Diana’s career has been purposefully diverse, specializing in Facilities Management, Events, and Charitable Initiatives. Her work is never done and she’s committed to creating change and inspiring change with ASK here in Austin.
From an early age, Diana was driven to have a positive impact and do what others often saw as “impossible”. Diana worked her way through school and after high-school graduation, she joined a New York ad agency, where she explored the world of creativity and chaos. There, while working 9+ hour days, she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education.
When her son Brendhan was born, she took a few years off to spend more time with him. Upon deciding to reenter the workforce, she craved a career change and joined a private equity firm as an Executive Assistant. She was surrounded by brilliant minds and some of the most generous people she’d ever met.
Then the tragedy of 9/11 happened. Diana quit her job to volunteer full-time, helping families navigate the hardest time of their lives. She focused on the interaction with young children while their parents maneuvered the processes to secure available benefits. This experience further validated Diana’s desire to partner with people and organizations to do more good.
Wanting to support her son’s education first, she rejoined the financial world at a hedge fund, where she met a colleague that would help fulfill her true purpose. This is where Diana met Steve, the co-founder, and visionary of ASK. He quickly became a mentor and an advocate to pursue her dreams in children’s education. Seeing her persistence and kindness firsthand, he knew she was the perfect person to lead ASK in Austin.
In 2016, combining her financial management experience and her children’s education degree, Diana and her husband moved to Austin and started a new life with a non-profit focus. Diana and the two founders, Steve and Al, immediately started undertaking injustice in many forms – supporting and amplifying the good work already happening in the local Austin community and in select communities in Africa. ASK focuses on children’s engagement through sports, education, and the availability of water, specifically in Africa.
Diana continues to lead with a big heart and that same ambition to tackle things she’s told are not possible. In addition to her work at ASK, Diana remains actively involved with the New York Sled Rangers, the Association to Benefit Children and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Earlier this year, she earned a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Texas at Austin (UT). Diana is also the Executive Director at Young Voices of Austin, an organization focused on diversity, inclusion, and development for children across Austin.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Gandhi
Co-founder and President
In late 2015, Steve co-founded the ASK Charitable Foundation in his beloved adopted home of Austin, TX. Since that time, he has been actively involved with local organizations such as Nobelity, RBI Austin, JFON and with the Parker Lane United Methodist Church.
Prior to devoting his time to the Foundation and its local partnerships, Steve was a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Pine River Capital, where he focused on seeking new opportunities for the firm. Steve served on both the Executive Committee and on the Charitable Initiatives Committee. Prior to joining Pine River in 2008, Steve was a Portfolio Manager at Goldman Sachs. Based in New York and Beijing from 2002 to 2007, he was part of the mortgage portfolio management team. From 1999 to 2002, Steve was a Japanese convertible bond trader at Citadel Investment Group in Chicago. Prior to that, he was head of mortgage backed securities trading at Cargill. Steve received an AB cum laude in Economics from Harvard University in 1991.
Steve serves on the board of the Andy Roddick Foundation, Immigrant Justice Corps and the Young People’s Chorus of New York. He was instrumental in bringing the Chorus to Austin in the newly formed Austin YPC, which seeks to replicate the incredible academic and artistic excellence of the world renown Young People’s Chorus of New York.
He is a formidable pickleball competitor, a top notch ping pong player and a world-rated Hanabi champ.
Co-founder and Vice President
Al has a wonderful wife Cathy, 5 children and 1 grandchild:
Stephanie 35, Matt 33, Kylie 26, Keenan 18 and George 17; and our 1st grandchild Hunter 16 months!
Al currently lives in Plymouth, MN – Voted number 1 city to live in by Money Magazine in 2010 (I think they forgot to consider our winter and mosquitoes).
Worked as at ExpressPoint for 16 years as an Engineer and Purchasing agent. Serviced the point of sale industry.
Texas Lutheran University grad Seguin, Texas in 1986 (60 miles south of Austin, Texas)
Played college golf at Texas Lutheran
Played college baseball at North Hennepin Community College.
Earned Technical Degree from Northwestern Electronic Institute in 1997
Al is very excited about the amazing initiatives started by the ASK Foundation. He has been a volunteer at Prodeo Academy in Columbia Heights, MInnesota ( Steve and Al’s home town). Prodeo has been very success at closing the achievement gap for minority students.
Bradley founded and co-manages the investment portfolio at Davenforth with Logan Brown. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and serves in a CFO capacity for many of Davenforth’s portfolio companies. He supports RBI Austin and serves at the Austin Stone Community Church.
Paul Twitchell joined Whitebox in 2005. As Head of Event, Mr. Twitchell oversees the Event strategies. Mr. Twitchell started at Whitebox as a senior trader, trading convertibles, options and capital structure opportunities. He was promoted to Whitebox’s Head of Event Strategies in 2010. Before joining Whitebox, Mr. Twitchell was employed at EBF & Associates for more than seven years where he managed a convertible bond portfolio. Mr. Twitchell began his career with Cargill, Inc. in 1992 assisting the North American, European and Emerging Market trading desks. He spent time on the mortgage desk and assisted in the development of the North American sovereign debt arbitrage desk with a focus on U.S. and Canadian fixed income arbitrage. He received a BA in Elective Studies from St. Cloud University in 1995.
Logan founded Davenforth, an Austin-based investment partnership, along with Bradley Roofner. He practices early stage venture investing and small-cap public markets investing. He and his wife Hallie reside in East Austin where they are involved in the local foster care community.