Board members share a passion for advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. The board makes major decisions, provides direction to the CEO and exercises strategic leadership.
Meet the 2021-22 Board of Directors
The board provides strategic leadership and fiduciary oversight for the organization.
Julia T. Brown, Esq.
Julia T. Brown is a lawyer with extensive experience in executive management, financial management, nonprofit formation and governance, as well as compliance enforcement. She has served in the U.S. Army and worked in corporate America and at all levels of government in Oklahoma, the District of Columbia, California and New Mexico. Currently, she is the city manager of Sunland Park, New Mexico. She has held a variety of AAUW positions at the national, state and branch levels.
Board Vice Chair
Malinda Gaul practices employment law in San Antonio, Texas and has worked with several non-profit organizations to advance the rights of women. She chaired the labor and employment law section of the state bar of Texas and was the president of the Texas Employment Lawyers Association. She has served in a variety of AAUW positions at all levels, and is currently President of AAUW Texas for a second time.
Joseph Bertolino is president of Southern Connecticut State University, in New Haven. Previously, he was president of Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont, and Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Queens College/City University of New York. He is a teacher, lecturer, and prolific author, including co-authoring a book on peer mentorship. He has served in leadership roles on numerous national boards.
Peggy Cabaniss has worked in the investment field as a financial planner and investment advisor. She was the owner and co-founder of HC Financial Advisors, Inc., a fee-only financial planning and investment advisory firm in Lafayette, CA. She has held leadership positions in the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, including a stint as chair of its national board.
Lisette Garcia, Ph.D.
Lisette Garcia, Ph.D. is the Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) at Penn State University. Previously, was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility a Washington D.C-based non-profit. A trained researcher with degrees from Ohio State University, Virginia Tech, and Penn State, Garcia also serves on the board of Collegiate Directions Inc. and chairs the Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the Southern Sociological Society.
Elizabeth Haynes has more than 30 years of experience as both an employee and volunteer for non-profit organizations in California and Canada. She has held such positions as secretary, president and director of strategic planning. She is a Professionally Registered Parliamentarian and serves as parliamentarian for the Canadian Federation of University Women. At AAUW, she has held leadership roles in her local branch and the Michigan state association.
Jenna Kirkpatrick Howard
Jenna Kirkpatrick Howard is an insurance brokerage executive with expertise in finance, risk management and employee benefits. She is a vice president of Lockton, a global insurance brokerage firm, and serves on the women in leadership and diversity and inclusion committees. She is president elect of Commercial Real Estate Women DC, whose mission is to advance women in the commercial real estate industry through education, networking, professional development and mentorship.
Karen Kirkwood has worked as a special education teacher, a legal advocate for a battered women’s shelter, the owner of a home-based small business and a mental health practitioner for toddlers with autism. She raised funds for AAUW St. Cloud Tech Savvy events and is currently a certified AAUW Work Smart facilitator. She is a member of the AAUW St. Paul (MN) and the St. Cloud (MN) branches.
Jeanie Sell Latz
Jeanie Sell Latz has been a leader in public, private, academic and non-profit sectors. She served as executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary of Great Plains Energy, and currently teaches in the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. She also consults in the areas of corporate governance and strategy. She received a B.S. degree in Business Education from Missouri State University and a J.D. from the University of Missouri.
Edwina Frances Martin
Edwina Frances Martin is a public interest lawyer with deep experience in public policy, government relations, non-profit management and strategic communications. She is currently Commissioner and Public Administrator of Richmond County (New York City). Previously, she was chief of staff for a New York City council member and a litigation associate at several private-sector law firms. She does volunteer work in in her community and in the New York City legal field.
Eileen Menton worked as a legal systems manager at the U.S. Justice Department and a business analyst at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. She was the president of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, which provides grants for women and girls around the globe. She is past president of AAUW of Maryland and president of the AAUW Baltimore (MD) Branch. She has been a director of AAUW’s national board since 2017.
Shaila Rao Mistry
Shaila Rao Mistry, Director, is president of Jayco MMI, an aerospace medical-device company. She is the founder and chief executive officer of the STEM Institute for organizational growth, leadership development, strategic planning and foresight institute. She has deep experience in economic development and advancement from perspectives of small business, human resources, talent protection, policy, advocacy and corporate social responsibility, and has worked on such issues as decent work and fair pay, trafficking and digital human rights online. She is a global speaker and sits on notable boards at state, national and global levels, including California State and University of California.
Cheryl Sorokin is an attorney who spent much of her career at the Bank of America, where she was executive vice president and corporate secretary. She is a published author on corporate governance and now consults on governance matters with Veaco Group. Currently, she is president of Marin Villages, a nonprofit that helps older adults remain active, connected and independent in their home. At AAUW, she has held leadership positions at the branch and national level, including serving on the national board since 2017.
Mary L. Zupanc, M.D.
Mary L. Zupanc is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Neurology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). She is also the UCI Division Chief of Pediatric Neurology, the Chief Neurology Strategy Officer and the Co-Medical Director of the CHOC Neuroscience Institute. She has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals and has authored several book chapters, particularly on pediatric epilepsy, infantile spasms, and epilepsy surgery. She has served on the executive board of the Child Neurology Society and is currently on the board of directors for the Child Neurology Foundation.