Board of Trustees
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M. Anne Murphy ’78
Anne, a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), began her fundraising career as a student intern at Stephens College, and then went on to New York to earn a master’s degree in fundraising management at the New School. Upon graduation, she worked as a staff consultant for Girl Scouts USA and on the campaign staff for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Centennial campaign.
Eventually, Anne’s career led her back home to Houston, where she worked for the University of Houston Foundation, the March of Dimes, University of Houston Downtown and Dini Spheris before becoming vice president of development for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.
Anne has served in several leadership roles in the philanthropic sector, including the national foundation and local board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), where the M. Anne Murphy Award for Outstanding Professional Advancement is given out each year in her honor at National Philanthropy Day.
In 2015, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from AFP. She has spent over 30 years teaching fundraising courses and serves on the advisory board at Rice University, Center for Philanthropy and Leadership. She also serves on the executive committee of Giving USA Foundation and the fund development committee of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council.
While at Stephens, Anne served as president of the 1978 senior class and her sorority. She was on the committee that initiated the student annual fund campaign in 1977 and the tradition of presenting the president with a gift at graduation; the first gift was marbles in 1978. Anne previously served as president of the Alumnae Association Board and received the 2016 Stephens Alumnae Achievement Award.
Valerie Shaw ’00
Valerie retired from a 36-year banking career at Commerce Bank in June 2016. She served as the executive vice president and retail director for Commerce Bank. In this capacity, she oversaw the retail sales, service and operations for 14 branches in the Central Missouri Region (in the Missouri counties of Boone, Moniteau, Audrain, Randolph and Marion). Valerie was also responsible for branch security, facility management and 17 ATMs. Prior to her move to Columbia, she worked at Commerce Bank in Hannibal, Missouri, from 1980 to 1990.
Valerie earned a Master of Business Administration from Williams Woods University in 2003 and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Stephens College in 2000. As a non-traditional student, she worked full time while working toward her degrees at both Stephens and William Woods.
Her volunteer activities include treasurer, Columbia Branch of the NAACP; treasurer, Second Missionary Baptist Church; member (president 2019-20), Columbia Kiwanis Club; member, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; charter member and past treasurer, and Central Missouri Chapter of The Links, Inc.; Financial Secretary. She also has assisted with numerous committees for school bond issues, selection committee for the Battle High School site selection, Bias Free Columbia Committee, and several sewer bond issue committees, among others.
Valerie has received numerous distinguished awards, including the 2017 George F. Hixson Fellowship award from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, the Keeper of the Flame 2016 President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service from Columbia NAACP, the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Association, the 2013 President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP, and the 2010 Professional Excellence Award from the Columbia Daily Tribune.
She has two sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Valerie enjoys traveling, watching Missouri Men’s Basketball, spending time with family and friends, and public service volunteer work. She has a passion for traveling and has visited Ghana, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, China and England, to name only a few.
Sara Herrnstadt Crosby ’76
Sara received her B.F.A. in Theatre from Stephens and enjoyed a varied acting career based out of New York City. Her roles brought her to Off-Broadway, television and film as well as regional theaters. Most notably, she starred in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap for the Barter Theatre at George Mason University opposite Kevin Spacey and Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre as Wilhelmina in The Passion of Dracula. On television, she appeared on All My Children.
In 1984, Sara left N.Y.C. for Chicago, where she began the Graduate Social Work program at Loyola University Chicago. Since graduating in 1986, Sara has worked as a psychotherapist with individuals, couples and groups in the Chicago area and Madison, Wisconsin. She has given many workshops on several issues, including women’s issues, prejudice and discrimination, and suicide prevention, to name a few.
In 2001, Sara co-founded the award-winning Dakota Academy of Performing Arts (DAPA). She is the lead facilitator and a director for DAPA at the Pavilion Plays for Living Theatre Company. Sara also sits on the board of directors for Breathe Bravely, a cystic fibrosis advocacy organization, and is a social justice and diversity consultant and educator. She is the 2013 Champion for Children Award winner for South Dakota Voices for Children. Sara is a licensed clinical social worker and lives with her husband, Daniel, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where they raised their three children.
