Board of Directors

Sheila Carpenter

Sheila Carpenter earned her BA from the University of Michigan and her M. Ed. from Wayne State University. As an Instructional Designer, she worked and consulted for Fidelity Investments for 18 years. After returning to Ann Arbor 16 years ago, Sheila became involved in many different non-profit organizations, served on the Board of Directors for the Ann Arbor Educational Foundation, and has chaired several local events. While raising her children, she was also an active volunteer in their schools.

Doug Finch (Board Chair)

Doug Finch is an early stage technology investor. He heads up the Ann Arbor Angels, serves on advisory boards for several venture capital and angel investing organizations, is a Mentor-in-Residence with UMich Office of Tech Transfer, and has been a volunteer mentor at both the Ross School of Business and UMich School of Engineering. Previously he was co-owner of Summit Health, Inc., a nationwide provider of employee health and blood testing services. Doug earned BS and MS degrees in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

LaSonia Forté

LaSonia Forté is the Associate Director of State Outreach in the Office of Government Relations at the University of Michigan. She holds an AAS in Computer Information Systems​, a BS in Psychology, and a Master's in Public Administration/Affairs (MPA). LaSonia has been involved with Girls Group in a variety of capacities since 2009, as a parent, mentor, facilitator, and Advisory Board member. LaSonia is the cocreator and cosponsor, along with her husband, Prof. Michael Awkward, of the annual Frank J. Forté Laptop Scholarship.

Celia Gargaro

Celia Gargaro earned her BA from Tufts University, her Teaching Certificate from EMU and her MA from Marygrove College. She has taught in the AAPS district for more than 14 years including 10 years in her current role as a kindergarten teacher. Celia served on the board of the Ann Arbor Co-op Nursery School and as the teacher liaison for the Dicken PTO. She has studied Japanese language extensively and lived in Japan for 8 years. Celia began her career in marketing/sales for international businesses in Seattle and New York City.

Jamie Guise (Secretary)

Jamie Guise is a Senior VP at Old National Bank, responsible for all Community Engagement activities for the bank. Previously, she served as Chief Client Delivery Officer at United Bank & Trust, responsible for overall branding, corporate communications, retail delivery and client experience for the organization. Jamie also spent part of her career in advertising. Jamie graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in Advertising from Michigan State University. She consistently serves in leadership positions with professional associations and local non-profits.

Joyce Hunter

Joyce Hunter holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University, a Master of Arts from Michigan State University, an Administrative Endorsement from the University of Michigan and a Computer Science Endorsement from Madonna University. She has been a Teacher, Department Chair, Class Principal and Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools in Ann Arbor. In addition to serving on the Girls Groups Board of Directors, Joyce is President of the African American Cultural & Historical Museum, and is currently a member of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club and has been involved in various other community organizations.

Kris Maly

Kris Maly is currently a Project Manager for Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, a non-profit organization that is a healing center for grieving children, teens and their families. She is also a corporate communications consultant. In the corporate world, Kris most recently served as the Vice President, Corporate Communication at Synthetic Biologics for six years. Prior to joining Synthetic, she spent 10 years at Vericel Corporation, and 15 years in the public accounting field with a tax practice focus. Kris has served in leadership and volunteer roles with several organizations, including: Ann Arbor Golf & Outing Club, Folds of Honor, Ele’s Place Ann Arbor, Junior League of Ann Arbor, United Way, Girls Scouts, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Ann Arbor Public Schools. Girls Group blends well with her commitments to education, mentorship, leadership, mission, developing character and building community.

Bill Mathewson (Treasurer)

Bill Mathewson is the former General Counsel of the Michigan Municipal League, a non-profit, non-partisan organization providing numerous services for Michigan’s cities and villages. Bill retired in 2018 after 41 years of service and received the League's highest honor of Life Member. Bill's involvement with the League continues as legal consultant and educational trainer. As General Counsel, Bill was responsible for corporate legal matters, and represented the MML regarding legal and policy issues relevant to municipalities statewide.

Courtney McCreadie

Courtney McCreadie earned a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. After completing her undergraduate degree, Courtney worked for Ford Motor Company in Product Engineering and Safety Testing. Her last two years with Ford were spent working in the UK. Courtney is currently a stay-at-home mom with three school-aged children. She has been an active volunteer in her children’s schools serving on elementary and middle school PTOs. Courtney is the former co-chair of the Ann Arbor Social Capital Fund, a philanthropic giving circle at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

Jan Barney Newman

Girls Group Board Member, Jan Barney Newman, earned a BA from the University of Oklahoma, and an MA from the University of Michigan. She has been a resident of Ann Arbor for over 40 years. She taught in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, was a Director of the Bank of Ann Arbor and the founder of two businesses: Aristoplay, Ltd., an educational game company and Learning Express, Michigan, an educational toy store. Jan’s community commitments include having served on the Board of the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce and many non-profit organizations. She is also currently serving a second term as a Trustee of the Ann Arbor District Library.

Sue Schooner (Executive Director)

Sue Schooner is the founder of Girls Group, and has served as the Executive Director for the last seventeen years.  She holds a BS in Accounting from Ithaca College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  Sue is a retired automotive executive, and developed mentoring programming at both the Chrysler Corporation and Textron Automotive.  Sue’s experience in networking, strategy, business development, management, finance, and budgeting has helped Girls Group to grow into a well-respected, low-overhead organization with enviable success.  Sue is proud of the excellent staff and Board of Directors at Girls Group.

Alicia Shivers

Alicia Shivers is an Ann Arbor native who graduated from Pioneer High School. She went on to attend Eastern Michigan University where she obtained a bachelor's in business administration and a master's degree in human resources and organization development. Alicia is a Human Resources professional with 15+ years of experience in multiple industries including automotive, healthcare and government. Alicia currently works as a Senior HR Consultant for DTE based in Detroit, MI. Alicia is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves as the Economic Development Chair of her chapter.

Helen Starman, MSW

Helen Starman, Chief Development Officer with Food Gatherers, has over twenty five years of fundraising and non-profit experience as a development professional, fundraising consultant, social worker, community volunteer, and board member. Prior to Food Gatherers, Helen was a Senior Consultant with Richner + Richner, a strategic fundraising consulting firm. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan School of Social Work, Helen worked with parents and children in Detroit, Jackson, and Ann Arbor. Volunteer leadership on several non-profit boards of directors sparked her interest in fundraising as a profession.

Laurita Thomas

Laurita Thomas is an active community servant and has served on many local boards. She serves as President, ARU-HR Institute and is the leader of an organization that provides executive development for the CHROs of the top research universities in the United States and Canada. She is an alumna of the University of Michigan in Political Science and Economics, is a certified executive coach and is trained in grief ministry.

Rob VanRenterghem

Rob VanRenterghem has helped fuel the growth and success of dynamic companies ranging from Domino’s Pizza and Kraft Foods to Gordon Food Service.  His experience spans marketing, supply chain and finance and he has a passion for driving insights into strategic planning and vision setting as well as staffing and the leadership of growing organizations.  Rob is involved with a number of community organizations and also serves on the UMS Board of Directors.  He holds a BA from Hope College and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Lisa Wetzen (Board Vice-Chair)

Lisa Wetzen holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Western Michigan University. During her 30+ year career at the Ford Motor Company, she served as an Information Technology executive in a variety of roles as well as the IT Audit Director for the General Auditors Office. Lisa has been a continuous supporter of Girls Group since the organization’s inception and was an original signatory on the papers of incorporation. She looks forward to applying her previous experience serving on multiple boards of public benefit organizations to Girls Group.

Copyright © 2011-2021 Girls Group