Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation

Board of Trustees 2019-20

President Susanne Wolff Vander Heyden
Vice President Mary Jane Jackson Crist
Treasurer Jean Lee Schmidt
Trustee Marnie Wright Barnhorst
Trustee Cynthia Heaberlin Beaird
Trustee Jennifer "Jennie" Jackson Beckham
Trustee Christina Frank Erwin
Trustee Nancy Foland
Trustee Amanda Brown Lang
Trustee Gail Simpson Owen
Trustee Jan Radke Pishny
Trustee Marion Wilson Rich
Trustee Mary Pat Rooney





 

vander heyden Susanne Wolff Vander Heyden, Washington State
Foundation President

Susanne has volunteered with Kappa since 1988 and has since served in multiple positions, including Director of Alumnae. Graduating from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, Susanne worked as an emergency department nurse before “retiring” to raise her three, now-adult children. Susanne has served on several boards, including PTSA/Site Council and 4-H. Both of her daughters as well as her sister and niece are proud members of Kappa. She resides near Seattle.
 
Mary Jane Crist_Jan2018 Mary Jane Jackson Crist, Arizona
Foundation Vice President

A fundraising expert with more than 40 years of management experience in higher education and healthcare, Mary Jane has spent the past 25 years successfully leading foundations of nonprofit hospitals. She has served as a national officer for the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and established her own foundation for funding medical education and research, music and art education and leadership development. Mary Jane was Kappa’s first Development Committee Chairman prior to the Foundation being established in 1989.

Jean Schmidt headshot Jean Lee SchmidtMiami (Ohio)
Treasurer

Armed with a law degree in 1976, Jean established a computer-consulting firm before practicing law for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she worked on union disputes and discrimination cases. She is now a shareholder with Littler Mendelson, P.C., in New York, continuing her interest in employment law. Jean has served as president and vice president of the board of Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families. Jean and her partner have a daughter whose sports teams Jean coached. Jean received Kappa's Loyalty Award in 2008.
 

marnie Marnie Wright Barnhorst, Oregon
Trustee

Marnie was an associate professor of biology and genetics before switching careers midlife and earning her law degree cum laude. She founded her own law firm specializing in international trademark registration before retiring in 2018 after 26 years of practice.

Marnie has served as the President of the San Diego County Alumnae Association as well as an adviser at UC San Diego and the University of San Diego, served on the Adelphi Foundation Steering Committee, represented Kappa on the board of directors of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and hosted many Kappa activities in her home, including an initiation ceremony for Epsilon Pi Chapter, UC Riverside. She currently serves as the Foundation Governance Committee Chairman.

Marnie and her late husband, Howard, also an attorney, were married for 44 years and raised four children — two are attorneys, one a doctor, and one a property investor and manager. She has nine grandchildren ranging in age from 20 years old to two infants born in 2020. Marnie lives in La Jolla, California, with her very shy cat and a darling cavoodle puppy named Honey.

 

Cynthia Beaird Cynthia Heaberlin Beaird, Tulane
Trustee

With undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tulane University, Cynthia Heaberlin Heaird spent 15 years in the restaurant industry in management operations with Victoria Station restaurants and as director of human resources for the Chili's restaurant chain (Brinker International Inc.). Utilizing her business and management skills, she transitioned to residential real estate, where she is a 30-year industry leader. A founding partner and senior executive vice president with Allie Beth Allman and Associates since 2002, she was the first recipient of the MetroTex Association of Realtors Community Service Award. A community leader, Cynthia serves on the boards of the Junior League of Dallas, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, the Tulane Fund, the Dallas Summer Musicals, and the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society. Additionally, she is a member of the Crystal Charity Ball. Involved with Kappa Kappa Gamma since college, she was President of her chapter, President of the Dallas Alumnae Association, and adviser for Gamma Phi Chapter, SMU. Cynthia has three Kappa sisters, six Kappa nieces, and she and her husband, Brice, have a Kappa daughter and son.



Jennifer Becham Jennifer "Jennie" Jackson BeckhamTCU
Trustee

A lifelong Texan, Jennie was born in El Paso, Texas, and joined Kappa Kappa Gamma at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She currently lives in Houston and has been married for 36 years. Jennie has two grown children — a son who works in the oil business in Houston as well as a daughter who works in finance in Seattle. Jennie was an airline pilot with Southwest Airlines and recently retired after 26 years. Her downtime has been limited, but special interests include Kappa, P.E.O., Junior League, church, and book clubs. Jennie now lives part time in Park City, Utah, where she skis, hikes, and walks with her black lab.

