Board of Trustees
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.
- Melva Exner, Esq. '77, P'11, Chair
- Bethanne Mascio Connelly '03
- Marissa Simone Costonis '87
- Michael A. DeCandido P'09, '16
- Fran Fee
- Andrea Geppert '05
- Jennifer Lyn Herron '87
- Kathleen Haley Hunsicker, Esq. '81
- Raymond Hyer, III P'16
- Alicia Jones, D.O. '87
- 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
- Therese Wells P'13, '18
- Christine Oliver Wiegand, Esq. '91
Melva Exner ’77 P’11 opened her own firm, Law Office of Melva M. Exner, LLC, following a long career in various inhouse legal roles primarily as head of the legal department for the US subsidiary of an Italian aircraft manufacturer. Her expertise is providing practical legal advice to entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. A graduate of Saint Joseph’s University and Temple University School of Law, Melva is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Melva served on the GMAHS Advisory Board from 1998 to 2001, the GMA Alumnae Association since 1985, and has been both the President and Vice President of the Alumnae Board since 2006. Melva received the Margaret Beirn Barger ’35 Distinguished Alumna Award in 2017.
Melva was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees effective July 1, 2023.
Bethanne Mascio Connolly '03 is a graduate of Gettysburg College with a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Language as well as Religion. Bethanne began her career in Catholic education in 2007 working at St. Joseph's Preparatory School. She earned her Master's in Education from St. Joseph's University in 2012. In 2014, Bethanne joined the team at Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary as Director of Enrollment Management.
Bethanne has been a longtime volunteer leader for GMAHS. A member of the Alumnae Association Board from 2006-present, she is also a recent past president.
In 2016, Bethanne began the process of discernment, and after a year-long faith formation program made a covenant with the Sisters of Mercy and became a Mercy Associate.
Marissa Simone Costonis ’87, the owner of Change Bites LLC, is a Certified Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and 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 from Villanova University and Certification in Health and Nutrition Counseling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Locally, Marissa has effectively served as President of the Parent’s Council for Ancillae-Assumpta Academy ensuring that all events were aligned to the mission and vision of the school, and also served as Philanthropy Advisor for Kappa Kappa Gamma at Villanova University. She also volunteers as a lector at St. Alphonsus Church in Maple Glen and a speaker and presenter at GMAHS.
Mike DeCandido P’09, 16 is co-founder and current Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer of CE3 Solutions, LLC, a boutique management consulting firm specializing in operational risk management and organization, process improvement, customer experience strategies, global outsourcing, business growth, human resources, and logistics. Mike also worked for Citibank as Managing Director of AML/KYC Operations and Managing Director of Global Contact Center Operations. Prior to Citibank, he worked for Comcast Corporation as Senior Vice President, Contact Center Operations, and for Bank of America where he was the Customer Service & Solutions executive for eChannels & Contact Centers.
Passionate about greater equity in our society, Mike is co-founder and Board Chair of Common Bondz, a non-profit organization focused on bias against African Americans, and what actions can eliminate inequity in our society. He also serves on the Regional Board of Directors of Teach for America—Philadelphia, and as a member of Beacon, a network of business leaders in the Philadelphia region. Previously he 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, currently the interim vice chair of the Board of Trustees at GMAHS, also chairs the Student Experience Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee, and previously 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.
Francis X. Fee, husband of Kathleen (Toots) Cattie Fee ’61, joined the Board after managing large, complex organizations such as the US General Accounting Office (GAO) where he rose to Assistant Comptroller General for Operations, then 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.
Fran also serves as President of the Board of Trustees of Literacy Volunteers of Collier County in Naples, FL.
Andrea Geppert ’05 is currently the Senior Director, Healthcare Professional Marketing at Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on delivering therapies to treat targeted patient populations that are impacted by serious diseases with a high unmet medical need. Andrea has been in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry for nearly fifteen years, with a passion for serving rare disease communities. In 2019 she was named an “MM&M Women to Watch” and received the PM360 Award for “Launch Expert”.
