Board of Directors

Kris Michaelis, Board Chair  

Kris has lived in Santa Fe for over 12 years, having “semi-retired” to our great year-round playground.  She worked for several Fortune 500 companies on both coasts after graduating from Columbia University’s graduate schools of business and social work in 1985-’86.  “Santa Fe is a wondrous place to work, play and to contribute – where the needs of girls and young women are great.  Having been reared in a generation and culture where ‘children were seen, not heard,’ it’s important we help our girls feel encouraged to find their particular voice and place in society.  Girls Inc. of Santa Fe does that, and I’m pleased to serve on the board.”


Ellen Marshall, Co-Vice Chair

Ellen was an insurance executive for 31 years until her retirement in 2013.  A native of  Philadelphia, she has lived in Denver and Los Angeles. She and her husband have been full time Santa Fe residents since 2013. Upon retirement Ellen made a commitment to focus on giving back to her community and to become involved in volunteering and working with non-profit organizations.

Ellen has always been an advocate for women’s and children’s  rights. She believes that every girl has a right to be safe, to have a voice, to go to school in a non-judgmental environment, and have the tools to develop skills that serve as a foundation for their life.


Demi Malnar, Co-Vice Chair

Demi Fun Image 2

deMarie “Demi” Malnar was born in Santa Fe’s original St. Vincent’s. The one downtown on Palace and Paseo de Peralta where the Drury Hotel now stands. She’s been in marketing since 1994 and currently focuses on SEO, social media, and digital marketing at Xynergy. She comes from a long line of ground breaking women; her grandmother Geraldine Collins graduated from college and was an active in Planned Parenthood. Her mother, Dede Collins, was the only female math major at UNM the year she graduated and went on to be a computer programmer for Los Alamos National Labs. After getting her liberal studies degree from Mills College in Oakland and building her career in Silicon Valley and Boston’s tech corridor, Demi returned to Santa Fe after the birth of her niece, Mary Rose.

“Being part of an organization that focuses on building up the confidence and ability for  young girls in Santa Fe is a small way for me to give back to all the people that helped inspire me to pursue my goals and become a successful business woman.”


Ivy Stern, Treasurer

Ivy earned her MBA in Finance when few women pursued that degree.  She put that degree to use for both Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and even ran her family’s sheet metal business for five years.  Originally from New York, Ivy and her husband lived in London and Chicago, and raised two daughters.  Ivy is passionate about creating opportunities for girls to grow and thrive and become self-sufficient, productive, members of society.


Mark Mullholland, Secretary

Mark’s two daughters, Roan and Sophia, have attended Girls Inc. of Santa Fe since 2006. They have enjoyed summer programs every year an in 2014 Sophia attended a NOLS program in New York with the help of a Girls Inc. scholarship.Mark currently works for a local art gallery and when he’s not driving his daughters to and fro, you can find him on his mountain bike or trying new recipes in the kitchen. ” I’m glad to be a part of such a special organization as GISF and really look forward to helping keep Girls Inc. growing and strengthening its commitment to Santa Fe – 60th year!!”


Julia Gay

Julia Gay

Julia Gay originally is from Louisiana, but came to New Mexico for college, where she received a BA in Creative Writing. Wanting to be more involved in her community, she was hired as program facilitator in 2006 and has been involved with Girls Inc in some capacity ever since. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the low residency program Stonecoast in 2011. Julia has helped implement various programs at Girls Inc, but her favorites are She Votes!, Stick and Stones, and Economic Literacy.

“Girls Inc is a great space for girls to learn how to be themselves. Growing up, I was an awkward, nerdy kid who had hard time with bullying. In helping the girls learn how to express themselves with confidence, I also learned how to make my own voice stronger. Girls Inc is a safe space, and that is a precious resource.”


Joan Affleck
J Affleck - Girls Inc

Joan has been working in healthcare for over 25 years, in patient care settings and for Fortune 500 companies where she has been recognized as a leader in innovation.  She is a Registered Nurse and holds an MBA from Columbia University, has been a member of two American record setting track relay teams (4×400, 4×800), and lived in Paris, France for 9 nine years.  Joan knows that being strong, smart and bold are great foundations for a healthy, satisfying life, and that is just what she wants to foster in the girls of Santa Fe.

“Serving on the Board of GISF is an honor.  This is an organization that delivers real results in the lives of Santa Fe’s girls.  It provides a way to make sound and satisfying investments in the community’s future.”


Linda Arkin

Linda has been working in education and non-profits for more than 30 years. She holds graduate degrees from Columbia University and began her career as a high school teacher and retired as the Director of Instruction for NYC high schools. A passionate traveler and advocate of cultural awareness, Linda has designed and developed numerous global education programs for young people to make them “strong, smart and bold.” Linda has lived in Santa Fe for almost 10 years.


