Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors generously lends their expertise, leadership and support to the organization. Meet the Board members and professional staff who work together to support families on their medical journey.
Brent Metschan (Board President)
Sales Director, Vertebrae, Inc.
Brent’s love for nonprofits started at an early age when he watched both his parents give their time to organizations and causes. In college, Brent focused part of his studies on child life psychology, and spent his summers as a camp counselor at Peaceable Kingdom, a camp for children with chronic illnesses and special needs. As a native Austinite, he has seen the city grow, and with it, an increasing number of young families have moved here. As a result, the number of children who must cope with parents facing serious illnesses is increasing too. Brent joined the Wonders & Worries Board to make sure every child who has a sick parent can benefit from the services provided by Wonders & Worries. He is thankful this organization exists and looks forward to the day when it expands nationwide.
Director, Physician and Community Relations, St. David's Healthcare
Kim Akel was a teenage caregiver who lost her mom to breast cancer in 1998. In the months leading up to and after her mother’s passing, Kim developed a passion to steward her pain, to support cancer survivors, their co-survivors, and their children at all stages in the cancer journey. She initially volunteered at UT M. D. Anderson, and then became determined to dedicate her career to work in the oncology arena. After a decade developing oncology support programs with both the American Cancer Society and CanCare, Inc., Kim and her family moved to Austin in August of 2014. At this time, she began her career with St. David’s HealthCare and Sarah Cannon, as oncology physician and provider relations director. In this role, she promotes specialized oncology services available to patients right here in Austin, Texas.
Kim Akel is married to filmmaker Mike Akel, and they have a 7-year old daughter Grace. She understands firsthand, the need for teaching healthy ways of coping for children with parents facing a life threatening illness, and is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Wonders & Worries Board of Directors.
Meredith lost her father when she was only 10 years old. She understands the power and profound impact communication and child therapy has in the development of children going through pain, suffering or loss due to a parent’s illness or death. Wonders & Worries became incredibly dear to Meredith’s heart when introduced to the organization over 10 years ago.
Meredith Bagan has lived in Austin for more than 20 years. She graduated from the University of Texas, and worked with KASE/KVET Radio stations and Forest Pharmaceuticals for numerous years. She is a mother of 9-year-old twins and is married to local businessman Jim Bagan. She is currently serving as PTO President for her children’s school, Eanes Elementary, along with involvement in several other local groups.
Mulberry Real Estate Partners
Tom Bogardus joined Mulberry Real Estate Partners as director of operations in 2017; before that, he worked at HTH Capital and Cushman & Wakefield. Throughout his 20+ year career in commercial real estate, Tom’s experience includes budgeting, commercial real estate, lease administration, account management and development. His portfolio encompasses office, MOB, industrial, flex and retail assets across the Northeast; Washington, DC; and Texas. Tom has served a wide range of clients including Fortune 500 companies, small family owned businesses, state and federal government agencies and high-net-worth individuals. Tom is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University and is married to his lovely wife Savanna. Tom and Savanna have two children, Jackson and Katharine.
Lindsey Boyd is a Brand Marketing Manager at Khoros, where she oversees the customer marketing and advocacy programs. She has over ten years of experience in marketing, fundraising, strategic planning and program management. Prior to joining Khoros, Lindsey spent the first part of her career in nonprofits, previously serving as the Development Director of Wonders & Worries. The organization’s mission and vision remain close to her heart and she’s excited to stay involved. A native Texan, Lindsey attended the University of Texas (hook ’em!) and lives in Georgetown with her husband and five pets. In her spare time, you can find her reading a good book or traveling the world in search of great food.
Ross Buchholtz, CPA
Director, Tax and Accounting, Giordani, Swanger, Ripp & Jetel LLP
Ross specializes in strategic tax planning, mergers & acquisitions, business sales, business purchases, real estate, ongoing business and individuals. Ross grew up in Austin. After graduating from Westlake High School, he attended Auburn University on a diving scholarship, where he earned a BS in accounting and became a three-time Academic All-American. Following graduation, Ross moved back home to Austin, Texas, and began his tax and accounting career in 1992. He has served on the Wonders & Worries Finance Committee for several years.
