Board of Directors & Officers

Donna W. Woods

Board Member – Chair Community Volunteer

Donna W. Woods

Board Member – Chair Community Volunteer

Donna was elected to the WCF Board in 2001.

A longtime community volunteer, she currently serves as a trustee for Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, a board member for the Sheldon Art Association and a member of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment Advisory Board.

Donna was married for 33 years to Thomas C. “Chip” Woods III, the great-grandson of Frank and Nelle Woods, until his death in 2000.

Candice Howell

Board Member – Vice Chair Nebraska Wesleyan University
Assistant Dean for Student
Success and Persistence

Candice Howell

Board Member – Vice Chair Nebraska Wesleyan University
Assistant Dean for Student
Success and Persistence

Candice was elected to the WCF Board in 2014.

As the Director of Student Success and Retention at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Candice provides academic success services and help to students whose progress to graduation is at risk. Prior to this, Candice served for five years as the Assistant to the Provost for Student Success and Diversity at NWU, and, during her time in the position, enrollment of undergraduate students of color increased nearly 41%.

Candice received a Master’s degree in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy of Daphne, Alabama and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.

Hank Woods

Board Member – Treasurer Community Volunteer

Hank Woods

Board Member – Treasurer Community Volunteer

Hank was elected to the WCF Board in 2005.

Hank earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1995. Previously he worked for NAI FMA Realty in Lincoln in property sales and leasing for office and retail space and as a Mortgage Banker for TCF National Bank in Minneapolis.

Hank serves on the board of the Lincoln Community Foundation and is on the board of trustees for the Madonna Foundation and Mourning Hope. Hank also serves on the board of directors for Sahara Enterprises, Inc., a privately held company in Chicago.

Hank is the great-great grandson of Frank and Nelle Woods, who in 1941 established WCF as a philanthropic organization.

Michael J. Tavlin

Assistant Treasurer Speedway Motors, Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

Michael J. Tavlin

Assistant Treasurer Speedway Motors, Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

Mike served on the WCF Board from 2000 to 2006, but his service to WCF began long before then. When Woods Charitable Fund divided its endowment and management between offices in Lincoln and Chicago in 1993, Mike was instrumental in guiding WCF’s Lincoln office as it chose investment managers and established an investment policy. He served as President of WCF from 2005 to 2006, and he has served WCF as Assistant Treasurer since 2007.

Since 2001, Mike has worked as Chief Financial Officer for Speedway Motors and Speedway Properties. Before that, Mike was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Interactive Intelligence, Inc. in Indianapolis as well as Vice President-Treasurer and Secretary for Aliant Communications, Inc. (formerly The Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph Company). Prior to that, Mike had a career in public accounting and the private practice of law.

Mike is a Trustee of the University of Nebraska Foundation and serves as a member of the Investment Committee for the $2+ Billion fund. From 1998 to 2013, Mike volunteered with the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln serving as a Trustee, Treasurer, Vice Chairman and finally as its Chairman from 2011 to 2013. Today he serves as an advisor to its investment committee.

Nelle Woods Jamison

Board Member Community Volunteer

Nelle Woods Jamison

Board Member Community Volunteer

Nelle was elected to the WCF Board in 2005.

Nelle earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In the past, she worked as the Director of Membership for the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul and as an Art Assistant for Creating Pride, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to supporting schools facing reduced art programs.

Nelle is the great-great granddaughter of Frank and Nelle Woods, who in 1941 established WCF as a philanthropic organization.

Ed Wimes

Board Member Community Volunteer

Ed Wimes

Board Member Community Volunteer

Ed was elected to the WCF Board in 2016.

Wimes is owner of E&S Consulting, providing leadership coaching, human resources management and diversity/inclusion strategies to firms and institutions. Prior to retirement, Wimes served as Special Assistant to the President of the University of Nebraska and for 14 years as the University’s Assistant Vice President/Director of Human Resources.

A retired Army Officer, Ed has served on boards for the Malone Community Center, the Community Health Endowment, the NAACP and CASA for Lancaster County. He was a former commissioner for the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission and has been a member of the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Committee, the Mayor’s Community Cabinet and the City of Lincoln’s Personnel Board. He is a current member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Freedom Breakfast” Committee.

