Board of Directors

2019-20 JLB Board of Directors

President / Brina Masi Eades

Brina has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2010. She has served as a member of the Wise Penny committee, as Chair of the Kids in the Kitchen and Transfer & Reclamation committees, and previously sat on the Board of Directors as the Chair of the Nominating committee. Originally from Bristol, Connecticut, Brina studied political science at the University of Rhode Island before attending law school at the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law.

Professionally, Brina works as an Attorney Advisor. She has been recognized for her volunteer activities outside of the Junior League, including the Ulman Cancer Fund as a Game Changer in 2017. She currently serves as the president of the corporation board for the Sigma Kappa sorority at the University of Maryland, an alumni chapter leader for the University of Rhode Island, and is an active Master Gardener. She previously served on the board of YWCA of Baltimore and the Univ. of Rhode Island Alumni Association Executive Board. She lives in South Baltimore with her husband and spends her free time traveling to see live music and learning about wine.

President-Elect / Grier May

Grier has been a member of the Junior League since she joined in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2013. Friends encouraged her to join because it would be a great way to make new friends and get involved in the community. There, she was involved with projects including Kids in the Kitchen and the Goler Community Garden. Since transferring to the Junior League of Baltimore in 2017, she has served on the Partnership & Service Committee and most recently served as the Chair of the Transfer & Reclamation Committee.

Professionally, Grier is a Financial Advisor at Chapin Davis Investments. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University with her B.A. in Economics and minor in Mathematics. After working in financial services in Baltimore for 5 years, she returned to Wake Forest for her M.B.A. and graduated with a double concentration in Marketing and Financial Analysis in 2013.

Grier is a native of Baltimore, thrilled to be back in the area and involved in the community. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and her cat, Emma. She lives in Stevenson.

Treasurer / Jillian Alm

Jillian Alm has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2014. She has served on the Investment, PR & Marketing, and Community Development committees for the League.

Professionally, Jillian works at Brown Advisory managing post-trade execution for Equity, Fixed Income and Mutual Fund investments. Prior to working on the trading desk, Jillian worked as a Private Equity and Hedge Fund Analyst specializing in valuations. Jillian is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in Economics and is currently working towards her MBA from Johns Hopkins University. She lives in Fells Point and enjoys spending time in the historic district.

Secretary / Tara L. Smith

Motivated by the humanitarian efforts and excellence of former U.S. First Lady and Junior League member A. Eleanor Roosevelt, Tara L. Smith joined the Junior League of Baltimore in 2012. She has served with the JLB Scholarship committee, 5902 Building Committee, Personal & Professional Development Committee. This year she is also excited to work closely with the Historian Council to continue records & artifacts management for the JLB.

Professionally, Tara works with medical professionals & scientists in the regulatory arena, supplementing her daily work with rich opportunities serving her home state – Maryland – as a licensed healthcare practitioner in community pharmacy.

Fun times for Tara include: hula hooping, jump roping, time with friends/family, learning new cultures, reading inspirational books & soft pastel painting, Favorite TV: The Office, Parks & Recreation, Queen Sugar, NBA All Star Weekend, Favorite saying: “My God is my witness”.

Communications Vice President / Emily Sollenberger Dobbins

Emily has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2015. She has chaired the Personal & Professional Development committee along with the former Done In A Day committee; and she has served as a member of the Partnership & Service and the Flashback 5K committees.

Professionally, Emily is the Program Director, Arts Services at the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). She works with a team who encourages and invests in the advancement of the arts for all Marylanders. She does this by overseeing grant programs that are offered to artists and arts organizations across the state.

Prior to MSAC, Emily raised funds for nonprofit arts organizations rooted in Baltimore, including Maryland Art Place, Baltimore Clayworks, and most recently, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, the city’s arts council, event center and film office.

Emily obtained her Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Business from Muskingum College. In addition to her volunteer work with the JLB, Emily is a board member of the Baltimore Chapter of the Awesome Foundation and an active volunteer in the community. Originally from Ohio, Emily has called Baltimore home for nearly 10 years. She lives in Mt. Vernon with her husband Ryan, where you will find her working on home renovations, rearranging artwork and furniture, or actively working on knitting projects.

Membership Vice President / Hillary Colonna

Hillary has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2017. Prior to her role on the Board of Directors, she served on the Wise Penny Committee and on the Membership Outreach Committee.Professionally, Hillary is an attorney at Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP. She focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation and has represented clients in a wide variety of cases in state and federal court, including antitrust, business tort, and financial services matters. In addition to her client advocacy work, she currently serves on the firm’s pro bono committee and encourages others to be of service within the Baltimore area as well.

Hillary graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Maryland, College Park and earned her Juris Doctor cum laude from Case Western Reserve University. She is licensed to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Illinois and is active in the Maryland State Bar Association and the Baltimore City Bar Association. In her free time, Hillary enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time with her husband and family.

Fundraising Vice President / Josephine Bahn Jennison

Josephine (Jo) has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2017.  Previously, she served as Chair-Elect and Chair of the Fund Development Committee.  Originally from a small town in the Poconos, PA, Jo joined JLB as way to grow personally and professionally in a new community.

