Melinda Morrison Gulick
Interim Executive Director
Melinda Morrison Gulick is an active contributor to community and business organizations, including serving on the boards of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona Humane Society, the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center, Arizona Town Hall, the Scottsdale Charros Foundation and the Desert Foundation Auxiliary. She is an active volunteer at Cherokee Elementary School and St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church. She is the past chair of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and received the first ever Arizona Cox Conserves Heroes Award in recognition of her advocacy and volunteer work for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Ms. Gulick is a graduate of Valley Leadership, an honorary graduate of Scottsdale Leadership and has been active in numerous local city elections, school bond and override campaign committees. She served on the executive team at DMB Associates for 14 years responsible for operations, communications, marketing, human resources and community affairs. Prior to DMB, she was the Executive Director of both the Desert Foothills Land Trust and Scottsdale Leadership. She has been honored by the Junior League of Phoenix with the Sandra Day O’Connor Award, Scottsdale Leadership with the Frank W. Hodges Alumni Achievement Award, the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the Outstanding Women in Business and by Trends Magazine as a Trendsetter. Today, Ms. Gulick consults for various non-profit organizations in strategic planning, governance, fundraising and communications. Ms. Gulick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University. She lives in Paradise Valley with her two sons and three dogs.
Kathy Attwood is an accountant and former CPA with more than 30 years of experience in the accounting field, including positions with Price Waterhouse, for-profit entities and nonprofit organizations. Her breadth of experience includes managing and overseeing all accounting functions and working in specialized areas such as tax and investment functions. Kathy has served on the board of a nonprofit organization in Texas that distributed public funds to service providers in the natal healthcare industry. She currently serves as a volunteer for the Phoenix Council of St. Vincent de Paul, and The Christ Child Society of Phoenix. These roles have helped her develop broad leadership and administrative capabilities, in addition to her technical skills. Kathy is married to Stephen Attwood. They have two sons and a daughter, and six grandchildren.
National Service Programs Manager
Jeanne-Marie is an experienced executive with a strong history in sales and development within the corporate and non-profit community. She is adept at building strong personal relationships that are crucial for the success of ongoing programs and community awareness. She most recently served as Director of Development for Military Assistance Mission (MAM); a non- profit organization serving active duty AZ military members and their families. She acted as Director for the largest workplace giving program – the CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) through The United Way in Nashville, TN. Jeanne-Marie served as the Print Advertising Director at Gannett Co., Inc. for several years, where she led teams in sales, marketing and promotions. She has a natural aptitude for creative communication both written and verbal, having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education/English Literature from Arizona State University.
In her personal life, Jeanne-Marie enjoys spending her free time in the beautiful outdoors. She loves hiking, practicing yoga, and gardening. She has a cherished daughter who resides in Los Angeles and three fur babies (cats) who live with her here in Arizona.
AmeriCorps Program Manager
Gitika Boddupalli serves as the AmeriCorps Program Manager. Gitika initially began her career in policy analysis and more recently worked for non-profit and government organizations where she embarked on a venture to guide minorities in obtaining affordable health care and gainful employment. In her current capacity she continues her efforts to assist disengaged youth or opportunity youth in Maricopa County. An alumna of Baruch College, CUNY, Gitika holds a Master’s in Public Administration degree. Gitika enjoys cooking, hiking, and participating in various cultural events. In her current capacity, she will work on initiatives aimed to improve students’ academic engagement, enrollment in post-secondary education/training and to reconnect youth, ages 16-24, in Maricopa County, that have been cut off from pathways that lead to independent, rewarding adulthoods
Clayton is a nonprofit veteran with more than 25 years of experience. He has held several high-level positions in finance, operations, and organizational leadership in large and small nonprofit organizations. Clayton was the Chief Operations Officer for a large human services nonprofit for 8 years and most recently Executive Director for a small nonprofit providing homeless services.
Clayton has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Management and Leadership. He is also the board Treasurer for a local charter school.
Clayton is married, has two kids and lives in Central Phoenix. He enjoys cooking, eating (of course) and spending time with his family.
Gail is an alumna of the Experience Matters Encore Fellow Program. Her career has spanned more than 40 years in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership and accomplishments in community service and organizational development. Gail holds a Masters in Organizational Management. She also serves on the Balsz School District Governing Board. Gail is the widow of the late Leonard G. Knight and proud mother of two daughters and one son.
Board of Directors
Laurie Buczek, Chair
President, Mindshift Strategy
Laurie is President of Mindshift Strategy, a strategic business consulting firm enabling clients to develop and implement a “customer first” strategy.
