Board of Directors
Judy Rauenhorst Doerr
Judy Rauenhorst Doerr is the founder of Teach Me, Inc. the publisher of 55 award-winning titles teaching children ten foreign languages using stories and songs. Teach Me was founded on the principle that a child’s early exposure to new languages promotes a better understanding of our world. Titles include Teach Me Spanish Spiritual Songs and Buon Natale, Learning Songs & Traditions in Italian. Judy received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanistic Studies from St. Mary’s College at Notre Dame and her Master of Arts in Journalism from Marquette University. In 2006 she completed the Mini-MBA in Family Business from St. Thomas University. She enjoys serving on many boards and association, spending time with her family at the cabin, riding her horse and reading books.
Justice Janine P. Geske graduated from Beloit College with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters of Arts in Teaching and received her J.D. from Marquette University Law School. Justice Geske served as a Distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School and Director of the Law School’s Restorative Justice Initiative. She currently is a member of the Marquette University Board of Trustees. She served as interim dean of Marquette Law School from July 2002 to July 2003 and as interim Milwaukee County Executive from February 28 to May 6, 2002. She previously served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1993-1998. From 1981-1993, she was a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as chief staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee and then as clinical director and assistant professor of law at Marquette University.
Patrice Kunesh is the former director of the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. She has extensive experience representing American Indian tribes throughout the country. Patrice, who is of Standing Rock Lakota descent, began her legal career at the Native American Rights Fund. She then served as in-house counsel to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and on the faculty at the University of South Dakota School of Law. Most recently, Patrice held appointments as the Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as the Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Patrice received a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado School of Law and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard School of Government.
Cassie Landers is an assistant professor of population and family health at the Columbia University Medical Center. Since 1985, she has worked with UNICEF and other international agencies to promote policies and programs in support of young children and their families. Landers has provided technical assistance and support to child development programs in more than 60 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Landers has extensive experience in the design, implementation and training of practitioners at all levels, developing global interventions ranging from parenting education to developmental pediatrics. She has participated in rapid assessment missions in areas of conflict and has designed interventions for children in conflict and post conflict situations. She also brings her international expertise to young children and families throughout the United States through an early literacy initiative in collaboration with Head Start National Literacy Center. Landers received a doctorate in education and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Pete Mahoney is an Account Manager at Clearwater Analytics in Boise, Idaho. Previously he was the managing partner and co-founder at Arise Capital, a Portland, OR-based impact investment firm which develops and manages regionally-focused investment products to promote positive economic development. Prior to launching Arise Capital, Pete worked for Morley Capital/Principal Global Investors, a stable value investment management firm in Portland. Positions Pete held included fixed income trader where he was responsible for managing and trading corporate, government, and structured product securities, as well as assistant portfolio manager and performance and trade analyst. He also served as an operations and trade support analyst for UBS Investment Bank in London. Pete was a long-time director of Enkel Foundation, and served as its chair for three years. He currently serves on the GHR Foundation Board of Directors and Program and Results Committee. Pete also has been active with De La Salle North Catholic High School, Financial Beginnings Oregon, and previously served on the University of Portland National Alumni board. Pete earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Portland, a certificate in international business practice from Cambridge International Examinations in London, and is currently pursuing a certificate in social innovation and entrepreneurship from Portland State University School of Business.
Taylor Mahoney is currently the Owner and Principal Designer for Tailored Design Studio, an interior design studio that works in residential and commercial design. Prior to working for Tailored Design Studio she worked for the Opus Group and Baker Associates as a Commercial Interior Designer. She received her Associate of Applied Science in interior design from the Art Institutes International Minnesota in 2011. Prior to that she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied Consumer Science, Retail. She currently serves on the Enkel Foundation board and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and children.
