Our Board of Directors is made up of dedicated community members:
Kris Michaelis, President
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.
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.
Annette has been advising nonprofits about fundraising for over 30 years, working across the US and internationally. She spent 20 years living in London England, working for one of the leading direct marketing groups as Client Services Director and Managing Director of a List and Data Services company. She also worked at nonprofits in the UK as Director of Development and CEO. Since moving to Santa Fe in 2008 she has consulted with and volunteered for a number of cultural and human services organizations.
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.
Julia Gay, Secretary
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.
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 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 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.”
“Having lived and worked in the business community in Santa Fe for over 37 years, I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy all that SF has to offer in terms of business, the outdoors, myriad cultural opportunities, and community. This is my home for life and I enjoy supporting various efforts within the community that strengthen our community. I consider GISF to be one of those successful enterprises.
Girls Inc. allows young girls the opportunity to become self confident, intelligent, articulate and amazing young women who, in turn, can give back to the community.”
Ardith Eicher spent 20 years as a marketing executive for Procter & Gamble and Clairol, and as a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York. Since moving to Santa Fe in 2003, she has run a successful marketing consulting business catering to both business and non-profit clients. She has also served on the Boards and as a volunteer for a range of non-profit organizations in Santa Fe. She has an MBA from Northwestern University and a BA from Wellesley College.
“As one of two sisters, there was never any question in my family that girls were capable of doing and achieving anything they set their minds to. I want to ensure that every girl in Santa Fe is given that same encouragement and support. Girls’ Inc. is truly making a difference for girls in our community and I am very proud to be a part of it.”
Elaine and her husband decided to become full time Santa Fe residents in 2014. The climate, culture, cuisine and community were all big draws. Prior to this move, Elaine had spent all of her life in the NYC area, including her time in college and graduate business school. She spent early career years in banking, and then took a long break to be a stay-at-home Mom, her most satisfying job. A commitment to volunteerism and community involvement has been an important part of her life for thirty years now. Getting involved with GISF seemed so natural. Elaine would like to see all girls have the opportunities she and her own two daughters had: to follow their academic and career aspirations, and live a life where they are are in charge of their destiny.
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.
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.