Austin skyline at night.

Austin Chamber Selects Gene Austin as New Chairman

Posted By Greater Austin Chamber | Jan 08, 2015
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Budet named Chair-Elect; 2015 Executive Committee Leaders Announced

Jan. 8, 2015, AUSTIN, TX – The Austin Chamber of Commerce today announced that Gene Austin, President and CEO of Bazaarvoice, was selected by its Board of Directors as the Chamber's 2015 Chairman of the Board. In addition, Tony Budet, President and CEO of University Federal Credit Union, was selected as the Chamber's Chair-Elect. The Board also announced its Executive Committee which includes 16 business leaders selected as Vice Chairs, and three members-at-large.

"Gene and Tony both have a deep understanding of our region's economic climate and innovative spirit," said Jack McDonald, 2014 Chairman of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman and CEO of Upland Software. "We are grateful for their continued service on behalf of the Chamber’s mission. Our executive committee members reflect an excellent mix of highly talented professionals and we look forward to working together to make 2015 a prosperous year for the Central Texas region."

In 2014, Austin served as the Chamber's Chair-Elect and was involved with the Chamber's 20/20 Mobility Solutions, an initiative to decrease employees' drive-alone commutes in an effort to address the region's congestion. Austin had previously served several terms as Vice Chair of Education and Vice Chair of Technology. Budet, who also participated in 20/20 Mobility Solutions, has chaired the Chamber's Austin Community College Progress Report Task Force and served as a member of the Board of Directors.

"It’s an honor and a privilege to serve our community as Chairman of the Austin Chamber of Commerce,” said Austin. "The Chamber plays an important role in helping the Central Texas region take on its toughest challenges and to ensure we continue to have the most vibrant economy in the nation for years to come. I'm excited to collaborate with leaders across the region to foster a high quality of life and establish infrastructure that supports a strong economy and skilled workforce."

About the New Chair and Chair-Elect

Gene Austin has more than 30 years of experience delivering results in high-growth technology companies, with a particular emphasis on SaaS applications. He most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Convio, Inc., where he was the driving force behind the company's success that led to an IPO and eventual sale to Blackbaud, Inc. in May 2012.

Prior to Convio, Gene was BMC Software's vice president and general manager of Enterprise Data Management and previously worked at Dell as vice president and general manager of Internet Servers. He also served as senior vice president of sales and marketing at, where he contributed significantly to growth leading to a 1999 public offering.

Gene holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and BS in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is active in the Austin, Texas, community and has served on the

Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, as well as on the Board of Directors for KIPP Austin Public Schools and JDRF Austin.

Tony Budet has served since 2000 as President and Chief Executive Officer of University Federal Credit Union (UFCU), Austin, Texas, a $1.8 billion, not-for-profit, financial cooperative serving 190,000 members.

Budet is a seasoned executive, strategist, and innovator who, during his 30-year tenure with UFCU has held several executive-level roles, including Chief Financial Officer, and has successfully guided the organization through a variety of regulatory, economic, and competitive conditions.

Budet holds a BA in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and has been active as a director or committee member with the Credit Union National Association, Texas Credit Union League, Catalyst Corporate FCU, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and other trade, higher education, and community organizations. UFCU employs approximately 550 people and operates 20 proprietary facilities in Austin and Galveston, TX.

The following leaders will join Austin and Budet as the 2015 Chamber Board of Directors' Executive Committee:

2015 Executive Committee of the Board - Vice Chairs Communications: Susie Ellwood, Publisher, Austin American-Statesman

Economic Development: Phil Wilson, General Manager, Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)

Education: Shaun Cranston, Senior Vice President, Brookfield Residential Federal Policy: Eugene Sepulveda, CEO, Entrepreneurs Foundation Finance: Dave Martin, Vice President & CFO, Dimensional Fund Advisors Innovation: Hugh Forrest, Director, South by Southwest Interactive Festival Legal Counsel: John Gilluly, Partner, DLA Piper LLP

Membership Development: Robert Nagel, President & CEO, Fox Service Company

Member Relations: Paul Trylko, President & CEO, Amplify Credit Union

Regional and Local Policy: Greg Hartman, President, External Affairs Seton Healthcare Family

Regional Mobility: John Garrett, Publisher & CEO, Community Impact Newspaper

Small Business: Patti Winstanley, President, Aztec Promotional Group LP

Special Events & Partnerships: Don Kendrick, Regional President & Business Banking Division Manager, Wells Fargo Bank

State Policy: Fred Heldenfels, President & CEO, Heldenfels Enterprises Inc.

Talent Development: Greg Garrison, Head of North American Talent Channels/Austin Site Leader, Google

Technology: Tony Ross, Senior Director of Americas Operations, Apple Inc.

Executive Committee, Members-At-Large

Rudy Garza, President & CEO, GarzaBury

Catherine Morse, General Counsel & Director Public Affairs, Samsung Austin Semiconductor Robert Watson, General Manager, Hilton Austin

The full Board of Directors, including the 2015 Executive Committee, is available at


About the Austin Chamber

The mission of the Austin Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for its more than 2,800 members. For more information about the Austin Chamber of Commerce visit


Media Inquiries:

Jessica Melton, Public Relations Manager, Austin Chamber of Commerce O: 512.322.5637

C: 512.387.4227


Greater Austin Chamber

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin Region works. We serve as the voice of business for 2,800 organizations representing a combined workforce of about 330,000 employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.