Andrea earned her undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical marketing at Saint Joseph’s University and her MBA in healthcare systems management from DeSales University. Previously she was a member of the Healthcare Business Women’s Association and served as co-chair of the “Women in Healthcare Give Back” team for the Mid-Atlantic. She has been a member of the alumnae board since 2009, and is serving her second term as president.
Kathleen Haley Hunsicker, Esq.,’81 became a member of the Board of Trustees in 2015. Her roots at Gwynedd are wide and deep as her mother and three sisters also graduated from the Academy, and the Haley family has sponsored an annual scholarship awarded to a student who excels in the vocal arts.
Kathleen earned a BS from the Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from Villanova University. She has been an active member of her community through various volunteer and elected positions. Elected twice as Lower Gwynedd Township supervisor, she has served four years as Vice-Chair and four years as Chair.
Raymond Hyer, III P’16 served as senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Gardner-Gibson, 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, until the company was sold in 2021. Prior to this, he currently served as the President of Roof Coatings Manufacturing Association, a Board Member of the Talamore homeowners Association, and a Board Member of the Parkside Homeowners Association.
A graduate of Villanova University where he met his wife Anne ’88, a GMAHS alumna, Ray has been involved with CYO Coaching and served on the St. Alphonsus CYO Board.
Dr. Alicia Jones is an alumna of American University in Washington DC where she obtained her undergraduate degree in biological sciences. After college Alicia was intrigue by research and continue studies at Columbia University and University of Pittsburgh until she decided that her impact for the community was best served as a physician. She attended the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine where she also earned a fellowship in geriatric medicine which focused on disparities in health care in underserved minority populations. After opening her own practice and working directly within the community and local politicians for about 5 years, she wanted her impact to increase, so she moved to Washington DC and started working in the Federal Health market – CMS, HHS, DoD, VHA.
Alicia was most recently a Lead Associate at Booze Allen Hamilton Consulting Firm in Washington, DC on various federal contracts that focused on the advancements of health policy and quality management in healthcare in the ever-changing climate of health advancement. Most specifically she was responsible for tracking the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis for the Veterans Administration during the peak of the virus. Currently, Dr. Jones is an entrepreneur launching her own consulting firm, Vitus Consulting, LLC with a focus on access to health care through the utilization of innovative technology for all people regardless of their economic status.
Denise Corkery Marbach ’72, P’05, ’09, the President of Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School, has over a 50-year history with Gwynedd as student, alumna, parent of two graduates, and previous chair of the Board of Trustees.
As head of the school, Denise serves as an agent of change and innovation by overseeing Marketing, Advancement, Admissions and Finance, all key areas that contribute greatly to the school’s financial health.
Denise 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 where Denise launched and grew several new practices in major U.S. cities. She retired from PwC in June 2015.
An active member of the community, Denise serves on the board at Inglis and is a member of The Forum for Executive Women. She earned a BA in Accounting from Saint Francis University in 1976.
Del Markward P’12, functioning for the second time on the Board of Trustees as Co-Chair of the Facilities Committee and member of the Finance Committee. Del has been and will continue to be heavily involved in the school’s major construction projects.
Del, owner and president of Markward Group, Inc., a commercial real estate brokerage company focusing on the leasing and sale of office building, industrial warehouses, manufacturing, and retail spaces; he also owns Caracor, LLC, a real estate development company. Del, a Global Past President of the prestigious Society of Industrial and Office Realtors and past Global Treasurer, continues to sit on the SIOR’s Performance Committee.
