Austin, TX Alumnae Chapter


Lauri Zachry Truong


Lauri was initiated into the Delta Eta chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at West Texas A&M University in Canyon in 1999 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 2001. She moved to Austin in 2005 from Amarillo, jumped right in and got involved with the Austin ZTA Alumnae. Lauri served as Historian from 2007-2009 and Service Chair from 2009-2010 for the alumnae chapter. She also volunteered as part of the 2012 Celebration of Life luncheon committee. This is her second year to serve as the alumnae chapter's president. Lauri's professional background is in communications, journalism and public relations. She has worked for a software company, the University of Texas' School of Information, a small PR agency, in the school public relations field and as a community journalist for 14 years. She is also involved with organizations such as Freelance Austin, West Texas A&M University Alumni Association, Women Communicators of Austin, Toastmasters and volunteers for projects such as Prom Rack, which provides prom attire to Central Texas youth in the foster care system. In her free time, Lauri enjoys traveling, checking out the live music scene in Austin, reading, running, yoga and spending time with friends and family. She is married to her husband of six years, Duan.

Samantha Benitez Stone

Vice President I of Programming

Samantha was initiated into the Zeta Sigma chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at the University of Texas in Arlington in 2002 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and minored in business in 2006. She has lived in Austin for six years and became involved with the Austin ZTA Alumnae in 2014 by coordinating happy hour Crown Connections groups. Samantha is in her second year of serving as VP of Programming. She is a Fort Worth native. Samantha currently works as an Account Manager and Outside Sales Representative for Vima Décor, which serves as a supplier for the multifamily and student housing industry. She and her husband, Ryan, have two dogs, Lola and Milli. In her free time, Samantha enjoys attending outdoor happy hours, eating at restaurants known for their good brunch and dinner menus and attending basically every University of Texas Longhorns football home game in the fall.

Ami Hooper

Vice President II of Membership

Cynthia L. Harkness

Vice President III of Fundraising

Cynthia L. Harkness, was a Kappa Chapter Zeta from 1979-1983. She returned to Austin in 2013 and is our Vice President of Fundraising. Cynthia co-chaired our annual Celebration of Life luncheon in 2015 and 2016 and will continue as co-chair in 2017. The Celebration of Life Luncheon benefits the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation and the Seton Foundation in their efforts to fight and educate the public with respect to breast cancer. Cynthia is Of Counsel to the Haddad Legal Group, where she brings over 30 years of experience in the legal field. She has primarily practiced in the financial markets, both domestically and internationally, including in New York, Paris, Singapore, Houston and Baltimore. She received a B.B.A. in 1983 and a J.D. in 1986 from The University of Texas at Austin, is a FINRA arbitrator and is admitted to practice law in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Texas. Cynthia is the 2016 Austin Alumnae Panhellenic Association's Sorority Woman of the Year and 2016 Zeta Day Ultra Violet winner. She also was co-chair of the 2016 University of Texas School of Law reunion. Currently, she is a mentor to several University of Texas law students, a member of the University of Texas Chancellor’s Council, a member of the Longhorn Foundation and an enthusiastic Texas Longhorn fan and an animal lover. She has one daughter, Alessandra, who is a sophomore at Lang College at The New School in New York.

Nicole Ruffo


Nicole was initiated into the Theta Psi chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Texas State University in 2011 where she earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in communication studies and a minor in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations in 2015. While in college Nicole served as the corresponding secretary and parents relations chair on the Program Council before be elected to the Executive Council as the recording secretary and treasurer. She moved to Austin in May of 2015 after she graduated from Texas State. Nicole currently works as an employee relations specialist for SHI. Prior to working at SHI, Nicole spent many years working in retail and was an assistant manager at Nordstrom. In her free time, Nicole enjoys traveling, catching a movie at iPic, Pure Barre, hanging out by the pool and spending time with friends and family.

Evany Sifuentes


Evany was initiated into the Gamma Gamma chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1999 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications studies in 2003. She is returning as the alumnae chapter’s Treasurer for a second consecutive year. She served as the Treasurer for the 2015 and 2016 Celebration of Life luncheons. Evany currently works as an Account Executive at FedEx. She is married and has a 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Sadie, who is “the best little girl in the world.” In her free time, Evany’s hobbies include attending sporting events and wine tastings and traveling.

Sarah Giles


Sarah was initiated into the Theta Eta Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Stephen F. Austin State University in 2006 where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration in 2011. She is a traveler at heart and moved to Jackson, Wyoming to pursue a career in the hotel industry after graduation. Sarah moved to Houston a couple years later realizing her heart was in the great state of Texas. In September 2015, she moved to Austin to begin working at the Omni in the sales department. Sarah became involved with the Austin ZTA Alumnae chapter in 2016. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading a good book, watching movies and traveling.

Caroline Hughey

Alumnae/Collegiate Relations and Panhellenic Delegate

Caroline was initiated into the Beta Omega chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee in 2007 where she earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 2010. She moved to the Austin area in 2010 to attend graduate school at Texas State University where she earned her master's degree in health care administration in 2012. Caroline currently works as the operations manager for Austin Regional Clinic. She has been with the company since starting as an intern in 2012. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially her niece and nephew, hanging out with her two dogs, traveling and reading.

Brittany Partridge


Brittany was initiated into the Iota Omega Chapter at the University of Maryland in 2007. She graduated with a degree in Health Care Administration and worked in California at the Emergency Medical Services Authority. In 2011 Brittany moved to Austin to attend UT's Health IT program and she now works for Seton as the Clinical Informatics Portfolio Manager. Currently she is finishing up her MBA from UT-Tyler. When she isn't working, Brittany enjoys volunteering at the local animal shelter in Kyle, where she lives with her husband Matt and 4 fur babies. She also enjoys participating in hackathons, going out on the water and traveling as often as possible.

Ashley Anderson


Ashley was initiated into the Theta Omicron chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Baylor University in 2005 where she earned a bachelor of business administration in sports, sponsorships and sales. She also received an MBA in health care administration from Baylor. She serves as a senior associate and dedicated Advisor on the Crimson Clinical Advantage team, a division of The Advisory Board Company. She supports large health systems in pursuing physician engagement, launching performance improvement and driving ROI while maintaining alignment between facility and system level priorities. Additionally, she provides strategic guidance around using cases and analytics for achieving goals in quality, utilization and regulatory compliance. Prior to joining The Advisory Board Company, Ashley worked for the Hospital Corporation of America, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and United Surgical Partners International.

Jill Berkel


Jill was initiated in the Theta Omicron chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Baylor University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology/medical technology. She has served as the Key Woman for the Austin, Cedar Park and Leander areas of Central Texas for the Austin ZTA Alumnae since 1993. In her free time, Jill is as an active member of Hill Country Bible Church and volunteers with the Autism Society of Central Texas. Jill is the proud parent of four children – Emma, an honors graduate of Southern Methodist University, Cammie, 21, who lives in Austin and twin sons Rick and Jake, both juniors at Vandergrift High School in Leander ISD.