Yesterday, Towson University welcomed 23 women into the third class of the TU Professional Leadership Program for Women. The women in this year’s class are an incredibly diverse and accomplished group, representing a broad range of professions. Each brings her own unique perspective, which benefits the other women in the current class and our growing alumnae network.

2017 Class Participants

Anne Bannon’s professional background demonstrates a breadth of knowledge and global experience. For the past eight years, Anne has worked as CFO/COO and as an advisor on regulatory issues across the globe for Madd Gear, a global company which produces and distributes kids’ extreme sports equipment. She came to this role from Morgan Stanley, where she served as COO and CFO of the Glasgow office. She also held a role in the Global Projects Team based in London. This reiterates the global experience Anne possesses and her strength of culture, diversification, and people management when dealing with so many cross-culture situations. Anne graduated in 1998 from college in Australia.
Jalisa Bell is a human services professional with experience in program evaluation, case management and health advocacy. As the Community Transition Liaison and Training Coordinator for The Coordinating Center in Millersville, MD, Jalisa focuses her work on community partnerships, program evaluation, and client outcomes. Additionally, her work highlights both the strengths of community-based care transition work while also focusing on areas in need of improvement. Most recently, Jalisa participated as an Opportunity Collaborative Fellow with Baltimore Metropolitan Council and was awarded the opportunity to participate in a Human Services Leadership program through the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Jacqueline Bowie is a development professional at the National Aquarium, where she is also captain of her volunteer dive team. Previously, Jacqueline worked as counselor at a substance abuse nonprofit. She graduated from Bates College with a degree in Biology and from Vermont Law School with a Masters of Environmental Law and Policy.
Kaitlin Bowman serves as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. Kaitlin is responsible for building strategic relationships among major corporations in the Maryland region and managing the organization’s funding efforts to fuel strategic growth. In her current role she is a member of the JA senior management team providing strategic direction for the organization and oversees the generation of more than $2million in support from corporate, foundation and individual donors. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Services to Children from Towson University. She currently serves on Towson University’s Advisory Council for their Non-Profit Leadership Department.
Sharon Chiu is a financial services professional with over twenty years of experience, with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, investor relations and corporate strategy. As a Vice President at Legg Mason, Sharon currently works on the firm’s mergers and acquisitions team. Prior to her current role, Sharon held positions in the Corporate Strategy, Investor Relations and Corporate Marketing departments. Before joining Legg Mason, Sharon worked as a consultant in the card payments industry, specializing in strategy and capital consulting projects. Sharon earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Maryland and an MBA from University of Maryland. Sharon is the mother of three young girls and serves as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program.
Juliet Dickerson serves as Director of Staffing and Career Services, Human Resources at University of Maryland, Baltimore, where her primary focus is on recruitment. Juliet has also managed the layoff process, worked in compensation, implemented campus-wide applicant tracking systems, and served on numerous other projects and committees. Prior to UMB, Juliet worked at the American Red Cross. Juliet is a graduate of Hampton University, Towson University, and the University of Maryland, University College. She belongs to professional and social organizations and enjoys community service.
Clare Elliott is the Corporate and Community Engagement Manager for Paul’s Place, Inc., where her focus is on the development of corporate and community partnerships. In her time there, she has engaged over 40 new corporations and community organizations in the mission of Paul’s Place . Clare is part of the four-member development team that raises $2.5 million annually to help individuals and families in Southwest Baltimore meet their immediate needs and move from crisis to self-sufficiency. Clare is an active community member and has held several volunteer, committee and advisory positions around greater Baltimore. Clare holds a B.S. in History from Towson University.
Theresa Evans is Director of Human Resources at Whiteford Taylor & Preston, a law firm comprised of over 300 employees in twelve offices. Theresa manages all aspects of human resources services, policies, and programs firm wide. Her service to Whiteford Taylor & Preston includes performance management, policy development and implementation, recruiting and staffing, employee relations, compensation and benefits administration, orientation, development and training, and employment and regulatory compliance.
Tamathia Moore Flowers has more than 20 years of higher education experience at four and two year colleges. She has held progressively responsible leadership positions in Human Resources and currently serves as a Human Resources Director with Montgomery College. Tamathia earned a Master’s of Science degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Management from Towson University. She is a certified mediator and EEO investigator. Tamathia enjoys coaching and mentoring aspiring human resources professionals as well as traveling abroad and participating in extreme sports.
Gail James has more than 22 years tenure at United Way of Central Maryland and has held positions as Accounting Manager, Controller, Director, Associate Vice President Donor Services, and most recently Vice President Donor Services. As Vice President Donor Services, Gail oversees and ensures the efficient processing of all non-electronic donor pledge activity, stock gifts, pledge payment application, accounts receivable collection work, and donor choice administration. Gail meticulously performs her job with integrity, ensuring that all areas of accountability are met. Gail was recently featured in the Daily Record’s June 2016 issue of Path to Excellence.
Elizabeth R. Kelly is an Associate at Hord Coplan Macht and a Certified Interior Designer. Adept at managing projects of all sizes, across multiple market sectors, she instills a passion in her work that results in thorough project management and highly responsive, aesthetically pleasing design solutions for her clients. Elizabeth seeks to foster collaboration and camaraderie within the design community and has been a past volunteer and board member for IIDA and the Maryland Coalition of Interior Designers. She enjoys any opportunity to talk to students and believes we are all stronger when knowledge is shared and relationships are fostered.
Roberta King is the Compliance Manager for Fidelity Investments, Towson Branch. She has been in the financial services industry for over eleven years and in leadership roles for the past six years. Roberta received her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in Finance and Financial Counseling. She went on to receive her Master’s degree from Ohio State in Organization Leadership. Roberta thrives on curiosity about people and the world around her. Furthermore she feels fortunate to work in an industry where she is literally in the business of helping clients’ dreams come true.
