Executive Team

The executive team officers are full-time MBA students, elected by our peers in the McCombs MBA program. To connect with the group, to recruit Texas MBA’s for projects, internships or full-time roles, to host career treks for students, or to learn more, please contact us at our emails listed below, at cleantechgroup@mccombs.utexas.edu, or through our faculty advisor John C. Butler, PhD.

Class of 2023

Samantha Hea



Samantha Hea grew up in Denver, CO and has a BA in Political Science from Rice University in Houston. Prior to McCombs, she worked for a global leadership consulting firm specializing in retained executive searchwhere she worked with clients in the C-Suite and Boardroom on talent and leadership challenges. Feeling a high sense of urgency around climate change, she decided to pursue her MBA and a career dedicated to addressing climate and environmental issues. At McCombs, she was a Semi-Finalist in the Ross Renewable Energy Case Competition and loves attending energy related events across UT. She is actively involved with CleanTech Group, Board Fellows, and JMBA. Outside of McCombs, she loves the mountains, trying new restaurants around Austin, and watching documentaries.

Samantha will be completing her CleanTech Fellowship at Renewable Energy Systems – Americas where her project will focus on batteries and storage.

Dixy Yong

Vice President (Finance)


Dixy is a Tennessee native who holds a B.A. in International Business and Spanish from Rhodes College and a Master of Accounting degree from UNC Chapel Hill. Prior to pursuing her MBA at Texas McCombs, Dixy worked in manufacturing and acted as Plant Controller for a consumer packaging manufacturer before joining Johnson & Johnson as a Senior Financial Analyst supporting a surgical suture facility. Her hobbies include volunteering, studying foreign language, and reading literary fiction.

In the MBA program, Dixy completed a McCombs+ project focused on carbon accounting at Enverus, an energy SaaS company, and will be spending her CleanTech fellowship in Business Development at Neste, the largest producer of renewable diesel and jet fuel in the world. Dixy is also an operations fellow working with Chevron and a board fellow for Amala Foundation.

Alexis Greco

Co-Vice President (Careers)


Alexis is originally from Long Island, New York, and attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she earned a B.A. in Politics and Urban and Environmental Policy. After graduating, she spent six years working for federal and statewide political campaigns across the country, including Hawai’i, California, Colorado, and Missouri. As a campaign staffer, Alexis led fundraising teams that raised over $50M and oversaw tech implementation for the largest Senate voter contact effort in the country. In 2019, she joined a Chicago-based civic tech startup, where she developed digital voter guides used by more than 20M Americans.

Alexis came to McCombs to expand her impact beyond politics and pursue her interest in the circular economy and tech with concentrations in Product Management and Strategy & Innovation. As a member of the McCombs MIINT team, she sources and evaluates potential impact investments in the circular economy & renewable energy. She is completing her CleanTech Fellowship with TerraCycle, where she is working on predictive analytics to estimate recycling collection. In summer 2022, she will be interning with Amazon’s Los Angeles office as a Sr. Product Manager intern.

James McCulla

Co-Vice President (Careers)


James is originally from the East Coast where he grew up camping and hiking in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. After earning his B.S. in geology from William & Mary in 2010, James worked for the U.S. Geological survey studying water quality in Virginia. He went back to school once already, earning an M.S. in geology from the University of Kentucky before being recruited to work for an oil & gas company based out of Dallas, TX. In James’ 5 years in this role, he discovered a love for the energy industry and decided to pivot into business and strategy in a more sustainable field. James is leveraging a McCombs MBA to explore roles in renewable energy development, cleantech startups, and venture capital.

Outside of the classroom, James loves exploring the parks and food trucks of Austin with his wife and daughter. They love living near Hill Country!

Amanda Garcia

Co-Vice President (CleanTech Fellows)


Amanda grew up in Dallas, TX, and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014 with a B.A. in Architecture. Driven by her immense gratitude for her experience at WashU, she joined the undergraduate admissions team after graduation to pay it forward and deepen her involvement with diversity recruitment initiatives. This role led her to EMERGE-HISD, a community-based organization in Houston that supports first-generation, low-income students with their college and financial aid applications. Mentoring students through these processes deepened her investment in advocacy, a commitment that ultimately motivated her to pursue an MBA and explore careers focused on social impact and ESG. She spent the past year prior to business school designing and teaching a reading intervention course for at-risk high school students, embracing technology as a solution during the peak of the pandemic.

At McCombs, Amanda is pursuing a concentration in social enterprise. She remains committed to impact and looks forward to working with the Austin Technology Incubator as a CleanTech Fellow, participating in the annual Turner MIINT Competition as a member of the McCombs MIINT Team (MBA Impact Investing Network and Training), and serving as one of the Co-Liaisons for the Consortium Graduate Study in Management.

