Our Board Members

Meghan Jones, CFRE, President

Director of Development, Wayside Schools

Meghan has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than 10 years serving as Grants Manager, Special Events Coordinator, Development Associate, and Database Administrator. As Director of Development at Wayside Schools, she is responsible for managing all aspects of the schools fundraising program. Meghan received a BA in International Studies from the University of Evansville, Indiana. In her free time, she enjoys partner dancing and spending time with her partner and their dachshund, Chivas.

Sarah Jovinelly, MSSW,  Secretary

Development Associate, GO! Austin / VAMOS! Austin

​Sarah Jovinelly serves as the Development Associate for Go! Austin / Vamos! Austin, a coalition of residents, community leaders, and nonprofits working to improve health access in South and Southeast Austin. She has been serving as fundraiser, grant manager, finance manager, and marketing & communications manager for the coalition since 2016, when she graduated from the University of Texas with her Master's in Social Work. In her spare time, Sarah serves as the Outreach Coordinator for The Bridge Collective, an all-volunteer-run nonprofit that provides transportation for medical appointments in Austin, and practices the Israeli martial arts, Krav Maga.

Chris Marcum, Past President

CEO/Founder, PaCRS Group

Chris is a charter member of the Austin-Central Texas Chapter of GPA and former president. For the past 17 years, Chris has been the principal contact for resource development and grants management services for PaCRS. She was the development director for an Austin-based nonprofit primary health care clinic, and prior to that she worked as development director for the IC2 Institute of UT-Austin.

Chris holds an M.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in General Studies (business/journalism) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has attended, and taught, special courses in resource development, grant-seeking, research, and management. 

Lorie Barzano, Membership Chair

Grants Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas

Lorie Barzano has worked in the nonprofit sector her entire career and directly in development for over twenty years. She has a BA in Psychology & Political Science and her Masters in Interdisciplinary Social Science. She has worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations, most of them providing educational, youth and family services. She has held Program as well as Administrative and Executive positions. Her experience includes being a public (Middle) school teacher and working with the Girls and Boys Club, PBJ Family Services, Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, AISD Afterschool Prime Time Program, Lifeworks, Foundation Communities, and her current position as Grants Manager with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association (BCNA) and the Coalition to Strengthen Austin Urban Schools (C-SAUS) as well as serves on the Project Advisory Board with the Save Our Schools (SOS) national organization. 

Cecilia Blanford, GPC, Member at Large

Senior Grants Coordinator, The Seton Fund

Cecilia Blanford served as the 2011 and 2012 President for the Austin-Central Texas Chapter of GPA. Her work as Senior Grants Coordinator for The Seton Fund and Seton Hays Foundation began in June 2011 with $2.2M in grants, 17 grants in the first 12 months. These foundations are fundraising arms of the Seton Healthcare Family. Cecilia previously worked 11 years as the Grants Director for Lutheran Social Services (LSS) with programs in two states, with more than $50 million raised in private, state, and federal grants for foster care, disaster response, and other programs. She also helped establish the agency’s accreditation and develop a charter school.

Cecilia has served as executive director for two nonprofits, has experience in managing grants for a state agency, and is a former board member with the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. A national presenter, she has also served on the planning committees for the local GPA chapter-sponsored Funders’ Forums and the national GPA Conference in 2010. She is a contributor to Charity Channel Grants and Foundation Review. Cecilia holds a bachelor’s of liberal studies and a master’s of arts in human services with concentrations in administration, counseling, and social/psychological services from St. Edward’s University. In 2008, she earned Grant Professional Certified (GPC) credentialing through the Grants Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI).

Darcy Rendon, Vice President

Grants Manager, Caritas of Austin

Darcy has over seven years of experience in the grants field, and has been a member of the GPA Central Texas Chapter since 2015.  She currently leads the grants team at Caritas of Austin, which serves people without a safe place to call home. Previously, she was the Grant Coordinator at Front Steps, another nonprofit focused on people experiencing homelessness.  

Darcy has a BA in American Studies and Spanish Language & Literature from Smith College, and an MA in Latin American History from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Melinda Gonzalez Boe, Treasurer

​Director of Development & Communications, AVANCE-Austin

Melinda has spent the past 12 years working in and volunteering for nonprofits in the Dallas and Austin areas. She entered the grants profession as an Americorps VISTA in the Dallas area and has since served with national and local-based nonprofits including Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Since moving to Austin, she has enjoyed getting involved as a consultant with small nonprofits, helping to develop and manage their development and communications plans. She has also served as a peer reviewer for city and state grants. Currently, she works full-time as the Director of Development and Communications for AVANCE-Austin. Melinda holds an MA in Communication Studies from the University of North Texas and a BA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jessica Cochran, Program Chair

Grant Writer and Development Associate,
The Arc of the Capital Area

Jessica currently works as the Grant Writer at The Arc of the Capital Area, a nonprofit organization committed to providing Central Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunities they need to achieve their full potential. She maintains the organizational grant calendar, stewards relationships with funders, writes applications, and supports the Director of Agency Services in writing competitive government contract applications. Jessica began her journey as a grant writer in 2014 at Bat Conservation International (BCI). While working at BCI, she successfully led an inter-departmental team in raising $2.1 million in grants and contracts for the 2016 fiscal year. Jessica has a BA in Linguistics from the University of Texas. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys studying aerial arts (particularly trapeze), attempting to recreate the crafts she finds on Pinterest, blogging, and cuddling with her son, life partner, and pets. She is a personal supporter of the Oxford comma, unless she is writing a grant with strict character counts.

Joanna Tychowski, Communications Chair

Director of Foundation Grants, Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services

Joanna has a bachelors and master’s degree in Science and Technology, with a concentration in Molecular Biology. After finishing her graduate work, she spent four years doing science research at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work included looking at spinal cord injuries and how sun exposure causes cancer. To support her research, Joanna wrote several grants and was awarded funding from the National Institute of Health. Three years ago she left the research lab to work as a full-time grant writer in the non-profit sector. She has been part of the Austin GPA chapter for almost two years. Other fun facts about Joanna include: she has two dogs, she is renovating a 100-year old school house, and she spent one week in Kentucky this past summer at an intensive artisan bread baking class.

Vanessa Davila, Member at Large

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Research, and Grants, Helping Hand Home for Children

In her position at Helping Hand Home for Children, Vanessa manages foundation relations; metrics, research, and analysis; and strategic initiatives such as capital planning and accreditation. She has nine years of experience in grants management and an additional 14 years of work experience in communications and association and non-profit management. Prior to Helping Hand Home, Vanessa worked for Caritas of Austin, the State Bar of Texas, the Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and IBM. She holds an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA in Government from Harvard University.