We keep our overhead costs low by using volunteer members to manage the organization. We have no paid staff. Members have the choice to become actively involved in a committee or as a board member. Our volunteer members have a strong commitment to helping our organization succeed.
Our board represents a cross-section of our community and has a passion for our organization and those we serve. The all-volunteer board members work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization and oversee that the funds raised directly affect those in need.
FY 2021/2022 Board of Directors
Wendy Waite, President
Wendy has been a resource development consultant for non-profit organizations for the past 15 years, bringing in multi-millions of dollars to local organizations, and has worked in the non-profit sector for 35 years. She has held multiple management and administrative positions at such organizations as Park Ridge Youth Campus in Chicago, Illinois; Utah Youth Village in Salt Lake City, Utah; Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska and Las Vegas; and Olive Crest Foster Family Agency in Las Vegas. Wendy holds an M.A. Degree in Human Development from the University of Kansas. She has served on several Boards including ALS of Nevada, HopeLink, and the CASA Foundation, earning the President’s Award from the latter.
Melissa Zensen-Lipman - Secretary
Melissa Zensen-Lipman brings 20 years of litigation experience to the Impact Board. She started her career as a state prosecutor and then went into private practice. In addition to working for several years with two law firms in St. Louis, Melissa and a partner started a boutique law firm focusing on business litigation.
While practicing law, Melissa purchased and rebranded a small retail boutique, Alter Ego, which led to a four-year hiatus from law and a second career in a creative field as a visual manager for large retailers installing displays and designing store interiors.
In 2018 Melissa retired from private practice to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. Before moving to Las Vegas in 2019, Melissa worked for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri recruiting lawyers to serve as volunteers. Melissa now works for the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada representing the elderly and disabled in guardianship cases.
“When we moved to Vegas, the widespread poverty was a terrible shock and I wanted to help in someway. As an Impact member, I can leverage my relatively small contribution into a substantial grant. Seeing the difference our annual grant makes for our nonprofit recipients is rewarding beyond words. The fact that I’ve also met so many incredibly kind and impressive women who share the commitment to our community has been a fantastic bonus.”
Shannon Russell - Treasurer
Growing up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Shannon (Noto) Russell then went to Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, where she graduated in 1992 with a degree in Actuarial Math. Always with a yearning to help others when and where she could, Shannon made several mission trips to Haiti in the 1990s. When she and her husband, Gary, moved to Las Vegas in 2000, Shannon put her heart for service to good use, where she worked at Olive Crest Foster Family Agency.
Now, a busy mom with four children – Luke (18), Molly (16), Kate (13), and Maggie (11) - Shannon has worn many hats, among them soccer coach for her athletic kids and former business owner of BounceU. She also enjoys many interests, ranging from woodworking to running. Shannon tries to pass on her compassion for others to her children, even taking her son with her on another mission trip to Haiti in 2018. Shannon is pleased to be a member of Impact Las Vegas, where she can give back to the southern Nevada community where she has lived, worked, and raised a family these past two decades.
Vicki B. Herman - Director
A life-long educator, Vicki is a graduate of Michigan State University with an undergraduate degree in Special Education and Elementary Education and she holds a master’s degree from the University of Dayton in Educational Administration. After working for Dayton Public Schools in Dayton, Ohio for 13 years, Vicki and her young family moved to Las Vegas in 1990, where she worked with the Clark County School District for twenty-nine years, most recently serving as the Director of Community Outreach and School-Based Health Services. In this capacity, Vicki established new school and community-based health centers within CCSD, including comprehensive medical centers, behavioral health services, vision services and preventative and restorative dental services. She represented CCSD on two state-wide mental health consortiums, was an advisory board member for the Culinary Arts Management Program at UNLV and served as a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Department of Family Services.
Vicki has served as a board member for several non-profits including Eye Care 4 Kids, Future Smiles and Hadassah of Southern Nevada. She also served on the Board of Directors for the United Citizen’s Foundation a local nonprofit providing behavioral and mental health services for children, youth and families in Southern Nevada, in addition to her current role as a board member for Impact Las Vegas.
Caleen Norrod Johnson, CFRE - Director
A professional fundraising executive for 38 years, Caleen has raised more than $44 million for nonprofit and educational institutions around the country, in partnership with volunteer leadership and staff colleagues. She has worked in all aspects of the profession, including major and planned giving, direct mail, telemarketing, special events, corporate and foundation giving, grant writing, cause-related marketing, collateral and mail production, licensing, volunteer management and workplace giving. In Nevada, Caleen has served as the executive director of Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada and has also had the privilege of working for the the UNLV Foundation; American Cancer Society; and The Nature Conservancy. She has set up or revitalized development programs at nonprofit organizations ranging from a monastery in Massachusetts to a museum in France to a children's agency in California. While at the Sierra Club national headquarters, she served as the director of donor development and managed a $19 million budget. Caleen is an expert in direct response fundraising and has been responsible for mailing more than 38 million solicitation pieces on behalf of charitable organizations. She is currently the Executive Director of the Nathan Adelson Hospice Foundation, where she leads the team responsible for securing private philanthropic funding for the Nathan Adelson Hospice.