Alexander Dzurec

Alexander is an architect and active community member that has lived and worked in Santa Fe for 18 years.  He is the founder and president of Autotroph, an award winning architecture and planning firm.  His work focuses on community oriented projects including teen & youth centers, arts facilities, municipal offices, transit systems and affordable housing.  Originally from Maryland, Alexander loves Santa Fe for its beautiful scenery, incredible culture and wonderful people.  While architecture is his passion, he strives to live a balanced life along with his wonderful wife, Christina and their 2 gorgeous daughters.  The Dzurec family enjoys wandering through the great outdoors, going on bicycle rides and family vacations.

“I have two daughters.  I want to make sure that they have the opportunity to be themselves and to pursue their dreams.  That is why the work of Girls Inc. is so important to me and to Santa Fe.  It is with great honor that I serve on the board, so I can do my part in helping my girls, and countless other girls in Santa Fe, have the opportunity to live strong smart and bold lives.”


Tiia Kari-McLaughlin

As retailing was one of the few careers other than teaching and nursing open to women at the time, Tiia majored in that field at Washington University and subsequently enjoyed a career in fashion merchandising.  When corporate America was just beginning to welcome women, Tiia went  back to school at Columbia University Business School and got an MBA in marketing. That led to a five year stint as assistant to the president of the Furnishings Division of the Sperry and Hutchinson Corp.  When the division moved its headquarters away from New York, Tiia went to the American Woman’s Economic Development Corp. as Director of Training and Membership Services and then on to her own business as a consultant to women owned businesses.  Since becoming a Certified Financial Planner she has concentrated on helping mostly women clients to achieve their financial goals.
 Tiia and husband George McLaughlin moved to Santa Fe in 1998 and continue to enjoy the many cultural, civic and outdoor activities that the city offers.


Michael Delello


Mike moved to Santa Fe over 3 years ago to become the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.  He studied political science at Louisiana State University with a minor in international relations.  He has worked in the United States Senate, the Department of Energy as both a congressional liaison and as an energy adviser on U.S diplomatic delegations to United Nations conferences, and was the director of the Washington Office for the non-profit utility research consortia: the Electric Power Research Institute.

After a career in D.C,. he moved to Los Angeles to do some writing and ran his own independent real estate brokerage. Being on the Girl’s Inc. board is like coming full circle as he volunteered for the Boys and Girls club while in high school and college.  “In a state that is in such great need, I feel honored to work with Girls help make a meaningful difference in young girls lives.”


 Connie Burke

Connie’s career experience includes over 30 years in administration and management. She began her career as a technical writer for the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation and worked as a forestry technician for the U. S. Forest Service. Upon completing graduate school, she became a legal assistant in environmental law and rose through the ranks to the position of Director of Administration/CEO for Vinson & Elkins, an international law firm based in Houston, Texas. She then served as the Master of Lovett College, Rice University, Executive Director of Leadership Rice and Assistant to the Board of Trustees at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Connie went on to become Office Administrator for Bracewell L.L.P., managing the daily operations of their regional office in Washington, D.C. before retiring to Santa Fe with her husband in 2012. She came out of retirement and served as the Interim Executive Director for the International Folk Art Alliance (IFAA) August 2014 and served in that capacity until March of 2015. She then served as the Chief of Staff to the new CEO until August 2015, coordinating the 2015 International Folk Art Market|Santa Fe.

She holds a B. S. in Geology from California State University, Long Beach and an M. S. in Forestry/Natural Resource Management from Oregon State University.

She has served in a variety of chair positions for the International Folk Art Market and she is the chair of the docent council at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. In addition, she volunteers at the Sweetheart Auction, the Wine and Chile Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Girls, Inc.


Jess Clark

Jess Clark is a proud product of Santa Fe. He has been involved in social change and sexual violence prevention work for over a decade. His work focuses on increasing youth capacity for healthy relationship navigation as well as collaborating with faculty and administration on policy building and implementation to achieve school climate change. Jess is currently the Education and Prevention Manager for Solace Crisis Treatment Center, which has given him the gift of collaborating with GISF on various programming. Through that collaboration, Jess has become an enthusiastic fan of GISF, and is thrilled to share that enthusiasm with his communities.


Caitlin Kontgis, Ph.D.

Caitlin moved to Santa Fe in 2016 after completing her PhD in Geography at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She works on the applied science team at Descartes Labs, a local startup that specializes in satellite image processing and geospatial analysis. On most weekends, Caitlin can be found running, skiing, or hiking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, often with her beloved dog Flora in tow. She is passionate about scientific literacy and promoting women in STEM fields, and is incredibly proud to be inspiring all girls to be “strong, smart, and bold.”