Ellen Vollrath ’86
Ellen provides project accounting and grants management services to the Eurasia Foundation. She previously worked as the director of treasury at International Relief and Development after serving as the director of grants and accounting services for the American Bar Association.
She earned a B.A. in political science with a minor in history from Stephens.
Ellen participated in Stephens’ Women in Civic Leadership Series along with classmate Jenifer Brandeberry ’86 in 2011. Since graduating, Ellen has been active in the Stephens Alumnae Club of Greater Washington, where she currently holds the position of treasurer. She received the Stephens Alumnae Service Award in 1996, and served as an alumna trustee (1990-93), a member of the Alumnae Association Board (1990-94) and a regional representative on the former Alumnae Association Board.
While at Stephens, Ellen played on the golf team, was part of Searcy Honors House Plan as a freshman, and was a re-founding member and president of Omega Psi social sorority. She also participated in Japan Travel Seminar, Model United Nations, Oxbridge Study Program and China Travel Seminar. As a senior, she received the John Dekker Social Sciences Award.
She and her significant other, Musonda Chisambisha, have two cats.
Ellen enjoys traveling, crossword puzzles, reading, socializing with friends, cultural events, Stephens alumnae club activities, thinking about playing golf, and cheering on the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers baseball teams, the Wisconsin football team and the Green Bay Packers.
Mark Taylor ’73
Immediate Past Chair
Mark graduated from Stephens College in 1973 along with his wife, Judy Doyen Taylor ’73. They each received a B.F.A. from Stephens and worked at the Okoboji Summer Theatre the following summer. Mark went on to earn an M.F.A. in Theatre at United States International University in San Diego. Since then, he has lived in Los Angeles for the past 46 years making a living in Hollywood. He has roles in several television shows, movies, commercials and animated series. He has also appeared in and directed several stage productions in Los Angeles. Judy is senior vice president of casting and talent relations at the Disney Channel. They agree that their best joint venture is their two sons, who both reside in Washington, D.C.
For the past several years, Mark has served the Stephens Board of Trustees on various committees, including Executive, Academic Affairs, Finance and Student Affairs. He chaired the Trustee Committee and served as vice chair for the past three years. Returning to Stephens many times to teach classes in the theatre program and appearing in productions at Okoboji is truly an honor that Mark cherishes since Stephens has played such an important part in his career.
Nikki is retired after having served from 2002-2013 as the vice president for finance and administration for the University of Missouri System where she had responsibility for university-wide strategic financial planning, including the university’s budget, management of its endowment and retirement trust funds, and its debt. Under her direction were the university’s treasury, accounting, procurement, facilities planning and development, real estate, internal audit, risk and insurance management, and institutional research functions. Prior to working at the University of Missouri, she worked at Stephens College for 14 years serving as vice president for finance and administration, associate dean of faculty, and a faculty member in the Department of Business.
Nikki presents workshops on higher education budgeting and finance and consults on strategic finance and resource allocation with higher education institutions. She has served on the boards of a number of higher education associations and is currently on the board of the National Student Clearinghouse. She also serves on the boards of directors of Landmark Bank, Columbia, Missouri; the University of Missouri School of Accountancy; the Ragtag Film Society; and the Central Missouri Sheltered Workshop.
In 2010, Nikki was the recipient of the National Association of College and University Business Officers Distinguished Business Officer award and in 2013 was the Columbia, Missouri recipient of the 2013 Athena Leadership Award and the Trulaske College of Business Alumni Citation of Merit. While Nikki worked at Stephens, she was a recipient of the Century Candle Award for her outstanding contributions to student life (1995); the Stephens College Excellence in Teaching Award (1987); and the Stephens College Excellence in Advising Award (1986).
She has degrees from Washington University, Teachers College, Columbia University and the University of Missouri-Columbia. She earned her C.P.A. in 1984. Nikki and her husband, Aaron, have one son, Adam.
