Staff

Kim Updegrove, RN, CNM, MSN, MPH
Executive Director
512-579-3972


Reporting to the board of directors, Kim Updegrove is responsible for mission-directed activities, financial and personnel management, and fund raising. She oversees all clinical programs of the milk bank, including donor screening, milk processing, nutritional analysis, and dispensing to hospitals and outpatients; directs educational programs and outreach to hospitals, professional and community organizations; and collaborates with U.S. and international researchers on the incorporation of safe donor human milk in feeding protocols for vulnerable infants. Executive Director since 2010, Kim joined the Milk Bank in 2002. 

From 2008 to 2015, Kim served on the board of directors of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), and as president of the board of directors from 2013 – 2014. HMBANA sets standards for donor milk banks, acts as liaison to governmental agencies, and facilitates development of new milk banks. She chairs the HMBANA Guidelines Committee, mentors new milk banks, and lectures and consults in the U.S. and abroad on milk banking and care of premature infants. She also supervises student interns from several Texas universities.

Kim holds master’s degrees in both Public Health and Nursing. As a Certified Nurse-Midwife in New Haven, CT, she delivered 532 babies, provided well-woman care, and served on the graduate faculty of the Yale University School of Nursing. Formerly she was a member of the graduate faculty of the University Pennsylvania School of Nursing. For thirteen of the past fifteen years, she has participated in teams of Advanced Practice Nurses and graduate students providing clinical care to women and children in rural villages in Belize.

 

Development Program

Tedrah Robertson
Development Director
512-579-3984

Tedrah is a proud first generation Texan with deep southern roots.  Like many, she relocated to Austin to pursue her Bachelors at The University of Texas, and decided to stay. After spending nearly a decade working in the Texas Legislature, Tedrah made a shift to the non-profit sector where she has spent the last eight years focusing on public affair issues.  At MMBA, Tedrah will head up our fundraising efforts—with particular focus on our Charitable Care program, research efforts, and capital campaign.

In addition to her Bachelors, Tedrah holds a Masters in Legal Studies and Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is also actively involved in a variety of civic and cultural organizations, including the Junior League of Austin,  and is a former MMBA volunteer. Tedrah is the proud mother of one adorable little boy, and considers herself lucky to be the wife of one remarkable husband. 

Outside of her professional interests, Tedrah enjoys traveling, scuba diving, hiking, logic puzzles, and a good book with cup of tea on a rainy day. 

 

Meghan Betz
512-579-3984

Meghan has lived in Austin for many years and, aside from the ever-growing traffic, really does love this city and all that it has to offer! With a degree in human development, she has worked in the non-profit world for quite some time and in many different capacities. At MMBA, she tracks financial contributions and acknowledgements, grant deadlines, and assists with event planning to help fulfill the mission of the milk bank. She was drawn to the milk bank ever since she first learned about it from a friend (who happens to be a repeat milk donor!).

 

Milk recipient program

Melissa Fuentes
Program Coordinator
512-494-0800

Melissa is a native Austinite who attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a degree in Child Development and Family Relationships. Before joining MMBA in 2012 as the program coordinator, she managed a toy library for twelve years. Melissa works with hospitals and outpatient families that receive donor human milk, handles the organization's billing and human resources needs, acts as liaison to the board of directors, and assists the executive director in fulfilling our mission. Melissa lives in Round Rock with her husband, two sons, and her Golden Retriever, Maggie. She enjoys home improvement projects, reading, queso, and cheering for the Texas Longhorns!

 

milk donor program

Laura Tankersley
Milk Donor Program Coordinator
512-579-3978

Laura is a native Texan who got to Austin as quickly as she could. She received her BA in Studio Art in metals and jewelry. She has worked as an executive director of Keep Brazos Beautiful for many years. Laura started as the MMBA milk donor program coordinator in July 2015 and loves talking to all of our generous milk donors. Laura has two grown sons, one grand baby, two cheesy dogs- Velveeta & Gouda, and two cats Vespa & Sumi. Laura is an avid gardener, rock hound, and foodie, eating her way around Austin's amazing food culture.

 

Sara Barge
512-579-3980

Sara recently received her Master’s in Public Health and has worked on numerous maternal and child health projects including performing research and analytics at Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mother and Babies.  At MMBA, Sara assists our Milk Donor Program Coordinator in screening potential donors. Sara has lived in Austin for the past 7 years and enjoys finding new running trails, spending time at BookPeople and hanging out with her two rescue cats (when they see fit).

