Board Executive Committee
Founder and Board Chair
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 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.
Lynne is the Vice President of Client Service for Gallagher Executive Benefits where she manages the client service team as well as research and production services. She has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and accounting industries. Lynne received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Wingate University. Originally from California she now resides in Charlotte North Carolina with husband, Mike, sons, Jake and Stephen, and her daughter in law Maggie.
Shelly was born in St. Louis, Missouri and has worked in the healthcare industry as a registered nurse for over 30 years. Her interest in nursing began as a teenager on mission trips to Haiti, where she helped start a medical clinic in a rural location. She was educated at St. Louis University and received a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Her interests in community-based nursing have led her to a variety of settings and positions, including the Director of Nursing at the Charlotte Rescue Mission, where she worked with individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. She has also worked in home care and urgent care, and volunteers at the Free Medical Clinic at the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson. She currently works with students at Davidson College in the Center for Health and Well-Being. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children snow skiing, mountain biking, walking her dogs and playing tennis.
Programs Committee Chair
Development Co-Chair (Fundraising Lead)
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 (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.
Development Co-Chair (Donor Relations Lead)
Bylaws and Policy Committee Chair
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.
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.
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.
Executive Director, based in Charlotte, North Carolina
Academic Advisor, based in 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.