Investing in Community
The Amarillo Area Foundation is the only nonprofit community foundation serving the more than 400,000 people in the Texas Panhandle. As a leader in philanthropic, nonprofit, and community issues, the Foundation is a catalyzing force that addresses the community’s most critical challenges by providing significant, shared and lasting results.
We work to provide efficient service in an honest, accountable and transparent manner.
We strive for equity, inclusiveness and opportunity in all we do, and we work to be responsive and compassionate.
We believe in teamwork and open communication.
We look for creative ways to meet community needs, and we do so with urgency and a spirit of entrepreneurship.
To improve quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents.
As President & CEO of the Amarillo Area Foundation, Clay directs the organization in fulfilling the Foundation’s mission to improve quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents. Clay is originally from the Texas Panhandle and after just short of a decade in Dallas, found himself called to return. He moved back to the area in 2002 with his wife, Katherine, and son, Spencer.
President & CEO
Senior Vice President
Vice President of Finance
Melanie grew up in the Texas Panhandle and graduated from West Texas A&M University with her Bachelor of Music and Master of Business Administration degrees. It's been a joy for her to return to her roots and serve the people of the Texas Panhandle.
Vice President of Development
NLNE Program Officer
NSC Program Officer
Connie grew up in Elk City, Oklahoma, but moved to Amarillo, Texas in 1986. She attended Amarillo College and then West Texas A&M University where she received a BS in Mathematics. Before starting at Amarillo Area Foundation, Connie worked at West Texas A&M University where she taught mathematics and was an advisor for special populations (First Generation Students).
ACE Program Director/THRIVE Facilitator
Beth rejoined the Foundation in January of 2018 as the Scholarship Program Assistant and became the Scholarship Program Officer in 2020. She enjoys being a small part of removing financial barriers which could hinder deserving students from pursuing higher education. Beth has lived in Amarillo her entire life and comes to work every day excited to be part of the mission of the Amarillo Area Foundation. In addition to her work at the Foundation, Beth is pursuing a degree in Education from West Texas A&M University.
Scholarship Program Officer
She grew up in Clinton, Oklahoma, moving to Amarillo in the 6th grade. She attended Palo Duro High School but eventually moved and graduated in Oklahoma from Clinton High School. She moved back to Amarillo and married her high school sweetheart, and they have one son. While working on her associates degree, she had the opportunity to work for Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in the Donor Services Department where she was able to gain experience with children and how organizations regulate. She is proud to be a part of Amarillo Area Foundation’s mission and success in the community and looks forward to helping students prosper.
Scholarship Program Assistant
Broc grew up in Canyon and has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from West Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the staff at AAF, Broc was the Director of Marketing, Communications, and Advocacy at the High Plains Food Bank and United Way of Amarillo and Canyon. Broc believes that a community cannot thrive until all parts of the community have the access and ability to thrive! He has two amazing daughters that keep him on his toes!
Director of Marketing
Sarah joined the Amarillo Area Foundation in September 2016. Prior to joining AAF, Sarah was busy full-time raising three wonderful children, serving within her church, the Junior League of Amarillo (JLA), and within various other civic and educational volunteer roles. Sarah has worked as a Communications Coordinator at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, as an accounting assistant for grants in the Controller’s Office at Rice University and assisted seven Computer Engineering Professors with grant submissions in the Electrical Engineering Department of Princeton University. Sarah also has grant writing experience through her JLA placement.
Sarah was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Learning and Development for Elementary and Special Education. Sarah and her family moved to Amarillo in 2010 and has thoroughly enjoyed living and serving in the Texas Panhandle.
Grants Program Officer
Kyla was born in Espanola, NM. She attended high school in Lancaster, TX and attended Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. She moved to Amarillo in 1998. She spent 6 years in Nashville, TN and moved back to Amarillo in 2017 to open her own business prior to joining the AAF staff.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2016, Angie was the Executive Assistant to the CFO of Hastings Entertainment, Inc. until its untimely closure that same year. Angie also previously held positions in the Mortgage and Home Equity Lending Departments of Amarillo National Bank prior to becoming the assistant to the Executive Vice President of Operations at AIG Annuity.
After growing up on the East Coast, Angie moved to the Texas Panhandle in the late 1980s. She completed her secondary education at Tascosa High School prior to attending Amarillo College. She has lived in Amarillo for 32 years.
Executive Services Manager
Evans graduated from West Texas A&M University in 2017 with a Bachelors in Finance & Accounting, and a Masters in Professional Accounting in 2020.
Evans lived in Amarillo for four year, and one year in Dallas before returning to Amarillo in 2018. He and his wife have been blessed with one son.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2017, Amy served as a public school teacher, adjunct professor, museum director, and owned her own social media management business.
Amy grew up in East Texas and moved to Lubbock, Texas to attend Texas Tech University where she obtained a B.A. in English and an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology. After living in New Mexico and Colorado, she moved to the Panhandle in 1997. Amy now resides in Claude, Texas and considers herself to be a lover of small towns, people, and the Texas Panhandle.
