Be a champion of a family’s future
Leaders with Distinguished and Broad Experience
AVANCE's leadership team is distinguished by its broad and deep experience and its unsurpassed focus on AVANCE’s mission of helping families scale new heights and achieve future success.
Dr. Teresa Granillo
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Teresa Granillo is the Chief Executive Officer of AVANCE Inc. As CEO, she provides oversight to daily operations as well as the development and execution of strategic plans to expand both the reach and impact of AVANCE programs. Since joining AVANCE in 2019, Dr. Granillo and her team have increased the revenue of the National Office 600%, funding that has allowed AVANCE to scale programming in some areas and offer new, innovative programs in others. AVANCE Inc. staff has also more than tripled, increasing from 49 employees in 2019 to 186 in 2021. Prior to AVANCE, Dr. Granillo served six years as Executive Director of Con Mi MADRE, a two-generation organization that supports young Latinas on the path to higher education and engages their mothers in the educational journey alongside them. Before Con Mi MADRE, Dr. Granillo was a tenure-track professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona, and dual Ph.D.’s from the University of Michigan.
Chief Operating Officer
Elida serves as Chief Operating Officer of AVANCE Inc. Elida joined AVANCE in 1998 and has spent most of her career in leadership roles in accounting, finance and business development. She has been a Staff Accountant, Controller, VP of Finance, and interim CEO. Elida has also been the project lead for the AVANCE 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 Bachelor of Business Administration degree from St. Mary’s University and her Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Sonia Dominguez is the Chief Program Officer at AVANCE, Inc., where she leads the implementation, strategy, and continuous improvement of AVANCE’s programs and services. A Head Start graduate, Sonia draws upon her lived experience and passion to advance equitable outcomes for families through education. Sonia began her career as a middle school math teacher in El Paso, TX and went on to serve in various leadership roles in rural and urban public school districts in Texas. Prior to AVANCE, Sonia served as the Senior Director at a collective impact organization in Austin, TX where she led systems-change and alignment efforts in education. Sonia earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Alex is the Chief Communications Officer for AVANCE Inc. As a first-generation college student, Alex is passionate about the AVANCE mission and believes in the power of education as the great equalizer and wants to see the systemic inequities eliminated. Through his role as CCO, Alex is responsible for leading the organization’s communications, marketing, branding, and community engagement efforts. Alex has more than 15 years’ experience in communications and marketing for educational non-profits. Before joining AVANCE, Alex worked for WGTE PBS, Trellis (formerly Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation), Austin ISD, and E3 Alliance, leading various marketing and community initiatives while also doing graphic design and video and photography. Alex received his Bachelor of Visual Communication Technology from Bowling Green State in Bowling Green, Ohio, and studied art, photography, and graphic design at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy.
In her role as the Senior Director of Head Start & Early Head Start Partnerships for AVANCE Inc., Melanie oversees the organization’s HS/EHS programs in the Rio Grande Valley in addition to working closely with the program team to integrate PCEP into HS/EHS operations. Before joining the AVANCE team, Melanie spent 10 years with Acelero Learning and Shine Early Learning in different roles that provided her a wealth of experience in the management of HS/EHS programs, including monitoring and compliance, family and community engagement, curriculum implementation, and training and professional development. Melanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Temple University and a Master of Arts in Urban Studies and Community Development from Eastern University.
Ana Lorena Carrasco
As the Senior Director of Curriculum and Implementation for AVANCE Inc., Ana Lorena Carrasco plays a vital role in the development, review cycle, and quality improvement of new and existing AVANCE curricula, programs, and services. She also oversees staff training, program fidelity, and research and evaluation efforts. Before joining the AVANCE National office, Ana Lorena served the communities of North Texas for more than ten years through various roles at AVANCE-North Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Instituto Tecnologico de Saltillo in Saltillo Coahuila Mexico and a Master’s in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language from Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana in Puerto Rico.