2016-2017 Board of Directors
President: Kendall V. Shaw
Kendall Shaw is a Senior Associate in the Cincinnati office of Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, LLP, practicing commercial and product liability litigation. After completing her B.A. at Denison University, cum laude, as a Psychology and Communication double major, Kendall received her J.D. from University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she was selected as a Student Articles Editor of the Law Review. She has served as a judicial law clerk to The Honorable James L. Graham, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio.
Kendall enjoys volunteering in the community and was elected President of the Saint Ursula Academy Alumnae Board, and has served as an advisor on the Alumnae Advisory Committee for the Ohio Kappa Chapter of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women at the University of Cincinnati, and as Chair of the Alumnae Advisory Committees for the Ohio Eta and Zeta chapters of Pi Beta Phi at Denison University and Miami University, respectively. A member of the Junior League of Cincinnati since 2009, Kendall has held positions as a New Member Advisor, served on the Board of Directors as its Legal Advisor and as the Vice-Chair and Chair of its Nominating Committee. In 2014, she received the JLC’s Jeanne Boyce Morrison President’s Award. She is a member of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce WE Lead Class 8 and the Secretary of the Cincinnati Bar Association’s non-profit Law Committee.
President-Elect: Vicki Marsala Calonge
Having received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from the University of Cincinnati, Vicki is a proud Bearcat through and through. Her love for working in higher education and commitment to student development is evident from her tenure as she served in the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development at her Alma Mater, for over ten years. During that time she also taught classes as an Adjunct Instructor in the Center for Access and Transition and the College of Allied Health Sciences. Additionally, out of a passion for inspiring others to fitness, Vicki became certified to teach group fitness classes, was a personal trainer and designed and coordinated a revenue-generating and comprehensive fitness, nutrition, wellness, and social program for brides-to- be. Currently, Vicki works as a freelance event production consultant.
Vicki joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2008. Prior to her appointment as President-Elect, Vicki served as the Vice President of Community Impact on the Board of Directors, Nominating Committee Vice Chair and Chair, Kids in the Kitchen Co-Vice Chair and Co-Chair, and as an engaged member of the Strategic Planning Ad Hoc Committee, Infrastructure Ad Hoc Committee, and RefugeeConnect Committee. Vicki is the proud recipient of the 2010 JLC Jeanne Boyce Morrison President’s Award. In addition to her volunteer work for the JLC, Vicki also serves on the Duke Energy Children’s Museum Advisory Board, the Cincinnati Ballet Dancer Sponsorship Committee, and she is a Fall 2010 Graduate of the United Way of Cincinnati Board Orientation and Leadership Development (BOLD) program. Vicki uses the volunteer management skills she honed in the JLC out in the community working on large-scale community events such as the Cincinnati Parks Foundation Hats Off Luncheon, Cincinnati Community Organizing Committee for the MLB All-Star Summer 2015, and Dress for Success Cincinnati Fashion Show. Through serving in these professional and volunteer roles, Vicki has developed her skills in managing programs and large-scale events, developing strategic plans to increase efficiency, training and coaching leaders, managing large numbers of volunteers, creating and evaluating assessment tools, and managing large budgets. She is a proud lifelong resident of Cincinnati and truly loves this great city of ours. Vicki and her husband, Allan, reside in Madeira with their two children.
Secretary: Kate Fortlage
Kate Fortlage began at Formica in April 2014 and is a Senior Manager in the Marketing Department with proven abilities in strategic planning, managing projects and direct reports, driving top-line and bottom-line sales growth, and influencing cross functional managers. Prior to Formica, she was a Brand Manager for KAO USA, where she worked for over 8 years. She received her B.A. from Bowling Green State University in 1999 and her MBA from the University of Dayton in 2005. Born in Toledo, Kate relocated to Cincinnati after her MBA to start her marketing career at KAO. Currently, she manages the residential segment at Formica and is responsible for developing and leading brand strategy, innovation, and marketing plans. Kate joined the Junior League of Dayton in 2000 and transferred to the JLC in 2006. She has served on every JLC Council and has been a leader on all Councils but one (New Member Vice Chair and Chair, Social Vice Chair and Chair, Nominating Committee Vice Chair and Chair). Kate also served on the Board of Directors as Special Projects and led an Ad Hoc Committee in creating the JLC strategic plan. She also led the points system initiative, and served in an Out-of-League Placement as a Steering Committee Chair for the All-Star Game.
