El Buen Logo (35 years)

Meet Our Staff

People who love what they do.

Executive Leadership

Rosamaria Murillo, Ph.D., LMSW – Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Murillo joined El Buen as its Chief Executive Officer in July 2019. As a recognized public health advocate with extensive experience in public policy, higher education, nonprofit and government management, for more than 25 years she has led within different systems to develop, implement, and strengthen services for underserved communities. She holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from the School of Business at Our Lady of the Lake, a Master of Social Work degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Murillo has served as a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at San Antonio, and Texas State where she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses focusing on social justice, policy, nonprofit management, program development, organizational leadership, public administration and child welfare.
Gabriel Flores - Chief of Finance and Operations

Gabriel Flores – Chief of Finance and Operations

Sandra Freitag – Director of Finance and Operations
Sandra oversees finance, operations and human resources and has been with El Buen for 15 years. She studied journalism at Texas A&M University and received TANO’s Nonprofit Leadership and Management Certificate in 2009. Sandra has more than 40 years of experience in business management and is a successful entrepreneur, having established and managed two prosperous businesses since 1981. Sandra loves watching Aggie sporting events and spending time with her five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She has served as pianist and organist of her church for 61 years and also plays for the Elgin Community Choir.
Leah Meunier
Leah Meunier, PhD - Chief of Development and Communications

Dr. Leah Newkirk Meunier has served the Austin nonprofit community for over 20 years, building pathways to success for children and families. Leah has taught Child Development at The University of Texas at Austin and served as a Master Teacher in UT’s Child and Family Laboratory School. Leah holds a B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences from UT Austin. Leah enjoys serving as a community volunteer alongside her son through Young Men’s Service League and visiting her daughter in the mountains of Colorado. She and her husband love traveling across the country to run races and try new cuisines.

Luis Garcia – Chief of Technology and Analytics
Luis manages El Buen’s technology infrastructure and data reporting. He was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and graduated from Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon with a degree in Electronic and Communications Engineering. He moved to the U.S. in 2008 and has lived in Houston, North Carolina and New Jersey. After settling in Austin, Luis joined El Buen in 2014. In his spare time, Luis can be found running around Austin or camping with his family.
Audrey Vivar
Audrey Vivar - Director of Grants and Contracts

Audrey manages grant proposals, reporting, and evaluation at El Buen. She is a first-generation college graduate from The University of Texas at Austin. Before El Buen, she worked at The Salvation Army Austin Area Command for nearly eight years within the development team, specializing in institutional giving. A native Austinite, she considers it a great honor to serve the community she grew up in.

Lillian Acosta – Human Resources

Lillian Acosta – Human Resources

Kori Hattemer - Chief of Programs

Kori Hattemer – Chief of Programs

Data Analytics and Technology

Joao Rendon
Joao Rendon - Data Analyst

Joao is a member of El Buen’s technology infrastructure and data analytics team. He was born in Los Angeles and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico. He earned his degree as a Technologies and Informatic Systems Engineer from the Technological University of North Guanajuato. He has worked in various sectors of the IT industry. He likes tech gadgets and fantasy-sci-fi movies.

Austin Flowers
Austin Flowers - Data Analyst

Austin Flowers holds the position of Data Analyst at El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission. Austin’s analyst background has been focused on Venture Capital backed SaaS startups, Geographic Information Systems, and operations efficiency, which brings a broad spectrum of data-focused industry experience to El Buen. At the granular level, this includes tracking and forecasting monetary trends, CRM process optimization, and reporting individual contributor metrics. In addition to analysis, Austin has also trained and onboarded Data Analysts for Enterprise organizations, as well as written policy and processes to bring better efficiencies to teams across the world.

Development and Communications

Georgia Hernandez
Georgia Hernandez – Donor Relations Manager

Georgia serves as Donor Relations Manager. She is a proud Mexican American Austinite and mom to a beautiful pit bull. She is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned her Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Public Administration. Prior to joining El Buen, she worked in the non-profit sector at various capacities, from being a part of the Development team for the San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic to the Outreach/Family Reunification team for RAICES. She is devoted to serving and being a voice for underserved communities and is thrilled to be a part of El Buen’s team!

Isabel Bernal
Isabel Bernal– Communications Manager

Isabel, currently serving as the Communications Manager at El Buen, brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit work and education. In her role, she leads communication and marketing initiatives for the organization, utilizing her expertise to enhance its outreach and impact.

Originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, Isabel became a U.S. citizen in 2011 and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. Her journey began as an AmeriCorps member, sparking her passion for nonprofit work and family education.

As a mother of three, Isabel seamlessly integrates family values into her professional life. Beyond her managerial role, she is a talented professional photographer, adding a creative touch to her multifaceted skill set. Her recent position as Communications Manager reflects her dedication and leadership at El Buen, where she plays a pivotal role in shaping the organization’s communication and marketing strategies.

