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Officers and Staff

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


Mary Jane Rynd
President and CEO

Known for her dynamic leadership, with humanity and humility at the heart of all she does, Mary Jane Rynd had the great fortune to work with Virginia Galvin Piper, serving as her tax advisor and helping establish the charitable legacy and Trust that bears her name. As president and CEO, Mary Jane leads the Trust’s mission to enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County.

Mary Jane joined the Trust in 2001 as its first CFO and then as Executive Vice President overseeing all financial, operational, and programmatic aspects of the Trust. Her stewardship of the Trust continually strengthens its sound financial position—enabling the Trust to reach more than $400 million in grantmaking to date, while maintaining a highly resilient corpus.

A certified public accountant and a former partner in KPMG and Rynd, Carneal & Ewing, 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. She has served on the boards of several nonprofit and for-profit organizations and currently serves on the audit committee of Foundation Financial Officers Group, and on the boards of Arizona Women’s Forum and Rosenbluth Family Charitable Foundation.

Mary Jane holds a BA in Accounting from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas and a Master of Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.

“I learned from the example set by Virginia Galvin Piper, this extraordinary woman of grace and character, witnessing firsthand her honor, loyalty, integrity, and commitment to her husband Paul Galvin’s path of philanthropy. We uphold her legacy daily as we empower people to believe in themselves, achieving more than they imagined possible.”


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.


Karen Leland
Chief Communications Officer

Karen leads Piper Trust's communications and public relations efforts, which include developing and executing strategies to highlight the benefits of the Trust’s initiatives as well as the positive impacts made by its grantees. Before joining the Trust, she 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 the Morrison Institute for Public Policy. A graduate of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, Karen has also worked with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and other economic development organizations. She brings wide-ranging business and communications expertise to the Trust.



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.


Angelica Gonzalez
Administrative Assistant, Program & Strategic Learning

Angelica provides support for Piper Trust’s Program and Strategic Learning teams. Previous to joining the Trust, she worked at the Diocese of Phoenix supporting the Chancellor and Assistant Chancellor. Angelica has served in various capacities in the nonprofit community for over 15 years. Angelica holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Arizona State University.


Erin Goodman
Program Officer

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
Accounting Manager

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
Communications Associate

Renée works as Piper Trust’s communications associate providing support to the chief communications officer and the communications team. Renée coordinates communication efforts and special events. 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.


Samantha Klick
Executive Assistant

Samantha supports Piper Trust’s CFO and the finance and grants management teams. Prior to joining the Trust, Samantha worked for the commercial aerospace company, Curtiss-Wright serving as executive assistant to the senior vice president of the Sensors and Controls division. Samantha has more than 15 years of experience supporting executives in Phoenix, including eight years as executive assistant to the director, and board liaison for the Phoenix Art Museum. Samantha holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology.


Terri Leon
Senior 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
Technology Manager, Communications

Roberta works with the chief communications officer and coordinates a variety of communications efforts and oversees the Trust's technology. 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.


Elaine Price
Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

Elaine works as Piper Trust’s receptionist and administrative assistant providing a variety of staff support services. Prior to joining the Trust, Elaine worked as the program events manager for the Irish Cultural Center & McClelland Library and their Academy of Irish & Celtic Studies in Phoenix. She generously volunteers at many nonprofit organizations and served as vice president for membership of Irish Network Arizona. Elaine began her career as a graphic designer and art editor for Dorling Kindersley Books in London, UK. She is a UK certified teacher of information and communication technology (ICT) and oversaw the delivery of the ICT curriculum at various secondary schools in England. Elaine holds a bachelor of arts degree in media and production design from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.


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.


Chloe Silva
Program Associate

Chloe supports the Trust’s capacity building efforts including Piper Academies and Trust-initiated multi-year projects and programs, as well as administration of small grants. Prior to joining the Trust, she managed the capacity support services portfolio at the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. Chloe is an alumna of the University of Georgia and holds a master’s degree in social justice and human rights from Arizona State University.


Linda Smith
Board and Executive Assistant

Linda supports Piper Trust’s Board of Trustees, and president and CEO. 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
Senior 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.


Ashley Suarez
Piper Trust Resident Scholar, 2018-2020

Ashley joined Piper Trust as the 2018-2020 Resident Scholar in July of 2018. In collaboration with Trust staff, she will contribute to a range of substantive projects that support grantmaking strategies, strategic learning efforts, and research. During her two-year tenure (2018-2020) as a Resident Scholar, Ashley will develop and manage a self-designed project that will be mentored and supported by the Trust. Prior to joining Piper Trust, she supported the Collective STEP for Youth program at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Oberlin College.


Cynthia Vana
Senior Accountant

Cindy works with the accounting manager to support Piper Trust's accounting and financial reporting. Previously, as an accounting manager with Make-A-Wish America, Cindy served on the Centralized Financial Services team managing relationships and accounting for select Make-A-Wish chapters. Cindy is a Phoenix native and graduate of Arizona State University.