Brenda Hansen, Chair
Micah Adams, Chair-Elect
Jamie Louie-Smith, Treasurer
Matt Dahlstrom, Secretary
Bruce Smolnisky, Springfield Public Schools Superintendent
Hadee Sabzalian, At-Large Representative
Board of Directors
Chair-Elect; Development Committee; Chair, Night of 11,000 Stars Committee. Micah Adams has served on the SEF Board for seven years and is Chair-Elect for 2019. He was Chair of the 2018 Night of 11,000 Stars Committee. By day, Micah is a commercial banker at Wells Fargo. He was raised in Springfield and graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS in Business Administration. Micah is married to Jennifer, whom he met in 7th grade Home Economics at Springfield Middle School. Their daughter is a sophomore at Thurston. He joined SEF to help improve education in our community. When he isn’t volunteering, he likes to cook/grill, golf, snowboard, hike, bicycle, and listen to music. He attended two SPS schools that no longer exist, Moffitt Elementary and Springfield Middle Schools.
Marketing Committee, Innovative Educator Grant Committee. Jacob Berns is Lead Marketing & Communications Specialist for SELCO Community Credit Union. He began volunteering with SEF in 2016 as part of the Marketing Committee and joined the SEF Board the following year. Born in Wisconsin, Jacob moved to Oregon in 2010 to attend graduate school at the University of Oregon, where he received his MFA in Fiction and was later a creative writing instructor. When he isn’t juggling home improvement projects with his partner Claire, you’ll find him tinkering with old electronics, scanning thrift-store book racks, and inventing name puns for his dog, Bandana (aka Bandana Aykroyd).
Springfield Public Schools Board of Education Chair and SEF Liaison. Zach, a fifth generation Springfield resident and Springfield High School graduate, joined the board in 2018. He is a sports and recreation coordinator at Willamalane and also serves as the Springfield Public Schools Board Chair. Zach has a special interest in career and technical education and enjoys fishing, woodworking, and wrenching on motorcycles.
Chair, Alumni Committee; Innovative Educator Grant Committee.
Terry joined the SEF Board in 2012. Previously, she served on the Springfield City Council for six years and in the Oregon House of Representatives (District 12) for 11 years, retiring in 2012. She is a Springfield High School graduate, as are her three children with her husband Lee. Terry joined the board because her children received an excellent education from Springfield public schools and she wanted to help provide the same experience for current and future students. When they are not serving the community, Terry and Lee like to spend time with their grandchildren.
Secretary. Matt joined the board in 2018 and is an associate attorney with Leahy Cox, LLP. He earned his BA in Political Science from Washington State University and his JD from the University of Oregon School of Law. A Portland native, Matt moved to the Eugene/Springfield area in 2012 for school and continues to enjoy living and working in our community. He “believe[s] in the mission and goals of SEF and [wants] to work toward helping students from all backgrounds find enjoyment in education.” Matt is a foodie, traveler, scuba diver, and avid Trail Blazers fan, not necessarily in that order.
Chair, Innovative Educator Grant Committee; Programs Committee. Mary joined the SEF Board in 2014. In addition to chairing the Innovative Educator Grant Committee and serving on the Programs Committee, she helps organize dessert donations for the annual Night of 11,000 Stars event. Mary was born and raised in Colorado, where she received a BA in Social Work from Colorado State University, and later attended the University of Oregon, where she earned an MA in Anthropology. She moved to Springfield to become the first director of Willamalane’s Dorris Ranch, later transitioning to the UO, where she’s been a grant writer and project manager for the past 20 years. Mary is married to Philip, and their daughter is currently in college. She loves gardening, tennis, and traveling, and is happy to contribute to a forward-thinking organization that makes a real impact in the community.
Programs Committee. Melaney Grenz’s passion for education comes from the life-changing influence of a childhood teacher. Raised in Saskatchewan, Canada, Melaney is a first-generation high school and college graduate on both sides of her family. She has worked over twenty-five years in Oregon Public Schools as a Speech Language Pathologist, earning her Master’s at the University of Oregon. In addition to serving on the SEF Board since 2018, she is on the boards of NCU and Relief Nursery. In addition, she is involved with Camp Harlow. When Melaney isn’t feeding her insatiable desire to help children become all that they can be, you can find her traveling, entertaining, golfing, and attending Oregon sports events.
