Staff & Board

Women’s Foundation Staff

Carol PenickCarol B. Penick Executive Director 601-326-0700 Carol Penick became the founding Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi in May 2007. When Carol assumed leadership of the WF, it was a small program of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson. In two years, she led it to become an independent nonprofit, taking it statewide in its mission, and this year it will grant over $500,000 to benefit women and girls statewide. Her background is in fund development. Carol is president of the Mississippi Association of Grantmakers and a board member of the Women’s Funding Network. She is a member of St. Andrews Cathedral.

JamieBardwellJamie Holcomb Bardwell Deputy Director 601-326-0701 Jamie Bardwell is the Deputy Director of the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi. In this role she leads and manages the grantmaking and advocacy initiatives of the Foundation. Jamie earned a B.A. in History from Millsaps College and a Master of Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She is a 2012 graduate of the Business Advantage Program at Millsaps College and Leadership Greater Jackson. She is also a member of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission. Before moving back to Mississippi she worked at the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a Presidential Management Fellow. She lives in Jackson with her husband, Will, and son, James.

LaurelIrbyLaurel Irby Engagement Director 601-487-0702 Laurel Irby joined the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi in 2014 after serving as Vice-President and C.F.O. for The D. L. Dykes, Jr, Foundation in Jackson, Mississippi. Her experience working in the non-profit world covers a range of areas including finance, communications, staff and volunteer development, management, and long-range planning. Originally from North Carolina, she is a former Fulbright Scholar and completed a master’s degree at UCLA prior to moving back to the South in 2003. Laurel lives in the Belhaven Heights neighborhood of Jackson, MS with her partner Daniel and their two cats. In her free time she enjoys traveling to music festivals and practicing yoga.

LatishaLatikerLatisha Latiker Program Officer 601-326-3002 Latisha Latiker is the Program Officer for the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi. In this role she works on grantmaking, advocacy, and engagement activities for the Foundation. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, she earned her B.A. and M.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in public policy and public administration from Oklahoma State University. While at Oklahoma State, Latisha worked as a Political Science Instructor and received numerous awards and honors including the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship for outstanding graduate students. Prior to joining the Women’s Foundation, Latisha served as Regional Program Officer for the Children’s Defense Fund’s Southern Regional Office where she worked on advocacy initiatives that addressed the needs of children and families, paying particular interest to families living in poverty. Latisha is married to Dr. Tony Latiker and they are the proud parents of one son, Qadre; as well as aunt and uncle to numerous nieces and nephews. Latisha is active in her church and serves as a Sunday school teacher. She enjoys reading and watching football.

KathyPurserKathy B. Purser Program Associate 601-326-3001 Kathy joined the Women’s Foundation as Program Associate in March 2012 after having worked as an administrative professional in the accounting industry for more than 20 years. A native of the Byram area, Kathy and her family live in Crystal Springs and her children, Natalie and Eli, attend Copiah Academy.

Women’s Foundation Board Members

Elta Posey Johnston (Chair) A native of Jackson, Elta is a former college English instructor, married to a retired physician, mother of two and grandmother of four. She is a long-time community activist, having headed a number of organizations over the years. She is extremely proud of the work of the Women’s Foundation and is excited about the next couple of years!


Julieta Mendez (Chair-elect) Julieta works as HR Service Partner for International Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. A native of Argentina, she has called Mississippi home since 2007. Julieta received a J.D. from Universidad de Mendoza in the year 2000. Prior to working at UMMC, she served as Program Director of the Immigration Clinic at Catholic Charities of Jackson. She has volunteered for multiple organizations, such as Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and Legal Assistance of Olmsted County, in Rochester, Minnesota. In 2012 and 2013, she served as Advisory Board Member of The Center for Violence Prevention. Julieta lives in Brandon with her husband, Alejandro R. Chade, M.D., an Associate Professor at UMMC, and their two beautiful children, Joaquin and Camila.


Katie McClendon (Secretary) Katie is originally from Guntersville, AL, but has proudly called Jackson home since 2006. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Doctor of Pharmacy in 2005. Katie teaches pharmacy students at the Jackson campus of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.

Seetha Srinivasan (Emerita) Seetha Srinivasan is director emerita of the University Press of Mississippi, where she played a major role in creating a nationally recognized publishing program. Srinivasan has won many recognitions for her professional achievements and for her community involvement. Among them: Constituency Award for outstanding service to the University Press Community, honorary doctorate in humane letters from Millsaps College, and designation as one of the state’s Women of Vision by the Women’s Foundation. She has served as chair of the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi and serves on the boards of the Foundation for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, and ProLiteracy (Syracuse, NY.) Seetha Srinivasan is married to Asoka Srinivasan. The Srinivasans’ sons, Arjun and Gautam, live with their families in Atlanta and Washington, DC, respectively.

