Lauren Alexander

LinkedIn
Email Lauren

Lauren is passionate about helping visionaries realize their dreams. She built her career working in the nonprofit development world, where she supported donors in aligning their investments with programs and projects that make the world a better place while simultaneously helping the organizations she served develop new revenue streams that would reduce their dependence on philanthropy. Today, she’s proud to be part of a team that empowers smart and genuine change agents to be even better at doing the work that makes big companies more ethical, generous, and kind.

Lauren attended The University of Texas at Austin where she earned undergraduate degrees in Radio-TV-Film and Psychology as well as a graduate degree in Public Affairs. She lives in Sunset Valley, a small community surrounded by South Austin, with her husband Joe and their precious pups, Winnie Pearl and Beauregard.

Quick facts about Lauren:

  • Lauren is known for keeping her glass half full – full of iced tea.
  • She craves sand between her toes and hikes in the mountains.
  • Her guilty pleasure is catching two, occasionally even three, movies on a weekend afternoon.

Donna Baker

LinkedIn
Email Donna

As the Staff Accountant on the Operations Team, Donna assists the VP of Operations with handling the day-to-day number crunching and HR duties for GasPedal.

Originally from Michigan, her family relocated to South Texas coast when she was in elementary school. After finishing her Bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M, she moved to Southern California and began her career as an auditor for a large retailer. She worked in the mutual fund industry, spent some time as a corporate recruiter, and after relocating back home to Texas, worked in various accounting roles at The University of Texas and several Austin based non-profit organizations. She is an avid runner and serves as the Treasurer of a non-profit group that promotes fitness and the love of running with the community. She dreams of one day becoming a certified yoga instructor, and spends most of her free time exploring Austin’s roads and trails, and hanging with family and friends

Quick facts about Donna:

  • Although she swore she would never do another one, she is currently training for her 10th marathon.
  • She lived and worked on a 45-acre hazelnut farm in Oregon and worked at a winery in the Willamette. Valley.
  • She once jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, lived to tell about it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Sarah Bartholomew

LinkedIn
Email Sarah

Sarah grew up in Connecticut where she attended Central Connecticut State University and received a Bachelor’s in Economics. She’s currently studying at the University of Delaware for her MBA with a concentration in Finance and International Business. She’s worked in financial services for three years, after which she moved to Austin, and started working in both hospitality and Austin startups.

Sarah currently lives in North Austin with a couple of friends and her dog Randy. She loves going to see live music, hiking on a nice day, and getting the chance to do some arts and crafts at some of the local crafting businesses. She also loves traveling and getting the chance to explore new locations as often as possible.

Quick facts about Sarah:

  • She used to compete in piano competitions.
  • She grew up water skiing, wakeboarding, and all general water sports.
  • She’s lived in Austin for four years and still hasn’t been to Barton Creek.

Aaron Bennet

LinkedIn
Email Aaron

After starting his career working various roles in the music industry, Aaron eventually developed an interest in conducting B2B research. Having had a lifelong interest in learning about new topics, he enjoys curating information that can grow organizations and help them make informed decisions. Aaron has done research work in a variety of industries from homeland security to finance.

A Michigan native, Aaron is a graduate of Western Michigan University where he received a B.B.A. in Management. After being away for a few years, he is excited to be returning to Austin and getting reacquainted with the city.

Quick facts about Aaron:

  • He is an electronic music DJ and avid record collector.
  • He recently developed an interest in hockey, and is planning on taking up the sport…as soon as he learns how to skate.
  • He once simultaneously managed the official Willie Nelson, Matchbox 20, and Lil’ Wayne online fan clubs.

Laura Berrones

LinkedIn
Email Laura

As a Community Manager for GasPedal, Laura is focused on making people happy through systems and procedures that deliver the most joy. She loves crossing items of checklists, developing reports in Salesforce, and using excel to find shortcuts to maximize output.

Laura is a graduate of Purdue University where she studied Communications. After graduation, she started her career in sandwiches (because we all know that the quickest way to someone’s heart is through their belly) hoping to make the most people happy in short periods of time. After many years in the sandwich biz, she stumbled into GasPedal by means of free sandwich tickets and a continued passion for taking care of people. Spreading happiness and creating positive ripple effects are what make her tick, so she felt she found her calling in the work at SocialMedia.org.