Prior to her role at Mindshift, Laurie was the Deputy City Manager for Gilbert, Arizona where she oversaw the Information Technology, Human Resources, Digital Government and Office of Management & Budget departments, while leading new strategy for innovation and smart cities. Laurie spent most of her career in the high technology industry working for Intel Corporation for 17 years with her last role was Global Director of Customer Experience. Prior to Intel, Laurie worked for Forrester Research consulting with large corporations across Canada and the eastern U.S. seaboard. She started her career at Gateway, Inc. where she was involved in establishing a corporate account and territory sales arm for the direct PC manufacturer.
Laurie believes in building strong, vibrant communities. She has previously held board level positions in the Junior League of Phoenix and the Junior League of Boston. Laurie was a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children for sixteen years. She served as an Intel Corporate Ambassador in North Africa to mentor women in business. She is a part of the 40thclass of Valley Leadership in Phoenix.
Laurie holds a degree from The Ohio State University. She lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband and two boys.
Maria Hesse, Vice Chair
Professor of Practice, Arizona State University
Maria Hesse serves as a Professor of Practice in the higher education program at Arizona State University. She recently retired as Vice Provost for Academic Partnerships at ASU. Prior to joining the ASU administration in 2009, Dr. Hesse served as President and CEO for Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC), one of the Maricopa Community Colleges in the Phoenix area. Before her 25 years in the Maricopa Community Colleges system, she was a high school principal and teacher.
Dr. Hesse holds Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science degrees from Arizona State University. She has Master and Doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. She has served as a volunteer and Board member for non-profit organizations for more than 45 years.
Jessica Gabry, Vice Chair
Program Manager, Starbucks
Jessica Gabry is a business professional and community leader with a focus on building lasting relationships. She has a passion for community education, and leading business strategies that empower teams to apply emerging trends in a meaningful way.
In her current role as a program manager at Starbucks, she supports career development strategy, working closely with leadership to develop best in class teams across the technology organization. She established the first distributed workforce location for Starbucks Technology here in Phoenix and continues to lead remote collaboration strategies. Previously she was employed by a local technology agency where she successfully launched and managed their instructional design program focused on digital workplace training and consulted for early in career talent planning to bridge academic to industry gaps.
Jessica has been an avid volunteer in the community for a decade, and has held board leadership roles with AWEE, The Phoenix Symphony Young Professionals, and Social Venture Partners. Other experience includes Junior League of Phoenix (Community Outreach & Leadership and Gala Event Chair), Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch Chair, and numerous committee roles with the Banner Health Foundation.
Jessica has called Arizona home for the past 16 years and has earned Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management degrees from Arizona State University. She enjoys a good book out by the pool, local salsa, and exploring Arizona towns off the beaten path. After spending this much time in Arizona, the peak of her travel always seems to coincide with the soaring temperatures of the summer months!
Yvette Gonzales, Treasurer
VP of Software Engineering, WageWorks
Yvette is currently VP of Software Engineering at WageWorks, a Consumer-Directed Benefits company focused on empowering employers, employees, and their families to lead healthier, happier, and more productive lives.
Yvette is a recognized leader in the insurance industry with over 30 years of experience in information technology. As a C-level executive for 13 years, she helped define strategy and translate corporate vision into transformative, technology solutions that customers love. She is a collaborator and strong team builder.
Yvette has a passion for the power of diversity, finding ways to use her professional experiences and academic background to bring awareness to the many benefits to be gained from inclusion, working with several organizations to pay it forward. She has held board positions with the Missouri State CASA association and UMOM, whose mission is to prevent and end homelessness in Phoenix, AZ using innovative strategies to provide workforce training and housing solutions. She is a mentor with the Challenge Foundation of Phoenix.
Yvette holds a Computer Science degree from the University of Missouri as well as a Masters degree in Global Technology and Development from ASU. She lives in Phoenix Arizona with her husband and is an avid golfer who also loves to hike.
Jennifer Gresko, Secretary
Faculty Chair, Educator Preparation Programs, Rio Salado College
Jennifer Gresko brings more than 25 years of experience in education and education leadership, beginning as a second- and third-grade teacher in Phoenix. Always eager to learn, she says, she began mentoring other teachers on campus in the use of technology in education, and eventually took a position at the district level working with teachers and technology. This experience opened up a new path at the college level, which led to her current position as Faculty Chair of Educator Preparation Programs at Rio Salado College. The Educator Preparation Programs at Rio Salado College are designed for working adults who want to enter the teaching profession or continue their professional development in preK-12 education. She previously held positions as a school district technology trainer K – 3, and as a program specialist in curriculum and assessment. Jenniferholds a BS in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University, and M.Ed in Elementary Education – Specialization in Educational Media and Computing and an Ed.D in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University. Dr. Gresko serves on committees at the Arizona Department of Education as well as national organizations.
