Staff

Gabriela Jimenez

Executive
Director

Gaby Jimenez
2023 – Present

Gaby’s Profile

Director of Development

Jon Williams
2021 – Present

Jon’s Profile

Board Officers

Melissa LempkePresident

(1st year of the first-year term)

Melissa Lien Lempke  
First Elected 2021-22

Melissa’s Profile

Martin Rodriguez Nuñez

Vice President

(1st Year of first two-year term)

Martin Rodriguez Nunez  

Advisor
Ramirez Advisors Inter National, LLC

Martin’s Profile

Secretary

(2nd Year of first two-year term)

Shannon Warner
First Elected 2021-2022

Managing Director Operations
Business Banking JP Morgan Chase
Shannon’s Profile

Treasurer

(2nd year of first two-year term)

Gary L. Williams, CPA
First Elected 2021-22

Gary’s Profile

At Large Board Members

Lenay Dunn
First Elected 2016

Deputy Director
Regional Educational Laboratory West at WestEd
Lenay’s Profile

Joseph Segal
First Elected 2018
Manager
Compliance and Integrity, Early Warning

Kevin Reilly
First Elected 2021
Software Developer
Savvas Learning Company
Kevin’s Profile

Andrew Wallace
First Elected 2021
Senior Financial Analyst
UnitedHealthcare in Phoenix
Andrew’s Profile

Diana Aguirre-Rosales
First Elected 2022

Fiscal Director
Maricopa Community College Foundation in Phoenix

Kim Eicher
First Elected 2022

Lead Business Execution Consultant
Wells Fargo Mortgage in Phoenix

Kim’s Profile

Tom Bogardus
First Elected 2022

Retired (Finance, Operations and Leadership)
Tom’s Profile

Jennings Mayne
First Elected 2022

Sr. Compliance Group Manager, Strategy and Planning
TD Bank in Phoenix

Michelle Lewis
First Elected 2022

Michelle Lewis ASSF Board Member

VP, Enterprise and Operational Risk
Early Warning
Michelle’s Profile

 

Profiles

 

Gaby Jimenez is the Executive Director of A Stepping Stone Foundation.  She has her M.Ed in Secondary Education and her BA in Spanish Literature from Arizona State University.

Since 2002, Gaby was employed with ASU. Prior to that, she worked with Education America at UA and Pima Community College. She directly assisted students and their families with advocacy and crisis management and provided guidance navigating the complicated process of admissions and financial aid.  She has extensive training and understanding of federal and institutional regulations, policies and procedures, evaluating the eligibility for federal programs, awarding federal and institutional funding, and providing information about academic programs, as well as services offered by ASU.

Throughout all of her professional experiences, Gaby’s passion has been to inspire and motivate students to pursue and succeed in education as well as coordinating with other areas of the community and the university to promote access to Higher Education as well as reduce obstacles for students and their families. Originally from El Paso Texas, Gaby has lived in Phoenix Arizona since 2002.

Jon Williams has joined the A Stepping Stone Foundation as its first Director of Development. Over the span of his 25+ year career in working with non-profits in a development and fundraising role, he has created success in building and maintaining relationships with donors and supporters raising the needed funding to make a difference for the community organization where he was serving.

Most recently, he was the Fund Development Officer for the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Phoenix and has served as the Development Manager for United Food Bank in Mesa. Over his career, he has worked in fundraising with national health nonprofits including the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association, along with similar roles with food insecurity organization including the Food Bank of Northern Indiana and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix.

Jon has a B.S. in Business Administration from Ball State University in Muncie, IN and has lived in the Phoenix area for over 15 years. Originally from South Bend, IN, Jon currently lives in Chandler, AZ and loves outdoor activities, community events and the visits to Sedona!
RETURN

Dr. Lenay Dunn serves as Deputy Director of the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) at WestEd. Across her portfolio of work, she provides research, evaluation, and technical assistance on topics including systemic reform, formative assessment, and school and district improvement.

Dr. Dunn also serves as a faculty associate for the ASU Lodestar Center’s Nonprofit Management Institute where she teaches the Measuring for Impact course and courses for the Social Impact Measurement Certificate. She is an experienced educational leader, researcher, and evaluator.

When asked why she joined A Stepping Stone Foundation Board, she replied, “I believe in the power of family literacy and high quality early learning experiences to equip young children, and their families, with the tools to become lifelong learners and leaders. The mission of ASSF is close to my heart and I am honored to be a board member for such an important organization.”

