Spotlight on the 2022 Griffith Family Legacy Honorees – Theresa Alvarez and Amber Walker from Wells Fargo Bank

Since 2015, we have awarded the Griffith Family Award to individual leaders in Austin that fully commit to serving our community through their time, talents, and financial investments. The award is named after the beloved Balie Griffith and his family Beverly, Stephen, and Stefanie Griffith, who helped open the AVANCE chapter in Austin in 1998 and have since ensured that thousands of Spanish-speaking families continue their path to success and economic prosperity.

Announcing the 2022 AVANCE-Austin Griffith Family Legacy Honorees

We recognize and honor Theresa Alvarez and Amber Walker, with the 2022 AVANCE-Austin Griffith Family Legacy Award. Two dynamic and valued individuals who have supported our mission through our highly engaged community partner, Wells Fargo Bank. Their continuous support has enabled us to sustain and expand our programming.

Theresa Alvarez, CEO and President of the Austin Economic Development Corporation

Theresa is a prime example of how Wells Fargo Bank fosters a sense of responsibility towards the communities they serve. Since collaborating with Wells Fargo almost ten years ago, Theresa has been instrumental in leading efforts to increase AVANCE-Austin’s capacity to serve thousands of individuals. She has helped expand our Home Visitation services and increased parent access to resources through the financial support of community grants and recruited volunteers for special projects that directly serve our families. Support of this magnitude helps us increase our return-on-investment of program staff’s valuable planning and teaching time.

Theresa has always had a passion for giving back to her Latino community. She studied abroad in Mexico while attending the University of Texas, volunteered in Colombia with the Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders Program and she has been a member of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber for 25 years. She shares her strong passion for giving back through board service and volunteering. Most notably, she chaired the Ann Richards School Foundation and Foundation Communities and served on Mayor Adler’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities. She is the co-founder of the East Austin Conservancy, a non-profit preventing longtime Austinites from getting displaced from their homes. Theresa has won numerous awards over the years recognizing her commitment to the community and we look forward to seeing the amazing work she will do for the Austin Economic Development Corporation.

Amber Walker,
Senior Wealth Relationship Support at Wells Fargo Bank

A bright fixture within our small organization, Amber Walker has been providing professional volunteer leadership since 2014. From serving on our Board of Directors, to organizing free Financial Literacy courses with other Wells Fargo volunteers and curriculum, she has done so much to provide families with access to resources like powerful financial tools enabling families to live healthier lives.As a child attending Palm Elementary, Amber remembers exactly what it was like for families living in and attending schools in the Southeast side of Austin, similar to current AVANCE-Austin families. She witnessed first-hand how programs like AVANCE-Austin helped Latin-American, Spanish-speaking students succeed academically which inspired her to help her community. Now, as a mother to a young child, she has been living out the AVANCE motto of being her child’s first and most important teacher and can attest to the value of early childhood development and parenting education.

Amber continues to support underserved families in our community even after her Board tenure has ended by volunteering with the AVANCE-Austin Development committee, strategically assisting the Board and Staff to reach and exceed their financial annual goals while remaining a major ambassador and educating our community about the AVANCE mission.

We are humbled and honored to partner with Wells Fargo Bank and their remarkable team over the years to strengthen our entire city. Join us at Valor y Sueños this February 23rd to help us recognize both Theresa and Amber’s exemplary commitment to the AVANCE-Austin mission of empowering our Latino community!