and efficiency of trust administration – including compliance with all Charles Schwab Trust Bank policies and applicable state and federal banking regulations. Prior to Charles Schwab, he lived in Atlanta where he worked at MetLife and led the Defined Benefit Group leading numerous Fortune 500 client relationships. In addition, while in Atlanta, he owned and operated a property investment and management firm. Chip has earned degrees in Business Management and Applied Behavioral Sciences. His list of certifications and credentials include: AIF – Accredited Investment Fiduciary; Charles Schwab Aspiring Leadership Program; and Atlanta Board of Realtors – Lifetime Million Dollar Club Member. Chip was raised in Wisconsin and remains an avid Packer and Badger fan. In addition to football, he enjoys travel, wine and thoroughbred horse racing.
Catherine Vergara, BSN, RN, CCM, TxCG
BOARD PAST President
Catherine Vergara is a Registered Nurse, Certified Case Manager, and a Private Professional Guardian. She is currently the President of CareFor, a Care Management and Private Duty Home Care Firm headquartered in Austin, Texas. CareFor is also a Private Professional Guardianship Program serving as Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate for individuals in Central Texas. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Saint Louis University. Catherine has experience both in clinical bedside nursing and leadership development. Her passion is to meet the growing needs of the medically complex and aging through unique solutions that keep the patient first. Catherine also enjoys helping create sustainable and scalable work environments that support the employee while delivering exceptional services to the client. Catherine enjoys traveling, exploring the newest restaurant in town, and spending time outside. Catherine and her husband Martin have two children: Millie and Frances.
Co-Founder and Partner
Craig Couch is one of Centric Commercial’s co-founding partners and a recognized leader in the Austin commercial real estate industry. Craig specializes in tenant representation while focusing on office, industrial, and healthcare corporate real estate. His expertise includes property acquisitions and dispositions, and he brings 20 years of experience in structuring creative, aggressive, and timely corporate real estate solutions for his clients both locally and nationally. He has completed more than 415 transactions in the Greater Austin area and beyond valued in excess of $220 million. He has been recognized in the Austin Business Journal’s Commercial Real Estate as a “Heavy Hitter” several years since the inception of the ABJ Heavy Hitter’s awards and as recent as 2019. Prior to Centric, Craig was with Aquila Commercial, a local brokerage firm where he was recognized as a top producer. Prior to joining Aquila, he was at with one of the largest, local brokerage and development firms, Endeavor Real Estate Group. Craig began his career at a local tenant representation firm, Don Cox Company. Craig is a graduate of Texas State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing. Current affiliations include: Society of Industrial Office Realtors (SIOR), Commercial Brokers Association (CBA), Greater Austin Area Chapter of the Texas State Alumni Association, Texas Real Estate Commission – Licensed Broker, and Kappa Sigma Alumni.
Director of Sales, Senior Living
Margaret is passionate about serving The Greatest Generation. She earned her Masters from Southern Methodist University in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. She has worked privately for families as a Geriatric Case Manager in Dallas at Caring with Grace, in building operations as Director of Memory Care Programing at Belmont Village Westlake Hills, in healthcare as Education Director at Halcyon Home in Austin, and most recently with Enseo in Dallas/Austin, bringing innovative solutions to senior living. Margaret is determined to use her skills in her professional career and through service to the seniors she adores. Margaret and her husband Marc just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary and are Oma and Opa to three precious grandchildren from their three adult children: Josh, James and Julia.
Jared A. Greathouse
Amini & Conant LLP
Jared is an attorney practicing corporate law as a partner with Amini & Conant LLP. He previously served as General Counsel at A Charitable Life Holding. He came to AGE of Central Texas after watching the struggles of a family member with dementia, and the toll it took on all of the caregivers within the family. Jared brings experience with matters including governance, financing, board management, benefits, and employment. He frequently works with non-profit entities on structure and governance. An attorney since 2011, Mr. Greathouse always felt drawn to corporate law and prides himself on his ability to learn a client’s industry and help them identify and manage potential problems. While earning his undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Texas at Austin, he became fascinated with how individual or corporate actions affect society as a whole, and while pursuing his law degree at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, he gained a thorough understanding of how those same actions translate into legislation to become society’s governing principals. This led him to focus his legal career on helping his client’s businesses succeed by responsibly realizing their goals. While he wasn’t born in Austin, as the saying goes, he got here as fast as he could and now he, his wife and two sons are proud to call the ATX area home.
