Board of Directors
John Ward is a senior vice president with RR Donnelley Logistics, responsible for international distribution, domestic mailing services, and acquisitions. Prior to joining RR Donnelley, he was president of Pitney Bowes Global Mail Services Group, operating a global distribution network of 40 processing centers with 4,200 employees. Before joining Pitney Bowes, he had a successful career at the US Postal Service where he held senior officer positions such as vice president marketing, vice president of pricing and business development and vice president finance and controller. He has also served as a Board of Governor for MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He holds a master's of science degree in management from MIT and bachelor's and MBA degrees from Pace University.
Nikki Zollar is president and CEO of Triad Consulting Services. Previously, she was senior vice president and general counsel at Gemini Electronics. Her prior work experience also includes acting as director with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation and chairperson with the Chicago Board of Elections. Nikki sits on the boards of the Black Women’s Exposition, the Black Women Lawyers Association, and the Illinois Literacy Foundation, where she is also board vice president. She formerly sat on the board of the American Heart Association.
She is the recipient of the Boys and Girls Club of America’s Martin Luther King Legacy Award for dedicated leadership, the Chicago Urban Professionals’ Outstanding Young Professional Award, and one of the Revlon Corporation/Kizzy Scholarship Fund’s Kizzy Awards for America’s Highest Black Women Achievers. Dollars and Sense magazine chose her as one of 100 Outstanding Black Business and Professional Women in the United States. Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree from The John Hopkins University and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Thomas Fiscoe is a partner and CPA at Dannible & McKee. He is a board member and past treasurer of Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Central New York, and he is the treasurer and a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of Huntington Family Centers. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the NYS Society of Certified Public Accountants. Thomas also served as treasurer and a board member of Literacy Volunteers of America.
Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from LeMoyne College.
Seetha Srinivasan is director emerita, former associate director, and former editor-in-chief of the University Press of Mississippi. From 2003 to 2004, she was president of the Association of American University Presses. She was an external reviewer for the Indiana Historical Society Press, the University of Tennessee Press, and the Texas Christian University Press. She is a current member of the board of directors of the Women’s Fund of Mississippi and a former member of the board of trustees of Leadership Jackson.
In 2002, Seetha received the Association of American Presses (AAUP) Constituency Award for Outstanding Service to the University Press Community. In 1998, she received the Jim Livesay Service Award from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. Seetha holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Poona in India, a master’s degree from Mills College, and a master’s degree from the University of Florida.
Ruth J. Colvin is the founder of Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA), which she started in 1962. In 2002, Literacy Volunteers of America merged with Laubach Literacy to become ProLiteracy. Ruth is an honorary member of the board of directors of Literacy New York and a member of the board of directors and a tutor at Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse.
She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006, the nation’s highest civilian award. She was also inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and received the U.S. President’s National Volunteer Action Award in 1987. She is the author of Tutor 8th edition, READ, I Speak English 5th edition, A Way With Words, and In the Beginning Was the Word. She holds a bachelor’s degree fromSyracuse University and nine Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees.
Dr. Robert Laubach
Robert S. Laubach is the former president and chair of the board of trustees of Laubach Literacy International, which merged in 2002 with Literacy Volunteers of America to become ProLiteracy. He is the founder and former head of New Readers Press, ProLiteracy’s publishing division. He’s also a former director of the Literacy Communications program at Syracuse University, and is an international teacher, lecturer, and author.
Robert was the recipient of the Syracuse University Melvin A. Eggers Senior Alumni Award in 2006, the Central New York Peace Award in 2007, the Post-Standard Achievement Award in 2008, and the Nonprofit Award for Career Achievement in 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster as well as a master’s and PhD from Syracuse University.
Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeiken
Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeiken is the director for education and practitioner engagement of the Transnational NGO Initiative at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, which is part of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She is also an adjunct professor of graduate level courses on governance and global civil society as well as community organizing and community development.