Ron Dickson retired from Intel Corporation after 23 years and, before returning to the for-profit sector, spent a year completing two consecutive Encore Fellowships through Experience Matters. He currently provides data and analytics support for the learning and development needs of engineers at Honeywell Aerospace.
In addition to a role on the Experience Matters Board, Ron has recently completed a three-year rotation as program advisor for the ATD International Conference and Exposition, the talent development industry’s largest professional conference. He has also served as senior Advisory Group member for the ATD Benchmarking Forum, Editorial Board member for Training magazine, panelist for ASTD’s Excellence in Practice Awards, member of the Executive Council on Globalization for Corporate University Xchange, and founding member of the virtual special interest group on Manufacturing for the MASIE E-Learning Consortium.
Ron holds an M.Ed, in training technologies and a BA in written communications. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
Retired, President and CEO, URAC
Kylanne Green was President and CEO of URAC, a national accreditation leader from 2013 until her retirement in 2019. A Registered Nurse and Adult Nurse Practitioner by background, Ms. Green has more than 45 years of experience in health care delivery and insurance strategy and operations. Prior to assuming the CEO role at URAC, she served as Executive Vice President for Inova Health System and CEO of Inova’s Care Management and Health Plan Operations. She was responsible for managed care and insurance services and health plan operations as well as care management and a range of hospital and non-hospital operations. While at Inova, Ms. Green was the chief architect of a 50/50 joint venture health plan with Aetna, establishing the first of its kind collaboration between a health system and an insurer. In addition, she oversaw the purchase and subsequent operations of a 65,000 member Virginia Medicaid MCO.
Ms. Green served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Health Insurance Association of America, Chief Operating Officer of Aetna Health Plans of the Mid-Atlantic, and held various leadership positions at Kaiser Permanente, where she spent the first 16 years of her career. She also serves on a number of academic, community service and private industry boards, and is a past member of the Council on Graduate Medical Education.
Retired, Vice President, Principal Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo Non Profit Banking
Paula Hill recently retired as a Principal Relationship Manager and Non-Profit Banking Specialist for Wells Fargo Specialty Markets. Within Specialty Markets, Ms. Hill assisted non-profit organizations throughout the state of Arizona achieve their mission utilizing credit and treasury management solutions catered to the needs of each individual organization. She was also responsible for creating awareness and sustaining effective partnerships within the non-profit community and partnering across other Wells Fargo divisions.
An active member of the community, Ms. Hill is the current Board Chair of the YWCA of Metropolitan Phoenix and has represented the YWCA on Capitol Hill. She serves on an Advisory Committee for KJZZ/KBACH, helping to shape messaging and bring awareness to issues in the community. She is a former Board member of the Arizona Burn Foundation, and chaired their 2016 annual gala, raising record breaking funds for the organization. Over the years she has volunteered her time with several non-profit organizations including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Southwest Behavioral Health, Florence Crittenden, The 100 Club, United Phoenix Firefighters Charities, Dress for Success, West Valley Child Crisis Nursery, Deer Valley School District, and others.
Paula’s banking career spans three decades. In addition to her specialty in the non-profit sector, her experience includes private banking and wealth management, business banking, investments and consumer banking.
A native of upstate New York, Paula moved to the Phoenix area to attend Arizona State University as a journalism major and later, the University of Phoenix where she completed the Certified Financial Planning program
Senior Associate, Point B Inc.
Todd is currently a Senior Associate with Point B, Inc. a management consulting company, where he specializes delivering large, complex technology-enabled strategic initiatives in a more effective and efficient manner, giving companies the ability to realize the full value of their portfolio of investments. Todd has consulted for numerous Fortune 500 companies and served in senior positions at IBM and Deloitte prior to becoming anemployee-owner at Point B.
In addition to his 30-years of professionalexperience, Todd began his career serving in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer qualified on shipboard navigation, weapons, and engineering systems. He concluded eight-year naval career with a two-yearassignment serving with a U.S. Navy Sea Air Land (SEAL) unit specializing in operational coordination between Special Forces and other naval operational assets.
