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Our Board of Directors
After retiring in 2001, Susan Chase and her husband, Larry, embarked on the first of what turned out to be multiple volunteer stints with the National Park Service and the Nature Conservancy, spending three to five months at a time in southeastern Utah, New Mexico, and northern Florida, and the last three winters in a small town in Alaska, with a number of home exchanges in the U.S. and abroad mixed in. Now she is in the process of settling into a big old farm house in East Andover, New Hampshire, after nine years of living mostly “on the road” during the cold months and spending the warmer months in a small seasonal cabin on Andover’s Bradley Lake.
While it seemed the right time to put down a few roots and acquire a home they can stay in year-round if they choose, Susan and Larry intend to keep traveling, responding to interesting volunteer opportunities that present themselves, and learning new things in the process. For Susan, serving on the board of World Class fits very well with this intention. Susan likes to read, is an enthusiastic if not very skilled birder, has recently taken up knitting again, and is experimenting with New Mexican cooking, inspired by a Park Service stint in Santa Fe.
Susan grew up in Wisconsin. After graduating from Brown University in 1963, she held a variety of jobs (in adoption, day care, at a book store, and as an apprentice carpenter) while living in Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Jersey, before joining the staff of the Resource Center for Women in Summit, New Jersey, from which she retired as Executive Director in 2001. She and Larry have two grown children and one grandson.
Helen Wiley Doane graduated from Skidmore in the class of '71 and has been a founding member and enthusiastic supporter of World Class since the idea was hatched at our 35th college reunion. She recently joined the board.
Her work life included teaching middle school social studies until the birth of her son and daughter and later establishing a decorative painting business on Cape Cod, specializing in troupe l’oeil, wall finishes and murals, and designs on furniture, walls, ceilings and floors.
Volunteering on many community boards and committees, she is especially proud of having been on the board for 21 years of a group which pioneered nearly 200 units of housing for low income elderly residents. She and her husband Paul brought up their children and have maintained their residency on Cape Cod for 40 years, while simultaneously enjoying 15 years in New York City and building a home in New Mexico. They currently divide their time between Cape Cod and New Mexico.
Jessyca Dudley, a Chicago resident, graduated from Skidmore College in the class of '06 and spent time in Ghana as the Founder of The Building Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing children with access to education in West Africa. Jessyca is dedicated to creating collaborative and transformational change for communities and has been awarded for her research and leadership. Motivated by the challenging experiences she encountered as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Jessyca remains dedicated to community-based approaches to improve health equity. Jessyca currently serves as a Program Officer for the Joyce Foundation's Gun Violence Prevention Program. Through Joyce's grant making, Jessyca supports evidence-based policies and practices to reduce gun deaths and injury in the United States.
Susan Kraeger joined World Class - Ghana, Inc. as a member of its advisory board and currently serves on the board of directors as secretary.
Previously she was with WomensTrust for three and a half years as executive director. Prior to her work in Ghana, Susan was assistant to the vice-president for advancement at Colby-Sawyer College where she conducted the college's successful six-year $40 million capital campaign. Susan has held marketing positions at Franklin Regional Hospital in Franklin, N. H. and was a regional vice president of marketing in the cable television industry. Her mediation and organizational skills were employed at the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority in Bedford, N.H., where she developed and implemented a statewide pilot peer mediation program for the residents of subsidized housing for the elderly.
Susan attended Colby Junior College, and in 1994 received her B.S. in marketing from Franklin Pierce College graduating summa cum laude. She is also a certified marital and family mediator. She lives in St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands with her husband, Tom, where she served as Director of Development for The Good Hope School from which she recently retired.
Mimi Freund Tilton is a 1971 Skidmore graduate who majored in American Studies. She has spent over 30 years in the real estate development field primarily focusing on the adaptive reuse of historical buildings both in the for profit and not-for-profit worlds. She has served on the Board of Directors of numerous Rochester organizations including the YMCA, YWCA, American Red Cross, Landmark Society, and Hochstein Music School. She is a founding member of World Class.
Mimi resides in Rochester, New York with her husband, Sam, and Harry, the wonder Corgi. She has two grown sons, Alex and Peter.
Barbara Tsairis grew up in NJ but has lived in NH since 1972. She has been active in peace and women’s issues for most of her adult life – as founder in the early ‘80’s of the NH chapter of Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament, as lobbyist in the mid to late ‘80’s for the NH Women’s Lobby, and as a Board member of NH-NARAL and NH Women for Peace.
Barbara has also served as Vice-President of The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH, and as a trustee of the University of NH Alumni Association. She was a staff person for a NH congressional campaign in 2002 and was elected as a delegate to the 2004 National Democratic Convention.
Former Director of the NH Writers Project and founder and director of Odyssey in Athens, a study abroad program for college students, she was a consultant to Hellenic American University, a new American university in Athens, and was Executive Director of Hellas Alive (an internet-based Greek language program).
A graduate of Skidmore College (BA, American Studies, 1971) and the University of New Hampshire (MAT, 1973; MA, 1980), Barbara has one daughter and one grand-daughter. In 2006, Barbara founded World Class with her close friend and Skidmore classmate Judy Willsey. Barbara currently serves as Vice President.
As a classmate and roommate of the co-founders of World Class, Christine Werner is one of the organization’s founding embers. Christine’s working life has been varied: Assistant Fashion Editor (Cosmopolitan Magazine); Research Associate focusing on the electric utility industry (NERA – an economic consulting firm); Human Resources Administrator (various law firms) and lastly, and most satisfyingly, as a co-founder of the Construction Management Department at EYP - a national architectural firm. She has been happily “retired” from “work” since 1999 and looks forward to helping further the goals and aspirations of World Class to which she is committed. She serves as treasurer of the board.
She currently resides in Arlington, VA with her husband, Michael Altschul, an honorary member of Skidmore Class of ’71.
Kate Wiley joined the World Class board in 2016. She grew up in Albany, NY but has lived in the Washington, D.C. area since 2001. She received a BA in American Studies from George Washington University in 2004 and a MPA in Nonprofit Management from George Mason University in 2010.
Kate has a passion for working with and serving vulnerable populations, especially children. She spent time in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic working with local communities to improve housing and education for their citizens. Kate started in her professional career as a pre-school teacher and has worked to improve education for underserved children since. She incorporated a nonprofit organization for her current company and serves on the board of another local nonprofit, which sponsors recreational activities for children with disabilities. She is honored to work with this incredible group as they move forward in their mission to serve the women and children of greater Amasaman, Ghana.
In an effort to tap into the activism and ideals of fellow Skidmore alumni and other friends, in 2006, Judy Willsey co-founded World Class with her good friend and classmate, Barbara Tsairis. She serves on the board as president.
After graduating from Skidmore in 1971, Judy earned her masters degree in Russian history from Washington University in St. Louis. Her peripatetic career includes being the owner and operator of Jackson Creek Farm, a “cut-your-own” Christmas tree business in La Grangeville, NY, from which she is recently retired. Judy previously held the position of sales manager for Millbrook Vineyards in Millbrook, NY. She also assisted in a family-owned domestic fuel oil business and has taught courses in Modern European and Russian history at the college and high school levels.