Lindsey Tyner – Board Chair/President
Lindsey is the owner and founder of Alt Creative. Her responsibilities include client relations, business development, and lead design & development.
Lindsey has been active in the Austin web development industry for over a decade. After graduating from the University of Texas with a Radio-Television-Film degree, she found web development to be a natural outlet for her creative and technical skills. Following a successful career in marketing and development, she launched her own web development company (formerly ATX Multimedia, now known as Alt Creative), in 2005.
Lindsey is a skilled designer and experienced developer. Her background in User Interface design is responsible for her ability to create user friendly web experiences for a wide variety of industries. She has worked with a wide range of clients, including small businesses, software companies, ad agencies, musicians and artists. Some of the companies she has created web & graphic designs for include the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, BMC Software, C3 Presents, the Better Business Bureau, and various startups and sole proprietorships.
Lindsey is was awarded the Make Mine A Million award in 2011 by Count Me In (for Women’s Economic Independence) and is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the WordPress Users Association. She is also actively involved in the Austin Chamber and the Austin Young Chamber and is currently participating in the 2013 (Best Class Ever!) of Leadership Austin.
Blake Absher, Treasurer, Past President
Blake Absher is a Vice President and Business Services Officer for Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T). Blake joined BB&T, formerly Colonial Bank in July, 2007 where he served as the Austin Market Manager overseeing the overall direction and performance of all retail banking centers in the greater Austin area. His most current role as a Business Services Officer, allows Blake to work more closely with his clients, helping advise businesses on ways to reach financial success. He focuses particularly on the lending needs of his clients, as well as risk management, employee benefits, cash management and personal banking needs.
Prior to joining BB&T, Blake served as the Retail Sales Manager for IBC Bank in Austin, where under his leadership and guidance IBC’s Austin market opened 10 new branches in an 18 month period. Blake was promoted to Bank Officer in 2006 and at the age of 24 years old, Blake was one of the youngest bank officers in IBC Bank’s entire footprint. When he wasn’t helping open new branches, Blake was also appointed as a member of the Corporate Sales Council for IBC, where he helped shape the overall direction and strategies for the company with corporate executives from the other IBC Markets.
Blake graduated from Texas State University – San Marcos, TX in 2004 with a BBA in Management, and went on to earn his MBA from Texas State in 2007. Blake serves as the Treasurer of the Board and as a Member of the Executive Committee for the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce. He is also proud to serve as a Big Brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program of Central Texas as well as an active participant at Lake Hills Church.
Abby Alwan is a newer Austin resident, coming by way of Chicago two years ago. She’s a Business Development coordinator for Emma Inc, overseeing the Texas market. Abby meets with local businesses to discuss their marketing & email marketing strategies, spreading the word about Emma, and speaks in Austin and Houston on the topic of email marketing to different marketing groups.
Abby graduated from IADT in Chicago with a BA in Fashion Merchandise Management and previously worked as the National Retail Manager and Buyer for DavidBartonGym. Since calling Austin home she’s been involved with groups such as the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas & Austin’s American Marketing Association. Abby also volunteers her time with Explore Austin as a mentor to Austin’s youth looking to connect with their inner leader by way of exploring our city’s outdoors.
A.J. Bingham – Fundraising
A.J. Bingham has called Austin home for over 21 years. A graduate of Austin’s L.B.J. Math and Science Academy (now Liberal Arts and Science Academy), he earned his B.A. in Political Science at Wake Forest University in 2004, and Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law in 2008.
Since returning to Austin following law school, he has been progressively active in the community. Beyond the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, he serves on the board of directors for the Young Men’s Business League of Austin, Goodwill Staffing Services, and the Austin School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He also holds membership in several organizations, including the Capital City African-American Chamber of Commerce, Wake Forest University Alumni Association, Urban League Young Professionals, and Seton Forum. He is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Austin’s Emerge Program.
Professionally, A.J. is Legislative Director and a registered lobbyist with McWilliams Governmental Affairs Consultants, a top-ranked government affairs firm based in Austin. Prior to joining the firm in June 2011 he gained legislative experience working in both the Texas House and Senate. He currently represents private and public sector clients before the Texas Legislature, executive branch, state agencies and commissions.
