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Development & Alumni Relations Staff

Meet the team responsible for making sure your gifts make the biggest impact.

Renee Rehfeld, Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations

Renee has worked in the development office of TLU since 2006. She earned a BS in Business Administration as a marketing major from the UT-Knoxville and her MBA from Texas A&M Commerce. Renee oversees all development, alumni relations and advancement services for the university. She works with key alumni and friends to increase engagement and secure giving. Away from work, Renee enjoys time with family, friends, fishing, and football.

Jena McKinzie, Associate Vice President of Development & Alumni Relations

Jena has 14 years of nonprofit development experience, with the last eight years in higher education. Jena received her master’s degree in human services administration as well as a certificate in Nonprofit Management (CNP). Hailing from North Louisiana, Jena loves spending time with her family and daydreaming about their next road trip. Jena joined the TLU team during the height of the COVID pandemic, initially working with corporate and private foundations, governmental granting agencies and businesses before transitioning into her current role working with individual donors to secure university funding.

Kim Gannon, Director of Major Gifts

Kim has over 30 years of experience in Higher Education and Alumni Relations. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and has a background in fundraising, volunteer management, event planning and program management. Prior to joining TLU, she worked for Texas State University. Outside of work, Kim enjoys listing to live music, baking, playing with her animals and spending time with family. Kim works with alumni and friends in the Houston and San Antonio areas to increase engagement and secure giving.

Jeanne Heinen, Director of Leadership Gifts

Jeanne earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology before completing her master’s in sociology at Texas State University. She joined our development team in July of 2020 after serving her alma mater for four years. After hours, you can find Jeanne spending time in San Marcos with her daughter and friends. Jeanne cultivates relationships with alumni and friends in the Central and North Texas regions with the intent to align their philanthropic passions with the university’s priorities.

Brian Wallace '06 Associate Director of Development

Brian graduated from TLU in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and has worked multiple roles for the university during his time on staff. After earning his master’s degree in Sport Management from Texas State University, he began working as a Baseball Coach and Adjunct Professor in the TLU Kinesiology Department. He has also worked in Admissions and is now excited to be in the Development Office. Away from work, Brian enjoys being an entrepreneur and spending time doing outside activities with his family.

Carrie Hallmark, Development Events and Stewardship Coordinator

Carrie has worked at TLU for 12 years. Prior to joining the Development and Alumni Relations team, Carrie worked with Admissions and Financial Aid. She enjoys going to the beach, spending time with her family and watching her kids participate in sports. Her daughter Kayla is a Biochemistry major at TLU and a member of the TLU Goldstars dance team.

Violet Glover, Development and Planned Giving Assistant

Violet came to Texas Lutheran University after working for ten years at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She became a member of the Texas Lutheran Development Office in 1978 as Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President for Development. According to Violet, Texas Lutheran and the Development Office is where she belongs.

Theresa Cook Spiess '06, Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations

A third generation Bulldog, Theresa has worked in the nonprofit and public relations fields since graduating from TLU with a Business degree in 2006. Her nonprofit development experience includes work at the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, American Red Cross Central and South Texas Region, and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Central Texas Chapter, which she helped launch. In her free time Theresa enjoys live music, cooking, singing, and teaching Sunday School with her church. She also enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Chris and their two young children and two senior dogs. She enjoys discovering win/win scenarios with donors, whether through grant funding opportunities or corporate partnerships.

Taylor C. Carleton ‘97, Executive Director of Annual Giving

Taylor, a TLU public history graduate, has worked in the office for 10+ years. Prior to TLU, she worked at IBM. Taylor loves giving back, promoting events and working with donors to find their passion for TLU. She is a proud military brat and has called South Texas home for over 20 years. You’ll see Taylor and her family at Bulldog events throughout the year.

Taylor Collins ‘14, Director of Alumni Relations & Development Marketing

Taylor earned his bachelor’s degree in both history and political science at TLU before continuing on to receive his MBA from Texas A&M-CC, and his certification in content marketing. Taylor has over 10 years experience in event coordination and project management. In his spare time, he’s often found reading, enjoying the outdoors, or spending time with his family.

Megan Buxton, Associate Director of Alumni & Annual Giving

Megan earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Boise State University before completing her master’s in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Texas State University. Prior to TLU, she worked in Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at the University of Texas San Antonio and SAMMinistries. After hours, you can find her spending time with her 3 dogs, being a foodie, or volunteering with CASA San Antonio. Megan works with the university’s crowdfunding and Day of Giving Programs to increase engagement and giving, runs the TLU alumni social media channels, supports the Alumni Board, and also works with alumni and family events.

    Fonda Mathis, Director of Development Services & Research

    Fonda earned her bachelor’s degree at Southwest Texas State University. She started her career in the information technology field supporting software platforms for a variety of business applications. Eventually moving to a position in the development office, as Director of Development Services, she supports database management, advancement reporting, gift recording, data integrity, data security and research. Fonda enjoys volunteering and community service.

    Mercedes Moreno, Assistant Director of Development Services & Research

    Mercedes Moreno earned her bachelor's and master's degree at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, and is currently pursuing her doctorate. She has spent over 10 years in the area of higher education/student services, having served six years in Institutional Advancement. In her spare time, she volunteers and enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and family.

    Barbette Wills, Gift Coordinator

    Barbette has served as the Gift Processor/Data Coordinator for Development and Alumni Relations since 2007. She and her husband, Casey, have five children and eight grandchildren, and are known as Gigi and Papa. Their family farm is home to cattle, goats, chickens, nine dogs, and one cat. TLU has been a great blessing to the Wills Family.