Erika Nowlin

Erika Nowlin, Founder & Executive Director

Erika is a native Austinite, graduate of UT Austin with a degree in Psychology,  and former teacher. Austin Allies is her brainchild - born from a need to counteract the increasing negativity she was seeing in the world, and to teach her own kids empathy, understanding, and compassion for everyone in their community. She wanted to find a way to make volunteering easier for families (including her own) by creating events and activities with local organizations who need volunteer support. Erika lives in Southwest Austin with her husband and their two daughters.




Marjory Grogan, Administrative Assistant

Marjory, a proud native of Wimberley, Texas, has called Austin home for over 20 years. With a career rooted in Recruiting and Administrative roles until 2015, she made the joyful transition to being a devoted stay-at-home Mom. Her days are now animated by the spirited antics of her energetic son, a constant source of laughter and adventure. Beyond the joys of motherhood, Marjory finds solace and creativity through her passion for photography, often capturing cherished moments for both friends and of her little one. Marjory's desire to teach her son about compassion and service brought her to Austin Allies. 



Erin SewellErin Sewell, Project Coordinator

Erin, born and raised in San Antonio, moved to Austin in 1996 and is proud to be an Austinite since. She is a graduate of UT Austin with a BBA in Management Information Systems. After raising her two children for the past 20 years, she began seeking a job that spreads kindness and love. Enter Erika and her amazing Austin Allies. Through them, Erin found the heartwarming job she had been looking for and is thrilled to be joining the team. She can’t wait to meet the loving volunteers, who make the beautiful Austin Allies’ heart beat.





 Dr. Kris Robinson, President


Kris Robinson has lived in Austin since 2014, after moving from Minnesota. She is a psychologist specializing in neuropsychological assessment for pediatric and adult populations and co-owned a private practice until recently. Her doctoral degree is in clinical psychology, with emphasis in areas of neuropsychology and forensics. When not participating in Austin Allies activities with her family, she can be found reading and enjoying the beauty of the Austin area. She is thrilled to be part of Austin Allies and hopes to actively support goals of social justice, empathy building, and community connection.

Kristin Davidson Kristin Davidson, Treasurer


Kristin is a Senior Manager in Health and Public Service working with Accenture for over 20 years. In her role, Kristin focuses on program management of government programs and integrating IT. Born and raised in Florida, Kristin graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Management Information Systems. When not volunteering with Austin Allies, Kristin and her husband are cheering on her 2 daughters at gymnastics meets or theater performances. Kristin is treasurer/leader of 2 Girl Scout Troops.

Julie Gualandri

Julie Gualandri, Board Member


Julie Gualandri, founder of Julie G Home LLC, is an Austin real estate broker affiliated with Austin Portfolio Real Estate at Keller Williams. She has been serving Austin real estate clients since 2010, and has always integrated community service into her life and practice. As the mother of a now-teenage boy, she discovered the Allies in 2016 as she was working to find community service opportunities she could engage in and include her whole family. Shortly after, she partnered with the Allies as she hosted her own service drives for such organizations as Safe Austin, the Central Texas Food Bank, and Community First. Julie is a Super Fan of the Allies, and became its first Corporate Sponsor in 2020. She is extremely honored and humbled to have the opportunity to continue and expand her support of the Allies as she joins its expanded board of directors. 

Lisa Raphael

Lisa Raphael, Board Member


Originally from Rochester, NY, Lisa has lived in Southwest Austin since 2007. She is a research and evaluation consultant who is passionate about equitable evaluation approaches that elevate community voice. Her interest areas include mental health/well-being, social and emotional learning, and K-12 education. She has a PhD in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University. Lisa is honored to join the Austin Allies board --an organization that partners with nonprofits, engages meaningfully with the community, values the experiences of community members, and actively engages children. Lisa has two children who regularly participate in Austin Allies activities.

Tammy K. Nelson

Tammy K. Nelson, Secretary


Tammy is a Payment Operations Manager at Apple and a leader in global contact center and financial services operations. She spent 12 years in India, Egypt, the Philippines and Mexico managing international operations for global companies including Citibank. An opportunity in the tech industry brought her to Austin in 2019. She holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Phoenix and a BS in Psychology and International Relations from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA. Tammy has a passion for supporting underrepresented communities, providing mentoring/career-building opportunities, building supportive networks for women and raising “good humans.”  She loves cooking (exploring new flavors), reading and spending time hiking & biking with her husband, their 2 children and 3 dogs.  Since moving to Austin, she has fostered 9 dogs for Austin Pets Alive, supported “get out the vote” initiatives, served as executive advisor to Pride@Facebook, served as co-chair of the Racial Justice Education and Awareness Committee for Facebook global operations, coordinated job description revisions to encourage diverse job applicants and is now eager to extend her passion for community involvement to Austin Allies.

Stella Bromley, Board Member


Stella is a Realtor servicing Northwest Austin. As a former school librarian, she enjoys reading all levels and genres of fiction and even some nonfiction. She is excited to bring her knowledge of K-12 and school libraries to Austin Allies by working in grant coordination and literary events.

She and her husband, spend time gardening, walking the community with their dog, Rango, and watching MotoGP Motorcycle racing. Stella is a trained pastry chef that keeps her skills by preparing family and friends' birthday cakes. She is service-oriented. Volunteering has always been a choice of hers starting with creating a “Volunteer Table”  and “Adopt-a-Grandparent” program at the elementary school she worked.  This continued with her personal volunteering with Meal-on-Wheels, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Breast Cancer Resource Center, and board member of the Brush Square Museums Foundation.

Interested in joining our board?

We're looking for community-minded folks to join the Allies team!

Contact us!


Vanessa Garza Lowe, Co-Founder


Vanessa, Austin Allies co-founder and a dear friend, passed away in October 2021 after a fight with cancer. Vanessa was one of the strongest, fiercest, and bravest women we have ever known and we will miss her tremendously.


Vanessa, Erika and two of their friends started this organization in 2016 around their kitchen tables. They hoped it would be a way to inject some kindness into a world that they saw spiraling into ugliness, and to teach their own kids the value of doing for others. 

What Austin Allies has become since is truly incredible, and Vanessa was so proud of its growth.  


Our Kids’ Book Club was her brilliant idea (once a teacher, always a teacher) and what a fun ride that has been. Partnerships with BookPeople and the Texas Book Festival, personal meetings with incredible authors, and watching our Book Club members expand their reading lists and their awareness of the world - it was one of Vanessa’s favorite Austin Allies programs.


Thank you, Vanessa, for your ferocity, your fight for equity for all, and your giant heart. Austin Allies would not be what it is without your influence, drive, and friendship. We love you.