Board of Directors
Vanessa is the Executive Director of Homicide Survivors, Inc. Prior to this position she worked at the at Pima County Attorney's Office Victim Services where she coordinated a crisis volunteer program, supervised a rural victim services expansion project and was the coordinator of the Victim Assistance Academy and National Academy through the Arizona Coalition of Victim Services (ACVS) and the National Office for Victim Assistance (NOVA).
In 2016, Vanessa was selected as one of Tucson's 40 under 40. Vanessa graduated with her bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona and received a Masters of Counseling from the University of Phoenix. Vanessa is the troop leader for Girl Scout Troop 229, the secretary of her Home Owners Association and performs in the Manhattan Dolls, a trio of women who travel the country and world to sing 30s-60s ear music mainly to veterans and active duty members. Vanessa is a 7th generation Tucsonan, and she has two daughters and a wonderful and supportive husband.
Karen is an alumna of the Tucson Girls Chorus. She worked as an attorney in California before returning to Tucson to clerk at the Arizona Court of Appeals. Karen is now an Assistant Attorney General. She has two children and in her limited free time she performs with the Tucson Girls Chorus Alumnae Choir.
Jeannie Nguyen has been with National Bank of Arizona for 14 years and currently serves as Senior Vice President managing the Tucson Commercial Real Estate Banking Group. She specializes in investor and developer commercial real estate relationships. She has worked in the banking industry for over 25 years. Jeannie graduated from the University of Arizona's Eller College with a degree in Business Management in 2001.
David Pietz is Professor of Chinese History, Director of Global Studies, and the UNESCO Chair in Environmental History at the University of Arizona. He has served on the boards of a variety of educational and non-profit organizations in Tucson and Washington state. His daughter graduated from TGC in 2018, and David is committed to continuing and strengthening TGC's extraordinary contributions to our community.
Don Swann is the father of TGC alum Inge Pham-Swann, now a student at Macalister College. Originally from Boston, he has lived in Tucson since 1991. Don attended Brown University in Rhode Island and has a MS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona. Don is a biologist at Saguaro National Park, where he studies saguaros and wildlife and directs a large crew of biological technicians and interns. He serves on the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Science Advisory Council and the Pima County Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan Science Technical Advisory Team. Don has received the Emily Haury Award for outstanding research from the Western National Parks Association, the James Jarchow Conservation Award from the Tucson Herpetological Society, and the National Park Service Director’s Award for Natural Resource Management. His wife Phi H. Pham is a teacher at Amphi Middle School, and their son Ty attends Catalina Foothills HS. In his spare time Don runs and raises vegetables. Don loves TGC and is excited to be a new board member.
Bio coming soon!
Melissa is a certified public accountant at BeachFleischman, Arizona's largest locally-owned CPA firm and a "Top 200" largest CPA firm in the United States. Melissa specializes in assurance and advisory service for a variety of industries, including not-for-profit and governmental entities. In addition to serving on the TGC board, she currently serves on the finance committee for the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona and previously served as the treasurer of the board for the International School of Tucson. Melissa loves spending time with her husband and two kids, enjoying music, hiking, and traveling. She is excited to be a part of an organization that helps build the character, self-confidence, and leadership of Tucson girls.
Darlene Twiss is an attorney with a background in real estate finance and commercial and residential real estate matters. Prior to becoming of counsel to Thrasher Law Offices PLLC in Tucson, Darlene worked for major firms in New York City and Los Angeles. Darlene enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis, organizing fundraisers, and working with various charities.