Meet our Advancement Team
Tara Elgin Holley
Vice President of Institutional Advancement
A development professional with a career of 30 years, Holley serves as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Beginning her fundraising career in the arts and humanities, Holley worked for both the Texas Commission for the Arts and Texas Council for the Humanities. She has held the senior fundraising positions at Museum of Photographic Arts, (MOPA) San Diego, ArtPace, San Antonio and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC) at the University of Texas, Austin. Independent consulting led her to WDC where she consulted for Appleseed Foundation. Prior to returning to Texas she served as fundraising consultant and Senior Counsel for Custom Development Solutions where she led several multi-million dollar campaigns. As a student she studied and performed early music and musicology in Europe. A published author of an award-winning personal memoir, she holds the Master of Musicology degree from the University of Texas. Tara has 4 grown children: a son and a daughter and 2 step-daughters.
Senior Director of Annual Fund & Alumni Relations
Andrew West serves as the Director of Annual Fund & Alumni Relations for Southwest. In this role, Andrew oversees annual fundraising and alumni activities for the institution as well as supporting other campaigns and projects in the Office of Advancement. Before joining the team at Southwest, Andrew worked for the Long Center for the Performing Arts for five years as a development officer and was part of a fundraising team that raised $82M to construct and open the facility. After leaving the Long Center, he joined the staff of Heart House Austin in 2011 as the Development Director, overseeing all fundraising activities as well as a rebranding of the organization to The BeHive. Andrew is passionate about his community and volunteer service. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Sinfonia Educational Foundation's Board of Trustees as well as serving on several committees for organizations in Austin including: Leadership Austin, Greater Austin Chapter of AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) and is a founding member of Austin Young Fundraisers. His passions outside of the office include cooking, wine, friends, family, reading and traveling with his wife. Andrew is a life-long Austinite and lives in south Austin with his wife, Mandy, and their six year old lab, Bella.
Director of Donor Relations and Planned Giving
Eric brings over a decade of fundraising experience to his new role of Director of Donor Relations, where he will oversee Scholarship Initiatives, Planned Giving and Special Events for the Seminary of the Southwest. With a background primarily in Individual Giving and Fundraising Events for the arts, Eric has run highly successful campaigns at prominent and highly respected cultural institutions in both Austin and New York, including Roundabout Theatre Company, the Irish Repertory Theatre and ZACH Theatre.
A native of Austin, Eric lived and worked in New York City for over decade after earning his BA in Drama from the University of Texas in 1998. He and his wife of 12 years, Laura, returned to Austin in 2009, where they raise their 6-year-old daughter, Sophie. They are expecting their second child in February, 2014.
Daniel began as a student at Southwest in 2008 and joined the Institutional Advancement team as an employee one year later. Before joining Southwest Daniel worked in development at the University of Texas. Daniel also has a background in social media strategy and has spoken at three SXSW Interactive conferences on the topic. Daniel is currently a student in the Master of Arts in Counseling program, with a primary interest in relationship counseling. Since joining the seminary he has worked in various roles including donor relations coordinator and database systems & support analyst. Daniel is currently the department's development associate. Daniel and his wife, Leslie, just celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary and have two young daughters. Daniel is passionate about ecological sustainability and currently sits on the board of FarmShare Austin, the non-profit arm of Johnson's Backyard Garden, the largest urban farmshare in the southern US. Daniel and his family grow vegetables and raise chickens on their own tiny urban farm in north Austin.
Gift Processing & Donor Acknowledgment
Sue Colbath has been a member of the SSW staff since 1997, working initially in the accounting office for 10 years and joining the advancement staff in gifts processing and managing in 2010. Prior to joining SSW, Sue worked for the Texas Pest Management Association, and Scofield, Drake and Co., CPA’s. Sue hails from beautiful central Pennsylvania, where she graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Music Education. Later, during a hiatus from SSW, Sue earned her M.Ed. in Agricultural Education and Horticulture from Texas State University-San Marcos. Although she no longer teaches piano lessons, Sue continues to support musical endeavors, and pursues her agricultural and horticultural interests as a member of the Travis County Master Gardener Association. In addition to music and gardening, Sue enjoys reading, cooking, walking, and traveling. She has one daughter, Jillian Keith, who is a Realtor in Austin. Sue and her husband Don live in south Austin with their three cats, and enjoy occasional visits from their grand-kitty, Cooper.