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WCGN DIRECTORS 2018-2019 


Jenny Berg is WCGN’s Board Chair. She has a passion to help nonprofits, especially in the health and human services sector, to become better, stronger, collaborative, and more impactful. In her current position as Executive Director of The Leadership Council of Human Services Executives she has the opportunity to connect with the leaders of many human services agencies in her community and to find out what their needs are. Prior to the Leadership Council position, she served on the board of Impact 100 in Cincinnati for six years, including two years as board president, and she remains a passionate member. She currently serves on the board of Women Helping Women, and the Pastoral Council Advisory Board of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In the past she has served on the board, and also as board chair, of Tender Mercies & Ursuline Academy, and is an alumna of the Leadership Cincinnati Class #35. She lives with her husband Jim and three children.

Ellan Bernstein joined the WCGN Membership Committee as well as co-chairs the upcoming 2018 WCGN conference She was the secretary of the founding Board of Directors of Impact100 Philadelphia and served as co-president of the organization. She was also charged with starting the Founders Fellowship program which offers Impact100 membership to younger members. Ellan has been practicing real estate law for over 30 years in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also serves on the board of directors of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, the executive committee of her synagogue and the grants committee of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports legal service organizations in Philadelphia. Ellan has a long term commitment to giving back to her community through her service on multiple boards and volunteering her time at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband and has three grown children. Ellan loves to play tennis, travel and spent time at the beach in her Margate, New Jersey home.

Celia Canfield co-chairs the WCGN Communications Committee, using her 30-year print and Web publishing experience with some of the leading publishing companies. As an entrepreneur, Celia co-founded a successful custom content creation agency, Tendo Communications, where she helped some world-famous brands achieve success with customer outreach programs. In 2007, Celia established a sustainability marketing consultancy firm, EcoVertex, which focuses on companies that wish to extend their impact with sustainable solutions. Celia’s passion for combining her marketing expertise with important issues has resulted in work with non-profit organizations such as Small Business Majority where she is Board president and serves as the Clean Energy Economy Policy Director. She has been a Board member of City Car Share, and also served as Board co-president of Impact100 Sonoma. A regular speaker on the topics of sustainability, socially responsible marketing, entrepreneurship and energy efficiency, Celia has been featured at many conferences. She is an adjunct professor for entrepreneurship and business management at Skyline Community College, San Bruno, CA.

Sandy Cook co-chairs the Governance Committee.  She is a founding member, past president and Legacy member of the Women’s Giving Alliance (Jacksonville, FL).  While living in Jacksonville for 15 years, she chaired its grants committee, led the organization’s three major research efforts and was a member of the Advocacy and Impact committees.  She was also board chairs of: The NonProfit Center of NE Florida, WJCT Public Television/Radio and the World Affairs Council.  Following her move to Colorado, so she and her husband could be closer to their son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandsons, she joined Impact 100 Metro Denver.  Currently she serves as its membership chair and sits on the steering committee.  Her current community activities include: volunteering for the Colorado Women’s Foundation and World Denver; sitting on the steering committee and chair of the advisory board for World Affairs Council of Jacksonville and continuing as a grants committee reader for Women’s Giving Alliance.

Avani Desai serves on the Communications Committee.  She started her career working at a Big 4 accounting firm for over 10 years, where she led a team and oversaw IT Risk Management and Privacy across national service-lines.  In addition, Avani managed the development of internal and external privacy programs and related practices, leveraging her deep knowledge with healthcare and emerging technologies, such as blockchain, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and virtualization. Now at Schellman & Company, Avani has been focusing on growth strategies, strategic client and market development, industry analysis, and new services for the last five years.  She has been featured in Forbes, CIO.com, and the Wall Street Journal, and is a sought after speaker as a voice on a variety of emerging topics, including security, privacy, information security, future technology trends, and the expansion of young women involved in technology.  In 2017, Avani, a crypto enthusiast, launched MyCryptoAlert, an app that provides a mobile solution for the alert and portfolio problems crypto investors face. Also passionate about strategic philanthropy, Avani is a board member of Arnold Palmer Medical Center, the Central Florida Foundation, and co-chairs 100 Women Strong through December 2018, a female-only venture capitalist based giving circle that focuses on solving community-based problems specific to women and children by using data analytics and big data. With all that being said, Avani still considers her greatest accomplishment to be personal rather than professional—she is the proud mother to her 7-year-old son, Sahil, and her 4-year-old daughter, Sareena.

