Leadership

Working Together for Women's Empowerment

Board Members

Christine Burns-Fazzi

Christine Burns-Fazzi

Founder and Board Chair

Raised on the coast of NC, Chris spent her business career working in the area of benefits and insurance. Over the last 25 years she and her business partner, Rich Brock, developed a national business. They decided to “pay it forward” by forming the BFB Foundation dedicated to helping developing communities by educating girls and women. In addition to her committed involvement with the Foundation, Chris travels a great deal and has recently started a mushroom farm business, with a long time friend. Their intent is to provide locally sourced mushrooms to western NC with 50% of profits going to the Foundation.
Gerrianne Winky Burks

Gerrianne “Winky” Burks

Board Member

Winky retired from Northwest Federal Credit Union (NWFCU) in January 2013 after serving 41 years with NWFCU, the last 5 years serving as President/CEO. During her tenure at NWFCU, Winky was a staunch advocate for promoting education, financial literacy and making a difference in the lives of the membership and the communities NWFCU serves. She was instrumental in the development and formation of the Northwest Federal Credit Union’s Foundation as well as the Virginia Leagues Credit Union Care Foundation. Winky’s areas of expertise include governance, executive leadership/team building, management issues and an in-depth financial background. Winky has served on many boards including: Northwest Financial LLC, Potomac Business Services, Credit Union Executive Society (CUES), Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation and Credit Union Care Foundation. In April 2017, Winky joined the board of NWFCU where she currently serves as Secretary. Winky has also been serving for three years as a Guardian ad Litem in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where it advocates for neglected and abused children in foster care.
Thomas Farrell

Thomas Farrell

Board Member

Tom is currently an international higher education consultant to universities and governments. In 2017, he retired from the position of Vice Provost for Global Engagement at the University of Nebraska where he was responsible for coordinating the international engagement strategy for the four university campuses. Prior to joining the University, he served in the U.S. Department of State for 7 years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Tom previously worked at the Institute of International Education, America’s oldest and largest private, not for profit international education exchange agency. Tom also served in the US diplomatic corps as a Foreign Service Officer following work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in India. While a graduate student at the University of Michigan Tom was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Pakistan. He holds a BA from Providence College and an MA from Claremont Graduate University.

Pilar Fitzgerald

Pilar Fitzgerald

Board Member

Pilar is a co-founder of Pili and Talli Events, a full service event planning and management company located in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Georgia as well as a Masters in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University. Pilar has been involved with the BFB Foundation since 2011 and is passionate about our mission to educate and empower women and girls throughout the world.

Deb Foote

Deb Foote

Board Member

Deb currently works part time with her husband, supporting their business, which provides process-monitoring systems primarily to the textile industry. She previously had a career working with several homebuilders in the Charlotte area in design and sales. Before moving to North Carolina in 1999, she lived in Charleston, SC where she spent some time working on Kiawah Island for the community association. Deb has worked with several non-profits and charitable organizations including KidsRein (a therapeutic horseback riding non-profit) and The Make A Wish Foundation. She was the vice president of the Theater Arts Booster Club for William Amos Hough High School and has been a volunteer for the Triangle Beagle Rescue. Deb has served as the president of the board of directors for her HOA and the secretary for the board of directors for a commercial builder. Deb is married with two children and two rescue beagles.

Heather Herrig

Heather Herrig

Board Member

Heather (CMP) is the President & Chief Event Strategist of Every Last Detail, a full-service corporate events and meetings firm dedicated to high-touch, seamless, and strategic events. Heather is deeply committed to the meetings and events industry and seizes every opportunity to give back. She volunteers with multiple industry associations and is on the teaching team for Emory University’s Continuing Education Certificate in Event Planning. In addition, she has co-created The Business Bootcamp for Independent Planners, which builds on her passion to support this industry’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Heather’s achievements within the hospitality industry are recognized by BizBash, as she was named to their list of the Top 1000 People in Events. Heather is a graduate of the University of Georgia and resides outside of Atlanta with her husband and two daughters. When not spending time on her business, or with her family, you can usually find her savoring Atlanta’s many culinary offerings or deeply engrossed in a crossword puzzle.

Jen Jackson

Jennifer Jackson

Board Member

Jennifer Jackson is a Vice President at Gallagher Benefit Services, a division of Arthur J Gallagher.  Her career has been focused on nonqualified executive benefits in the banking and credit union markets.  Jennifer’s expertise includes regulatory compliance, financial analysis, and retention strategies. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

James Patterson

James Patterson

Board Member

Jim is a partner with Sher­man & Patterson, a law firm focusing in the areas of tax, nonqualified deferred com­pensation (e.g., 409A and 457(f)) and employee benefits. Most of his deferred compensation clients are healthcare systems and credit unions. Jim holds a BA in Economics and Italian from Brigham Young Uni­ver­sity, and a Juris Doc­tor from J. Reuben Clark Law School.

Marlene Schwartz

Board Member

Retired from the U.S. Department of State with more than 40 years of service. Served in a variety of leadership positions providing guidance to senior Department officials in support of foreign policy objectives. Areas of expertise include management issues and organization efficiencies with experience in both the public and private sectors. Currently serves as Chairman of the Board for both the State Department Federal Credit Union and the National Association of Credit Union Chairmen. Education includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University studies at Georgetown University School of International Studies.

Paulina Torrebiarte

Paulina Torrebiarte

Board Member

Born and raised in Guatemala City, Torrebiarte studied 2 years in Vancouver, Canada and completed her undergraduate degree in Finance and International Business at The University of Tampa. Currently living in Charlotte, NC, she worked as an insurance underwriter before joining BFB Gallagher as a Client Service Manager.

Jeff Ziliani

Jeff Ziliani

Board Member

Jeff is the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Benefits of BFB Gallagher. Before joining BFB Gallagher, Jeff spent over 12 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Assurance and Business Advisory Group. Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from The College of New Jersey and has been an active Certified Public Accountant since 2002. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. Jeff, his wife, Regina, and son Evan live in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Staff

Elizabeth Love Maddrey

Elizabeth Love Maddrey

Executive Director, Charlotte, North Carolina​

With a background in nonprofit management and arts administration, Elizabeth has been working with BFB Foundation since Fall 2016. Most recently she worked in Charlotte as an art consultant with Hodges Taylor and a program manager at ArtsTeach, an education grants-making non profit. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with an Art History degree, and before moving back to Charlotte, she worked at Sotheby’s auction house in New York City. Elizabeth is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
Mishelle Rodriguez

Mishelle Rodriguez

Academic Advisor, Guatemala

Mishelle served as the BFB Foundation scholarships coordinator in Guatemala for four years before becoming Academic Advisor. Currently in University herself, Mishelle serves as a peer mentor for navigating the public university system and helps students identify pathways to employment in their native Guatemala.