Evelyn Edwards (At-large) A native of Tchula, Mississippi, Evelyn is a graduate of Rust College and a former graduate student of the University of Akron, Ohio. She is Vice President and Community Reinvestment Officer for BancorpSouth, Southeast Region and Mid MS Division, and has 24 years experience in banking and finance, 15 of which with BancorpSouth. Evelyn has two daughters, Kittey and Kaelyn, who are a junior and freshman in college. She is an active member at Jackson Revival Center Church in Jackson, MS, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including Operation Shoestring, MS Economic Council’s Leadership MS Advisory Council and Asset Building & Financial Literacy.

Aisha Nyandoro (At-large) Aisha Nyandoro is the founding Executive Director of Springboard To Opportunities; a nonprofit organization focused on helping residents of affordable housing advance themselves in life, school, and work. Nyandoro has more than a decade of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating programs aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals with limited resources. Prior to Springboard To Opportunities, Aisha served as a Program Officer with the Foundation for the Mid South. During her tenure she strengthened the Foundation’s community development portfolio by executing a plan focused on five specific strategies aimed at transforming communities. Additionally, she led the Foundation’s place based initiative – Community of Opportunities. Under her leadership she helped community leaders’ leverage over $20 million in federal and private funding. In addition, she established statewide, regional, and national public-private partnerships to leverage resources and assist the Foundation in achieving its mission and goals. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Tennessee State University, a M.A. in Community Psychology and Urban Affairs and a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Michigan State University. She is currently a Fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network. When not working to transform impoverished communities, she is mommy to the best toddler in the world.

Susan Anand Susan received her BA in Fine Arts from Indiana University and MA in Art Therapy from New York University. She has worked in Mississippi as an art therapist with children and adults in inpatient and outpatient settings since 1982. As an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Susan provides art therapy services and teaches psychiatry residents about the benefits of group art therapy. She frequently provides workshops and training on art therapy and use of the creative process to strengthen resilience. Susan is a board member for the Art Therapy Credentials Board. She is the mother of twin daughters, Asha and Nina.

Marian Barksdale Marian Barksdale is a native of Meridian, and a graduate of Meridian High School and Vanderbilt University. She has lived in Oxford since 2000. She serves on the Oxford School Board and has been active in the Mississippi School Boards Association and with various local and state education and philanthropic efforts. Marian is married to Claiborne Barksdale, and they have three adult children. She is a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

Hope Bynum Hope volunteers with many community organizations, including Heartworks, Junior League of Jackson, MCM Partners, Anderson United Methodist Church Food Pantry and Pastor Parish Relations Committee, LeFleur’s Bluff Chapter of Links, Inc., Operation Shoestring, and the Mississippi Campaign for Teenage Pregnancy Prevention.

Inglish DeVoss Inglish graduated with a Bachelors in Sociology and Minor in African and Diaspora studies from Tulane University. She was a gallery director in New Orleans before moving to Jackson with her husband in 2000. Inglish worked as Program Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, as an African art consultant for Disney, and with auxiliary cooking programs for Jackson area schools. Most proudly, Inglish has volunteered with various community organizations including the Jackson AmeriCorp Board, as an extended active with the Junior League in youth/community projects and for St. Andrews School where her two young sons attend. She believes in changing the “culture of expectations” and that advocacy for the underrepresented is equal portions responsibility and reward.

Tiffany M. Graves A native of Winchester, Virginia, Tiffany is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission. She graduated from Hollins University with degrees in Political Science and Spanish and received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She began her legal career as the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Fellow at the Mississippi Center for Justice in Jackson. She was a Litigation Associate at Watkins & Eager, PLLC and Corlew Munford & Smith, PLLC after she completed her fellowship. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi, Tiffany is a member of the Board of Directors of the Capital Area Bar Association, the Center for Violence Prevention, and The McCoy House for Sober Living. She is also in the inaugural fellowship class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network.

Kimberly Hilliard Kimberly Hilliard, Ph.D., serves as the the founding Executive Director for the Office of Community Engagement at Jackson State University. Dr. Hilliard, native of Washington, DC, holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tuskegee University, a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans, and obtained her Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from Jackson State University. Hilliard provides leadership in connecting the University with local, state, and federal agencies, community-based organizations, and local residents and businesses.

