Meet our Team


Dr. Patrice S. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Patrice S. Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of Project Scientist. Prior to joining the team, she supported a global movement to put Black girls first in technology as the inaugural Chief Programs Officer at Black Girls CODE. Previously, she collaborated with members of the U.S. Congress as Vice President for the Center for Policy and Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Dr. Johnson spearheaded fundraising campaigns, transformative partnerships, and programmatic innovation to increase equitable opportunities for youth as Executive Director of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Detroit. She also served as the youngest elected Pro Tempore Mayor and Councilwoman for the City of Muskegon Heights, Michigan.

Dr. Johnson was the first person of color to complete a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership and Development from Cornerstone University. She holds a B.A. in Social Relations and Public Policy from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

Sandy Marshall, Founder/Former CEO

Sandy Marshall is the founder and former CEO of Project Scientist, a national nonprofit that ignites girls’ confidence in their abilities in STEM. Project Scientist began with six girls in Sandy’s’s backyard, including her then 4-year-old daughter, Ellie. Sandy was founder and executive director of The NASCAR Foundation at the time and couldn’t find a program like Project Scientist for her daughter. From that humble beginning, Project Scientist now seeks to empower 500,000 girls, women, and non-binary individuals through STEM programs by 2040, inspiring the STEM workforce of the future in the United States, Mexico and beyond. A national speaker and advocate for diversity in STEM, Sandy has developed partnerships with leading universities and strong relationships with top STEM companies who believe in Project Scientist’s mission. Project Scientist was selected for the American Express Leadership Academy and has received an Acumen Civic Accelerator grant. Sandy's favorite woman in STEM is botanist Ynes Mexia because she proves that you're never too old to dive into STEM.

Shana Benford, Chief Program and Impact Officer, Head of DEIB

Shana is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Illinois with 16 years of STEM and education experience. Her studies focus on Education Policy and Organizational Leadership and include advanced certificates in Diversity & Equity and Technology. As a former public high school teacher and leader, she led, supported, and implemented initiatives that improved outcomes for marginalized students. She later extended her service and leadership to teacher education at the university level. Shana served as a STEM Teacher Mentor, University Supervisor, Professor, and a National Science Foundation Noyce Scholars Faculty member. Among other accomplishments, she developed college courses for graduates and undergraduates, established department guidelines, and initiated strategic district partnerships. Shana earned a B.S. in Biology from Purdue University and a M.S. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. She joined Project Scientist because she wants increase representation in STEM for all women and girls, especially Black, Indigenous, and other Women of Color. Shana most values spending time traveling and volunteering with her children and husband. Her favorite woman in STEM is Jewel Plummer Cobb, for her university leadership and contributions to cancer research as a biologist. 

Christy Anderson, Senior Vice President, Partnerships & Marketing

Christy Anderson brings more than 20 years of communication and operations experience in for-profit and non-profit enterprises to Project Scientist. As a product of girls programs, including athletics and afterschool, she is passionate about providing encouragement, support, and practical skills to girls to help them achieve their goals. Christy holds a Communication degree from Chapman University. Her favorite woman in STEM is Amelia Earhart because of her undeterred passion for aviation. She pushed against early barriers and paved the way for other women in commercial flight as well as shifted the public's perception of commercial aviation. She is also attributed to Christy’s favorite quote “Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.” 

Farah Faruqi, Director of STEAM Education

Farah Faruqi is a Ph.D. candidate in STEM education. She holds a BSc. and MSc. in Physiology and Genetics. She is a STEM education scholar committed to STEM education and educational equity. She has published her research in the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and produced two policy reports designed to help policymakers, administrators, and teachers implement remote learning effectively and equitably with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has served as a STEM educator, facilitator, teacher mentor, and curriculum developer in San Francisco Bay Area. She believes every child is a scientist because they are curious about the world around them. Often, students lose their sense of curiosity. Sustaining this sense of wonder, educators, parents, and others close to children have a tremendous responsibility.

Kierstin Rudy, Director of Programs

Kierstin holds a B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience with a minor in Education Studies from U.C. San Diego. Kierstin joined the staff of Project Scientist because she’s seen firsthand how life-changing STEM role models can be to young women. For the past several years, she has helped Project Scientist in creating an enriching and exciting STEM environment for all of its programs including STEM Club, STEM Lab, and Scholars. Not only does Kierstin manage Project Scientist programs, she also teaches in them from time to time. She enjoys interacting with students and helping them to learn new knowledge and skills. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dog Maggie and reading historical fiction novels. Kierstin's favorite woman in STEM is animal physiologist and NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir.

