Leadership and Staff

2022 AARO Officers

Our officers are a diverse team of thought leaders that serve as the governing body of AARO. Learn more about our officers, committee chairs and vice chairs.


Jeff Hahn




Hahn Public


Sandy Dochen


Civic Leader



Past Chair

Patricia Young Brown


Chief Partnerships Officer


Design Run Group


Donna Klaeger




Klaeger Consulting LLC


2022 Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs


  • Chair

    Amy Jones

    President and CEO

    O'Connell Robertson

  • Vice Chair

    Jeremiah Bentley

    Vice President of Marketing and Community Affairs

    Texas Mutual Insurance Company


  • Chair

    Susan Dawson

    President and Executive Director

    E3 Alliance

  • Vice Chair

    Sarah Churchill Llamas


    Winstead PC

Social Equity

  • Chair

    Mark Estrada


    Lockhart ISD


  • Chair

    Michelle Earley


    Locke Lord


  • Chair

    Janet Mitchell


    M Group Agency

  • Vice Chair

    Tamara Atkinson

    Chief Executive Officer

    Workforce Solutions Capital Area


  • Chair

    Nikelle Meade


    Husch Blackwell

  • Vice Chair

    Marc Rodriguez

    Government Relations Consultant

    The Office of Marc A. Rodriguez

2022 AARO Board

AARO Members

  • Jeff Hahn


  • Sandy Dochen


  • Patricia Young Brown

    Past Chair

  • Donna Klaeger


  • Stacy Armijo

  • Mark Estrada

  • Ali Khataw

  • Jeffrey Richard

  • Susan Dawson

  • Amy Jones

  • Nikelle Meade

  • Kenneth Williams

  • Michelle Earley

  • Christopher Kennedy

  • Janet Mitchell

AARO Staff

AARO Staff

Sandy Hentges Guzman

Chief Executive Officer

Sandy joined the Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) in March of 2020. Before her role at AARO, Sandy was the Legislative Director for Texas State Senator Kirk Watson. Initially focused solely on transportation policy, Sandy served as point on the development and implementation of the senator’s 10 Goals in 10 Years from the inception of the initiative in 2011. This work led to a redesign of the community healthcare safety net system, the creation of the UT Dell Medical School, enhanced mental health facilities and services and Seton’s commitment to build a new teaching hospital, the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, Austin.

New to Austin in 2000, Sandy joined the campaign for light rail as Deputy Campaign Director. Though the effort was unsuccessful, it provided her the opportunity to get to know Austin, its elected officials and business and community leaders. Sandy subsequently joined the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce staff where she worked for eight years on local, state and federal policy, with a heavy emphasis on transportation, as Senior Vice President for Public Policy.

Sandy relocated to Austin from Washington, DC where she worked for a Member of Congress following her graduation from The George Washington University with bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Latin American Studies. 

A California native, Sandy and her husband Robert are the proud parents of two young Texans.

Cynthia Sanchez

Program Manager

Cynthia joined the Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) in August 2020. Her work includes managing membership efforts such as the development and implementation of systems-change strategies and programs. Prior to AARO, she was the Director of Community Organizing within the Faith in Action Network, where she worked with clergy, community leaders and organizational partners in Orange County, California, to increase civic participation and voter engagement, pass social equity policies and expand resources for low income regions. She has also worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, advancing their Dignity for All Project on Homelessness, as well as with Disability Rights California, leveraging statistical and geographical analysis to identify critical rural regions in the state lacking legal representation for people with disabilities.

Cynthia holds a B.A in English with a certification in Business from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a M.S in Public Policy from the University of California, Irvine. As the daughter of an immigrant, single mother, Cynthia was raised with an unwavering spirit of resilience, hard work and hope. In her free time, she enjoys cooking traditional Mexican food, reading science fiction and playing with her dog, Lucy. Originally from Los Angeles, Cynthia is excited to build a life in Austin, and even more thrilled to support AARO as it continues making a long-lasting impact in the lives of all Central Texans.

Christie Bradow

Executive Assistant 

Christie joined AARO in October 2018. She has a Master of Arts in Organizational Development from the University of Phoenix. At the University of Houston she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a minorin German. She is also PROSCI certified in change managment and is a trained facilitator for Stephen Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Successful People" course. After a 15+ year career as a retail general manager she decided to pursue a career that closer aligned with her desire to give back to the community.

Christie volunteers her time with NAMI Central Texas, Dress for Success and the Association of Change Mangement Professionals Texas and Houston chapters, and is a Trustee at her church. 

Originally from Baton Rouge, LA, Christie has lived in Aruba, California, New Mexico and has been proud to call Central Texas home since 2004.