Legal Advisor: Lauren Solimine
Lauren Solimine is an Associate with the law firm Cummins & Brown LLC, where she is involved in all aspects of the firm’s corporate and litigation practice, with a particular focus on securities and corporate governance. Prior to joining Cummins & Brown, Lauren was an Associate with Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, a large litigation firm located in New York City, where she focused on complex commercial litigation.
Born and raised on the east coast, Lauren credits her involvement with Junior League for making Cincinnati now seem like home. Since joining in 2013, Lauren has served on the Nominating Committee, as a Training Lead for Leadership Development Committee, and as a member of the Membership Outreach and Events Committee. She is also a Board Member and Secretary for Attitude – Cincinnati Ballet’s Young Patrons Organization, as well as a member of Kindervelt #50 and ProKids Young Professionals. A graduate of Boston University and Brooklyn Law School, Lauren lives in Indian Hill with her husband, Peter, and her two daughters, Charlotte and Gwendolyn.
Treasurer: Kristian Scarpitti
Kristian is a Finance Manager at Ethicon, Inc. (part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies). She received her B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Miami University and her M.B.A. from Xavier University with a concentration in Marketing. Since joining the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2010, Kristian has served on the 5K, Nominating, and Membership Satisfactions Committees, as well as Chaired the Transfers Committee, and now serves on the Board as the Treasurer. In addition to her involvement with the JLC, she is involved with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Heart Institute Patient-Family Advisory Council. Kristian and her husband, Andy, reside in Hyde Park with their three children, Evie, Andrew and Nick.
At-Large Member: Sara Cooperrider
Sara Cooperrider joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2011 and has made a considerable impact in the past four years. As a New Member, in addition to serving on the Kids in the Kitchen Committee, she joined the Program Development Committee, and helped lead what was to ultimately become the RefugeeConnect project since its inception. Sara was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors in 2012-2013, while continuing her role on the Program Development Committee. Sara has her undergraduate degree from Miami University and her law degree and master’s in public health from George Washington University. After working in health policy in Washington, Sara practiced with the law firm of Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur in her hometown of Cincinnati. After two years with the firm, she took a position as Assistant General Counsel at UC Health, where she is employed today. She also currently serves a leadership position on the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Nonprofit Law Committee and enjoys volunteering with ProKids. Sara and her husband, Tony, live in Hyde Park with their daughter.
Judy Schneider Dalambakis has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Cincinnati. Her past work experience includes: Associate Director of Admissions at the University of Cincinnati, Director of Community Relations for Joseph Beth Booksellers, Columnist for the Cincinnati Post and a Columnist for Express Cincinnati.
Judy served as President for the Junior League of Cincinnati, President of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, Chair of the Friends of the Cincinnati Art Museum and President of BRAVO of the Cincinnati Ballet.
She has served on numerous boards including the Alzheimer’s Association, Playhouse in the Park, Association of Volunteers for Children’s Convalescent Hospital, Friends of the Art Museum, UC Alumni Board of Governors, Civic Garden Center, Junior League of Cincinnati, Women Helping Women, Impact 100, and currently serves on the UC Bicentennial Commission, the Christ Hospital Foundation, and the Cincinnati Ballet Board as the co-chair of Etoile.
Judy has chaired numerous fundraisers raising thousands of dollars for nonprofits including Cincinnati Zoo’s Zoofair, Cincinnati Art Museum, Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Parks Foundation, Junior League and the Alzheimer’s Association.