Anushka Gole, Marketing Director

Anushka is a communications and marketing specialist with over 10 years experience helping nonprofit organizations in India and the United States tell their story and grow their audience. Throughout her career, Anushka has been committed to helping create a just and equitable society. Prior to joining the Project Scientist team, she helped lead 500 Women Scientists—a global grassroots organization dedicated to gender and racial equity in STEMM. Anushka’s passion for equity in STEMM comes from this experience as well as from her brief stint in aviation when she learned to fly planes in Texas. One of her favorite women in STEMM is Mae Jemison, an engineer, physician, NASA astronaut and the first African-American to travel to space. Anushka’s interests outside of work include watercolor painting, tending to her plants, watching Korean dramas and volunteering with local organizations. Originally from the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, Anushka now lives in Chicago, USA.

Jacki Lane, Program Manager

Jacki Lane is passionate about STEM education and believes that every child is born a scientist, filled with curiosity and a desire to learn.  With over 15 years of experience in STEM and education, Jacki has worked with a wide range of children from age two through 4th grade. She has served as an educator, STEM facilitator, teacher mentor, curriculum director, and assistant principal. Jacki earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education and Reading from Ohio University, and holds her M.Ed in Gifted Education from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Jacki also minored in Spanish as she is passionate about global education and empowering diverse students to pursue their dreams in STEM. Jacki’s favorite woman in STEM is engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut MaeJemison as she is not only an inspiring scientist, but also works to support youth in STEM education.

Sarah White, Chief of Staff

Sarah has over seven years of nonprofit experience across the country working in Atlanta, Kansas City, Louisiana and is currently based in Las Vegas.For the past several years, Sarah has worked in a variety of operational roles within nonprofits working with marginalized communities and being an advocate for the populations she has worked with including those impacted by natural disasters, spinal cord injuries, and mental health crisis' with teenage girls.  One of the reasons Sarah joined the Project Scientist is because of her own passion to ensure that girls know from an early age, careers do not have to follow gender norms. Project Scientist's goal of cultivating an environment for confident girls aligns with Sarah's personal belief that confidence is vital to living a successful and fulfilled life. She holds a Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership from Arizona State University and a Master's in Nonprofit Administration. Sarah’s favorite scientist is Grace Hopper who enlisted during WWII in the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) and later went on to co-develop one of the earliest standardized computer languages. 

Lupe Suarez, Resident Lead Teacher & Spanish Programs Coordinator

Lupe is a first-gen Latina college graduate. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Language Acquisition from the University of Nevada, Reno. She believes in the importance of connecting storytelling and a child’s personal experiences to their learning journey. Lupe has worked with a wide range of children, from grades K-6. For the past several years she has served as a Spanish Immersion educator. Suarez joins Project Scientist because she believes in providing girls from under-represented and underserved communities with the tools and skills needed to succeed in any career opportunity they pursue.  Her favorite woman in STEM is archeologist and botanist, Zelia Nuttall who helped restore the story of the ancient indigenous people of Mexico and advocated for the revival of native traditions, all while blazing the trail for future women in STEM. 

Alicia Martinez, Development Manager

Alicia has over seven years experience working within the non-profit and education sector. Most recently, she worked in Arlington, Virginia as a secondary school teacher. There she taught an interdisciplinary course to middle and highschool students that aimed to bridge the gap between humanities and STEM subjects. Prior to teaching, Alicia worked in development at several different non-profits in Atlanta, Georgia including The Carter Center and CARE USA. She is excited to use both her knowledge from her teaching career as well as her experience in non-profit development to help Project Scientist reach their goals. Alicia holds a Bachelors in International Relations and Modern Languages as well as a Masters in International Relations and Global Development from The Georgia Institute of Technology. Her favorite woman in STEM is Dr. Neha Kumar, a Georgia Tech professor who works to inform the design and adoption of computing technologies in marginal contexts. Dr. Kumar was the first to clearly teach Alicia how a feminist perspective on science and technology can change lives.


