Board of Trustees
2021 - 2022 Board of Trustees
Back Row: Mike O'Malley, Karen Sullivan, Denise Marbach, Mary Kirby, Anna Lall, Raymond Hyer, Brian Hannon
Front Row: Kathleen Bellwoar, Marissa Costonis, Christine Wiegand, Sandy O'Connell, Kathleen Roeder, Sr. Honora Nicholson, Jennifer Herron, Maisha Kelly
Not Pictured: Michael DeCandido, Kathleen Hunsicker, Sr. Mary Trainer
In addition to Denise Corkery Marbach '72, P'05, P'09 and her knowledgeable administrators, staff and faculty, Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School is also blessed by the leadership of a group of women and men volunteers that comprise the Board of Trustees which includes Sisters of Mercy, past parents, alumnae, friends, and members of the local community. This group is responsible for overseeing the direction and initiatives of the school in addition to developing long-range institutional plans and insuring financial stability.
- Kathleen Kirk Bellwoar '81, Chair
- Marissa Simone Costonis '87
- Michael A. DeCandido P'09, '16
- Melva Exner, Esq. '77
- Fran Fee
- Jennifer Lyn Herron '87
- Kathleen Haley Hunsicker, Esq. '81
- Raymond Hyer, III P'16
- Anna Skoien Lall '02
- Denise Corkery Marbach '72, P'05, '09
- Del Markward P'12
- Sr. Marta McDonnell, RSM
- Sr. Honora Nicholson, RSM
- Sandy Pfeffer O'Connell '92
- Mike O'Malley P '16, '20
- Kathleen M. Roeder, MD, '60, P'92, '92, GP'14, '25
- Karen A. Sullivan, MD, P'13, '15
- Therese Wells P'13, '18
- Christine Oliver Wiegand, Esq. '91
Kathy Kirk Bellwoar '81, the President and Founder of PPT Consulting, has over thirty years of experience within the industry and as a partner of a major global consulting firm prior to founding PPT Consulting. Kathy has managed numerous strategic technology projects from software selection to implementation, and from establishing IT strategy to optimizing business processes.
Kathy's key to project success has always been to insure the key components of People, Process & Technology are addressed in the delivery of all solutions. She has repeatedly delivered pragmatic solutions and built outstanding relationships with many high-profile clients in the Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Consumer Products and Retail industries.
Ms. Bellwoar has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Villanova University and a Masters in the Dynamics of Organizations from the University of Pennsylvania. Kathy has also been recognized locally for her contributions to the community, her support of women’s initiatives, and her PPT brand identity. These awards include: Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction, Smart CEO’s Brava Award, Philly100 and Inc.5000.
Marissa Simone Costonis '87, GMAHS class of 1987, resides in Lower Gwynedd, PA and is the owner of Change Bites, LLC. She is a Certified Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Marissa has spent over a decade in change management consulting with Accenture, leading a variety of transformation initiatives around the world. She has a BS in Finance, Villanova University, 1991 and Certification, Health and Nutrition Counseling, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, 2013.
Marissa served as President of the Parent’s Council for Ancillae-Assumpta Academy (2014 – 2018). During that time, she provided leadership and support to over 25 events in the areas of fund-raising, community-building and service working closely with their Parents’ Council. Marissa led Executive Council meetings to ensure that all events were aligned to the mission and vision of the school.
Marissa is the Philanthropy Advisor for Kappa Kappa Gamma at Villanova University and is a lector at St. Alphonsus Church, Maple Glen.
Marissa has also served as a volunteer speaker and presenter for GMAHS. She also served on Board Enrollment Committee. Marissa will now serve as Chair of the Enrollment Committee and will also serve on the Advancement Committee.
Mike DeCandido P'09, 16 co-founded CE3 Solutions, LLC in 2012 and re-joined the organization in 2019 as Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer. CE3 Solutions is a boutique management consulting firm specializing in operational risk management and optimization, process improvement, customer experience strategies, global outsourcing, business growth, human resources and logistics. Prior to re-joining CE3 Solutions, Mike worked for Citibank for 7 years as Managing Director of AML/KYC Operations as well as Managing Director of Global Contact Center Operations. Prior to Citibank, Mike worked for Comcast Corporation as Senior Vice President, Contact Center Operations, and Bank of America, where he was the Customer Service & Solutions executive for eChannels & Contact Centers.
