Officers and Staff



Susan M. Pepin, M.D.
President and CEO
Susan is a nationally recognized medical educator, clinician, and researcher; she joined Piper Trust as president and CEO in July 2014. Prior to joining the Trust, Dr. Pepin served as associate dean for diversity and inclusion and associate professor of surgery and pediatrics at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; she is known for diversifying the medical school’s student body and is a leader in the field of neuro-ophthalmology. She serves on the board of directors of Camerata New England, the board of trustees of the Hitchcock Foundation, and the steering committee of the Upper Valley United Way. She is also regional coordinator of the Association of Rhodes Scholars. Previously she served as a rape crisis counselor and a crisis/suicide intervention counselor. Dr. Pepin holds a B.A. from Yale University; a B.A. and a M.A. from University of Oxford; an M.D. from University of California, San Francisco; and is completing 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.


Marilee L. Dal Pra
Vice President of Programs
Marilee oversees Piper Trust’s community initiatives and strategic program development. She also researches model programs, introduces special initiatives, reviews grant proposals, meets with potential grantees, and visits nonprofit locations. Marilee formerly served as the director for the Governor’s Division for Children, where she coordinated policies and programs for children, youth and families. She holds a master’s degree in education from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arizona State University.



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
Administrative Coordinator
Debbie aids the program 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.


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.


Renée Khoury
Receptionist/Administrative Assistant
Renée works as Piper Trust’s receptionist and administrative assistant “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 and 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.


Diane Prindiville
Assistant Controller
Diane assists in many areas of the Trust’s accounting records including accounts payable, grant payments, and investment activities. She has worked in various accounting positions with nonprofits and corporate entities throughout the Phoenix area. She started her career with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a second major in French. Diane is a CPA and a member of related affiliations.


Gary Romero
Director Of Grants Management
Gary works closely with program, finance and communications staff to ensure effective monitoring and tracking of grants from initial inquiry to grant completion. Gary previously acted as the Trust’s Grants Management Associate and also worked for The John A. Hartford Foundation in New York City. Gary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.


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.


Nicholas Wenham
Grants Management Associate
Nicholas provides administrative, technical, and data management support to the Trust’s grants management staff. Prior to joining the Trust in 2013, Nicholas was Grants Writer at John C. Lincoln Health Foundation. He has also worked in direct client services with Area Agency on Aging, Region One Inc. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Nicholas holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.