Director of Enterprise Sales
Christie Hilliard has 14 years of healthcare experience, most of which has been focused on addressing the needs of older adults and other vulnerable populations. Christie is currently the Director of Enterprise Sales at Papa, a mission driven Social Determinants of Health company that provides companionship and in-home assistance to those that need it most. In this role, she partners with health plans and other at-risk entities to provide social support and close gaps in care for Medicare, Medicaid, and Commercial populations. Previously, Christie spent 13 years at Medline Industries, a medical supply manufacturer and distributor, in the post-acute space. In her various roles, she established best-in-class clinical programs for nursing homes, home health, and hospice agencies, and she partnered with Managed Care Organizations to create member Health and Wellness and Fall Prevention Programs. Christie is a native Texan and attended the University of Texas Austin, with a BS in Advertising and a Concentration in Business. Christie and her husband, Todd, keep busy with their two wonderful children, Penny and Billy, and their very own pound puppy, Charlie.
S. Alessandro Insolia
President and Founder
Bouquet Homes Assisted Living
S. Alessandro Insolia is an entrepreneur with business experience in the areas of real estate development, retail consumer goods, and government contracting (to name a few). He has established and grown multiple companies, most recently revitalizing a ski resort and community in New Hampshire. His passion, however, is medicine and caregiving for the vulnerable. Currently, he is the President of Bouquet Homes Assisted Living, a new residential assisted living company based in the greater Austin area. His mission for this passion project is providing a home-like experience for older adult residents, while giving their families peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is comfortable, safe, engaged, and respected. Alessandro was pre-med, has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Columbia University, holds an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, and has completed dozens of medical mission trips to clinics in Latin America. He is a certified Assisted Living Manager, volunteered as an EMT in his home state of Massachusetts, and speaks Italian and Spanish. When not working or volunteering, Alessandro enjoys spending time with family, scuba diving, snowboarding, wine, and travel.
Public Information Officer Sr.
Travis County District Attorney’s Office
Ismael Martinez is the Public Information Officer Sr. for the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. He previously worked at Univision for 18 years and returned to KAKW Univision Austin as the station’s News Director in August 2016. Ismael rejoined the Univision Austin station from KWEX Univision San Antonio, where he was News and Operations Supervisor from 2014 to 2016, organizing day-to-day workflow and special projects for the news team, and coordinating coverage of major events. He previously spent 11 years at Univision Austin in various roles, including Assignment Director, Producer, Executive Producer, and News Director. Ismael graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Radio-TV-Film and a Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism in 2002.
Senior Vice-President, Medicare Operations
Superior Health Plan
Jason has worked for more than 15 years in various areas of the healthcare sector with a focus on managed care operations. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Medicare Operations for Superior Health Plan. Jason has worked with healthcare provider partnerships, social determinants of health, coordination of services across Medicaid and Medicare for both health and social services, and also recently returned from the United Kingdom where he worked with the National Health Service (NHS) developing population health management programs. Moving to Indianapolis in 2006, Jason has worked with a variety of community organizations including Leadership Austin, Health Start Foundation, Children’s Optimal Health, Social Venture Partners of Mission Capital, Capital Area Workforce Solutions, Texas Humane Heroes, and the Austin Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife are founding Board Members and still active dog foster parent with Austin Dog Rescue along with their two “failed foster dogs”, Bert and Walter.
Founder & CEO
Brianna is the founder and president of Bloom Communications, a research-based, integrated communications agency helping mission-driven organizations grow and thrive since 2012. Her vision is to inspire and ignite people to action through powerful storytelling—creating healthier and more sustainable communities. Prior to Bloom, she was a partner at a PR firm and PR training institute, and earlier in her career, she designed and managed multi-million dollar marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 brands. Brianna went to school to learn how to change the world. She received a BA in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, magna cum laude. She is a speaker on the topics of public health and nonprofit communications, and is a frequent guest lecturer at the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin.
