Our StaffOur staff is mission-driven and experienced.
Chief Executive Officer
Over the last twelve years, Brenda Solórzano has been a leader in the philanthropic health world. In addition to her philanthropic background, She has extensive experience working on health policy issues, particularly on topics related to health coverage, the health care safety net and public health issues affecting vulnerable populations.
Brenda most recently served as the chief program director of Blue Shield of California Foundation. She was a member of the Foundation’s Leadership Team and was responsible for leading the strategy, design, evaluation and management of the Foundation’s programmatic and grantmaking activities. Prior to Blue Shield of California Foundation, Brenda served as a program officer at The California Endowment and the California HealthCare Foundation and worked for several years in the California healthy policy and advocacy arena.
In 2011, Brenda Solorzano was chosen as a Terrance Keenan Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Fellow. She received her bachelor of arts degree in history and political science from the University of San Francisco and her juris doctorate from Whittier Law School and is a member of the California State Bar. Ms. Solórzano has moved to Missoula, Montana with her husband and two children.
Mynor Alejandro Veliz, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Mynor Veliz is an accomplished financial executive who brings to the table more than 10 years of progressive experience in financial stewardship, accounting leadership, and operations management within the health and medical services sector. Most recently, he served as CFO of Intermountain, a behavioral health care system serving over 2,000 kids, teens, and families each year throughout Western Montana.
Mynor has been consistently recognized not only for his financial acumen, but also for his ability to apply a collaborative, modern leadership style to get employees fired up about their mission and working together in new and collaborative ways. Prior to Intermountain, his roles include serving as CFO for Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest, CFO of Benefits Administration Company, and also as a Finance Manager at Starbucks
Mynor holds an MBA from Eastern Washington University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Leadership Development Program. An avid networker and community volunteer, he also serves as a member of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs where he provides mentoring and career guidance to a diverse mix of up-and-coming young professionals.
Office Manager/Executive Asst.
For the past five years, Ashley Shaw has worked for the Montana University System in roles that support higher education. She spent three years working for the University of Montana; both for their Alumni Association and Human Resource Service offices. The past two years were spent in Bozeman working as the Payroll Supervisor for Montana State University where she managed a team that processed payroll for over 6,000 employees. Prior to her time working in higher education, she worked at the Missoulian Newspaper for four years in marketing, community outreach, advertising and executive support roles. Ashley graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Ashley has volunteered for organizations such as United Way, Missoula YMCA and Partners In Home Care. Since graduating from Montana State University, she has moved back and forth between Bozeman and Missoula, but is happy to be calling Missoula “home” again.
Jennifer Savage is a communications, marketing and development professional who spent the past five years as the director of development for foundation and corporate relations at the University of Montana Foundation. At UMF Jennifer managed a multi-million dollar pipeline and, along with the development team, helped create a development strategy for the foundation’s corporate and foundation relations work including identifying priorities, capacity of donors and timing of asks. In this work, Jennifer focused her efforts on outreach and relationship building, and worked to create a culture of collaboration with faculty and staff across disciplines.
Jennifer polished her fundraising skills at Montana Community Development Corporation where, as grants manager, she helped raise funds for MCDC’s loan fund. Before joining MCDC she helped drive all aspects of communications, marketing and fundraising work at Blue Mountain Clinic including guiding an overhaul of the clinic’s logo and website, crafting marketing strategies and plans, writing and designing publications, and improving the clinic’s social media presence.
Jennifer holds a master’s degree in literary nonfiction from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. She and her husband are happy to be raising their two lovely daughters in Missoula
Juniper is an experienced policy analyst, grantmaker and partnership builder who has lived and worked extensively in rural and urban western communities, particularly in Montana where she was born and raised.
For the duration of her career Juniper has dedicated herself to working on behalf of locally-driven initiatives by applying policy, research, and collaborative solutions to achieve system-level change. While working for the State of Oregon, Juniper specialized in bringing together external partners and internal staff teams to transform complex policy initiatives into grant programs supporting community and watershed resiliency.
Juniper has also worked in legal and program capacities for the Five Valleys Land Trust, as well as for a consortium of northwest tribal governments on policy issues of regional significance. As a result, Juniper has acquired a deep understanding of the interplay of economic, health, and environmental conditions in western communities and is committed to working to improve the lives of Montanans in her position as Program Director for the Headwaters Health Foundation.
Juniper has a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Colorado College.
Grants Management Associate
Zia Maumenee has a wealth of experience in grants management from five years with the National Forest Foundation. She managed the grants cycle for hundreds of grants and contracts per year, tracked results and accomplishments, and processed payments. Her passion for grant making, process, and databases has helped transform the grants structure of the National Forest Foundation into an efficient and transparent system.
Zia brings a holistic organizational perspective to the table. Her support role to the communications team, the capacity building team and the development teams assisted in the growth of these programs through the continuous supply of reports and data, blog posts and social media content, as well as expanding educational opportunities for grantees and collaborative groups.
Prior to her work at the National Forest Foundation, Zia worked at the University of Montana in the Division of Biological Sciences Herbarium where she managed database development and a corresponding web interface for this historic collection of Montana plant specimens. Zia holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Montana, Geography Department where she spent time working on resource management issues in French Polynesia. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from Penn State University.