Staff

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

Reporting to the board, Kim is responsible for all mission-directed activities, financial and personnel management, and fund raising. She also oversees all clinical aspects of the milk bank, including donor screening, milk processing and nutritional analysis; provides education and outreach to hospitals, community and professional organizations; and collaborates with US and international researchers on the nutritional effects of human donor milk for the vulnerable infant. She also supervises student interns from Texas State University-San Marcos, Texas Tech, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Kim serves on the board of directors of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), which 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 and serves on its Executive Committee as immediate past president of the board.

A Certified Nurse Midwife, Kim holds master’s degrees in both Public Health and Nursing. As a 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. For ten of the past twelve years, she has participated in teams of Advanced Practice Nurses and graduate students who provide clinical care to women and children in rural villages in Belize.

 

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!

 

Jamie Tulisiak
Community Manager
512-579-3971

Jamie grew up in Michigan, the high five of America, where she went to Grand Valley State University for a BA in English and writing. She's been in Austin for three years and has spent that time doing creative writing and communications for a local start-up tech company and church, as well as building tolerance to hot peppers. At MMBA, Jamie does communications and outreach to strengthen and expand our donor and community network. Outside of work, she loves taking road trips, DIYing, reading, being the world's greatest aunt to five little nuggets and doting cat mama to a characteristically entitled furball, Fat Polly.

 

Alison Rogers
Senior Program Assistant + Volunteer Coordinator 
512-494-0800

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 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, a grand baby on the way, three cheesy dogs- Velveeta, Gouda, and Mozzarella, and three cats Vespa, Sake, & Sumi. Laura is an avid gardener, rock hound, and foodie, eating her way around Austin's amazing food culture.

 

Ann Moring
Milk Donor Program Assistant
512-579-3975

Ann Moring is our milk donor program assistant. Ann is from upstate New York and relocated to Austin in the fall of 2015. She enjoys working with our potential donors and helping them complete the approval process.

 

 

Laura Torres
Clinical Assistant
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.

 

Shawn Besant
Milk Processing Coordinator
512-579-3979

Shawn is from Natchitoches, Louisiana. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology, and participated in post-graduate studies at Brown University and the University of Amsterdam, studying psychology, socialization, public health and human rights. At MMBA, Shawn supervises the milk processing labs and lab staff, pasteurizes all milk, and acquires microbiological samples for testing to ensure the safety of our milk. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, write poetry, and play the upright bass. She’s also a huge movie buff. 

 

Andrew Reynolds
Milk Inventory & Equipment Coordinator
512-579-3970

Andrew grew up in Waco, TX, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southwestern University in Georgetown. He may or may not use that degree one day. 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 girlfriend spend much of their time eating. They are expecting a baby in June-- it will be the cutest baby you've ever seen.

 

Chad Jacob
Pasteurization Technician
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.


 

Meghan Betz
Executive Assistant
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!).

 

Christian Martin
Research Manager
512-494-0800

Christian is an Austin native who completed his undergraduate neuroscience degree at the University of Texas at Dallas. He loves to run at Lady Bird Lake, play board games, and write. This fall he will join the 2020 class of Texas A&M's School of Medicine where he is eager to study neurology and neonatology.



Hope Hanna
Milk Coordinator Assistant
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."