Caleen received her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential in 2003, and holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from UNLV and United Way. She is a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Nevada Chapter, has served as its president, and was named Fundraising Executive of the Year in 2006. She received their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. She has volunteered for a large variety of organizations in Nevada and elsewhere. Caleen holds an M.A. in English from George Mason University and a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary.
Isabella Shipkin - Director
Isabella Shipkin is originally from Chicago where she worked for a large prescription benefit management company serving as head of quality assurance - a job that kept her very busy until she retired 8 years ago. In March of 2019, she and her husband, Jerry, moved to Las Vegas, choosing the Trilogy community, in Summerlin.
Over the last eight years she has had significant experience volunteering at food banks in Chicago, West Palms Beach and now in Las Vegas at Three Square.
Isabella joined our board of directors in July 2020 with two primary goals. First to “help grow our Membership through expanding our communication, education, and recruitment efforts and holding outreach programs in our local communities.” And her second goal “would be to expand on our mission by increasing our grant footprint.”
Debra Williamson - Director
Debra grew up in New Jersey and brings 33 years of financial reporting and international treasury experience to the Board. She received her MBA in Finance while working for a large pharmaceutical company in NJ and held various positions ending with responsibility for overseeing the Corporate Budget and International Accounting.
Debra and her husband Roger moved from New Jersey to Las Vegas in 2011. They both loved the warmer weather and the vibrant atmosphere but did not realize how much poverty existed in the city until they started traveling around town. Over time Debra was impressed by how much everyone in this city gives back, from large organizations to individuals committed to making Las Vegas a better place.
Debra was introduced to Impact during the pandemic by another Board Member. Previously she and Roger donated to various charities through their workplaces, but never really knew where the funds were being utilized. Debra was so impressed by the women of Impact and the fact that 100% of their donations go towards a Grant recipient they decide upon each year that she wanted to become a part of it.
“At this point in my life I now have more time to put my energy into things I believe in. Impact Las Vegas is an organization where I know my contribution will make a difference in people’s lives. Being a member of the Board will allow me to contribute further as well as foster friendships with these incredible women.”
Brenda Griego, CFRE, Past President
Brenda began her development career in 1992 at her alma mater, Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. She earned her CFRE credential in 1998, and moved to Las Vegas in 1999. She feels honored to have worked for great Southern Nevada organizations and businesses like the UNLV Foundation, Caesars Entertainment, and now as Director of Development, Scholarships, and Alumni Relations for Roseman University of Health Sciences. A mom to two who is married to David Griego, Brenda is proud to make a difference in our community through her membership in Impact Las Vegas.
"I joined Impact Las Vegas because I wanted to multiply the impact of my personal giving and to learn more about the philanthropic needs in our community. Impact Las Vegas has done both of those things for me, as well as fostering new friendships with wonderful, dynamic women who share my values and commitment to making Southern Nevada stronger."
Maureen Romito, Executive Director & Founder
After more than three decades of executive-level human resources experience developing and leading local, regional and corporate HR teams for organizations in the banking, manufacturing, and outsourced call center services industries, Maureen retired and chose to give back to the community she has called home for more than 30 years by founding Impact Las Vegas.
Married to her high-school sweetheart, Rick, Maureen is excited about the unique philanthropic opportunity Impact Las Vegas provides women to have a transformational impact on local, worthy causes.
"I joined Impact Las Vegas because I love that I can make a much bigger difference with my charitable giving than I can do on my own AND I get to see exactly how 100% of my donation is being used to improve our community."
Maggie Allred, Co-Executive Director
Born and raised in Connecticut, Maggie is one of 9 children, her husband Scott is the oldest of 6, and they have 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Family, needless to say, is a big focus of their lives along with camping, cruising, and travel of any sort. Maggie has currently walked a half marathon in 20 states, working towards her goal of finishing one in all fifty states.
A certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, Maggie has worked in this capacity for several companies in Southern Nevada, most recently for Creel Printing.
"Being a part of Impact Las Vegas allows me to leverage my $1,000 donation into several thousand dollars a year. I also appreciate being able to personally select the nonprofit organization, the specific program and then track how the money is spent."