Longtime resident utilizes varied skills as independent consultant to nonprofits
Thursday, January 31, 2013 | | 1
Name: Mollie O’Hara Butler
Age and place of birth: I’m 39 years old. I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was raised in Houston.
Family: My husband, Steve Butler, is a real estate attorney and partner at Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody. We have two sons at Eanes Elementary School — Daniel, age 8, and Patrick, age 5.
Education: I graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, with a degree in international studies and communications.
Occupation: I work as an independent consultant to nonprofit organizations involved in major fundraising campaigns. I am currently in residence with Austin Children’s Museum as the Capital Campaign director for a fundraising campaign to build a new museum at the Mueller redevelopment.
Civic or other nonprofit activities: I serve on the boards of the Eanes Education Foundation and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The Junior League of Austin has been a big part of my volunteer service for many years, and I look forward to joining the sustaining membership this summer. Steve and I support several nonprofits in Austin, but Austin Children’s Museum holds a special place in our hearts.
What is the latest project in which you are involved? Cirque du Eanes – I have the pleasure of chairing the gala for the Eanes Education Foundation on Feb. 16 at the Renaissance Hotel. We have a goal to raise more than $400,000 that night to support the outstanding teachers in the Eanes school district. EEF helps fund the gap between adequate and excellent and that starts with providing funds for key teachers that would not otherwise be provided through state funding. EEF funded 24 teaching positions this year.
What is your favorite business in the Westbank? I have a weakness for breakfast tacos from Texas Honey Ham.
Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, visiting Inks Lake, volunteering and good wine.
What qualities in people draw you to be their friend? Honesty, humor, self confidence, commitment.
Most significant or interesting job: While I enjoyed many wonderful years fundraising for St. Edward’s University, the opportunity to lead the Austin Children’s Museum campaign has been the most significant project in my career.
Which of your civic-oriented accomplishments make you the proudest? I was honored to serve as the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2012. It was a special experience to be a leader among leaders and to work with the top fundraisers in Central Texas.
What is your fondest childhood memory? Having lots of different pets over the years. I’ll say yes to almost any pet so my boys can have the same experience that I did with animals.
My most humorous moment was: I laugh a lot so it’s hard to pick one moment. Recently, I made a whole hospital waiting room burst in to laughter (just the comic relief that was needed) when I realized I had not only sewed my son’s patches on his Tae Kwon Do uniform but I had also sewed the patches and uniform jacket to my jeans!
Life’s most challenging endeavor is: Finding balance.
Is there anything that you passed up on doing that you now regret? I was really close to studying abroad in Ireland during college. I met a boy and married him instead. I don’t regret the marriage part at all, but he does still owe me a trip to Ireland.
How would you like to be remembered? As someone who lived life with passion and purpose.
Who influenced you most and why? I have to say my grandmother Beverly O’Hara. She instilled three things in me that I will always be grateful for: 1) you get more out of volunteering that you can ever give, 2) education is the most important gift you can give a child, and 3) although the color of our skin may differ, our hearts are all the same color.
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