AAUW Announces New Board of Directors

WASHINGTON – The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has announced changes to its Board of Directors. Two new directors — Jeanie Latz and Shaila Rao Mistry — are joining the Board, and three others — Jenna Kirkpatrick Howard, Dia Cirillo and Edwina Frances Martin — were appointed or re-elected to serve on the 15-member panel for the new term starting July 1, 2020.

“We are honored to welcome our new and returning Board members,” said AAUW Board Chair Julia T. Brown, Esq. “Our team of leaders brings the wide range of skills and experience AAUW needs to advance its goal of achieving economic security for women, especially during this challenging time.”

“Recent events — the COVID-19 pandemic and the critically important focus on systemic racism — have forced many of AAUW’s issues to the forefront of our national conversations,” said Kim Churches, AAUW’s chief executive officer. “In the months ahead, we will continue to raise our voices to help advance gender and racial equity and to advocate for women and girls, particularly women and girls of color. The work of our Board is perhaps more important now than it has ever been.”

The new AAUW Board of Directors includes:

Julia T. Brown, Esq., Board Chair, 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. She has held a variety of AAUW positions at the national, state and branch levels.

Malinda Gaul, Board Vice Chair, 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, including serving for two terms as president of AAUW Texas.

Peggy Cabaniss, Board Finance Vice Chair, 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.

Cheryl Sorokin, Board Secretary, 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 levels, including serving on the national board since 2017.

Joseph Bertolino, Director, 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.

Dia Cirillo, Director, is the founder of Spring Consulting, which works with government, nonprofit and private sectors on health care and economic development issues. With more than 20 years of experience in change management and public policy, she has designed and implemented strategic initiatives for nonprofits, government, universities and communities. In addition to branch leadership roles at AAUW, she was president of AAUW Tennessee.

Lynn Gangone, Director, is president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Previously, she was vice president at the American Council on Education, dean of Colorado Women’s College, University of Denver, and vice president at Centenary University. She writes and speaks on leadership development, particularly the inclusion of those underrepresented in the academy, strategic planning and change management. She has served on many national non-profit boards.

Elizabeth Haynes, Director, 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, Director, is a risk management executive with expertise in finance, business insurance and employee benefits. She is a senior vice president of Lockton, a global insurance brokerage firm, and serves on the women in leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion committees. She is the 2020 president 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, Director, 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 AAUW St. Cloud (MN) branches.

Jeanie Sell Latz, Director, 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, Director, 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 counsel and deputy 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, Director, 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 Maryland and past president of the AAUW Baltimore (MD) Branch. She has been a director of AAUW’s national board since 2017.

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.

Mary L. Zupanc, M.D., Director, 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.

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The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.