Cynthia Lewis is acting Deputy Director of Light Rail Operations for Maryland Transit Administration. Cynthia joined the MTA in 1979 as a part time Bus Operator. Since that time she has worked in several positions including full time Operator, Bus Supervisor, Light Rail Supervisor and Chief Supervisor, Bus Division Superintendent, Manager of the Bus Operations Control Center, and Manager of the Light Rail Operations Control Center.
Karen Maher serves as the Associate General Counsel of LifeBridge Health, Inc., one of the largest providers of health care and related services to the residents of Maryland. A trained mediator, Karen holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and a J.D. from The Catholic University of America where she was an associate editor of the communications law journal and earned an advanced certificate from its International and Comparative Law Institute. Karen has previously served as general counsel for two Maryland-based technology companies and has substantial experience in commercial transactions, intellectual property, employment law, mergers and acquisitions. She is the parent of four grown children and is a proud US Naval Academy sponsor.
Kellie Montgomery is a Senior Industry Specialist at The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, where she manages the Industry Excellence team. She is also the supervisor for Whiting-Turner’s efforts with Cristo Rey Jesuit School and has been doing so since 2006. A graduate of Towson University, Kellie joined Whiting-Turner in 2000 as an Assistant Marketing Coordinator. Kellie serves on the executive board of The Archdiocese of Baltimore (Archbishops Gala), the Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) for Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and many industry organizations annual conference committees. In addition, Kellie is the lead on Whiting-Turner’s sponsorship for Light City and coordinates many client and employee events that take place during the festival in Downtown Baltimore, along with BOPA.
Caitlin Nicholas is a practice leader at Nicholas & Associates, an HR advisor, for HR Solution Services. Caitlin works with employers of varying size and industry; helping them meet their HR needs in benefits, compensation, regulatory compliance, payroll and employee relations. Caitlin graduated from Seton Keough High School. She graduated Stevenson University with a degree in Business Communication and earned a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development from Towson University. A native of Ellicott City, MD, Caitlin is an active community volunteer and serves many local charities such as, Susan G. Komen Maryland and the Meghan Puls Foundation.
Tracie Oden serves as Assistant Vice President for Human Resources – Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center & Hospital and the Community Physician Enterprise. Tracie Oden has over 20 years of Human Resources and operational leadership experience with the majority of that experience at Medco Health Solutions and Express Scripts, one of the largest pharmacy benefit management health care companies. She currently has system-wide responsibility for Talent Acquisition and Succession Planning. Prior to joining LifeBridge Health, she was Global HR Director at W.R. Grace in Columbia, Maryland. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Ashland University.
Bethany Pace serves as Assistant Provost at Towson University. In addition to overseeing university commencement ceremonies, she provides leadership for academic engagement programs and activities that ensure the Office of the Provost’s strategic plan and initiatives are realized. Additionally, Bethany facilitates planning functions and works on the Office of the Provost’s behalf with senior academic administration to strengthen operational excellence, communications, student engagement, and interdivisional relationships. Bethany holds a Masters of Education, Counseling and Higher Education, and a Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, from Penn State University.
Melanie Samoska is a Vice President and Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Melanie works closely with high net worth individuals, families and institutions to address their complex financial needs and distinctive priorities. As a Private Client Advisor, Melanie leads a team of U.S. Trust specialists in the areas of investment management, credit, trust and estate planning services, banking, philanthropy and non-profit services to provide a holistic approach to wealth management. Prior to joining US Trust Melanie was a Business Banker for eight years handling immediate banking needs for mid-size businesses within the greater Maryland area. Melanie received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Lori Simpson is a director at Constellation, an Exelon Company, where she oversees the near term portfolio of power plants and load in Texas. Over her 10 years at Constellation she has traded electricity, gas, options and ancillary services as well as oversaw the transformation of Constellation’s assets for ERCOT’s nodal market. She had previously spent one year at DC Energy trading transmission congestion rights. Her master’s degree is from MIT, where she wrote the India portion of the MIT Coal Study under direction of Ernest Moniz. Lori received her undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Spanish from her home state of Nebraska.
Kathleen St. Villier serves as Director of the Elijah Cummings Youth Program, a joint collaboration between the Baltimore Jewish Council and Congressman Elijah Cummings. Kathleen is responsible for managing all aspects of the two-year fellowship program in which teens develop skills that help them become leaders who promote inter-ethnic, racial and religious understanding. Prior to joining the Baltimore Jewish Council, Kathleen spent nine years at For Love of Children (FLOC) in Washington, DC, where she managed a college access and success program for 200 students and helped FLOC enhance program offerings for middle school, high school and postsecondary students. Kathleen received a degree in Women Studies and History from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Krystle Starvis serves as Administrative Manager for Living Classrooms Foundation’s Workforce Development department. In addition to managing the program’s grants and contracts, Krystle is the Solutions Specialist for her team. After four years with the U.S. Army Research Lab and almost two years in her current role, she has discovered that gathering information and designing solutions is innate to her character. Krystle received her master’s degree in Human Services Administration from University of Baltimore in 2015. A lover of dance and event planning, Krystle’s mission is to combine her analytical skills and creative energy to impact her community in a strategic and transformative way.
Phaedra Stewart is Assistant Vice President of HR for LifeBridge Health, and is responsible for general HR functions at Sinai Hospital, as well as Employee and Labor Relations, Workforce Development and Occupational Health for the enterprise. Phaedra has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and has served in various roles within multiple industries including manufacturing, healthcare, higher education and data processing. Phaedra holds a B.A. in Economics from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from the University of Baltimore.


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