Professionally, Jo is an Honors Attorney at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  Previously, she served as a federal judicial law clerk in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Jo is licensed to practice law in New York and D.C. and received her Bachelors in History and Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University and earned her J.D. from New York Law School.

In addition to the Junior League of Baltimore, Jo is active in several other organizations including the Back on My Feet Young Professionals Board, the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad where she serves as an administrative member, and as a Public Commissioner on the Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs.  Jo also chairs the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division No Limits women’s initiative and is the current Chair-Elect of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia Young Lawyers Section.

Jo lives in Montgomery County with her husband Chris, daughter Ruth, and lab pup, Teddy.

Community Impact Vice President / Kara Beverly

Kara has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2016. She served as the 2017-2018 Chair of the Partnership & Service Committee and the 2018-2019 Community Impact Vice President-Elect.

Kara is a graduate of Villanova University and the Howard University School of Law. An experienced labor & employment attorney, Kara currently investigates reports of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct at Johns Hopkins University and trains University community members on how to prevent all forms of discrimination in professional and academic environments.

In addition to the Junior League of Baltimore, Kara counts it a privilege to serve as a leader within other dynamic organizations that seek to improve the lives of women and families in Baltimore City. She is the President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Housing Coalition, an organization committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness by supporting families and individuals with permanent and affordable, service-enriched housing. An active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Kara serves as the Parliamentarian of the Psi Phi Omega Chapter (East Baltimore) and an appointed member of the sorority’s North Atlantic Region Constitution & Bylaws Committee. She also serves on the Young Hearts Board, the young professional arm of the American Heart Association-Maryland. A Prince George’s County, MD native, Kara lives in Towson and enjoys spending time with her rescue dog.

Fundraising Vice President Elect / Caitlin Harvey

Caitlin Harvey has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2015. She has served on the Fund Development, Wise Penny, Placement, Fundraising Research, Evaluation and Development, and Investment committees throughout her tenure with the Junior League of Baltimore.

Caitlin is a graduate of Villanova University with a bachelor’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering and business minor. Caitlin is a licensed professional engineer in New Jersey and Maryland and has her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. During her professional career Caitlin has worked as a design engineer in land development and wireless telecom and has since transitioned into project management. Currently she works for Baltimore Gas & Electric as a project manager leading transformational changes initiatives.

Outside of the Junior League, Caitlin actively participates in her neighborhood association and is a tutor in math and science for girls in Baltimore City schools. She lives in the Brewers Hill neighborhood of Baltimore with her boyfriend and dog Siena.

Nominating Chair / Joanna Barnett

Joanna has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2014. During her tenure she has served on the Fund Development and Scholarship committees, which she chaired in the 2016-2017 League year, before serving on the Board as Community Impact Vice President in 2018-2019.

Professionally, Joanna is a Senior Environmental Specialist at Maryland Environmental Service, a Maryland-based state agency that provides operational and technical services to protect and enhance the environment for the benefit of the people of Maryland.  She was one of the 2017 honorees on the Daily Record’s Very Important Professionals Successful by 40 list.

Joanna graduated from Johns Hopkins University with her Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy in 2014. She also earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Bucknell University in Environmental Science and has a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the Pennsylvania State University. Originally from New York, she now lives in Baltimore County with her husband.

Sustainer Vice President / Yvette Hicks

Yvette joined the Junior League in 2006 as a member in the Hartford chapter, where she served her community for 2 years before transferring to the Junior League of Baltimore.  She has served as member of the Fund Development, Membership, Nominating, and Done-in-A Day committees and chaired the Community Impact Transformation rollout committee as well as the Transfer and Reclamation committee.

She currently she splits her volunteer time between serving on the board of the Public Advisory Committee for the Baltimore Metropolitan Transpiration Board and as a Certified presenter for Araminta Freedom and as the treasurer of the local chapter of her National Alumnae Association of Spelman College.  She previously served on the board of the Johns Hopkins Black Student and Staff Association.  She was a 2017 recipient of the Johns Hopkins MLK Jr. Community Service Award.  Professionally, Yvette is a Financial Informatics Systems Architect for Johns Hopkins Healthcare.

Yvette graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and also holds a Master’s Degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts. She currently lives in Baltimore County and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Treasurer Elect / Marla Block Mendelson

Marla has been a member of the Junior League of Baltimore since 2015. She served on the Communications Committee (2015-2016) and the Investment Committee first as a member and then as its Chair (2017-2019).

Marla is a finance executive and CFA charterholder, having previously worked in investment banking in New York and Washington, DC.  She co-founded a medical technology company and is a seasoned Chief Financial Officer.   In addition to her service with the Junior League, she is an executive committee member and Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors at Goucher College Hillel.  Marla also founded a non-profit organization to teach fiscal literacy to high school and college students in Pittsburgh.

She is a graduate of Smith College (BA) and Carnegie Mellon University (MBA) and held a visiting fellowship at Harvard University in finance.  Originally from New York City, she now lives in Owings Mills with her husband Michael and son Zachary.  In her spare time, Marla enjoys photography and bird watching.