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Meet our Board of Directors

Interested in joing our Board of DirectorsJoin us as we Illuminate Ability!  

Craig Snook, Board Chair
Craig Snook has a passion for helping leaders grow and develop through proven techniques to strategically lead their organizations.  A dynamic speaker, trainer and presenter, Craig employs clarity, innovation and humor to deliver workshops to diverse audiences at all organizational levels. With over three decades of experience in global leadership and strategy development in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, he is skilled in leadership coaching and remote team management with proven success.  His involvement in leadership development has ranged from individuals to senior management teams at the Dow Chemical Company.  As a consultant with Executive Service Corps of Houston, an organization designed to promote best management practices in nonprofits, he delivered strategic planning and organizational assessment skills in the community. Craig is Board Chair for EcoRise Youth Innovations and past Board Member of the Caporal Assistance Network.

Elida Guardia Bonet, Board Secretary
Elida Guardia Bonet is an educator, college counselor, writer, and storyteller committed to helping parents and students in their educational journeys. As the founder of Pathfinder Academic Consulting, she provides step by step guidance in the college admissions process serving Freshmen applicants and Transfer students, as well as International Students, and Students with Special Needs.  Bonet is particularly interested in helping students find the “best fit” colleges that meet all their needs and where they will find the support that will allow them to achieve their goals. Bonet holds a BA in History and Spanish from St. Louis University, an MA in Latin American Studies and an MA in Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin. Her lifelong interest in education has led her to work in public, private, and charter schools teaching College Readiness, Anthropology, Social Studies, and Spanish in Austin, Texas. As a storyteller she has traveled through the U.S. and Latin America sharing traditional folktales and legends at schools, conferences, universities, and festivals. Elida is also the parent of an adult with special needs.

Leslie Wiley, Board Treasurer
Leslie Wiley is a Certified Treasury Professional and the Treasurer for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).  ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 24 million Texas customers.  She has been in this role since 2014 and was the Treasury Manager at ERCOT for 4 years prior.  She received her degree from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.  Leslie was a Director of Treasury Operations for a healthcare consulting firm in Wisconsin when she relocated to Austin and now calls Austin home.  Leslie’s parents were educators in special needs classrooms and growing up in that environment always resonated with her.  She is excited to help grow Vela’s mission.

Martha Levien, Board Member
Martha Levien is a Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist working for a pediatric home health company in Austin. She graduated with an MA from The University of Texas in Austin in 2006. Following graduate school, Martha worked for Crate&Barrel for 4 years as a store manager in Cincinnati, OH.  She returned to Austin in 2010 and has been working as a speech therapist in the home with low-income children with special needs.   Through this experience, Martha has learned the significance of supporting, equipping, and empowering parents of all backgrounds to advocate for their children.  Martha's personal experience of having a brother diagnosed with autism has also motivated her passion to be involved with Vela's mission.

Jacqueline Frausto, Board Member
Jacqueline Frausto is a Licensed Masters Social Worker. Jacqueline obtained her Masters degree in social work from The University of Texas at Austin. She works at the Craniofacial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Center on an interdisciplinary team where she provides guidance and counseling to children and families dealing with the social and emotional aspects of a craniofacial abnormality, identifies helpful community resources, and makes referrals to appropriate agencies and organizations. Before joining this team, Jacqueline worked for four years at the Specialty Care Center of the Dell Children's Medical Center providing assistance to children with chronic illness and their families. Jacqueline has extensive experience working with and advocating for children. Before starting a career in medical social work, Jacqueline helped protect children from abuse as a caseworker at Child Protective Services, and worked at a private adoption agency specializing in providing adoption and foster care services for older and special needs children. Jacqueline was also a regional coordinator for the State Office of Border Affairs, where she publicized and coordinated state assistance programs for families living along the border with Mexico, and advocated for immigrant rights. As the mother of two young children, Jacqueline understands that a child's safety, comfort, and happiness are of the utmost importance.

Raul Garza, Board Member
Raul Garza serves as co-founder and creative director of TKO Advertising, a local Austin firm. He has been recognized for creative excellence by industry publications including Advertising Age, and by the American Associations of Advertising Agencies. Raul received his degree in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin, and his Masters in Liberal Arts at St. Edwards University. Raul is an adjunct professor of Communications at St. Edward’s University, teaching integrated campaigns courses.He received the 2007 National Latino Playwriting Award and is a playwright for Austin’s Latino Comedy Project and Teatro Vivo. Raul has been volunteering for Vela’s programs since its inception and is deeply committed to supporting the growth and development of this organization. 

Renee Hanson Malone, Board Member
Renée Hanson has been the Director of Development at Austin Child Guidance Center since January of 2011. Prior to her employment at ACGC, she was the Grants Development Specialist at Easter Seals Central Texas, and served as Education Program Director and Grant Writer for Manos de Cristo. Renée received her M.A. in Latin American Studies and was employed as a Lecturer by the Latin American Studies and Spanish Departments at the University of Kansas. She has a rich understanding of Latino culture and much of her work in Austin has been dedicated to expanding resources for the Hispanic community. She is passionate about improving outcomes for underserved populations and has expertise in raising funds for: mental health, disability services, education, health, the environment and the arts.

Veronica Martinez, Board Member
Veronica Martinez’s passion and life’s work is advocating for inclusion of individuals with special needs and their families in our society. Veronica is a mom to two beautiful and unique children, one of whom has been diagnosed with autism. Being a mother that went through Vela’s amazing programming, she brings a unique perspective to the board and is dedicated to continuing Vela’s influence. Veronica is the founder of Better Beehive Project, LLC., a revolutionary review web application dedicated to bringing the voice of the special needs community to the forefront of local businesses and institutions making accessibility, empowerment and inclusion for all abilities a reality in our society. Veronica is a Certified Family Partner with experience as a Parent Liaison for Travis County’s, The Children’s Partnership, serving our counties children with mental health needs and their families. Veronica also serves her community as board member to The Children’s Partnership, Texas Family Voice Network, Austin Hispanic Hackers, and is on state advisory committee for Project LAUNCH, all projects continue her work of promoting diversity and a stronger community where individuals of all abilities can feel welcomed and included. As a mother, advocate and community member Veronica sees Vela’s mission as the light to creating a diverse, rich and resilient community and is honored to serve on the board and help spread Vela’s influence.