2024 Proposed SAVMA Leadership

The SAVMA Board of Directors would like to present the 2024 proposed SAVMA Leadership. To identify barriers to leadership, the Willing and Able Leadership Survey opened September 1st, posing four questions about willingness and ability to serve. The results of that data will be presented in 2024 blog posts.

Those identified as willing and able to serve (and qualified) are hereby presented as your leadership team for 2024. As there are open positions there will still be a call for nominations from the floor on December 7th at the annual meeting. If you have not registered, please do so here as the hosts are providing food and beverages.

Board of Directors

Officers (terms end 12/2024)

Jennifer Lohse (President)

Jennifer has served in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years in a variety of leadership positions. She holds a Certified Nonprofit Professional credential from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. As the Vice President and External Relations of the “Tucson Foundations,” she works with more than 70 grantees annually administering $3 million to the local community. Leadership for volunteer engagement professionals is near and dear to Jennifer’s heart and she is proud to support the community in a SAVMA governance role.



Caitlyn Keefe (Treasurer)

Caitlyn is am an accounting student at The University of Arizona. In addition, she works as an accountant at the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. She moved to Tucson in December 2021 from Gurnee, Illinois to pursue an accounting degree and to get out of the cold! Her dog, Mickey, came with her and they have enjoyed all the hiking and outdoor activities available here. She has loved getting to know the area and the people residing here. While she does not have much experience in the nonprofit industry, she is ready to dive right in with SAVMA! She enjoys contributing to this organization and getting to know more about Tucson and the volunteer organizations here.

Jill LaBrie (Secretary)

Jill LaBrie had 38 years of experience working with delinquent youth with the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, as well as foster children through the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program at the Pima County Juvenile Court Center. At least 15 of those years involved recruiting, training and supervising volunteers. While Jill retired in April of 2022 she has served on the SAVMA Board in past holding positions of Membership Committee Chair, President Elect, and President. We simply could not let her retire, when she loves volunteers this much. Jill is an avid reader, likes to craft, and is a reality tv fan.

Directors At Large

Jennifer Brown, (term ending 12/31/2025)

Jennifer Brown, born in Shawnee Mission Kansas, raised in Tucson since she was four.  She attended Flowing Wells district schools, kindergarten to 12th grade. After graduating high school, she joined the Navy where she served five years in San Diego aboard the USS PELELIU. After returning home she attended the University of Arizona, where she received a degree in education with an emphasis in Deaf studies. She has been married since 2016 and has a 5-year-old daughter. When she’s not wrangling volunteers, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, riding horses, playing cards, and going to concerts.

Stephanie Goetz, term ending 12/31/2024

Originally from the Midwest, I have found my happy place in the desert of the Southwest. I love to travel and discover new places, meeting the people that make their communities special. When it’s not too hot, I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, sand volleyball, reading a book by the pool, and taking care of our animals on the ranch. I have over a decade of experience in the food & beverage industry, most of that time spent in the world of craft beer. The lessons learned from that time are being translated to my recent career move to the non-profit sector at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, bringing people together to build a stronger community.

Gina Hansen, term ending 12/31/2024

Gina Hansen is the Volunteer Resource Manager at Habitat for Humanity Tucson. She has over 10 years’ experience in all aspects of volunteer engagement. Her experience includes: 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. She has a small side hustle, crafting business. When she’s not working, Gina enjoys time outdoors with her family and friends!

Pi Poletta, term ending 12/31/2025

When she first moved to Tucson she worked as a Marketing Manager for a national manufacturing company. Pi enjoyed the challenge of reaching across different market segments and different states to engage people. She learned what was most important to them, what they needed most and worked to meet those needs. Feeling abundantly grateful, she decided to take her experience and use it to help others. Shifting from a business to a nonprofit mindset. People claim you have to have a passion for the mission of an organization. Pi believes you have to have a passion for the type of work you do.

Now, with 15 years in nonprofit development, 25+ years of experience in marketing and communications, having held the role/s of Director, Manager, Associate Director and Executive Director, BOD member for TROT and Friends of Ironwood Forest she is ready to serve as Leadership to SAVMA.

Lizzy Studstill, term ending 12/31/2025

Lizzy first started in the field of non-profit community organizing as a volunteer herself, as an AmeriCorps Volunteer placed with Literacy Connects. Through that opportunity, she fell in love with adult education and language teaching and returned to the University of Arizona for her Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language. Through what feels like the stars aligning just right, Lizzy was able to start working for Literacy Connects right after graduation, returning to the volunteer-driven organization that sparked her love for this work in the first place.

In her role as the Program Manager for the English Language Acquisition for Adults program, Lizzy onboards, trains, and supports a wonderful team of volunteer teachers who are in turn providing free English language classes for adult immigrants and refugees in Tucson, AZ. A transplant to Arizona originally from Atlanta, GA, in addition to the work itself, Lizzy loves this opportunity to connect with the community.

Micaela Varela, term ending 12/31/2024

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She moved to Tucson for a post college volunteer program with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in 2017. She served as a volunteer with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona for a year. This quickly turned into a love for Tucson and desire to continue serving her community. After earning her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona, Micaela returned to the Community Food Bank, where she currently serves as the Volunteer Coordinator.

2024 SAVMA Committee Leadership

Membership (Chair – Jennifer Brown)

  • Jill LaBrie – Secretary
  • Jennifer Lohse – President (Ex-Officio)

Governance and Administration (Chair – Jill LaBrie)

  • Caitlyn Keefe – Treasurer
  • Jennifer Lohse – President (Ex-Officio)

Communications (Chair – Lizzy Studstill)

  • Micaela Varela- Director
  • Mikay Wright- Member
  • Lillian Ledner– AmeriCorps
  • Jennifer Lohse – President (Ex-Officio)
  • Gina Hansen- Program Liaison

Programs and Events (Chair – Gina Hansen)

  • Stephanie Goetz- Director
  • Cathy Starr- Member
  • Jennifer Lohse – President (Ex-Officio)
  • VMHC Event Chair- Vacant
  • SAVMA Awards 2025 Event Chair- Vacant
  • SAVMA Fair 2024 Event Chair- Vacant
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