LoRose Hunter (Past Chair) LoRose is a native of Holmes County Mississippi, a graduate of Mississippi State University and resides in Jackson. She is the mother of a daughter, Courtney, and has a passion for women and children’s issues as well as issues that affect our communities, especially those that live in its shadows. LoRose’s community service activities involve serving on the board of The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi, The United Way of the Capital Area, Partners in Education and The Museum of Natural Science. She volunteers her time with several community organizations and is the Work Place Banking Coordinator for Regions Bank where she has been employed for the past ten years.

Julie Kuklinski Julie Kuklinski is the Director for the Moore Community House Women in Construction Program. Julie was exposed to the construction industry through the careers and businesses of her two uncles and grandfather at a young age. Julie graduated from St. Norbert College with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology emphasizing in Anthropology. Julie came to the Gulf Coast in May of 2006 as a hurricane relief volunteer rebuilding homes affected by Hurricane Katrina. During this time, she led all female crews in mold remediation work, demolition work, and all other types of residential construction. After her experience on the coast, Julie moved to Chicago as a Carpentry Apprentice for Chicago Specialty Gardens, an innovative and artistic rooftop garden company. Julie’s experiences working in east Biloxi and her experience working in construction led her, with great enthusiasm, to the Women in Construction Program in 2008. Julie has raised funds and has programmatically seen WinC through its pilot years shaping it into a solid and successful program that it is today. Julie has graduated twenty two classes totaling 220 women through the Women in Construction Program where she advocates alongside her students for women’s economic justice. She has been recognized for her advocacy work for women’s rights by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2010.

Diane Morse We are proud to have Diane as a “returning” board member. She is a speech/language pathologist and manager of Diane Morse and Associates, a private practice providing SLP services to area hospitals. Diane is a member of St. Andrews Cathedral.

Wendy Mullins Wendy serves as Special Counsel in the Jackson office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, where she is a member of the Corporate & Securities practice group. Wendy devotes much of her time to assisting companies with a broad array of corporate and commercial matters. Her legal practice focuses on business transactions, corporate governance and assisting entrepreneurial-oriented individuals and companies as they develop, protect and commercialize their intellectual property assets. Several notable organizations have recognized Wendy for her work including Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA, and she has received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubble. Wendy is married to Chuck Mullins and they have one son. Among other civic and charitable organizations, she is an active volunteer with St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.


Kathleen Shields O’Beirne
Kathleen Shields O’Beirne is commercial litigator in the Jackson officeof Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. Prior to becoming an attorney, Kathleen worked as a paralegal at Legal Services of Southern Piedmont in Concord, North Carolina and as a program director at the Foundation for the Mid South in Jackson. She earned a B.A. from Davidson College in 2001 and a J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2007. Kathleen and her husband, Ryan, are the proud parents of the coolest kids in the world, Thomas and James.

Michelle Owens, MD Michelle Y. Owens, MD, MS, FACOG is an Associate Professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She is a board certified Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist whose interests include medical complications of pregnancy, teen pregnancy prevention, infant and maternal mortality, and healthcare for the underserved. She currently serves as the Young Physician at Large representative to the Executive Board of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In addition to her educational, practice, and research responsibilities, Michelle enjoys spending quality time with her family.

Lessa Phillips

Ann Skelton Ann Skelton, LMSW is a social worker/therapist with the Therapeutic Foster Care Program with Catholic Charities of Jackson. After earning her Master of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Ann moved home to Jackson to be closer to her family. She is on the board for the Mississippi Campaign for Teenage Pregnancy Prevention and she has earned her certification in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as she works with youth and families exposed to trauma. Ann is an active member at St Andrews Cathedral and has been involved with Working Together Jackson.

Ann Corso Taylor Ann is originally from Columbia, MS and received her undergraduate and law degree from Ole Miss. She has been in Jackson practicing commercial real estate law since 1987. Ann currently works at Jones Walker in Jackson. She is married to John Taylor and is the mother of one son, Buckner Corso, a graduate student at Ole Miss. Ann is a member of Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church in Madison, MS.

Erica Q. Thompson, MD, MPH, CDFS Erica is a graduate of Tougaloo College, University of Southern Mississippi and Brown University School of Medicine. Erica’s passion centers around issues involving women, children and families. She is a member of various organizations and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family.


Past Board Chairs

Joan Bailey
Geraldine Kearse Brookins
Nancy Cooper Gilbert
Claudia Hauberg
Susan Shands Jones
JanTaylor Jan Taylor
Judy Wiener