Mike is passionate about driving for greater equity in our society, and is actively involved in a number of not-for-profit organizations. He is the Co-Founder and Board Chair of CommonBondz, a not-for-profit organization focused on educating what drives racism and bias against African Americans, and what actions we can take to eliminate inequity in our society. Mike is also on the Regional Board of Directors of Teach for America- Philadelphia, as well as a member of Beacon, a network of business leaders in the Philadelphia region. He previously served on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Southeastern PA, the United Way and InRoads, Inc. in Albany, NY, and Junior Achievement of Central NY.
Mike is currently the interim vice chair of the Board of Trustees at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School. He also chairs the Student Experience Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. Mike has also served on the Advancement committee during his board tenure.
Mike earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Mike and his wife Cindy reside in North Wales, PA. His daughter Marisa is a 2009 graduate of Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School and a 2013 graduate of Syracuse University, and resides in Center City Philadelphia. His son Michael is a 2012 graduate of LaSalle College High School and a 2016 graduate of Syracuse University and resides in North Wales, PA. His daughter Erica is a 2016 graduate of Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School and a 2020 graduate of Tufts University and resides in Hoboken, NJ.
Melva Exner ’77 is the owner and principal of her own law firm, the Law Office of Melva M. Exner, LLC. She opened the firm in 2018 following a long career in various in-house legal roles, including a lengthy term as head of the legal department for the US subsidiary of an Italian aircraft manufacturer. Her practice is focused on providing practical legal advice to entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Areas of expertise include domestic and international business, aviation transactions, contract drafting and negotiations, insurance and risk management, litigation management, compliance, and corporate governance.
Having joined the Board of Trustees in 2022, Melva is serving on the Mission & Governance and Facilities committees. In the past, she was a non-Board member of the Advancement (2013 – 2015) and Facilities (2015 – 2021) committees.
Melva has had a nearly lifelong relationship with Gwynedd Mercy Academy. She attended Gwynedd for twelve years, graduating in 1977. Her two sisters are also alumnae (Susan ’80 and Laura ’83) as is her daughter, Caitlyn Moynahan ’11. Both her children are graduates of Gwynedd Mercy Academy Elementary, Michael in 2005 and Caitlyn in 2007. Melva served on the elementary school’s Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2015.
Melva served on the GMAHS Advisory Board from 1998 until 2001. She has been active in the GMA Alumnae Association since 1985 and has been a member of the Alumnae Board since 2006, including terms as President and Vice President.
Melva was honored to receive the Margaret Beirn Barger ’35 Distinguished Alumna Award in 2017. The Award recognizes alumnae who epitomize the qualities of loyalty, service, dedication, and devotion to Gwynedd.
Melva and her husband, Tim Moynahan, reside in Lower Gwynedd and are enjoying their roles as grandparents to Jack and Patrick Moynahan.
A graduate of Saint Joseph's University and Temple University School of Law, Melva is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Francis X Fee joins the Board after a long career in managing large, complex organizations. After graduating from Villanova with a BS in Economics, he spent 23 years with the US General Accounting Office (GAO) where he became the Assistant Comptroller General for Operations with responsibility for managing the technical evaluations and administrative operations of the agency’s 5,000 people and 23 offices world-wide. He then joined the international law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP as its Executive Director (COO) responsible for the business and administrative operations of the 1,600 lawyer firm and its 25 offices in the US and around the world. He has extensive experience in organizational development, finance, internal controls, human resources and technology management and security.
Fran is on the Finance and Investment Committees of GMAHS. He is also on the Board and the Finance Committee at Mercy Vocational and Technical High School in Philadelphia and is President of the Board of Trustees of Literacy Volunteers of Collier County in Naples, Fl.
Fran is married to Kathleen (Toots) Cattie Fee, GMAHS class of 1961. Fran and Toots reside in Philadelphia and Naples, Fl.
Jennifer Lyn Herron '87 resides in Skillman, NJ with her husband of 25 years, Richard Sherman, a graduate of La Salle College High School and Lehigh University where they met.
Jennifer is a seasoned global biotech leader with 30 years of experience in the development and commercialization of specialty products, particularly in oncology. Jennifer has a proven track record with enterprise transformations, business turnarounds, new product launches, and good-to great reorganizations.
Currently, Jennifer is the Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at ADC Therapeutics, SA where she is responsible for the worldwide commercialization of the ADCT portfolio including the recent US launch of Zynlonta for relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Jennifer joined the Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School Leadership Council in 2019 and the Board of Trustees in 2021 and serves on both the Enrollment and Finance Committees.