 

Kelsey Heineman
512-579-3971

Kelsey grew up in New Jersey (the northern part, not the shore), before attending Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI where she earned an BA in both Media Communication and Dance & Performance Studies. When not working, you can almost always find Kelsey taking classes at Ballet Austin or running around Town Lake. At MMBA, Kelsey handles communications and outreach to strengthen and expand our donor and community network. Kelsey loves hot chocolate (even in the insane Texas heat), is the proud owner of two kayaks, and is irrationally excited for the reboot of Gilmore Girls.

 

Ailisha Macharia
512-579-3975

Ailisha grew up braving the heat in Round Rock, TX. She earned her BA in International Development at McGill University in Montreal, but came back to Texas as fast as she could. Having experience with several non-profits, Ailisha was drawn in by MMBA's heart-felt mission. Here at the Milk Bank, Ailisha assists our Milk Donor Program Coordinator in all aspects of the screening and approval process to help us reach our yearly donor goals. In her free time, she enjoys dancing like nobody’s watching, reading her horoscope and rooting for the San Antonio Spurs. 

 

Alison Rogers
512-579-3982

Alison grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts and moved to Texas on a bit of a whim in her early twenties and never left! With a background in advertising, she spent a good deal of time in the corporate world, and then joined her first non-profit in 2007, learning very quickly that this was where she belonged. She is the proud mother to a remarkably delightful teenage daughter, Violet, and a smelly pug, Matilda.

 

Laura Torres
512-579-3977

Laura grew up in Austin and is keepin' it weird! She's been working at MMBA for over three years. At MMBA, Laura follows up with our donors and processes milk in our milk processing labs. Outside of work, she loves being a mom to her eight-year-old daughter.

 

milk processing program

Andrew Reynolds
Operations Manager
512-579-3970

Andrew grew up in Waco, TX, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southwestern University in Georgetown. He has worked all sorts of jobs, with a background in maintenance and food services, in addition to interning for non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C. and here in Austin. At MMBA, Andrew manages inventory, incoming and outgoing milk, and also manages equipment and facilities. Outside of work, Andrew and his wife spend much of their time eating. They welcomed a baby boy in June -- he is the cutest baby you've ever seen.

 

Mindy Aviles

Mindy was born in Ohio, moved to North Carolina, and then finally landed in Texas at the age of four - so she is technically an “austinite”.  She holds a BS in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin and hopes to achieve something huge in life that will make a difference in the health of infants and all other people. She is working on that goal here at MMBA as an assistant laboratory technician by logging, homogenizing and bottling donor human milk. Outside of work, Mindy loves spending time with her baby, Michael, reading a good book, taking vacation trips to Hawaii and eating chicken wings.  Plus, she is a big fan of the color pink.

 

Hope Hanna
512-579-3973

Hope is a "born and raised" Texan from the Dallas area and is currently pursuing her degree in psychology. At MMBA, she assists with maintaining inventory and upkeep of equipment. For fun, she enjoys reading, playing with her dog, and daydreaming about becoming the next "Iron Chef."


 

Chad Jacob
512-494-0800

Chad grew up in Houston until he moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas, and has since never left the city. He supervises the pouring in the middle lab, making sure all milk gets safely processed and does his best to keep the student staff and volunteers entertained. Chad is an avid indoorsman who enjoys videogames, 80s music, hard-boiled noir and really anything that keeps him from going outside--it's way too bright out there.


Melissa Kuhn

Melissa was born in Austin, TX and has lived here entire life. As a kid shetrained dogs competitively for 8 years and still loves to spend time with her dogs teaching them new tricks. After 10 years in the food industry, Melissa has made the move to MMBA where she works as a Lab Assistant aiding in the homogenization, labeling and logging of the milk. Plus, as a former Donor Mom herself, Melissa knows how important this process is! Outside of the office, Melissa enjoys spending time with her 2 year old son and taking care of her chickens, pigs, ducks, sheep, miniature horse, and 4 dogs. 

 

Caressie Palomino

Caressie was born in Houston but moved to Austin, TX when she was 12. She attended University of Colorado Boulder and received her Bachelor in BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology before returning to Austin to be closer to family. At MMBA, Caressie works as an Inventory Assistant aiding our Inventory Manager with milk logging and shipping. Outside of MMBA, Caressie enjoys concerts, watching movies and exercising.

 

Hyram Williams
Facilites Manager
512-579-3981

Hyram grew up in North West Houston before spending 4 great years at UT Austin where he earned a BA in Business and of course an education in Austin live music experience.  He has lived LA, Nashville, and NYC (and a few others) over the years where he has worked in photography, music business and real estate.  He is the father of three boys and he and his wife enjoy family, residential real estate, design, art, education, great conversations, day trips, and music. At MMBA, Hyram is the facilities manager making sure that our new home on Dillard Circle is always running smoothly to ensure we continue to save babies' lives. Outside of work, his interests include family, fishing, design and the mechanical world of building, engines, boats, cars and making things.