Having worked for over 10 years in program efficacy in PK-12 education systems, Gia brings a great deal of passion and background knowledge with her about improving the lives of children wherever she goes. Most recently the Senior Data Analyst for the New Haven School District in Union City, California, Gia focused on building statistical analysis skills and knowledge of assessments while supporting several projects including conducting the data collection and analysis for both the $30 million Race to the Top District grant and a $3 million California Math & Science Partnership Grant. Prior to working for NHUSD, Gia worked at Gibson & Associates, an Oakland based consulting firm focused on the education sector. For G&A, Gia developed evaluation and training tools, provided evaluation services for several early literacy programs, and worked on a wide range of projects for school districts and education non-profits. She holds a Masters of Education degree (MEd.) from Marymount University in Arlington, VA as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (BBA) from the University of Notre Dame. Gia has taught in two states and multiple grade levels, as well as volunteered for several years as a faith formation and catechism teacher at her parish. Gia previously served as a board member for the Better Way Foundation from 2004 – 2010 and 2012 – 2013, service which included chairing the domestic (education) committee.
Karen Rauenhorst serves as the Vice Chair of the Catholic Relief Services Foundation. She is the secretary of Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities. She is also a board member of the National Catholic Education Association and Aim Higher Foundation, which supports Catholic Schools needs in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Rauenhorst focuses much of her volunteer time on helping families and children access educational and health opportunities in their communities.
Sarah Rauenhorst, Chair of the Board of Directors
Sarah is currently the Co-founder and Director of Operations of Launch Network, a non-profit that partners with public schools to create holistic, whole child, whole family learning environments for students and families failed by the traditional public-school classroom. Sarah is a lifelong educator dedicated to closing opportunity gaps in partnership with schools, families, and communities. Before Launch, Sarah served as an educator and instructional coach in Denver Public Schools for six years. Sarah has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver and an M.Ed. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Nat Robinson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leaf Global Fintech, a company providing mobile financial services to the stateless and excluded on a blockchain platform. Leaf is developing secure cross-border transactions to refugees in the DRC and Rwanda with plans to expand globally. Nat previously served as the CEO and founder of Juhudi Kilimo Company Ltd., which provides micro-asset financing to rural smallholder farmers in Kenya. Juhudi Kilimo was recognized in 2011 at the World Economic Forum with the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and by CIO Magazine on the 2013 CIO 100 list of companies using innovative technology to deliver business value. Juhudi Kilimo is supported by impact investors such as the Acumen Fund, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Grameen Foundation, and the Soros Economic Development Fund. Nat worked as a consultant at Accenture in the Washington D.C. area and has traveled, worked, or studied in over 65 countries across six continents in business, nonprofit, and government. Nat is the author of a book entitled Creating a Cash Cow in Kenya and has lectured at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, the Wharton School, Columbia Business School, Vanderbilt Graduate School of Management, and the United Nations Development Program. Nat has a JD and MBA from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and is a licensed Colorado lawyer.
Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz (Diné) is Founder of First Light Education Project, a consulting collaborative built on Indigenous principles with a mission to strengthen historically undeserved educational communities across the United States. Starting as a Toddler 2 teacher, Tarajean has built her career as a teacher, researcher, and nonprofit leader, guiding numerous tribal and national projects that have contributed to strengthening systems of care and learning within tribal and immigrant educational communities, centering change efforts within families, local communities, and early childhood systems.
Tarajean’s research has been featured at national conferences and published in journals focused on PreK-12 education. Her expertise is sought out by national associations and committees such as the National Indian Education Association’s Native Educator Education and Development (NEED) subcommittee, and the National Indian Education Study (NIES). She currently serves on both the Early Learning Systems Committee of the National Governing Board and the Developmentally Appropriate Practice/Diversity and Equity Workgroup of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Tarajean earned a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, which honored her with the 2016 Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education, and has served as faculty in higher education institutions and in leadership positions within non-profit organizations. Tarajean has been named the 2020 Brock Prize in Education Laureate, in recognition of her contributions to the field of education. Deepening her commitments to supporting educational communities and expanding her practice in education, Tarajean now leads the work of First Light Education Project, headquartered in Denver, Colorado.