Gayle Flannery Bentsen ’67
Gayle, a former board member (1996-2004, 2006-2015), served as a regional co-chair of the College’s first comprehensive campaign with her husband, Lloyd. She also has served on the Alumnae Development Board. She received the Stephens Alumnae Achievement Award in 2009.
Gayle is a founding member of Victory, a group of American Cancer Society volunteers who sponsor the Cattle Baron’s Ball in Houston; a public member of the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee for six years; and a former advisory board member of the UTMB Galveston School of Nursing. With her husband, she co-chaired a Project Orbis Gala to fund eye care in less-developed countries.
Gayle completed her second term as a member of the board of trustees at Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut. She also was involved with capital campaign work at Mitchell. Gayle received a Distinguished Service Award from Mitchell and is a trustee emerita. The Bentsen Learning Center was named in honor of her family.
She received an A.A. and studied fashion merchandising at Stephens. Gayle also studied interior design at the University of Texas.
She and her husband have two children, Lloyd IV and Ryan, and one grandson, Lloyd Bentsen V.
Vice Admiral Nancy E. Brown ’73
After completing over 35 years of service Vice Admiral Nancy E. Brown retired from her position as the Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems, The Joint Staff. Since retiring on 1 October 2009, she has served as an Outside Director of Systematic Software Engineering, Inc, on the Board of Advisors for Enlightened, Inc, The EDGE, and Kingfisher Systems, Inc., Vice Chair of the Broad of Directors of the United States Naval Institute, Chair of the Board of Directors of Homeward Deployed and an Executive Committee Member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). She also served as the Vice Chair of Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois and was instrumental in organizing and executing their first flight to Washington, D.C. She currently works as an independent consultant for various C4I focused companies.
Raised in Marion, Illinois, she is a 1973 graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Following graduation she joined the United States Navy. Highlights of her assignments include attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where she earned a Master of Science Degree in Communications Systems Management; the Naval War College and was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies; and the Senior Course at the Army War College, Carlyle, Pennsylvania.
In August 1993, VADM Brown assumed command of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Cutler, Downeast, Maine. After completing her command tour, she was assigned in August 1995 to the National Security Council staff at the White House. In July 1997, VADM Brown assumed command of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic, Norfolk. Completing her major command tour in June 1999, VADM Brown returned to the White House as the Deputy Director, White House Military Office. In October 2000, she reported to the Chief of Naval Operations as Deputy Director and Fleet Liaison, Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control (N6B). In August 2002 she assumed duties as Vice Director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems (J6), the Joint Staff. In August 2004 she deployed to Iraq becoming the first Multi-National Force–Iraq C6 headquartered in Baghdad and returned to the Joint Staff in April 2005. In August 2005 VADM Brown assumed the duties as J6 Director for both North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command. In August 2006 she assumed her last active duty position as the Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems (C4 Systems), The Joint Staff.
Vice Admiral Brown's decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Legion of Merit (with Gold Star), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (with two Bronze Stars), the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal (with two Bronze Stars). She has also been recognized by the Diversity Journal in 2007 as one of their 5th Annual Women Worth Watching, in February 2009 by Fast Company The Most Influential Women in Tech, the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, the 2017 Southern Business Journal Leaders Among Us and the 2019 Distinguished Graduate from Stephens College.
Greg Flaker graduated from the University of Missouri in 1972 and was co-captain of the basketball team with Mike Griffin, spouse of Daryll Griffin. After medical school and residency at the University of Missouri, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases at the Ohio State University. Since 1981 he has been a faculty member at the University of Missouri, serving for 6 years as the Chief of the Division of Cardiology. He has been the local principal investigator of grants totaling over $2.5 million with research interests which include antithrombotic drug therapy, antiarrhythmic drug therapy, and cardiac rhythm devices. His CV lists 200 publications and a book on atrial fibrillation. He is the proud husband of Sondra Flaker, the proud father of 5 daughters and the proud grandfather of 3 grandchildren.