Erick Saenz
Erick Saenz - Community Engagement Coordinator

Erick serves as El Buen Samaritano’s Community Engagement Coordinator. Born and raised in South Austin, he is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his B.A. in Health and Society. With a background in the non-profit sector, he has served in a variety of roles which have helped him hone his skills in outreach/recruitment, relationship building, and event coordination. Erick is passionately dedicated to advocating for underserved communities and is excited to contribute to El Buen’s mission.

Food Access

Juan Rosa– Food Pantry Operations Manager
Juan supervises our community health workers and is the instructor for El Buen’s Community Health Worker Leadership Institute. He has coordinated community outreach programs at El Buen for 12 years, has been a certified community health worker (CHW) since 2013 and has been certified to train CHWs since 2016. Born and raised in El Salvador, Juan found his calling for helping others when he experienced firsthand the hardships many of El Buen’s clients face after he became a client himself. He pulls from his experience with migrant farm worker communities when facilitating health classes in the community. Juan enjoys teaching others about healthy living, playing soccer, watching documentaries and traveling with his family.
Reyna Lopez
Reyna Lopez – Application Assistance Program Coordinator

Reyna Lopez –Application Assitance Program Coordinator

Rosa Carroll– Basic Needs Coordinator
Rosa coordinates all activities for El Buen’s access to food programs, including the food pantry and community garden. Originally from Michoacan, Mexico, she moved to the U.S. in the 1980s. Rosa first came to El Buen as an ESL student, then started volunteering and eventually working part-time as a Promotora de Salud (community health worker) teaching Comenzando Bien, prenatal classes and cooking classes around Austin. In 2007 she became El Buen’s Basic Needs Coordinator. Rosa enjoys promoting healthy choices and nutrition education to food pantry clients. In her free time, she enjoys seeing live music and spending time with family and friends.
Andres Navarro
Andres Navarro - Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Andres Navarro –Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Irma Batra
Irma Batra - Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Irma was born in Monterrey, NL, Mexico.  Growing up bilingual and bicultural was a privilege that was utilized from the moment she decided to become a bilingual educator.  She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston in Interdisciplinary Studies with an ESL endorsement and her M. Ed. In School Counseling from Lamar University.  After working as an Elementary Bilingual teacher, HS Spanish teacher and School Counselor for Title 1 schools for 23 years, it was easy to transition to the non-profit arena, where she saw the opportunity to be able to serve the families in underserved communities in a more personalized way.

Financial & Rental Assitance

Rafique Alsaeedi
Rafique Alsaeedi - Associate Director of Financial and Rental Assistance

Rafique’s educational background is in Business Administration and Project Management, complemented by three years of valuable experience within nonprofit organizations. Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Rafique’s journey has taken him through various cultures, including living in Jordan, Spain, North Carolina, and New York, before settling in Austin in 2021. This diverse background enriches his understanding of global perspectives, enhancing his ability to connect with and support diverse communities as the director of the Rental Assistance Program.

Anna Rendon
Anna Rendon - Financial and Rental Services Coordinator

Texas-born and raised in Mexico, I spent seven years teaching bilingual elementary in Pflugerville before making the switch to the non-profit sector. Passionate about community service, I’m committed to making a positive impact in this field. Outside of work, I enjoy staying active and meeting new people, often hitting the trails around Town Lake for a run.

Leticia Renteria
Leticia Renteria - Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Leticia Works as a Community Health Navigator in the Financial Assistance Team. Her journey started as an engineer in Mexico. Her passion of impacting people’s lives positively, took her into Mental Health and community worker, assisting homelessness, women and first peoples. Now, enjoys helping Austin’s community as part of El Buen Samaritano team. She loves poetry, music and spending time in nature, the sun and creeks with family and friends.

Sonia Clancy
Sonia Clancy - Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Sonia, a healthcare professional turned non-profit enthusiast, is passionate about community welfare, she leverages her background to provide aid where it’s needed most. As a devoted spouse and parent to three, family holds a special place in Sonia’s life. Beyond the family hustle, she finds tranquility exploring the outdoors and indulging in diverse cuisines. Sonia’s journey involves a seamless transition from healthcare to non-profit work, driven by a desire to learn and grow. She envisions an even more significant impact in the non-profit realm, aspiring to touch more lives with her compassionate initiatives.

Alejandro Molina
Alejandro Molina - Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Alejandro Molina – Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Jennifer Munoz
Jennifer Munoz - Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Jennifer Munoz – Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Education

Emily Ledesma
Emily Ledesma - Associate Director of Education

Emily was born in Cartagena, Colombia, and raised in Houston, TX. She received a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Texas at Austin and became an Austin resident following her undergrad education. Emily currently oversees adult and youth education programs at El Buen Samaritano along with community partnership cradle to contributor projects. Emily began her professional experience as a parent educator, therapeutic teacher, and program manager for nonprofits in Central Texas in 2014. She has specialized in early-childhood development, education, and family programs and has created and executed program curricula as well as managed projects with start-up non-profits in national and local communities.