John B. Miller II
Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending
John is a 1982 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Finance and Management. He has been active in the banking industry for more than 32 years. Both he and his wife are graduates of the University of Texas; he married his wife, Lynn in 1988, and moved to Lakeway in 1989. Before joining Southside Bank, he was Senior District Manager for Wells Fargo, Austin for 15 years. Prior to Wells Fargo, he managed offices in San Antonio and Austin for Bank One. At the Lake Travis United Methodist Church, he has served on many committees, including past treasurer and president of United Methodist Men, Permanent Endowment Committee Chair, Staff Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, Lay Committee, and lastly, serving on the Finance Committee. He has also served on many non-profit boards throughout the Austin area, including the American Lung Association, The Round Rock Education Foundation, The Austin Project, Mainspring Schools, and the Lake Travis Education Foundation. In addition, he has volunteered time with Habitat for Humanity and Junior Achievement. John has one son, Maclin, who attends Schreiner University. He also has 2 Great Danes, Bella & Baxter. His wife trains them as service dogs and they visit Assisted Living, Memory, and Skilled Nursing Facilities, where residents find it easy to pet dogs that are near 4’ tall.
Yoselís Y. Ramos Hernandez
Spanish Department Chair
Manor Independent School District
Yoselís is a high school Spanish teacher and department chair for the Manor Independent School District. She has led training in restorative practices and relationship building among her peers. She’s worked previously as an activities assistant and caregiver specializing in dementia care/programming in assisted living when she first moved to the Austin area in 2016. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in gerontology and a Bachelor’s degree in foreign language pedagogy. She’s set to graduate May 2021 with a Master’s in Education from Texas State University in educational leadership. When she’s not molding young minds, Yoselís enjoys reading YA novels, educating herself on social justice issues, and learning to speak French.
Lina Supnet-Zapata, MBA
Executive Director/Managing Partner
Mir Care Consultants
Lina has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. As Community Educator and Area Director for ten years in the hospice industry, she worked with families and health care providers educating and advocating for increased awareness and better understanding of issues that emerge during end of life care. In 2013, she joined her mother-in-law, Frances Mir, to oversee operations for Mir Care Consultants, Inc. founded in 2004. Lina’s passion, commitment and dedication for patient advocacy, consumer health education, ensuring accountability and excellence in care, assure individuals’ choices are honored. As Vice President of Mir Senior Care Consultants, Lina advocates that pre-planning in a complex health care system will help their clients and families to maintain control of their choices and achieve greater peace of mind. Lina serves on the boards of AGE of Central Texas, the Aging Life Care Association, and is an active member of Women’s Business Enterprises, Texas Guardianship Association, Dementia Friendly America and the Austin LBGT Chamber. When not working or volunteering, Lina spends time with her husband Orlando, three grown children, three dogs, playing pickle ball and traveling.
REALTOR®, GRI, SRES,
Carol Dochen Realtors, Inc.
Patti served as the President of the Board of Directors, and remains active as a Board Member. As a longtime resident of the Austin area, her personal knowledge and experience is a great advantage for her clients. She specializes in working with clients in the North Austin communities and helping adults 50+ in downsizing to new homes. Patti has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan along with a certificate in Gerontology. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and Sciences from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Patti practiced Geriatric Social Work for 10 years in Michigan. Patti has always given back to the community and is an involved member of the Temple Beth Shalom, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce, and is a Board member at AGE of Central Texas. Patti lives in Austin with her husband Kevin and together they have four grown children living in destinations across the U.S. (Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, and Florida). At home, they enjoy living with their two dogs, Henry and Austin, and their wonderful cat, Q-Ball.
Homewell Care Services
Ronnie Taylor is the President of Homewell Care Services of Austin, which provides caregiver services to families and facilities around the Greater Austin area. His mission is to provide exceptional service and support for families that have a loved one recovering or aging-in-place at home. Ronnie graduated from Stephen F Austin University with a BBA in Management, and spent 30 years with Randalls Food Markets in various executive roles before leaving in 2017. He has held various positions with non-profit organizations including Central Texas Food Bank and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and he is currently the Board President of Candlelight Ranch. Ronnie loves to be outdoor grilling, checking out the newest restaurants in town, or playing golf. Ronnie is married to Aleida and has three children: Blake, Bryce, and Bryleigh.