She has been recognized as a 2006 Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year, A Girl Scout Woman of Distinction, the University of Cincinnati’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award recipient, received the Junior League’s President’s Award and been honored as a UC Communication Alumni Champion.
At-Large Member: Mary Ivers
Mary Ivers started her business career as an entrepreneur, co-founding an INC 500 software company, Software Clearing House. As this company grew over 15 years, Mary learned how to expand an organization on a tight budget and also worked with many of the internal systems for managing clients, databases, mailing campaigns, and websites – all skills that would later prove useful when managing a thriving nonprofit. In 1999 Mary started an affiliate of Dress for Success in Cincinnati. Mary also started an Earned Income Venture, called the 4th Street Boutique, a thrift store, to sell excess clothing to generate proceeds for the support of the Dress for Success mission. Mary retired from Dress for Success Cincinnati in 2012 and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.
Mary is an alum and a trustee of Mount St. Joseph University and has been a Commencement speaker and awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree. She is a Cincinnati Enquirer Women of the Year, a Great Rivers Girl Scout Council Woman of Distinction, and an Athena Award Finalist. Mary is also member of Leadership Cincinnati Class 12 and Leadership Northern Kentucky. However, Mary’s greatest accomplishment is being a mother of four and the grandmother of seven.
At-Large Member: Alison Bushman
Alison Bushman joined the JLC in 2009. She served for three years as a New Member Advisor, and as a member of the Nominating and Membership Outreach & Events Committees. While serving as the Chair of a new Membership Recruitment Committee, she also stepped in a completed a term as Vice President of Membership. Alison has her undergraduate degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She currently works as the President & CEO of Bake Me Home, a non-profit organization she founded in 2008 with her twin daughters. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Cincinnati History Museum, and is the Vice President of the Corporation Board of the Beta Sigma Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta. Alison is a Board Member Emeritus of Beech Acres Parenting Center and the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. She is a native of Washington, DC, and relocated to Cincinnati in 1995. Alison, and her husband, Lee, live in Anderson with their teenage daughters, Amy and Emma.
Sustainer Advisor: Melanie M. Chavez
Melanie Chavez is a Principal with Chavez Properties, a third generation family business headquartered in Cincinnati. Along with her responsibilities for Chavez Properties, Melanie manages Construction and Brand Messaging for Fast Park. Prior to joining Chavez Properties, Melanie enjoyed a career in management consulting with Ernst & Young and Pritchett & Associates. After completing her B.A. at Xavier University, cum laude, as a Music major, Melanie received her M.B.A. and M.A. from Southern Methodist University.
Melanie is an active member of the community currently serving as a Trustee for the Cincinnati Opera, the May Festival Association where she is Vice-Chair, and The Summit Country Day School. She spent 10 years as a Junior League of Cincinnati Active Member, during which time she was awarded the 2007 Presidents Award and held numerous leadership positions including President in 2011-2012. Most recently, Melanie was co-chair of the 2015 Community Organizing Committee which helped engage community and augment activities surrounding the 2015 MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Melanie has been recognized by Inspire Magazine as an Inspiring Volunteer of the Year, was a member of the 40 Under Forty Class of 2011, was recognized by Venue Magazine with a Board Chair Award in 2011, was a member of Leadership Cincinnati Class 38, received the Rising Star Award from the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra in 2014, and in 2015, received a Spirit of Cincinnati USA Partnership Award. She resides in Hyde Park with her husband Jeremy and her three children Jackson, Jefferson and Natalie.
Executive Management Team
VP Communications: Haley B. Elkins
Haley B. Elkins has spent the last twelve years helping individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits find the right technology and communication tools, and she is passionate about putting these tools in the hands of more women. She has previously served as the Operations Manager for Cincinnati Ballet, and the Managing Director for Know Theatre of Cincinnati and MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir. She has worked with the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the Feminist Majority Foundation, the Texas Equal Access Fund, Younger Woman’s Task Force: D.C. Metro, and the BlueGreen Alliance, among others.
