Leadership Team

Elena Marks

President and Chief Executive Officer

Elena M. Marks is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Episcopal Health Foundation. Ms. Marks is also a nonresident Fellow in Health Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy where her work focuses on health reform and access to care for low-income and uninsured populations. 

She serves on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the largest national organization serving the field of health philanthropy, Harris Health System, a public hospital system serving over 300,000 patients annually, and Community Health Choice, a nonprofit, community-based health insurance company with more than 400,000 members.

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.  Ms. Marks’ previous professional experience includes serving as the Director of Health and Environmental Policy for the City of Houston; consulting in the health care industry with large systems and community-based providers; starting and directing a successful legal placement firm; and practicing trial and appellate law with major Texas law firms.


Jo Carcedo, MPA, MBA

Vice President for Grants

Jo Z. Carcedo is the Vice President for Grants for the Episcopal Health Foundation. In this role she developed the foundation’s grantmaking system, oversees all operational aspects of the organization’s grantmaking portfolios, supervises program officer and grants management staff, directs the foundation’s $45 million grants budget and all organization-wide grantmaking policies, processes, and systems to ensure EHF’s grantmaking is aligned with its core values and strategic goals.

She has raised more than $300 million in public grants and contracts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services including: Administration for Children and Families, Health Resources & Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the Texas Education Agency and several private philanthropies. She is published in The Foundation Review, blogged for Health Affairs, and has been featured in the Annual Report of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (2018).  She is a board member of Philanthropy Southwest, served on the Selection Committee of the Lone Star Prize—a statewide competition to source transformative solutions that improve the quality of life for Texans sponsored by Lyda Hill Philanthropies; is a grant reviewer for the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, and served on the Grants Committee for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by the Mayor of the City of Houston and the Harris County Judge in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. 

Jo has a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University, a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University.

Shao-Chee Sim, PhD, MPA

Vice President for Research, Innovation and Evaluation

Dr. Shao-Chee Sim is the Episcopal Health Foundation’s Vice President for Research, Innovation and Evaluation. He leads the division’s work in health policy analysis, research, planning and pilot projects to advance the strategic plan of the Foundation. Current priority areas include COVID-19 public opinion surveys, managed care organizations (MCO) social determinants of health strategies, multi-sectoral community health collaborative, health center payment reform and rural healthcare service delivery.

Shao-Chee comes to EHF after more than 20 years of research, 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. Dr. Sim also assumed research leadership roles at the Wallace Foundation and the Asian American Federation.

He currently serves on the Board of Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, on the advisory committee of the Understanding Houston initiative, Center for Community Engaged Translational Research at UT MD Anderson Center, and the Asian American Policy Review at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. 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.

Eusebio Díaz

Chief of Staff

Eusebio Diaz is the Episcopal Health Foundation’s Chief of Staff, serving as a strategist and advisor to the President and CEO, and overseeing a diverse portfolio of EHF projects. Eusebio has more than 20 years of experience in strategy and program development for nonprofits and philanthropic organizations in Texas.

Prior to joining EHF, Eusebio served as Vice President of Programs for the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio, where he supervised the distribution of more than $85 million in funding over 13 years. A United States Air Force veteran, Eusebio holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Master of Arts in Bicultural-Bilingual Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He served two terms on the board of Philanthropy Southwest and is a founding member of the Asset Funders Network of San Antonio.

Susybelle Gosslee

Chief Administrative Officer

Susybelle Gosslee is the Episcopal Health Foundation’s Chief Administrative Officer.   She is responsible for all business and administrative functions of the Foundation, including operations, human resources, human capital, information technology, process improvement and facilities management.  Susybelle oversees EHF’s internal finance function and interfaces with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas which provides accounting, finance, and payroll/benefits processing support to the Foundation.

Susybelle’s background includes over ten year’s experience in overseeing the business and administration function in law firms in Houston, Austin and Dallas and nine years serving as a political compliance consultant for political candidates and political action committees.  She served as Mayor Bill White’s campaign Comptroller for six years. Susybelle has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and is a life-long Episcopalian.

Lisa Madry

Director of Community Engagement

Lisa Madry currently serves as the Director of Community Engagement. She was previously EHF’s Senior Congregational Engagement Officer and helped develop and implement the foundation’s collaborative work with congregations in the Diocese. She has served in various leadership roles with education, community development, and environmental organizations for more than 25 years.

She previously led the National Wildlife Federation’s field programs with college campuses focused on climate action and campus sustainability. She also served as a community organizer for six years for the Industrial Areas Foundation network in San Antonio and Houston. Lisa currently serves in a volunteer capacity on the Executive Committee of the National Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign. Lisa grew up in Corpus Christi, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a life-long Episcopalian.

Brian Sasser

Chief Communications Officer
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Brian Sasser is EHF’s Chief Communications Officer. Brian spent 20 years in television news as a reporter, producer and photographer. Most recently, he spent 13 years as the investigative producer and national field producer at KPRC-TV, the NBC affliliate in Houston. Brian oversees all of EHF’s internal and external communication, including media relations, public relations, news and research releases, website management, video production, and communications consulting with grant partners and others.

He serves as co-chair of the Communications Committee for Philanthropy Southwest, was co-chair of the Health Subcommittee for the Houston/Harris County 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, and previously served on the board for Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston. Brian graduated from TCU with bachelor’s degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.


Robiel Abraha

Research and Evaluation Officer

Robiel provides project management and oversight of various research assignments.

Sheryl Barmasse

Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, Elena Marks

Sheryl supports the President in administrative areas.

Willie Bennett

Congregational Engagement Officer

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

Zahyrah Blakeney

Program Officer

Zahyrah 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 grantmaking.

Troy Bush-DiDonato

Community Engagement Officer

Troy implements EHF’s community engagement strategy through training and capacity building with community partners, grant partners and congregations.

Katy Butterwick

Program Officer

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 grantmaking.

Dale Dodds

Finance Associate

Dale assists with matters relating to the finances of the Foundation.

Anne Eisner

Administrative Assistant, Engagement

Anne supports the Engagement team in administrative areas.

Tanya James

Community Partnerships Officer

Tanya supports Community Engagement efforts and helps develop and implement EHF’s capacity building strategies for strengthening community health.

Ruben Lanting

Grants Manager

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

Cindy Lucia

Program Officer

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 grantmaking.

Jennifer Meier

Research and Evaluation Associate

Jenn provides programmatic support and project management for the Research and Evaluation division.

Lisa Mendoza

Grants Database Coordinator

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

Celene Meyer

Director of Grants Management

Celene is responsible for overseeing the online grantmaking system and integrating its work with other EHF departments, and for monitoring all other grants management functions to ensure the overall high quality of all grants processes.

Jennifer Mineo, DrPH, LMSW

Senior Research and Evaluation Officer

Jennifer provides leadership, project management and oversight of research in support of the Research Division’s goal of providing timely and relevant data and research to inform EHF’s work.

Eric Moen

Congregational Engagement Officer

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

Raj Sihra

Grants Program Associate

Raj provides programmatic support and project management for the Grants Division.

Laura Thewalt

Executive Assistant, Business and Communications

Laura supports the Business and Communication teams in administrative areas.

Melodee Toles

Senior Congregational Engagement Associate

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

Kirstie Valverde

Administrative Assistant, Research and Evaluation

Kirstie supports the Research and Evaluation team in administrative areas.