Kathleen Haley Hunsicker, Esq., ’81 joined the Board of Trustees in 2015. She joined the Facilities Committee in 2012 and also serves on the Governance Committee. Kathleen, her Mother and three sisters are graduates of GMAHS. In honor of their mother, the Haleys established a memorial fund from which an annual scholarship is awarded to a student who excels in the vocal arts.
Kathleen has been an active member of her community through various volunteer and elected positions. She was elected twice as Lower Gwynedd Township Supervisor, served four years as Vice-Chair and served four years as chair. She has a B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from Villanova University. Kathleen and her four children have lived in the community for 18 years.
Raymond Hyer, III P'16 is the senior vice president of Sales and Marketing of Gardner-Gibson and a member of the Board of Directors. Gardner-Gibson is a full line manufacturer of roof, driveway and waterproofing coatings, caulks, spackles and wallpaper adhesives with 13 manufacturing and distribution facilities strategically located throughout North America. He is also the past president of the Roof Coatings Manufacturing Association, Board Member of the Talamore Homeowners Association, and Board Member of the Parkside Homeowners Association.
Ray is the proud father of five children and is married to Anne Hasson Hyer, a GMAHS alumna from the Class of 1988. Ray and Anne met at Villanova University, and firmly believe in the Catholic private independent education system. Ray has also been involved with CYO Coaching and served on the St. Alphonsus CYO Board.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in classics, Anna worked in public relations agencies in Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston before earning her master’s degree in education from Boston College. She was a high school Latin teacher in Massachusetts before relocating back to Pennsylvania.
Anna has been a longtime volunteer leader for Gwynedd. A member of the Alumnae Association Board from 2006-2008, she returned to serve on the Board in 2018. Anna also has served as a member of the School’s Leadership Program Advisory Council and is a member of the School’s President’s Leadership Council and 1861 Society.
While a student at Gwynedd, Anna served as Student Council President, Junior and Sophomore Class President, Latin Club founder and President, and Ministry Officer. She also played soccer and lacrosse all four years.
Anna lives with her husband, Brian, and their three children in Blue Bell.
Denise Corkery Marbach '72, P '05, '09 is the President of Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School.
Marbach has a nearly 50-year history with Gwynedd. She has been a student, alumna, parent of two Gwynedd graduates, and Board of Trustees member for seven years.
As head of the school, Marbach serves as an agent of change and innovation. She will oversee marketing, advancement, admissions and finance, key areas that contribute greatly to the school’s financial health.
Marbach was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) where she worked in the higher education, healthcare and nonprofit industries for 38 years. A certified public accountant, she was the first woman partner at Coopers & Lybrand (C&L) Philadelphia’s office in its 90 year history. Price Waterhouse and C&L later merged to form PwC. Corkery Marbach '72 launched and grew several new practices in major U.S. cities. She retired from PwC in June 2015.
Marbach is an active leader in the community. She is a board member of Inglis, and a board member of The Forum for Executive Women. She earned a BA in Accounting from Saint Francis University in 1976.
Sister Marta McDonnell’s current employer is Mercy Career and Technical High School in Philadelphia, a sponsored work of the Sisters of Mercy. In this position as a Sister of Mercy, she volunteers four days a week as Assistant Campus Minister and also serves as a translator for Spanish-speaking parents and guardians who apply for admission to the school. As a retired Theology professor of 18 years at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, Sr. Marta hopes to bring those years of experience to Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School.
Sister Marta’s affiliation with Gwynedd Mercy is as a former Theology teacher for 12 years. During that time, Sr. Marta also served as Community Service Coordinator who directed approximately 2/3 of the student enrollment. With the assistance of several co-workers and parents, the ministry involved weekly visitation to the elderly and direct service to the homeless in center city Philadelphia. Additionally, the Service organization conducted regular food drives for city food banks. In 1991, Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School received the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award based not only on its superior academic accomplishments but equally in recognition of an outstanding commitment and involvement to service on a strictly volunteer basis.
Committee work for Sister Marta will include Student Enrollment and Student Experience; the former incorporating successful methods of recruitment and retention, the latter involving the Mercy charism of service to the poor, the sick, and the uneducated. Board members can be instrumental in setting policy, in our case, that students are aware of justice issues and seek to respond accordingly while reflecting on the systemic causes of injustices against the marginalized. Sister Marta is convinced that the unique idealism of teenage youth will respond to alleviate the needs of the disenfranchised; service to those in need is part of the DNA of Gwynedd students.
