Board of Directors & Staff
Nancy Petitto is the Collective Impact Lincoln program manager for Civic Nebraska. A local partnership between Civic Nebraska, Nebraska Appleseed, and South of Downtown Community Development Organization, Collective Impact Lincoln supports neighborhood community conversations, leadership, and action opportunities to help create a more vibrant and inclusive place to live. Nancy received her Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Arts in Educational Administration with a Higher Education Administration focus from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
President, GIRLPowR Inc.
Founder, Executive Director,
Ex-Officio Member, GIRLPowR Inc.
Julie Reager is the Founder and Executive Director for GIRLPowR who leads the general oversight of daily operations, programming, and vision for the organization. Julie is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Nicaragua 2001-2003 and lived, worked and studied in Kenya and Egypt prior to her service. Julie earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Masters in Organizational Leadership from College of Saint Mary.
Vice President, GIRLPowR Inc.
Cheryl Horst is the Associate Director at NUtech Ventures, a non-profit affiliate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that focuses on commercialization of University Intellectual Property. Cheryl serves as IP counsel for the organization, manages the patent portfolio, leads the compliance, marketing, and business operations teams. Cheryl also co-founded a consulting firm, CNG IP, that provides business consulting for individual inventors and small companies. Cheryl is a registered patent attorney with the USPTO, earned a Bachelor of Science in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and a Master of Science in Bacteriology at University of Wisconsin - Madison and a J.D from University of Nebraska College of Law, with an emphasis on Intellectual Property.
Treasurer, GIRLPowR Inc.
Sara Brooke Manning has been working as a compliance consultant for CompliancePoint of
Duluth, Georgia, since 2018. In her current role, Sara advises clients on regulatory compliance with FCC and FTC rules for marketing, advertising, and telecommunications. Prior to working as a consultant, Sara held compliance positions with local finance company, Nelnet, as well as NUtech Ventures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
A native Nebraskan, Sara holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and is earning a Master’s in Journalism and Certificate in Financial Communications from UNL. In her spare time, Sara teaches yoga and cycling classes at Fly – A Fitness Revolution, a boutique fitness studio in downtown Lincoln.
As a mom of two young adult multi-racial daughters, Sara knows the value of community support for girls and young women as they mature, learn, and grow into community members and leaders. She also brings her love of data and details to working with GIRLPowR as its current Treasurer.
Secretary, GIRLPowR Inc.
Natalie McClure is the Project Director at redthread Creative, serving as a creative advertising project manager, leading the project management team and serving on redthread's leadership team. Her education and work experience has focused on supporting entrepreneurship and facilitating sustainable small business growth. Natalie received a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration with a major in Business Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Board Member, GIRLPowR Inc.
Ryan Anderson Ryan Anderson is the Director of Industry Relations for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), a role focused on advancing the university’s research collaborations with companies. He previously held positions at the University of Nebraska Foundation focused on corporate and foundation philanthropy. Anderson is a member of the University Industry Demonstration Partnership’s communications committee, is a founder and the coordinator of Innovation Connect, serves on Nebraska’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Advisory Board, is the UNL lead for the NU system’s U.S. Economic Development Administrations University Center, is a director of the Sigma Nu Building Association of Nebraska, and coaches youth flag football. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in History from UNL.
Board Member, GIRLPowR Inc.
Megan Gibbs was a small business owner in the Lincoln-area, owning fitness facilities and managing training programs prior to her career in Financial Advising. She also served as an adjunct professor teaching athletic and personal training certification courses. Megan achieved her Bachelor or Science degree in Dietetics from th University of Central Arkansas.
Board Member, GIRLPowR Inc.
Marisol U. Rodriguez is the program manager for the Sustainable Heartland Accelerator Regional Partnership SHARPhub, an innitaiative of BBC Entrepreneurial, Training and Consulting. A regional biomedical consortium, SHARPhub is designed to promote an entrepreneurial culture serving Central Region IDeA states (KS, OK, NE, SD, ND) to help university technology transfer offices and their innovators in biotechnology fields toward successful product commercialization. Marisol holds a BS in Accounting, an MS in Economics, is Certified Economic Development and Finance professional and is active in the community as Financial Beginnings and LIVE Leadership Camp board member as well as Women's Fund Circles member.
Club Teachers & Interns
Zahelle Yebe “Zae” facilitates the after-school GIRLPowR club at Belmont Elementary in partnership with Community Learning Centers and the Asian Community and Cultural Center club and summer camp. Zae was born in Libreville, Gabon, though she grew up in Omaha. Zae is a first generation undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, majoring in International Studies, with minors in French, Political Science, Human Rights & Humanitarian Affairs, and National Security. Zae volunteers with Lincoln Literacy as a Literacy Teacher and a College Possible Mentee. After college, Zae wants to serve the international community and join the Peace Corps. One of Zae’s aspirations is to use her college degree and relevant experiences, like her internship at GIRLPowR to make a positive impact in other’s lives!
Program Coordinator & Club Teacher
Lizette Alcantara Gonzalez coordinates and leads GIRLPowR's Nicaragua program and is the head teacher for the GIRLPowR girls empowerment groups in Kumaica Sur, Nicaragua. Born and raised in Nicaragua, Lizette worked as a pre-school teacher at the local primary school and is an emerging community leader. Lizette is a recent undergraduate of the Instituto Nacional Technologico (INATEC) in Boaco, Nicaragua with a degree in Public Accounting and Finance. Lizette, herself, was a participant in the girls empowerment program that current Executive Director (prior Peace Corps volunteer), Julie Reager taught in Kumaica 2001-2003. Lizette enjoys spending time with her friends, helping her mother at home, reading, traveling and exploring educational and professional development opportunities.
Club Teacher Volunteer
Unyoh Mbilain co-facilitates and leads GIRLPowR's Club in partnership with the Asian Community and Cultural Center. Unyoh was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and currently attends University of Nebraska—Lincoln. She is a Political Science major, while minoring in Ethics, Humanities, Global Studies, Business Law, and Criminology. Outside of GIRLPowR, she volunteers at the Center for People In Need and is an OASIS Mentor. After college, she plans to attend Law School in hopes to focus on Humanities, or Environmental Law. In her free time she enjoys traveling, shopping, spending time with family, and watching movies. She hopes her experience with GIRLPowR will help her learn more about cultural stances, and furthering female empowerment!
Social Media & Curriculum Volunteer
Audrey Wagoner researches female leaders around the world and creates GIRLPowR's Wise Women Wednesday posts weekly for our social media outlets. Audrey also is working on adapting and transferring our curriculum and lesson plans into an online format suitable for both the club facilitators and students.