Skip to content

Meet Our Team

jessica love
Executive Director

Jessica Love

Salima Dadani
Finance Director

Salima Dadani

Marcia Smith
Program & Grants Manager

Marcia Smith

Executive Director

Jessica Love

Jessica Love joined Daring Girls (formerly AfricAid) as Executive Director in 2020. She is an experienced communications strategist who has managed media relations, community and stakeholder outreach for domestic and international nonprofit, foundation and corporate organizations for nearly 20 years. Before joining Daring Girls, she provided communications counsel to a variety of organizations, including HOPE Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh and Fistula Foundation, where she previously spent several years leading communications efforts to raise awareness and funds to treat women suffering from obstetric fistula, a devastating childbirth injury.

Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Finance Director

Salima Dadani

Despite growing up in the US, Tanzania remains home to Salima as her place of birth. As the only daughter in her family, Salima was encouraged to pursue her education to the fullest extent. Understanding the necessity to empower girls to create their own destinies,  Salima comes to Daring Girls with the desire to use her skills and expertise to serve the women of Tanzania. She holds an MBA from University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and has over 20+ years of experience in finance, operations, and management.

Salima joined Daring Girls in November 2018 as Finance Director. In this role she manages the donations and expenditures to ensure Daring Girls is meeting its funding goals. She loves spending time with her family and enjoys traveling. Hiking during the summer and football in the fall are her favorite activities.

Program & Grants Manager

Marcia Smith

Marcia’s personal mission is “Today, I will make a difference!”  Marcia holds a doctorate degree from Argosy University, an MBA from St. Leo’s University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida. She is passionate about education and helping others succeed. For eight years, Marcia lived off-grid (without electricity and running water) and she promotes sustainability for individuals and organizations. She believes firmly that protecting the environment and helping vulnerable communities is vital for future generations to continue to thrive and prosper.

Marcia joined Daring Girls in 2021 as Grant Writer. Marcia has extensive experience in both large and small nonprofits. She loves to travel, read (mainly fantasy and sci-fi novels), and spend time cooking with her husband.

Katie Flanagan
President

Katie Flanagan

Michael Eber
Vice President

Michael Eber

Tom Leonard
Treasurer

Tom Leonard

Rodney Bell
Member

Rodney Bell

Ashley Carter
Member

Ashley Carter

Josephine Masandika
Member

Josephine Richard Cole

Melanie Terwoord
Member

Melanie Terwoord

Member

Dr. Sandy Zook

Member

Babette Groves

President

Katie Flanagan

Katie’s career spans more than fifteen years working with non-profits, both domestic and international, in fundraising and strategic planning roles. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College and a Masters in Theological Studies from Emory University, and has served on the Board of Directors for Nursing for All and Kupona Foundation.

Katie fell in love with Tanzania when she joined Kupona Foundation in 2009 as their Executive Director. Kupona was established to create a US base of support for Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT), one of Tanzania’s leading healthcare organizations. Under Katie’s leadership, Kupona supported CCBRT’s expansion into the maternal health care space, building partnerships with major players in the global health/NGO space, such as Fistula Foundation and Johnson & Johnson.

When she moved to Denver in 2014, Katie joined a friend to create Coppertops Paper, which designed, produced, and distributed wine accessories at the local, regional, and national levels. However, her longtime commitment to working with non-profits, particularly in moments of strategic growth and transition, is her deeper love and she was eager to find a way to stay connected, particularly to the welcoming, vibrant, and inspiring women and girls of Tanzania. She was thrilled to meet Daring Girls staff at a Posner Center event and find a way to share her experience with the organization.

Vice President

Michael Eber

Michael works across the US and around the world. He is passionate about people, and demonstrates an extensive appetite for personal excellence, facilitation, technology and process improvement.  With over 25 years of problem solving and leadership skills he helps individuals, teams and organizations be more efficient, effective and unearth new business opportunities.

Michael is an executive coach, develops and delivers programs across organizations that integrate theoretical learning with hands-on expertise. He accompanies C-Level decision makers with some of their biggest challenges, and his personal touch enables his clients to achieve their desired outcomes. Michael’s clients include nationally known Fortune 100 and private organizations, along with governmental and non-profit entities.

Michael previously directed a real estate, construction and property management firm, served as the Director of Operations for a $20M private foundation and managed an extensive number of client engagements with Deloitte. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in international management and public policy. His credentials include Lean Six Sigma along with substantial aptitudes and proficiencies with several behavioral and natural ability assessments. He is a Colorado native, and his interests include the outdoors, international development, travel and cooking.

Treasurer

Tom Leonard

Tom Leonard is the Chief Actuary of Ryan Specialty Benefits, a wholesale brokerage based in Chicago, Illinois. In his 25+ year insurance career, he has consulted with large multinational insurers, Fortune 500 employers, Latin American government insurers, labor unions, and M&A buyers and sellers. Prior to Ryan Specialty, Tom held key leadership positions with major firms such as Aon, CIGNA, Milliman, and Great-West while managing functional areas including finance and accounting, actuarial, and underwriting.

Tom has extensive overseas experience both as a traveler and a temporary resident, living abroad on three continents. After graduating from college, he spent two years in Lesotho with the Peace Corps teaching math at a rural mission school. It was here that Tom witnessed firsthand the challenges that students – particularly girls – faced on their path to higher education. This inspired him to join the Daring Girls board in 2019.

Tom is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He graduated with Distinction from Purdue University earning a B.S. in Mathematics/Statistics. Tom is based in Denver, Colorado.

