Leadership and Staff
Board of Directors
Ashley Clark, College 101 Chair
Ashley is the Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. Ashley first became involved with Circle de Luz in 2014 through its partnership with the Junior League of Charlotte and is excited to continue and deepen her involvement as a board member. She works with research and data all day, so in her free time she loves to use the other side of her brain and do anything that is creative and crafty. She lives in Huntersville, NC with her husband Kevin and their rescue cat (that thinks he’s a dog) Milton
Vanessa Garcia, Special Project Chair
Vanessa works in Development and Alumni Relations at Johnson and Wales University. Originally involved with Circle de Luz through our partnership with the Junior League, she joined the board in July of 2013 in order to deepen her involvement. As treasurer she provides strategic financial guidance to the organization as well as help to pursue financial sustainability and IRS compliance. In addition, she serves as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Symphony Guild of Charlotte and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Mary Kathryn Elkins, Finance Chair
Mary Kathryn is a mother of two young boys, Nolan and Graham, who loves to run, practice yoga, cook (especially baking!), and read. She attended Davidson College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and also has her Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. She was involved with Circle de Luz as a board member for four years before being hired as the first Program Manager. She is thrilled to go back to serve Circle de Luz as a board member.
Leslie Johnson, Organizational Impact Chair
Leslie is a Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo currently leading a Enterprise Project Management Office. She has been with the company over 30 years and is active in the Charlotte community where she resides. Leslie has been focused on helping kids navigate high school and beyond, first as President of the Vance High School PTO and then as a mentor for the GENTS program which focused on helping at risk male students graduate from high school. After being a program donor to Circle de Luz for the past couple of years, Leslie looks forward to contributing as an active board member.
Rosie Molinary, Board Chair
Rosie is the author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina, Rosie teaches at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, serves as a national Dove Self-Esteem Project Educator, offers workshops and retreats, and speaks on self-acceptance, body image, self-care, media literacy, the Latina experience, and intentional living around the country. A committed activitst, Rosie helped found HAMMERS, a non-profit initiative to provide emergency home repair for low income families in her community, and Circle de Luz.
Jocelyn Negron-Rios, Board Co-Chair
Jocelyn has been part of Circle de Luz since its inception in 2008. As a proud Puerto Rican hailing from New York City, the mission of empowerment of Circle de Luz has been one that she has fervently supported. Having been raised by two strong Puerto Rican women she knows first hand the collective power of women in the Latino community. She is honored to serve the Charlotte Latino community and to help empower the next generation of young women to pursue their possibilities. Jocelyn serves as Board Co-Chair and is passionate about diversity and inclusion and ensuring that communities of color are seen, heard and represented. She works in Compliance and Administration, obtained a Graduate Certificate in diversity & Inclusion from Wake Forest University in 2017. She resides in Huntersville, NC with her husband and two sons.
Kelley Cock, Family Resources Chair
Kelley is a graduate of Elon University where she earned a B.A. in Psychology. She earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from The University of North Carolina-Charlotte. She is currently a Social Worker for The Ada Jenkins Center Free Medical Clinic. Kelley was thrilled to join the Circle de Luz Board in 2016 as the Family Resources Chair. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her husband and four children. She enjoys kayaking, reading and hanging with her three spoiled dogs.
Laura Kirby Murdock, Alumna Chair
Laura Kirby Murdock is excited to join the Circle de Luz board of directors in the new role of Alumna Chair. She brings over 15 years’ experience in change management consulting and project management execution, including 10 years with Bank of American’s Human Resources Department. In addition, she has deep experience in the Charlotte nonprofit community, serving on both the Parents’ Council and PTA Board of her children’s schools and at Myers Park United Methodist Church as a Sunday School Teacher, Disciple Bible Study Leader, and member of the Administrative Board. She is an active member of the Women’s Impact Fund, Do Good Charlotte, ENCORE! (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte) and longtime supporter and volunteer for Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, the KEY Resale Shop and the YWCA Central Carolinas. Laura is a native of Winston-Salem, NC and graduated from Wake Forest University in 1998 with a BA in English and Religion. She and her husband, Brian, are the proud parents of three rowdy, wonderful boys.
Alexis Acosta Boyce, Marketing/Public Relations Chair
Alexis is an advertising/marketing professional with both advertising agency and corporate marketing experience. Her favorite accounts have been the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Sunbrella and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse. A firm believer in giving back to the community, Alexis has volunteered countless hours with the American Advertising Federation (AAF) of Charlotte, TEDxCharlotte and Circle de Luz. For fun, she spends time on the water with her husband and daughter, attends bible study, hosts dinner parties with friends, and gets her sweat on at yoga, zumba, barre and turbokick.
Karina Vogel, PMP – Program and Finance Director
Karina is a native of Lima, Peru currently living in Charlotte, NC with her husband Stephen, her beautiful baby boy Alex and her rescue pup Layla. She is a graduate from UNC-Charlotte University with a B.S. in Accounting and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Prior to joining Circle de Luz, Karina worked in the corporate world for nearly 20 years holding several administrative, operational, financial, and project management positions. She enjoys cooking, salsa dancing, paddle boarding, and kickboxing.
Lorena Priego, MSW – Program and Communications Manager
Since April 2017, Lorena Priego has served as the Lead Prosperity Coach (Case Manager) for the case management component in all programs at New Economics for Women (NEW), a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to her position as a Lead Prosperity Coach, Lorena Priego held the position of Program Manager for NEW’s Computer Literacy and Nutrition Programs, from 2013 to 2017. Through the management of 2 successful programs, Lorena Priego was able to exceed the outcomes required in the contracts, served over 1,200 individuals, and helped create over 80 employment opportunities. Additionally, Lorena has been involved in multiple projects within several departments of NEW including, Fund Development, Social Media, NEW’s afterschool program, and Human Resources. Lorena and her family moved to North Carolina in 2015, and is excited to join Circle de Luz and continue working towards her passion in creating impactful outcomes in the lives of many young Latina girls. Lorena Priego has a Master’s degree in Social Work, from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from California State University Dominguez Hills.