​​Foundation Innovation, LLC is a full-service consulting firm dedicated to
guiding education foundations and school districts to success. Our team of
consultants represents decades of combined experience in the nonprofit arena including administration, development, marketing and training specifically
for public education foundations. In addition, each draw on their
​own experiences serving on nonprofit Boards.

The Foundation Innovation Team includes an enthusiastic staff and a consortium of amazing consultants who are knowledgeable practitioners with specific experience with the development and management of education foundations. As members of several national and state associations and organizations, our consultants have
knowledge of all aspects of nonprofit ​development,
​management ​and fundraising.

Laurie Cromwell, CFRE
Founder and President

Laurie Cromwell, CFRE was the first woman elected to an at large position on the local school board, the first woman school board president, the first president of the local education foundation, the first woman president of the local Economic Development Commission, and a founding Board member of the local Chamber of Commerce. She was the first person to receive Chamber Citizen of the Year and the first to receive the Outstanding Service Award by the Texas Pioneer Foundation.  She started her mission in the nonprofit field in 1984 and in 2003 founded Foundation Innovation, a consulting firm that has guided hundreds of education foundations and school boards to success.

​(512) 535-2046 ext. 700

Maya Golden Bethany

Maya Golden Bethany is the founder and executive director of the 1 in 3 Foundation, formerly the executive director for the Tyler ISD Foundation and the Lindale ISD Education Foundation.   Maya was voted the 2011 Texas Schools Public Relations Association’s Rookie of the Year for her work with education foundations and in public relations.  A graduate of Texas A&M University, Maya is also a sportscaster and reporter. During her early journalism career, she worked for WFAA-TV and KESN (ESPN Radio) in Dallas. As sports director for KLTV in Tyler, Texas, Maya won three Texas Associated Press Broadcast awards, was nominated for two Emmy awards and was the recipient of the Excellence in My Market Award for the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Maya joined the field of education in 2009.


​(512) 535-2046 ext. 706

Erica Ekwurzel, CFRE

Erica Ekwurzel, CFRE is an accomplished philanthropy consultant with a focus on nonprofit and philanthropic strategic planning, communication, and fund development, bringing the unique perspective of the funder in her counsel. Erica is the founder of CivicAim, a consultancy focused on building and strengthening capacity among grantmakers who seek to use their philanthropic resources as drivers of positive change. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from Austin College and a Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropic Studies.


​(512) 535-2046 ext. 702

Krina Lee

​Krina Lee has founded and volunteered for nonprofit organizations since 1984, while operating her own for profit company. Krina served on the Salem-Keizer School Board and Oregon School Boards Association Board of Directors. Krina is the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation’s (SKEF) first executive director. She is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program for Executive Education from Harvard University. She has also served as a director with the March of Dimes, YMCA and National Schools Foundation Association.


​(512) 535-2046 ext. 708

Tracy Phelps
Finance Specialist
Krista Halfmann
Support Staff
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Chris Ary

Chris Ary has over 8 years’ experience working with multiple Education Foundations throughout the Midwest and Texas. Chris has served on the board of the Blue Springs Education Foundation in Blue Springs, Missouri  since its inception in 2006 and currently serves on the Executive Committee. Chris has a BS in Economics from the University of Central Missouri. He also sits on the Advisory Board for the A+ Program for the Blue Springs.


​(512) 535-2046 ext. 707

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Shawn Callaway

Shawn Callaway started his career in nonprofit management in 1993 and has accrued over 26 years of experience in nonprofit management.  From education and religious to business nonprofits, Shawn has served in most roles of nonprofits from Board Member to President/CEO.  Shawn currently serves as the first executive director of the Aledo ISD Education Foundation, which has awarded over 500 grants totaling more than $2 million dollars benefitting Aledo ISD, in only its’ first six years. Shawn earned a BA in Communications/Mass Communications from Texas Tech University and holds education certifications from Southern Methodist University and Princeton University.  Shawn also serves in several nonprofits and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce.


​(512) 535-2046 ext. 712

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Amy Lane

Amy Lane brings over a decade of nonprofit management experience to the team. She is Director of Public Relations and Development for the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, and worked eight years as Executive Director for the North East Educational Foundation (NEEF) in San Antonio. 


During her tenure as NEEF's first paid Executive Director, the Foundation increased annual funding to campuses from $100k to more than $600k, and measurably improved fundraising, advocacy and governance strategies. The Foundation awarded more than $2.5 million (all raised through grassroots funding) in grants under her leadership and doubled the size of their investments. In 2021, the Texas Education Foundation Network awarded NEEF its top honor of Distinguished Achievement Award for their diverse approach to supporting its District during the pandemic.

Lane previously worked in public relations for the Texas Department of Agriculture in Austin and served as Associate  Director of Communications for former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger and his namesake park, the Hardberger Park Conservancy.  Lane, a summa cum laude graduate, received her B.A. in Journalism and Geography from Texas State University. She holds an M.A. in Corporate Communication/Digital Media from Baylor University and was chosen to present her research paper at the 96th National Communication Association conference in San Francisco.  


(512) 535-2046 ext. 703

Suzi Pagel, CFRE

Suzi Pagel, CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive), has served as Midway ISD’s Director of Development since 2002.  During this time, the Foundation has provided over $1.75 million for more than 650 classroom grants for the students and staff of Midway ISD and has an endowment of $2 million dollars. The Education Foundation has funded other programs beyond the scope of the typical school budget such as academic letter jackets and funds for first year teachers to supply their classrooms.

Suzi holds a B.S.Ed. from Baylor University. In addition to teaching in Texas and California, she served as the volunteer coordinator for the City of Woodway and the program coordinator of Keep Knoxville Beautiful. She volunteers for the Junior League, Hewitt Chamber of Commerce, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

Suzi has received the Junior League’s Golden Wing Award for Outstanding Volunteerism and the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Outstanding Professional Fundraiser awards.


​(512) 535-2046 ext. 705

Stephanie Shields
Office Manager
Lauren Bean
Project Manager