Board of Directors

Marie Hardin

Marie Hardin has been Dean of the College of Communications at Penn State since 2014. She arrived at the University in 2003 and has served in multiple roles in the College, teaching writing, editing and ethics courses. She was a journalist, magazine features writer, and college newspaper adviser in Georgia and Florida before arriving at Penn State.

Cheryl Harrison

Cheryl joined the Pink Zone board in the Fall of 2015 and is part of the Governance Committee. She was formerly on the board of directors for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District V and District chair of the Committee on Opportunity and Equity (COE). Cheryl is a Regional Director with the Penn State Alumni Association, happily married and has 2 adult children.

Carol Herrmann

Carol Herrmann is Senior Vice President for Administration and Communication at Kish Bank, where she also serves as CEO of Kish Travel, a full-service travel agency owned by Kish Bancorp. Carol retired from Penn State as Senior Vice President for Administration Emerita and, before joining Kish, served as President of Pinnacle Development, LLC, the corporation that designed and developed The Village at Penn State. Mother of two adult children, she is the proud grandmother of Julia and Kate Herrmann.

Jesse Ickes

Jesse is a financial advisor with Beck Financial and Wealth Management, LLC., in Altoona, PA.  He graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Business Administration; with a concentration in Accounting and minor in Entrepreneurship.  He served as the President of the Sheetz Fellows Program, a philanthropic program to bolster the importance of leadership and entrepreneurial spirits. Jesse currently serves on three non-profit boards and continues to be engaged in their missions of helping people.  Jesse and his wife, Nicole, live in Altoona, and are currently expecting a baby boy, Samuel, in November 2018.

Jenn James

A native of Irwin, PA, James is an Assistant Athletic Director for Penn State. Her Lady Lion ties include – student manager from 1987 to 1992; home event manager from 1995 to 2002; sport administrator from 2002 to 2015. James was a founding member of the original Think Pink games and coordinated the transition into the Pennsylvania Pink Zone organization that we know today!

Mitch Kirsch

Mitch moved to State College in 1996 and has been an active member of both the Penn State and State College communities. She is currently Associate Dean for Student Affairs with the Schreyer Honors College and has experience working in undergraduate admissions and the Smeal College of Business in her 20 years at Penn State.  Mitch is a breast cancer survivor and has been an active Pink Zone volunteer prior to joining the board.  She is an avid PSU sports fan and loves cheering for Penn State with her husband, Rod, and daughters, Kelsey (PSU ’14) and Mackenzie (PSU ’17).

Louisa Lobre-Riley

Louisa Lobre-Riley is a two time breast cancer survivor and joined the Pink Zone Board in the fall of 2017. She is Assistant Vice President, Small Business Partner and Mortgage Loan Originator at Altoona First Savings Bank. She has 28 years of banking experience, specializing in commercial and residential lending. Louisa is passionate about breast cancer research and has served on the American Cancer Society Blair Unit, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Committee as well as serving as the ambassador for the Blair Unit Relay of Life in 2013. She holds a degree in Letters, Arts and Sciences from Penn State.

Kim Neely

Kimberly A. Neely is the Director of Development for Parent Philanthropy at Penn State. As a professional fundraiser, Kim has been focused on matching generous people with worthy causes while establishing long-lasting relationships with individual and corporate donors. Kim has volunteered significant time for community-based not-for-profits, two of which (Centre Volunteers in Medicine and Tides) were in the developmental phase when she was recruited to their boards. She remains active with Pink Zone, Tides, the United Way, and was instrumental in the creation of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County.

Wendy Oakes

Wendy Oakes began her career with Procter and Gamble. She transitioned into medical device sales, marketing, and professional education gathering foundational experience with Kendall Healthcare, Baxter Healthcare and B. Braun Medical. From there her focus shifted to start-up companies in California, Netherlands and United Kingdom. Most recently Wendy served as the Executive Director for The Foundation of Innovation, Education, and Research in Otolaryngology and managed her own medical device consulting company. She is now working in Penn State’s office of Corporate and Foundations focusing on science, human development and biomedical engineering.

Robin Oliver-Veronesi

Robin is the Senior Director at Penn State University Health Services. She graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Microbiology, obtained her M.D. at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1995. Dr. Oliver worked as an Ob/Gyn until 2012 when she joined University Health Services as the Director of Women’s Health. She became the Senior Director of University Health Services in 2015 and earned her Certified Professional Executive (CPE) in 2016 through the American Association for Physician Leadership. Dr. Oliver meets with student groups about health-related topics and sees these groups as good prospects for engagement with Pink Zone.

Brett Thelen

Brett Thelen, CPA is a manager at Baker Tilly. He has been working in public accounting since 2011.  Prior to public accounting, he worked in the not-for-profit sector.  Brett and his wife have two young children and reside in State College. 

Coquese Washington

Coquese Washington is a former collegiate and professional basketball player who currently serves as the head coach of Penn State’s women’s basketball team, the Lady Lions. Washington is the first female African-American head coach in Penn State history. Washington holds a law degree and was the first president of the WNBA Players Association. She played her high school basketball at Flint Central High School and her collegiate basketball at the University of Notre Dame. Washington and her husband, Raynell Brown, have a son, Quenton, and a daughter, Rhaiyna. 

Heather Winfield

Heather is Director of Campaign Imperatives at Penn State where she helps lead the planning and implementation of major strategic imperatives for the “Greater Penn State” capital campaign. Previously, she served as Associate Director of Foundation Relations and as Associate Director of Development for the College of Education during the final two years of the $2.1 billion “For the Future” campaign. She has held other advancement positions at the University of South Florida-Sarasota and Eckerd College, where she was a gift officer throughout the completion of a 5-year $80 million campaign. Heather has a BA in Theatre from Florida State University. She resides in State College with her husband, Jason, and two kids, Holly and Jonah.