Biographies: 2018 Board of Directors
EDDY AMEEN, PhD, Chair
Dr. Eddy Ameen is the Associate Executive Director of Early Career and Graduate Student Affairs at the American Psychological Association. He began his involvement with STANDUP FOR KIDS in Miami, Florida, where he moved from being an outreach volunteer to becoming the Executive Director from 2008 to 2010.
After an internship at the Child Guidance Clinic of D.C. Superior Court led him to Washington. D.C., Ameen became involved with the STANDUP FOR KIDS—DC chapter, where he still serves as Director of Training. He has been a National Board Member since 2015.
Ameen earned his B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University, his M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College, and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from University of Miami. Eddy was formally “The Person of The Day” in a Huffington Post article for his involvement with STANDUP FOR KIDS.
In addition, Ameen provides pro-bono psychological evaluations to asylum seekers and leads a D.C. based LGBT youth advocacy coalition.
CARLOS APONTE, Member at Large
Carlos Aponte is currently Vice President of Finance for Marchon Eyewear, a division of Vision Service Plan Company.
Aponte has over 25 years professional experience in financial management with different consumer product goods, publishing, and telecommunication companies. He has held various roles in operating units, regional and corporate offices. The majority of this work experience has been working with, and in, international markets on business development, strategic planning, FP&A, systems implementations, governance & controls, and P&L management.
Aponte holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting & Finance and a Masters of Business Administration degree in Management both from Northeastern University. He is located in the New York City area where he lives with his wife Joann and their two dogs.
JAMES DOOLEY, Member at Large
Jim Dooley is a senior sales executive who has helped dozens of software and technology companies improve their top and bottom line in the last 30 years of his career. His expertise is in consulting and improving skills with all customer-facing activities, such as sales, services, support, sales management and marketing. He started his career in public accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant.
Dooley keeps busy with his wife and three daughters. He has volunteered with his children as a coach, teacher, mentor and Board Member associated with several of their activities as they grew up. Dooley has also served his community and church in various roles as a Board Member, Big Brother, Fundraiser and in numerous other volunteer activities. Dooley loves children and continues his volunteer efforts to this day with a renewed passion for STANDUP FOR KIDS on the Board.
SUSAN DUDAS, Secretary
Susan Dudas is an Organization Development Consultant with Edge on Performance in Atlanta.
For over 20 years, Dudas has designed and facilitated organization effectiveness initiatives for her domestic and international client organizations. Some of the clients she has served include Rockwell Automation, Key Bank, Amway International, Fresh Express, Mosaica Education, and Ernst and Young.
In addition to consulting, Dudas has been active in the charter school community. She and her husband, David, started two charter schools in Akron, Ohio. The Edge Academy (1999) and Akros Middle School (2010) continue to educate low income students in downtown Akron. Susan served on the Ohio Charter School Association Board in the early 2000’s.
Dudas holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from The University of Akron and a Master’s Degree in Career and Organization Development from Kent State University. Susan and David have two daughters, Danielle and Lilia, who were born in Kazakhstan. Dudas loves to run, travel, and help young people who do not have strong family situations.
ELIZABETH FRANKLIN, Member at Large
Elizabeth Franklin has a broad legal background working with global and domestic companies in a variety of industries including consulting services, finance, insurance, technology, sales, retail and manufacturing. Franklin has worked with public and private company executives and Boards of Directors on global compliance programs and risk mitigation strategies, data privacy, litigation management, domestic and international expansions, employment law/HR legal matters and management of related issues in mergers, acquisitions and post-acquisition integrations.
Franklin has been a member of several non-profit boards as well as a bereavement counselor and a volunteer mediator. She is currently an editor for the California State Bar Association, Employment Law Review. Franklin received the 2015 San Jose YWCA Tribute to Women (TWIN) award. In 2013, she was selected by the Silicon Valley Journal and the San Francisco Business Times as a finalist for the top Bay Area in-house labor and employment lawyer.
Franklin is located in the San Francisco Bay area where she and her significant other make award winning wine which they enjoy with friends while watching the wild quail, bunnies and occasional bobcat wander through their backyard.
AIN GROOMS, PhD, Member at Large
Dr. Ain A. Grooms is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Policy and Leadership Studies Department at the University of Iowa’s College of Education. Her research agenda includes educational opportunity, with a specific focus on access and equity for students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds. She uses the intersection of race, class, and place to examine historical and contemporary schooling, including such topics as school choice, resource allocation, desegregation, residential segregation, and the achievement gap. Dr. Grooms has presented her work at national and international conferences and her work has been published in books and peer-reviewed journals.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Iowa, Grooms served as a Policy Analyst with the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta, as a college advisor at a youth development program in East Harlem, New York City, and was a founding administrator of a college preparatory charter high school in Boston. Grooms holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia, an M.Ed. in Organizational Leadership from Vanderbilt University, and a B.A. in Educational Studies from Emory University.
JUSTINE PALMORE, Treasurer
Justine Palmore served as the National Interim CEO in January 2013, and currently serves on the National Board of Directors. Palmore is the Executive Director of STANDUP FOR KIDS-Orange County since October 2008. She oversees daily operations of the Orange County program including personnel, financial affairs, marketing, fundraising, program management, grant writing and program development. Her goal is to maintain a strong leadership structure, develop key coalitions and build crucial relationships for the organization.
Palmore dedicated over two years to STANDUP FOR KIDS as both Director of Marketing and Outreach Supervisor. Under these titles, she juggled brand marketing, volunteer recruitment, development and retention, community and media relations as well as leading a team of outreach volunteers and seeing youth clients. She worked as a program coordinator with Bridge of Hope, a nonprofit organization assisting at-risk youth through life skills workshops and tutoring.
Palmore holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and Associate’s Degree in Family Services, is a CCAR Recovery Coach, and a Christian Counselor. She is married and the mother of three children.
ROBERT PETERS, Member at Large
Robert (Bob) Peters is a managing director in the Chicago office of Duff & Phelps where he leads the Firms indirect state and local tax practice. He has 35 years of experience providing tax and financial services to corporate clients.
Prior to working at Duff & Phelps, Peters worked at KPMG where he served National Partner in Charge of State and Local taxes, as well as Midwest area tax risk advisory partner, and tax partner in charge of the firm’s Stamford office.
He received his M.B.A. in finance from New York University, his Executive M.B.A from Stanford University and his B.S. in accounting, cum laude, from the University of Denver. He is also a certified public accountant in Illinois and New York.
Previously, Peters served as member of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Public Schools Career Academy and mentors high school students through the Development School for Youth (DSY) in the Chicago area. He also is an adjunct professor at DePaul University Graduate Business School.
K. NIKKI WATERS, Member at Large
K. Nikki Waters is a seasoned professional specializing in the financial industry and payments. During the last five years, Nikki worked for Fiserv as SVP Consumer Marketing within the Corporate Marketing group. Prior to Fiserv, she worked for Visa, Inc. as Senior Business Leader of Strategy and Planning for Global Consumer Products. In this role, she helped develop product activities contributing to the global growth of debit and credit.
Her expertise in the payments industry began at a fledgling network call STAR. While at STAR, she contributed to the growth of the network from a three state footprint into the leading PIN-secured debit network in the country and eventually became Executive Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Strategic Business Development. Subsequent to the merger with First Data, Nikki became Chief Marketing Officer of the Enterprise Payments Division which encompassed all merchant, debit and alternate payment services.
Nikki holds an MBA from the University of San Diego, a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor degree in Math from the University of California, San Diego and is a Certified Financial Planner. She was included in Strathmore’s Who’s Who Registry of Business Leaders.