National Board of Directors
Karen Clark Cole :: Girls Can Do Founder & Executive Director
CEO, Blink :: Seattle, WA
Karen is the Possibility Thinker behind Girls Can Do. She believes that all girls have the potential to make a difference in their lives, the lives around them, and the world if they are given the opportunity, tools, and someone who believes in them. Karen’s goal for Girls Can Do is to plant the seed for big dreams in as many young minds as possible so they can start to see the potential that lives inside them. Karen wants us all to start looking for and telling the stories of the great women right next to us so we create a clear vision for girls to move towards and become. Read more about How this big idea got started in Karen’s blog post.
Karen is also the CEO and co-founder of Blink UX, a Seattle-based User Experience Research and Design firm. Today Karen is primarily focused on Blink’s culture and employees, communicating the company vision, and setting the company’s growth strategy. Karen also wears the Chief Operations Officer (COO) hat and spends time speaking and writing. Karen began her career in 1986 studying Fine Arts in Vancouver, BC, at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. She holds a degree in Art History & Visual Arts from the University of Victoria and is a graduate of Information Technology & Multimedia from Capilano College, Vancouver and started a Ph.D. program in Values Driven Leadership in 2015. Karen was born and raised in Victoria, Canada. She loves to ski, garden, run, kiteboard, and lives in Seattle with her daughter, two dogs, and cat. You can read her full bio on Blink’s website.
Greg Beams :: Retired Audit Partner, EY Seattle :: Seattle, WA
Greg is an audit partner with EY’s Seattle office and leads their technology and emerging high-growth practice, specializing in Internet, software and venture backed entrepreneurial companies. Greg began his career in Seattle and transferred to EY’s Washington DC practice in the late 1990’s to serve technology companies in Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland before moving back to Seattle in 2005. Greg has an extensive understanding of complex public and private company reporting matters, SEC registration statements and International accounting and operational issues. Greg has experience advising companies in their migration from a private venture-backed company through the IPO process to a public registrant. Greg has served on a number of community and professional boards and is currently the Treasurer and Audit Committee Chair for the Washington Technology Industry Association. He also sits on the Finance Committee at 4Culture (a non-profit arts organization). Greg and his wife Noelle have a 13 year old daughter, Sophia, and the three of them routinely enjoy climbing (and falling) while practicing indoor bouldering. Greg is in his final year of completing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the Academy of Art University
Noelle Beams :: Chief Operations Officer, The Thought & Expression Co. :: Seattle, WA & Brooklyn, NY
Noelle Beams is an executive with over 20 years of experience in corporate finance and strategy roles, primarily in the telecommunications and media industries. She is credited with providing strategic and financial leadership in start-up, high-growth, and turnaround organizations. Noelle has guided companies from their initial concept through to becoming multi-billion dollar organizations. Her business experience includes strategic transactions (buy side and sell side), capital market transactions from public and private sources totaling over $10 billion, recapitalization transactions, business development, financial planning and reporting (including SEC reporting) for companies in all stages of development, Wall Street and investor relations, and treasury and accounting functions. Noelle began her career in public accounting, and holds a BA degree with an accounting concentration from the University of Washington. University.
Christy Hansen :: Airborne Science Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center :: Washington, DC
Christy currently works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) within the Earth Sciences Division where she is responsible for managing the strategic aspects for all airborne science related projects and missions. This encompasses all aircraft related science missions, where sophisticated scientific instruments are installed onto multiple types of aircraft to collect data on Earth Science across the globe, including studies of Earth’s ice sheets and glaciers, atmospheric composition and processes, forestry biomass, carbon cycle, and hurricane studies. Regions of study and deployment locations include Greenland, Antarctica, Chile, USA, Canada, and Africa. Prior to working at GSFC, Christy spent 11 years working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) as an Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA) Operations Engineer, EVA Astronaut Instructor, and EVA Task Flight Controller in the Mission Control Center (MCC). She developed spaceflight procedures that astronauts executed on-orbit for the Space Shuttle, Space Station, and Hubble Space Telescope Programs. She worked with the Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, Russian Space Agency, and Japanese Space Agency during her time at JSC. Christy has participated in several outreach and mentoring roles, including 3 years for the Scottish Space School, special events, and activities within the US, and was a Girls Can Do speaker. She enjoys hiking, cycling, volleyball, basketball, mountaineering, traveling, and outreach.
Zabrina Jenkins :: Director, Corporate Council, Starbucks :: Seattle, WA
Zabrina oversees commercial, products, discrimination and general liability litigation for retail locations in North America, and provide legal advice and counsel to Starbucks management and partners (employees) relating to potential and actual litigation, primarily in the areas of commercial, real estate and general business law. Serve as an advisor to the Policy Governance Council, and have served on the Diversity Committee for the Law & Corporate Affairs department and as the co-coordinator of the department’s summer intern program.
Dawn Smith :: Acting Director of the Saanich Adult Education Centre for the WSANEC School Board :: Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
Before joining the Adult Education Centre, Dawn was an instructor of Indigenous Studies and the Indigenous Cultural Acumen Training Community Coordinator for the Office of Indigenous Affairs at the University of Victoria. Smith has worked as an Indigenous student advisor in the Faculty of Human and Social Development, and recently re-elected to the band council, she will continue to use her gentle but determined leadership qualities to support the women in her community to find their own voices. Dawn is in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of British Columbia. Her research area includes confronting colonialism, particularly racism, within education and society in general, through the use of Indigenous pedagogies, decolonizing methodologies and indigenizing strategies. Dawn’s hope is to make a positive contribution to the growing discourse on decolonization while giving back to community.
Rashelle Tanner :: General Counsel Microsoft Corporation :: Seattle, WA
Rashelle Manages legal and compliance for 2,000+ employee international organization doing business in diverse highly regulated industries including: overseas relief & development; long term care; radio broadcasting; pre-K-12 education and corporate resource operations including, board governance and oversight, human resources, facilities and construction management, public relations and marketing communications, accounting and finance, information technology, fundraising and donor development. Rashelle is a trusted adviser to the CEO and executive team; delivering advice and counseling with confidence and accuracy.
Linda Wagener, Ph.D. :: Chief Culture Officer, Blink :: Seattle, WA
Linda has over 25 years of experience in consultation, teaching, administration, and research in human development. A Minnesota native, she received her doctorate in psychology at Clark University. Linda is a founding partner of Marigold Associates. She is a consultant in the areas of leadership assessment and development, personal and executive coaching, family dynamics and business solutions. In this capacity she brings a focus on enhanced relational communication and strength based personality dynamics. Linda is committed to exploring the concept of human flourishing across the life span in both research and practice. Her understanding of human experience is informed by her expertise in life span development and organizational systems theory as well as her experience of raising four children. Linda’s work on well-being has been published in various scholarly journals. A licensed psychologist, Linda is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Societies for Research in Child Development and Adolescence, and the Family Firm Institute. Linda is executive producer of the documentary, “Once There Was a War,” which examines the capacity of young people to flourish in Bosnia, Central Asia, and Iraq. One of Linda’s commitments is to provide training and counseling on critical incidents and trauma to international aid workers in the Middle East. Linda enjoys travel, popular culture, movies, books, skiing and hiking.
Thank you for your interest in Girls Can Do and for being a Possibility Thinker.