Staff

Leadership Team

Elena Marks - President and Chief Executive Officer

Elena Marks

President and Chief Executive Officer
832.807.2568

Elena M. Marks is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Episcopal Health Foundation and a nonresident Fellow in Health Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Ms. Marks previously served as the Director of Health and Environmental Policy for the City of Houston. Prior to joining the Mayor’s staff, Ms. Marks practiced trial and appellate law with major law firms, started and directed a successful legal placement firm, and developed strategic, long-range, and operating plans for service lines and system centers at a major health system. 

Ms. Marks holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University, a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health. 


Jo Carcedo, MPA, MBA - Vice President for Grants

Jo Carcedo, MPA, MBA

Vice President for Grants
832.807.2571

Jo Carcedo is the Episcopal Health Foundation’s Vice President for Grants. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field of health and human services developing service delivery systems, implementing programs, allocating resources, and fund development. Her previous experience includes executive leadership positions with regional and national organizations including Legacy Community Health Services, Neighborhood Centers Inc., and World Vision.

Ms. Carcedo has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University, a Master's of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master's of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University. She has several hours of management and leadership training from a variety of national organizations including the American Leadership Forum, Wells Fargo New Executive Directors Institute, Leadership Houston, and the National Grants Management Association.  Jo also serves on the board of directors for Philanthropy Southwest, American Leadership Forum and Incarnate Word Academy High School in Houston.


Alexandra (Lexi) Bambas Nolen, PhD, MPH - Vice President for Impact

Alexandra (Lexi) Bambas Nolen, PhD, MPH

Vice President for Impact
832.807.2590

Dr. Lexi Nolen is the Episcopal Health Foundation’s Vice President for Impact. She oversees evaluation to ensure impact through the work of the Foundation and its beneficiaries and partners, as well as continuous learning processes, networking and convening to bring partners together, and the Foundation’s engagement with the Diocese of Texas leadership and outreach ministries.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Nolen served from 2008 as the Director of the Center to Eliminate Health Disparities and Associate Director of the Coordinating Center for Global Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. She served on the Secretariat of the World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants of Health; as the Coordinator of the Global Equity Gauge Alliance; and in the Division of Health and Human Development at the Pan American Health Organization, where she helped to develop the Division’s health equity platform and to advance research and programming on issues of health equity for the organization.

Areas of expertise include addressing health inequities through health systems and social determinants of health, leadership development for social change in health, intersectoral action for health, strengthening health information systems, advocacy strategies for health equity, community empowerment approaches to health.


Shao-Chee Sim, PhD, MPA - Vice President for Applied Research

Shao-Chee Sim, PhD, MPA

Vice President for Applied Research
832-807-2565

Dr. Shao-Chee Sim is the Episcopal Health Foundation's Vice President for Applied Research. Dr. Sim comes to EHF after more than 20 years of extensive research, community engagement, planning, and strategy experience within philanthropy, federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) and nonprofit organizations.

Most recently, he was the chief strategy officer of the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York City. Sim led the FQHC in its research and evaluation, strategic planning, and disease prevention, intervention and health service projects. Dr. Sim also assumed research leadership roles at several foundations and nonprofits – including The Wallace Foundation and the Asian American Federation of New York.

Dr. Sim earned his Master's degree in public administration from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University and a doctorate in public policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.


Susybelle Gosslee - Chief Administrative Officer

Susybelle Gosslee

Chief Administrative Officer
832.807.2580

Susybelle oversees the business operations of the Foundation, including human resources and information technology. She also liaises with Diocesan staff providing finance, accounting and investment support.


Brian Sasser - Director of Communications

Brian Sasser

Director of Communications
832.807.2575
832.795.9404 (Cell)

Brian Sasser spent 20 years in television news as a reporter, producer and photographer. Most recently, he was the investigative producer and national field producer at KPRC-TV in Houston. Brian oversees all internal and external communications for the Foundation, including website management, video production, public relations, social media, communications consulting and media relations. Brian is a graduate of TCU.


Staff

Robiel Abraha - Research Associate

Robiel Abraha

Research Associate
832-807-2566

Robiel provides project management and oversight of various research assignments.


Sheryl Barmasse - Research Coordinator

Sheryl Barmasse

Research Coordinator
832.807.2564

Sheryl coordinates all of the activities for the Research Division.