As a Sister of Mercy, Sister Marta anticipates a continuance of her work at the Academy and now as a Board member sees additional opportunities to empower the entire Gwynedd Mercy High School Community to promote the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.
Sister Honora has been a Sister of Mercy for over 50 years. While her primary ministry has been as an educator in elementary, secondary and higher education, she has also ministered as a pastoral assistant at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Manhattan and a Spiritual Director at the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley, California.
Sister also served as a member of the Merion Community Leadership Team and the Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic Community Leadership Team. Currently, Sister is a Pastoral Consultant for RENEW International which works to revitalize parishes in the United States and beyond. Sister’s educational background includes a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dayton, and a Bachelor Degree in Education from Gwynedd Mercy University. She is certified in spiritual direction and also holds certificates in Canon Law for Religious Institutes, Sacred Scripture, and Theological Studies.
Sister Honora has served on various Boards including, Mercy Health System, Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Waldron Mercy Academy, and HOPE Partnership for Education. She has also held memberships in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the Leadership Conference of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the National Religious Formation Conference, and Spiritual Directors International.
She joins the Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School Board this year and will serve on the Student Life and Academics Committee. Sister Honora hopes to connect her deep love for Mercy schools with the commitment and vision of the Board and Administration in order to support and ensure the viability of the long tradition of Mercy and service at GMAHS.
Sandy Pfeffer is a Managing Director in the Advisory practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP. She has over 24 years of experience providing comprehensive advisory services to companies in the financial services and hospitality industries. Her experience is in providing services to companies that are evaluating and executing transformational activities or large complex transactions. She engages with her clients in areas such as finance automation and transformation, governance, process and data internal controls, SEC registration, proforma financial information, as well as analyzing accounting application on various topics.
Sandy started her career, after graduation from Temple University, in the Philadelphia audit practice. She spent 11 years in audit, including a rotation through national office as a member SEC Services and Accounting consultation.
Sandy has a passion for our people and her community. She is Deloitte’s Greater Philadelphia WIN leader, and a partner leader on both the Greater Philadelphia Diversity & Inclusion Council and the Corporate Volunteer Council. She serves the greater Philadelphia community as the Chair for Women United of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern NJ and an active sponsor and champion of Girls Inc of Greater Philadelphia & Southern NJ. Sandy joined the board of her alma mater, Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School in 2020. In 2013, Sandy was recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal’s as one of the regions 40 Under 40 and in 2019 by Girl Inc of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey for her contributions to women and girls in the region.
Sandy is married to Brendan and they recently got a puppy, Henry. They enjoy time at their house in Ocean City, NJ and on the golf course, seeing live music and all things Philadelphia sports (GO PHILS, GO BIRDS!)
Sandy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Sandy holds a B.B.A. in accounting from Temple University and is a certified public accountant licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Sandy Pfeffer O’Connell '92
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Mike O’Malley is a seasoned executive and technology architect with over 25 years of management and technical expertise within the Cable and Telco industries. He founded a well-respected professional services company, specializing in system integration, consultation, project management, and support which garnered much praise throughout the industry. Mike has travelled all over the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, providing support to clients such as Comcast, Verizon, Ericsson, AT&T, Charter, Docomo (Japan), among others.
Mike and his wife, Stacy, have 3 wonderful children and 1 grandchild. Kevin, their oldest, serves in the Army as a Warrant Officer and pilot, flying Blackhawk helicopters. Kevin and his wife Kristina, live in Tennessee with their son Liam. Lindsay Graduated from GMAHS in 2016, and went on to graduate LaSalle University in the Spring of 2020. Caitlyn graduated from GMAHS in 2020 and is now at Auburn University. Stacy works as a teacher at Ancillae Academy.
Mike served as the Fathers Club President from 2017-2020, and sits on the Advancement Committee. Mike hopes to add value to the Board where he can, and is very grateful for the opportunity to continue working with GMAHS, a truly great organization.
Dr. Kathleen M. Roeder, MD, '60, P'92, '92, GP'14 has been a presence at Gwynedd Mercy Academy since the Fall of 1954.
Dr. Roeder was the recipient of a scholarship to the Academy of the Sisters of Mercy, starting in 7th Grade. (The school was then at the old Byrne Building at Gwynedd Mercy Jr. College, now demolished.)
