Who We Are
NATIONAL BOARD CHAIRPERSON
Natalie Guzman is a Marketing, Public Relations and Business Development Executive successful at providing the vision, strategies and leadership required to build reputation and brand for the sixth largest contributing affiliate in company. She is an innovative strategic leader with experience transforming concepts into high impact results. In addition, Natalie has a proven record in development and execution of winning marketing strategies that drive profitability and growth while positively impacting the bottom line. She has notable success in developing programs that differentiate the organization from its competition.
Patricia Roe has served as Senior Program Officer in the access and outreach department for the last several years. Her role focuses on increasing success in higher education, by working collaboratively locally and nationally with entities, to develop strategies which serve to support college success and completion for students and adult learners. In this work she interfaces with consultants, policy and principal investigators as well as with colleagues from other foundations to support institutions of higher education and best in class community based organizations. Ms. Roe has been instrumental in getting community, foundation and corporate leaders to increase their philanthropic giving in support of higher education by leveraging USA Funds philanthropic dollars. This background is instrumental in the work she will assume for USA Funds as Senior Program Director of Community Relations.
Ms. Roe is currently the USA Funds liaison with national scholarship organizations such as Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United Negro College Fund, American Indian College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Asian Pacific Island American Scholarship Fund.
Howard J. Ross
Howard J. Ross is a builder of innovations in the field of diversity and inclusion and a unifier of people, organizations, and causes. He is founder & Chief Learning Officer of Cook Ross Inc. and an advisor to major global educational, corporate, philanthropic, and governmental organizations. Through his unique combination of a personal and system-focused approach, Howard is an advocate for high-performing organizational cultures that advance people, performance, and profits. He is the author of ReInventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose and Performance.
Darla Beggs holds a degree from Scottsdale Community College, where she graduated with honors. Her broad business experience includes consulting with HR professionals to evaluate and establish effective managed care plans with a focus on cost effectiveness coupled with employee satisfaction and retention. Darla has held positions in account management, marketing, and benefits administration leadership. She has succeeded in balancing the needs of the employee population with cost-effective solutions for business clients to provide solutions that provide a “win-win” solution at every turn.
Melissa Greenwell, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, leads human resources, communications and corporate social responsibility initiatives for Finish Line Inc., a national specialty athletic retailer. Melissa has applied her expertise in the design and development of organizations in many industries to help create high performance companies. Her career includes senior human resource leadership positions with Sallie Mae, Brightpoint North America, JP Morgan Chase, Oak Street Mortgage and Made2Manage Systems.
Haley Altman is Partner in Ice Miller’s Business Group. Haley concentrates her practice in corporate and securities law and in the representation of emerging growth companies and the venture capital firms and strategic investors that finance them. While many of her clients are entrepreneurs, she also represents several private equity firms, venture capital firms and angel funds and has been involved in formation and structuring of start-up and early-stage companies in the Midwest in such industries as technology, life sciences and medical device. She counsels entrepreneurs on the legal and business issues related to the formation process and all facets of corporate growth. Haley also advises her clients in obtaining financing through a variety of funding sources, including equity capital, mezzanine capital and senior loans. She has led and participated in a variety of transactions, ranging from relatively straightforward “friends and family” equity rounds and senior loan financings to larger equity raises with venture capital funds in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $50 million, to multi-tiered equity and debt financings involving equity, senior debt and mezzanine debt tranches ranging from $1 million to $750 million. She also is an active mergers and acquisitions lawyer, with a particular focus on middle-market deals. She has represented both acquiring and selling companies in such transactions, ranging from less than $5 million to over $800 million, with the majority being between $25 -$50 million.
Haley began her career as an associate at Ice Miller in the Business Group. She expanded her corporate and venture capital financing experience at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in California. Originally from Indianapolis, Ind., Haley moved back to Indiana and rejoined Ice Miller LLP in 2010. Haley graduated from DePauw University with a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry and political science in 2002. While at DePauw, Haley was a Science Research Fellow. She attended Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law where she earned a juris doctorate, cum laude, in 2006.
Don Cates is the President and CEO of 3 Rivers FCU, and $780 million, 70,000 member Credit Union in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He joined the Credit Union in October of 2011 as the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. Prior to coming to 3River he was President/CEO and served on the board of Directors of AmericanTrust in Peru, Indiana. At 31 he was the youngest Bank CEO in the State of Indiana, and served in that capacity for 10 years. His previous experience includes sales management, branch administration and commercial lending. He was Chairman of the Miami County Economic Development Corporation for 5 years, and has been active in Economic Development for over 15 years. He is involved with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnerships Regional Opportunities Council, United Way Campaign Cabinet Chairman, and is on the board for Junior Achievement of Northeast Indiana.
