April 11, 2023
2023 1st Quarter Placements
We believe it is a true honor to partner with mission-driven organizations that are making a positive impact on society and striving for a meaningful change. At Peña Search, we are committed to finding the right long-term leadership to support our clients’ missions and contribute towards their success. We are proud to showcase our 1st Quarter Placements for 2023!
Michera Brooks, Executive Director | Leadership ISD
Ms. Brooks joins Leadership ISD with more than a decade of experience advocating for educational equity as an attorney and nonprofit practitioner. Most recently serving as Senior Director of Partnerships at Leadership for Educational Equity, Ms. Brooks will play a vital role in advancing racial equity in public education within her home state of Texas. Before returning home, Ms. Brooks served children and families in New York City and across the nation with organizations such as Ramapo for Children, Achievement First, and Advocates for Children of New York. Her lifelong interest in education was manifest early in her career during a two-year classroom stint with Teach For America, where she taught ESL in the Houston metropolitan area.
Candy Crespo, Director, Community Engagement | Children’s Medical Center Foundation
Ms. Crespo joins Children’s Medical Center Foundation after 13 years at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where she most recently served as Associate Director for the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Prior to SMU, Ms. Crespo held roles in financial services, media, and public affairs that included stints in Washington, DC, and Dallas, Texas.
Desma Deitz, Executive Director | VentureLab
Ms. Deitz joins VentureLab with decades of nonprofit experience, most recently serving as Executive Director for the foundation at Amherst, a national financial services firm. Previously, Ms. Deitz held multiple senior positions at Austin-based Marathon Kids, which grew exponentially under her programmatic and operational leadership, and served as Managing Director of UNICEF Ventures, a social innovation accelerator within UNICEF USA. Originally from Texas, Ms. Deitz has traveled the world and lived in New York for much of her career before coming full circle and settling in Austin.
Clayton Hollingsworth, Chief Development Officer | Texas Trees Foundation
Mr. Hollingsworth joins The Texas Trees Foundation with more than a decade of experience in high-functioning development teams, most recently serving as Chief Advancement Officer for 29 Acres. A native of Dallas, Mr. Hollingsworth launched his career in Washington, DC before returning home, where he held roles in sales and independent school fundraising. An avid nonprofit volunteer as well, Mr. Hollingsworth serves on numerous governing and advisory boards and committees across the Dallas community.
Teresa Lenling, Director, Museum Programming & Operations | George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Ms. Lenling joins The George W. Bush Presidential Museum with an impressive background in nonprofit and museum leadership, including as CEO and various program, school and community engagement, and education positions. Most recently, she served as Chief Executive Officer of the Frontiers of Flight Museum.
Neetra Walker, Senior Prospect Research Officer | Children’s Medical Center Foundation
Ms. Walker returns to Children’s after nearly eight years at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), where she played a key role supporting the institution’s $500 million campaign through research and strategy. Before UTSW, Ms. Walker launched her prospect research career at Children’s and is excited to come full circle as the next stage of her career.
Daniel Perry, Chief Development Officer | LBJ Foundation
Dan Perry joins the LBJ Foundation as Chief Development Officer after serving as Associate Vice President, University Advancement, at Texas State University, where he spent the past 10 years. Prior to that, Dan was Chief of Strategic Initiatives at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dan holds a BA in sociology from the University of California, Davis, an MA in international relations from the University of Denver, and a PhD in education from Texas State University.
Kelsey Picken, Director, Legacy & Gift Planning | Children’s Medical Center Foundation
Ms. Picken brings an extensive background in development with particular emphasis in planned giving to Children’s Medical Center Foundation. Her experience includes cultural institutions, higher education and her most recent role as Director of Planned Giving with Cook Children’s Health Foundation in Forth Worth.
Stephanie Russell, Chief Development Officer | Healthy Futures of Texas
Healthy Futures of Texas welcomes Stephanie Russell as its first Chief Development Officer. With over two decades of development experience, Stephanie will provide Healthy Futures with proven leadership that will ensure its statewide success.
Are you looking to make a career move? You could be one of our next recent placements! Explore our current open searches.