RETURN to BOARD MEMBERS

 

Tom Bogardus is originally from Mt. Vernon, Ohio.  Over the course of Tom’s 38-year career in the financial services industry, he held leadership roles at Discover Financial Services, American Express and Zelle, and resided in; Chicago; Columbus, OH; Brighton, England; and Phoenix. In 2017, Tom joined the board of directors of Aunt Rita’s Foundation, and served as treasurer for three years. Tom enjoys travel and has visited many destinations in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. One of his favorite places to visit is Bali, Indonesia.  Tom joined the ASSF board in 2022, “because I want to help with ASSF’s work promoting and enabling literacy among underserved families in our community.  I do this in honor of all the great teachers I had in school, especially my second-grade teacher who helped me overcome difficulties I had learning to read.  I know first-hand that learning to read is critical to a child’s success in school and throughout their lifetime.  I am proud to be a part of ASSF’s important mission.”

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Kim Eicher grew up in Glendale, AZ, but currently lives in Chandler with her partner Jeff and their two fur babies. She has been in the financial services industry for 20+ years and is a business strategy and execution consultant within the mortgage division of Wells Fargo. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a minor in International Business. Kim has previously held officer positions with P.E.O. International, supporting women’s education and is excited to expand her support of education for Arizona families by joining ASSF. In her free time, she loves traveling, photography, and the arts.

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Melissa Lempke, originally from Grafton, WI, currently lives in Phoenix. She is Director of Marketing and Communications with The MAVEN Project in Phoenix. She remembers vacationing in Vancouver, BC fondly, but closer to home, you can find her doing her workout routine and making a new batch of baked items! Melissa joined the ASSF board because “I have been connected to A Stepping Stone Foundation for a long time and I admire the mission and the resilience of the organization. I also firmly believe that access to quality early learning opportunities is critical to a child’s future success in school. If we want to improve education outcomes in Arizona, we must make sure all students start kindergarten ready to succeed.”

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Michelle Lewis is Vice President of Enterprise and Operational Risk Management at Early Warning Services, the network operator behind the well known person to person payments service Zelle.  Michelle has extensive experience providing global regulartory compliance, risk management, governance and legal experise and leadership to compoanies within the finacnial sercies and fintech industries.  She has prevoiusly served as a Memer of the Board of Directors for The Phoenix Theater, and has been an advocate for Educartion Forward Arizona since 2016.  Michele holds a Jusi Doctor frpom Georg Washington University and  bachelor of Arts degree from New York University.

Michlle and her fmaily moved to Arizona from New York City in 20065.  She loves traveling to Italy with her husband (a native of Tuscany) and her two children to visit fmaiy and soad up the Tuscan sun! Michelle is passionate about education and is excited to be a ble to give back to the community in this space as part of ASSF’s Board.

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Kevin Reilly is originally from Chandler, and currently lives in Phoenix. Kevin is currently a Web Developer in Education Technology with Savvas Learning Co. and has joined the ASSF Board. Kevin’s favorite travel location is Iceland, but when here in the Valley, he prefers gardening as his favorite hobby! “I value early education and wanted to give back to my community” says Kevin about why he wanted to join the ASSF Board.

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Martin Rodriguez Nuñez is an Advisor with Ramirez Advisors Inter-National, LLC (RAI-N).  Ramirez Advisors is a highly specialized firm dedicated to creating and implementing innovative solutions for cross-border business opportunities and improving the ability for goods and people to cross the border.

He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University in Medford, MA.   In that time, he completed extensive coursework in comparative politics, Latin American studies, and economics.  He recently completed Valley Leadership’s Catalyze Program, a 6-month leadership program for a select group of up-and-coming leaders focusing on key policy issues impacting communities across Arizona.

A Phoenix native and longtime resident of West Phoenix, Martin and his two siblings attended K-8 schools in the Roosevelt ESD and Isaac School District.  He is fluent in Spanish.

RETURN to BOARD MEMBERS

Andrew Wallace is originally from Charleston, WV, and currently lives in Tempe. He is a Senior Financial Analyst for UnitedHealthcare in Phoenix. He loves to travel but cannot choose a favorite location because there are too many to choose from. Closer to home, he enjoys the outdoors – close to a body of water, or with a set of golf clubs, or just with his guitar! Andrew joined the ASSF board to, “serve an organization that creates lasting impact in the communities we serve, to promote equality, and to leverage my professional skills and experience in a way that adds unique value to ASSF”.

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Shannon Warner is originally from Mesa, currently lives in Gilbert and is the Managing Director/COO, Chase Business Banking at JP Morgan Chase and has joined the ASSF Board in 2022. Shannon still remembers her favorite vacation to India in 2019, but when she isn’t travelling, she loves to cook! Shannon joined the ASSF board because “Both of my parents were teachers, junior high and high school so we grew up with a passion for education. We understand not everyone has the same starting point and how key early education and parent involvement makes a difference.”

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Gary Williams is originally from Price, UT, but currently lives in Mesa. Gary is a self-employed CPA and joined the ASSF Board in 2022. A favorite place he has visited is Israel and the City of Jerusalem. He loves to do a little gardening at his home in Mesa. Gary joined the ASSF board because, “education is important and getting parental buy in is crucial for student success”.

RETURN to BOARD OFFICERS

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