50 women voting on how we spend $100,000

Advisory Board

Melissa Buscher | Co-chair

What was intended to be a brief career stop in North Carolina turned into 25 years as a Triangle resident with her husband Greg and two children, Tessa and Lleyton. Melissa spent 15 years as a television reporter with her last broadcasting role at WRAL-TV in Raleigh before transitioning to corporate communications and marketing. She is currently the Chief Communications & Marketing Officer for SPX FLOW, responsible for corporate communications, marketing, culture and brand worldwide. Before joining SPX FLOW, she held leadership communication roles at LORD Corporation and Time Warner Cable. Her passion for storytelling has helped increase engagement with employees and customers, enabling business growth. Melissa has served on several non-profit boards and through her family’s own hardships as a child, is passionate about her work to support women rebounding from vulnerable situations.   

Bianca Harris
Bianca found her passion for working with females in need while working more than 25 years in the NC prison system.  Trauma informed care and substance use disorder within the female prison population was a particular focus in her work before she retired from the prison system.  She transitioned to the position of Program Director for the MA in Criminal Justice Program at Meredith College, bringing the same passion for a people centered graduate program.  Her former positions as Warden and District Manager, as well as her current position, continue to build upon the wealth of local and national contacts within the community at large, re-entry community, and other advocates dedicated to the advancement of marginalized people with a particular focus on women.   
Ian Richardson
Ian grew up in Winston-Salem, and has lived in the Triangle since 2011 when he moved to the area to attend Campbell Law School. Ian now practices as a trial lawyer with the law firm Vann Attorneys, PLLC in Raleigh. Ian’s work focuses on civil litigation, with a special emphasis on representing survivors of sexual abuse. When not practicing law, Ian is involved in his neighborhood Homeowners Association, church activities, and various civic organizations in Raleigh. Most importantly, Ian is the husband to Kimberly, and the father to their son Calvin. In his limited free time he enjoys salt water fishing, cooking, and staying up to date on current events. 
Haley Transou Terry
Credit Suisse Americas Foundation & Corporate Citizenship Americas Haley comes to our team with many years of professional experience in philanthropy, in both corporate social responsibility as well as experience in nonprofit fundraising, programming and leadership. She’s a highly motivated and creative problem solver, and is passionate about making a lasting impact in the communities where we live and work, as well as in supporting those in need across the globe, particularly women and children.
Colleen Schmidt
 Colleen has spent 20 years in the security and safety profession in both the public and private sectors. She is currently the Global Security Director for Wolfspeed, Inc. Previously, Colleen was responsible for leading Charter Communication’s security and risk management efforts as a Director of Security for the southeast region. Prior to transitioning to corporate security and safety, Colleen served as a police officer with the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland. During her time with Montgomery County Police, Colleen helped establish the departments Domestic Violence Unit to assist and provide resources to the victims. Colleen also serves on the Board of Director’s for the McDonald York Building Company. Colleen has two grown children and has called NC home for the last 20 years; 15 years being spent in the Apex area.
Jeff Despain
Having lived in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and currently Apex, Jeff has called North Carolina home for more than 30 years. With a background in business, language and culture, Jeff has spent more than a decade supporting corporations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC and Advance Auto Parts to create a more inclusive and equitable place to work. He is driven to ensure employees can show up to work and be themselves. Jeff also works within his congregation at church to build community and inclusivity, promoting a culture of love and service. Husband to a magnificent wife and father to two young daughters and a son, Jeff also enjoys pickleball, cheering on NC State athletics, cooking, and spending time with extended family.
Julie Beauvais
Growing up in a military family, Julie moved a dozen times before finishing college. After a few more post-college relocations, she was thrilled to put down roots in the Triangle in 1995, and now considers this her chosen hometown. She recently retired from a 30+ year career in communications and marketing that included leadership roles for three Fortune 500 companies and Kimley-Horn, one of the nation’s top engineering and design firms. Throughout her corporate and nonprofit roles, Julie has applied her passion for connecting people, vision building, developing high-functioning teams, and helping individuals find fulfilling career paths. In her free time, she loves to travel and spend time with daughter and family.