Meet Our Team
Board of Directors:
Michelle Cook, BOD Chair
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Strategic University Initiatives, University of Georgia
Michelle has launched several projects at the Office of Institutional Diversity, including a certificate program in diversity and inclusion for faculty and staff, a seed grant to stimulate diversity related research, and more. She’s served as co-principal investigator for the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a National Science Foundation program that aims to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She previously served as associate dean of UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and she has taught in the history department and the Institute for African-American Studies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton, a master’s in African-American Studies from Yale and a doctorate in history from Duke.
Libby Pollock, BOD Vice Chair
Global Strategy and Change, Habitat for Humanity International
Libby’s expertise is in leading change management efforts for strategic business transformation – developing and implementing strategies and plans including internal change capabilities throughout organizations. Highlights of her experience include leading Coca-Cola through organizational redesign impacting 60,000 associates, creating an IT Center of Excellence at Coca-Cola, and facilitating the integration of acquired companies into the larger company. She also led Cox Enterprises through change management planning and implementation. Libby has earned the Prosci Change Management Certification and Oriel, Inc., Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Liberal Arts and Management Program at Indiana University, magna cum laude.
Michele Ozumba, BOD Secretary
President, Women's College Coalition
Michele became the president of the Women's College Coalition on March 16, 2015. A history and political science graduate of Douglass College, with a Master's degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers, Michele has more than 20 years of successful leadership experience with organizations focused on the empowerment and well-being of women and girls. She was recognized as one of FAST Company's Extraordinary Women of 2013. Previously, she headed up the San Francisco-based membership organization Women's Funding Network, a global network of women's foundations with a membership of 166 women's foundations in 27 countries. Before that, she served for over a decade as President and CEO of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. Prior to that, Michele served as a Program Director of the Division of Public Health for the GA Department of Human Resources and as a research associate for the Georgia School-Age Care Association.
Jane Hale Hopkins, BOD Treasurer
President, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Jane Hopkins joined the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation in 2001, and is responsible for advancing the Foundation’s efforts to develop an influential community of socially conscious and service-minded leaders who positively shape the world. She is also Chair of the Board for Emerge Scholarships in Atlanta.
In August of 2017, Jane was elected by the Board of Directors to succeed J. Mark Davis as President upon his retirement in late 2018.
Outside of the office, Jane is an avid runner whose best days begin with an early excursion through one of Atlanta’s parks. She also loves to read, particularly Southern fiction on the beach, and travel as often as possible.
Betsy Bach, BOD Member at Large
Retired Professor, University of Montana
“As a Montanan, one hears about Jeanette Rankin’s advocacy on a weekly basis. She is revered by many in my state, and it brings me great joy to be able to carry out her legacy in the form of advancing education for women.” Betsy is a professor in the department of communication studies at the University of Montana. She received her PhD in Organizational Communication from the University of Washington, her Master of Arts in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Montana, and her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Hope College. She has held several administrative positions at the University of Montana including Assistant Provost, Dean of the Davidson Honors College, and department chair. In 2009 she was elected to, and served, as president of the National Communication Association in Washington, DC. Betsy has co-authored a book on communication in organizations and has published additional book chapters, academic research articles, and other applied research.
Division Vice President, Telehealth
Afshan Ali is a healthcare innovator bringing her background in management consulting and healthcare to her role as co-founder and CEO of telehealth company — SkyTherapist. Ali serves on the executive team at Community Consulting Team, the Board of Directors of HealthMPowers and Emerge Scholarships, and a recipient of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Women Who Mean Business award. She is an accomplished leader with extensive healthcare, strategy, systems integration/implementation experience. Ali has a deep expertise in CRM and telehealth technology, strategy, program management solutions. She is an advocate for healthcare access and patient experience and is a strong liaison between executives, clinicians, staff; expert communicator of complex themes to diverse audiences.
Executive Director, Athens Regional Library System
Valerie Bell is the executive director of the Athens Regional Library System, which covers five Northeast Georgia counties with 11 library branches. Valerie previously served as Assistant Director for Public Services at the Ocean County Library in Toms River, New Jersey, where she worked for 28 years in various positions. Valerie is a leader who specializes in customer service and community outreach. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including the NAACP Community Leader of the Year, Library Journal Mover & Shaker. A proponent of diversity and inclusion, Valerie has served on a number of ALA’s committees and on Council.
