Our Board and Team | About Us | Families Empowered

CONOZCA AL EQUIPO

Jessica Bastian

Receptionist

Jessica Bastian

Receptionist

Email: Email: jbastian@familiesempowered.org

Jessica Bastian comes to Families Empowered with a background of over sixteen years in customer service positions. She comes to Families Empowered because she is passionate about the education of the youth and empowering parents. Jessica holds two associates degrees in Science and Funeral Services and is still continuing her education path. She was born in Dallas, Texas but resides in Cypress Texas with her fiancé, daughter, and furry family.
 

Theresa Callaway

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Theresa Callaway

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Email: Email: tcallaway@familiesempowered.org

Theresa Callaway is a passionate communications professional with a strong administrative background that specializes in content strategy, social media management and content creation. She comes to Families Empowered with a background in Journalism, Media Design and an ever-growing passion for learning new things and exploring new opportunities. She is passionate about using her skills to continue helping others, giving back to her community and using her background to tell engaging stories in new and creative ways. Theresa aims to continue using her skills to give back and make a difference in the communities she serves. 
 
Theresa lives in Georgetown with her two cats, Gemini and Gizmo.

Kerenny Carrizales

Bilingual Customer Service Representative

Kerenny Carrizales

Bilingual Customer Service Representative

Email: Email: kcarrizales@familiesempowered.org

Kerenny Carrizales comes to Families Empowered after working as a T-Mobile Mobile Expert for the last eight years. Kerenny has a rich customer service background and is dedicated to helping and supporting families. Originally born in Matamoros Tamaulipas, Mexico, Kerenny is a Houston native and Channelview high school alum who enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies and listening to music. Kerenny looks forward to continue developing her skills while serving communities across Texas.
Kerenny lives in the Houston area with her three dogs Lula, Paloma and Scarlett.

Patricia Castillo

Operations Manager

Patricia Castillo

Operations Manager

Email: pcastillo@familiesempowered.org

Prior to working at Families Empowered, Patricia was the Office Manager at USA Car Sales from October 2011 to February 2019. In March 2003, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and opened a popsicle factory to help her two younger sisters go to college. In addition to being the founder of that business, she managed finance, administration, and production. The work that Families Empowered does every day is something Patricia holds close to her heart, and she considers it an honor for her to be able to work alongside a team that is making such an impact and difference in the lives of others.

Ayla Dehghanpoor

Director of Marketing & Communications

Ayla Dehghanpoor

Director of Marketing & Communications

Email: adehghanpoor@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (832) 955-7664

Ayla Dehghanpoor is a communications professional who specializes in marketing strategy and creative content production. She comes to Families Empowered with a background in print media and spent much of her career at a local lifestyle publishing house and advertising agency in Texas. She is passionate about bringing accurate, quality information to the audiences she serves, and sharing stories that make an impact.

She lives in Houston with her husband, Zach, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Parker.

Colleen Dippel

Founder & CEO

Colleen Dippel

Founder & CEO

Email: cdippel@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (713) 589-8767

Colleen Dippel began her career as a public school teacher. She left teaching to help launch a private-sector education technology start-up. She’s served as the Director of the KIPP School Leadership Program, the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America- Houston, and as the Director of Education Initiatives at Aquinas Co. At Aquinas, she launched Families Empowered, which she leads today.

Colleen is the proud mother of two active children.

Charlotte Ehlers

Development Social Media Intern

Charlotte Ehlers

Development Social Media Intern

Email: Email: cehlers@familiesempowered.org

Meet our Summer Development Social Media Intern, Charlotte Ehlers! Charlotte is a part of the ten-week Koch Internship Program and a recent graduate from Tulane University who will be working with our Families Empowered team this summer. Charlotte enjoys playing rugby, working out, cooking and many other creative activities like playing piano and drawing! Charlotte aims to help Families Empowered build our awareness across Texas and Arizona to reach and engage with more families that are exploring their school choice options.