Robin Declerq, Virtual Site Director & STEM Teacher

Robin is a science educator who teaches High School Chemistry and Physical Science. She holds a B.A. in Chemistry and a certification in secondary education from Michigan State University. She currently teaches in Austin, MN, where she has lived for the past three years. She has been a part of Project Scientist for five years, and started as a college fellow for the summer program in Irvine, CA. Currently, she serves as the Site Director for the virtual STEM Club program, as well as the Site Director for the Scholars program. She loves Project Scientist because of the wonderful young scientists she gets to work with and learn from! She also loves working with an amazing team that all share the same goal: to provide quality STEM education to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity.

Zarett Ramirez, Site Director & Virtual STEM Teacher

Zarett Ramirez is a third grade teacher in North Carolina. She is a first generation latina college student and holds a B.A. in Human Development and Family Studies as well as a Masters in Arts of Teaching from UNC Chapel Hill. GO Heels! She is bilingual in Spanish and has Mexican and Honduran roots. She is passionate about upholding an inclusive and equitable education for all students. She has worked with Project Scientist for about a year and has enjoyed forming part of the Project Scientist team! She first learned about Project Scientist when one of the programs would be offered fully in Spanish in her school. As a native Spanish speaker she loved the opportunity to teach young Latina girls like herself about the amazing world of science. She loves Project Scientist's mission to empower youth from the age of 4 to be curious, make mistakes and share their learning!

Scarlett Webb, Site Director & Virtual STEM Teacher

Scarlett Webb is a native to NY, she grew up in the Adirondacks, and moved to Rochester, NY to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology for Biotechnology. Scarlett has been involved with children’s STEM Enrichment and leadership programs for over 20 years. This includes Clubs, STEM Hubs, Girl Scouts, and Project Scientist. Scarlett has been a Site Director for Project Scientist since 2021.  Scarlett has a passion to ignite a love and confidence of STEM in children, with a focus on girls and young women

Lizette Daniel, Virtual STEM Teacher & Site Director

Lizette is an educator with over 13 years of experience from St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands which is where her love of chemistry was sparked. She holds a B.S in Chemistry from the University of the Virgin Islands and a M.S in Educational Technology from Boise State University.  She joins Project Scientist because she sees it as an exceptional opportunity for creating a support structure where girls feel comfortable experimenting and learning in a safe space.

Halee Gibson, Rising Star Site Director & Assistant Site Director

Halee has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in Spanish. She began with Project Scientist as a Fellow for the Scholars program. She now works as a Site Director & Assistant Site Director for virtual STEM clubs, and helps as a Rising Star for the Scholars program. Halee is passionate about Project Scientist’s mission to foster an inclusive and compassionate space for young scientists to learn STEM!   

Michelle Cregger, Virtual STEM Teacher

Michelle has been a K-12 science educator for over 20 years, with the majority of that time spent in the middle school science classroom teaching Life, Earth, and Physical Sciences in addition to STEM related electives.  She calls the great Pacific Northwest her home and has spent her life between Oregon and Washington.  Michelle holds a M.S. in Science Education from Montana State University, as well as a B.S. and B.A.E. in Biology and a B.A.E. in Earth Science from Eastern Washington University.  Since 2021 Michelle has been teaching with Project Scientist for both virtual STEM Club and summer STEM Lab.  She believes wholeheartedly in the mission of Project Scientist and feels extremely fortunate to be involved as both a teacher and a parent of two participating daughters!  Getting to share the joy of scientific discovery with so many young and curious minds is incredibly rewarding and inspiring.

Frederica Smith, Virtual STEM Teacher

Frederica Smith is a native of Louisiana and now resides in the Big State of Texas. She holds a Masters degree in Science from Louisiana Tech University and a second Masters degree in STEM Educational Leadership with a concentration in minorities in STEM from University of North Texas-Dallas. Frederica comes to us with over 16 years of experience as a science educator serving Title 1 schools in low socioeconomic communities in the heart of Oak Cliff, Texas. She has a great passion for equality and diversity within the educational system with emphasis in the field of  STEM. Frederica joins Project Scientist because she believes that no matter a student’s gender, race, or economic status, ALL students deserve the opportunity to navigate and explore the world around them through the lens of STEM. She feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside Project Scientist where the mission is to ignite and cultivate STEM confidence in ALL girls.


Deon Pennyman, Virtual STEM Teacher

Deon Pennyman, lives in McDonough Georgia.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Georgia College & State University and a Master of Public Health from Mercer University School of Medicine. She received her Ed.S. Degree in Educational Leadership from Columbus State University. She is a certified science and STEM-endorsed teacher.  With a passion for science, she has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade science.