Tommy Belton – FAVE Awards Committee Chair
Tommy Belton is a group sales manager at the Driskill Hotel. His focus is bringing corporate meetings and events to the hotel primarily in the markets of Entertainment, Food and Beverage, Sports, Automotive and Transportation, Social, and Manufacturing. He has experienced great success in his position with The Driskill achieving chairman’s club status by booking in excess of $1.2 million dollars in a single booking year.
Tommy graduated from Austin High School and attended Texas State University before relocating for a business opportunity in 2005. Tommy earned a BBA in Marketing from the University of Phoenix, and is currently attending graduate school working toward his MBA.
Tommy serves as chair of the Austin Young Chamber FAVE Awards committee, recognizing local businesses for their contributions to the Austin community. He is a member of Young Men’s Business League, and volunteers annually in the Special Olympics of Texas winter games.
Andy Cates – Government Relations Committee Chair & Imagine Committee Liason
Andy Cates is Associate Counsel for the Texas Association of REALTORS (TAR). Andy joined TAR in April of 2012 where he serves as the lead legal counsel for the largest political action committee in Texas, practicing in ethics, nonprofit formation and governance, and legal compliance. At TAR, he also serves as an associate attorney practicing real estate law to serve the association’s 80,000 members across the state, and is the lead legislative attorney during legislative sessions, through which he leads the bill reading team and bill writing efforts for the association.
Prior to joining TAR and in just 5 years of practicing law, Andy worked as a criminal defense attorney, a corporate/transactional attorney, he lobbied for renewable energy resources for the 2011 legislative session, and worked for two years in the capitol as Clerk in the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and as Chief of Staff and General Counsel for now-Congressman Pete Gallego.
Andy graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX in 2004 with BA in International Politics and Spanish and then from law school at Texas Tech University in 2007 where he earned his JD. Andy started his service on the board for the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce in 2013, overseeing the Imagine and Government Relations Committees. He is also proud to serve as a member of the board for the Young Men’s Business League, and as a graduate of the Leadership Austin Emerge program. He lives in south Austin with his fiancee, and they will be married in September 2013.
John Fleckenstein II is Vice President for Sunbelt Securities. John joined Sunbelt in May of 2012 to serve as a portfolio manager, creating diversified investment strategies for individuals, trusts, and businesses.
Prior to joining Sunbelt Securities, John worked for the Wells Fargo Trust Department in the Managed Disciplined Strategies Group. As in investment manager, he gained valuable experience as an international specialist, a member of the international fixed income and municipal income national strategy teams, and lead internal account representative. As an investment manager, John helped service over 30,000+ accounts, implementing over 1,000+ strategies with over $17 billion in investment assets across the United States and internationally.
Being the first Eagle Scout of the new millennium, John has always had a knack for public service with a smile. He has volunteered around Austin with: Habitat for Humanity, coaching YMCA youth sports, Volunteer Tax Assistance Programs, Deputy Voter Registrar, Zavala and Barrington Elementary after school programs, Bastrop Fire Relief, Leadership Kerr County, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Assistant Scout Master, Austin Partners in Education, Capital Area Food Bank, It’s My Park Day, Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, as well as the 3 annual AYC community events.
Naturally, he belongs on the Leadership Service Committee where he has been highly involved since joining AYC in 2010. He now serves on the AYC board and chairs the Leadership Service Committee. John graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 with a degree in Economics and a minor in business and Spanish.
John King is the Executive Director for the CleanTX Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on promoting, supporting and encouraging the growth of Central Texas’ advanced energy economy and clean energy eco-system. CleanTX provides networking opportunities and educational content to empower professionals and enables executives, entrepreneurs, investors, analysts, and policy-makers to share real world experiences and challenges.
John joined the CleanTX Foundation from The Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities (TFIC), a non-profit funded by the state of Texas to develop Texas’ clean tech industry. As a Project Manager for TFIC, John was responsible for coordinating and implementing various Foundation deliverables, primarily focused on promoting initiatives intended to significantly accelerate the way Texas innovates, competes, and creates high-wage jobs in the emerging energy industries.