Dale Lothrop Clifford leads the WCGN Program Committee. She became a member of the Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA) in Jacksonville, FL in 2006 because a friend invited her to a WGA education event. She soon became active on the grants decision team, has served as grants committee co-chair and is currently second vice president. Dale retired in 2012 after 40 years as a history professor at the University of North Florida, during which time she also served as president of the faculty association, history department chair, founding director of the honors program, and Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. As a military historian, Dale’s particular interests are in the French Revolution and World War I; she also serves on the editorial advisory board of H-War. In the Jacksonville community she has served on various boards including those of Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., a civic involvement organization, and the Women’s Center of Jacksonville. Her skills as a community volunteer include speaking and writing, organizing projects, and applying computer technology as well as teaching others to use it. Her enduring passions include history, libraries, sailing, and walking on the beach near her home.

Sue Dubow serves as an ex officio director * in her capacity as co-chair of the WCGN 2018 National Leadership Forum. (Her term is from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.) Sue is Immediate Past President and Leadership Development Chair of Impact 100 Philadelphia. She also served as Annual Meeting, Programs, and Nominating Chairs for the organization and is proud to have initiated the creation and implementation of the Impact100 Fellowship Program during her tenure as president. Sue has been engaged in the non-profit world professionally and as a volunteer, championing change in the sectors of health and education for over 30 years. She was a partner in a boutique health law firm where she represented physician groups, health systems and non-profit health foundations on legal issues ranging from medical reimbursement to joint ventures. Leaving her law practice after 20 years to raise her three daughters, Sue had the opportunity to pursue her passions for health and education. Sue has served in a variety of leadership roles in various organizations -sitting on the board of her synagogue for 6 years, chairing the Home and School, Social Action and the Education Committees. Additionally, she served in leadership roles at her 3 daughters’ schools, for West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (Impact’s 2011 project grantee) and G-Pact, a non-profit organization raising awareness of Gastroparesis. She currently volunteers for My Daughter’s Kitchen and sits on the Education Committee for the Anti-Defamation League. Sue received her BA in American History from the University of Pennsylvania and her JD from Villanova University where she was on the Law Review. 

Karen Holly serves on the membership committee. She is a senior level executive with over 15 years of experience providing strategic, financial, and operational leadership in corporate and municipal government settings. She currently oversees the day-to-day operations of the Marion County Public Health Department in Marion, Indiana. As a member of Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis, Karen has a passion for membership and has held multiple positions in that area, including membership chair.  She served as president of Impact 100 of Greater Indianapolis from 2013-15. She has also been a member of the WCGN Membership Committee since 2016. Karen’s other community involvement includes being a member of the Presidents Roundtable of Indianapolis as well as a leader of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana since 2011.  She has also been the treasurer of the Indiana Minority Health Coalition and a member of NFL Fitness and Football Committee for the 2012 Super Bowl. Karen has an MBA from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN and a BS in electrical engineering from GMI Engineering and Management Institute in Flint, MI.


Ginny Jarrett serves on the WCGN Membership Committee. She is co-founder and until recently administrative chair of the board of the Roanoke Women’s Foundation which began in 2004. Ginny is a Senior Vice President of Davenport & co., LLC and has been a financial consultant for over thirty years. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Hollins University. She has been a board member and treasurer of the Association of Junior Leagues International as well as president of her local league. In her community of Roanoke, VA. Ginny has served as president of the YWCA and the Community Youth Program. She has also served on the boards of the Arts Council, the National Conference of Community and Justice and her church.

Val Kirk serves as WCGN Treasurer.  She has over 25 years of experience in both finance and law with a degree in both.   She practiced law for twenty-six years, serving as managing partner for 12 of those years before retiring in 2017. Val is a passionate advocate for the collective giving model having seen its impact in Austin, TX. She was on the Impact Austin board for 7 years, several as treasurer.  Currently she is the Financial Administrator and sits on the board of finance committee and the committee cabinet.  Val created the grant finance committee which supports the grant review committee in reviewing potential grantee financials, co-chairing the committee for 4 years. She has also served on the finance, audit, governance, strategic planning and personnel committees as chair or as a member. Val’s other community involvements include serving as treasurer for 10 years for The Texas Advocacy Project; treasurer for 4 years for the Travis County Women Lawyer’s Foundation, and currently serves on the board of the KDH Dance Company.  

