Our Team

Amanda Longtain

Program Director

Amanda specializes in project management, workforce education and fundraising. At Skillpoint, Amanda is focused on program development, staff management, business development and grant management. Prior to joining Skillpoint, Amanda held various project management positions including Project Specialist at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders,  Development Director for Hill Country Alliance, Partner Coordinator at Eastside Memorial Green Tech High School and Development Manager for Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps. Amanda has also contracted for other non-profits in grant writing, strategic planning, program development and photography. Originally from LaPorte, Texas, Amanda graduated from St. Edward’s University with a B.A. in Media Communications and double-minor in photo-communications and non-profit management. Outside of work, she nurtures her family, homestead, and advocacy work.

    Renee Welsh

    Finance Director

    Renee is responsible for providing fiduciary oversight and financial guidance, which includes management of the team tasked with accounts receivable, data management, financial reporting, insurance procurement, and the annual audit. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance Renee various held finance positions including Senior Financial Consultant at Dell, Inc; Financial Analyst at Torch Energy; Joint Venture Auditor and Senior Accountant at ExxonMobil. Renee has also been a small business owner and volunteers regularly as Board Treasurer for TreeFolks, a central Texas non-profit. Originally from Louisiana, Renee earned a Masters in Business Administration from UT-Austin and a BS in Finance from Louisiana State University.

      Lindsay Bixby

      Communications Director

      Lindsay specializes in project management, communications, and digital media. At Skillpoint Alliance, she oversees the organization’s communication strategy, manages the development of external and internal communications, and contributes to public relations efforts and social media presence. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Lindsay was a project manager at Arrow where she managed branding and creative projects for clients including Mission Capital, Hill Country Conservancy, H-E-B, and The Driskill Hotel. Originally from Houston, Lindsay graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking and swimming in the Greenbelt, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

        Sean Chitty

        IT Manager

        Sean specializes in networking, IT Support, and technical research at Skillpoint Alliance. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for the day-to-day management of computers and servers used by Skillpoint Alliance’s employees and participants as well as assisting program directors with technical matters. Originally from Houston, TX, Sean is a graduate of Grinnell College where he received a Bachelor’s in Computer Science.  In his spare time, Sean can be found playing video games, painting miniatures, or wrestling his dogs.

          Ben Holquist

          Grant Compliance and Research Manager

          Ben is responsible for grant administration, grant tracking and compliance at Skillpoint. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Ben was Lead EMT for Supply at Children’s Hospital – Minneapolis and more recently as an Administrative Research Assistant at the University of Minnesota. Originally from St. Paul, Ben graduated from Grinnell College with a Bachelor’s degree in History.  Outside of work, he enjoys camping and board games.

            Nathaly Salas

            Workforce Acceleration Program Manager

            Nathaly Salas specializes in building workforce development partnerships and leading program coordination efforts. At Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for scheduling workforce development opportunities across Texas, ensuring successful program delivery to participants, and building workforce partnerships. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Nathaly worked with immigrant and refugee communities in adult literacy, facilitating community involvement and leadership engagement opportunities to build pathways to empowerment and self-efficiency. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Nathaly immigrated to the DC metropolitan area during high school and graduated from Towson University with a degree in Business Administration. Outside of work, she enjoys film festivals, hosting travelers passing through Austin, and learning new intersections of culture and language.

                Sara Silva

                Velocity Program Lead

                Sara specializes in sparking students’ interest in STEM-related fields by connecting them with industry and community via relevant, hands-on work experience through the Velocity program. At Skillpoint Alliance, Sara oversees the delivery of the Velocity program; connects with schools and industry partners; and trains and manages Velocity facilitators to ensure quality of the program. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Sara spent 20 years in industry as a network engineer at IBM Corporation in New York, and Lucent Technologies in New Jersey, and spent the last seven years in Ghana, West Africa as an IT manager and trainer for Blue Sea. Originally from Cape Verde Islands, Sara graduated from Syracuse University with a Masters in Computer Engineering. In her spare time she enjoys family outings, movies, reading and yoga.

                  Steven Harris

                  Acceleration Program Coordinator

                  Steven specializes in coordinating and oversight the Gateway Rapid Training Workforce Program. At Skillpoint Alliance, he is responsible for the program recruitment, classroom management, and helping class participants find employment after completion of the program. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Steven was a Psychiatric Nurse Assistant III and he was responsible for assisting the Charge Nurse and also managed as well taking acute care of mentally-ill people admitted to Austin State Hospital. Originally from Austin, Steven Harris graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Degree in Social Work. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, attending sporting events, and cooking great food.

                    Esther Johnson

                    Summer Camps Program Lead

                    Esther is responsible for running Skillpoint’s STEM Summer Camp programs. Prior to joining Skillpoint, Esther was with the State of Florida as State Homeland Security Training Coordinator. She was responsible for overall coordinator and first contact point for event participants, first responders, local, state and federal agencies and media throughout her roles in emergency and event management. Originally from Tallahassee, Florida, Esther graduated from Austin Community College with a Certification in Meeting and Event Planning. Outside of work, she is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration at Texas State University. She also enjoys visiting Zilker Park on the weekends.

                      Lindsay Legate

                      Human Resources Coordinator

                      Lindsay specializes in Human Resources and at Skillpoint Alliance, she is responsible for coordinating the HR department. Prior to joining Skillpoint, Lindsay worked at JHL Company as an Account Manager specializing in non-profit and association fundraising events. Originally from Austin, TX, Lindsay is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Learning and Development with an emphasis in Youth and Community Studies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and exploring new Austin restaurants throughout the city.

                        Ben Nelson

                        Empower Coordinator

                        Ben is responsible for coordinating the logistics of the Empower Computer Proficiency program. Prior to joining Skillpoint, Ben studied at the Guilford College, where he was part of the school newspaper’s web team, and before that, was a marketing intern for MintTwist LTE, a web design company located in London, England. Originally from Miami, FL, Ben lived in Charlotte, NC for a number of years before he recently relocated to Austin.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Guilford College, a small school located in Greensboro, NC.  Outside of work, he loves tennis, video games, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and hanging out with friends.

                          Sarah Gebhardt

                          Compliance and Reporting Coordinator

                          Sarah is responsible for  database management and compliance reporting for all Skillpoint Alliance programs. Prior to joining Skillpoint Alliance, Sarah was an AmeriCorps member through 4-H Capital where she taught Engineering, Space and Animal Behavior. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Sarah is working to obtain a degree in History and Religious Studies. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys cooking, watching hockey and playing with her dog.

                            Kelly Fitzgerald

                            Finance Assistant

                            Kelly specializes in Accounting and Finance at Skillpoint Alliance.  Prior to joining Skillpoint, Kelly held various accounting positions specializing in construction in and around the Austin area. Originally from Houston, Kelly grew up in Vancouver Canada and moved back to Texas after she finished school.  Outside of work Kelly enjoys traveling, music and spending time with family and friends.