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National Board of Directors

Crystal Ashby - Former Senior Vice President, BP America Inc.
Douglas Butler - General Manager, Business Consulting Services, IBM
Barbara Duganier – Corporate Board Director, Retired Accenture Senior Executive
Carter Emerson – Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP
Tom Ryan – CEO, Service Corporation International 
Richard Rawson – President, Insperity
C. Park Shaper – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, SEIS Holdings
Beth Adcock Shiroishi - President, AT&T Georgia
Kim Tanner - Senior Program Officer, Jenesis Group
Rafael Alvarez – Founder & CEO, Genesys Works

Genesys Works National Office Staff

Rafael Alvarez
Founder and CEO

Rafael Alvarez, Founder and CEO, started Genesys Works in 2002. Rafael is now overseeing the national organization and is personally involved in replicating the model throughout the country. For his work as a leading social entrepreneur, Rafael was inducted into the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.

Prior to starting Genesys Works, Rafael worked 11 years for Compaq Computer Corporation (now HP) in diverse management roles including engineering program management, corporate strategy and market intelligence.

Rafael is an engaging public speaker who has motivated audiences around the country in diverse topics such as social entrepreneurship, nonprofit earned income models, effect of minority spending programs, changing organizational behaviors and others.

Rafael obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Houston.

Stephanie Baumgartner
Program Standardization Lead

Born and raised in NJ, Stephanie is a 2008 graduate of Georgetown University and a 2014 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters in Nonprofit Leadership program.  In 2008, while working at the American Red Cross, Stephanie founded and spent three years running A Drink for Tomorrow (ADFT), a nonprofit responsible for bringing clean water and sanitation to 28 communities. Stephanie is currently serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for More Than Compassion, an organization that built and now operates a school for an orphanage in Guatemala. 

Before joining Genesys Works, Stephanie spent three years working at University of Pennsylvania, where she was part of a two-person team charged with creating a new executive education division within the School of Arts and Sciences. Stephanie is married and a proud aunt of eight nieces and nephews. 

Linda Bowles
Executive Assistant 

Linda Bowles joined the Genesys Works National Team in July 2015 as an Executive Assistant. She provides high level administrative support to the Founder & CEO, Rafael Alvarez. She is responsible for calendar management, scheduling, and assisting in special projects. Linda brings 20 years of experience supporting Executives at large corporations such as Emerson and Hines.

In her free time Linda enjoys photography, scrapbooking, live music, reading, trivia, and most of all – traveling the world and learning about different cultures. Travel plans are always forming in her imagination. Linda is a native Houstonian, but she and her husband Jeff relocated to Richmond, Virginia for 3 years and returned to Houston in 2010. Linda and Jeff and the proud humans of two rambunctious cats.

Lynn Childs
Accounting Manager

Lynn Childs joined the Genesys Works National Team in July 2015 as the Accounting Manager for payroll and accounts receivable.  She brings 20 years of experience working in accounting and finance environments for both profit and non-profit organizations.  Prior to joining Genesys Works, she worked for Blinn College as the Accounting Manager and a real estate investment firm in Houston in a management position helping with the financial functions of the company.  Lynn has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Finance from Texas A&M University.      

Eli Cipriano
Chief Development Officer

Eli Cipriano, Chief Development Officer, joined Genesys Works in February 2015.  Eli is responsible for establishing and directing philanthropic strategies for the National office, and managing the development infrastructure that serves all Genesys Works sites.

Eli has over 30 years of development experience.  He was with the University of Houston System for 22 years where he held a number of leadership positions including Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement.  Prior to UH, Eli worked at the Metropolitan Houston Chapter of the March of Dimes for 10 years in several fundraising and administrative roles.  Born in Syracuse, NY, Eli relocated to Houston after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Kareen Eichberger
Operations/Project Manager

Kareen joined the Genesys Works National team in November 2013. Kareen is responsible for the success of daily operations at Genesys Works. She has a BA in Humanities from University of Houston and MBA from University of Phoenix.

She has been a Project Manager for over 13 years. Her experience includes working in the Oil and Gas Industry and most recently as a project manager for the City of Houston Police Department upgrading mobile technology. She is married and has three sons ranging in age from 6 to 18. She is active in her community and is currently the committee chair for Pack 848 Cub Scout Pack.

Tania Gutierrez
Organizational Knowledge Manager

Tania Gutierrez grew up in Houston, Texas and attended Trinity University in San Antonio were she earned a B.A. in History. She comes to Genesys Works with several years of experience working to reform public schools in the Bay Area, Phoenix, and Chicago. Tania was part of the Teach for America Charter Corps and holds a Masters of Arts in Social Science from Stanford University.

