Council

Strengthening WPI's impact around the world

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute Council is a select group of individuals who are committed to advancing the vision and mission of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, serving as ambassadors to external stakeholders, elevating the Women’s Philanthropy Institute profile, and strengthening the institute’s impact globally.

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute Council serves in an advisory capacity, focusing on strategic planning and marketing the Women’s Philanthropy Institute as the leading resource for women’s philanthropy trends, best practices, and information.

Meet the Women’s Philanthropy Institute Council.

Patricia Annino

Patricia M. Annino is a nationally recognized authority on estate planning with more than 30 years’ experience serving the diverse needs of families, individuals, and owners of closely held businesses.  She is a partner in Rimon’s Trust and Estates Group. She represents high net worth families, the owners of closely held businesses, authors, artists, and musicians in estate planning and probate matters. Patricia has been voted by her peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America (Trust and Estates), a Top 50 Massachusetts Super Lawyer, Boston Estate Planning Council Estate Planner of the Year (2007) and Best American Lawyer in Wealth Management (EuroMoney). She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Trust and Estates Council.

Patricia is a member of the Smith College President's Council, the Smith College Center for Women and Financial Independence, the Board of Directors of Family Firm Institute, and Business Families Foundation. She is the author of numerous texts and is a monthly estate planning columnist for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Dianne Chipps Bailey

Dianne Chipps Bailey is a Managing Director and the National Practice Executive for the National Consulting and Advisory Practice, Nonprofit Consulting Services team at U.S. Trust. In this role, Dianne and her team deliver customized consulting and advisory services to U.S. Trust institutional nonprofit clients' boards of directors, investment committees, and senior professional leaders. Dianne has more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofits. Previously, as an attorney, Dianne’s practice was dedicated to the representation of tax-exempt organizations, their senior management and volunteer leaders. 

Dianne’s professional commitment to nonprofits is deeply personal. An active community leader, she has served on and chaired many nonprofit boards of directors including most recently, Discovery Place and Women Executives. An evangelist for women's philanthropy, she is a founding member and past president of Women's Impact Fund. Her professional recognition includes a Charlotte Business Journal Women in Business Achievement Award and the Leadership Charlotte Circle of Excellence Award. Dianne was named The Mecklenburg Times 2015 Woman of the Year. She graduated with high honors from the University of California at Berkeley and cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.

Monika Black

Few have ever seen a person jump nearly a foot over their own head. Fewer still have done it. But, it is exactly that kind of exceptionalism that Monika Black embodied as the nation's shortest All-American collegiate high-jumper. Now, as co-founder of TandemSpring, Monika uses every ounce of her natural strengths to help leaders and organizations elevate beyond the walls of the Corporate Mindset, to unleash their most authentic leadership presence, regardless of title, position, education, or struggle. Monika also co-authored Join Us On The Brighter Side of Leadership and Unlock The Corporate Mindset to help leaders of all types operate in their strengths and elevate their authentic leadership presence.

She is one of the 40 founding members of the Women in Entrepreneurship Institute (WEI) at DePaul University as well as a Board Member of The Theatre School. Monika also serves as a Board Member of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University. In 2018, Monika was recognized as a community leader for her continued empowerment of women throughout Chicago by DeVry, FWD Collective, and Women Thriving Fearlessly. Monika received her doctorate from DePaul University in Community Psychology. She also holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and Healthcare Administration from The Ohio State University. Her coaching certification is through the College of Executive Coaching.

Sloane Davidson

Sloane Davidson is the Founder and CEO of Hello Neighbor, a mentoring program based in Pittsburgh that supports recently resettled refugee and immigrant families by matching them with dedicated neighbors to guide and support them in their new lives. Previously, Sloane was Founder and Principal of Farsight Media, a social impact consultancy focused on strategic planning and program development for social enterprise companies and nonprofits. Her expertise includes 15 years in communications, marketing, business development, and fundraising, with a focus on social media and digital strategy.

An active philanthropist and advocate, Sloane has raised, to date, over $3 million for nonprofits. She currently sits on the Council for Resolve Network, a microfinance NGO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is an advisor to Modern Loss and Horizon. She was named a top influencer at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative and Top Woman to Follow on Twitter by Forbes. Sloane was also named to the Dell #Inspire 100, a list of leading influencers who use technology to empower and inspire others. Sloane received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Vermont and a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from The University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Sloane currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and children.

