Circle Leadership

Dynamic leadership teams have empowered and supported our work.

Shelley Goldseker and Pam Corckran’s visionary leadership inspired the creation of the Circle while Ann Allston Boyce and Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff nurtured its’ early development. Working through the BWGC’s many committees, succeeding Co-chairs have overseen many changes and accomplishments. Anne Donahue and Lynn Sassin led an expansion of the Circle, and Pat Joseph and Beth Lebow established the Circle’s presence on the Web. Subsequently, Ellen Bernard and Christie Coe oversaw a streamlining of Circle operations while Gail Shawe and Kimberly Warren expanded our reach through creative new programs and social media. Most recently, under Peggy Schapiro and Penny Wald’s leadership, the Circle began a two-year grant program, implemented an online grant management system, and launched a new Education subcommittee focused on advocacy. Together, the Circle grows in depth and breadth as we carry out our mission through our committees.

Our current officers, elected for a two-year term in May 2016, are:

Circle Co-Chairs


Vivian Manekin and Jodi Dunn began their two-year term in June 2016.

Jodi Dunn joined the Circle in 2010, and has served as a grant reader and team leader on the grants committee, member of the visioning committee, co-chair of the post-grants evaluation committee, and co-chair of the online grant management implementation team. A graduate of Drake University, she received her MPA in political science from the American University. Her forty-five year career in health and human services includes senior level positions at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Maryland Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and a subsidiary of Nationwide Mutual Insurance from where she retired in 2011. Jodi has been an active volunteer since she and her husband moved to Baltimore in 1980, chairing the House of Ruth board in its formative years and currently serving on the board of Arts Every Day. She has two daughters and enjoys theater, ethnic food and travel.

Vivian Manekin joined the Circle in 2011 and has served as a reader, team leader and co-chair of grants committee. Previously she was co-chair of post-grant evaluation and served on the ad hoc committee on multi-year grants. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a huge Tar Heel fan, she also has a master’s degree in Jewish History from the former Baltimore Hebrew College (now the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University). Vivian served on the Board of Chizuk Amuno Congregation for several years. She taught at Greenspring Montessori for 19 years and now enjoys taking classes, playing tennis and traveling. Vivian and her husband are exceedingly proud of their five children and two grandchildren, and are looking forward to a third wedding in the fall of 2016.


Susannah Bergmann joined the Circle in 2007, and she has served as assistant Treasurer, co-chair of visioning committee, chair of grantee Connect committee, and as a member of nominating and grantee connect committees. An art history graduate of Bard College, Susannah has worked in fundraising and marketing for Baltimore area charities including Mercy Health Foundation, Catholic Charities, and the former Baltimore Reads. She has served as a Maryland Nonprofits Standards for Excellence peer reviewer and was a founding board member of the Maryland Book Bank. She owns Kaliber Construction, Inc., a commercial construction firm, with her husband. Susannah was born in the Netherlands, raised in Seattle, WA, lived in New York, and in 1995 made Baltimore area her home. She has two grown stepchildren, and a rescue dog.

Assistant Treasurer

Eileen Toohey joined the Circle in 2013, and has served as a reader for the grants committee for three years and as a member of the ad hoc committee on financial planning. In 2013 Eileen retired as director of development at McDonogh School after 25 years. She now is a managing director at Carter Global, an international fundraising firm. Eileen specializes in board development, capital campaigns, major gifts, annual fund programming, communications, development audits and strategic planning for Baltimore area schools, charities and non-profit organizations. Prior to joining McDonogh School and Carter Global, Eileen sold computers for Unisys. She is a graduate of McDaniel College. She enjoys traveling with her husband of 29 years and spending time with family and friends.


Sabine Oishi joined the Circle in 2010. She served or serves on a number of committees, with a special interest in grants and communications. In 2015 she was appointed to fill a vacancy on the visioning committee. Sabine holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has extensive research experience and until her retirement worked as a child, adolescent and family therapist in various community mental health centers. Her book on the treatment of autism, The Hidden Child, was published in 1987. Sabine is a devoted gardener. In her younger days she was an Alpine skier and she still enjoys hiking in her native Switzerland. She has three children and is an active grandmother of three, for whom she writes and illustrates stories.


Susan Perl joined the Circle in 2008, and currently serves as secretary of the steering committee. She has also served on the grants committee as a reader and team leader. A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Susan holds a Masters in Maternal & Child Health. For over 20 years, she taught nursing under an integrated system, which included courses from pediatric to geriatric nursing. She has also worked in home health and as a nurse in the Baltimore City Schools. Currently, Susan leads a volunteer program called Bookworms in two city schools, a program which brings both books and shared reading to pre-K and first grade classrooms. She is a passionate bridge player and has achieved the level of bronze life master. Susan has been married for 41 years and is the mother of four sons and grandmother to one precious granddaughter.