Waco Foundation's Staff

Waco Foundation values the opinions, experience and ideas of our fellow residents, be they community leaders, philanthropists, nonprofit staff, volunteers or those in need.  Waco Foundation staff members are available to listen, provide feedback and offer support to our community to advance our mission of improving quality of life in McLennan County.

Staff

Laura Allen
MAC & Community Partnerships Coordinator,
Waco Foundation

Laura Allen joined Waco Foundation in September 2017 to serve as the MAC & Community Partnerships Coordinator. With a background in education and experience as a university enrollment counselor, she is a valuable resource for high school students and their families as they navigate the college financial aid process.

Originally from Illinois, Laura graduated summa cum laude from Olivet Nazarene University in 2011 with a degree in mathematics education.  After college, she was accepted as a Teach for America corps member and taught high school math for two years in Jackson, Mississippi. This experience gave her a passion for educational equity and community development that led her to pursue a Master of Public Administration at the University of Illinois Chicago. In her role with the MAC College Money Program, Laura helps provide pathways for McLennan County students to succeed in higher education.

Ashley Allison
Executive Director,
Waco Foundation

Ashley Allison is the executive director of Waco Foundation, where she manages all aspects of a $78 million community foundation with the mission of improving the quality of life in McLennan County. Ashley obtained her Bachelor of Arts in economics at Baylor and a Master of Arts in political science from West Texas A & M University. During her early career, she worked at a Council of Governments writing grants for public infrastructure projects through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Since 1994, she has worked in the community foundation field, including a total of nine years of service with the $150 million Amarillo Area Foundation where she left as vice president, and two community foundations in the Boston area where she was president & CEO.  During her career, she has raised over $25 million in grants and contributions for various community foundation efforts. 

Ashley is a member of the Waco Business League and Waco Leadership Forum. Locally, she serves on the boards of Rotary and Today’s Action Tomorrow’s Leaders, and she is a member of the Prosper Waco Financial Security Steering Committee, Waco Foundation’s Capacity Building Advisory Council and the City Center Waco Organization and Policy Committee. Her past board service includes the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. Ashley is engaged in regular advocacy work  related to charitable tax policy and pre-K education at the state and national level.  She also served nationally as faculty for the Council on Foundations Community Foundation Fundamentals Course. Ashley is a graduate of Leadership Waco (class of 2009) and Leadership Texas (2000).

Catherine Bauer
Director of Leadership Development & Engagement,
Waco Foundation

Catherine Haynes Bauer joined Waco Foundation in 2014 to coordinate and grow the LeadershipPlenty® Institute. She brings more than 14 years of marketing and advertising experience to the organization. Prior to relocating to Waco, Texas, Catherine was the assistant vice president of marketing and public relations at Bank of Texas and managed their corporate contributions. Catherine began her career with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as an intern while attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She left Accenture to pursue an opportunity in her degree field with GSD&M Advertising in Austin, Texas and has since marketed multiple national and regional brands such as Pennzoil, Lennox Industries, Frost Bank, Nationwide Insurance, Bank of Texas, N.A. and Total Trauma Care on both the agency and client sides. She is a member of the Junior League of Waco and serves on the boards of Communities in Schools and Cultural Arts of Waco. Catherine devotes much of her time to charitable organizations such as Avance-Waco, the Community Visioning Project’s biennial Celebration Expo, the Waco Cattle Baron’s Ball, the Heart of Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Baylor Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, among others.

Catherine received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing with honors in the liberal arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She speaks French, Spanish and very limited Japanese.

Catherine joined Waco Foundation out of a desire to do work that is meaningful and because she believes strongly in the mission of the LeadershipPlenty® Institute. 

Sally Floyd
Administrative Assistant,
Waco Foundation

Sally Floyd serves as Waco Foundation’s Administrative Assistant.  She previously worked as an Event Coordinator and Personal Assistant prior to accepting a position at Waco Foundation in June of 2017.

Sally graduated from Texas Tech University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, double majoring in Management Information Systems and Marketing.  While at Texas Tech, Sally met her husband, and they married in 2012.  They now have one daughter, Blake. Sally and her family relocated to Waco in 2017 and have quickly fallen for the charm of this compassionate community.

Sally is a caring person who has a particular desire to help children and animals. She has a passion for equality and enjoys giving back to the community by joining in Waco Foundation’s mission.

Rachel Hobbs, CPA,
Planned Giving Coordinator,
Waco Foundation
Rachel Hobbs joined Waco Foundation in 2011 in order to develop the Foundation’s Planned Giving Program. She works closely with donors, advisors and area nonprofits to establish a valuable resource for planned giving within our community. Rachel graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor in Business Administration and a major in accounting, subsequently obtaining her CPA license. Prior to joining the Foundation, Rachel began her career in public accounting with Jaynes, Reitmeier, Boyd & Therrell, P.C. in Waco, where she worked more than 14 years in the Tax Department, concluding her career there as a senior tax manager.  During her public accounting career, Rachel worked extensively with high net worth individuals, partnerships and corporations.

Since joining the Waco Foundation team, Rachel has received extensive training in the field of planned giving and program development. This specialization coupled with her extensive tax planning and estate planning experience makes her a valuable resource to our nonprofits, donors and their advisors. Rachel is able to focus on a donor’s charitable goals and intents while partnering with their advisors as they consider the elements of strategy best suited to achieve those philanthropic goals without compromising the integrity of their overall estate plan. Her position is unique as she not only partners with donors and their advisors, but also consults with our area nonprofits interested in developing planned gifts but find themselves in need of assistance or additional resources.