A graduate of Temple University Medical School, Dr. Roeder began her medical career working exclusively in the Emergency Rooms of nearby hospitals, primarily Doylestown Hospital. There she was the Medical Director of the Emergency Department and an active member of the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff. Additionally, she was one of the original physician volunteers for the “Ann Silverman Community Health Center”, a free medical clinic for the underserved residents of Central Bucks County.
Following college and medical school, Dr. Roeder joined with classmates, Eileen Cairnes Samtmann and Judy McLaughlin Bucko, to assist Margaret Biern Barger, Anne Casey and Mary Cunningham with administration of the Alumnae Association. She has also served on the Alumnae Board intermittently since 1970. During this time, Dr. Roeder adopted two daughters, both of whom graduated from GMAHS in 1992.
An esteemed alumna, Dr. Roeder has been honored by Gwynedd Mercy on two occasions, first as recipient of the Margaret Biern Barger Award in 1998 and then of the Trocaire Award in 2005.
In 2014, with great pride Dr. Roeder witnessed the graduation of one granddaughter from GMAHS, and she looks forward the graduation of another granddaughter in 2025.
Most recently, in retirement, Dr. Roeder has used her medical expertise, traveling on Medical Missions to overseas countries, promoting the development of Clean Water and Micro-loans for enterprising women.
From Dr. Roeder:
"My experiences at Gwynedd Mercy have been nothing but welcoming and embracing. It is there that I learned the charism of Catherine McAuley and I have tried to live thus, helping the underserved and those in compromising situations. My varied experiences and unconventional approach to life leaves me with a wish to do more for the institution who ‘bore’ me. It is an honor and pleasure to serve on the Board of Trustees of Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School."
Dr. Karen Sullivan is an Internist affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health and Chestnut Hill Hospital. She received her medical degree from Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sullivan has practiced medicine for more than 25 years. She was named Castle Connelly Top Doctor 2017 through 2021 and Philadelphia Magazine Top Doctor 2018 through 2021.
Dr. Sullivan is an active volunteer. She was a member of St. Alphonsus Parish Home and School Association and the Parish Finance Council. She served on the Our Lady of Mercy Regional School Advisory Board. She was a member of the Workforce Investment Board Montgomery County. Dr. Sullivan and her husband Tom reside in Maple Glen.
She is a past parent of two daughters, who attended Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School. Courtney is a 2013 Gwynedd graduate and 2017 college graduate of Ursinus College. Courtney then completed her masters in education at Rosemont College and now works as a 4th grade teacher at Our Lady of Good Counsel. Emily is a 2015 Gwynedd graduate and 2019 college graduate of Susquehanna University. Emily then completed the one year accelerated nursing program for her BSN at Thomas Jefferson University and now works at Palisades Hospital in Hoboken.
Dr. Sullivan is happy to serve on the Board and hopes to be an influence in helping Gwynedd Mercy Academy girls mature and grow in an educational environment, that not only provides academic challenge but fosters goodness and compassion.
Therese McFadden Wells recently retired from Johnson & Johnson as Director of Global Implementation. During her time in that role, she implemented global procurement processes and systems for J&J business, headed global talent governance, and directed a global executive supplier engagement forum. Other positions held at Johnson & Johnson include Director of Transformation, Director of Sourcing, Director of Procurement External Supply, and Director of External Manufacturing. Therese earned her Master’s of Business Administration from Villanova University and Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University.
Therese has served on GMAHS’s Enrollment Committee for 5 years. She is a member of Penn State’s Parent Philanthropy Committee and Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish. As a Board member, she will serve on the Advancement and Enrollment Committees.
Therese is a past parentt of two Gwynedd alumnae — Megan '13 and Lauren '18. She and her husband Michael reside in State College and Ocean City, NJ.
Christine Oliver Wiegand, Esq. '91 is the Vice President and Associate General Counsel, IQVIA in Plymouth Meeting, PA – a Human Data Science Company. This group provides solutions to life sciences companies to innovate and maximize opportunities to drive human health outcomes forward.
Christine is the President of the Board of Directors for the Child Development Foundation in Montgomery County, PA. This foundation provides support and resources to organizations whose purpose is to assist special needs children to maximize their abilities and reach their goals. She received a BA in English from Dickenson University in 1995; a JD from Villanova University in 1998; and a Certificate in Fundraising for Non-Profits from The University of Penn in 2003.
Christine served on the Board of Trustees Advancement Committee. Christine joined the Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School Board in 2021 and serves as Chair of the Advancement Committee. She resides with her husband and two children in Penn Valley, PA. Her son attends The Haverford School and her daughter attends Waldron Mercy Academy.