Daryll Griffin ’72
Daryll Harris Griffin is the president of Accolades, Inc., a brand marketing firm she founded in 1990. Prior to entrepreneurship, she was a public school teacher, reading consultant, and executive with Xerox Corporation.
While building her 30-year-old firm, Griffin has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the promotional products/branding industry. An active member of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and the Georgia Association of Promotional Products Professionals (GAPPP), Griffin has graciously served the industry on countless PPAI committees, task forces and advisory groups, including the Distributor, Certification, Leadership and Membership Services committees. She is an industry advocate and speaker who was recognized in 2016 in the inaugural class of PPAI Fellows. Most recently Griffin has been recognized as the 2019 recipient of the PPAI Woman of Achievement Award, and the 2019 7th recipient of PPAI’s H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award.
Griffin served as chair of the board and secretary to the board of the Atlanta Business League (ABL), and vice chair of the board of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, where she was inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers for her dedication to the YWCA and its mission. The ABL honored her with the League Leadership Award, and in 2015 Accolades, Inc. was inducted into the Atlanta Business League Hall of Fame where to date they are the only promo products/branding firm inducted. She is a former trustee of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, and a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2001. She served for a decade as secretary of the United Sisterhood, a member of the Charitable Foundation Board, and as director of Vacation Bible School at Wheat Street Baptist Church, where she is a lifelong member.
She has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Black Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League, recipient of the Jackie Robinson Award from the Atlanta Braves, recipient of the Inspiring Woman award from WNBA Atlanta Dream, the Regional Supplier of the Year from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the Trailblazer Award from WBENC’s Georgia Women’s Business Council. Daryll was a mentor in the Stephens Full Circle program, a member of the Stephens Alumnae Association Board, and mentor in Spelman College’s Mentor program.
Daryll previously served as secretary to the board of Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC), board member of Callanwolde Arts Center Foundation, Hispanic Corporate Council of Atlanta and was a two-term president of NSAC Jack and Jill of America. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and currently president of the Azalea City (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
Daryll holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Stephens College, and an M.S. in Education from Washington University. Further graduate study has been completed at the Tuck School of Business and Kellogg School of Business. Daryll married her Mizzou college sweetheart, Mike Griffin, and they are the parents of one son, Michael, and two grandsons, Chase and Preston.
Angeleigha “Angel” Mendez ’14
Angel is the communications manager for the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, where she develops communication strategies that works to elevate the medical school’s educational rankings and increase research funding, leading to some of today’s biggest medical discoveries.
Before joining the medical school, Angel led the marketing and communications efforts at the New Mexico State University Foundation, Helen of Troy in El Paso, Texas, and for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council housed at the University of Northern Iowa. She was also a television reporter and production assistant at KMIZ-TV (ABC 17 News) in Columbia, Missouri.
Angel has earned several awards throughout her career, including a bronze CASE award for “Panorama,” the NMSU alumni magazine she led as editor, and four Public Relations Society of America PRIME Awards for her work with the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. In 2010, she was selected among 1,000 students as a Gates Millennium Scholar and received a good-through-graduation scholarship to attend college. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates.
While a student at Stephens, Angel received three Missouri College Media Association Awards as well as the College’s Sara Ann Fay Broadcasting Award. She worked with Columbia Access Television and the film department at Stephens to develop a weekly television broadcast that featured the staff of Stephens Life magazine. As a student, Angel was a member of the National Broadcasting Society – Alpha Epsilon Rho Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta and Mortar Board: Athena Chapter.
Angel graduated summa cum laude from Stephens College with a B.S. in Integrated Media and a minor in Business Marketing. She received her M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Marist College in 2018.
Anita K. Parran ’73
Anita, a native of St. Louis, makes her home in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is principal for KK Charles Communications, LLC, an international award-winning firm she founded in 1998 that specializes in public and media relations, professional writing and special events management. The company provides communications consultation services for a select clientele of small-to-medium size nonprofits and for-profit entities.