Rachel is native to the Waco community and remains very involved in community activities and area nonprofit organizations, both personally and professionally. She is a member of the following organizations: Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, Planned Giving Council of Central Texas, Central Texas Chapter of CPA’s, Heart of Texas Estate Planning Council and Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Natalie Kelinske
Director of Communications & Donor Services,
Waco Foundation

Natalie Kelinske joined Waco Foundation in 2015 as the Director of Communications and Donor Services. She graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Public Relations and brings more than ten years of marketing and fundraising experience to her position.

Natalie’s commitment to improving the lives of Central Texans developed from a passion to serve others. In her role at Waco Foundation, Natalie works with donors and community supporters to promote a culture of philanthropic giving to benefit our community.

Natalie is a 2014 National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health fellow and a 2008 graduate of Leadership Pipeline, a Leadership Texas program. She served on the Prosper Waco Health Steering Committee, chaired the Women’s Health Workgroup and currently serves as a member of the West Hospital Authority Board.

Leslie Mitchell, CPA
Director of Finance,
Waco Foundation

Leslie Mitchell graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor in Business Administration and a major in accounting, subsequently obtaining her CPA license.  She spent 20 years of her accounting career with Jaynes, Reitmeier, Boyd & Therrell, P.C. in Waco, where she worked in the Audit Department, Employee Benefit Services Department and the Tax Department, concluding her years there as a Tax Manager. 

At the Foundation, Leslie prepares monthly financial statements and reports the results to the Board of Trustees.  She is responsible for overseeing the annual audit and Form 990 preparation, as well as creating and maintaining accounting policies and procedures and overseeing special projects related to financial matters. 

Through her work, Leslie has gained the confidence of donors and fundholders by conducting accurate and timely financial reporting, which ultimately maximizes the amount Waco Foundation has available to grant every year.  Leslie has been with the Foundation since 2008.

Rolando Rodriguez
MAC & Scholarship Coordinator,
Waco Foundation
Rolando Rodriguez joined Waco Foundation in 2017 as the MAC & Scholarship Coordinator after previously working for the Foundation for two years as a MAC intern. Rolando graduated cum laude from Baylor University in fall 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing & Rhetoric.

Rolando’s role with the Foundation is to help McLennan County high school seniors with the financial aid process for college. His previous experience through Baylor, working with other nonprofits and transitioning from intern to full-time staff has allowed him to effectively assist the Director of the MAC Program in providing students and parents with the assistance they need.

One of Rolando’s biggest passions is promoting the importance and value of higher education to students in the Waco community in order to increase the quality of life in McLennan County. Since he was raised in Waco, Rolando is familiar with the community, the students’ needs and the potential for our future professionals in the Waco area. Over the past 20 years, Waco has offered Rolando many opportunities to grow academically and professionally, and now he looks forward to his chance to give back to the community through the nonprofit sector advocating for education.
Kaitlyn Skinner
Coordinator of Communications & Donor Services,
Waco Foundation

Kaitlyn Skinner, a native Wacoan, serves as the Coordinator of Communications & Donor Services and joined Waco Foundation in 2016 after previously working for the Foundation from 2012-2014. She brings with her a background in marketing and communications, having completed an internship in London and the Disney College Program.

Kaitlyn graduated cum laude from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Public Relations. She was awarded both Top Public Relations Major and Outstanding JPR&NM Senior in 2014. Kaitlyn is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Baylor in Journalism with a concentration in Advertising. She had two research papers selected for presentation at the 2016 AEJMC National Conference, one of which won Top Student Paper within the Entertainment Studies division.

Kaitlyn loves helping others and playing a part in bettering her hometown: she is thrilled to see how much Waco has grown throughout her life here. She enjoys volunteering through her church and Baylor, which have provided her the opportunity to serve at places like Talitha Koum, Mission Waco and CASA. Waco’s cultural and creative arts are also an interest for Kaitlyn, and she currently serves on the Public Relations Committee for the Waco Civic Theatre.

Jennifer Werse
Executive Assistant,
Waco Foundation

Jennifer Werse serves as Waco Foundation's Executive Assistant. She previously served as an intern for the Capacity Building Program and accepted her current position in spring of 2015.

Jennifer moved to Waco in August of 2010. She is originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (near Miami) where she met her high school sweetheart and married him in 2008. Her husband, Nick, is a PhD student with Baylor’s Religion department and a graduate from Truett Seminary. Jennifer graduated with High Honors at McLennan Community College and received her Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences at Tarleton State University in 2015.

Jennifer has had many opportunities with nonprofit agencies and humanitarian relief. Her biggest passion involves social justice, and she and her husband enjoy getting involved in community outreach programs.

Nicole Wynter
Senior Director of Community Investment & Operations,
Waco Foundation

After working in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade, Nicole Wynter joined Waco Foundation in 2011 with the vision of improving quality of life for McLennan County residents. Today she serves as the Sr. Director of Community Investment and Operations.  In that capacity, she facilitates the Foundation’s proactive and responsive capacity building and grantmaking programs, compliance with national standards for community foundations and lends support to the organization’s operational and HR responsibilities.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master in Public Policy and Administration, and is completing a Master of Professional Studies in Community & Economic Development in her spare time. 

Contact

Phone: 254-754-3404
Fax: 254-753-2887

Location

1227 N. Valley Mills Drive
Suite 235
Waco, TX 76710
Directions

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