Officers and Staff

Please contact our receptionist at 480-948-5853 to reach any Piper Trust staff. We welcome your call or email.


Susan M. Pepin, MD, MPH
President and CEO

Susan Pepin is a nationally recognized surgeon, clinician, medical educator, researcher, and leader in the field of neuro-ophthalmology who has dedicated her career to endeavors focused on improving the lives of people worldwide.

As president and CEO of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Dr. Pepin leads the Trust’s vision for supporting Maricopa County by advancing community resilience, addressing inequity and improving equality, bolstering social profit capacity building, and enhancing health and well-being for all. As a champion of strengthening communities through systems-approach thinking and collective action, she established large-scale efforts such as, the Advancing Community Resilience Partnership which engages people and organizations across sectors in comprehensive work tackling pressing issues, and Eyes On Learning, a statewide initiative in Arizona that is working to educate about and fortify children’s vision health needs.

Drawing on her extensive experience in medicine and academia, Dr. Pepin designed and embedded a learning culture throughout the Trust. She fosters an environment where staff apply both a resilience and learning lens to everything from grantmaking to long-term projects. All work captures hard and soft data allowing for thoughtful, yet rigorous, assessments of outcomes and impacts, which also inform future decision-making and efforts. As one example of enriching the learning culture, Dr. Pepin established the Piper Trust Resident Scholars Program for early career professionals; the two-year, paid opportunity provides a rich experience working in the philanthropic and social profit sectors and emphasizes mutually beneficial learning.

Dr. Pepin is steadfast in her belief that communities with robust arts and culture foster shared experiences and stronger social cohesion. Through special convenings, shared learnings from thought leaders, and intentional collaborative dialogues, she strives to help elevate the collective power of Maricopa County’s vibrant arts and culture districts.

Prior to joining Piper Trust in 2014, she served as associate dean for diversity and inclusion and associate professor of surgery and pediatrics at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth where she is known for diversifying the medical school’s student body. With specialization in neuro-ophthalmology and pediatric ophthalmology, she provided expert care to patients. She worked as a teacher, clinician, and surgeon for more than 14 years and mentored hundreds of students and residents through the admissions process and throughout their journeys in becoming physicians.

She serves on the boards of the Health Futures Council at ASU (Arizona State University) and Philanthropy Southwest; she is also member of the Center for the Future of Arizona Advisory Council and Greater Phoenix Leadership.

Dr. Pepin holds a BA from Yale University; a BA and MA from University of Oxford; an MD from University of California, San Francisco; and a Master of Public Health from Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice. She is a 1987 Rhodes Scholar.


Mary Jane Rynd
Executive Vice President

Mary Jane is responsible for all financial and operational aspects of the Trust. She is a certified public accountant and a former partner in KPMG and Rynd, Carneal & Ewing. Mary Jane is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in Houston and holds an M.P.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently serves on the board and the audit and administrative program committees of Foundation Financial Officers Group and as treasurer of Arizona Women’s Forum. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Foundation Financial Officers Group.


Carey Chambers
Chief Financial Officer

Carey oversees accounting and tax compliance for the Trust. She is a certified public accountant with more than 20 years of experience in financial statement audit, audit of internal control, performance improvement advisory, due diligence, and staff mentoring/development. Formerly, Carey held leadership positions for 15 years at KPMG’s Phoenix office, most recently as managing director. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants. Carey serves on Northern Arizona University’s accounting department advisory board.



Anna Bettis
Resident Scholar, 2016-2018

Anna joined Piper Trust as the inaugural Resident Scholar in August of 2016. In collaboration with Trust staff, she will contribute to a range of substantive projects such as working on grantmaking strategies and strategic learning efforts and conducting related research activities. During her two-year tenure (2016-2018) as a Resident Scholar, Anna will develop and manage a self-designed project that will be mentored and supported by the Trust. Prior to joining Piper Trust, she was a graduate research assistant for the Executive Director of Arizona State University’s (ASU) Global Institute of Sustainability and managed programs designed to advance positive social change at ASU’s Changemaker Central. Anna holds a master’s degree in sustainability solutions from ASU’s School of Sustainability; her graduate studies focused on how to apply sustainability theories that address complex social and environmental challenges at local community levels.


Alma Cuellar
Facilities Coordinator

Alma is responsible for building maintenance, event management, and meeting coordination. Prior to joining the Trust, Alma worked as a facility services supervisor and in the healthcare industry.


Debbie Dickey
Program & Grants Management Assistant

Debbie supports the program and grants management staff and grantees to ensure that all requirements in the grantmaking process are completed. She also helps the director of research and evaluation to facilitate evaluation of the Trust’s awarded grants. In the past Debbie managed and created designs for a family-run florist business and worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Shawn Donnelly
Strategic Learning Officer

Shawn provides evaluation and learning support to Trust staff and grantees to understand and enhance the outcomes of grants, projects, programs and initiatives. Previously, Shawn served as the senior research and evaluation associate for Arizona GEAR UP. Shawn holds a master’s degree in community-social psychology from the University of Massachusetts.


Christina Martin
Senior Accountant

Christina supports Piper Trust’s accounting and financial reporting. Prior to joining the Trust, Christina held positions with several large public accounting firms in Phoenix and New York City as an auditor specializing in nonprofits; most recently, she handled international tax preparations and filings for a study abroad program. Christina holds a bachelor of science degree in accountancy from Georgian Court University.


Erin Goodman
Program Associate

Erin is responsible for administering small grants, Piper Academies and other trainings, and best-practice resources designed to help nonprofits strengthen their management and leadership. She has worked in fund development and nonprofit administration for 15 years, most recently serving as director of administrative services for Save the Family Foundation of Arizona. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Arizona State University.