 

christina Christina Frank Erwin, Washington University
Trustee

For more than 15 years, Christina held director-level positions in corporate strategy and consumer marketing at AT&T. In 2017, she joined Lumen Technologies, where she guides the company's fiber internet marketing strategy. She joined Kappa at Washington University in St. Louis and later earned her MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Christina has served as a Province Director of Alumnae and Province Director of Chapters as well as a variety of roles within the San Antonio and Kansas City Alumnae Associations, including co-chairman of the Kansas City Alumnae Association's 2013 Holiday Homes Tour. She is a member of P.E.O. and Junior League and actively volunteers at her children's parish school. Christina lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband, Marty, their children, Ethan and Caroline, and German shorthaired pointers, Ellie and Frost. When busy schedules permit, they enjoy spending time together at Table Rock Lake.



Nancy Foland Nancy Foland, Tulsa
Trustee 

Nancy has volunteered with Kappa Kappa Gamma for over 25 years, previously serving on Fraternity Council as Treasurer (2012–16) and Vice President (2016–18). She has also served as Foundation Treasurer (2012–15), District Director (2018–20), and currently sits as a Fraternity House Corporation Trustee. She has extensive knowledge of Kappa’s operations, finances and strategic vision. Nancy resides in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with her husband, Greg.



Lang_Amanda Amanda Brown Lang, Puget Sound
Trustee

Amanda currently serves as senior vice president with Tiedemann Advisors, one of the largest independent investment and wealth advisers for high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts, foundations and endowments. She brings extensive financial experience and knowledge to the board. Her expertise includes private foundations, investments, impact investing, estate planning, tax planning and performance reporting. Amanda holds a master’s in financial analysis and is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor.

Amanda started volunteering with Kappa in 2004 and has since served as a chapter adviser, President of both the Portland and Seattle Alumnae Associations, Province Director of Alumnae, Assistant to the Director of Alumnae, and Regional Director of Alumnae. She currently is a member of the Foundation Finance Committee and Foundation Investment Subcommittee. In addition to her Kappa volunteer roles, she serves on the board of Financial Beginnings USA and as the board chair at Financial Beginnings Washington, a nonprofit dedicated to providing accessible and unbiased financial education to youth and adults to empower them to take control of their financial futures.

Amanda resides in Seattle with her husband, Phil, as well as her two stepsons and, soon, a baby girl.



Gail Owen Gail Simpson Owen, Monmouth
Trustee

The regional superintendent of schools for her county in Illinois, Gail has spent her career as an educator in elementary, middle and high school as well as at the university level. She assists community efforts as a volunteer in a variety of capacities and, among other commitments, currently serves on a regional economic development council and the board of trustees for her alma mater, Monmouth College. A member of the Fraternity Council that created the Kappa Foundation, Gail has been a devoted Fraternity and Foundation volunteer since her college graduation. She is currently serving as President on Fraternity Council. Gail and her husband, Tim, are the parents of three sons and one grandson. 

 

Jan pic Jan Radke Pishny,  Arkansas
Trustee

Jan is a retired family dentist. She led a dental practice in Kansas City, Missouri, for the past 31 years. She believes in equipping and encouraging women in their professional careers. She is also a mentor to rising dental students. Jan received her bachelor’s in horticulture from the University of Arkansas and her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A lifelong outdoorswoman, Jan raises grass-fed beef on her family’s farm in northeastern Kansas. Additionally, Jan serves as the president of the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Panhellenic. Jan and her husband, Lyle, serve on the board of trustees of the Kansas State University Foundation as well as the Johnson County Community College Foundation. Furthermore, they have three grown daughters.  

 

marion Marion Wilson Rich, Cincinnati
Trustee

Thirty years of community volunteerism in Tampa Bay, Florida, define Marion’s passion for giving back. She is a lifetime Girl Scout and currently serves as the second vice president on the board of directors of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Her commitment to health care led Marion to her current involvement with her local hospital’s board and community health needs task force. Marion’s love of film recently landed her a seat on the board of directors of the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City. She has been an engaged alumna member for 30 years and has served in several officer positions for the Clearwater Bay Alumnae Association. An avid photographer, Marion travels worldwide and captures cultural images. She has a daughter, Mimi, in New York as well as a son, Tom, in Orlando, Florida. 

 

Mary Pat Brennan Mary Pat RooneyDrake
Trustee

Mary Pat is the Major Gift Officer at the United Way of Metro Chicago and facilitates donor investment in the foundational and strategic neighborhood-based work of the organization and its partners. Mary Pat has eight years of experience as a development professional, including fundraising for the arts, cultural, and educational organizations in both Denver and Chicago. Mary Pat began volunteering with Kappa in 2008 in varied roles, most recently as the Academic Excellence Director and now as Vice President. Mary Pat lives in Chicago and is an active member of the Junior League of Chicago,  loves to read and explore the city with her golden retriever puppy, Stanley.