Laura Sanchez, STEM Teacher

Laura Sanchez lives in Santa Ana, CA. She has her Bachelors in Mathematics:Education from California State University Dominguez Hills and wants to pursue teaching secondary mathematics. She currently works at El Sol Science and Arts Academy in which she also attended. She learned about Project Scientist and started off as a facilitator. She took interest in Project Scientist during the fall to teach it herself to help her community of Spanish speaking students. Getting to be an impact on these girls lives has taught her that to be more involved with the young scientist and help them achieve an interest in STEM related Fields.

Devon Vojtech, Virtual STEM Teacher

Devon Vojtech loves to be outside and study the natural environment. She earned a B.S. in Geology at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls and M.S. in Geological Sciences at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Devon worked as a research scientist before earning a M.S. degree in education. Devon has been teaching science in grades 6-12 for over ten years and currently teaches middle school science. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her husband, daughter, dog, and cat.

Board Members

Julie St. John, Chair

Julie St. John was President of Investment Operations and Information Technology Group and was also the Chief Information Officer for The Capital Group Companies. She joined the management team of Capital in 2007 and retired in 2020. Ms. St. John holds an MBA in Finance from Florida State University and a B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of Michigan. She is a CPA licensed in Florida. Ms. St. John was recognized as one of InfoWorld’s Most Influential CTOs and has received the Gartner CIO Choice Award and the Computerworld Premier 100 CIO Award. She was included in the Wall Street Journal & Technology's Gold Book. Julie continues to serve on several boards including the board of Harvey Mudd College, a college a part of the Claremont consortium of colleges. Julie was aslo recently inducted into the 2020 IDG CIO Hall of Fame.

Mary Izadi, Vice-Chair

Mary Izadi is the Constitutional Policing Advisor for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. After graduating from UC Hastings College of Law, Mary spent over 11 years as a prosecutor with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. She brings her extensive legal experience and leadership skills with her to the Project Scientist Board. After Mary’s daughter participated in the Summer STEM Academy, it was clear that Project Scientist was going to be a staple in her daughter’s summer programs. Mary hopes to provide other young girls the same opportunity to find their inner scientist.

Blair Bloomston, Secretary

As CEO of Game On Nation, Blair has spent the last 18 years working with the world’s most recognizable athletes, teams, executives, corporations, and brands. She is considered a leading expert on the use of game dynamics and gamification to improve communication, leadership, team building, and culture. 

Some of Blair’s clients include NASA, Hilton, Deloitte, NASCAR, Gatorade, Joint Special Operations Command, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Blair has been featured as a speaker for the United States Olympic Committee’s National Coaching Conference and the NCAA Alliance of Women Coaches, as well as the Deloitte Inclusion Summit and SHRM Inclusion Summit. Blair holds a BFA in Theater/Performance from Marymount Manhattan College, and resides in Bradenton, FL with her husband and two young sons. 

Holly Trotter, Treasurer

Holly is a Tax Partner in the Financial Services practice, based in Charlotte, NC and has more than 15 years of professional experience. Holly is currently focused on financial institution clients in the Southeast market. Holly combines project execution experience with a strong tax technical background.

Holly spent six years in New York gaining extensive experience in consulting, tax accounting, and tax compliance. While in NY, Holly focused on global information reporting initiatives, and assisted money center banks with their global FATCA programs. In 2014 Holly participated in My Genesis Park, PwC’s global leadership development program, which included two weeks in Shanghai and five weeks in the Netherlands.

When not at work, Holly is most likely to be spending time with her two daughters, running with a good audio book or riding her Peloton bike.

Betsy Grider, Board Member

As Chief Strategy Officer for Patron Technology, Betsy is building, acquiring, integrating, and growing businesses within live event technology. The integrated live event technology platform at Patron drives innovation with products ranging from augmented reality mobile wayfinding to timed-admission for limited capacity experiences. Prior to joining Patron, Betsy's career evolved across marketing, media, strategy, and technology, most recently building and leading the Technology Development and Integration division for NASCAR. Prior to NASCAR, Betsy started her career in sports at the Chicago White Sox and The Duke University Chronicle. Betsy is an investor in live content and entertainment properties and an advocate for women in tech.

