Officer Bios


President Carrie Hernandez is the Associate Director of Prospect Development at Southwestern University.  She has been involved in the prospect development industry for more than  fifteen years. She first joined the world of prospect development in  2000 as a  development research analyst. In 2002, Carrie and her husband moved to Austin, Texas where she joined the Seton Foundations as a development researcher. As the Seton Foundations’ sole researcher, Carrie built and enhanced Seton’s research capabilities through the years, providing support as the department grew from two foundations to four and underwent several successful multi-million campaigns. In 2013, the expansion of the Prospect Development team enabled Carrie to lead the creation of the first uniform prospect management system for the Seton Foundations.  She joined Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 2017. Carrie received her BSEd in Social Science Education from the University of Georgia in and her MA in History from the University of Texas-El Paso.


Vice President Julie Domel is the Prospect Researcher at Trinity University. She is relatively new to the field of prospect research having joined Trinity in 2016. Prior to that, she was a news researcher and librarian at the San Antonio Express-News for 16 years where she used a lot of the same skills to investigate story subjects and others of interest. Her proudest professional moment came in 2015 when she was listed in the credits of the book “San Antonio: Our Story of 150 Years in the Alamo City,” which celebrated the Express-News‘ 150th anniversary; it is, coincidentally, published by the Trinity University Press. As a native San Antonian, Julie’s knowledge of the community and its people have proven useful throughout her career. She is equally new to APRA, but in her life as a news librarian, she was active in the Special Libraries Association (SLA), having served as Treasurer of the Texas Chapter and as Editor of News Library News. She has also presented and moderated panels at SLA conferences. Julie is currently Treasurer of her church and Vice President of its ladies’ auxiliary. She has a BBA in Finance/Business Honors and a MLIS from The University of Texas at Austin.


Working with non-profits for over 15 years, Membership Director Leigh Petersen is currently the Senior Director of Advancement Services and Operations at Southwestern University, where she oversees analytics, prospect development, data integrity, reporting, and gift processing. She previously was the Director of Prospect Development at Harvard Business School, where she developed the prospect management, analytics, and research teams. Previously, she served as the Director of Prospect Development at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to that role, she was the Assistant Director of Planned Giving at Loyola, where she oversaw the legacy members program and managed a portfolio of prospects. Leigh chaired the 2017 Apra Data Analytics Symposium and is a member of Apra South Central Texas, Apra Illinois, and NEDRA. She has presented on prospect development topics at Apra International, Apra Data Analytics Symposium, CASE Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) with Josh Birkholz, OverDrive/Drive, and NEDRA. Leigh earned her MBA in Information Systems Management with a certificate in Data Warehousing from Loyola University Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from Doane University (Crete, Nebraska). She enjoys running Ragnar Relays, singing with Round Rock Community Choir, traveling worldwide, and nerding out with data.


Communications Director  Amanda Thompson is a Research Analyst at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, she has provided prospect research for the College of Natural Sciences and her current research efforts are dedicated to the Briscoe Center for American History and the Moody College of Communication. She began her development career in 2006 at The University of Texas System in the Office of Development & Gift Planning Services, where she was responsible for handling realized testamentary gifts on behalf of the UT System’s 14 institutions. Amanda earned her BA in business administration from Concordia University Texas.


Secretary Marissa Moses is Assistant Director of Prospect Development and Research at St. Edward’s University. She began her development career in 2003 at Southern Methodist University in the Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations writing grants for programs campus-wide. In 2005, she moved to her hometown of Austin and joined the development team at The University of Texas at Austin, first with the Gift & Data Services team and later with the Research Team, working under Apra-Central/South Texas Chapter President Jada Garrison. Her development career also included roles at the Austin Humane Society and the Texas Historical Commission before returning to the prospect research field at St. Edward’s. In addition, Marissa served as a board member of the Native Prairies Association of Texas, a non-profit land trust dedicated to the conservation, restoration and appreciation of native prairies, savannas and other grasslands in Texas. Marissa earned her BA in Public Relations from the University of North Texas and her MA in College Student Development from St. Edward’s.


Treasurer Katie Anaya is a Research Analyst at the University of Texas at Austin. She has been at UT Austin, in various development-related capacities, since 2011. She began her development career as a development associate for the College of Fine Arts and Department of Art and Art History. As a research analyst, she currently works with the College of Liberal Arts. She has been a Longhorn for life, and earned degrees in art history and Plan II from UT Austin.


Director at Large Sarah Brandt is the Director of Prospect Management and Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  She joined UTSA in 2008 as part of gearing up for the We Are UTSA campaign.   Previously, she served as the Director of Prospect Development and Analysis at Washington State University for 8 years.   For 9 years she worked as an Analyst for the US Government Accountability Office.  She started her development career as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Beloit College in Wisconsin.   She has an MA in Public Policy Studies with a focus on education policy from the University of Chicago and a BA in International Relations and Economics and Management from Beloit College.   She is the past president of the Alumni Associations for both Beloit and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies.

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