Board of Directors

2019 Board Officers

Doris A. Howell Doris A. Howell, M.D.
Founder and Our Inspiration

Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist and internationally renowned leader in pediatrics and hospice care; Dr. Doris Howell was 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 Soroptimist International of La Jolla honored Dr. Howell by establishing a foundation in her name.


Abigail D'Agostino, RN BSN MBA, 2019 Board Chair

Abigail joined the Howell Foundation Board in 2015 and has served as Board Vice Chair, and Chair of the Howell Foundation's Community Engagement Initiative.  Abigail is Director of Patient Care Services at LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care.


Carole Tuggey Carole Tuggey, 2019 Board Vice-Chair

As the former CEO of Tuggey Interior Design and a past president of Soroptimist International of La Jolla, Carol brings both business and community to her board service.  She joined the board in 2015, and serves as Chair of both the Health Lecture Series Committee and the Nominating Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Scholarship Committee.


Brad Benter Brad Benter, 2019 Board Secretary and Friends of Howell Committee Co-Chair

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.


William A. Wurch William A. Wurch, JD, CPA, LLM, 2019 Chief Financial Officer

William joined the Howell Foundation Board of Directors in March 2018, assuming the role of Chief Financial Officer. William is a lawyer and a CPA who has practiced for 25 years, and has owned and operated successful businesses.


Kay Christian Pierce Kay Christian Pierce, 2019 Treasurer and Advisory Council Chair

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.


2019 Board Members

Tauna Austin, MS, Friends of Howell Committee Co-Chair
Program Manager, Lightbridge Hospice and Palliative Care

Marla Black
Retired Non Profit CEO

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

Ruth Curran
Director of Partnerships, Global Volunteers

Kathleen A. Franklin, Immediate Past Board 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.

Shelley Gellman, Soroptimist Liaison
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

David Mulvaney
Community Leader

Carolyn Northrup,  Howell Communications Committee Chair
Independent Marketing Consultant

Colleen Peterson, Chair of Strategic Planning Committee
President, Peterson Hill Marketing, Inc.
Community Philanthropist and Volunteer

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

Marilyn Tedesco, Acting Chair of Development
Founder and President, Consultants to Management

Kristen Wells, PhD, Community Engagement Committee Chair
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SDSU

Legacy Council Members

Carole Banka, PhD
Betty Brayshay
Cher Conner 
Gladys Kohn - Howell Board Emeritus*
Jean McGrath
Priscilla Moxley
Peggy Oechsle - Howell Board Emeritus*
Beatrice Rose, MD, MPH - Howell Board Emeritus*
Pattie Wellborn
Cheryl Wilson, RN - Howell Board Emeritus*

Howell Board Emeritus are recognized for their 18+ years of service to the Howell Foundation.


Interested in joining a Howell Committee?
Call 858-454-7797 or email


  1. Providing grants for women's health research to promising undergraduates
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  2. Sponsoring symposia, learning luncheons and other educational outreach mechanisms concerning women's health and related issues.
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