Meet the Board

Photo of individual in dark purple top smiling.

Monique Farmer – President
APR – Lecturer
Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations
University of Texan at Austin
Owner, Avant Solutions

Monique Farmer, APR has spent more than 20 years as a communication strategist and adviser.  She is an accredited public relations professional. Farmer runs a PR/communications consultancy and teaches PR courses for the University of Texas at Austin. Farmer holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (Public Management) from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a Master’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications (Media Studies) from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism (Advertising and Public Relations) from Midland University. Her experience spans internal and external communication, leader communication, issues management, reputation management, crisis communication, media training and media relations. Farmer has served/serves on the board of PRSA Nebraska, as well as on the board of Project Harmony. She is the owner/president of Avant Solutions, a marketing and public relations firm. Monique recently published her first book, Chart Your Path, where readers can discover the essence of getting unstuck.

Pamela Skidmore – Vice President
Senior Director of Operations
Valmont

Pamela Skidmore is originally from Puebla, Mexico and moved to the United States with a tennis scholarship for the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where she graduated with her Bachelors and Masters in Industrial Engineering. Pamela has worked in manufacturing for over 15 years where she has a diverse portfolio of experience which includes supply chain, analytics, finance and operations. She is currently the Senior Director of Operations for Valmont Industries for the Irrigation Division. Sports have been integral to Pam’s personal and professional development and creating these same opportunities and experiences for younger generations is something very close to her heart. She is passionate about the importance and application of life lessons gained from sports such as developing a strong work ethic, team cohesion towards a common goal, adaptability in fast moving situations and last but not least, winning and losing with grace. Pam currently resides in Gretna with her husband and two Boston terriers who really call the shots in her home.

Sara Going – Treasurer
Senior Manager – Corporate Philanthropy
FNBO

Sara Going graduated from Creighton University and Creighton School of Law and is currently the Senior Philanthropy Manager at First National Bank of Omaha. In this role, she is part of a team responsible for the bank’s philanthropic activities and nonprofit partner relationship management.  Highlights of previous work experiences include: federal and state advocacy and government relations, starting a health sciences high school program for economically disadvantaged youth at an academic medical center, launching an integrated health program addressing physical health needs of children with mental health challenges at a child welfare agency in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, serving as a radio color analyst for Creighton women’s basketball games.  She also serves as a Board Member for New Visions Homeless Services and City Sprouts, and as a mom to three children.

Yesenia Valenzuela – Secretary
Community Relations Coordinator
Mayor’s Office -City of Omaha

Yesenia Valenzuela has many years of experience working alongside wonderful leaders and agencies that do their best to serve folks with respect and with special attention to the underserved.  Much of her career has been serving both North and South Omaha in various capacities from direct service at the Learning Community Center to Operations Manager for OneWorld Community Health Centers. Prior to that, her main priority for years was to improve youth guided programs by building on their strengths and ensuring a path for success. Through her involvement in many youth focused organizations such as Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska and Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands, Yesenia’s contributions have included curriculum building as well as expansion of programs across the metro area.

Dalhia Lloyd
Director of Professional Learning
Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Dalhia Lloyd, Ph.D., is the director of professional learning at Buffett Early Childhood Institute. She received her doctoral degree in early childhood education/child development from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Lloyd’s research addresses culturally specific parenting practices and teachers’ social and cultural interactions with children. She aims to use her findings to ensure that Black children and their families thrive in communities and schools. Dr. Lloyd is an assistant track coach with Westside High School and a volunteer track coach for the North Omaha Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands. In 2014, Dalhia was selected as the recipient of the Midlands Business Journal 40 Under 40 award; in 2018, she received the Young, Black, and Influential award; and in 2019, she was selected as the Boys and Girls Club Volunteer of the Year.

Tahnee Markussen
Program Officer
Lozier Foundation

Tahnee Markussen has served as Program Officer for the Lozier Foundation since October 2015. A passionate advocate for a variety of causes, Tahnee spearheads multiple initiatives throughout Omaha. Her diverse portfolio includes working for organizations such as Metropolitan Community College and the Women’s Center for Advancement in addition to supporting programs that focus on the success of women and girls. Prior to her work in non-profit and philanthropy, Tahnee held multiple positions during her ten years with First National Bank Omaha. Tahnee’s passion drives her to serve her community and affect positive, societal change. 

Sharon Lockridge
Retired – Senior Fraud Prevention Specialist
FNBO

Sharon Lockridge was employed at First National Bank for the past 32 years working in the credit card area and various departments during her tenure. She is a retired Sr. Fraud Prevention specialist. Sharon graduated from Omaha Burke High School in 1980 and obtained her Business Administration degree from Dana College with a minor in economics. Sharon was the Lady Hawkettes Basketball Coach for 31 years before retiring in 2015. She has been involved in multiple community activities over the years, including serving as a Peer to Peer Trainer and Coach for YMCA Basketball; Kids at Work; Fairfax Neighborhood Association; First National Bank Reading for Kids Program; secretary for New Era State Convention of Nebraska, Inc.; and secretary for the Woman’s Auxiliary. Sharon is also active in her church with various projects. Sharon was awarded the 2021 Alumni Award Winner for Burke High School.