Quick facts about Laura:

  • Laura loves picking up stray pennies and assigning their luck to other people.
  • She has a regular yoga and kickboxing habit – it’s all about yin and yang
  • She’s recently discovered the music of Devendra Banhart and may have become an instant super fan.

Kaitlin Butler

LinkedIn
Email Laura

Kaitlin grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, went to school in Dallas, and moved around every chance she got (Santa Fe, Berkeley, a dreamy castle in northern Italy, Memphis, Chicago!) before finally landing in Austin. She’s thrilled to be back in the land of breakfast tacos, Townes Van Zandt, and endless streams of Topo Chico. Professionally, she spent most of her career in higher ed fundraising before making the shift to GasPedal. She’s loving the mission-driven work as well as her short commute, and spends much of her free time planning a backyard vegetable garden, learning how to two step, and throwing elaborate dinner parties.

Quick facts about Kaitlin:

  • She’s an avid music fan who once served as music director for her college radio station.
  • She’s hopelessly devoted to her cat, Henry Perkins, who’s a dead ringer for a young Timothy Dalton.
  • She has a secret method for winning raffles, and it works—prizes to date include gift cards, hockey tickets, and an enormous flatscreen TV and soundbar.

Sam Callahan

Twitter
LinkedIn
Email Sam

As a writer for our Communications Team, Sam helps create the voices of our brands through newsletters, member communications, blogs, and marketing content.

Sam is originally from the great state of New Jersey and studied Communications at Ramapo College. After graduation, she worked in social media and consumer rewards marketing for four years before deciding to make a major life change. After a particularly harsh and seemingly never-ending East Coast winter, Sam packed up and moved to Austin, TX where the temperature rarely dips below 50°. She has never really cared for tacos but this city might just change her mind.

Quick facts about Sam:

  • She was a varsity bowler in high school. There is no such thing as a “friendly game” when Sam’s involved. Luckily for everyone, she was forced to leave her custom bowling ball at home during her recent move.
  • Despite her crippling fear of flying, Sam has traveled to 44 U.S. states and nine countries.
  • At one point in her life, she could accurately identify any species of frog in the northeast just from the sound of its call.

As a Membership Director, Jeff helps our members get the most value out of their membership. He enjoys building relationships and making sure members are comfortable with sharing ideas, asking questions, and making connections with other members.

Jeff graduated from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, with a degree in journalism. He worked as a reporter for both a weekly and daily newspaper, and also wrote for an insurance trade magazine for Crain Communications. In other parts of his career, he handled auto claims for Progressive Insurance and worked in public relations, marketing, social media, and digital content at Zurich Insurance. In fact, he’s a former SocialMedia.org member!

Jeff grew up in the suburbs of Chicago but has moved as far north as Superior, Wisconsin, and as far south as Durham, North Carolina. Now, he lives in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, a literal stone’s throw from Wrigley Field, with his lovely wife, Kristi, and their son, Declan. And yes, he’s a fan of the Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs, and Bulls.

Quick facts about Jeff:

  • He met his wife, Kristi, at a Grizzly Bear concert at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park and proposed to her on the very spot they met.
  • Jeff played lacrosse at Western Illinois University.
  • He also won a Virginia Press Association award for feature writing.

Paul Castillo

LinkedIn
Email Paul

As the Technology Manager, Paul does his best to keep everything IT related running smoothly at GasPedal. If it’s technology-related and broken, he’s the one to fix it. And if something needs improvement, Paul will get it done. He enjoys helping people and solving problems.

Paul came from a help desk background, working at a small business in Georgetown to support onsite IT issues for business and residential clients. He quickly advanced to a lead role and became the go-to guy for everyone in the shop. Paul’s happy to assist co-workers and clients alike, and enjoys working in a challenging and fast-paced environment.