Director of Philanthropic Partnerships
Janet has lived in the Texas Panhandle all her life. Amarillo is her home town although she has deep family roots in Armstrong County where her family has farmed for 4 generations.
Janet graduated from Amarillo High School and received an associate degree from Amarillo College. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 25 years.
Before joining the Amarillo Area Foundation, Lucy was a Senior Analyst at Education Forward DC, a grant making organization focused on increasing the number of college and career ready students in DC public schools. At Education Forward DC, Lucy worked as a funder on the Public Engagement team and provided grants to organizations working to amplify the voices of students and parents in public education.
After graduating from Texas Tech University in 2013, Lucy moved to Washington, DC to pursue her Masters Degree at American University, where her research lead to the creation of the LISTO college prep program in 2014 in partnership with the DC Public High School, Cardozo Education Campus.
In 2014, the LISTO program was recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education for its college access model and efforts to close the achievement gap for Hispanic students. Lucy later went on to intern for the White House Initiative and would co-author Graduate 2.0: A College Planning Guide to Success, informed by her experiences as a first-generation student as well as her research and practical experience creating and managing the LISTO college prep program.
After receiving her master’s degree from American University, Lucy transitioned to work at the national level to influence large-scale education initiatives and policy to better serve students. This included positions at Achieving the Dream, the U.S. Department of Education, and Hispanic Federation.
Lucy was born and raised in Friona, Texas and earned a BA in Political Science and Sociology from Texas Tech University and a MA in Sociology from American University in Washington, DC.
LUCIA MENDEZ POLSTON
Director of Community Engagement and Impact
Matt grew up in Amarillo, TX but left for 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Prior to joining the AAF team, Matt was the Director of Personnel for a bank equipment and security company. Since Matt began his career in non-profit work, he is excited to be back in that community.
Grants Program Officer
Suzy is native to the Texas Panhandle, being reared in Dalhart. She attended Texas Christian University and Texas Tech University, graduating cum laude from Texas Tech in 1982. She taught accounting for several years at Dalhart High School, and after moving to west Texas, she found her niche in tax preparation and fund accounting. Suzy and her husband returned to the Panhandle in 2013 and have made Amarillo their permanent home.
Director of Accounting
Charlotte Rhodes hired Karen as her assistant in 2013 as Donors Services Administrative Assistant. Karen’s responsibilities include processing and acknowledging all contributions and providing administrative support for the development department. She especially enjoys the creative writing opportunities that her position often requires.
Director of Donor Services
Board of Directors
The Amarillo Area Foundation is the only community foundation serving Texas’ northernmost 26 counties. Since its inception in 1957 and into the future, the Foundation provides grants and services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver. The Foundation is enriching the Panhandle communities we call home as a result of partnerships between area philanthropists and social entrepreneurs. The Foundation is governed by a Board of private citizens dedicated to their leadership role on philanthropic, nonprofit, and community issues.
Amarillo Area Foundation Board of Directors
- Clay Stribling | President and CEO
- David Hurtt | Assistant Secretary
- Paul Clark | Chair
- Vanessa Buzzard | 1st Vice Chair
- David Prescott | 2nd Vice Chair
- Sharon White | Secretary
- Cheri De Jong | Treasurer
- Lewis Britt | Member at Large
- Nicki Crump | Member at Large
- Trent Sisemore | Member at Large
- William Ware | Member at Large
- Dr. Lori Henke | Immediate Past Chair
Roy Bara | Amarillo
Christy Bertolino | Canyon
Bill Britain | Amarillo
Lewis Britt | Amarillo
Helen Burton | Amarillo
Vanessa Buzzard | Pampa
Trevor Caviness | Amarillo
Paul Clark | Amarillo
Kathy Cornett | Amarillo
Nicki Crump | Amarillo
Michael Cruz | Amarillo
Cheri De Jong | Hartley
Lori Henke | Amarillo
Mike Hughes | Amarillo
Bowden Jones | Amarillo
Mark Keys | Childress
Pedro Limas | Amarillo
Charles Mestas | Amarillo
Jackie Pearson | Spearman
David Prescott | Amarillo
Stella Sauls | Borger
Trent Sisemore | Amarillo
Caroline Smith | Amarillo
William Ware | Amarillo
Sharon White | Amarillo
Suzanne Willis | Perryton
The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation Board of Directors
- Clay Stribling | President and CEO
- Lori Henke | Chair
- Paul Clark | Vice Chair
- Vanessa Buzzard | Secretary/Treasurer
- Roy Bara
- Mark Bivins
- Dyke Rogers
- Richard Ware II
The Harrington Regional Medical Campus Board of Directors
- Clay Stribling | President and CEO
- Bill Harris | Chair
- Dr. Steve Urban | Vice Chair
- J.B. Lane | Secretary/Treasurer
- Mary Bearden
- Judy Day
- Julie Mitchell
- Rod Schroder
- Carolyn Witherspoon
- Alfonso Zambrano