Stephen Hagood, Development Committee Chair

Steve Hagood is senior vice president and chief information officer at Trane Technologies and a member of the company’s Enterprise Leadership Team. Steve leads the company’s global information technology (IT) organization and is responsible for the development and execution of Trane Technologies' IT strategies. With more than 30 years of experience, he has held multiple executive and financial leadership roles in the aerospace and defense, manufacturing and service industries. Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas and is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He was recognized by the Charlotte Business Journal as ‘CIO of the Year’ in 2014 and 2019.

Errika Moore, Governance Committee Chair

Errika is the Executive Director for the STEM Funders Network which focuses on ensuring equitable access to STEM education and opportunities from cradle to career across the country.  She has over 25 years of industry experience and she’s served on several national and community boards focused on STEM education and advocacy, literacy, early learning, workforce development and women/girl’s empowerment.  Errika is a published co-author, magazine editor, and Forbes contributor.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  And she’s been honored as an Outstanding Georgia Citizen by the Secretary of the State, a Woman of the Year by Atlanta’s Women in Technology, as an Ecosystem Builder by the Tech for All Alliance.

Lori Friedman, Scientific Advisory Council Chair

Lori is the Chief Scientific Officer at ORIC Pharmaceuticals in South San Francisco. After earning a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Lori completed postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge, U.K. and has been in biotech doing cancer research for over 20 years. A strong supporter of opportunities for women in STEM fields, Lori has served on the Women in Cancer Research (WICR) Council for the American Association of Cancer Research and chaired Genentech's Women in Science and Engineering (gWISE) group. She has published 92 scientific papers and has 24 issued patents. Lori is married with two daughters and lives in California.

Chad Stephens, Member

Chad Stephens is the Chief Technology Officer at Graham Packaging and a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team. Chad leads Graham Packaging's global engineering and design services organization and is responsible for creating sustainable bottling solutions for beverages, food, nutrition, home care, and industrial products. With more than 25 years of experience, he has held multiple executive leadership roles in the packaging industry supporting both the food and non-food packaging segments. Chad has a passion for emerging technology, innovation, and problem solving, and he is an engaged leader with experience managing multiple technical disciplines, culture transformation, and performance improvement. Chad is a graduate of Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in packaging science.

Cristina Thomas, Member

Dr. Cristina Thomas has more than 34 years of technical and leadership experience in research and development organizations including in the Venezuelan oil industry, IBM (New York) and 3M (Minnesota). She has undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. She has had a variety of assignments including Global R&D Services Director, R&D Global Process Owner, Strategy Manager, Laboratory Manager, Commercialization Manager, Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) Technical Black Belt and Group Leader of Materials Modeling.  She is a coinventor in more than 25 patents and is recognized for persistently nurturing team high performance to deliver innovative ideas that move new technologies into markets.

She has a passion for institutions that focus on education of underrepresented students and women in science and engineering. She is a board member at Crito Rey Jesuit Twin Cities High School and at Project Scientist. She leads 3M Science Encouragement Programs and is a member of the AIChE Corporate Council & Industry Leader's and the Government University Industry Research Roundtable sponsored by National Academy of Science. She received the 2019 AIChE Industry Leadership Award, the 2019 AICHE Management Division Award, and is an ACS fellow, an ACS PMSE fellow and an AIChE fellow. She enjoys spending time with her husband and her three accomplished and caring adult children.

Devi Thomas, Member

Named one of 2022's Top Women in Communications, Devi is a social impact visionary and go-to-market leader who has 20+ years of experience overseeing communications, global campaigns, nonprofit and product marketing using data-driven market insights to help NGOs and nonprofits meet the challenges of operating today.

In her new role, Devi is the global head of Industry Solutions at Microsoft Philanthropies, Tech for Social Impact. She leads the go-to-market and industry solutions strategy for Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits and all industry solutions. In this function, she will collaborate extensively across global teams to develop and scale how Microsoft TSI uncovers product opportunities in new and existing markets with the goal of better serving the missions of  nonprofits. 

Most recently as a Vice President of, she helped scale the business unit to supporting over $1.8B in donated tech with 55,000 nonprofits. Devi led external communications leveraging marketplace trends and deep customer listening to meet the needs of the nonprofit industry. 

