PelotonU has seven board members from the Austin community, including a current student. Our board plays an active role in strategy and governance as we continue improving our support for working college students in Austin and share those lessons with partners in communities outside Austin.

Here are our current members, as of January 2017.


Mary Ellen Pietruszynski

Executive Director, Sooch Foundation

A former teacher and attorney, her work with the Sooch Foundation alongside area non-profits provides important insights into best practices for nonprofit governance and operations. Mary Ellen also serves on the Austin Opportunity Youth Steering Committee and is active in several local and national education funders groups.

Van Davis

Associate Vice President of Higher Education Research and Policy, Blackboard, Inc.

Van was formerly the Director of Innovations at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board where he built the first competency-based university degree path in Texas. He holds a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and taught at both public and private universities for ten years.


James Baker

Vice President, Greenridge Investment Partners

James is a Vice President at the private equity group Greenridge Investment Partners. His experience evaluating investments and supporting management teams through the execution of growth plans yields a strong understanding of the challenges growing organizations face. James has also worked in investment banking and earned a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University.


Sheila Matthews

Site Coordinator Open Doors Childcare Cherrywood

Sheila is an Austin native and long-time leader for Open Door Preschools in the Cherrywood neighborhood. She’s also a current PelotonU student, and offers valuable insight as the board seeks to put students first in their strategic decisions.


Karen Jordan-Markham

Executive Coach & Vice President of Development, Emergent Execs

Karen has served as President and CEO of the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. A veteran of the hospitality industry, she was also formerly Executive Director of the Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.


Sara Boone Hartley

Assistant Director, Watershed Protection, City of Austin

A sixteen year veteran at the City of Austin, Sara has built a career leading dynamic teams and developing internal staff. She has led PelotonU’s partnership with the City of Austin and is invested in helping other local employers provide upward mobility for their entry-level staff.


Rex Gore

President, Professional Janitorial Services

A long-time entrepreneur and philanthropist with over 1,500 employees in Austin, Rex’s work on initiatives supporting the educational goals of his staff led him to join with Hudson to found PelotonU. He currently sits on the board of the Austin Chamber of Commerce.