Ann Nellis of fast-growing Texas city serves thousands in her volunteer role
Community relations director
Nellis was born and raised in Iowa, and she graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a masters degree in Community Program Management. She made the trek to Texas after she was offered a position at the University of Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. After five years at the swim center, she took over as the University of Texas’ Director of Longhorn Aquatics, a position she’s held for the last seven years. Nellis has lived in Austin long enough to develop a hint of a Texas twang, not to mention a strong desire to contribute to her community. To that end, she’s spent the last year volunteering as the Dripping Springs Youth Sports Association’s community relations director.
One of Nellis’ first big projects was to lead the organization’s migration onto a new technology platform, one that offered registration and website management software, among other product needs. “The homepage is much more dynamic than what we had before,” said Nellis, whose 9-year-old son plays baseball and basketball and will add football to his activities next year. “Once SportsEngine set it up for us, I really haven’t done much to it.” Nellis said she volunteered with the organization, “to make sure the kids are getting the best that they can out of all our volunteers.” Nellis said the organization, which offers eight sports, had 4,000 individual registrations last year and serves about 3,000 kids each year. Because Dripping Springs is in one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, membership in its youth sports association is growing by 10 to 15 percent each year. Nellis is in charge of communication, which means she handles all the social media posts. She also secures sponsorship contracts for the organization, and every sport has a dedicated Sponsors or Become a Sponsor page.
Nellis helped map out the navigation of the new site, with the goal of making it easy for volunteers, coaches and athletes to find pertinent information. As an example, the Become a Coach section explains what is required of volunteers and includes a link to registration and background screening.