Prior to TFIC, John was the Senior Associate with Focused Advocacy, a government affairs firm focused on legislative and regulatory policy. As Senior Associate, John was responsible for legislative and regulatory analysis, client and media relations and overseeing Focused Advocacy’s Intern and Associate Program.
A native Austinite, John serves as Vice Chair on the Board of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce (AYC). John has served on the Board of the Austin Chapter of Young Professionals in Energy and is a member of the Greater Austin Chamber’s Clean Energy Council.
John is currently pursuing a Masters Degree of Energy and Earth Resources at the University of Texas’ Jackson School of Geosciences.
James Nortey - Government Relations/ Energy & Emerging Technology Committees
James is an Associate at Andrews Kurth LLP. His practice includes commercial litigation, administrative law, and energy matters.
In his commercial litigation practice, James assists in the representation of large companies in matters involving tort and contract claims. In his public law practice, James represents private firms seeking certification in small business programs, historically underutilized business (HUB) programs and minority-owned/women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) programs. He also represents local governments on a variety of matters including public procurement programs and bid protests. In his administrative practice, James regularly assists in the representation of energy consumers in contested matters before the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
In addition to Austin Young Chamber, James is actively involved with the Austin Young Lawyers Association, Austin Partners in Education, Leadership Austin, Travis County Democratic Party, and he also serves as a member of the City of Austin’s Planning Commission.
James is the son of two immigrants from Ghana. He was born in Dallas, raised in El Paso, attended Baylor University in Waco, and after attending law school in Massachusetts, he is proud to call Austin his home.
Colin Pope – Education/Speaker Series
Colin Pope is editor of the Austin Business Journal. As editor, he steers the publication’s content and newsroom to produce world-class news that is consumed by tens of thousands of readers every day — most of which are C-level executives, civic and political leader who demand very much.
His mixture of experience as a journalist, business and public relations expert — underscored by a passion to sustain and build upon everything that makes Austin so great — has allowed him to excel in his field.
Colin has lived in Austin for more than 25 years, and that time and his fondness of the city has made him one of its greatest advocates. He has a rare and refreshing knowledge of everything that is Austin and he is often tapped by radio and television talk/news shows as a result. He is a founding member of the annual RISE event, donates time to UT’s School of Journalism, ACC and the United Way, he is a founding board member of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce and is a regular contributor to Fox News and YNN. He graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism.
Ali Putnam – Chair, Tailgate Committee
Ali Putnam currently works as Media and Community Relations Manager for Circuit of the Americas, the purpose-built Formula 1 facility in Austin, Texas. Ali manages public relations for the Circuit, works directly with the media and maintains relationships with the local community and nonprofit groups. She has been involved in the PR and political aspects of the project since its announcement in the Spring of 2010.
Prior to working for Circuit of the Americas, Ali worked for a local political consulting firm 3 Point Partners as an account executive. She gained experience working with clients ranging from local nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies to achieve their communication goals and navigate the local political climate.
Ali has enjoyed being involved in local mentoring programs, including Austin Partners in Education and Troop 1500, which led her to serve as Co-Chair of the AYC Community Committee. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Texas.
Jonny Rodgers is an Austin native, who attended Westlake High School and is a Partner Agent with Den Property Group. Mr. Rodgers earned his B.A. Degree in Communications at Texas Christian University with honors in 2001. He was member of both Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Pi Chi (the communications honor society).
Mr. Rodgers is a member of the Real Estate Council of Austin, where he was appointed to the Leadership Development Class in 2007 and served on the Steering Committee in 2008. Mr. Rodgers also serves on the Board of the Young Mens Business League and The Texas Christian University Austin Alumni Association. An active philanthropist, Jonny is also involved with The Young Texans Against Cancer, The Alzheimer’s Association of Central Texas, Emerging Professionals In Conservation, as well as a volunteer coach for the Westlake High School 7 on 7 Football program for the past 5 years.