Patrick McPadden

Co-Vice President (CleanTech Fellows)


Patrick grew up in Connecticut and attended Colorado School of Mines, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Petroleum Engineering in 2014. He went to work for Schlumberger as a field engineer in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Permian Basin. In 2016, Patrick moved to Chicago to work for GE Digital as a reliability engineer, implementing and providing managed services around a predictive analysis reliability engineering software platform for both oil and gas and power generation customers. Patrick is passionate about the energy industry and finds purpose in iterative improvement of processes, organizations, and industries.

At McCombs, Patrick is looking to functionally pivot towards finance- or strategy-related roles within the clean energy space. Patrick was a semi-finalist and finalist in multiple case competitions, performed an MBA+ project with a Houston-based energy PE firm, and is a CleanTech fellow with Jupiter Power, where he is designing risk management protocols and guidelines. He is also the Co-VP of NEFC in the Energy Finance Group, and a member of both McCombs Ambassador Committee the McCombs running club. Patrick hopes to pursue a career in clean energy development upon graduation from McCombs.

Brianne Cangelose

Co-Vice President (Education)


Brianne is originally from Houston, Texas and earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. Prior to McCombs, Brianne managed a team of engineers supporting manufacturing operations and capital projects for ExxonMobil. Previously, Brianne was a program manager for Google developing and executing the strategy for their fiber network build in San Antonio. She started her career as a process engineer for ConocoPhillips supporting design and optimization efforts for across their North American assets.

While at McCombs, Brianne has been actively involved in the CleanTech Group, Graduate Women in Business, is a McCombs Venture Fellows and a Board Fellow for Austin Youth River Watch. She is passionate about the intersection of technology, venture capital, and entrepreneurship to create environmental and social impact.

Brianne is currently interning at True Wealth Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund investing in women-led companies improving environmental or human health. She previously interned at Austin Technology incubator, supporting their pipeline process and consulting with portfolio companies. In her free time she can generally be found trail running with her husband, playing outside with her pup, or practicing/teaching yoga.

Katherine Lindzey

Co-Vice President (Education)


Katherine is a native Austinite who earned her B.A. in Earth Sciences and Economics from Dartmouth College and her M.S. in Geology from the University of Oklahoma. Pre-MBA, she spent five years as a development geoscientist at ExxonMobil and had the opportunity to work on a number of the Corporation’s biggest projects, including the first venture to begin developing Guyana’s 10 billion barrels of offshore reserves. While the geology was exciting, Katherine continually found herself drawn to the commercial side of the business and took every opportunity she could learn about negotiations with host governments, the impact of fiscal terms on project financials, and capital allocation decisions.

Now at McCombs pursuing a full-time MBA, Katherine is concentrating in CleanTech and Corporate Finance to combine her passions for finance and the energy transition. She has competed with classmates in a number of national case competitions, placing third in the National Energy Finance Challenge and advancing to the finals in the Ross Renewable Energy Case Competition. She is also a Forté Fellow and the VP of Treasury for the Energy Finance Group. In the spring of her first year, Katherine will be working as a CleanTech Fellow at Recurrent Energy, a solar and storage developer headquartered in Austin.

Danny Crowley

Vice President (Communications)


Danny Crowley was born and raised in Seattle, WA, where he earned his undergraduate degree in International Studies at the University of Washington in 2018. Following graduation, Danny stayed in Seattle to work as a Project Manager at a regional sustainability and community development nonprofit based out of the Puget Sound region. In this role, Danny worked on projects related to social impact investment management, sustainable building materials, and community-centered real estate development.

Currently, Danny is pursuing a dual MBA and Master of Public Affairs degree at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business and LBJ School of Public Affairs. Danny is interested in exploring how policy and business can intersect to drive climate change solutions. Last summer, Danny completed an internship at Ceres, a national economic sustainability nonprofit, where he supported the organization’s work to advocate for mandated climate-related financial disclosures at the SEC. Danny also serves as a CleanTech Fellow at Lightsource bp, a global solar energy developer, with the company’s Business Development team. Outside of the CleanTech Group, Danny is a 2022 Board Fellow with the Austin Youth River Watch nonprofit organization.

Claudia Lara

Vice President (Social Engagement)


Claudia was born in Bogota, Colombia and grew up in Miami, FL from age nine. Claudia received her Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After graduation, she moved to Silicon Valley where her career started with Cisco Systems in Supply Chain Operations. After Cisco, she joined NIO, an electric vehicle startup where she worked in the electric battery pack procurement team. After NIO’s IPO, Claudia joined Fivestars, a payments startup where she launched multiple payment products before the company was acquired.

She then decided that she wanted to leverage her background in the electric vehicle and fintech space to help move the industry forward as a renewable energy investment banker.  Claudia enrolled in the full-time MBA at McCombs and is concentrating in CleanTech and Energy Finance. In addition to her role in the CleanTech Group, Claudia is on the board of the Graduate Business Council, and a member of Consortium, Forte, Graduate Business Adventure Team, and the Graduate Wine Club. In the spring of her first year, Claudia will be working as a CleanTech Fellow at RES, on their standalone energy storage market research.


To view the executive teams from previous years, please visit ‘CleanTech Alumni‘ webpage.