Jo Anne Brostrom - Executive Assistant to Elena Marks

Jo Anne Brostrom

Executive Assistant to Elena Marks
832.807.2568

Jo Anne supports the President in administrative areas.


Troy Bush-DiDonato - Community Engagement Officer

Troy Bush-DiDonato

Community Engagement Officer
832.807.2563

Troy serves as a community liaison through two main functions: capacity building with community partners to support their engagement and connection with the community members they serve; and facilitating communication between partner communities/partners and the Foundation.
 


Katy Butterwick - Program Officer

Katy Butterwick

Program Officer
832.807.2572

Katy is responsible for investigating and evaluating grant proposals and supporting Foundation initiatives through soliciting proposals, conducting due diligence, maintaining communications with stakeholders, and project management related to grant-making.


Bob Flick - Congregational Engagement Field Officer

Bob Flick

Congregational Engagement Field Officer
832-807-2582

Bob is responsible for developing collaborative work with the Episcopal congregations of the Diocese of Texas, particularly in the area of mental health.


Jennifer Herrera - Program Officer

Jennifer Herrera

Program Officer
832-807-2579

Jennifer is responsible for investigating and evaluating grant proposals and supporting Foundation initiatives through soliciting proposals, conducting due diligence, maintaining communications with stakeholders, and project management related to grant-making.


Suzanne Leahy, PhD - Evaluation Officer

Suzanne Leahy, PhD

Evaluation Officer
832-807-2589

Suzanne is responsible for evaluating the impact of the Foundation’s investments in grant-making, convening, research, and Diocesan engagement.


Cindy Lucia - Program Officer

Cindy Lucia

Program Officer
832-658-2663

Cindy is responsible for investigating and evaluating grant proposals and supporting Foundation initiatives through soliciting proposals, conducting due diligence, maintaining communications with stakeholders, and project management related to grant-making.


Lisa Madry - Congregational Engagement Officer

Lisa Madry

Congregational Engagement Officer
832-807-2586

Lisa is responsible for developing and implementing EHF’s collaborative work with the parishes of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.


Jem Marshall - Executive Assistant (Impact)

Jem Marshall

Executive Assistant (Impact)
832-807-2587

Jem supports the Impact team in administrative areas.


Alithea McFarlane - Foundation Fellow

Alithea McFarlane

Foundation Fellow
832-807-2581

Alithea supports the President by conducting research and data analysis on a variety of issues relating to the work of the Foundation and the field of philanthropy.  


Lisa Mendoza - Database Coordinator

Lisa Mendoza

Database Coordinator
832.807.2574

Lisa is responsible for maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the Foundation's grants database. In accordance with grant guidelines, she processes applicants' inquiries regarding the online application process.


Celene Meyer - Senior Program Officer

Celene Meyer

Senior Program Officer
832.807.2573

Celene is responsible for investigating and evaluating grant proposals and supporting Foundation initiatives through soliciting proposals, conducting due diligence, maintaining communications with stakeholders, and project management related to grant-making.


W. Trent Pokorny - Grants Administrator

W. Trent Pokorny

Grants Administrator
832-807-2576

Trent oversees the financial and record-keeping side of the grant-making process for all grants awarded, and works closely with program staff and senior leaders to ensure accurate reporting and compliance on all grants.


Shona Sen - Community Centered Health Homes Project Manager

Shona Sen

Community Centered Health Homes Project Manager
832.658.2664

Shona supports the development and management of EHF’s Community Centered Health Homes initiative.


Laura Thewalt - Executive Assistant (Business and Communications)

Laura Thewalt

Executive Assistant (Business and Communications)
832.807.2578

Laura supports the Business and Communication teams in administrative areas.


Melodee Toles - Congregational Engagement Program Associate

Melodee Toles

Congregational Engagement Program Associate
832-658-2662

Melodee supports EHF's collaborative work with congregations by developing resource materials and communications, and provides project management for the Congregational Engagement team.


Ian Watt - Evaluation Associate

Ian Watt

Evaluation Associate
832-658-2665

Ian is responsible for supporting the Evaluation Officer in evaluating the impact of the Foundation’s programs, managing data and data collection processes, and supporting the coordination of evaluation and learning activities.


Sandra Wegmann - Learning Officer

Sandra Wegmann

Learning Officer
832-807-2588

Sandra is responsible for coordinating the learning function of the Foundation, including supporting the Foundation as a learning organization as well as gathering lessons from the evaluation of our investments in grant-making, convening, research, and congregational engagement.