Executive Board

MEET OUR TEAM

The World Connections Foundation team is the fabric of our strength, inspiration creativity and effectiveness. We are educators, strategists, coaches, collaborators, creators, authors, imagineers and so much more. Together we are forging a path toward bold and innovative new paradigms in higher education and leadership.  They are programs that are accessible to all because not only are we avid cultivators of the extraordinary in every human being but we believe everyone has within them the potential for greatness.

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DR. SUSAN TAFFER
Founder & CEO of World Connections Foundation

Dr. Susan Taffer is an American business and social entrepreneur, a Transition Strategist, Global Educator and a Humanitarian. She is an Intercultural Ambassador and principal founder of World Connections Foundation.
A recognized national and global educator and an authority on thought leadership, Dr. Taffer has served as an advisor to educators, learning institutions, corporations and students around the globe for more than 25 years. She is a Doctoral Chair and Professor with Grand Canyon University and a Doctoral Consultant for Acacia University’s International Educators Graduate College. Her instructional guidance and multi-course knowledge has made her a distinguished and sought-after educator and speaker in doctoral studies, women’s leadership forums, and leading national organizations.

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JANE APPLEGATH
Executive Director of Imagination

An avid participant in entrepreneurial endeavors, Jane has successfully worked in the arenas of finance, film, wellness, and the science and power of imagination. From the Executive Director of Imagination for an innovative educational platform, to the marketing arena of music, to television Producer, Script Writer, Screenplay Director of the Phoenix Film Festival, to Yoga Instructor and the non-stop, frenzy field of finance, Jane is undeniable proof that traditional rules are made to be broken.

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DR. CYNTHIA THIEDE
Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives

Dr. Cynthia Thiede is an innovative leader and proven business professional with over 25 years of senior executive experience in the areas of organizational leadership, strategic planning, and new program development. With an aptitude in the psychologies of negotiations and collaborations, she is a recognized authority and educator in the field of nonprofit organizations, applying her knowledge to develop key relationships and partnerships with community leaders. Skilled in operational management, Cynthia devises organizational turnarounds, creating meaningful and sustainable solutions to business challenges, including implementing growth opportunities and staff leadership training programs.

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MARCY J. MASLOW
Director of Financial Planning

Marcy Maslow is a Chief Integrity Builder, Executive Coach and former International Financial Manager. Marcy has designed a program, e-Factor, devoted to building stronger leaders and professionals. The content is based on more than 25 years of experience at some of the most sophisticated international companies in the world, including Pepsi, Motorola, and 20th Century Fox. Marcy holds an MBA from Duke, BS in Accountancy from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and she is a registered CPA from Illinois. She also is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach serving the small business and entrepreneurial community.

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Dr. DOE DAUGHTREY
Director of Academic Development

Dr. Doe Daughtrey is an academic expert with over 10 years of teaching experience in public Universities and Community Colleges. Through online and in-classroom courses, she has taught for both undergrad and graduate students. Dr. Daughtrey’s expertise in curriculum development and online course transformation is fundamental to the development of the World Connections hybrid learning models. Her skills in academia extend to the newest technology in designing leadership models for women and girls through gaming. She is developing concepts in the academic learning environment where young women and girls improve and strengthen their skill sets in leadership and personal development through interactive engaged learning.

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Debra S. Robinson
Director of Global Development

Debra Robinson is an expert problem solver with demonstrated motivational leadership skill. Debbie has over 15 years’ experience in small business management, health care, higher education and health and productivity management. Debra’s core gift is seeing a vision to completion which was demonstrated in her role as Director of Membership for Institute of Health & Productivity Management. While working with many Fortune 500 companies to find global solutions to match client resources, she was able to focus on preeminent health and productivity issues. Debra is the past President of Alta Home Care of Arizona.
In her leadership role at Alta, she managed critical care issues for hundreds of families struggling to care for their elderly loved ones.

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GLENDA NIEMAN, M.Ed.
Director of Research & Development

Glenda Nieman's intrigue for studying the depth of human behavior and personal character led her into the profession of education and counseling. She contributed 30 years to the Chandler Unified School District working with students of all cultures. Glenda has also served more than 29 years as a consultant and a presenter for both profit and non-profit organizations. Her clients include Student Assistance Training International, National Student Assistance Program Professionals Organization, Department of Education Of Nebraska, D.A.R.E. Regional Training and Annual Conference, East Valley Charter Hospital, and the Phoenix YMCA. She has authored two instructional manuals for support group facilitation and co-authored three additional manuals for parenting, children with incarcerated parents, and a crisis manual for educators.

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INGRID TROTT, MEd.
Director of Professional Development Programs

Ingrid Trott, M.Ed. is a higher-education professional who promotes and advocates for women’s and educational leadership development. Since the 1980’s she has been teaching and consulting for national and international private and public institutions who have invited her to lecture and design courses that instruct skills for success and attaining life-track goals. In collaboration with Educators and Professionals in related fields, she is researching and contributing to a series of cultural and social-politically focused articles and events on Women, Leadership, as well as Education and Design topics. Ingrid is deeply involved in team-developing and planning Leadership, Education, and her publishing dates are scheduled nationally in 2016 and 2017.