Todd has a passion for living life with intention. He is a published author, blogs, and produces a podcast on living life with intention through meditation, sleep, and building an unbeatable mindset. This, along with his military-honed leadership skills has allowed Todd to build large, effective teams and succeed in challenging environments.
Todd holds a degree from North Carolina State University. He lives in Gilbert, Arizona with his wife, son, and two rambunctious Vizslas.
Retired, Vice President, Trellis
Carole brings over 27 years of experience in communications, marketing, fundraising, organization development and leadership development. Retired in 2017 from Trellis, a nonprofit agency dedicated to making stable homes and communities possible, Carole served as a Vice President and Officer of the Corporation. She led the name change efforts and re-branding campaign from Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix to Trellis and was directly responsible for the identification, solicitation and recognition of fundraising support. During her twelve years with Trellis, she helped to raise more than $4mm in corporate contributions.
Originally from the East coast, she earned her undergraduate degree from Penn State, a Master of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science degree in Organization Development (OD) from American University.
Relocating to Arizona in 1997, she worked as an OD consultant for Samaritan Health System and then was employed by American Express as Manager of Human Resource Development where she was responsible for training, strategic planning, leadership development and change management. She then transitioned to the nonprofit sector and served as the Director of Resource Development for Toby House before she moved to Trellis.
Carole, her husband and dog reside in downtown Phoenix and she is currently half-way through the 18-month docent training program at the Phoenix Art Museum. She still serves as a consultant to Trellis, participates in the Brandeis National Committee, takes classes through ASU’s OSHER Lifelong Learning program and is a member of two book clubs. Travel consists primarily of visiting with their 4 out of 5 children and four grandchildren living on the East coast.
Dana Wolfe Naimark
Retired CEO, Children's Action Alliance
Dana moved to Arizona in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a master’s in public policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Since then, she has been immersed in fiscal and policy issues in Arizona. She conducted budget analysis for the Arizona state legislature, managed a special state committee examining fiscal policy, and provided policy support to the City of Mesa Mayor and Councilmembers. For 27 years, she was part of the team at Children’s Action Alliance, a voice for Arizona children and families at the state capitol and in the community. She served as CEO from 2007 to 2019, raising awareness, engaging diverse community partners, empowering champions for children, and lobbying the state legislature to improve children’s health, education, and security. Dana co-founded the Or Adam Congregation for Humanistic Judaism and devoted time to teaching Sunday School, coordinating membership, and leading celebrations. As she explores her encore career, Dana volunteers reading to young children and working toward gun safety laws with Moms Demand Action. Dana and her husband Rick live in central Phoenix with their sweet dog, Dory. They have two amazing sons now living in California and Washington, D.C.
As an avid skier, Merle is well-acquainted with fresh powder and moguls. As a psychologist, Merle has faced a few ego bumps. In co-founding SOLVE, Merle saw an opportunity to help companies increase proﬁtability through their people, based on proven psychological and leadership science. When Merle is not developing client relationships or leading a team of exceptional psychologists, he focuses his efforts on executive coaching, employee engagement and candidate assessment to ensure the right ﬁt, from the front line to the C-Suite. Merle has managed a wide range of projects over the last 18 years. Every project provides a new challenge and the opportunity to work with exceptionally bright people to solve a critical problem. This passion to get to the core of an issue is the driving force for the company name: SOLVE.
Merle’s knowledge of human behavior, expertise in assessment, and experience in facilitating change enable him to provide innovative, practical and principled consulting services that are crafted to meet his clients’ critical needs. Merle’s relentless commitment to a successful outcome is unparalleled. Although he is dedicated to his work, Merle makes time to hit the slopes with family and friends every year at one of his favorite ski resorts. If you see him at the lodge, feel free to strike up a conversation about moguls or egos!
Superintendent of the Balsz School District
Dr. Jeffrey Smith has led a distinguished career in education as a teacher, principal and district office administrator for 32 years. He is currently Superintendent of the Balsz School District in Phoenix, Arizona where he lives with his wife and three children. He graduated from Arizona State University with Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees in Elementary Education and Administration.
Dr. Smith was selected as Arizona Superintendent of the Year in 2012 and was recognized in 2013 as a Diversity Champion by the Phoenix Business Journal. Jeff is an accomplished author having published numerous articles in Galileo for Superintendents and North Star for Principals through The Master Teacher. He has been featured in District Administration Magazine, is a book reviewer for The School Administrator Magazine and has received numerous awards for innovation and leadership.
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