Anu Chadha, MD
Physician, Austin Regional Clinic
Anurekha (Anu) Chadha, MD, is the Director of Clinical Research at Austin Regional Clinic and has a clinical practice there, specializing in rheumatology. She is board certified in rheumatology and internal medicine. Dr. Chadha has extensive experience in research and has managed a multitude of clinical trials. She is married to Punit Chadha, MD, an oncologist, and they have young children. Anu enjoys traveling and supporting local charities.
Kristen Doyle, JD
Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, University of Texas
Kristen and her family have been involved with Wonders & Worries since Kristen was diagnosed with leukemia more than a decade ago. Her husband, Trek, previously served on the Board, and their son, Cason, participates in Wonders & Worries’ Teen Council. Kristen serves as Deputy Executive Officer and General Counsel for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, at the University of Texas.
John Gillis, PhD
Dr. John Gillis, Jr. engages, immerses and develops global executives through facilitation of experiential leadership by leveraging a next-generation, digital and high-fidelity business simulation! His clients have included American Express, AMD, Best Buy, Dell Technologies, DuPont, Liberty Mutual, McKinsey, Medtronic, Paypal, Stryker, USAA, Verizon, and many other blue chip companies. Dr. Gillis is also co-author (with Kristine LIlly of US Women’s National Soccer team fame) of the bestselling book, Powerhouse: 13 Teamwork Tactics That Build Excellence and Unrivaled Success. Prior to founding LeadershipX, Dr. Gillis worked for numerous companies globally as a management consultant. His doctoral degree is from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and Wharton Business School (dissertation on Global Leadership Development). John enjoys giving back to the community. He is a Scout Cub Master, coaches numerous sports team, and is the founder and president of non-profit CampLIFE! He lives in Austin with his wife Lynette and their four children: Jack, Rylan, Caroline, and Mary Claire.
Steve has been an active member of Austin’s tech community for 21 years and counting. As a proud husband and father to 4 kids, Steve and his wife Kristen Patton relied on the amazing services provided by Wonders and Worries during Kristen’s heart attacks and subsequent transplant in 2016. Steve and Kristen served as co-chairs for the 2019 W&W Unmasked Gala and have seen first hand the enormous benefits W&W provides to families and the Central Texas community. As a Board member, Steve is excited to help advance Wonders & Worries’ vision to serve Texas families and beyond.
Morgan Grigsby, JD
Morgan became acquainted with Wonders and Worries when his niece, Julia, began attending its programs. He witnessed Julia receive the support she needed to help her through her mother’s illness. Having lost his own mother to cancer at age 10, Morgan understands and appreciates the value of obtaining the proper guidance during such a tumultuous time.
Although originally from Louisiana, Morgan attended boarding school at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin which amplified his admiration for the city. After graduating from South Texas College of Law Houston, Morgan spent time in Shreveport, Louisiana learning to steward his late father’s petroleum company. He then moved back to Austin and has enjoyed reengaging with the community by working with several local non-profits through his pro-bono work and philanthropic endeavors. He also continues to develop his vocation as an attorney so that he may strengthen his pursuit and passion of helping and serving others.
Kelly was introduced to the Austin nonprofit world through her board position on the Travis County Medical Alliance. In college, Kelly studied and earned a degree in human development and family relations. Wonders & Worries’ mission struck an immediate chord with her love and concern for the development of children. Kelly and her husband, Brannon, are the co-chairs for Wonders & Worries’ February 2018 Unmasked Gala. Kelly is also a wife and proud mother of four. She has a passion for promoting the health and well-being of children, committing much of her time to volunteering with local charities and nonprofits including Wonders & Worries, Travis County Medical Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters and HeartGift.
Nicole was introduced to Wonders & Worries through its work with four separate families she holds dear. After witnessing both the need for Wonders & Worries services and the profoundly positive impact they have, she felt called to help further the mission. Nicole graduated from Tulane University with a degree in economics before embarking on a career in hospitality. She owned and operated hotels and lodges in Arizona and Alaska prior to moving to Austin and building a family with her husband Brian. They have two incredible kids and one crazy dog. Nicole is an active member of her community and has served on the Board of the Rollingwood Women’s Club and Trinity Episcopal School’s Parent Council. She loves traveling, live music, walks around the lake and family movie nights at home.