Global Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, Delta Airlines
Principal Speaker Consultant/Co-Founder, Snyder Remarks & REthink, Inc.
Genie is the Principal Speaker Consultant/Co-Founder of Snyder Remarks and REthink Ink. Her mission is to help move companies and organizations forward. She has a passion for encouraging and inspiring people to what and how they do business. Previously she was a Senior consultant for Financial Supermarkets, Inc., Senior QMC Consultant of BMW and an Assistant Director of Alumni Relations for the University of Georgia. After more than 20 years of work she still is inspired by seeing the “light bulb go on” when working through challenges.
Deputy Director for Finance and Advancement, Missoula Art Museum
Tracy is the Deputy Director for Finance and Advancement at the Missoula Art Museum in Jeannette Rankin’s hometown. Before moving to Montana in 1998 she spent 12 years in the communications industry doing public and investor relations at boutique firms in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She has served on more than a dozen nonprofit boards at the local, state, regional, and national level. She has chaired the national board of the YWCA USA in Washington, D.C., as well as the Minnesota Women’s Consortium, and has served as treasurer of the Seattle-based Social Justice Fund and of Montana Conservation Voters. Prior to her work at the Missoula Art Museum, Tracy was the Chief Operating Officer at Forward Montana, an organization that seeks to deepen young Montanan's culture of civic engagement and encourages them to vote, lead and run for office.She attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and is a member of Mensa.
Chancellor, Palmetto College, University of South Carolina
Susan has been serving as the Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Palmetto College since 2013. She received her PhD from Vanderbilt University, her Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science in education from Tennessee Technological University. Previously Susan worked at Tennessee Technological University in many different aspects from serving as a Dean to the director of multiple departments. Susan has several professional and educational publications in journals, books, and many other articles. She is very involved in community service and has been a part of numerous community organizations. Susan and her husband, Tommy, have one son and daughter-in-law, and one grandson.
Purchasing Supervisor, Caterpillar, Inc.
Robin serves as the Site Purchasing Manager for Caterpillar Inc in Athens, GA. Robin is a member of the Caterpillar Athens leadership team and oversees the purchasing organization whose responsibilities include supplier management and component procurement for the assembly of Small track type tractors and Mini Hydraulic Excavators. Prior to moving to Athens in July 2014, Robin and family resided in Clayton, NC where she began her Caterpillar career in 1998 as a purchasing analyst and progressed through the Supplier Management organization to the Site Purchasing Manager role in 2010. Prior to her career at Caterpillar, Robin taught secondary and college mathematics for a total of 6 years. She obtained her Masters and Bachelors degrees in Mathematics Education from North Carolina State University.
Robin also serves in the Athens community as a United Way Loan Executive and as a mentor to other young mothers within her church community. Robin, her husband Andy, and three boys Drew, Alex, and Noah enjoy the outdoors and participate in a variety of sporting events where Robin serves as mom cheerleader and motivator.
Chief Financial Officer, The New Georgia Project
Danine Knowles Hodge has more than 15 years of financial experience working exclusively with non-profit organizations with budgets ranging from $3M-$150M to improve finance and personnel internal controls, fundraising and identifying and implementing innovative programs to meet the needs of the clients and the communities served. Danine changed careers from the for-profit financial sector to work in the non-profit sector and effect a change in the world after becoming a single mother of one son. Through her personal struggles she gained an affinity for organizations that champion education, the arts, advocacy, and community development. Danine holds a BS in Business Management from University of Maryland and a MS in Organizational Management from St. Joseph’s College in New York. She is also a graduate of Columbia University’s Non-Profit Executive Management Program. Danine served as a member of the Board of Directors Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep and is currently an Advisory Policy Council Member for GuideStar, Inc.
Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
Rob serves as the team’s retirement and planning specialist – working directly with individuals and organizations to determine their retirement situations and aspirations, then implementing customized investment strategies to reach them. Rob currently holds a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation.
Rob joined Merrill Lynch in 2006 as an intern in the Private Banking and Investment Group, after graduating cum laude from the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia Honors Program with a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Finance. Active in his community, Rob served as an officer of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, and a donor of his time and resources to his local Ducks Unlimited Chapter and LifeSouth Chapter.
