Who We Are

Board of Directors & Officers

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 both the Mayor’s Public Art Committee and the Sheldon 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.

Donna W. Woods


Board Member – Chair
Community Volunteer

Carl Eskridge


Board Member – Vice Chair
Deputy State Ombudsman
Lincoln City Councilman

A City Council representative for central and northwest Lincoln since May 2011, Carl also is Deputy State Ombudsman for the Nebraska Office of Public Counsel. He previously worked as the Executive Director of Common Cause-Nebraska and as a Minister with Homestead Presbytery, both in Lincoln.

Carl is the current Chairman of the Lincoln City Council and Chairman of the Internal Liquor Committee of the City Council. He also serves as a member of the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Committee and is a council contact for the Downtown Lincoln Association. Carl is a board member for NeighborWorks Lincoln.

Carl earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Doctorate of Ministry from the San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Carl Eskridge


Board Member – Vice Chair
Deputy State Ombudsman
Lincoln City Councilman

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.

Hank Woods


Board Member – Treasurer
Community Volunteer

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 also served as Assistant Treasurer to WCF before joining the Board of Directors. He served as President of WCF from 2005 to 2006. He continues to serve WCF as Assistant Treasurer.

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.

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.

Michael J. Tavlin


Assistant Treasurer
Speedway Motors, Inc.
Chief Financial Officer

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 serves on the boards of Lux Center for the Arts, the Lincoln Children’s Zoo and the Lincoln Community Playhouse and is a Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation Board of Trustees member.

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

Nelle Woods Jamison


Board Member
Community Volunteer

Candice Howell


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

Candice was elected to the WCF Board in 2014.

As the Assistant Dean for Student Success and Persistence 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.

Candice Howell


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

Former Board Members:

  • Thomas C. Woods III
    Board President
    1994-2000
  • 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

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 also served on boards for the Malone Community Center, the Community Health Endowment, the NAACP and CASA for Lancaster County and has been a member of the Mayor’s Multicultural Advisory Committee and the Mayor’s Community Cabinet.

Ed Wimes


Board Member
Community Volunteer

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 received a master of educational administration degree and a bachelor’s of science degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Michelle Suarez


Board Member
Developer, Prosper Lincoln

Staff

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.

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

Thomas C. Woods IV


President & Board Secretary

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

Joan Stolle


Operations Manager

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.

Nicole Juranek


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

Kathy Steinauer Smith


Senior Community
Investment Director