John Lebowitz, MBA
Most recently, John served as vice president, distribution and logistics at Stryker. Prior to Stryker, John held various supply chain positions at Dell, Texas Instruments and Nortel. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Bentley University, and a master’s degree in business administration from St. Edwards University in Austin. He has been a keynote speaker at such events as the Gartner Global Supply Chain Symposium and the University of Tennessee Supply Chain Symposium. John lives in Georgetown, Texas, is married to Denise, and has one son, Michael. He has been involved with many community organizations including serving on the board of the Williamson County United Way. His hobbies include walking, Tai Chi, golf and gardening.
Meaghan Mooney, RN, BSN, OCN
RN Patient Navigator, Seton Healthcare Family
Meaghan Mooney, RN, BSN, OCN is an oncology certified registered nurse. She currently works at Ascension Seton as a nurse navigator in the Quality and Patient Safety department with Ascension Medical Group. Meaghan obtained her bachelor degree in nursing at Fairfield University in Connecticut. She has previously worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Seton Medical Center Austin and Texas Oncology. Through her clinical experience, Meaghan understands how a serious illness can impact the entire family. Having grown up in Austin, she is excited to support children and families through Wonders and Worries.
Sarah DeRocher Moore
Chief Marketing Officer, SourceDay
Sarah DeRocher Moore felt called to support Wonders & Worries after watching the organization help her close friends while they navigated the diagnosis – and eventual loss – of a wife and a mother to ovarian cancer. Sarah knows firsthand the enormous impact a chronic illness can have on families and children.
With more than 20 years of experience in Austin’s startup software community, Sarah has a passion for building successful technology companies and mentoring young professionals. As a Board member, Sarah looks forward to contributing to Wonders & Worries’ growth and vision to serve families in more Texas cities.
Director of Account Management, Shelton-Keller Group
Suzanne lost her mother to a serious illness when she was just nine years old, and understands the impact of parental loss during childhood. Suzanne was introduced to Wonders & Worries when a dear friend faced cancer and her children received support. She joined the board in 2017, committed to furthering the mission of the organization.
Suzanne graduated from the University of Texas and began a 17-year career with Dell, Inc. Currently, she serves as Director of Account Management for the Shelton-Keller Group. She has been an active member of the Austin community, serving as a board member for the Center for Child Protection, PTA President for Barton Hills Elementary, and on the Austin Community Foundation’s Hispanic Impact Fund. Suzanne is the mother of two girls and is married to Craig Luthy. You can find Suzanne and her family hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt, hanging out at Zilker Park and generally enjoying everything Austin has to offer.
Melissa S. Sykes, JD
Melissa’s connection to Wonders & Worries began when she was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010. Wonders & Worries became a place where her two young sons could share their feelings through art and play. Melissa and her husband, Richard, are forever grateful for the support that Wonders & Worries provided to her family.
Melissa advises business entities on complex commercial transactions, corporate governance and financial transactions. In the area of electric energy, Melissa has more than 20 years of experience representing electric cooperatives and municipally owned utilities. Melissa is the chair of the electric energy practice group at McGinnis Lochridge and serves on the firm’s management committee.
With over 20 years of executive experience in finance and operations, Jim recently made a lifestyle change to work part-time to devote more time to his family. This has also allowed him more time to help others achieve their own dreams. Whether it’s through building financial models for a startup business or helping friends with retirement planning, Jim enjoys being able to lend his expertise to help others. Jim and his wife, Laurie, love to volunteer for all kinds of organizations and are working hard to instill that spirit in their children. He also recently discovered his love of dogs when Brownie, a Labradoodle, joined the family! Jim is excited to share his passion for helping organizations thrive with Wonders & Worries. Jim serves as treasurer of the board.
Courtney Yau, MD
Physician, Texas Oncology
Courtney Yau is a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology, dividing her time between Seton Williamson County Hospital and Seton Harker Heights. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. Dr. Yau specializes in medical oncology and hematology. She has a special interest in breast cancer and melanoma, including clinical research. Prior to joining Texas Oncology, Dr. Yau worked at Baylor Scott & White. Dr. Courtney Yau is married to Dr. Peter Yau, a pulmonologist/Intensive Care Physician. They have two young children and several dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and donating to local charities.