Meet the Austin Team!

In Austin, TX we have a small but committed team working together to create communities of health through fresh food.

Brighter Bites Austin staff: L to R Bethany, Jamela, Shelby, Victoria, Veronica, Maggie, Lori, Wendy, Rebeca

The team is led by Program Director Maggie Mangrum, MPH, who has been with Brighter Bites since January 2016. Maggie has led our growth across Austin and forged many new friendships and partnerships with organizations and produce providers across the city. We’re so lucky to have her leadership!

Program Manager Bethany Dawson (L) and Program Director Maggie Mangrum (R)

Bethany Dawson, MPH, has been with Brighter Bites since its first Austin season in the summer of 2015. Bethany moved into her current role a year and a half ago as program manager and additionally manages our internship and volunteer programs. We’re so grateful for all the hard work Bethany has contributed over the years to introduce our program to as many new helpers as we can!

We’re fortunate to have a team of three dedicated program coordinators who together help us create communities of health in all our schools.

Program Associate Veronica Cabrera, Program Coordinator Shelby Koebley, and Intern Victoria Neeranjan (L to R) show off some brightly colored produce!

Shelby Koebley is our most senior program coordinator and leads the Austin “Fun Food Experience”. Shelby joined Brighter Bites around the same time that we moved into our current work space with Farmhouse Delivery and as our kitchen manager has helped foster our great friendship with Farmhouse’s kitchen and warehouse staff.

Program Coordinator Rebeca Hernandez Gonzalez (center), posing with Program Associate Lori Hoadley (L) and Intern Wendy Snowden (R) during “Do the Hula Salsa” week.

Rebeca Hernandez Gonzalez, RDN, was first introduced to Brighter Bites as a dietetic intern in the summer of 2017 and joined the team full time as a program coordinator in the summer of 2018 after graduating with her RDN. Rebeca currently uses her expertise to serve as our nutrition education coordinator.

L to R: Program Coordinator Rebeca Hernandez Gonzalez, Intern Wendy Snowden, Program Coordinator Jamala Mavrakis, and Program Associate Lori Hoadley

Jamela Mavrakis joined Brighter Bites in December of 2018 as a program coordinator and has quickly become an invaluable member of the team by coordinating the Austin volunteer experience as well as leading the new schools that joined Brighter Bites this past spring!

We are incredibly grateful for our three amazing program associates who support our coordinators across the city.

Program Associate Lori Hoadley

Lori Hoadley joined the team with a background in customer service and great experience with conflict resolution that has had a wonderfully calming effect on the team and on our volunteers! Lori will join us this summer and next school year, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her on board for another season.

L to R: Veronica Cabrera, Shelby Koebley, Lori Hoadley

Veronica Cabrera was introduced to Brighter Bites in the summer of 2018 as a counselor at one of our summer sites. As a former classmate of Rebeca, Veronica connected with the program and joined our staff that fall. She makes such a positive impact on the volunteers and kids at our schools, and we’re so excited that she’ll be joining us again for programming in the 2019/2020 school year.

The Austin staff simulating a distribution. L to R: Shelby Koebley, Maggie Whittington, Rebeca Hernandez Gonzalez, Veronica Cabrera, & Mari Garza-Aguirre

Mari Garza-Aguirre was an amazing associate who worked with us last fall. Mari’s experience mentoring youth through the Gus Garcia Recreation Center, which coincidentally is one of our new program sites this summer, added a unique perspective to our team.

Our Austin team was also supported this past year by three fieldwork interns. We hope our interns enjoyed their experience as much as we enjoyed having them on our team!

Intern Wendy Snowden

Wendy Snowden, a biology and nutrition student at UT Austin, has been interning with Brighter Bites since June 2018 and has been absolutely wonderful in the field with our families. This spring, her research project was to gather recipe ideas from families to support the improvement of our recipe development and recipe bank.

Intern Victoria Neeranjan

Victoria Neeranjan joined our internship program last fall to complete her degree in nutrition from Texas State University. Even though she graduated in December, we’re so appreciative that Victoria stayed on with Brighter Bites throughout the spring as well! Victoria has worked to improve our collection of nutrition games that makes up a portion of our signature “Fun Food Experience”.

Intern Carolyn Haskins

Carolyn Haskins interned with Brighter Bites last fall to gain experience with a nutrition nonprofit during her last semester of graduate school at Texas State University, where she graduated with a Master of Science in Nutrition. Carolyn earned the trust of our students and parents alike and was a pro at encouraging students to try our produce-packed recipes each week!

Director of Marketing and Communications Stefanie Cousins

The Brighter Bites Austin team wouldn’t be complete without Director of Marketing and Communications Stefanie Cousins, MPH. While a member of the national team that headquarters in Houston, Stefanie offices with the programming team in Austin at the Farmhouse Delivery office space, often joined by her new pup Daisy. Stefanie is a one-woman show, overseeing all corporate communications, strategic marketing, and branding for Brighter Bites across the country. Fun fact: Stefanie launched the Brighter Bites program in Austin in the summer of 2015. The Austin team wouldn’t be complete without her!

Thanks again to all the wonderful ladies who’ve helped make Brighter Bites a success in Austin, TX!