Business Development and Capture Manager at Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Frank is currently the manager of Business Development and Capture at Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Frank was a Manager at Battelle and had been with the company from 2007-2018. At Battelle, Frank managed over 130 scientific and technical staff. Previously he was a Laboratory Director for Meritech Inc. Frank graduated from Florida State University and now lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
Associate Professor of Business, The King's College
Kimberly has nine years of experience in leading development and marketing teams at several national and global organizations working as a consultant for businesses and nonprofits. She has traveled and worked with clients throughout the U.S., South America, and Asia and started the European office of Cathedral Consulting Group, based in Amsterdam. Her research interests include mergers and acquisitions in the nonprofit sector, measuring impact n social enterprises, and identifying effective means of scaling enterprises.
As an assistant professor at King’s, Reeve teaches International Business, Business Ethics, and Nonprofit Management. She earned an B.A. from Colby College, an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University, and she is completing her Ph.D. in International Business at the International School of Management in Paris, France. Reeve and her husband have lived in Brooklyn for 11 years.
Vice President and General Counsel for the Kettering Foundation
Maxine is vice president, secretary, and general counsel for the Kettering Foundation. She directs Kettering projects in higher education, community leadership, and the relationship between citizens and officeholders. She also serves on the group that oversees the operations of the foundation and has been a member of the Kettering Foundation task force on China since 1993.
Before coming to Kettering, Maxine was associate dean of the University of Georgia School of Law, where she also served as associate and assistant professor. She was previously on the faculty of the University of Oregon School of Law. From 1973 to 1976, she was assistant attorney general for the state of Washington. Maxine received her BA and JD from the University of Washington.
Retired Professor, University of South Carolina Aiken
Charmaine is a retired professor at USC-Aiken, where she was also the chair of the Department of Communication Studies. She is a Missoula, MT native and graduated from Hellgate High School and the University of Montana. She received her MA in Organizational Communication from Purdue University, and her PhD in Organizational Communication from the University of Washington.
Charmaine's greatest passion is teaching others and working with her students one-one-one to help them pursue their goals. She is the youngest of 6 kids, and two of her brothers and a sister still live in Missoula. Like all Montanans, she has a strong affinity for Jeannette Rankin.
Chief Executive Officer
Karen Sterk is champion for women, a champion for education and a champion for social justice. She has served as the Executive Director of Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund since September of 2015. Since then the fund has gone from supporting 50 Scholars in 2015 to supporting 133 Scholars in 2017.
Previously, Karen was the Chief Advancement Officer and Chief Program Officer for the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, responsible for both the YWCA”S program development and fundraising. She was part of the Senior Leadership Team that revitalized the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, taking the organization from a $300K deficit to break even in one year. During her time there, she created and implemented It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race.
From 2000-2010 Karen served at the YWCA of Minneapolis, leaving as the Vice President of Health and Wellness. Her drive to create and grow programs while building financial vitality for the organization was welcomed. During her tenure her team tripled the number of members and revenues. She was part of the team that launched the YWCA’s Racial Justice Program It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race in 2002.
Karen is married to Ron Warren. They have two adult daughters, a son in law, a beautiful granddaughter, Zora, and a rescued greyhound.
Scholarship Program Director
LaTrena Stokes is a woman who knows that ALL things are possible to those who believe.
LaTrena was destined to link arms with Jeannette Rankin Scholarship Fund in the summer of 2011 as a scholar. Fate would have it that she now links her passion with JRF as a staff member. LaTrena’s perseverance has propelled her to succeed and to help those that she cross paths with do the same. LaTrena has a passion for people and is dedicated to excellence. She has a BA from the University of Georgia in Human Development & Family Science and a BA from Andersonville Theological Seminary in Theology. LaTrena has received a number of awards including GA Woman of the Year Scholar and UGA Amazing Student.
LaTrena is the proud parent of two boys Cameron and Jeremy Stokes.
Development and Marketing Director
Alexis is the Development and Marketing Director for the Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund. She enjoys working among empowered women to daily empower women through education. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2017 with a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management and Leadership. She found her passion for supporting people through non-profit service during her time at UGA, especially in her work with on-campus philanthropy organizations. She most enjoys planning and executing fundraising events, working on development campaigns, strategic planning and problem solving, and working to support as many women as possible through JRF's scholarships. Alexis has also found her passions in social media, marketing, and communications with JRF. When she's not working to raise funding to empower women through education, she can be found cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs, volunteering at her local animal shelter, and going for long walks with her rescued labrador retriever Marcie.