Erin McFarlane

Development Coordinator

Erin McFarlane

Development Coordinator

Email: emcfarlane@familiesempowered.org

Erin McFarlane started her professional career in finance and real estate before switching to part-time work and community volunteering alongside raising a family. She is originally from the Chicago area and is married to a native Texan. They have three teenage sons, two dogs, one cat, and a Shetland pony named Pearl.

Max Sheaffer

Customer Service Representative Intern

Max Sheaffer

Customer Service Representative Intern

Email: Email: msheaffer@familiesempowered.org

Meet our Summer Customer Service Representative Intern, Max Sheaffer! Max is a bilingual rising junior at University of Miami who will be working with our Families Empowered team this summer. Max is a Houston native who went to St. John’s School and enjoys watching sports, hanging out with friends and going to the beach. This summer Max aims to gain valuable experience providing support to families exploring their school choice options!

Wilson Sheaffer

Customer Service Representative

Wilson Sheaffer

Customer Service Representative

Email: Email: wsheaffer@familiesempowered.org

Wilson Sheaffer comes to Families Empowered with a rich background in customer service with local philanthropist, Joanne King Herring and sales at Renewal By Anderson Windows. Wilson is a bilingual Houston native, Bellaire High School alumni and a current student at Houston Community College. Wilson has previously volunteered with Families Empowered in the past and is eager and excited to be officially joining the FE family! With a unique school choice story, Wilson aims to use his background and passion to help families find the school that works for them.

Deanna Sheaffer

Strategic Gifts Manager

Deanna Sheaffer

Strategic Gifts Manager

Email: dsheaffer@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 713-589-8767

Deanna Sheaffer has more than 15 years of non-profit advancement/development experience, primarily in education. Most recently, Deanna worked with the Advancement Team at KIPP Houston as Senior Events Manager. Prior to her work at KIPP Houston, she was the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America’s Houston office. She originally came to Houston as a 1991 Teach For America corps member. In 1999, Deanna joined Rice University as the Director of Alumni Engagement and Finance.

She is married to a native Houstonian and is the crazed, yet proud, mother of four energetic boys.

Allison Squier

Bilingual Customer Service Representative

Allison Squier

Bilingual Customer Service Representative

Email: asquier@familiesempowered.org

Allison Squier joined the Families Empowered team to support parents searching for schools as a Bilingual Customer Service representative.

In her previous career as a business development executive, she played a critical role in helping businesses expand into Latin American countries. In her role as a Financial Client Service Representative at Bank of America, she regularly attended to the needs and finances of international clients.

In her free time, Allison loves to paint, travel with her family, and above all, enjoy good food and wine with friends.

Sophie Tsay

Development Intern

Sophie Tsay

Development Intern

Email: Email: stsay@familiesempowered.org

Meet our Summer Development Intern, Sophie Tsay! Sophie is Memorial High School Junior working to help our Families Empowered team this summer. Sophie enjoys spending time with friends, painting, traveling and swimming. Sophie aims to gain valuable experience working in an office environment and helping our Development team thrive and prepare for the new year.

Ethan Yoon

Communications Intern

Ethan Yoon

Communications Intern

Email: eyoon@familiesempowered.org

Meet our Communications Intern, Ethan Yoon! Max is a senior at Memorial High School who will be working with our Families Empowered team this summer. Ethan is a Houston local, originally from Pleasanton, California, who enjoys playing with his dog, wood working activities and chatting with friends. This summer Ethan aims to gain valuable experience learning about local area schools and how to support families while they explore their school choice options!

Jessica Bastian

Receptionist

Bio

Email: Email: jbastian@familiesempowered.org

Jessica Bastian comes to Families Empowered with a background of over sixteen years in customer service positions. She comes to Families Empowered because she is passionate about the education of the youth and empowering parents. Jessica holds two associates degrees in Science and Funeral Services and is still continuing her education path. She was born in Dallas, Texas but resides in Cypress Texas with her fiancé, daughter, and furry family.
 