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LORI SEVERSON
Director of Human Enrichment and Outreach

As a coach for professional women, Lori’s specialty is the interpersonal side of business. A 20+ year veteran of big business, she knows that women have special challenges in environments that are often male designed and focused. These challenges often create suffering that women are blind to. She guides professional women to be more aligned with their own values and ways of leading. By re-connecting world changing women to their innate intelligence and unlocking powerful communication, she guides her clients to increase their effectiveness. Lori’s debut fiction novel was released in August of 2017 and is a bestseller on Amazon. Titled An Unexpected Journey, One Woman’s Whale Tale this book was a product of listening to her own intuition all along the way from beginning to end.

DR. SUSAN TAFFER

Dr. Susan Taffer is an American business and social entrepreneur, a Transition Strategist, Global Educator and a Humanitarian. She is an Intercultural Ambassador and principal founder of World Connections Foundation.

A recognized national and global educator and an authority on thought leadership, Dr. Taffer has served as an advisor to educators, learning institutions, corporations and students around the globe for more than 25 years. She is a Doctoral Chair and Professor with Grand Canyon University and a Doctoral Consultant for Acacia University’s International Educators Graduate College. Her instructional guidance and multi-course knowledge has made her a distinguished and sought-after educator and speaker in doctoral studies, women’s leadership forums, and leading national organizations.

For the past two years Dr. Taffer has served on the Athena Valley of the Sun executive leadership team. She is an executive advisor for the recipients of the Athena Principal Woman’s Leadership Award, a program that provides recipients with the skills and knowledge to work as educational mentors and coaches.

Expanding on her life-long passion to transition individuals to greatness, Dr. Taffer is aligning her talents and connections to create and produce a documentary film, titled ‘As I Rise’. The film speaks to individuals of all ages. It is a story of courage and discovery; of women rising to their full potential and galvanizing change within their lives and communities. Featuring the true stories of three inspiring women, the film demonstrates that all of us have within us the potential to live a life of greater purpose, power and productivity. Their stories illustrate that no one is ever too far from making a difference – or from healing through education. And it is a gripping reminder of the power of leadership. “You can’t emulate what you can’t see. With that in mind, we’re using the power of storytelling to inspire what is possible for every woman to achieve.” Dr. Susan Taffer

An avid participant in entrepreneurial endeavors, Jane has successfully worked in the arenas of finance, film, wellness, and the science and power of imagination. From the Executive Director of Imagination for an innovative educational platform, to the marketing arena of music, to television Producer, Script Writer, Screenplay Director of the Phoenix Film Festival, to Yoga Instructor and the non-stop, frenzy field of finance, Jane is undeniable proof that traditional rules are made to be broken.

She has worked with a pioneer in the science and power of imagination, building influential alliances to expand the sphere of this significant human resource. Applying her aptitude for creativity, Jane is a recognized story developer for film, business and television. She is a former television Producer and Script Writer for the syndicated show Forever Younger. As the former Screenplay Director of the Phoenix Film Festival, she tripled admissions and created a judging panel comprised of Academy Award Winning screenplay writers. Jane has also worked in the financial industry where she was a multi-awarding Financial Advisor. She is a certified yoga instructor, a lover of words, scribing grants, web and marketing content to screenplays and poems. Most of all, Jane is an enthusiastic champion of the science, education, and power of imagination. Imagining and creating the extraordinary in all aspects of life is her deepest source of inspiration.

Attributes:

Writer. Producer. Imagineer. Certified Yoga Instructor.

JANE APPLEGATH

DR. CYNTHIA THIEDE

Dr. Cynthia Thiede is an innovative leader and proven business professional with over 25 years of senior executive experience in the areas of organizational leadership, strategic planning, and new program development. With an aptitude in the psychologies of negotiations and collaborations, she is a recognized authority and educator in the field of nonprofit organizations, applying her knowledge to develop key relationships and partnerships with community leaders.  Skilled in operational management, Cynthia devises organizational turnarounds, creating meaningful and sustainable solutions to business challenges, including implementing growth opportunities and staff leadership training programs.  As an individual who is self-motivated, innovative, analytical and organized, Cynthia’s devotion to creating groundbreaking training and educational initiatives has led her to speak nationally and at many state conferences on the topics of planning, accreditation and workforce development. She has served as a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission for over 16 year.  Dr. Thiede received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, and her Ph.D. in Continuing and Vocational Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Marcy Maslow is a Chief Integrity Builder, Executive Coach and former International Financial Manager. Marcy has designed a program, e-Factor, devoted to building stronger leaders and professionals. The content is based on more than 25 years of experience at some of the most sophisticated international companies in the world, including Pepsi, Motorola, and 20th Century Fox. Marcy holds an MBA from Duke, BS in Accountancy from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and she is a registered CPA from Illinois. She also is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach serving the small business and entrepreneurial community. Marcy creates and facilitates programs and workshops on building trust, business ethics, internal controls and finance for non-finance professionals. She enjoys creating a safe, fun place to explore diverse and sensitive topics interactively and without fear. Marcy has spoken to various groups including Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics, ADISA, ACRP, Leading Age, IEEE, AZ Assisted Living Homes Association, ATD, SHRM, Arizona CPA Society, Vistage, Beta Alpha Psi, CEO-CFO of Phoenix, IMA, and AFWA about the positive value of ethics since 2007 when she launched e-Factor!®, the educational board game of business ethics.