Claudine Donikian

Claudine A. Donikian, JD, MBA, is the president, chief executive officer, and chief marketing officer of Pentera, Inc., and is regarded as one of the foremost experts in planned giving marketing. She is a frequent speaker on the national planned giving and Association of Fundraising Professionals circuits. As Pentera's chief marketing officer, she is the editor-in-chief for Pentera's corporate marketing content, guides client marketing content and personally consults with a select group of Pentera's clients, including Cornell University, Vassar College, and the University of Notre Dame, on their marketing strategy and execution. Under her leadership, Pentera’s client base has increased by 500 percent. 

Claudine graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with high distinction from Indiana University, received an MA in French from New York University, and holds a JD and an MBA from Boston College. She serves on the board of directors of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York, the Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund, and the Brookview House. She is also an active member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Planned Giving Group of New England. Fluent in French, Claudine has also taught French for colleges, corporations, and adult education centers.

Jennifer Evans

Following a productive career in banking and economic development, Jennifer is now a full-time philanthropist and engaged board member. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Girls Athletic Leadership School and Treasurer of the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver. Jennifer is the first female member of the Wabash College Board of Trustees (a college for men from which her son graduated) and Executive Director of the Tankersley Foundation. Jennifer has a BA from UC Berkeley and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Jennifer Kim Field

Jen Kim Field is Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility for Henry Schein, Inc. and Executive Director of Henry Schein Cares Foundation. She previously worked at the United Nations Foundation as Vice President of Global Partnerships. In that role she led partnership efforts to contribute to the sustainability of the UN Foundation and support the work of the United Nations. In 2010 she oversaw the launch of the UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, a “for girls, by girls” movement to empower American girls to raise awareness and funds for UN programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls.

Prior to joining the UN Foundation, Jen worked at VolunteerMatch, where she helped Fortune 500 companies use technology to advance their volunteer initiatives and campaigns. From her earlier work at PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (now IBM Business Consulting) through her work at Points of Light Foundation and beyond, Jen’s career has often bridged the corporate and nonprofit worlds. Jen hails from Alabama, where she acquired a taste for fried catfish and grits. She currently lives in Arlington, VA, with her husband, Evan, guitarist for the rock band Honor By August, and their beautiful daughter, Annabelle.

Bruce Flessner

Bruce W. Flessner is a former principal at Bentz Whaley Flessner, an international fundraising consulting firm serving colleges, universities and major medical centers in Asia, Europe, and North America. During his 30 years of consulting experience, he has served clients such as American University of Beirut, Boston College, Michigan State University, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Sydney, and many others.

Mr. Flessner is a recognized expert on new wealth philanthropy and has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Star Tribune, Dallas Star, Detroit Free Press, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Chronicle of Higher Education and several other major newspapers. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foundation’s New Ventures in Philanthropy. He is a frequent speaker at the Council of Advancement and Support of Education, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, and other professional association conferences.

Kathleen Loehr

Kathleen E. Loehr, Senior Consultant at Aspen Leadership Group, has a three-decade career in the nonprofit sector that includes leadership in the fields of early childhood education, fundraising, disaster fundraising, women in philanthropy, international non-governmental organizations, and nonprofit effectiveness. Her fundraising background includes leading development for the American Red Cross, Save the Children, the International Crisis Group, and key departments at Cornell University. She is chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute Advisory Council. 

Her women’s philanthropy expertise results from her work across twenty years with the President’s Council of Cornell Women, American Red Cross’ Tiffany Circle, and leading strategies for Duke University, Drexel University, the University of San Francisco, the College of William & Mary, and National Geographic to more deeply engage with women. She is also a skilled leadership coach, giving her ability to understand what is preventing individuals or teams from achieving their goals. The combination of her consulting, strategy design, and coaching can result in 85 percent more successful outcomes in relationships, dollars raised, processes, and communication to create breakthrough changes.

Dorri McWhorter

A proven leader in the corporate and social change sectors, Dorri McWhorter brings nearly 20 years of experience to her position as YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s chief executive officer. A socially-conscious business leader throughout her career, McWhorter is an active member of Chicago’s civic, business and philanthropic communities. Most recently, she was a partner at Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the largest accounting firms in the U.S. She has also held senior positions with Snap-on Incorporated and Booz Allen Hamilton.