Board Chair. Programs Committee. Brenda has been on the SEF Board for three years and is Board Chair. She has been an active volunteer with Springfield for many years, spends a substantial amount of time in local Schools supporting staff. Brenda is owner/agent of Hansen Insurance Agency, representing Horace Mann Insurance. She also serves on the board of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and volunteers on the Education Committee. Brenda’s family moved to Springfield in 1977 and she and her husband Dale and son moved back to Springfield in 2001. She graduated from Thurston High School in 1986 and her son graduated from THS in 2017. When she isn’t working or volunteering, you can find her gardening, cooking, baking, and crafting. She and her family enjoy our great outdoors by whitewater rafting, camping, and riding motorcycles.
Programs Committee. Kari Isham has been on the SEF Board for six years and with Springfield Public Schools for 16. She started as a elementary teacher and has spent the last six years as an instructional coach and a Teacher on special assignment addressing attendance/truancy. A Springfield native, Kari is a graduate of Thurston High School and of the University of Oregon. She earned a BA and Masters form Pacific University. Early in her teaching career, Kari benefited from the SEF grant program and the great learning experiences these grants help make possible. “I wanted to be part of this and give back to our classrooms, encouraging teachers to engage students with real life opportunities.” Kari has a twin sister, so if you see her and she doesn’t say hi, it is probably Kristi. Her dream job is to be Goofy at Disneylan
Programs Committee. Travis Joseph is a fifth generation Oregonian and graduate of Springfield High School (where, as a student, he helped organize the first ever Miss Miller Pageant). He joined the SEF Board in 2017. As President and C.E.O. of the American Forest Resource Council, Travis works to represent the forest products industry throughout the Pacific Northwest. Prior to working with AFRC, Travis was a senior policy advisor for Congressman Peter DeFazio. Travis joined SEF because of his passion for education and its ability to change lives. He looks forward to helping pass on the support he received in his education to our current Springfield students.
Co-Chair, Events Committee. Group Reservations Supervisor, Royal Caribbean.
Chair, Development Committee. Judy Leahy joined the SEF Board in 2012. After teaching English at Marist High School for several years, she left and became a general education teacher/counselor at Looking Glass Youth and Family Services’ Riverfront School and Career Center for eight years. She retired from there when her first grandchild was to be born. Judy earned her BA at St. Mary’s College and MA at the University of Virginia. She was born in Chicago, married Joe in DC, and moved to Oregon in 1974. She and Joe raised three sons, all graduates of Springfield High School, who have since completed college, married, and had children of their own. Grandma Judy joined SEF to help students receive the benefits of a good education like her sons received.
Treasurer, Finance and Governance Committee; Development Committee. Jamie Louie-Smith joined the SEF board in January of 2014 and is the current Treasurer. She is a Vice President/Commercial Banking Officer with Columbia Bank and is also a board member with the Eugene/Springfield RMA Chapter. Jamie highly values education, graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oregon. Her interest in SEF was a result of the desire to directly impact the educational experience of students, especially given she has two children attending public schools. A fun fact shared by Jamie: “I like ice cream and I like cake – but, I do not like ice-cream cake.”
Kristy, a lifelong area resident, joined the SEF Board in 2018. She graduated from the University of Oregon, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Business Administration and Public, Planning, and Policy Management. Her career has focused on project management with her current role being a PMP Project Controller. Kristy is the mother of three Springfield High School graduates and is an active foster parent. She joined SEF because she wanted to find ways to help kids become strong and successful individuals. “Sometimes, kids just need someone who cares and points them in the right direction.” When she isn’t volunteering in the schools and community, Kristy loves hanging out with her kids, visiting family, traveling and exploring Oregon.
At-Large Representative and Development Committee. Hadee Sabzalian joined the SEF Board in 2014. He was born and raised in Eugene, graduated from Sheldon High School, and received his Bachelor’s at the University of Oregon. Hadee is Corporate Relations Manager at FOOD for Lane County and lives in Springfield with his wife, Leilani, and two sons. Traveling plays a big role in his life, and he’s visited over 30 countries. In Hadee’s words, he joined SEF “to be part of a fantastic organization that makes a difference in the lives of Springfield school children.”
Programs Committee. Terry Scherer was a school counselor in the Springfield Public Schools. She joined the SEF Board in 2016 and was on the Programs Committee before that. Terry became involved with SEF out of her strong personal and professional connections to Springfield Public Schools. She and her husband attended Springfield High School, and their children attended Springfield Public Schools. A Springfield native, Terry lived only a few blocks from her husband, Robert, while they were growing up, but did not meet him until after they were adults. In addition to being an avid reader, she enjoys outdoor sports, including tennis, snow skiing, and white water rafting.
