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Leadership Team

Be a champion of a family’s future

Leaders with Distinguished and Broad Experience

AVANCE-Austin's leadership team offers a rich blend of experience with a collaborative team spirit to propel AVANCE's mission of helping families scale new heights and achieve future success.

Marie Felan

Executive Director

Marie brings over 26 years of experience in non-profit organizations serving homeless populations, family violence survivors, at-risk families, and families and children. Her expertise in communications, management, and leadership underpins her proven track record in individual, government, foundation, and corporate fundraising. Previously, she was the Chief Development Officer for organizations, such as Manos de Cristo, Any Baby Can, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Workforce Solutions Capital Area. Marie received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from West Texas A&M University and a certification from Indiana University School of Fundraising, among other leadership certifications.

Anurita Mittra

Director of Programs

Anurita offers years of senior administrative expertise including marketing, fundraising, human resources, and program oversight in the non-profit industry. Before joining AVANCE-Austin, Anurita served for six years as Chief Operating Officer at St. Phillips School and Community Center in Dallas. The organization offered ESL, GED, college prep classes, early childhood programs, and food assistance programs to predominantly Latino and African-American community members. Anurita, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and Psychology, was also a Radio News Director at Asian Media Worldwide.

Melinda Gonzales Boe

Director of Development & Communications

Melinda spearheads development and marketing efforts as AVANCE-Austin continues to grow thanks to the support of our wonderful community. She began her career as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and quickly developed a deep passion for charitable work. She has since served with national and local-based nonprofits including Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Since moving to Austin, she has enjoyed getting more involved in the community. Melinda holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jose Juan “J.J.” Garza

Office Finance Coordinator

J.J. primarily manages accounting and human resources functions. After years of working in healthcare, he set out to improve the community. Prior to joining AVANCE-Austin, he was the Tax Site Manager at Foundation Communities, where he provided direct service to the under-served. He also runs a bookkeeping service that caters to small businesses. As a father of three young children, J.J. values the importance of early childhood education and is excited to work for an organization that invests resources to advance future generations.