McWhorter has won numerous awards and accolades, including Athena International’s Young Professional Leadership Award (2010), Chicago Business Leader of Color (2009 honoree), Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders (2009 recipient) and the Illinois CPA Society’s Outstanding Leadership in Advancing Diversity Award (2010). She received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master’s in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Adrienne Penta

Adrienne Penta is a Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Brown Brothers Harriman Center for Women & Wealth (CW&W). Ms. Penta led the creation of the CW&W, which supports women as they create and manage wealth, and seeks to create a dynamic and inclusive environment where women can engage in conversations about wealth, family and values. Ms. Penta provides women with the investment, planning and philanthropic resources they need to navigate transitions, help the next generation thrive and plan for the succession of privately-owned businesses.

Ms. Penta serves on several boards, including New America's Better Life Lab Advisory Council, Women Founders and Funders Connect Advisory Board, the Winsor School Board of Trustees, the Winsor School Corporation, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy Board of Directors, the Boys and Girls Club of Boston (BGCB) Board of Trustees and the BGCB Planned Giving Advisory Council. She is also a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum.

Prior to joining BBH in 2008, Ms. Penta practiced at the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP in Boston. Ms. Penta received her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was the Executive Editor of the Virginia Tax Review, and her BA from Johns Hopkins University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Beth Renner

Beth Renner is a Managing Director and the National Director of Philanthropic Services at Wells Fargo Private Bank. Ms. Renner is the senior business unit leader with the overall responsibility to provide strategic direction, functional oversight and leadership to the Wells Fargo National Philanthropic Business. She leads a team of approximately 110 philanthropic specialists across the country, who manage over $26 billion of assets in endowments, private foundations, personal charitable trusts, donor advised funds and institutional planned gifts.

Ms. Renner has worked at Wells Fargo for over 17 years. Prior to her current role she was a part of The Private Bank as a Regional Managing Director for North and South Dakota. In this role she had overall responsibility for the Investment and Fiduciary Services, Banking and Brokerage business lines. She has over 27 years of experience in the financial services industry working with individuals, families and business owners addressing their financial needs.

Ms. Renner holds a Masters of Management from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota and a B.A. in Business Administration from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.

In addition to her professional affiliations, Ms. Renner has also been very active in the broader community, as a volunteer, philanthropist and board member for various organizations to include; YWCA, United Way, Optimist International, March of Dimes, Fargo Moorhead Area Foundation. She is currently Chair Elect for the American Red Cross – Tiffany Circle National Council, one of the most successful women’s giving groups in the United States.

Steve Sarowitz

Steve Sarowitz is Founder and Chairman of Paylocity, a leading U.S. provider of payroll and HR solutions. In addition, Steve also serves as CEO of Blue Marble, an international payroll provider, and as Director of Payescape, a UK payroll provider. He is also an international philanthropist with an interest in promoting unity and universal education and advocating for the elimination of racism, sexism, nationalism, and religious prejudice. He also serves on the board of NCAT, an organization that builds state-of-the art training centers in urban areas.

Steve has commissioned a series of sculptures by renowned artist Marla Friedman of people who have contributed to the advancement of our society, including Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Julius Rosenwald, and Booker T. Washington. Steve was active in promoting the documentaries He Named Me Malala and Rosenwald. He served as Executive Producer for the award-winning documentary Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise and The Gate: Dawn of the Bahai Faith, a groundbreaking documentary about the founding of the Baha’i Faith. Steve is an avid runner who has been inducted into the Chicago Area Runners Association Hall of Fame and is a two-time winner of the MSE Division in the Chicago Chase Corporate Challenge. Steve is married with two children and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Illinois.

Caren Croland Yanis

Caren started Croland Consulting to help high net worth families and businesses develop philanthropic practices in line with their values. Her focus is on governance, cross-generation engagement, strategic planning, and evaluation. Caren previously served as President of Crown Family Philanthropies as the first professional, non-family leader. She managed organizational redesign and growth, engaged three generations of family members, planned and facilitated policy development, and guided strategic initiatives in the U.S., Israel, and the developing world. Caren also built and managed Oprah Winfrey’s philanthropies during a period that included Oprah’s Live Your Best Life and Use Your Life Awards initiatives. She was an officer on Oprah’s philanthropic boards and on the corporate side as a member of Harpo’s Senior Management Team.

Caren is a partner in Entertain2Educate, a production company focused on ethics in the workplace, a board member and finance committee member of The Poetry Foundation, a member of the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Advisory Council, a member of the Board of Visitors at the Indiana University Lily Family School of Philanthropy, a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School’s re-visioning team, a director of Friends of the Children, and a MacArthur Foundation reviewer for 100&Change. Caren has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College and a certificate in nonprofit strategic leadership from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Caren enjoys coaching, mentoring, and working alongside people who believe they can make the world a better place.