The SAVMA Board of Directors is pleased to present your 2021 Leadership Team. Please be sure to register to attend the December 10th Annual Meeting and Mixer to vote on the following slate of officers and directors.
- President: Gina Hansen to remain unchanged
- President-Elect: Alexei Marquez to fill a vacancy
- Secretary: Heidi Urbina, to replace Jennifer Lohse
- Treasurer: Victoria Carlson, to replace Alexei Marquez
Members at Large:
- Ken Briggs
- Meredith Bode
- Jessica Dennes
- Mary Leyva
- Angie McBride
- Alex Swain
Read about Our Upcoming 2021 Proposed Leadership!
Gina Hansen (President): Gina Hansen is the Volunteer Resource Manager at Habitat for Humanity Tucson. She has over 10 years’ experience in all aspects of volunteer engagement overseeing various volunteer programs, implementing new programs, outreach, event planning, public speaking, and training. Gina is a Service Enterprise Trainer, active on two nonprofit boards, has a small crafting business aka side hustle, and when she’s not working, she enjoys time outdoors and with family and friends!
Alexei Marquez (President-Elect): Alexei M. Marquez is the Manager of Persistence & Completion (Academic Interventions and Financial Wellness Initiatives) at the Thrive Center at the University of Arizona. In her role, she works directly with students from marginalized and underrepresented communities. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (English) and her Master’s in Language, Reading and Culture from the University of Arizona. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Leadership and Policy program at the College of Education, focusing on scholarly identities of Chicana/Latina students in Higher Education. She is a native Tucsonan, a proud graduate of Tucson Magnet High School and a former MAS/Raza studies student. She is currently the President of the UA Hispanic Alumni, a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. and serves on the Southern Arizona Volunteer Management Association. She and her partner, Leonel, have three children, Dominic, Raquel, and Maya Elena.
Victoria Carlson (Treasurer): With passion, integrity and technical skill, Ms. Carlson leads a diverse volunteer team of over 1000 volunteers for Interfaith Community Services. She balances outreach, program growth and volunteer retention for a complex array of volunteer positions working alongside and providing leadership to support staff. She utilizes entrepreneurial, teaching and program management skills from private education (K-High School), scientific and technical project management skills from exploration geophysics, and vision-driven teamwork skills from serving on nonprofit boards and ministries. Ms. Carlson achieved her international CVA certification from the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. She is certified as a Service Enterprise Initiative Trainer in organizational and change management with Points of Light. She is serving as an Arizona Commissioner with the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family.
Heidi Urbina (Secretary): Heidi has been part of the Tucson community since 2010. She loves living here because people are friendly and have a desire to work together to make their community better. She is a life-long volunteer and one-time (official) volunteer manager. She graduated from the University of Arizona with degrees in public health and Spanish, and spent time living in Montevideo, Uruguay. She has worked for Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest since 2017 and is grateful for the opportunity to advocate for older adults, children in foster care, and former refugees in Tucson. She lives with her husband and two dogs. When not working, they enjoy spending time outdoors and exploring Tucson’s creative scene.
Members at Large (Leading on Committees or Serving on Committees)
Meredith Bode: Born and raised in Denver, Meredith Bode moved to Tucson to earn a degree in elementary education from the University of Arizona. Passionate about community building and making a positive difference in the world, she went on to build a career outside of traditional classrooms. Meredith has managed events and community outreach in several non-profits for the last 14 years, including the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and the University of Arizona Foundation. She has been with United Way of Tucson since 2015 and is currently the Community Engagement Manager. She is in charge of forming strategic partnerships, building community relationships as well as overseeing all events for the organization including Days of Caring, which is the single largest community volunteer event in Southern Arizona. In December 2018, she was awarded the Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things Non-Profit Award by the University of Arizona’s Eller College for her work with Days of Caring. She enjoys spending her free time with her two children Reese and Nixon, and enjoys hiking, painting, music, and traveling.
Ken Briggs: Ken Briggs has been a teacher, teacher trainer, assistant professor and college administrator, nonprofit executive director and regional director, and now oversees financial wellness initiatives and volunteer engagement efforts at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. He has worked in the U.S. and in Thailand, and traveled extensively internationally while in higher education. He has a B.A. in English, a Masters in International Administration, and Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language issued in lieu of a Master’s Degree.
Jessica Dennes: Jessica Olivares Dennes is a former language arts teacher and educational consultant. After moving to Tucson in 2013, she began working at Literacy Connects where she became the Volunteer Manager and Trainer for the Reading Seed program, training and supporting over 500 volunteers annually for almost 5 years. Currently, Jessica works as the administrator for The Village Community Ministries coordinating volunteers, events, and communications. She is also the Internship Coordinator for the University of Arizona’s School of Sociology and a freelance writer for a local magazine. Jessica has presented workshops at local, national and international conferences on topics related to education, literacy and training practices. She holds a masters in Teaching and Teacher Education from the University of Arizona.
Mary Leyva: Mary has more than 25 years of experience working at TMC, and became the assistant manager of TMC Volunteer Services in 2012. She was born and raised in Tucson, the youngest of seven siblings. Mary is a proud wife of thirty years, a mother of two wonderful children and a nani to a beautiful granddaughter. She has always had a passion for supporting her community and has volunteered with countless organizations supporting children’s events and her catholic church. Joining TMC Volunteer Services was a great personal and professional accomplishment for Mary, which has provided an opportunity for her to show love for those that give of themselves. She believes volunteering is a gift, and all should acknowledge and appreciate individuals who offer their precious time to support those in need.
Angie McBride: Angie McBride is the Program Recruiter for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Pima County. Before beginning her career, Angie was a CASA Volunteer while raising 3 small children in the rural border town of Douglas, AZ. As a Volunteer Angie discovered love for her local community and the families she served. This inspired her to explore a career in the child welfare field beginning with the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS). After her time with DCS, Angie took a position in the behavioral health field where she supported parents seeking safe reunification with their children. Angie grew up in the Pacific Northwest where she was raised in a large extended family. Growing up Angie’s family instilled in her the importance of service to others and the power a community has to enact positive change in the world. Angie is a firm believer that each of us has something to offer in Pima County and we can accomplish better outcomes through consistency and service to others.
Alex Swain: Born in Scottsdale, AZ and lived in Cave Creek until about 7 years old when he moved to Michigan. Because he more or less grew up in Michigan, he considers himself a Michigander! He went to Hope College, studied Biology, and graduated in 2016, where he then entered a PhD program in Integrative Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. He joined a partnered lab at Carnegie Mellon University to study how the brain processes visual information. A few years in, however, he realized that his true passion was working closely with people. He decided to end early, obtaining a Master’s degree and joining the Episcopal Service Corps while spending a year of service and soul-searching. He ventured to Tucson and served for a year at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, where he was hired as their Volunteer Services Coordinator following his service year! He loved working so closely with volunteers, working at that privileged vantage point where volunteer service meets the needs of the community, and he is looking greatly forward to growing and learning more in the years to come!