Member

Rodney Bell

With 30 years of experience in public relations, marketing communications and corporate affairs, Rodney has worked on the client and agency side of the business. Since 2008 he has also lectured part time at the University of Colorado, Denver within the Department of Communication. He brings a client and service perspective as a former corporate communications and marketing public relations executive and senior account consultant.

Currently Rodney provides independent strategic communication consulting for PR agency, nonprofit, healthcare, and financial clients. Previously he served one year in the Marketing Communication Director role for a small ergonomic office equipment manufacturer. Before that, he was Director of Marketing for Allonhill, a mortgage due diligence and credit risk review firm in Denver. From 2007 to 2009 he led business development at JohnstonWells Public Relations producing $230,000 in new revenues.

Rodney was vice president of corporate communications at First Data Corporation, a then Fortune 500 global electronic payment solutions company. He led strategic public relations and employee communications for business units, which generated 40 percent of the company’s $8 billion revenue. Rodney completed a two-year assignment as communications lead during First Data’s $6 billion acquisition and integration of Concord.

Rodney began his career abroad, living and working in Harare, Zimbabwe from 1983 to 1985, and returning for a 6-month film project in 1986. He traveled extensively throughout Eastern and Southern Africa. These formative years continue to influence and impact his life and work, and his ongoing interest in that region of the world. Following Zimbabwe, Rodney served the Atlanta Chapter of American Red Cross, leading health services awareness campaigns and national disaster public affairs.

Rodney is a graduate of the 2005-2006 Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce Leadership Denver. He served from 2003 to 2009 on the Board of Directors for the Bridge Project, which provided educational opportunities for some of Denver’s most at-risk youth through tutoring and literacy programs. In 2007 and 2008 Rodney traveled to Uganda as a Founding Donor for the Primary School for the Blind launched by Chain Foundation outside Kampala, funded and founded in honor of a Denver Ugandan friend who died from leukemia the previous year. 

A 22-year Denver (11 years in Five Points) resident who found home in Colorado, Rodney has traveled to 34 countries and 7 continents. A third of his trips were for volunteer service projects. An Alabama native, Rodney holds a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in broadcast and film communication from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Roll Tide.

Member

Ashley Carter

Ashley (Shuyler) Carter is the founder and former Executive Director of AfricAid (now Daring Girls). Since returning from a safari to Tanzania in 1996, Ashley has dedicated her life to supporting girls’ education across Africa. In 2001, at the age of 16, she formed AfricAid, and has helped to lead and support the organization’s program-building and fundraising efforts since that time. She graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2008, with a degree in Social Studies, specializing in International Development, and earned her MBA in 2013 from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. After business school, she worked for the Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco, and then helped to start and lead an education-focused nonprofit organization called CareerWise Colorado. Ashley has been a member of the Daring Girls Board since 2003.

Member

Josephine Richard Cole

Josephine Richard Cole is a Tanzania-born engineer at Baxter International. She graduated cum laude from Lake Forest College in 2016 with a degree in Biology and Neuroscience. She earned her Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2019.

Josephine believes that women play an important role in any community’s development and success. She, therefore, dedicates her time mentoring peers from her undergraduate and graduate institutes, as well as coworkers through an internal mentorship program at Baxter International. Josephine holds a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification and has experience in Lean & Six Sigma methodologies including planning, managing, and executing value and process improvement projects. From her years of research, Josephine is also proficient in biological research methods, biomedical statistics, script programming with Python, as well as concept validation for medical devices. Josephine currently lives in Chicago; in her free time she enjoys cooking, running, and DIY projects.

Member

Melanie Terwoord

Melanie Terwoord is a Principal at McCullough Consulting LLC, where she provides outsourced accounting and audit readiness services to a wide variety of clients. Melanie previously spent 12 years in public accounting, most recently at Plante Moran, where she specialized in healthcare, insurance, and non-profit industries. Melanie is passionate about the education of girls and young women, having attended a single-sex school growing up in Ohio. Melanie has experienced first-hand how empowering girls and young women with the necessary tools to choose their own paths means enriching not only their personal lives directly, but also the communities around them. Melanie is a Certified Public Accountant and graduated Summa Cum Laude with both a B.B.A. and Masters in Accounting from Valdosta State University in Georgia. Melanie is based in Denver, CO.

Member

Dr. Sandy Zook

Sandy Zook has over 20 years experience working in the US and internationally with and in governments and nonprofit organizations. She has PhD in Public Policy from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. Her teaching and research focuses on domestic and international perspectives of nonprofit governance, civil society development, and linkages between nonprofit financial management and organizational strategy. 

Member

Babette Groves

Babette first met Daring Girls via a corporate partnership pro bono project, where she partnered with Daring Girls (then AfricAid) to reimagine the next chapter of the organization’s journey. Having visited and volunteered in many countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Babette was immediately inspired by the organization’s mission and the passion of its leadership team. Babette went on to sponsor repeat pro bono engagements to support Daring Girls on its path and was eager to accept a board role when offered the opportunity.

Professionally, Babette is a Managing Director at Deloitte Consulting, where she serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the US Innovation & Technology business. As a strategy and operations consultant by background, Babette is always enthusiastic for the next challenge to tackle. As Daring Girls seeks to create positive impact for more girls across increased geographical locations, Babette is thrilled to be part of the team, offering her skills and experience.

Babette lives in the Denver-metro area with her family, after moving to Colorado in 2017 from Washington, DC. Babette is an avid traveler, gardener, and constantly has a home construction project underway!