Staff

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Karen Barsell, CEO and President, January 2007 to present. She began her career at UWNNS in 1990 as an intern while completing a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Nevada, Reno. After graduation, she did post-graduate study to become a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the State of Nevada. Prior to her current position, she held most of the key positions in the organization. Today, Karen is pleased to provide leadership to a dynamic board, staff, and a diverse group of community volunteers that strive to achieve United Way’s mission: We link the community’s will and resources to improve lives.

Ashley Cabrera, Volunteer Engagement Assistant, September 2015 to present.  Working closely with Resource Development, Ashley coordinates volunteer engagement projects to support annual giving campaigns. By giving companies a direct community impact experience, UWNNS is able to enrich corporate relationships year-round. She also uses her photography and social media knowledge to grow UWNNS’ social media presence.  Ashley first started out running annual workplace campaigns as a Community Executive, eventually sparking an interest in the intersection of volunteerism and annual giving. Ashley graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Communication and Studio Art Minor in 2014. 

Erin Gillies, Workplace Engagement Coordinator, 2016 to present.  Erin has worked in a variety of settings: multi-national, national and local. She first volunteered at United Way from 2003 to 2007 working primarily in rural communities. In 2016, she joined staff as a Community Executive raising funds in annual workplace campaigns. She also has worked with finance and database operations as well as the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Erin graduated from Mills College with a BA in International Relations in 2013 before completing an MSc in International Development at the University of Edinburgh in 2014. Today, Erin works with staff, board, community executives and volunteers to plan and execute annual giving strategies (including volunteer activities) within the workplace.

Lulleen Lamar, Director, Philanthropy and Community Impact, July 2016 to present. Lulleen has spent her nonprofit management career focused on community engagement, donor relations, fundraising, grants management, public relations, and special events. In Albany, NY, Lulleen served as a volunteer and her rewarding experience prompted her to join the UWNNS staff in Nevada. Today, she is responsible for helping to maximize the philanthropic funding streams that support UWNNS’ community impact focus area of grade level reading. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Master’s Degree in Public Communications from the College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY.

Kelsey Piechocki, Senior Vice President, August 1993 to present. Kelsey holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to UWNNS, she was employed in software application design and technical support, graphic design and print media art direction. As a senior staff member, Kelsey works in partnership with the CEO and senior management team to provide strategic guidance to staff and volunteers and ensure overall organizational strategic alignment with the organization’s mission. Her duties encompass the areas of community impact and collective impact strategic and program development and implementation. She also works in partnership with senior staff in developing and managing the organization’s alignment with marketing and communications research, planning, strategy development and implementation, spanning both internal and external audiences.

Kim Spiersch, VP Finance, February 2010 to present. Kim’s early career in banking led to that of bookkeeper in her family owned business, P & S Hardware. Later, she provided her expertise to local businesses and moved to nonprofit accounting in 2001. At UWNNS, Kim maintains the high standards of accountability that donors expect from the organization. Kim directs the financial operations of the company, handles human resources, and manages the operation of the office. She enjoys being in the background of the organization keeping UWNNS on its path to raise the number of third grade children reading at grade level by 2020.