Board of Directors & Officers

Nelle Woods Jamison

Board Member – Chair Community Volunteer

Nelle Woods Jamison

Board Member – Chair Community Volunteer

Nelle was elected to the WCF Board in 2005 and Board Chair in 2019.

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.

She serves on the Woods Tennis Educational Foundation Board.

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

Ed Wimes

Board Member - Vice Chair Community Volunteer

Ed Wimes

Board Member - Vice Chair 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.

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 Children's Zoo and is on the board of trustees for the Madonna Foundation, Lighthouse 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 Chair of the WCF Board 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.

Michelle Suarez

Board Member Community Volunteer

Michelle Suarez

Board Member Community Volunteer

Michelle was elected to the board in 2017.

Michelle served children and families in the Lincoln Public Schools as an elementary school principal and teacher for 34 years. Until her retirement in December 2019, she was the Early Childhood Developer for the Prosper Lincoln initiative, which works to increase cross-sector initiatives and resources to advocate for and improve early-childhood development. She has served on several local and state boards including Nebraska Appleseed, Nebraska State College System and the Food Bank of Lincoln. In addition, she served on the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission and the South of Downtown Coalition Steering Committee.

She received a Master's of Educational Administration degree and a Bachelor's of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Pablo Cervantes

Board Member Owner
Casa Property Management

Pablo Cervantes

Board Member Owner
Casa Property Management

Pablo was elected to the board in 2018.

He is owner of Casa Property Management. 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, the Bryan Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Board of Counselors for Prosper Lincoln’s job skills initiative.

Jay Conrad

Board Member Executive Director
Houses of Hope

Jay Conrad

Board Member Executive Director
Houses of Hope

Jay was elected to the board in 2019.

Since 1991, he has been the executive director of Houses of Hope, which provides residential and support services for individuals impacted by substance use and related mental-health issues.

Jay has served on local boards including Gathering Place, St. Monica's, CenterPointe, Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations, Cause Collective, Nebraska AIDS Project, and DHHS Board of Alcohol and Drug Licensure. He works at the national level to increase awareness and need for behavioral health services.

Suk Wortman

Board Member Director of Direct Marketing
Arbor Day Foundation

Suk Wortman

Board Member Director of Direct Marketing
Arbor Day Foundation

Suk was elected to the board in 2020.

Wortman is Director of Direct Marketing at the Arbor Day Foundation, which has the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. She also worked in marketing and sales positions at financial tech, bio-tech and agricultural businesses in Nebraska and Illinois.

She received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, in business communication management and legal studies in business. She is a member of the capital campaign committee of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church and volunteers with the Food Bank of Lincoln.

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

  • Donna W. WoodsChair Emerita
    2001-2019
    Chair, 2007-2019
  • Michael J. Tavlin2000-2006
    Chair, 2005-2006
  • Stephen Sands1999-2004
    Chair, 2003-2004
  • Thomas D. Potter1997-2002
    Chair, 2000-2002
  • Thomas C. Woods III1994-2000
    Chair, 1994-2000
  • Candice Howell2015-2020
  • Carl Eskridge2013-2018
  • Ernesto Castillo Jr.2012-2017
  • Orville Jones III2011-2016
  • Kathleen Rutledge2009-2014
  • Tyre (TJ) McDowell2007-2012
  • Jose J. Soto2006-2011
  • Ann Chang2005-2010
  • Lynn Roper2003-2008
  • Eugene Crump2000-2005
  • Susan Ugai1999-2004
  • Avery L. Woods1998-2005
  • Marjorie J. Woods1995-2000
  • Joel Gajardo1994-1998
  • Marilyn Johnson-Farr1994-1998
  • Marie Fischer1992-1996
  • Sydney Beane1991-1994
  • Sheila Griffin1987-1991
  •  

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.