Kimberly Bailey
Head of Marketing
Alpaca

Kimberly Bailey, originally from Lincoln, NE, is a skilled marketer and visual storyteller currently serving as the Head of Marketing at Alpaca, a startup focused on making it easier to support teachers. Prior to her role at Alpaca, Kimberly led creative production at Omaha-based software company, Flywheel.

During her time at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Kimberly pursued a Journalism degree with a focus on PR/Advertising. Alongside her academic pursuits, she excelled as a student-athlete, making her mark as a standout DI volleyball player for the Mavericks. Her skills and dedication earned her numerous accolades, including Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 in the Summit League, and she was honored as UNO’s Female Athlete of the Year for the 2015-2016 academic year. Beyond her professional pursuits, Kimberly is passionate about empowering women and girls through her photography work and is a fierce advocate for equality for women in sports.

Darcie Willie, Board Member

Darcie Willie is a dedicated professional with a diverse skill set and a passion for making a positive impact. With 17 years of experience at Dingman’s Collision Center, she held positions as Director of Human Resources and Director of Marketing, contributing to the company’s success and growth. In 2007, Darcie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management of Human Resources from Bellevue University, equipping her with a solid foundation in organizational dynamics and people management.  While excelling in her professional endeavors, Darcie’s most cherished role is that of a dedicated mother to her two young girls. Recognizing the importance of work-life balance, she recently made the decision to step back from her position at Dingman’s to prioritize her family and explore new avenues to give back to her community. Driven by a strong sense of philanthropy, Darcie has developed a deep passion for creating unique ways for small businesses to contribute to the Omaha community. Understanding the transformative power of collective efforts, she aims to inspire and guide other small businesses in discovering how they too can make a meaningful impact.

Taylor Goulbourne
Senior Consultant
Technical Assent

Taylor Goulbourne, Ph.D. is currently a Senior Consultant at Technical Assent, a service design advisory firm for the U.S. Federal Government. In this role, she leverages her research and design expertise to empower businesses to thoughtfully engage customers, foster meaningful connections, and maximize their impact. Taylor holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Kinesiology and Anthropology from The College of William & Mary. She is currently a member of the Junior League of Omaha and serves as a Data/Research Advisor as part of No More Empty Pots Community Advisory Committee.

Tara Wrighton
Senior Attorney
Hightower Reff Law

Tara Wrighton is a Senior Associate Attorney for Hightower Reff Law in Omaha, Nebraska. She spent three years as a mental health and substance abuse clinician before accepting a position with the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in child protection. She advocated for children and families for nearly five years with the State of Nebraska before making the decision to attend law school at Creighton University. Tara served as a law clerk to the Honorable Leigh Ann Retelsdorf, Judge of the Nebraska Douglas County District Court, and is a member of the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society. Tara litigates cases in workers’ compensation and family law. Tara  was named to the 2022-2023 Nebraska Bar Leadership Academy and is a member of both the Nebraska and Iowa Bar Associations, the Omaha Bar Association and the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys.

Collette Nero
Principal
Omaha North High School

Dr. Collette Nero is a self-described “Southern Girl” who values Faith, Honesty, Integrity, Kindness, and Love. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of North Texas in Denton and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in School Psychology from Texas A&M University in College Station. She has served in the Omaha Public Schools since 2000. Her career began as a School Psychologist-Intern before becoming the Coordinator of Psychological Services in 2003. She transitioned to building administration first serving as the Assistant Principal at Fullerton Magnet Elementary School from 2014-2018. She served as the Principal of Field Club Elementary, the Destination Location for 2 years. In fall 2020 Dr. Nero began her tenure as the Principal of North High School, the Place to be where all Succeed (#Place2Be).

Katie Kodad
Culture & Inclusion Program Manager
Children’s Nebraska

Katie Kodadis originally from the great town of Schuyler, Nebraska and is a passionate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) practitioner. She currently serves as the Culture and Inclusion Program Manager for Children’s Nebraska. Prior to joining Children’s Nebraska, Katie worked at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in student development roles that had a DEIB focus and always tried to make the University a welcoming environment for all students. As a former athlete, Katie strongly believes in empowering female athletes and creating equitable opportunities for success. As a supporter of the EPIC for Girls mission, Katie is excited to contribute to the positive change the organization is making in the community!

Join the Board

The EPIC for Girls Board of Directors accepts applications for board and committee membership throughout the calendar year. Onboarding of new members occurs once per year at the EPIC for Girls Annual Meeting.

The role of a board/committee member is critical to the growth and sustainability of the organization. We ask all interested parties to complete an application, submit a resume’, and interview to determine alignment with the mission.

If you are interested in applying for a board or committee position, please review the Board Characteristics Infographic, Board Member Job Description and complete the Board Member Application. Should you have any questions about this process, please email EPICBoard@epicgirls.org.