Krista Ivey
Accounting Officer

Krista supports Piper Trust’s accounting and tax compliance activities. She has extensive leadership experience in accounting for the nonprofit sector and more than 10 years of experience working in the private sector. Krista holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a Master of Business Administration. She is a member of the Foundation Financial Officers Group.


Amy Jorgensen
Senior Accountant

Amy supports Piper Trust’s accounting and financial reporting. Previously, as an accounting manager with Make-A-Wish America, she served on the Centralized Financial Services team managing the relationships and accounting for select Make-A-Wish chapters. Amy holds bachelor of science degrees in accountancy and finance from Arizona State University.


Renée Khoury
Receptionist/Facilities Supervisor

Renée works as Piper Trust’s receptionist and facilities supervisor “at large”—providing a variety of staff support services including event and meeting planning. Prior to joining the Trust, Renée worked as an assistant project director at a community college district in California where she administered non-credit programs for the community. Renée is a Phoenix native and graduate of Phoenix Community College.


Karen Leland
Director of Communications & External Relations

Karen is responsible for advancing the mission of the Trust through the creation and implementation of effective communications and public relations strategies. She works to communicate about the opportunities and impacts of Piper Trust’s many initiatives as well as on the activities of its grantees. Karen formerly led communications and marketing operations for several units at Arizona State University including the Global Institute of Sustainability, the Office of Research and Economic Affairs, and Morrison Institute for Public Policy; and for economic development organizations such as Greater Phoenix Economic Council. She is a graduate of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.


Terri Leon
Program Officer

Terri serves as the initial contact for nonprofits wishing to submit proposals related to the Trust’s core funding areas, with the exception of arts and culture. She is responsible for meeting with organizations, reviewing proposals, and making recommendations to the Trustees. Terri is a fifth generation Arizonan and has worked in the education, human services, and nonprofit communities for over 25 years, formerly serving as chief operating officer of Friendly House, Inc. A respected leader in the community, Terri was the recipient of the 2012 Profiles of Success Raul Yzaguirre Community Leadership Award. Terri graduated from Arizona State University where she earned her master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in social work and completed the Lodestar Nonprofit Management Certificate Program.


Roberta Lind
Communications & Technology Associate

Roberta works with the director of communications and coordinates a variety of Piper Trust’s communications efforts, social media, and special events. Previous to joining the Trust, she worked with the marketing department at Northern Trust, NA in Phoenix. Roberta holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.


Kelly Matti
Grants Manager

Kelly works closely with the director of grants management and is responsible for grant tracking and administration. Previously, she was program manager for the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has over a decade of experience working for foundations and nonprofit organizations including, grants manager for The Pokagon Fund and president of Junior Achievement of Michiana, among others. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Grand Valley State University.


Gary Romero
Director of Grants Management

Gary leads development and implementation of effective grants management strategies for the Trust with an eye to continuous process improvement. He works closely with senior leadership and fosters internal collaborations to help strengthen grantee relations and strategic decision-making across the organization. Gary holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration.


Michael Sieng, PhD
Resident Scholar, 2017-2019

Michael Sieng joined Piper Trust as the 2017-2019 Resident Scholar in July of 2017. In collaboration with Trust staff and Resident Scholar, Anna Bettis, he will contribute to a range of substantive projects that support grantmaking strategies, strategic learning efforts, and research. During his two-year tenure (2017-2019) as a Resident Scholar, Michael will develop and manage a self-designed project that will be mentored and supported by the Trust. Prior to joining Piper Trust, he was a Youth in Development Volunteer for Peace Corps in Thailand and a Warehouse Supervisor for Nestle. Michael holds a doctoral degree in sustainability from ASU’s School of Sustainability; his research Assessing Positive Youth Development Programs for Sustainable Participant Outcomes, focuses on the creation and application of a universal assessment tool for positive youth development programs using case studies in rural Thailand and the Phoenix-metro area.


Linda Smith
Board and Executive Assistant

Linda supports Piper Trust’s Board of Trustees, president and CEO, executive vice president, and chief financial officer. Prior to joining the Trust, Linda worked for PGH Wong Engineering, Inc. as a consultant to Valley Metro Rail on the $358 million Northwest Extension to the Phoenix Light Rail system. She was also a former 911 Operator for the Phoenix Police Department—a role that strengthened her talents in assisting multiple people and priorities. Linda began her career at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Boston; over the past 20+ years she has supported executives in Phoenix and Washington, D.C.


Ellen Solowey
Program Officer

Ellen serves as the initial contact for nonprofits wishing to submit grant proposals related to arts and culture and is responsible for meeting with organizations, reviewing proposals, and making recommendations to the Trustees. Ellen also oversees the Trust’s organizational effectiveness programs to strengthen nonprofits, focusing on multi-year investments and support for grantees. Originally a specialist in Soviet studies, Ellen lived overseas in the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation; she worked for the U.S. Consulate in Leningrad/St. Petersburg assisting Americans in crisis and repatriating Russians with American parentage back to the United States. She also has worked with refugees in Arizona and the former Soviet Union. Ellen holds a master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in international affairs and Soviet studies from Columbia University.


Tim Wilmot, PhD
Director of Strategic Learning

Tim Wilmot is responsible for Piper Trust’s new learning and knowledge management agenda and guides research and evaluation-oriented activities. Tim formerly served as a research and evaluation director at the San Antonio Area Foundation, the Marin Community Foundation, and the Charles & Helen Schwab Foundation, and as a knowledge management consultant for Ernst & Young, LLP. Tim holds a PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor's degree in economics from Eckerd College.