Anita earned a B.A. in Journalism from Stephens College and an M.A. in Business Management from Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri. She also earned the Certified Communications Professional (CCP) designation from the Matrix Foundation University of Washington School of Communications.
An ardent and committed servant leader, Anita is the public member on the Missouri Board of Pharmacy. In 2018, she was elected co-chair of the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) Board of Directors and serves as the national membership committee co-chair. This year, Anita was elected president of the Board of Directors for the AWC Advancement Fund. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Southland Progress Committee, and Executive Committee/Secretary for the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists (KCABJ). Anita is a member of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Kansas City Press Club, National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Kansas City Freelance Exchange, American Association of University Women (AAUW), VIP member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Beta Omega Graduate Chapter.
Anita received the 2015 Velma E. Woodson Outstanding Leadership Award from the NAACP Kansas City, Missouri Branch for being a committed volunteer for government, civic and community entities. The same year, Anita was honored to join the Kansas City Globe’s Society of Influentials. In 2014, she was selected as one of City’s Most Influential Women by the KC Business Magazine, an honor she received in 2007 as a member of the magazine’s charter class. In 2006, she received the National Headliner Award from the Association for Women in Communications, and the same year was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists.
Anita’s life partner is Clinton Adams, Jr., Esq. who has a daughter, Courtney M. Adams. Anita enjoys membership in two book clubs, Women of Words (WOW) and Characters; mentoring young women, traveling, and convening a networking group of women called The Usual Suspects.
Tom serves as treasurer and chief investment officer of the University of Missouri System. In his current role, he provides operating leadership and strategic direction for the university’s cash management, debt and banking relationships across all four campuses and the healthcare system. In addition, Tom manages investment portfolios in excess of $6 billion, including the university’s retirement, endowment and general operating funds.
Tom served as interim vice president of finance from July 2013 to August 2014. Prior to his appointment as treasurer by the Board of Curators in January 2011, he was responsible for the university’s financial reporting and taxation matters as well as all accounting for the treasury function.
Tom received the 2013 Rising Star Award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The award is given to up-and-coming leaders in higher education in the areas of finance, administration and business who are known for their innovative, meaningful contributions to the improvement of their profession and to the efficiency of their institution.
With over 20 years of experience in the financial sector, Tom served as chief financial officer of a $2 billion community banking organization headquartered in Columbia, Missouri. He also was an audit manager in the financial services practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Indianapolis.
Tom earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and is a certified public accountant. He serves as a volunteer member of the Board Finance Committee of Columbia Public Schools and as treasurer of the Northwest Rotary Foundation. He served 10 years as a board trustee for the Columbia Public Library and Daniel Boone Regional Library.
His wife, Melissa Lawson, M.D., is an associate professor of child health in the School of Medicine, specializing in adolescent medicine, at the University of Missouri-Columbia. They have two children, Laura and Jack.
Vicki worked for Tribune Publishing Company in various capacities from 1977 until she retired in late 2016. The Fulton Sun (12 years) and then the associate publisher (21 years) and publisher (five years) of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Aside from decades of management experience, Vicki was the driving force behind numerous new initiatives and publications at both newspapers. She served on the Tribune’s corporate board of directors for more than 20 years.
She has been quite active in professional, business and civic organizations. Her newspaper industry roles include: Current chair of the Missouri Press Foundation Board of Directors, past chair of the Missouri Press Service Board of Directors, past president and long-time member of the Missouri Press Association, and founding committee member and first board chair of the Missouri Society of Newspaper Editors.
Vicki serves on the corporate board of The Callaway Bank and on the Boone County Community Trust Board of Directors. She is a past board chair of the Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. She is also a past board chair of Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) and has chaired the boards of many civic, arts and charitable organizations.
Her leadership was recognized in 2016 by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network with the Athena Award and by the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation as the Community Leader of the Year. She was also inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame.
She was chair of the Stephens Board of Trustees from July 2015 through June 2018, has served on the board for more than 12 years, and has helped with various fundraising campaigns since 1995.
Vicki received a B.J. (1972) from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she also attended graduate school and worked as a graduate teaching assistant.