Michelle Suarez

Board Member Developer, Prosper Lincoln

Michelle Suarez

Board Member Developer, Prosper Lincoln

Michelle was elected to the board in 2017.

She is the Early Childhood Developer for the Prosper Lincoln initiative at the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, which works to increase cross-sector initiatives and resources to advocate for and improve early-childhood development. Before joining Prosper Lincoln, she was a principal, administrator and teacher in Lincoln Public Schools for more than 30 years.

Michelle is a board member of the Food Bank of Lincoln, Men With Dreams, Nebraska Appleseed and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State College System. She serves on the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission and the South of Downtown Coalition Steering Committee. She received a Master of Educational Administration degree and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Pablo Cervantes

Board Member Migrant Education Coordinator
& Latino Youth Advocate
Lincoln Public Schools

Pablo Cervantes

Board Member Migrant Education Coordinator
& Latino Youth Advocate
Lincoln Public Schools

Pablo was elected to the board in 2018.

He is the Migrant Education Coordinator and Latino Youth Advocate for Lincoln Public Schools and owns three property management and maintenance companies providing affordable housing options. He is choreographer and artistic director of three Mexican folkloric dance troupes in Lincoln.

Pablo is a board member of the South of Downtown Community Development Organization and the Lincoln Public Schools’ Community Learning Centers, the Bryan Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Board of Counselors for Prosper Lincoln’s job skills initiative.

Staff

Thomas C. Woods IV

President & Board Secretary

Thomas C. Woods IV

President & Board Secretary

Tom began working for Woods Charitable Fund in 1999 and served as Senior Program Officer prior to his promotion to President in 2012.

Before joining WCF, Tom served as Program Associate at the Community Foundation Serving Coastal South Carolina (Charleston). He received both a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Certificate of Non-Profit Management from the University of Pittsburgh. He has volunteered with several local nonprofit and community organizations.

Tom is the great-great grandson of Frank and Nelle Woods, who in 1941 established WCF as a philanthropic organization.

Joan Stolle

Operations Manager

Joan Stolle

Operations Manager

Joan began working for WCF in 1990 and currently directs office management, information processing, systems development and business operations.

Previously, Joan taught in the public education system and just before joining WCF worked for the E.A. Mellinger Educational Foundation, a private scholarship foundation in Monmouth, Illinois. She has volunteered with several local nonprofit, neighborhood and community organizations.

She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an emphasis in Vocational Education.

Former Board Members

Former Board Members

  • Thomas C. Woods III
    Board President
    1994-2000
  • Carl Eskridge
    2013-2018
  • Ernesto Castillo Jr.
    2012-2017
  • Orville Jones III
    2011-2016
  • Kathleen Rutledge
    2009-2014
  • Tyre (TJ) McDowell
    2007-2012
  • Jose J. Soto
    2006-2011
  • Ann Chang
    2005-2010
  • Lynn Roper
    2003-2008
  • Michael J. Tavlin
    2000-2006
  • Eugene Crump
    2000-2005
  • Stephen Sands
    1999-2004
  • Susan Ugai
    1999-2004
  • Avery L. Woods
    1998-2005
  • Thomas D. Potter
    1997-2002
  • Marjorie J. Woods
    1995-2000
  • Joel Gajardo
    1994-1998
  • Marilyn Johnson-Farr
    1994-1998
  • Marie Fischer
    1992-1996
  • Sydney Beane
    1991-1994
  • Sheila Griffin
    1987-1991

Kathy Steinauer Smith

Senior Community Investment Director

Kathy Steinauer Smith

Senior Community Investment Director

Kathy has worked at WCF since 2012 and handles program review, grants management and public relations.

Before joining WCF, Kathy worked at the Lincoln Journal Star in several editing roles beginning in 2005. She also has worked in public relations for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has been an editor at newspapers in Iowa, California and Nevada. She has volunteered with several local nonprofit organizations in varying roles since 2001.

She received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Nicole Juranek

Community Investment Director

Nicole Juranek

Community Investment Director

Nicole began working at WCF in 2017 and handles program review, grants management and public relations.

Before joining WCF, Nicole worked for Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters developing, managing and monitoring grants, coordinating events and drafting agency communications. She has worked and volunteered at several local nonprofit organizations in varying roles since 2001.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Communication Studies with a minor in Political Science.