Her former positions include program officer at the European Center for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) in the Netherlands; United Nations District Electoral Supervisor in Cambodia with supplemental assignments in Cambodia for The United Nations Development Program and the US NGO PACT; social development advisor, World Bank in Washington, DC and in Vietnam, with a primary focus on social development, poverty and civil society issues. Tosca holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public law and political science law from the University of Leiden, Netherlands.
Marty Calanche has struggled with reading since he was a child. He has always been able to learn skills on the job, and in the 1980s he worked with the flight safety parts for the Apache helicopter. Marty was laid off in 1992, and he moved to Tucson, Arizona, in hopes of working for Raytheon. But despite having a letter of recommendation, Marty was told that he would need his GED to apply for a position. He came to Literacy Connects in 2010 and has since participated as a student, student ambassador, member of the advocacy committee, and board member. Marty is still working towards earning his GED. In 2013, Marty was invited to be on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives as the honored guest of his local representative.
Since learning to read, Marty has also followed his dream of learning to play guitar.
As an ongoing student with Literacy Connects in Tucson, Marty looks forward to working with the ProLiteracy board of directors. He is honored to be part of ProLiteracy’s continued efforts to increase access to quality literacy services.
Sherrie Claiborne is president of Nevils Realty and The Nevils Group. She also has her own private company, Sherrie Claiborne & Associates. A retired educator, Sherrie taught high school English, drama, and debate for 18 years, while also working with at-risk students. She served for 22 years as an administrator in an adult education program and was a certified Laubach Tutor Trainer.
Sherrie has written more than $50 million in grants for adult education. She developed the Tennessee Model Adult High School and ran a 10-county mobile GED Testing Center that was recognized as one of the leading adult education programs in the nation. Sherrie has also served as president for three prominent literacy organizations: the Tennessee Association of Adult and Continuing Education, the Commission on Adult Basic Education, and the National Coalition for Literacy.
Jose Cruz is the chief executive officer for the San Diego Council on Literacy, a model urban literacy coalition. He has 26 years of experience in the literacy field and is known in the national literacy network for his leadership in organizing collaborative efforts for literacy. He is the recipient of the 2003 San Diego Union-Tribune, “Educator of the Year” award, and has served as president of the National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions and the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. He is a two-time recipient of the International Reading Association's "Celebrate Literacy Award," and, in 2007, was recognized by KPBS and Union Bank as a Hispanic Heritage Month “Local Hero,” in the Education category. Jose is a native San Diegan, a graduate of the University of Southern California, and a product of the San Diego Community College District.
Shari Daw is Head, Enterprise Risk Management at Discover Financial Services. Formerly, she was senior vice president of enterprise risk management at Freddie Mac. She was previously the former senior vice president of governance and fiduciary oversight in Global Securities Solutions, a line of business within Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Before that, she was a managing director at Bank One/JPMorgan Chase as CFO of Credit Products and head of Risk Services. Earlier, she was a senior director at Sears, Roebuck and Co., where she played a variety of finance and strategy roles.
Shari holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and a master’s from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She is a certified public accountant.
Brian Fox is director of learning outsourcing with Accenture, where he formerly served as senior manager of change management and training. Before that, he was manager of accounting and financial systems for The Pfaltzgraff Co., a financial analyst and cost accountant for Ford New Holland (now CNH), and a finance officer for the United States Army. Brian is the former chair of the ProLiteracy America Governance Council and former chair of ProLiteracy Worldwide’s accreditation review panel. He is also the former Mayor of Christiana Borough, Pennsylvania, and serves as the board secretary for the Christiana Historical Society.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s from Lebanon Valley College.
Denine Torr joined Dollar General in the fall of 1999. As director of the Community Initiatives division, she oversees corporate and foundation giving, employee volunteer engagement efforts, and assists with the development of cause related partnerships for Dollar General's forty state market. Denine has designed and executed funding initiatives for Dollar General that have raised more than $100 million for charity. She has been instrumental in the creation of Dollar General’s Employee Assistance Foundation and growth of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. To date, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $98 million to literacy initiatives since 1993, helping more than 5.8 million individuals learn to read, receive their high school equivalency or learn English.
Denine received her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Communications from Middle Tennessee State University.