Quick facts about Paul:

  • At two years old, he stuck a fork in a 220V outlet and survived unscathed.
  • He still hosts LAN parties, where his kids have mastered first-person shooter games.
  • At home, Paul says he’s known as the “Troll” dad — he’s constantly messing with his four children and making them laugh.

Taylor Catalon

LinkedIn
Email Taylor

Taylor was born and raised in sunny Southern California and attended Pacific Union College in Napa Valley to study Communications in Public Relations and Journalism. She spent a year abroad in Florence, Italy and earned her Italian minor. After graduation, she worked at an academic health system managing the annual and employee giving programs then transitioned to launching a strategic alliances department while earning her MBA in Marketing from University of Redlands. This is where her love for connecting people to their passions blended with her business acumen.

Taylor and her husband took a leap of faith and moved to Austin (where they didn’t know a soul) in 2017 and quickly realized this was home. They live in Southwest Austin with their spunky Boxer, Amber. She enjoys taking her paddleboard on the lake, walking Amber around the greenbelt and game nights.

Quick facts about Taylor:

  • She’s a Yelp Elite. She loves writing about the mom and pop shops, neighborhood restaurants and local businesses almost as much as she loves eating her way through Austin. If you need an Insta-worthy happy hour spot, she’s your girl!
  • She went skydiving when it was -13℉ in the air. Her nose is still thawing out.
  • She moved to Austin on Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Some say they would’ve won if she didn’t abandon California that day. Go Dodgers!

Haley Dearing

LinkedIn
Email Haley

Haley was born and raised in Houston and attended Texas A&M University where she received a Bachelor’s in Political Science. She finished her last semester abroad studying foreign affairs at Richmond University in London. She then moved to San Francisco to earn a Master’s in International Business with a Specialization in Sustainability while working for a non-profit on CSR efforts and editing for an international magazine.

After grad school, Haley moved to Austin to pursue a career in Business Development and Public-Sector Marketing. She currently lives in South Austin with some friends and a cat, Arya, who she is unfortunately allergic to. Haley enjoys trying new restaurants, being on the water and taking spontaneous weekend trips (near or far).

Quick facts about Haley:

  • She can say anything backwards, including Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
  • In high school, Haley raised a pig that bullied her.
  • She’s visited 11 countries – and counting – and successfully missed 3 flights during those travels.

Andrew Dobbs

LinkedIn
Email Dobbs

Andrew Dobbs (or just “Dobbs” to friends) is a native Texan originally from the Dallas area, who has lived in Austin for most of the last 17 years. He attended the University of Texas where he studied history and got involved in local, state, and national politics. He ultimately ended up with a career in environmental activism and public interest advocacy, learning about Gaspedal while he worked with our neighbors on the landfill that gives Trash Mountain Ranch its name. After getting to know some of our people he decided to pursue a career change to make a difference here.

He lives less than 15 minutes from the ranch now with his partner (and two cats) and spends as much time as possible obsessing over the Dallas Cowboys, re-watching The Sopranos, and reading.

Quick facts about Dobbs:

  • Dobbs once spent months wandering the US on Greyhound buses and reading Tarot cards on the street for a living.
  • He appeared on Jeopardy! in 2011… and lost badly.
  • In 2014 he produced and co-hosted a live televised debate for Austin Mayor (and did much better than he did on Jeopardy!).

Andrew Epps

LinkedIn
Email Andrew

Andrew is a self-described autodidact, whose passion for learning and sharing drives him to help people make connections. As a Sales Development Representative, Andrew helps us find amazing new community members.

Andrew’s entrepreneurial spirit has led him on a diverse path working for early-stage startups and building businesses of his own. He is a graduate of the Praxis Entrepreneurship Program and a voracious reader.

Quick facts about Andrew:

  • He plays eight different musical instruments (to varying degrees of success).
  • He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland.
  • He’s a huge history nerd.

Preston Firestone

Email Preston

Preston has led human resources and recruiting operations for GasPedal and its clients since 1999. He has served in similar positions with a variety of new media companies as well as traditional consulting enterprises. Preston spent five years on the road with The Vanilla Fudge and raises pet mudsharks. Preston isn’t real, but most job applicants don’t read this far.