Ellen Ray
Executive Director

Ellen has played a central role in the leadership of Still Water Foundation for over two decades, overseeing all philanthropic endeavors and community partnerships. Ellen believes in the transformational power of high-impact philanthropy to shape positive outcomes in our communities. She finds it incredibly rewarding to spearhead Still Water’s efforts to strengthen organizations, grow networks, and ultimately, improve lives.

Prior to joining Still Water, Ellen was involved in the arts community in Houston, serving as the Executive Director of FotoFest, an international photography festival, and working at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  A long-time trustee of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, she most recently served as Executive Chair of the Board.  She is also on the board of the Austin Community Foundation and is the founding President of MINDPOP, an organization dedicated to expanding creative learning in classrooms across Austin.  Ellen is proud to represent Still Water Foundation as a founding member and President of the Board at Texas Rural Funders, a coalition of philanthropic organizations working to bring attention and resources to rural Texas.

A native Austinite, Ellen …something here about life outside of SW

Our Story

The Still Water Foundation has its roots in the Ruth and Percy Jones family's deep and abiding commitment to philanthropy. In 1954, Ruth Jones with her two daughters, Julia "Judy" Jones Matthews and Edith Jones O'Donnell, formed the Dodge Jones Foundation, named for the deceased brother of Judy and Edith. The official date of formation was December 25, 1954, the wedding anniversary of Ruth and Percy Jones. With the creation of the Dodge Jones Foundation, the family launched its dreams of philanthropy into tangible reality. Since that date, the Dodge Jones Foundation has had a transformative impact on Abilene and Taylor County.

From the early years, Judy Matthews instilled the core family value of philanthropy in all five of her children, and always encouraged the practice of charitable giving and planning. Eventually, in realizing their mother's goals, each of her children created their own foundations. Her only daughter Julia "Jill" Matthews Wilkinson established the Still Water Foundation in 1982. Its impact in Texas and beyond is detailed in this website.

Our Staff

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Ellen Ray

Executive Director

Ellen has played a central role in the leadership of Still Water Foundation for over two decades, overseeing all philanthropic endeavors and community partnerships. Ellen believes in the transformational power of high-impact philanthropy to shape positive outcomes in our communities. She finds it incredibly rewarding to spearhead Still Water’s efforts to strengthen organizations, grow networks, and ultimately, improve lives.

A long-time trustee of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, she most recently served as Executive Chair of the Board. She is also on the Board of the Austin Community Foundation and is the founding President of MINDPOP, an organization dedicated to expanding creative learning in classrooms across Austin. Ellen is proud to represent Still Water Foundation as a founding member and President of the Board at Texas Rural Funders, a coalition of philanthropic organizations working to bring attention and resources to rural Texas.

Ellen is an avid reader, traveler, and is equally passionate about the arts and the outdoors. A native Austinite, she and her husband have two adult children.

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Katy Sauer

Program Officer

Katy joined the Foundation in 2020 as Still Water’s Program Officer. She is passionate about building relationships with grant partners and working together to execute impactful grants that are responsive to community needs.

Before joining Still Water, Katy worked for a nonprofit consultancy implementing capacity building programs for nonprofits and providing project management support to nonprofit networks. Her professional experience also includes contracted work with local foundations, providing case management services to children and families, and teaching English as a Second Language abroad. Katy is honored to serve on the Board of Directors at El Buen Samaritano, an Austin-based organization that provides access to healthcare, education, and support for basic needs.

A native to the Texas Hill Country, Katy has a passion for the outdoors and can often be found hiking state parks with her husband and enjoying quiet weekends at her family’s ranch in Doss, Texas.

Rebecca Torrence

Assistant Grant Coordinator & Office Manager
Rebecca serves as the Assistant Grants Coordinator and Office Manager for the Foundation.  She oversees all administrative and grant processes, and has worked with Ellen Ray since 2013.  Rebecca finds great satisfaction in supporting organizations that make a difference in our community and rural Texas.  She has decades of administrative experience in several areas of business.  Rebecca was born and raised in Houston and has lived in the Austin area since 2007.

Board of Directors

Julia M. Wilkinson

President
Still Water Foundation

Duncan E. Osborne

Director
Still Water Foundation

James A. Flieller

Director
Still Water Foundation

Please do not contact members of the Still Water Board of Directors.