Contact CAN Staff
Mailing address: Becker Elementary, 906 W. Milton St., Rm. 201, Austin, TX 78704
Email: See below.
Vanessa Sarria Executive Director
Vanessa Sarria has served as the Executive Director of the Community Advancement Network (CAN) in Austin, Texas since March 1, 2007. CAN is a partnership of governmental, non-profit, private and faith-based organizations which leverage mutual resources to collectively improve social, health, educational and economic opportunities in our community. As a convener, informer and connecter, CAN works to enhance awareness of issues, strengthen partnerships, connect planning efforts, and support the development of collaborative strategies. CAN's areas of focus in 2014 include updating the Community Dashboard which provides an overview of the overall social health and well-being of Greater Austin and Travis County; hosting safety net forums to identify resources and address gaps in the social service safety net; promoting cultural competency, inclusion and diversity in organizations serving low-income populations; conducting an inventory of prevention and intervention efforts in systems serving children and youth; and enhancing community engagement practices. Ms. Sarria serves in an advisory capacity to a broad range of organizations and coalitions working to collaboratively enhance the community's well-being. Ms. Sarria currently serves on the Board of the National Association of Planning Councils. Ms. Sarria has worked for a range of organizations including Workforce Solutions - Capital Area, Austin Travis County Health and Human Services Department, Montgomery County United Way, Austin/Travis County Integral Care, National Public Health and Hospital Institute, and the National Association of Public Hospitals in Washington, DC. Ms. Sarria received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989 and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, New York, in 1992.
Mary Dodd Assistant Director
Mary Dodd has served as the Assistant Director for Community Advancement Network since February 2008. She has facilitated a Steering Committee of local experts to develop a Community Dashboard of 16 key socio-economic indicators of the health and well-being of Austin and Travis County.
Ms. Dodd facilitates and provides staff support to the CAN Community Council and to other CAN Work Groups. Ms. Dodd writes CANews, an email newsletter that is published monthly highlighting research, reports and opportunities to participate in community planning. She is also the key writer for other CAN publications, including the annual Community Dashboard report and the CAN End of Year report
Ms. Dodd has previously worked as Executive Director of Austin Area Research Organization,a business-oriented, nonpartisan think tank of regional leaders in Central Texas. She facilitated the Health Care Industry Steering Committee and the Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry Steering Committee as an Industry Liaison with Capital Area Training Foundation. She has worked in fund development and communications for The Austin Project and UT Elementary Charter school. Ms. Dodd is a trained facilitator and has a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She began her career as a television reporter and news anchor.
Kevin Paris Research Assistant
Kevin Paris is a research assistant with the Community Advancement Network. He provides research support for the CAN Community Dashboard (www.cancommunitydashboard.org) and CAN Work Plan initiatives, including CAN’s “State of the Safety Net” project and Community Council. Kevin began interning with CAN as a graduate student during the summer of 2012, then joined the staff full time in June of 2013. He received his BA in Political Science and Economics from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and a Master of Public of Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to returning to graduate school, he worked as an elementary school teacher in rural Arkansas as part of the Teach for America program. Kevin is also an Eagle Scout.
Hannah Brown Research Assistant
Hannah Brown joined the CAN staff in January 2014 as a Research Assistant. Hannah received her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees from Baylor University School of Social Work. Prior to joining CAN, Hannah worked as the Hunger Ministry Coordinator for the Waco Regional Baptist Association and as a church social worker in Waco, TX.
Michael Danburg Web Site Developer
Email: Click here for Email Address
Michael Danburg joined the CAN staff in March 2013. He received a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre & Dance from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000 and has been studying Computer Programming at Austin Community College since 2011.
In addition to his work with CAN, Michael frequently works in the arenas of theater and film and spends as much time with his daughter as he can.