About Ballet Austin

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Executive Team

Cookie Gregory Ruiz, C.F.R.E., Executive Director | 512.476.9151 ext. 110

Cookie Gregory Ruiz has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development and non-profit fund-raising/management. Since 2002 she has held the professional designation of Certified Fund Raising Executive (C.F.R.E.) by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Her community honors include Austin Business Journal's "Profiles in Power" Award, Austin Community Foundation's Beverly S. Sheffield Award for Excellence as a Nonprofit Executive, The American Red Cross "Clara Barton Medal of Honor," Volunteer of the Year for the Austin Independent School District, The Junior League of Austin Volunteer Extraordinaire Award, the Lone Star Girl Scout Council "Women of Distinction" Award, and is a former President of The Junior League of Austin. Ms. Ruiz is a member of the Mayor's Citizen Cabinet (Austin, Texas), served as the city-wide Chair of CreateAustin, served as a City Council appointee to The Citizen's Advisory Council of ImagineAustin, and is a graduate of Leadership Austin and Austin's City Works Academy.

Ms. Ruiz is currently a member of the Board of Trustees and former national Chair of Dance/USA, a member of the national Board of Directors of the Performing Arts Alliance (Washington DC), a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Texans for the Arts, a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), a member of the Board of Directors of Con Mi Madre (Past President), Sustaining President and a member of the Board of Director of The Junior League of Austin, a National Arts Strategies International Chief Executive Program Fellow, a member of the Board of Directors of Austin Housing Works (Affordable Housing), and Community Advisor to the Young Women's Alliance (YWA).

Ms. Ruiz serves as a speaker, facilitator and presenter for a variety of leadership conferences, including the National Conference on Community Leadership, the National Performing Arts Conference, American for the Arts Annual Convention, National Conference of Dance/USA, The Governor's Women's Business Leadership Forum and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

In 1996 Ms. Ruiz joined the staff of Ballet Austin as Development Director, became General Manager in 1997 and Executive Director in 1999.


  Lital Yaacob, Executive Administrator | 512.476.9151 ext. 110
Gail Romney, Director of Finance | 512.476.9151 ext. 111
Julie Loignon, Director of Audience Engagement, Sales & Services | 512.476.9151 ext. 118

Christi Cuellar Lotz, C.F.R.E., Development Director |
512.476.9151 ext. 124
Billie Buddenhagen, Director of Operations | 512.476.9151 ext. 122
Pei-San Brown, Community Education Director | 512.476.9151 ext. 178
William Piner, Academy Director | 512.476.9151 ext. 123
Vicki Parsons, Butler Community School Director | 512.476.9151 ext. 126
Vlada Sheber, Pilates Program Director | 512.476.9151 ext. 135
Bill Sheffield, Director of Production / Stage Manager |
512.476.9051 ext. 113 ext. 122
  Molly Morrow, HR & Accounting Associate | 512.476.9151 ext. 106
Brooke Holmes, Senior Development Manager | 512.476.9151 ext. 114
Erin Waelder, Development Administrator | 512.476.9151 ext 134
  , Development & Special Events Associate | 512.476.9151 ext. 109
Aaron Majors, Senior Manager of Audience Sales & Services | 512.476.9151 ext 119
  Jessica Pino, Senior Manager of Audience Engagement & Marketing | 512.476.9151 ext. 137
  Marisol Canales, Manager of Audience Engagement & Marketing | 512.476.9151 ext. 140
Stephanie Locklear Albrecht, Project Coordinator & Customer Relations | 512.476.9151 ext. 102
  Tonie Torres, Registrar & Customer Relations | 512.476.9151 ext. 138
Maria Murphy-Mayberry, Community Education Associate | 512.476.9151 ext. 142
Stacy Dunavan, Patron Services | 512.476.9151 ext. 100
Michael Owens, Patron Services | 512.476.9151 ext. 100
Justin Sebesta, Facilities Manager | 512.476.9151 ext 341
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