She was named a YWCA Rising Star in 2013, and was a recipient of the Junior League of Cincinnati Excellence in Training Award in 2015. She has been a member of the Junior League of Cincinnati since 2009; her roles have included the Chair and Vice Chair of the Online Committee, the Volunteer Coordinator for CinSation, and the Nominating Chair of the Junior Leagues of Ohio State Public Affairs Committee.
Haley is a nationally recognized writer whose work has been translated into multiple languages and published on xoJane, Indian Country Today, The Good Men Project, and Rue89, among others. She holds a degree in English literature and feminist theory with a minor in technical writing from the University of North Texas. She and her husband, Luke Brockmeier, have lived in Madisonville for ten years.
Danielle Deja serves as Vice President of Operations at Fidelity Investments, supporting recordkeeping and administration of equity compensation plans. She received her B.A. of Business Administration from the University of Dayton in 2001. She has been an active member of the Junior League of Cincinnati since 2008.
Prior to serving as the VP of Community Impact, she was a Chair on the RefugeeConnect Committee, Co-Chair of New Members, and served on Community & Outreach, CinSation, Nominating, and Program Development Committees. She received the Excellence in Training Award in 2012 for her work on the New Member Curriculum and Program Development Committee.
Danielle was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and now resides in Anderson Township with her husband, Justin, and sons Lucas and Ben.
Stephanie Skryzowski is the Chief Financial Officer of buildOn, a nonprofit that breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. She is also the owner of 100 Degrees Consulting, which provides financial and operational leadership to help nonprofits change the world. Having spent the better part of a decade in the apple orchards of Afghanistan, terai of Nepal, and mountains of Haiti among other far-flung locales, Stephanie gained vast on-the-ground experience leading teams and organizations around the globe. She currently serves clients working in community and economic development, education, and microfinance in Cincinnati, East Africa, West Africa, Haiti, Nepal, and Nicaragua.
Stephanie received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University, specializing in nonprofit management and finance. She also has a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from SUNY Brockport. Stephanie joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2014 and served on the Finance Committee her first active year. Stephanie loves her work with nonprofits, running marathons, hiking with her husband and dog, and traveling the globe. She is originally from Rochester, NY and currently resides in West Chester with her husband, Mark.
Maggie Wuellner serves as the Executive Director of the Hamilton County Republican Party and the District Finance Director for Congressman Brad Wenstrup in Ohio’s second district, raising approximately $1 million a year for the organizations combined. Maggie completed her B.A. in 2003 from Xavier University with a double major in Spanish and Political Science. While at Xavier, she competed on the Women’s Tennis team and she continues to play today. She is also an avid runner as she has completed 5 marathons.
In addition to her involvement in the Junior League, Maggie served as Treasurer and President to the Hyde Park Kindervelt Committee. Maggie and her husband, Mark, reside in Mt. Lookout with their three children: Millie, David and Ford.
She resides in Mt. Lookout with her husband (Drew), daughter (Emory), son (Ford) and two dogs (Murphy & Briggs). When not working or spending time with her family, Megan enjoys several hobbies including her fashion blog, Polka Dots & Pleats.
After joining the JLC in 2009, Megan has served in various leadership roles including New Member Advisor, Chair of Membership Outreach & Events, and Chair of Major Gifts. She has also served on Ad Hoc Committees, including New Member Curriculum (from her years as a teacher and assistant principal) and Points & Obligations.
Deanna is a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) and Senior Wealth Strategy Associate at UBS Financial Services. She received her B. S. in Economics from Miami University and her Masters of Business Administration from Xavier University. She joined the Junior League of Cincinnati in 2008 and received the Excellence in Training Award in 2013. During her active years she has served on the Nominating Committee, as Co-Chair and Co-Vice Chair of New Members, a committee member on the Fall JLC Jog 5K and the 90th Gala Fundraiser and, most recently, was involved with the JLC’s pediatric oral health project, Grin Up!