Linda Matkowski serves as executive vice president at City Securities. Having spent the bulk of her career in Chicago, Linda recently joined City Securities to manage the Fixed Income Capital Markets division, which comprises Public Finance Banking, Underwriting, Institutional Trading & Sales, and Retail/Taxable Trading. Linda is a graduate of the University of Illinois – Champaign-Urbana. She holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 52, 53 and 63 licenses. Additionally, she is involved in a number of governmental and industry organizations nationally as well as in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Prior to joining City Securities she was employed by Raymond James and was located in Chicago Illinois.
Linda has been involved in number of volunteer activities including serving two terms as an elected board member for a school district in Illinois. She served two years as an appointed board member on the Financial Oversight Panel for East St. Louis School District 189. In previous years she also served on various committees for the Illinois State Board of Education dealing with financial and educational policy issues. She is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences addressing financial policies and procedures for local governmental entities.
Staff and Market Directors
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
With impressive background work and roughly 17 years in nonprofit work, Alison Martin-Books has a passion for doing work that makes a difference in the lives of others.
After serving as Executive Director at two different national nonprofit organizations, her commitment to her passion for developing female talent led her launch Mentoring Women’s Network and the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation. She is also the author of the book, “Landing on My Feet: Learning to Lead Through Mentoring” and speaks regularly on behalf of the organization.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR
As a founder of a non-profit, author, and motivational speaker, Samantha harbors deep passion for giving back to the world through inspiration and motivation. Her journey, thus far, has led her to the wonderful opportunity of working for Mentoring Women’s Network as the Director of Corporate Partnerships. Samantha values the notion of leveraging opportunity for women in the workplace and hopes to make a difference by helping women live their full potential through mentoring relationships.
With a high-energy and persistent personality, Samantha will be developing the corporate market in order to utilize the resources that Mentoring Women’s Network has to offer women of all ages. While harboring and maintaining relationships are at the top of her agenda, Samantha is up to the challenge of wearing different hats and trying new things- perhaps even skydiving one day!
NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS
Elcira Villarreal, PhD
Dr. Elcira Villarreal was born in Colon, Republic of Panama. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas and received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Oregon State University. She spent more than 25 years in advanced roles in the pharmaceutical industry and has a passion for sharing her knowledge and experience to help advance other women leaders. In her role, she consults with organizations to align strategies to support this.
MARKET DIRECTOR FORT WAYNE
Toni Widman is the CEO of Integrated Talent Solutions. An industry expert with more than 20 years of successful experience in full life cycle Recruiting and Business Development, Toni Widman has a proven ability to foster relationships with C-Suite and senior executives in the Financial, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Non Profit and Retail Industries.
Toni co-founded Integrated Talent Solutions, an Executive search firm specializing in placement of Executives (including Presidents, CFOs, CEOs, COO’s Division Presidents, VPs of Operations, and Director level positions) in a variety of Industries. She has successfully completed hundreds of successful searches, helping professionals grow and advance in their careers.
Toni offers both clients and candidates exceptional professional service, absolute confidentiality, and the most ethical values in executive search. For almost 20 years, Toni has guided the careers of many candidates; helping them with their career transitions. Toni has developed an exceptional background in people and project management and a professional style based on excellent interpersonal communications and has an ability to make the best use of her personal network.
MARKET DIRECTOR HOUSTON,TX
Kim changed careers in 2005 and is now a financial services representative with Wealth Design Group, LLC helping individuals and business owners establish strategies to fulfill financial goals and stay financially organized and balanced. She also specializes in providing a wide array of business owner, executive and employee benefit solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses.
She is very involved in the woman business owner market and has a heart to help women succeed and fulfill their life calling, whether they own a business or are on a corporate career track. She knows that identifying and utilizing mentors and “cheerleaders” that support and encourage us as we progress is absolutely critical to our success.
Kim has a history of serving on non-profit and professional boards, as well as serving on various committees and ministry projects. She is the current President of the Houston Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and was NAWBO’s “Woman of Excellence” honoree in 2010. She is a charter member of the Houston Lady Lions Club and is very involved in her church.
Kim has a MA in Human Resources Management and a BBA in Personnel Administration.
MARKET DIRECTOR ATLANTA
Annette is an experienced advisor to the highest levels of executives. Her expertise results in value creation in strategy and operations, business transformation, and the advancement and retention of women. Annette engages and works effectively with diverse cultures and management teams using creative problem solving skills. She is a former Partner from Deloitte Consulting who served in numerous industry, geography, and service line leadership roles. She is currently an independent consultant, coach, and business advisor and board member of OnBoard, the leading authority and catalyst for women in the boardroom. Annette has 30 years of experience across multiple industries and positions of influence at financial services and healthcare companies selling, advising and delivering measurable results within budget.
She is a sought after speaker on topics of business transformation, the retention and advancement of women and most recently two of her programs called “Selling to Women” and “Creating Purposeful Life Plans”. Annette was a Task Force Member for the creation of the first Executive Women’s Day at The TOUR Championship sponsored by Coca-Cola, the PGA Tour and the Eastlake Foundation. She was also recognized for her leadership and people development skills as a recipient of the “Woman of Inspiration” award from the City of Atlanta.