|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/23/09
SFC Announces New Board Members:
Mason Arnold, Christine Fernandez and Stephen Straus
|Mason Arnold has been an Organics pioneer and serial
entrepreneur since graduating from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001
with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Mason founded Greenling Organic Delivery
in 2005 to help move local food systems towards Sustainability. Greenling &
Mason have won 15 different awards for their technology, environmental
stewardship, business model and community involvement. He is also active
in public policy having drafted legislation in 2007 and working on multiple
policy groups. Mason is honored to join the Board of Sustainable Food Center.|
Christine Fernandez is a Development Manager at E.ON Climate
& Renewables, N.A., a renewable energy company. Prior to joining E.ON in 2009, she was an attorney
at Haynes and Boone, LLP, where she practiced environmental law for 6 years. Christine has been the Chairperson of SFC's Special Events Task Force,
concentrating efforts on the nonprofit's annual fundraising event, Farm to Plate, since
2008. Christine's past community
involvement includes serving as a board member for the United Way Capital Area
Young Leaders' Society and as the President of the University of Michigan
Alumni Club of Austin. She loves to
cook, and can be found spending hours over a wood fire trying to perfect her
family's paella recipe.
Since the beginning of 2009, Stephen Straus has been a board member and VP of Business Development at an Austin-based start up called SparkPhone. Prior to SparkPhone, Stephen was Chairman, Founder and VP of Business Development of Barfly Interactive Networks, an Austin-based startup company building a national digital signage advertising network. Barfly was purchased in 2008 by TouchTunes, the largest digital jukebox company in the country. Prior to launching Barfly, Mr. Straus spent almost nine years at Austin Ventures, the largest and most active venture capital firm in the Southwest United States. During his tenure at Austin Ventures, Mr. Straus was promoted from Associate to General Partner, while the firm grew dramatically, from $278 million to over $2.4 billion under management. Prior to joining Austin Ventures, Mr. Straus worked as an associate at LG Group Venture Capital in San Jose, California. After graduating from college, Mr. Straus was founder of The Solutions Group in Washington, D.C., a software and service company, serving as its chief executive officer for five years, until its acquisition by a venture-backed company.
Mr. Straus graduated cum laude from Colgate University, received his MBA from Harvard Business School and, upon graduating with his MBA, was selected as a Kauffman Fellow, a national Fellowship awarded to a select group of venture capitalists each year. He serves on the Engineering Advisory Board of the Cockrell College of Engineering at the University of Texas, and is a past board member of the Austin Film Society.