Deanna has also served on the Advisory Council for United Way 211 and has been an active volunteer for Bake Me Home. She was born and raised in the Cleveland area and moved to Cincinnati in 2003. She currently resides in Loveland with her husband, Bryan, and daughters Meredith and Natalie.
Buffie Rixey is a nurse and committed to volunteering. She grew up and went to school in Switzerland and The Netherlands, and returned to the United States for High School. Buffie attended Miami of Ohio for two years, and then The University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Buffie worked for Planned Parenthood, an Endocrinology Physician, as a charge nurse in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Bethesda Base Hospital, as a private duty nurse for Upjohn Healthcare services and as a Home Health Care nurse.
VP Sustainer Council: Kelly Lyle
Kelly Lyle is the Health Affairs Program Officer for the University of Cincinnati’s Academic Health Center. Kelly has her Master’s in Health Administration and a Master’s of Science in Health Promotion and Education. She is a member of the UC Women Lead class of 2015 and is chair of the UC Integrative Health Task Force as well as other steering committee roles. She is also a Mind Body Facilitator for students at the Academic Health Center and has helped develop the teaching kitchen curriculum for students as well.
Kelly also enjoys volunteering for the community and has been heavily involved in the 1st Ladies for Health event, UC Bicentennial Celebrations Committee, American Heart Association and the Seven Hills Neighborhood Center in the West End. Kelly currently lives in Anderson with her husband Chris and their youngest son and two spoiled dogs. They have three boys, two in college in one still in high school.
VP Sustainer Council: Buffie Rixey
Buffie retired from nursing and then committed to giving back as a volunteer, supporting numerous non-profit organizations with a focus on education, women, children and health. She believes there is nothing more rewarding than volunteering and helping others. Buffie served as a PTO President at the Indian Hill Middle School, started the International Parents Network there and chaired their Winter Festival. Buffie also served as the PTO President for the Indian Hill High School, chaired their district wide fundraiser, Party on the Hill, three times, Co-founded The Indian Hill Odd Couples Dance to raise funds for After Prom, chaired After Prom twice, was a founding member of The Indian Hill Public Schools Foundation serving on the board for ten years, and served on The Coalition for a Drug Free Greater Cincinnati.
Buffie served as the President for the Indian Hill Kindervelt #50 group, and then as President of The Kindervelt City Wide Board of Trustees, a 2 year commitment, raising over 1 million dollars for Cincinnati
Children’s during a 2 year term and was then honored at the Cincinnati Children’s Celestial Ball in 2012. Buffie served on The American Heart Association Heart Ball, co-chaired,with her husband, The Friends of Boyscouting Campaign for two years, and chaired Ladies Day for The Cincinnati Horticultural Society. Buffie sang with The Junior League Choral Group for more than thirty years and she currently sings with the Cincinnati Woman’s Club Choral Class. Buffie supports Josh Cares, The Pink Ribbon Luncheon, Dress for Success and numerous other non-profit organizations.
Buffie was the recipient of the 4C Champion for Children award in 2013 and received Venue Magazines Civic Leadership Award in 2014. She is currently serving the second year of a three year commitment on the Cincinnati Woman’s Club Board of Trustees,serves on The University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing Advisory Board, helps with The Salvation Army Camp Swoneky HOPE event, and Co-Chairs The Junior League’s Sustainer Council for the second year, with her dear friend, Kelly Lyle. Buffie lives in Indian Hill and is married to her high school sweetheart, Eppa, and together they raised two wonderful daughters and a son, who are all married. One daughter, Sarah Pharr, is a Junior League member and lives in Cincinnati with her husband JP. Buffie loves spending time with her family and friends, snow skiing, sailing and kayaking in Michigan, singing and helping others. She is blessed to also have two precious grandchildren living in Charlevoix, Ellie and Jack, and a fabulous grand-dog in Cincinnati, named Lucy.