Paula Liang leads the Resource Development Committee, including sponsorships, for WCGN. She practiced corporate litigation in Chicago and New York, and taught a course in pre-trial litigation that she designed at the University of Maryland. But she found her passion when she took what she thought was “time out” to raise her three children. Volunteer work quickly turned into leadership roles in non-profits, and eventually employment. She led two successful capital campaigns as a volunteer before accepting a job running the Annual Campaign for Greenwich Academy, a PreK-12 Girls’ School in Greenwich, CT. Her most recent job before moving to Florida in 2011 was as the Development Director at REACH Prep, where she was responsible for raising the $1.5 million annual budget needed to provide academic enrichment and independent school placement to talented students trapped in failing public schools. When she moved to Jacksonville, she became involved in the non-profit world again, she is now serving as immediate past President of Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA), and Co-Chair of the Florida Women's Funding Alliance, as well as the Secretary of the Board of the Hubbard House, as a Director of the Jacksonville PACE Center for Girls, and on the Advisory Board of Donasity, a Jacksonville-based online fundraising start-up. Paula also served as co-chair of the 2017 WCGN National Leadership Forum and served on WCGN’s board as an ex-officio director in that capacity through June 2017. She earned a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Boston University.

Laura Midgley served as WCGN’s founding board chair from 2013-2015 and led the Network’s transition to become a 501(c)3. She currently co-chairs the WCGN Membership Committee. An active member of Washington Women’s Foundation (WWF) in Seattle since 2002 and a director since 2009, Laura has served in many leadership roles at WWF, including chairing a number of committees (Cabinet, Discovery Days, Pooled Fund Grant, Innovation Partner Grant), and participating as a member of the Impact Assessment and Governance Committees. She is also an active member of another WCGN member organization -- the Wood River Women’s Foundation -- in Ketchum, Idaho. Past board affiliations and leadership roles in Seattle include Child Care Resources, Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS), University Prep, and Rebuilding Together Seattle. Laura is a member of the Seattle Chapter of the ARCS Foundation supporting the power of scientific and technological education to drive positive change in our world. She is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT with a BA in economics and had a career as a buyer before devoting her time to community building and raising a family. A transplanted New Yorker, she and her husband David raised their two daughters in Seattle, WA.


Virginia Mills is WCGN’s immediate past board chair and a founding member of WCGN.  She currently serves as co-chair of both the governance and communications committees.  Virginia has a passion for helping women recognize, harness, and utilize their talents and resources for the betterment of themselves and their communities. That passion is expressed through her executive coaching business and her commitment to furthering the collective giving grantmaking movement.   Her non-profit experience spans both Minneapolis and Boston: past president and a founding member of GIVING WoMN; board member of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches and former president of the Junior League of Minneapolis.  While living in her other favorite city, Boston, she was a board member of Beacon Hill Women’s Forum and a member of The Philanthropy Connection and Womenade Boston.  A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Virginia holds a BA (Plan II) from the University of Texas at Austin and is the proud mother of two daughters.



Vicki Sheehan serves as WCGN’s secretary and held the role of chair of WCGN before it became a 501(c)3. She is an attorney and president of Sheehan Investment Services, which owns and manages office properties and a senior living community. A former Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (SOS) president, she is past chair of WCGN and chair of the 2014 WCGN Conference hosted by the Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund. Active throughout her professional career in many nonprofit boards, including YWCA, Junior League of St. Louis, Independence Center, Haven of Grace and Community School, Vicki recently co-founded "Nonprofit Real Estate Advisors," blending her professional expertise with her nonprofit board experience to serve small to mid-sized nonprofits that require professional services and guidance in real estate matters.


Susan Smith serves as co-chair of the WCGN Membership Committee and was a founding director of WCGN. She was also one of the six Founding Members of the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation, and she served as its president from 2001 to 2010. Susan is currently the membership chair, and was named Founding President in 2013. Susan has lived in Boise, Idaho since 1976 and has had a broad range of community volunteer experiences. Susan’s involvement has included leadership positions with the Junior League, the YMCA, the Idaho Humane Society, and the Boise Art Museum. Susan has also had the privilege of working on several community fundraisers and being involved with her children’s schools. Susan and her husband, Michael have four grown children

Colleen Willoughby is the founder of the Washington Women's Foundation (WWF) where she served as president from 1995 to 2008. She has served as President of the Junior League of Seattle and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Junior Leagues International. She has served on the boards of The Seattle Foundation, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center Foundation, and the Saul and Dayee Haas Foundation. She has chaired the boards of Leadership Tomorrow, The Seattle Children's Home, and the United Way of King County. She is a founder of CityClub, a public affairs forum, and she currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She is a Trustee Emerita of Whitman College. In 2008 Colleen established WCGN in response to the growing interest from organizations involved in collective giving using the WWF model. Colleen is currently a Director of Global Women - Partners in Philanthropy, a newly established organization to advance the model of collective giving globally. She has visited China and Australia. She was a public middle school teacher and is a graduate of Whitman College.

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