Theresa Callaway

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Bio

Email: Email: tcallaway@familiesempowered.org

Theresa Callaway is a passionate communications professional with a strong administrative background that specializes in content strategy, social media management and content creation. She comes to Families Empowered with a background in Journalism, Media Design and an ever-growing passion for learning new things and exploring new opportunities. She is passionate about using her skills to continue helping others, giving back to her community and using her background to tell engaging stories in new and creative ways. Theresa aims to continue using her skills to give back and make a difference in the communities she serves. 
 
Theresa lives in Georgetown with her two cats, Gemini and Gizmo.

Kerenny Carrizales

Bilingual Customer Service Representative

Bio

Email: Email: kcarrizales@familiesempowered.org

Kerenny Carrizales comes to Families Empowered after working as a T-Mobile Mobile Expert for the last eight years. Kerenny has a rich customer service background and is dedicated to helping and supporting families. Originally born in Matamoros Tamaulipas, Mexico, Kerenny is a Houston native and Channelview high school alum who enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies and listening to music. Kerenny looks forward to continue developing her skills while serving communities across Texas.
Kerenny lives in the Houston area with her three dogs Lula, Paloma and Scarlett.

Patricia Castillo

Operations Manager

Bio

Email: pcastillo@familiesempowered.org

Prior to working at Families Empowered, Patricia was the Office Manager at USA Car Sales from October 2011 to February 2019. In March 2003, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and opened a popsicle factory to help her two younger sisters go to college. In addition to being the founder of that business, she managed finance, administration, and production. The work that Families Empowered does every day is something Patricia holds close to her heart, and she considers it an honor for her to be able to work alongside a team that is making such an impact and difference in the lives of others.

Ayla Dehghanpoor

Director of Marketing & Communications

Bio

Email: adehghanpoor@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (832) 955-7664

Ayla Dehghanpoor is a communications professional who specializes in marketing strategy and creative content production. She comes to Families Empowered with a background in print media and spent much of her career at a local lifestyle publishing house and advertising agency in Texas. She is passionate about bringing accurate, quality information to the audiences she serves, and sharing stories that make an impact.

She lives in Houston with her husband, Zach, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Parker.

Colleen Dippel

Founder & CEO

Bio

Email: cdippel@familiesempowered.org
Phone: (713) 589-8767

Colleen Dippel began her career as a public school teacher. She left teaching to help launch a private-sector education technology start-up. She’s served as the Director of the KIPP School Leadership Program, the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America- Houston, and as the Director of Education Initiatives at Aquinas Co. At Aquinas, she launched Families Empowered, which she leads today.

Colleen is the proud mother of two active children.

Charlotte Ehlers

Development Social Media Intern

Bio

Email: Email: cehlers@familiesempowered.org

Meet our Summer Development Social Media Intern, Charlotte Ehlers! Charlotte is a part of the ten-week Koch Internship Program and a recent graduate from Tulane University who will be working with our Families Empowered team this summer. Charlotte enjoys playing rugby, working out, cooking and many other creative activities like playing piano and drawing! Charlotte aims to help Families Empowered build our awareness across Texas and Arizona to reach and engage with more families that are exploring their school choice options.

Erin McFarlane

Development Coordinator

Bio

Email: emcfarlane@familiesempowered.org

Erin McFarlane started her professional career in finance and real estate before switching to part-time work and community volunteering alongside raising a family. She is originally from the Chicago area and is married to a native Texan. They have three teenage sons, two dogs, one cat, and a Shetland pony named Pearl.

Max Sheaffer

Customer Service Representative Intern

Bio

Email: Email: msheaffer@familiesempowered.org

Meet our Summer Customer Service Representative Intern, Max Sheaffer! Max is a bilingual rising junior at University of Miami who will be working with our Families Empowered team this summer. Max is a Houston native who went to St. John’s School and enjoys watching sports, hanging out with friends and going to the beach. This summer Max aims to gain valuable experience providing support to families exploring their school choice options!