Janet Heath
A/R Collections Analyst

Janet Heath joined the Genesys Works Team in November 2015.  She is responsible for the Accounts Receivables for Chicago and Houston.  Prior to children, she worked as a Systems Analyst for Bambergers, EDS and Gulfstream Aerospace.  Since her return to the work force, she has done accounting for several Houston area companies. 

Matt Heath

Matt Heath, Chief Operating Officer, started with Genesys Works in 2013. Matt is responsible for embedding measurement and metrics and driving quality and process improvement across Genesys Works.

Prior to working at Genesys Works, Matt was a corporate executive with over 28 years of experience in a variety of roles and organizations. Matt had management roles at Gulfstream Aerospace, Branch Bank & Trust and Hewlett-Packard. While at Hewlett-Packard, Matt held management positions in Industry Marketing, Corporate Strategy, Consulting Services, Internal Audit and Credit and Collections (based in Malaysia for APJ region).

Matt worked with Rafael Alvarez at Hewlett-Packard and was actively involved in Rafael's decision to start Genesys Works. Matt served on the Genesys Works board from inception until 2011 when he moved to Malaysia.

Matt has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with Honors from Oregon State University.

Stephanie Noriega
Development Communications Manager

Stephanie is responsible for creating and managing a comprehensive development communications and donor relations program for the National Office, in support of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities. Among her specific duties are philanthropic messaging, grant proposals, donor acknowledgements, stewardship reports, stewardship strategies, collateral, and fundraising web presence.

Stephanie has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from UT-Austin and ten years of marketing and communications experience, including design, writing, traditional and electronic marketing strategies, and brand development.


Kimberly Owen
Accounts Payable Clerk

Kimberly Owen joined Genesys Works in June 2014 as an Administrative Assistant. She previously worked at Galena Park Independent School District maintaining the campus records for Special Education students for the past 9 years. Prior to that, she served in similar roles at several different organizations. She is married with teenage twin boys.

Michael Pawson, Ph.D.
Chief Financial Officer

Michael Pawson joined the Genesys Works National Team in January 2014 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He is responsible for oversight of the organization’s financial operations and performance. Prior to coming to Genesys Works, Michael had over a decade of nonprofit CFO experience as CFO of the Houston Symphony and Interim CFO of Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS).

Michael is a frequent lecturer in the Financial Management Certificate program offered by Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. Prior to entering nonprofit management, Michael was an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company and maintains an ongoing relationship with the Firm.

Michael is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants and holds the CMA designation. He has been awarded the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Leadership award and is a former board member of the Education Foundation of Harris County. He holds a BS in chemical engineering and economics from Caltech and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Jather Perry
A/R Collections Analyst

Jather Perry attended Salem State University with a major in Business Administration & a minor in Accounting.  He comes to Genesys Works with sixteen years of professional work experience, including eight years within the banking industry and eight years in corporate accounting. 

Rishi Ravani
Project Manager

Rishi Ravani joined the Genesys Works National Team in July 2015 as Project Manager. He is immediately responsible for the back office integration project (NetSuite Implementation) and in the long term develop a formal Project Management culture at Genesys Works.

Rishi has been in Houston since early 2004 and his experience prior to Genesys Works has been with Schlumberger and Baker Hughes in engineering, product lifecycle, technical training and project management. He has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering from Mumbai, India and a MS in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, MA with a major in Project Management. Rishi is married and has a daughter and a son. He is a basketball, table-tennis, and a chess fan.

Jeff Tollefson
Chief Strategic Growth Officer 

Jeff joined the National Office in October 2015 and leads our organizational initiatives related to strategic partnerships, business development, marketing and communications, and geographic expansion.  Jeff previously served as Executive Director of Genesys Works – Twin Cities, where he was responsible for launching Genesys Works’ first replication site in 2008 and led the organization’s growth and development for the next seven years.

Prior to teaming up with Rafael to start Genesys Works – Twin Cities, Jeff was a co-founder of Crescendo Ventures, an early-stage venture capital management firm with more than $1.1 billion under management.  Jeff remains an active partner in Social Venture Partners, a global network of philanthropists, entrepreneurs and change-makers investing their time and talents in support of promising nonprofit organizations.  He is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Finance.

Bernie Tretta
Measurement and Evaluation Lead 

Bernie Tretta joined that National team in Nov 2014 as the Measurement and Evaluation lead.  She is responsible for designing and implementing performance measurements to continuously improve the impact of Genesys Works’ programs.  She has over 10 years of experience in large scale epidemiological studies and clinical trials.

Bernie has a Master’s in Public Health with a focus in Epidemiology and Global Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University.

Annual Summary

2014 AR CoverClick here to

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Annual Summary.

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