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AUTMHQ UPDATES Hola and Hello, Paty!
This is by far one of the most exciting and fun editorial letters I've ever written! Despite the fact that you are likely familiar with the Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTMHQ) team members, I am eager to reveal some surprises about each of the people behind our non-profit who are making a significant difference in the tech industry. But first, let me tell you about our four core values before I share these fascinating and interesting facts. The first and most important value we share is effective communication. Communication is the engine that propels our company to build bridges between the Black and Hispanic communities and the technology industry. The mission is accomplished not only through the efforts of the AUTMHQ team but also through the collaboration of all partners and stakeholders engaged in reshaping the tech ecosystem into a more diverse environment. We believe that consistency is key to making it happen. This allows us to gain a better understanding of the problem and the changes that are being implemented or must be implemented, and thus to take consistent action.
Last but not least, Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTMHQ) is a non-profit FOR the community. We are committed to serving underrepresented families and individuals to provide them with better life possibilities through improved employment opportunities in the technology field.
And now comes the fun part: as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at this great company, I am pleased to present you to the rock star AUTMHQ team! Paty Sesma VP of MarCom at AUTMHQ
Michael Ward Jr. is happily married, a father of one, a Miami Heat and Tar Heel fan, and a lover of good food made with love.
Michael Ward Jr. is a social entrepreneur who focuses on STEAM, workforce development, and economic empowerment. Originally from Miami, FL, Michael began his career at Oracle in enterprise sales, focusing on cloud and on-premise technology. During this time, Michael also led Oracle’s Black employee resource group to increase the recruitment, engagement, and upward mobility of Oracle’s Black employees. After Oracle, Michael spent some time at ADP and Primal7 where he gained a better understanding of human capital management and Austin’s startup ecosystem.
Currently, Michael leads Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTMHQ) as President and CEO. He is also the Co-Founder of TwoWards Solutions, Co-Hosts Culture Crawl ATX, and sits on the following boards throughout Central Texas: Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem, the University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering, and the Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Michael is also a community partner of the IT Caucus of the Texas House.
Before starting his tech career and entrepreneurship journey, Michael earned a degree in International Relations at Miami Dade College and two degrees in Political Science and Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Clifford loves to travel, has been an avid mentor for more than two decades, and in his spare time currently instructs Latin dance.
Clifford Dukes is a seasoned leader with more than two decades of experience financing, designing, implementing, staffing, and evaluating innovative methods to tackle seemingly intractable challenges.
Most recently, Clifford has worked as a management consultant at a brand marketing firm and in senior positions in the nonprofit sector. He possesses experience building business partnerships, leading project teams of several hundred people annually, raising funds, providing oversight, and generating broad-based excitement. He also has additional experience in politics, production, and as a teaching assistant in a special education classroom.
Clifford links sectors and unites people, unlocking value that would otherwise remain hidden. His goal is to broaden access to opportunities for groups left out or in danger of being left behind. When he was chairman of the board of directors of an arts and education organization or on the front lines of direct service, Clifford delivered on promises and was adept at balancing the interests of multiple constituencies and finding solutions that fit. Clifford earned his B.A. in English from Amherst College.
Paty used to dress up as Wonder Woman for Halloween when she was younger, and now she carries that empowerment to help others.
Paty is originally from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She attended the Universidad de Monterrey, UDEM, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Information and Communications Sciences.
Paty has dedicated her whole career to working for the Latino communities. She is a former Digital Regional Editor at Univision Communications, Inc., where she consistently created resourceful and high-traffic driver content in Spanish for seven websites in three different markets in Texas. Later, she joined the Explore God organization, where she obtained solid non-profit experience and social media campaign management. Paty planned and executed a successful social media engagement campaign that drove the organization to reach one million followers within eight months.
Paty became an entrepreneur in 2013. Through her side-hustle, Paty has helped more than 50 Latino-owned SM businesses to achieve an online presence.
Paty is honored to have joined AUTMHQ as the Marketing and Communications Director, later rising to the position of Vice President of Marketing and Communications. She is thrilled to expand her horizons and work for the Black and Hispanic communities as a result of this organization's fantastic mission.
Isa enjoys gardening, traveling, practicing portugués, experiencing new and local restaurants, and spending time with family.
Texas native, Isa White is the Program Director for Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTMHQ). After receiving a Master of Business Administration from Florida A&M University, Isa started her career at Oracle in cloud application sales. During her time at Oracle, Isa also led Austin’s hub Black employee resource group, African-American Business Leaders for Excellence (ABLE). Over a span of three years. Isa grew the Austin chapter by creating more internal and community engagement opportunities for its members. To continue her legacy of impacting change in the community, Isa joined the AUTMHQ board in 2018 as Vice President. Through her dedication and passion, Isa received the Community Impact Award from the Austin Area Urban League (AAUL) for her contributions to bridging the technology gap.
Alvan joined the organization this year and he shared with us his enthusiasm for practicing yoga occasionally.
Originally from Southeast Texas, Alvan Angelle Jr. moved to Austin in 2005 for college and has been an Austinite ever since. He is a dedicated husband and a proud father of one daughter. Alvan brings to bear a diverse background, having worked in sales and marketing within the communications and technology industries, as well as in project management and development in the nonprofit sector. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin and is committed to leaving an indelible mark on history through his work.
Alvan brings excitement and fervor to his role as director of community engagement and outreach at AUTMHQ, understanding that every day he logs in to work is another opportunity to change lives regionally and across the globe. In his spare time, Alvan likes to exercise in a variety of ways, including a good yoga session from time to time to recenter.
Keiarra is committed to increasing Black and Hispanic representation in the tech industry. Despite being one-of-a-kind, she has a twin sister.
Keiarra Ortiz-Cedeno is part of the Workforce Development Coordinator team at AUTMHQ. She helps to guide AUTMites through the discovery-to-hire process by meeting them where they are at (getting a computer, wifi, and information) and guiding them to where they want to be.
Prior to working at AUTMHQ, she founded her own startup and worked in corporate tech as a product manager.
A strong believer in personal and professional growth, Keiarra is always looking for ways to improve systems and cultures. She is objective-oriented, with an affiliative leadership style.
Rey was born and raised in Austin, TX and he is now dedicated to assisting Hispanics in succeeding in tech, an area that he is passionate about.
I've worked in the healthcare and technical field all of my life.
I'm impassioned by providing help and support to those that are underserved. I love getting involved with my community and raising awareness for the needs and hopes of others. I have an 8-year-old son, named Ryan whom I love doing outdoor and nature-based activities.
Some of my hobbies and gardening and getting out on the trails of Texas. I joined the AUTMHQ team to really make an impact in the lives of all the people we interact with, a serve a bigger purpose.
Marquita is the backbone of our office and executive team. She shared that she loves traveling but is afraid of heights and, as a result, she dislikes flying.
Marquita Fagan is an Administrative Professional with over ten years of experience working alongside executive teams. She specializes in organizational administration and is responsible for carrying out managing multiple tasks while managing various calendars, scheduling appointments, and keeping the office running efficiently. Marquita is a strong force in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed.
Marquita is a native Austinite who has enjoyed growing up in the city and witnessing its development. She has also witnessed firsthand how the tech industry has impacted the city as her father worked in Industrial and Manufacturing for 3M when she was a child.
Marquita treasures sending quality time with her two children, who greatly inspired her daily, as well as her family and friends. In her free time, Marquita likes to listen to music, take walks to enjoy nature, binge-watching series on Netflix, and travel.
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