Her late husband, Henry J. (Hank) Waters III, was a Stephens trustee for many terms.
Susan Brawley Schmidt ’67
Susan founded and served as editor of Medicine for a New Era newsletter highlighting the latest research on anti-aging, stem cells and regenerative medicine, providing only accredited and authoritative articles for 10 years. Today, her focus has been her regenerative sciences research advisory service, specific to all forms of cellular regeneration, stem cell therapy and precision testing. She manages a private membership group of individuals seeking anti-aging information. Susan has researched and tested the effects of lifestyle choices on telomeres, whole body cell regeneration and intracellular micronutrients. Susan found her interest in science at Stephens College in her first anatomy and physiology class with her adviser, Dr. Novak.
Earlier in her career, Susan founded Children Writing for Children, a nonprofit organization that honors literary works written and illustrated by children and has published 17 books. The nonprofit received the 2004 Outstanding Minority Health Education Publication Award from the Ohio Commission on Minority Health. Susan served as assistant to the head librarian for the Dallas Museum of Art, creating a metadata project that analyzed museums’ digital content that serves as a model for the Getty Museum. She catalogued numerous private collections at SMU’s DeGolyer Library Archives using DAC standards. Susan was selected by Komen’s national headquarters to archive the private collection of Susan G. Komen for its corporate office. She worked with the art history department at St. Mark’s School of Texas, a private boy’s school, developing a database of 2,000+ art images for the classroom devising metadata schematics for intuitive retrieval.
When living in N.Y.C., Susan served as assistant vice president of Christies Auction House and director of the photography department where all works of art were photographed/catalogued for reproduction in its national/international catalogue division. She managed a $1 million budget, managed traffic for 45 departments, scheduled more than 100,000 art properties for photography between four studios, and 15 staff each year.
Susan is a board member of the Texas Conservation Alliance, a nonprofit organization, as communications director, a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and the Kappa Alpha Theta national sorority.
Susan earned an A.A. from Stephens, a B.A. from Texas Christian University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas.
While at Stephens, she was in the Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority. Her late mother, Betsy Maxson Schmidt Wheeler ’39, also was a Stephens alumna.
John Sebree has been CEO of Missouri REALTORS® since September 2014. Prior to his move to Missouri, John served as senior vice president of public policy for Florida REALTORS®. Prior to joining the team at Florida REALTORS®, John worked in the government affairs division of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) in Washington, DC for thirteen years. Prior to NAR, John worked for two years for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs.
John is a native of Kentucky. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Northern Kentucky University where he was student body president. John earned an M.B.A. from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. John is also the current chair of the Hawthorn Foundation, a highly diverse group of Missouri leaders in business, education, economic development, health care and labor dedicated to making the state of Missouri stronger.
John resides in Columbia, Missouri, but enjoys travel and spending time with family and friends on his farm in Williamstown, Kentucky.
Dylan Shelofsky ’13
Dylan is a fourth-grade teacher at Metropolitan Arts Academy, an arts magnet school in the Westminster Public Schools district in Denver. She also is the leader of arts integrated education.
While at Stephens, Dylan worked with fellow board member Sara Herrnstadt Crosby ’76 to start the first collegiate affiliate of Plays for Living. She was also a proud three-year member of Stephens’ own Velvetones and traveled to Spirit Lake, Iowa, and New York City with the group. She was a part of the Warehouse Theatre Company and loved her time at Okoboji Summer Theatre. She earned her B.F.A. in Theatre from Stephens in 2013.
After graduating from Stephens, Dylan moved to N.Y.C., where she not only lived and worked for four years — teaching elementary musical theater and voice — but also received her master’s degree in elementary arts integrated inclusive education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2017, she moved back to her home state of Colorado, where she now lives with her husband, Zach Levenson, and their cat, Frank.
Silissa Uriarte Smith ’98
With over 20 successful years in the nonprofit, political and public sectors, Silissa’s diverse and multifaceted career includes the areas of advocacy, fundraising, community engagement and public affairs. She has worked for organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Majority Foundation, community-based organizations, numerous progressive political campaigns, and the City of Long Beach.
