Staff

Staff


Laura Ward

Executive Director

Laura joined Saint Louise House as Executive Director in May of 2014. Laura brings 20 years of experience advocating for the needs of children and families. With a combined career as an attorney and an executive manager, in both the public and nonprofit sectors, Laura shares a unique skill set in her leadership of the organization. Laura holds a J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Michigan. Laura lives in Austin with her husband and six-year-old daughter, Anna.

Jim Boyle

Facilities Maintenance Manager

Jim is responsible for the overall maintenance and upkeep of the Saint Louise House properties. He provides all of Saint Louise House families with well-maintained apartments that are highly functional and energy efficient. His dedication to Saint Louise House’s mission has led him to undertake a series of building improvements to promote the safety and security of all families. He has also initiated an effort to purchase more energy efficient appliances so families can use fewer resources on utility expenses. Jim has a Bachelors degree in Marketing from The University of Texas at Austin.

Maria Kiehn

MA, Grant Manager

Maria is responsible for grant research, writing, and reporting at Saint Louise House. She joined the staff after serving as a volunteer in the administrative offices at Saint Louise House for four years. She has worked on grants in the education, international development, and non-profit sectors. Maria earned a Bachelors of Science in Russian language from Georgetown University and a Masters of Arts from Stanford University.

Dave Swincher

Communications & Donor Relations Manager

Dave Swincher has been in Austin for nearly 20 years, and has enjoyed a successful career for over 30 years in nonprofit management, as a senior executive in the youth services and education area with stops in Indiana, Colorado, Ohio, and a side trip to Moscow.  He has a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Ball State University and served six years as an Examiner for the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  He has been a member of the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council in Austin for a decade, and continues to serve on the Executive Committee.  He is co-founder and former director of the Austin Marathon Relay.  Dave is a runner, a century cyclist, and recently survived a Super Spartan event.  Dave and his wife Ann have a daughter who is a doctor at Seton, a son who is an entrepreneur and professional public speaker, and a son in his second year of law school.  They reside between Austin and Dripping Springs with the newest addition to their family, Pixie, a Yorkshire terrier.

Katie Montgomery

Volunteer Coordinator & Community Outreach Specialist

Katie is responsible for providing support to Saint Louise House volunteers, managing community relationships, and handling in-kind donations. After growing up in the Austin-area, Katie went on to become a proud member of the Aggie family, earning a BA in Communications at Texas A&M University. Fueled by a passion for people, the non-profit sector, and the Texas hill country, Katie graduated early to return to Austin, where she now finds herself eating way too much dessert.

Allison Shurr

LMSW, Program Director

Allison supports Saint Louise House through program development, program management and supervision of case managers and other direct staff. Prior to joining the agency, Allison worked at Lutheran Social Services and Texas Interagency Interfaith Disaster Response with families, individuals, and communities recovering from and rebuilding after natural disasters. In addition, she has experience providing case management and coordination services to families and providers involved in the Child Protective Services system in Travis County. Allison is a Licensed Master Social Worker and holds her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and her Masters of Science in Social Work with an administrative concentration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Amber Williard

LCSW, Case Manager Supervisor

Amber supervises the Case Management Staff, and provides supports to the Program Director, while also serving Program Participants directly through case management. Amber, who is also a professional birth doula, holds a BS in Health and Human Services from Ohio University, and a Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, the bulk of Amber’s experience has been working with chronically mentally ill women who are experiencing homelessness. Amber and her husband Tim have two children, Wren and Juniper. Although they are Chicagoan’s at heart, Amber admits that Austin is growing on them.

Kristin Coldsnow

LMSW, Family Services Specialist & Case Manager

Kristin supports Saint Louise House as a Counselor, Family Services Specialist, and Case Manager.  In addition to supporting families as a case manager, Kristin is working to expand the programs and services for children and teens living at Saint Louise House.  Prior to joining Saint Louise House, Kristin worked with clients as a clinical social work intern providing therapy to children and families who experienced trauma and/or mental health concerns at Austin Child Guidance Center.  Her background also includes working as a care coordinator intern for the CPS Reintegration Project through Travis County Health and Human Services and working as pre-kindergarten teacher.  Kristin is a Licensed Master Social Worker with a Bachelors in Psychology from Colorado State University and a Master in Clinical Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.

Katie Parker

Counselor & Case Manager

Katie serves Saint Louise House families through case management and providing support for the program participant through counseling. Prior to this role, Katie performed various roles at Seton Healthcare Family, and acted as an Admissions Specialist at Cross Creek Hospital. Katie is a Licensed Master Social Worker with a MS in Social Work from Texas State University, a BA in Sociology from Centenary College of Louisiana, and is fluent in Spanish. Katie has lived in Austin for 10 years, where she has a spouse, child, and small white poodle.

Giovanna Nelkin

As Saint Louise House’s Jesuit Volunteer, Giovanna supports the Program Office as a Case Manager. In addition to working directly with program participants, Giovanna leads the Utility Assistance Program, and assists in facilitating the Children’s Services Program. Originally from the north, Giovanna received her B.A. in Political Science and Communication from Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

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