Sister Marta McDonnell, RSM, currently employed at Mercy Career and Technical High School, volunteers as Assistant Campus Minister and serves as a translator for Spanish-speaking parents and guardians who apply for admission to the school. A retired Theology professor of 18 years at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island, Sister also served GMA as a Theology teacher for 12 years and the Community Service Coordinator leading 2/3 of the student population volunteering for weekly visitation of the elderly and direct service to the homeless in Philadelphia. GMA’s superior academic accomplishments and outstanding commitment and involvement in service on a strictly volunteer basis earned in 1991 the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award.
Sister earned her Doctorate of Ministry from Catholic University of America, her Master of Arts in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary, her Master of Arts in Spanish Literature from The University of San Diego, and her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Gwynedd-Mercy College—now University.
Sister Honora Nicholson, RSM has served as a Sister of Mercy for over 50 years as an educator in elementary, secondary, and high education and has 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, and a pastoral Consultant for RENEW International, which works to revitalize parishes in the United States and beyond. Sister also served as a member of the Merion Community Leadership Team and the Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic community Leadership Team.
Sister Honora has served on various Boards including Mercy Health System, Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Waldron Mercy Academy, and HOPE Partnership for Education. In addition, Sister has held membership in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Leadership Conference of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the National Religious Formation Conference, and the Spiritual Directors International.
Sister’s educational background includes an MA in Theological Studies from the University of Dayton, a BS in Education from Gwynedd Mercy University, and certificates in Canon Law for Religious Institutes, Sacred Scripture, and Theological Studies.
Sandy Pfeffer O'Connell ’92, a marketplace leader for Deloitte in Greater Philadelphia and a client leader for several of Deloitte’s financial services clients, oversees over 2,100 professionals and is responsible for the strategy, business development, corporate citizenship, and other strategic initiatives across the region. Sandy has spent most of her career serving clients within the Financial Services and Hospitality industries, primarily public companies on key strategic initiatives.
An advocate for her community, she serves on the Deloitte Greater Philadelphia Corporate Citizenship Council and the Diversity Equity & Inclusion Council, and as 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.
As 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.
Mike O’Malley P’16 and ’20, a seasoned executive and technology architect with management and technical expertise within the Cable and Telco industries, founded a well-respected professional services company, specializing in system integration, consultation, project management, and support. He has travelled all over the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia providing support to clients such as Comcast, Verizon, Ericsson, AT&T, Charter, Decomo (Japan) among others.
Mike served as President of the Fathers’ Club from 2017 -2020.
Kathleen Roeder, MD ’60, P’92, ’92, GP’14, ’25, a graduate of Temple University Medical School, began her medical career working exclusively in the emergency rooms of nearby hospitals. She became the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Doylestown Hospital and an active member of the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff, and 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 assisted with the administration of the Alumnae Association and has intermittently served on the Board since 1970. An esteemed alumna, she has been honored as the the recipient of the Margaret Biern Barger Award in 1998 and the Trocaire Award in 2005.
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.
Therese McFadden Wells P’13, ’18 Prior to retiring from Johnson & Johnson as Director of Global Implementation, Therese 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 J&J include Director of Transformation, Director of Sourcing, Director of Procurement External Supply, and Director of External Manufacturing. Therese earned her Master of Business Administration from Villanova University and her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University.
Christine Oliver Wiegand, Esq. ’91 is the Vice President and Associate General Counsel, IQVIA in Plymouth Meeting, PA—a Human Data Science Company that provides solutions to life sciences companies to innovate and maximize opportunities to drive human health outcomes forward. She also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Child Development Foundation in Montgomery County, PA which provides support and resources to organizations whose purpose is to assist special needs children to maximize their abilities and reach their goals.
Christine received her BA in English from Dickinson University in 1995, a J.D. from Villanova University in 1998, and a Certificate in Fundraising for Non-Profits from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003.
Board of Trustees Emeritus
Ernest "Chip" Behr P'02
Ann Diehl Casey '50, GP '11, '20
Carol A. Chiodo '75
Karen McKeaney '88
Frank C. Palopoli P'00, '92
Jim Morris P'09
Joseph Rose, Jr. P'06, '11