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Our Board of Directors
Rosalia Casteneda  

Rosalia Castaneda is Executive Director of AVANCE-Austin and has been with AVANCE for over twenty years. In which she was instrumental in starting AVANCE Chapters in Houston, Rio Grande Valley , El Paso and Austin. She is a graduate of St Edward’s University - MBA program and received her B.S. from University of Houston-Clear Lake. Rosalia has received non profit management certifications from University of Texas – Austin and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

Rosalia is member of several organizations including the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Association for Research on Non Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Association of Fund Raising Professionals, and the National Council on Family Relations. Rosalia is a mother of three a twenty-one year old daughter and twin boys that are now seventeen years old.  All three in college.

Mike Jackson  

Mike Jackson has served on the Board of Directors for The Wesley Center for Family and Neighborhood Development in Austin since inception in 2002.

In addition to serving the Board, Dr. Jackson is an Employment Specialist working in the 78744 zip code for the Texas Workforce Commission and is a part time economics faculty member, LeTourneau University.  Dr. Jackson is active in Parker Lane United Methodist Church.  He serves as the Chair for the Administrative Council, a teacher for Good Cheer Sunday School, and as the coordinator for services at South Austin Nursing Center. He spends a considerable amount of time weekly with his mother-in-law in a South Austin nursing home.

Dr. Jackson has been profoundly involved in the Dove Springs community. He was involved with church services, taught bible studies, Sunday school and ESL.  He provided extensive activity support and community survey research. He also worked with Widen Elementary School where he was the community liason. Dr. Jackson has studied to be a Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church. He helped initiate the AVANCE program in Austin and he taught local at-risk students in a charter school for three years. In addition he administered post secondary education at UT Austin and Austin Community College for more than 25 years. He served on workforce development, Montessori school, and recreation center boards.

Dr. Jackson’s publication is on the relationship between leadership and productivity.

Jim Morriss  
Jim Morriss

Jim Morriss is the retired former president/CEO of the Association of Texas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., the trade association and service organization of the 85 rural electric cooperatives in the state.  Prior to being named CEO in 1977, he managed activities in communications, training and public relations. 

He has been recognized by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) with the International Award for 15 years of consulting and training work with their International Programs Division in Central and South America, Bangladesh and South Sudan, Africa.  After retirement, Jim was presented the NRECA President’s Award for special contributions and the NRECA Clyde T. Ellis Award in recognition of distinguished service to rural electrification in the United States and internationally.

Jim is a native Texan, a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and a lifelong United Methodist. He and his wife, Annette, are active members of Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin which they joined in 1952 soon after marrying.  In 1968, Jim and Annette were commissioned as lay missionaries of the General Board of Global Ministries and served four years in Bolivia. 

Jim currently is a member of the Hispanic Ministries Commission of the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  He continues to be active in mission work, having made 25 trips to Honduras since retirement.  He is a member of the board of directors of the Texas Wesley Foundation at The University of Texas/Austin and secretary/treasurer of the board of Austin Helps Honduras as well a former board member of Honduras Outreach, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia.

Jim Morriss  
Sylvia Salazar

Sylvia Salazar is one of the founders of the Wesley Center for Family and Neighborhood Development in Austin.  A lawyer practicing in Austin for twenty-five years, Ms. Salazar offered her legal expertise in incorporating the Wesley Center as a non-profit corporation and in obtaining its 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. 

Ms. Salazar is a life-long United Methodist whose parents were pioneers in the Rio Grande Conference of the United Methodist Church.  With her parents as examples, she has a heart for serving the Lord by helping people in need.  She is a member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Austin.

Ms. Salazar worked with her husband, Rev. Dionisio Salazar, for many years with the Dove Springs community. She was involved with the church start-up effort of the Southwest Texas Conference as a children’s Sunday school teacher and assisted in various other family development programs. 

Ms. Salazar is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Denver College of Law.  She is currently employed by the Employees Retirement System of Texas as Assistant General Counsel.  She and her husband have three children.