Board of Directors

Headshot_2015Janeen Gingrich has worked in the social justice arena for 22+ years, starting out as an overnight shelter manager at a domestic and sexual violence program in rural SW Virginia. Her background is in clinical social work, which has given her extensive experience facilitating groups and conversations in diverse situations. Janeen has spent the past 10 years consulting with nonprofits with an emphasis on capacity building, leadership and organizational development, and grassroots fundraising. Janeen has also built non-profit development programs from the ground up for a range of organizations, with budgets from $250,000 to $20M annually, and with local, statewide, and international focuses. Janeen has a passion for change management and was recently the interim CEO at SHIFT NC.

 

 

Antionette Kerr is a nonprofit leader, media correspondent, author of Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits, publisher of Bold & Bright Media and lover of all poetry. Native of Lexington, NC, she spent her youth living in pockets of economically-distressed neighborhoods. She went on to study journalism and African American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she began researching and writing about the influence of race, gender, and politics. Kerr has provided training for the National Council of Nonprofits, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide and The Nonprofit Academy.

 

 

 

Ericka Faircloth (Nicki) originates from Scotland/Robeson Counties, and received her undergrad degree in International and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has taught the English language abroad in Amman, Jordan, and in recent years has worked alongside her people to protect their ancestral lands, as well as pushing unification amongst all people. In her spare time she enjoys videography, studying spiritual teachings, and connecting with the spiritual realm. Ericka lives in Raleigh with her husband, Fares, and their dog Charro. 

 

 

 

Polly Schattel is originally from Birmingham, AL, and was trained as a journalist, but soon moved into filmmaking. Since then she has worked with cable networks, Oscar and Emmy-winners, rock stars, thought leaders, non-profits, think tanks, politicians, painters, advertising agencies, composers, athletes, writers, activists, photographers, veterans, corporate executives, physicians, filmmakers and more–even a canine detective. Her award-winning work has been shown at film festivals and on televisions and movie screens across America and around the world.

Proudly and passionately transgenderPolly is based out of the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. She lives with her wife and son and three dogs and two cats.”

 

 

Emily Hagstrom, also known as Em, is an Information Communication Specialist and Research Analyst at the NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement. She’s a writer, researcher, and advocate for gender equity and LGBTQ+ justice and loves talking to folks about community and support! Emily was born and raised in North Carolina and can generally be found spending too much time with her cats, hiking, playing mediocre guitar, and persuading people to watch Call Me by Your Name with her.

 

 

 

 

Janice Hillanbrand is a county government professional currently based in Forsyth County, NC. Growing up with deaf parents, she saw first hand the effects of systemic poverty and discrimination as well as the difference good community partners can make. She has worked diligently to assist in fundraising efforts for victims of domestic violence in both Wake and Davidson Counties. Janice developed her passion for efficient and effective government services young after she served as a House Page for the NC General Assembly. She received her Masters in Public Administration from UNC Chapel Hill and her Bachelors in Political Science from Campbell University. She has also worked at the City of Clinton, NC and the Program Evaluation Division at the NC General Assembly. She currently lives in Winston-Salem with her husband and dog.  

 

 

Jo DeLosSantos spent the first half of her professional career in finance at Fortune 500 companies and the second half has found her teaching English, writing and humanities in higher education settings. She is currently a professor at High Point University, but taught for 15 years in the North Carolina Community College System. She has an MA in English and communication from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives with her partner and children in the NC Piedmont Triad where she is passionately involved in women’s and HIV/AIDS advocacy, nonprofits and fundraising.  Jo is the Communications Director at Women AdvaNCe.

 

 

 

Joy Ayioka originates from Kenya where she spent most of her childhood before moving to the triangle area in 2009. She is a storyteller, traveler, advocate for marginalized and disenfranchised communities, an ally of the LGBT(Q) community, and lover of all. She previously served in the role of an intern at women advance where her passion and fight for women issues in North Carolina intensified. She is currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina majoring in social work with a clinical concentration. In her free time, you can find her at the travel section of Barnes and Nobles reading travel guides.

 

 

Rachel Maguire is a virtual college adviser with College Advising Corps, and she works with high achieving low to moderate income students across the country while supporting them through the college application process. Born and raised in North Carolina with a bachelors degree from UNC Chapel Hill, Rachel is passionate about activism in NC and has a vested interest in both gender violence prevention work and mental health advocacy. She plans to get her masters in social work and aspires to be a therapist one day, breaking down barriers surrounding mental illness and helping people better understand themselves.

 

 

 

Stephany Mejia, She/Her, was born to Nicaraguan-Dominican parents and raised in New York City. Stephany is a clinical social worker, working in early childhood mental health. She graduated with a degree in Sociology with a minor in Nonprofit Studies from North Carolina State University, and she earned her Master in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the co-founder of “Aliadas NC,” a local womxn-centered organization which aims to build community among womxn of color. She is passionate about mental health access specifically for QPOC, LGBTQ, and womxn of color. In her free time, you can find her practicing yoga and DJing with a collective of womxn and femmes.

 

 

 

 

Laura Edwards is the Founder of AdvaNCe. She is a trailblazing civic leader with a passion for women’s issues, social justice, environment, and the arts. Edwards has dedicated decades to various boards in her home state of North Carolina, including the NC Arts Council, Penland School of Crafts, and NC Equity. She is the Co-Founder and Board Emeritus of Lillian’s List of NC. She currently serves as Trustee on the Julian Price Family Foundation. Edwards has been awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious civilian honors in our state. She lives with her partner and children in Chapel Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership Team

 

Antionette Kerr is a nonprofit leader, media correspondent, author of Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits, publisher of Bold & Bright Media and lover of all poetry. Native of Lexington, NC, she spent her youth living in pockets of economically-distressed neighborhoods. She went on to study journalism and African American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she began researching and writing about the influence of race, gender, and politics. Kerr has provided training for the National Council of Nonprofits, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide and The Nonprofit Academy.

 

 

Ericka Faircloth (Nicki) originates from Scotland/Robeson Counties, and received her undergrad degree in International and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has taught the English language abroad in Amman, Jordan, and in recent years has worked alongside her people to protect their ancestral lands, as well as pushing unification amongst all people. In her spare time she enjoys videography, studying spiritual teachings, and connecting with the spiritual realm. Ericka lives in Raleigh with her husband, Fares, and their dog Charro. 

 

 

Jo DeLosSantos spent the first half of her professional career in finance at Fortune 500 companies and the second half has found her teaching English, writing and humanities in higher education settings. She is currently a professor at High Point University, but taught for 15 years in the North Carolina Community College System. She has an MA in English and communication from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives with her partner and children in the NC Piedmont Triad where she is passionately involved in women’s and HIV/AIDS advocacy, nonprofits and fundraising.  Jo is the Communications Director at Women AdvaNCe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Founder

 

Laura Edwards is the Founder of AdvaNCe. She is a trailblazing civic leader with a passion for women’s issues, social justice, environment, and the arts. Edwards has dedicated decades to various boards in her home state of North Carolina, including the NC Arts Council, Penland School of Crafts, and NC Equity. She is the Co-Founder and Board Emeritus of Lillian’s List of NC. She currently serves as Trustee on the Julian Price Family Foundation. Edwards has been awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious civilian honors in our state. She lives with her partner and children in Chapel Hill.