Board of Directors

2017 Board Officers

Doris A. Howell Doris A. Howell, M.D., Chair Emeritus

A Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist and an internationally renowned leader in pediatrics and hospice care; Dr. Doris Howell has been a faculty member at Harvard and Duke Schools of Medicine, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Chair of the UCSD Medical School Department of Community and Family Medicine. In 1995 the Soroptimists honored Dr. Howell by establishing a foundation in her name. She currently serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee.


Carole L. Banka Carole L. Banka, Ph.D., Board Co-Chair

Dr. Carole Banka has held faculty positions at The Scripps Research Institute and The La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine. In 2008, Dr. Banka joined the Department of Medicine at UCSD where she is an Associate Project Scientist.  Dr. Banka has served on the Howell Board of Directors since 2008.


Kathleen A. Franklin, Board Co-Chair

Kathleen has served on the Howell Board of Directors since 2006. She also sits on the following three Howell Committees: Finance, Strategic Planning and Nominating.  Kathleen is an Artist and retired California State Parks Superintendent.


Brad Benter Brad Benter, Interim CFO and Board Secretary

Brad has served on the Howell Board of Directors since 2009. Brad specializes in wealth transition management including retirement income planning, charitable giving and bequests, college savings, and income replacement strategies. Brad attended San Diego State University and has experience as a manager and cost analyst in the restaurant industry. Brad is very active in his community, and is currently a board member of the St. Paul's Senior Center Foundation. Brad and his wife, Gigi, have two sons, Alec and Tristen.


Abigail D'Agostino, RN BSN MBA, Board Vice Chair

Abigail joined the Howell Foundation Board in 2015. In addition to serving as Vice Chair of the Howell Board of Directors, she is also Chair of the Howell Foundation's Community Engagement Initiative.  Abigail is Director of Patient Care Services at LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care, and Founder & President of Nurses for Health.


Kay Christian Pierce Kay Christian Pierce, Treasurer

Kay has served on the Howell Board of Directors since 2001. In addition to serving as Treasurer, Kay also serves as Chair of the Howell Advisory Council and is a Finance Committee Member.


2017 Board Members

Tauna Austin, MS
Program Manager, Lightbridge Hospice and Palliative Care

Betty Brayshay, Howell Fund Development Committee Chair
Community Volunteer and Executive Distributor, NuSkin Enterprises

Mandy Butler, PhD, Scholarship Review Committee Chair
Associate Professor of Teaching Emerita, Division of Biological Sciences

Stacy Carota, Friends of Howell Foundation Committee Member
Senior Director of Development, College of Sciences and College of Health & Human Services, San Diego State University

Teresa Castiglione
Executive Director, The Alexander & Eva Nemeth Foundation

Ralph Feuer, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, SDSU and Program Director - SDSU/CIRM Stem Cell Internship Program 

Shelley Gellman
Community Volunteer

Andrea Z. LaCroix, Ph.D., Scholarship Review Committee Member
Professor and Chief of Epidemiology, Director, Women's Health Center of Execellence - UC San Diego

Hamilton Loeb, Jr.
Retired Insurance Executive, Community Volunteer

Priscilla Moxley,  Howell Health Lecture Series Committee Chair
Community Volunteer

Peggy Oechsle
Community Volunteer, Immediate Past Secretary Howell Board of Directors

Colleen Peterson
President, Peterson Hill Marketing, Inc.
Community Philanthropist and Volunteer

Katherine "Meg" Richman, MD, FACR
Clinical Professor of Radiology and Medical Director of Thornton Radiology at UCSD Health Sciences

Carol Tuggey, Health Lecture Series Committee Member
Community Volunteer

Pattie Wellborn, Immediate Past Chair - Board of Directors, Special Events Committee Chair
Community Volunteer

Kristen Wells, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SDSU

Cheryl A. Wilson, RN, MA, Howell Strategic Planning Committee Chair
CEO, St. Paul’s Services

Jessica Zhang, MD, Scholarship Review Committee Member
Emergency Medicine Resident, University of California, San Francisco, and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

Board Member Emeritus

Beatrice Rose, M.D., M.P.H.
Prof. Emerita, Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, School of Medicine

Interested in joining a Howell Committee?
Contact Tanya Fortuna at 858-454-7797, or email


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