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Silissa has deep roots throughout Southern California. Her professional successes are the result of mentorship, hard work and an exceptional education: general education and theater coursework at Fullerton Community College, a B.A. in Political Science from Stephens College, and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University’s Brandman School. Her executive leadership training and professional development experiences include: MANA A National Latina Organization, AvanZamos Fellowship Program and HOPE’s (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality) Leadership Institute.
Silissa has served as a trustee for the College since 2015 and is a former member of the Stephens College Alumnae Association Board. She received the PLEN Leadership Award in 2015, the Stephens College Black Alumnae Association Award in 2008, the Californians for Justice, Racial Justice Hero Award in 2007, the MANA de Orange County Crystal Award for Advocacy in 2008, and the California Democratic Party JFK Junior, Community Service Award in 2003.
While at Stephens, Silissa re-energized the College Democrats chapter, was a Mortar Board member, and an editorial contributor for Stephens Life when it was the College’s campus newspaper. She served as an intern for retired Representative Vicky Riback Wilson in Jefferson City. In her senior year, she received the John Dekker Award for Social Sciences Student of the Year.
Silissa currently manages her business, 360 Collaborative Solutions, created in 2013, where she works with mission-driven nonprofits, political candidates, associations and chambers, small businesses, and local governments on advocacy, community engagement and fundraising development programs and projects throughout California. She recently added coaching to the business, where she coaches social change leaders and others making meaningful contributions to their communities. In her spare time, she serves as an active member and volunteer for the Congregational Church of Fullerton, spending time with family and friends, mentoring young professional women, butterfly chasing, camping, hiking, yoga, self-discovery and meditation.
Anne Louise Wallace ’82
Anne Louise received her B.A. in Communications, minored in Equestrian Science and promptly put her talent for corralling talent and assignments to work as a part of the legendary NBC Page Program in NYC from 1982 -1984. Once added to staff, she was the lead stage manager on various assignments at The Today Show, Nightly News, NBC Entertainment, NBC Sports and other departments. Anne’s penchant for organization, her ability to juggle multiple aspects behind the camera and a talent for gently guiding the team has led her to a storied career in Stage Managing and Directing at various media companies.
A member of the Directors Guild of America, Anne’s many credits include almost three decades of stage managing The Annual Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade, she has traveled around the world for NBC’s coverage of the Olympics in Seoul, South
Korea, Barcelona, Spain and here in the USA when Atlanta hosted the Summer Games. Anne has also stage managed countless professional sporting events for NBC Sports.
Anne was also the stage manager for one of the most successful televisions shows of all-time, The Cosby Show. She also directed one episode of this acclaimed series. Anne has considered it her good fortune to stage manage iconic shows across a broad spectrum of programming including Sesame Street, Bear In The Big Blue House, NBC News at Sunrise, NBC Nightly News, Donahue, Christmas at Rockefeller Center, The Rolanda Show, Reader’s Digest Word Power Challenge, various Presidential Debates and Town Halls and Wake Up With Al on the Weather Channel.
When she’s not in the confines of a studio, you can find Anne, an avid speed walker, traversing Central Park, or biking along the Hudson River. An accomplished cellist, the pandemic gave Anne the time to rediscover her love of this soulful instrument. Volunteering is a crucial part of Anne Louise’s DNA. She has taken mission trips to Haiti and Africa to help children and the organizations that take care of them.
Anne is currently a stage manager on Nightly News, working closely with Lester Holt and Telemundo/MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Belart.
Rajah Maples-Wallace '97 (elected July 2022, bio coming soon)
Michael Quevli '84 (elected July 2022, bio coming soon)
Mary Ann Sprinkle '84 (elected July 2022, bio coming soon)
Laura Gross '91 (elected July 2021, bio coming soon)
Sara Jane Johnson '56
Gretchen Bush Kimball ’57
Hon. Ann Wrobleski ’73