MARCY J. MASLOW

DR. DOE DAUGHTREY

Dr. Doe Daughtrey is an academic expert with over 10 years of teaching experience in public Universities and Community Colleges. Through online and in-classroom courses, she has taught for both undergrad and graduate students. Dr. Daughtrey’s expertise in curriculum development and online course transformation is fundamental to the development of the World Connections hybrid learning models. Her skills in academia extend to the newest technology in designing leadership models for women and girls through gaming. She is developing concepts in the academic learning environment where young women and girls improve and strengthen their skill sets in leadership and personal development through interactive engaged learning. Dr. Daughtrey’s professional graduate study is in Religious Studies. She earned her PhD from Arizona State University, with an emphasis in New and Alternative Religions in America and religion and popular culture. She has extensive experience as a presenter at national and regional conferences, especially illuminating women’s gendered experience in major religions of the world and also in more marginal religious groups globally.

Debra Robinson is an expert problem solver with demonstrated motivational leadership skill. Debbie has over 15 years’ experience in small business management, health care, higher education and health and productivity management. Debra’s core gift is seeing a vision to completion which was demonstrated in her role as Director of Membership for Institute of Health & Productivity Management. While working with many Fortune 500 companies to find global solutions to match client resources, she was able to focus on preeminent health and productivity issues. Debra is the past President of Alta Home Care of Arizona. In her leadership role at Alta, she managed critical care issues for hundreds of families struggling to care for their elderly loved ones. Previously, Debra led a 350 member multi-cultural non-profit women’s organization that contributed thousands of hours of community service. Addressing the issues of poverty and global development is her lifelong passion. The ability to focus singularly on ensuring the success of her business partners and creating an environment for learning and productivity is why Debra is a good match for WCF.

DEBRA S. ROBINSON

GLENDA NIEMAN

Glenda Nieman’s intrigue for studying the depth of human behavior and personal character led her into the profession of education and counseling. She contributed 30 years to the Chandler Unified School District working with students of all cultures. Glenda has also served more than 29 years as a consultant and a presenter for both profit and non-profit organizations. Her clients include Student Assistance Training International, National Student Assistance Program Professionals Organization, Department of Education Of Nebraska, D.A.R.E. Regional Training and Annual Conference, East Valley Charter Hospital, and the Phoenix YMCA. She has authored two instructional manuals for support group facilitation and co-authored three additional manuals for parenting, children with incarcerated parents, and a crisis manual for educators. Glenda is currently researching the effects of leadership roles for women and the psychological impact on their life choices and lives. She is also studying and researching the psychological impact of transitioning to a foreign culture as an international professional or refugee.

Ingrid Trott, M.Ed. is a higher-education professional who promotes and advocates for women’s and educational leadership development. Since the 1980’s she has been teaching and consulting for national and international private and public institutions who have invited her to lecture and design courses that instruct skills for success and attaining life-track goals. In collaboration with Educators and Professionals in related fields, she is researching and contributing to a series of cultural and social-politically focused articles and events on Women, Leadership, as well as Education and Design topics. Ingrid is deeply involved in team-developing and planning Leadership, Education, and her publishing dates are scheduled nationally in 2016 and 2017. Ingrid has had many invitations to present to multi-cultural professional women’s’ groups, and has participated in discussions with local higher-educational institutions to develop mediation programs as a Maricopa County court certified mediator, manager and training program presenter for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office. She holds an M.Ed, specializing in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, as well as a BFA in Architectural Design from famed Parsons School of Design in NYC. Her liberal arts studies were at Bradley University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Institute of Design.

INGRID TROTT

LORI SEVERSON

As a coach for professional women, Lori’s specialty is the interpersonal side of business. A 20+ year veteran of big business, she knows that women have special challenges in environments that are often male designed and focused. These challenges often create suffering that women are blind to. She guides professional women to be more aligned with their own values and ways of leading. By re-connecting world changing women to their innate intelligence and unlocking powerful communication, she guides her clients to increase their effectiveness. Lori’s debut fiction novel was released in August of 2017 and is a bestseller on Amazon. Titled An Unexpected Journey, One Woman’s Whale Tale this book was a product of listening to her own intuition all along the way from beginning to end. She has volunteered with The Girls Rule Foundation, a platform devoted to leadership empowerment, providing educational workshops and programs for girls ages 12-18, and held board and advisory board roles. Lori holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Communication; and a Bachelor of Science in Interpersonal/Intercultural Communication both from Arizona State University. Lori is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a Newfield Certified coach, an ICF accredited coaching program.