Opening the door to greater educational opportunities since 1963.
Board of Directors 2016-17
Our all-volunteer board comes from many different backgrounds and experiences but they all share the same desire to give students a better chance.
Jane Caris Jane was lucky to have strong mentors early on, which made a big and positive difference in her career focus and choices. Now President of the largest and only global sales organization in the professional beauty industry, Jane is passionate about passing educational and mentoring opportunities on to others. She is in her third year on the Edina ABC board, and is also our board Secretary. Jane’s favorite part of Edina ABC is getting to know our students. “They have so much potential and talent,” she says. Jane herself is a life-long learner, whose current subjects of interest are health and nutrition.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Private wealth advisor by day and rock band guitarist by night, Steve is one half of the dynamic Kumagai duo that has been a pillar of the Edina ABC community for more than 20 years. Steve has been a board member, board chair, and host parent, and as co-founder and committee chair of the Edina ABC Scholarship Fund, he coaches and supports our students on choosing a college and paying for it. Growing up, Steve had the resources and support he needed to be successful, and through Edina ABC he helps pass that on to our students. “I believe A Better Chance creates that type of environment for our scholars,” he said. “It allows them to focus on becoming.”
Sharon keeps her foreign language skills in good shape by reading novels en Franḉais, but there is no je ne sais quoi about her community involvement. That has always been in support of the health and education of children and families, so joining Edina ABC as a board member 6 years ago was a natural fit. “I’m inspired by the academic and personal achievements of our students,” says Sharon, “and I love the enthusiasm and commitment of our board and staff. Sharon is a career attorney and also loves to read and travel the world.
Brandon McCray-Reeves Brandon was born into this work - literally. His very first home was the Edina ABC house, where his parents served as Resident Directors in the early 1980s. Brandon knows first-hand the quality of education available in Edina schools, which gave him an excellent foundation for college and a successful career in the healthcare business. But he’s also inspired by what else it gives our students. “Through moving and living in a different place, they learn so much about life, relationships, communities, and themselves.”
Carrie McIntyre Carrie is a problem solver and loves to accomplish new things. Which is why she’s the perfect person to keep our finances healthy as the Edina ABC treasurer, coordinate our recent kitchen and bath remodel, and serve as the Chair of our annual gala. All, of course, in addition to her day job providing project management for the financial services industry. In the spare time she claims to have, she solves puzzles and remodels her own home for fun. The scholars are at the center of everything Carrie loves about Edina ABC. “I wish everyone had access to quality education, and being a part of ABC is my way of trying to make this happen.”
Barry Murphy Picture and bio coming soon!
A native to the Garden State, Lisa has a green thumb. This is a desirable condition that makes plants beautiful but also made her the perfect candidate to mentor a former ABC student during his project for the Edina Garden Council. That experience plus her community connections inspired her to join the board in 2015. “Education can help reduce disparities in opportunities,” says Lisa. “I want our kids to be successful in high school and beyond and I want to support them in that journey.” Lisa also shares her time and sense of purpose with the ACCESS program at Edina High School, helping students in need pursue their postsecondary plans.
Bio Coming Soon!
Kelly Streit Kelly wears many hats for Edina ABC and looks great in all of them. She’s our social media and website guru, liaison to the Edina Morningside Rotary Club, and has been a board member since 2013. Kelly has lived in seven different states, but is happy to have called Minnesota home for the past six years. She’ll tell you that Edina ABC has a positive effect on the whole community. “Hearing stories and learning about other people is a great thing for everyone,” says Kelly “and I love that so many of our alumni go on to help other people. Edina ABC has a long-reaching ripple effect.”
Meghan Townsend Van Someren At our 2011 gala, Meghan heard a former ABC student speak about how Edina ABC had changed her life. That very night, Meghan’s life was changed as well - she signed on as a host parent that year and joined the board one year later. Since then, ABC students have brought “tremendous joy” to Meghan and her family. “When our first host student graduated,” said Meghan, “I don’t think I could have been prouder if he were my own kid.” When she’s not hanging with her family at their sporting events, you might find Meghan running a marathon or sharing one of her culinary creations.
Amanda Williams Amanda has been a host parent to two ABC students and a board member since 2012, serving as both former Secretary and current Vice President. Amanda counts an excellent education and a great family among her many blessings. “I know I need to share those blessings in all aspects of my life,” says Amanda. She loves working with the other board members and is constantly impressed by our students. “I love the graduation dinner,” she says. “Our students are very inspiring and that’s what keeps me involved.”