Meet the Team
Tom Hedrick – Chief Executive Officer
Tom comes to AVANCE from the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University, where he has been a Fellow since January. Most recently, Tom was an operating partner in Private Equity at The Stephens Group. Prior to his work at The Stephens Group, Tom was a Senior Partner with McKinsey and Company. He began his career at McKinsey in Houston and later moved to Dallas where he led the office.
Elida Gonzales – Chief Operations Officer
Elida Gonzales serves as Interim Chief Operations Officer of AVANCE. Prior to AVANCE Elida spent 15 years ensuring the financial integrity of AVANCE, Inc. As the former head of the national accounting and finance department, she monitored all chapter budgets for adherence to fiscal policies and procedures. In her capacity as Chief of Innovation and New Business Development, Gonzales developed a licensing model system for AVANCE. Gonzales represents AVANCE on the Campaign for Grade Level Reading’s Successful Parenting Kitchen Cabinet and is the project lead for AVANCE’s Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, a collective impact project in the Texas Rio Grande Valley called PACES (Pathways to Alliances for Community Engagement Services). She earned her Bachelors of Business Administration degree from St. Mary’s University and her Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Rita Sandoval – Chief Program Officer
Ms. Rita Sandoval knows AVANCE’s educational and family service programs inside and out. She began her journey with the organization as a Parent Educator and spent more than 20 years with AVANCE’s San Antonio Chapter teaching and mentoring parents and staff before overseeing multiple programs and departments as the Chapter’s Associate Director. In her current role on the national executive team, Rita serves as Chief Programs Officer. The quality, integrity, and fidelity of AVANCE’s signature Parent-Child Education Program is her foremost responsibility. She coordinates all curricula developme
nt as well as manages training and technical assistance for Chapters and Licensees to research and evaluation of delivered services. Rita has a Bachelor of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Master of Public Administration from Webster University.