Board of Directors

Meet the Board

Brandi Finocchario

Board Chair
Brandi Finocchario

After earning her Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University in 2011, Ms. Finocchario transitioned from Education to Healthcare to explore her newfound passion.  Through that, she has had the opportunity to work for various non-profits in roles surrounding process and quality improvement, safety, compliance, and risk management.  Though she works in healthcare, she has never lost her passion for her first love – education.

Dr. Sarah Hicks

Board Vice-Chair
Dr. Sarah Hicks

Sarah is an Associate Professor and Chair at Rockhurst University in the School of Education; she brings nearly 20 years of experience in education, working in K-12 and higher education settings. Sarah currently teaches in the undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs. As a teacher educator, she engages in partnerships with the STEAM Studio, Prep-KC, Lead to Read, and various K-12 schools in the metro and greater Kanas City area. She is professionally involved in organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Missouri Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, and the Kansas City Area Teachers of Mathematics.  Sarah was been recognized with the 2019 Rockhurst University Excellence in Outcomes Assessment Award as well as the 2021 Magis Leadership Award. Sarah holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and secondary education from Rockhurst as well as a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Sarah lives in Leawood, KS with her husband Matt and two children, Myra and Isaac.

Selina Rios

Board Secretary
Selina Rios

Selina Rios currently serves as the Director of Planning and Development in the Office of Equity at City Year. Ms. Rios has worked with City Year for more than eight years in Kansas City, Tulsa, and Cleveland. Within these roles, she has helped oversee the vision and implementation of City Year’s instructional model, providing leadership in creating an equity strategy within the organization. Her focus on data-driven methods have allowed the organization to improve program effectiveness and academic growth for students.

In addition to her work with City Year, Ms. Rios also served as the President of the Young Latino Network while living in the Cleveland/Akron, Ohio area.

Jeff Phillips

Board Treasurer; Chair of the Finance Committee
Jeff Phillips

Jeff Phillips is Senior Vice President of Landmark National Bank in Kansas City.  An Oklahoma native, Jeff began his banking career in high school as a teller and experienced many different aspects of the bank’s operations.  In 1998, after graduating from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Agriculture Economics, he began his career as a loan officer with a $60 million bank in his hometown of El Reno, OK.  After earning an MBA from the University of Oklahoma, Jeff was asked to lead the retail efforts of a $4 billion regional bank which ultimately led to his move to Kansas City.  Upon accomplishing his goals in that arena, he resumed his commercial lending career, focusing on small to mid-sized operating companies, providing expertise in accounts receivable/ inventory financing, equipment purchases and cash management services.  In 2007, Jeff was given an opportunity to help establish a bank’s presence in Kansas City.  It was here, he served on the leadership team providing direction in the areas of deposit generation, branch site selection and personnel development.  Desiring to return to his community banking roots, Jeff joined the team at Missouri Bank in 2010 where he had the privilege to serve on the bank’s Loan Committee, Senior Leadership Team, ALCO, and Enterprise Risk Committee while leading several ad hoc initiatives.  In 2018, Jeff was recruited to spur Landmark’s growth in the Kansas City area.  Here he has had the opportunity to open a new location, build a talented team and grow the bank’s presence and reputation within the community.  He continues to focus on assisting Entrepreneurs with both their personal and business banking needs.

Jeff is a 2004 honors graduate of the Graduate School of Banking in Colorado and served as an Alumni Adviser, promoting the school and assisting in recruitment efforts.  Jeff also served as a faculty member for 12 years – facilitating Bank Management Simulation for the third year students.  Jeff is actively involved in his church serving in several leadership roles, gladly gives of his time through board positions for a select few non-profit organizations and enjoys supporting various civic organizations through board and committee engagements.  He lives in Fairway, KS with his lovely wife Allison and amazing daughters Eliza and Rosie.  He enjoys exploring the wilderness, witty movies, showing how un-athletic he is and checking out new, local restaurants.

Jim MacDonald

Immediate Past Chair
Jim MacDonald
Jim MacDonald is the Senior Vice-President for Community Investment and Agency Relations at United Way of Greater Kansas City.  In his role with United Way, Jim is responsible for managing a portfolio of $15 million worth of annual investments in health and human service programs throughout Greater Kansas City.  Jim also oversees a range of projects and initiatives aimed at combating poverty and building financial stability among low-income families.  Jim has worked for United Way in various capacities for 29 years, having served with the United Ways in Kansas City and Jacksonville, Florida.  Jim holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame.  Jim and his husband Andy are actively involved in efforts to promote LBGT equality in Kansas City, particularly on behalf of LGBT youth and families.  Jim is a long-standing member of the City of Kansas City’s Public Improvements Advisory Committee and a 25-year resident of midtown Kansas City.  Jim and Andy are proud parents of a CWCKC student.  They live with their daughter in the Volker neighborhood.

Dr. Asia Foster

Board Member
Dr. Asia Foster
Dr. Asia Foster is the Chief Innovations Officer with EarlystART Schools. Prior to this position, she shared her passion for early childhood by serving as the Early Learning Program Manager with the Mid-America Regional Council and the Director of the Early Learning Childhood Center at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, she has served as the Chair and Associate Professor of Education/Early Childhood at Johnson County Community College and as a State Training Coordinator for the Family Conservancy. Dr. Foster was also a Fulbright Scholar in 2016-2017, working with local and national entities on the development of early childhood and basic education strategies and focusing on improving data-driven teacher training.

