MEET THE BOARD
GAIL FRITZINGER – Chair
Senior Transition Coach, Innovative Career Consulting
Formerly a human resources and financial services professional, Gail spearheads the Bean Project’s mentorship program and works closely with program participants, helping them build the job readiness, resume writing and interview skills they need to secure and keep employment. She has personally mentored ten women over her four years as a volunteer mentor and has served on the board for half that time. Gail is also on the boards of Colorado Academy and the President’s Advisory Council of Smith College.
JULIE MCFALL – Chair Elect
CEO, JESSI Exceptional Search Services, Inc.
Julie was inspired to learn more about Women’s Bean Project after noticing their individually labeled soups on the store shelf. Their mission aligns with her beliefs that when an individual is addressing their circumstances, they deserve the resources to succeed and that as a society we all benefit by lending a helping hand. Julie has a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and has held leadership and sales positions in entrepreneurial companies, as well as large corporate environments. She believes that measurement drives growth and success and the Bean’s ability to show success with solid numbers fits her approach. Julie has a close family with three children and grandchildren. They spend a lot of time enjoying the outdoors and traveling to new places.
LESLIE KARNAUSKAS – Treasurer
Leslie has been a supporter and customer of Women’s Bean Project since its beginning so when the opportunity to join the board presented itself she jumped at it. She is semi-retired from her 35 year career in accounting and is looking forward to spending time supporting organizations such as the Bean Project. Leslie believes that helping one woman at a time gain self sufficiency for herself and her family is the only way to break the cycle that surrounds many of the women we hire. There are many other things that peak Leslie’s passion but one in particular is history – women’s history and her family’s genealogy specifically.
Amy Bittner is a Principal at Mercer in the Employee Health & Benefits Practice. She is responsible for developing new business partnerships for Mercer’s Denver office as well as developing programs and content to educate and empower the local human resource community. Amy has over 18 years of experience helping organizations assess their current human resource strategies as well as overall business goals. In addition to her board position with the Women’s Bean Project, Amy served for 3 years of the Board of Firefly Autism and co-built a skills-based volunteer group, hrUnlocked (Formally hrCares Colorado), which focuses on removing barriers to employment for those who struggle to find appropriate work. Her organization has more than 70 members and hosts volunteer events throughout the year.
Senior Director, Finance, Level 3 Communications
After attending Ready, Set, Grow in 2014 Jill was immediately inspired to get involved with Women’s Bean Project. Jill saw loved ones struggle to overcome barriers to steady employment and self-sufficiency: job skills, assistance with stable housing, legal issues, personal finance, and other life skills. Finding an organization focused on these issues was perfect. Jill immediately started volunteering and joined the board a year later serving on the finance committee. Professionally, Jill has an MBA and engineering degree which she uses to help organizations understand the link between their strategy, operations, and financial results. In her spare time, Jill enjoys running, yoga, gardening, quilting, rescuing dogs, and spending time with her family.
Senior Vice President and Relationship Banker, J.P. Morgan Chase
Steve got hooked on the Bean after volunteering on the production line alongside program participants and hearing their stories first-hand. Steve’s commitment to the social enterprise runs deep: after term limits required him to take a break from the board, he continued on the Finance Committee and rejoined the board in 2012. Steve enjoys all things athletic.
Managing Partner, Watermarq Consulting
Director, Business Development, Kelley Bean Co. Inc.
Women’s Bean Project was one of Bryce’s first customers when he came to work for his family’s business after graduate school. Relocating to Denver many years later, it wasn’t hard to find the perfect spot to combine his knowledge of the food industry with the responsibility to give back. Bryce believes the Bean Project is one of those special places that has the team and vision to make a permanent change in the trajectory of a life. Having a general passion for business, much of Bryce’s free time is spent with entrepreneurial endeavors rounded out by the mountains of Colorado and a well-worn passport.
Law Clerk to Justice Richard L. Gabriel, Colorado Supreme Court
Moved by the Bean Project’s commitment to empowering women in the community, Holly joined the board in 2014 and began serving on the Program Committee shortly thereafter. She worked in banking before deciding to enter law school at the University of Colorado, where she ranks in the top of her class. She plans to pursue a career in litigation after graduation and loves to travel.
Attorney, Western Union
Director, Marketing and Community Relations
Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA)
VP of Human Resources, Goodwill Industries
EVP of People
Associate General Counsel and Secretary, Johns Manville
Roger heard from co-workers about this amazing organization called Women’s Bean Project. Finding the project’s mission compelling, he joined the board four months later. Roger has practiced law for over 30 years in the area of corporate and commercial law with an emphasis on international business transactions. He has run two different businesses; a railroad and a manufacturing company in Singapore. Having traveled extensively, Roger enjoys international travel, time with friends and family, boating, and most athletic activities.
First drawn by the Bean’s social enterprise approach, it’s seeing first-hand the optimism, self-reliance and success of program participants that continues to inspire Claude. On the Bean board for 18 months, he is an attorney specializing in marketing and advertising compliance. Claude formerly raced sled dogs, owning, training and caring for a kennel of 17 dogs. Since retiring from competition, he serves as a race announcer in Colorado and Utah.
JANET POP WILLIAMS
Principal/Owner, Leonard Rice Engineers, Inc.
A bag of bean soup on the grocer’s shelf intrigued Janet enough to move her to learn about the Bean. Impressed by how the program addresses the myriad of underlying barriers to employment and self-sufficiency, she joined the board in July 2013. Janet is a consulting engineer, providing water rights, water resources and water supply planning services. She is a mom to three, loves to play the piano, and frequently connects with her “inner child” on the seat of a bicycle.