Ashley Tekyl – Poker Committee Co-Chair
Ashley Teykl is a Commercial Business Development Representative for Independence Title. Ashley strives to generate business through existing commercial clients and by cultivating new relationships. She attends various networking, charity, and corporate functions relevant to her industry in order to establish new relationships and gain as much knowledge as she can in the commercial real estate realm. Ashley is committed to being a true ambassador for Independence Title. Her extensive background allows her to be an asset to her clients in a variety of ways and has given her extensive market knowledge in Central Texas.
A Native Austinite, Ashley holds a B.S in Corporate Communication Studies with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. Before landing her dream job at Independence Title, Ashley’s passion for sports allowed her to work for the University of Texas Men’s Athletic Department and ESPN Austin. After working in the sports industry for five years, Ashley made the transition into the commercial real estate and title business. Her vast experience in marketing has provided her with a remarkable foundation for her position at Independence Title. Ashley’s dedication to customer service, as well as her unmatched level of enthusiasm, is instrumental to her success as a commercial business development representative.
In addition to serving on the board for the Austin Young Chamber, Ashley is the 2013 Poker Committee Co-Chair, 2013 Chair for the University Commercial Real Estate Women (UCREW) student scholarship program and was selected to be a member for the 2013 Leadership Development Council program by The Real Estate Council of Austin. She is an active member of the International Right of Way Association (IRWA), Austin Women’s Chamber, CCIM, RECA and CCA Austin Chapter. Specifically, Ashley is very passionate about helping the youth of Central Texas through her involvement in the Lone Star Cattlemen Association, Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Edward Kargbo – Past President / 2011 AYC President
Edward (Ed) Kargbo is the General Manager of Greater Austin Transportation Company dba Yellow Cab. He is a 2002 graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A two-sport star as an undergraduate, he captained the Demon Deacon football team and also played on the basketball team. Ed represented the athletics department on the University’s Student Advisory Council and represented the University at the 2001 NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference in Florida. He volunteered in the local community through the Athletes Care Team (ACT), tutoring and mentoring students in local schools, while maintaining a solid standing in the class room as demonstrated by consistent appearances on the deans’ list and Atlantic Coast Conference Honor roll.
Ed pursued and was employed in professional athletics in his first few years post- graduation. He has since moved on to work in sales, politics and business management. Ed has been employed in the transportation business for the last 5 years, beginning his career in Houston and relocating in November 2006 to take his current position with Yellow Cab here in Austin. Outside of work, Ed volunteers in the community at large through various roles as a member of The Young Men’s Business League (YMBL), Habitat Young Professionals (HYP), The Wake Forest University Alumni Association and is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Austin’s Emerge Program.
Ed volunteers as a coach for youth athletics and created a program which “adopted” a middle school in Houston’s Independent School District; providing tutoring, mentoring, educational equipment and exposure to the world at large to at risk youth. Ed has run the Austin-Half Marathon is an ardent supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and participates each year in the JDRF charity races. Ed is engaged to be wed and excited about starting a family in the great city of Austin.
George B. Ward is an attorney with the law firm of De Leon & Washburn, P.C. His practice focuses on business litigation, employment matters, commercial transactions, and insurance law. George has tried cases in every federal district in Texas, and has represented clients in front of a variety of state and federal regulatory agencies.
A native Austinite, George earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Rice University in 2001, and his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law in 2004. George began his law practice in the Litigation Section of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. As an Assistant Attorney General, he conducted numerous jury trials involving complex constitutional issues in federal and state court. In addition to gaining extensive courtroom and appellate experience, George served as the legislative liaison for his division, analyzing proposed legislation. After three years with the Attorney General’s office, he entered private practice in Austin with a large regional firm, where he handled a wide range of litigation-intensive cases relating to commercial and individual disputes, insurance matters, and construction. George joined the law firm of De Leon & Washburn, P.C., in January of 2010.
George is a member of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Bar Association, Austin Young Lawyers Association, Texas Young Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association. He has enjoyed being involved in pro bono legal work through Volunteer Legal Services, and he is currently mentoring entrepreneurs in the Austin start-up community. George is licensed to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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