Luke Norris

Board Member
Luke Norris
Luke is Managing Director of Strategy and Government Relations for OpenCities a Kansas City and Melbourne, Australia based government technology firm.  Previously Luke served as the Senior Director of Government Relations at Code For America, an organization that helped build open-source technology while empowering residents to take an active role in their community to make government services simple, effective, and easy-to-use.  Luke has 12 years of experience in executing growth strategies for start-ups, including not-for-profit and Fortune 500 companies and that work, in addition to his role at CWC-KC landed him on the Top Connectors list in the Kansas City education and entrepreneurship community.  He’s been recognized as a Distinguished Citizen by the National Conference for Community and Justice, named a Rising Star of Philanthropy, and appointed as a Commissioner to the Housing Authority of Kansas City.  Luke is also a member of the advisory boards for KC Digital Drive and Neighborly, a San Francisco-based public finance start-up.  He previously served on the Women’s Center Board at UMKC, Planned Parenthood, and was the founding chairman for Mayor Sly James’ Challenge Cabinet.  Luke received a Bachelor of Science and Arts and an MBA from Rockhurst University where he was also recognized as the most outstanding student leader.  Luke, his wife, and his daughter proudly live in the urban core of Kansas City – in Central Hyde Park.

Hon. Ardie Bland

Board Member
Hon. Ardie Bland
Judge Ardie Bland is a Municipal Court Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri – Kansas City Municipal Division. Judge Bland is a native of Kansas City, Missouri and graduated from Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in 1988. Bland attended and graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Economics.  After graduation, he attended Drake University Law School in Des Moines, IA, where he worked in the law clinic for the indigent and the Trial Advocacy Team.  In 1995, he returned home to Kansas City, MO to practice law.  While working at the Social Security Administration, he became extremely passionate and knowledgeable of the physical and mental health diagnoses and their impacts on an individual’s ability to function in society.

After later representing clients for a number of years in his law firm, Ardie Bland wanted to have a bigger impact on his community, and he sought the position of Judge to try to make a difference from the bench.  In 2008, Judge Ardie A. Bland was appointed by Mayor Mark Funkhouser and the Kansas City Council, Division 205, for the 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri.  In 2009, Judge Bland presided over the first Veteran’s Treatment Court in the State of Missouri which has worked in conjunction with the Veterans Administration to help hundreds of veterans in the greater Kanas City metropolitan area to deal with issues of substance abuse, homelessness, unemployment and mental health issues such as PTSD.

Judge Bland continued to make an impact throughout the community by also presiding over the Truancy Court from 2012 to 2015.  Under his direction, more than 400 students from the various school districts serving Kansas City, Missouri successfully completed the intervention program which reports a 3 percent recidivism rate.  Attendance rates for students completing Truancy Court increased between 5 to 25 percent.  In 2015, he became presiding judge over the Kansas City, Missouri, Mental Health Court, where he was able to help individuals with mental illness connect with mental health service providers, obtain treatment, and stay medicated without being incarcerated in an attempt to reduce police interaction and harm to the individual or the community.  Judge Bland enjoys his current work with both courts because he is able to focus on treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Board Committees

In addition to the eight Board Members, CWC Kansas City is fortunate to have additional community members serving on focused committees to aid in our operation. They are:

Academic Excellence Committee

Oversight and guidance in the area of academic assessment, growth, and performance.

  • Selina Rios, Chair
  • Dr. Sarah Hicks
  • Dr. Danielle Miles

Audit Committee

Oversight and guidance in the area of our annual audit and financial reporting.

  • Luke Norris, Chair
  • Ryan Brennan, Staff

Diversity Committee

Oversight and guidance in the area of socio-economic, racial, and cultural diversity across the CWC Kansas City community.

  • Miguel Meneses, Chair
  • Alisha Gripp

Educational Equity Committee

Oversight and guidance in the area of annual academic performance goals, organizational culture, and accountability of diversity and inclusion issues within the school.

  • Dr. Sarah Hicks, Co-Chair
  • Selina Rios, Co-Chair
  • Dr. Danielle Miles, Staff
  • Johanna Chambers, Staff
  • Sara Nelson, Staff
  • Dominique Betts, Staff

Finance & Operations Committee

Oversight and guidance in the area of fiscal sustainability and responsibility.

  • Jeff Phillips, Chair
  • Brandi Finocchario
  • Jim MacDonald
  • Dr. Danielle Miles, Staff
  • Ryan Brennan, Staff

Governance Committee

Oversight and guidance in the area of Board governance and policy.

  • Maria Salcedo, Chair
  • Dr. Thomas Vansaghi

Financial Audits

CWC Kansas City is committed to financial transparency and as such, we have our financial statements independently audited.

  • Our auditor’s report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2016 can be found here.
  • Our auditor’s report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2017 can be found here.
  • Our auditor’s report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2018 can be found here.
  • Our auditor’s report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2019 can be found here.
  • Our auditor’s report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2020 can be found here.
  • Our auditor’s report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2021 can be found here.

Our organization earned a 2021 Gold Seal of Transparency! Now, everyone can view our financial details and learn about the people at our organization. Check out our updated #NonprofitProfile on Candid.

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