With her background in the nonprofit sector, you will often find Devi at the intersection of technology and purpose. She considers herself an active part of the problem-solving sector, where she collaborates to respond to the most important topics of our time including Inclusion & Belonging, Climate Action, Global Health,and the Future of Work often drawing on her experience as a leader at the United Nations Foundation and as a Corporate Responsibility Director at Cone, Inc. She is a trained journalist who leverages the power of stories to share world-changing ideas. Devi serves on the Executive Board of Project Scientist, a nonprofit dedicated to guiding underrepresented girls to STEM careers.

Jill L. Zullo, PhD, Member

Dr. Jill Zullo is Global Managing Director, BioIntermediates in Cargill Bioindustrial. She is responsible for driving the commercialization of renewable chemical intermediates by leveraging consumer and market insights and creating an ecosystem of technical and commercial partners. Jill is the Chairperson of the Qore JV Board of Directors which will produce renewable butanediol. Jill began her career at Cargill in 1996 and has held a number of technical and commercial roles including Research Scientist for NatureWorks, Director of Biotechnology Development Center and Vice President, Bioindustrials where she was responsible for the management of the citric acid, lactic acid, industrial starch and co-location businesses. Jill received her PhD from Iowa State University and Bachelors of Science from the University of Minnesota. Jill grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and now lives in Excelsior, Minnesota, with her husband, Luca, and two sons, Giovanni and Antonio. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, boating, reading and cooking with her family and friends.

Kristen Weirick, Member

Kristen Weirick is a developer of people and teams. For 20+ years she has partnered with company leadership across varying industries as a talent expert, to define and implement strategies that leverage talent resources to drive growth initiatives and create an enviable culture where all talent can thrive.

Currently she is Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Alcon, the global leader in eye care, dedicated to helping people see brilliantly. Kristen defines and delivers global strategies to ensure Alcon has the best talent at all levels. Similarly, she partners with leaders and associates across the organization to create a diverse and inclusive environment that fosters innovation and drives performance.

When she is not in the office, Kristen can be found training for distance swimming and running events and traveling the globe with her family. Kristen, her husband and their three dogs split their time between their homes in Fort Worth, Texas and Southwest Michigan.

Stephanie Richard, Member

Stephanie Richard is the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) for Ally Financial, a $180 billion U.S. digital banking institution. She is responsible for leading Ally’s Internal Audit and Credit Review functions, with over 160 employees.  Richard reports directly to Ally’s Board of Directors (Audit Committee) and the CEO. She is also a member of the Executive Committee and is involved in all major strategy, human resource and leadership matters at the company.

Over the course of her career Richard has held roles in nearly every major function in the organization, including Accounting, Finance, Treasury, Risk Management, and Internal Audit.  She has played a crucial role in nearly every major milestone for the company over the past 10+ years, including: a company restructuring and turnaround, formation as a bank holding company, implementation of processes to meet major regulatory requirements, an initial public offering and numerous product expansions/M&A.  

Since being appointed as CAE in early 2018 Richard has used her passions for reinvention and talent development by establishing a strategic focus on the transformation of the internal audit function, with efforts on cultivating innovation, expanding the use of technology and data analytics, and establishing an early talent program She has successfully leveraged relationships across the company to influence change to historical practices and perceptions of the internal audit function to be more forward-looking and advisory focused and better enable the bank to execute successful growth strategies.

Richard is also heavily involved in diversity and inclusion efforts across the company, with a particularly strong passion for developing women leaders. She currently sponsors and leads the Ally Women’s Employee Resource Group, whose purpose is to provide support and development of women to advance their careers at Ally.  She is a member of Women Executives of Charlotte and a member of the Board of Directors for Women Executives for Community Service (WECS), where she also serves as a mentor for female college students in the WINGS scholarship program. In 2022, Richard was honored with a Women in Business Achievement Award by the Charlotte Business Journal.

Steve Taw, Member

Steve Taw is principal operating officer and SVP, ITG at Capital Group and is a member of the IT Management Committee. Previously, Steve was principal operating officer for Capital Fixed Income Investors. He has over 30 years of industry experience and has been with Capital Group for 14 years. Prior to joining Capital, Steve was a chief operating officer and managing director of information technology at Countrywide Financial. Before that, he was a senior vice president at Peoplelink and a senior director of the CRM practice at Keane. He also held various management roles at Atlantic Richfield Corporation in strategic planning, finance, internal audit, and information technology. Steve is co-founder and co-president of the Orange County Chapter of Ascend – the largest Asian professional network in the US.  He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Easton Technology Management Center at the Anderson School Management at UCLA. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA. Steve is based in Los Angeles, Calif.