Chair, Marketing Committee Scott Smith has served on the board since 2015. Recently retired, Scott was a banker with Northwest Community Credit Union and Bank of America. Scott and his wife Chris moved to the area in 2013 and instantly fell in love with the community. They have two daughters and five grandchildren, one of whom attends Thurston High School. Scott is a part of SEF because, he says, “Education is very important to me, and I have a special interest in making improvements so that Springfield schools are ‘relevant’ for our children.” When they are not volunteering in the community, you may see Scott and Chris golfing, entertaining, gardening, or on an RV road trip.
SPS Superintendent Bruce Smolnisky, Springfield School District Superintendent, has worked for Springfield School District for over 20 years and served on the SEF Board for four. He also serves on the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and Springfield Imagination Library Boards. Bruce began kindergarten in the Willamalane Memorial Building after his family moved to Springfield from South Dakota, eventually graduating from the University of Oregon. He is married to Shelley, and together they have a daughter. Bruce graciously agreed to come out of retirement to serve as interim superintendent. “The district and the community have been very good to me,” Bruce says, “and I wanted to help give back to the district when I retired.”
Finance and Governance Committee. Erik J. Vos joined the SEF Board in 2017. He is CFO of Timber Products Company and has spent nearly thirty years in the wood products industry. Erik comes from a family of educators and grew up learning to give back to the community. He believes that education is key in solving local, state, national, and global challenges. Erik is an avid tennis player and fan, developing a passion for the sport early by competing competitively beginning at ten years old. In addition to his work with SEF, Erik is a former Chair and Board Member of Food for Lane County, a volunteer for SMART (Start Making A Reader Today), and former board member of Eugene Swim & Tennis Club.
Marketing Committee. Kelli Warner is Public Relations Manager for Turell Group, and has served on the SEF Board and Marketing Committee since 2015. A native Oregonian and mother of two Springfield students, Kelli earned a Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Oregon, which fueled her passion for storytelling. She spent 20 years as an award-winning TV newscaster and reporter and is now an Amazon-bestselling author, writing young adult novels full of humor, heart, and happy endings.
Finance and Governance Committee. Bruce K. Webber, Senior Vice President and Commercial Banking Manager at Banner Bank, has served on the SEF Board since 2015. A native Oregonian, Bruce graduated from Sheldon High School and earned his BA in Finance at University of Puget Sound. In addition to his work with SEF, he is also Treasurer of the Springfield Rotary, a member of the Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation Board, Chair of the Lane Council of Governments Finance Committee, and Treasurer of the McKenzie Brewfest Committee. He is married to Michelle, and they have three daughters, one son, and two grandsons. Bruce joined SEF to help provide innovative programs and opportunities for our teachers and students.
Programs Committee. Michelle, an Oregon native and graduate of Newport High School, is Assistant Vice President and Loan Documentation Supervisor at Columbia Bank. A new member to the SEF board, Michelle has supported the Night of 11,000 stars for several years, most recently as a member of the procurement team. In addition to her work with SEF, Michelle serves as Vice Chair on the Springfield School Board and as a member of the Wildish Theatre Board. Michelle actively supports Springfield Rotary and has served on the McKenzie Brewfest Committee. She is married to Bruce, and they have three daughters, one son, and two grandsons. When Michelle finds time to unwind, you’ll find her in her garden or behind her camera. A strong advocate for student success, Michelle joined SEF to help provide innovative programs and opportunities for our teachers and students.
Information coming soon!
Chair, Programs Committee; Innovative Educator Grant Committee; Night of 11,000 Stars Committee. Cindy joined the SEF Board 2017 and serves on various SEF Committees, including as Chair of the Programs Committee. She is a McDonald’s owner/operator with her husband Mark and a member of the Ronald McDonald House Advisory Board. Her passion for travel is second only to her passion for education.
Development Committee. Adam Zanotto specializes in residential and land real estate at Keller Williams, a long time supporter of SEF. Adam was born in California, but after graduating from the University of Oregon, he decided Oregon was the place to live. Adam and his wife Missy have three children who attend Springfield schools. He is fully aware “that our teachers need our help to deliver to the best of their abilities.”