Fernanda Rivera
Fernanda Rivera – Education Manager - Youth Academic Center of Excellence
Fernanda works with our youth in the Afterschool and Summer Camp Programs. She is currently finishing up her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Texas State University. Having grown up in the Latin community in Houston, she believes it is her purpose to better assist kids within this underserved population. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in Student Affairs and eventually getting to teach abroad.
Nick Avendano
Nick Avendano – Assistant Adult Education Coordinator
Nick Avendano – Assistant Adult Education Coordinator
Gerardo Martinez
Gerardo Martinez – Youth Development Coordinator

Gerardo is a Youth Development Coordinator who oversees the 6th-8th grade group. Gerardo is a first-generation college graduate. They earned an Associates of Social Work from San Antonio college and their Bachelor of Social Work from Texas State University. Gerardo has been working in the non-profit sector for over seven years in multiple capacities. Their experience ranges from working with underserved populations to meet their needs, to supporting families and children in overcoming an array of challenges. They are constantly seeking out new ways to empower others through the implementation of person-centered programs and amplifying the voices in our South Austin community.

Raquel Holz
Raquel Holz - Youth Development Coordinator

Raquel is a Youth Development Coordinator for our Academic Support Program for 1st-2nd grade. Raquel graduated from Texas State University with a double major in English and Spanish. She has accrued more than 6 years of experience in early childhood and elementary school age education. Her mission is to teach children the fundamentals of education to catapult them into a successful life and career. She plans to honor our families core values and help our youth excel in any way possible. In her spare time she enjoys long hikes in the dripping spring area and cooking for her family and friends.

Joanna Orozco
Joanna Orozco - Youth Development Coordinator

Joanna is a Youth Development Coordinator supporting our 3rd-5th graders at El Buen. Joanna earned her Master’s in Experiential and Outdoor Education from Western Carolina University with her thesis on Chicana/o families’ testimonios in their sense of belonging through Nature. Over the past six years, Joanna has lead youth-centered environmental programs in pursuit of creating accessible bilingual Nature programs. She is passionate about empowering youth in their artistic advocacy (including songwriting), taking pride in their indigenous roots, and strengthening connection to Nature through a cultural lens. When not at work, you can find Joanna snuggling with her cat, on hikes or climbing, or at live shows.

Administration

Martha
Martha Robayo - Executive Assistant

Martha Robayo – Executive Assistant

Noemi Hernandez – Accounting Clerk Specialist
Noemi brings over 15 years of office administrative experience. Prior to joining El Buen she worked as a lead recruiter for a local staffing company serving the construction field. A native Texan, mother of two daughters and two fur babies, Noemi loves spending her time with her family, friends, and pups. She loves learning new things and is always up for a challenge. Noemi considers it a great honor to be part of an organization that provides so much help to our community such as El Buen.
Reynier Hernandez
Reynier Hernandez - Program Support Specialist

Our Program Support Specialist Reynier brings over 10 years of experience in customer service, information technology, and database management. He acquired his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Granma in Cuba. Prior to moving to the U.S., he was working in public health, administering and processing COVID tests. As a new Texan, Reynier enjoys spending time at home with his fur baby Snoopy, and takes pleasure in traveling and exploring new places. He is a lifelong learner and is currently taking classes at ACC to further his education. Since his start at El Buen, Reynier has seen how this organization has changed so many people’s lives in a positive way by expanding access to services for those in need in our community. This has created a sense of pride for him as he knows he works for an organization that focuses on filling gaps in services for those that need them the most.

Parker Wells
Parker Wells - Accounting Manager

Parker Wells – Accounting Manager

Operations

Antonio Cruz– Facilities Manager
Antonio Cruz– Facilities Manager
Gloria Sigala– Custodial Day Porter
Gloria has been with El Buen for four years and has over 17 years’ experience in the cleaning industry. Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, she is the second daughter of a family of five children. She enjoys her job and being able to serve the community. Her pride and joy are her children and grandchildren, and she has been happily married for 35 years.

Health Literacy

Marisol Reyes– Health Literacy Project Coordinator
Marisol serves as a bilingual Community Health Navigator and provides support to the community through El Buen’s programs and services. She is currently going to school for her Bachelor of Public Administration. Marisol began her nonprofit career as a Social Services Coordinator at Central Texas Food Bank. Her passion is helping community members. Born and raised in Austin, she loves spending time with her family outdoors.
Patricia Vazquez
Patricia Vazquez – Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Patricia Vazquez – Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Anita Swayze
Krysten Flores– Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Krysten Flores– Bilingual Community Health Navigator

Anita Swayze
Maria Teresa Mendoza- Bilingual Community Health Navigator
Maria Teresa Mendoza- Bilingual Community Health Navigator