Wilson Sheaffer

Customer Service Representative

Bio

Email: Email: wsheaffer@familiesempowered.org

Wilson Sheaffer comes to Families Empowered with a rich background in customer service with local philanthropist, Joanne King Herring and sales at Renewal By Anderson Windows. Wilson is a bilingual Houston native, Bellaire High School alumni and a current student at Houston Community College. Wilson has previously volunteered with Families Empowered in the past and is eager and excited to be officially joining the FE family! With a unique school choice story, Wilson aims to use his background and passion to help families find the school that works for them.

Deanna Sheaffer

Strategic Gifts Manager

Bio

Email: dsheaffer@familiesempowered.org
Phone: 713-589-8767

Deanna Sheaffer has more than 15 years of non-profit advancement/development experience, primarily in education. Most recently, Deanna worked with the Advancement Team at KIPP Houston as Senior Events Manager. Prior to her work at KIPP Houston, she was the Director of Alumni Support for Teach For America’s Houston office. She originally came to Houston as a 1991 Teach For America corps member. In 1999, Deanna joined Rice University as the Director of Alumni Engagement and Finance.

She is married to a native Houstonian and is the crazed, yet proud, mother of four energetic boys.

Allison Squier

Bilingual Customer Service Representative

Bio

Email: asquier@familiesempowered.org

Allison Squier joined the Families Empowered team to support parents searching for schools as a Bilingual Customer Service representative.

In her previous career as a business development executive, she played a critical role in helping businesses expand into Latin American countries. In her role as a Financial Client Service Representative at Bank of America, she regularly attended to the needs and finances of international clients.

In her free time, Allison loves to paint, travel with her family, and above all, enjoy good food and wine with friends.

Sophie Tsay

Development Intern

Bio

Email: Email: stsay@familiesempowered.org

Meet our Summer Development Intern, Sophie Tsay! Sophie is Memorial High School Junior working to help our Families Empowered team this summer. Sophie enjoys spending time with friends, painting, traveling and swimming. Sophie aims to gain valuable experience working in an office environment and helping our Development team thrive and prepare for the new year.

Ethan Yoon

Communications Intern

Bio

Email: eyoon@familiesempowered.org

Meet our Communications Intern, Ethan Yoon! Max is a senior at Memorial High School who will be working with our Families Empowered team this summer. Ethan is a Houston local, originally from Pleasanton, California, who enjoys playing with his dog, wood working activities and chatting with friends. This summer Ethan aims to gain valuable experience learning about local area schools and how to support families while they explore their school choice options!

JUNTA DIRECTIVA

Leo Linbeck III, Chair

President and CEO, Aquinas Companies, LLC

Leo Linbeck III, Chair

President and CEO, Aquinas Companies, LLC

Jason Bernal

Chief School Officer, Houston Independent School District

Jason Bernal

Chief School Officer, Houston Independent School District

Debbie Hurwitz

Community Leader, Parent and Coach

Debbie Hurwitz

Community Leader, Parent and Coach

Ore Owodunni

VP & Treasurer, Sysco

Ore Owodunni

VP & Treasurer, Sysco

Alison Porter

Owner, Apex Leadership Company

Alison Porter

Owner, Apex Leadership Company

Annette Van Brunt

President, Van Brunt & Associates, Inc.

Annette Van Brunt

President, Van Brunt & Associates, Inc.

Leo Linbeck III, Chair

President and CEO, Aquinas Companies, LLC

Bio

Jason Bernal

Chief School Officer, Houston Independent School District

Bio

Debbie Hurwitz

Community Leader, Parent and Coach

Bio

Ore Owodunni

VP & Treasurer, Sysco

Bio

Alison Porter

Owner, Apex Leadership Company

Bio

Annette Van Brunt

President, Van Brunt & Associates, Inc.

Bio