NEFE Announces Two New Board Members

Appoints Chair, Vice Chair for 2015

Date: February 2, 2015

Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, [email protected]

DENVER—The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) welcomes two new members to its Board of Trustees. Helen Norris, vice president and chief information officer at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.; and Colleen A. Walker, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas in Dallas, each will serve an initial three-year term on the 13-member board.

“The expertise of our new trustees are a great complement to the other highly accomplished professionals that make up the leadership of our board,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “We are fortunate to have such dedicated trustees to help us further our mission of inspiring educated financial decision making for all Americans.”

The NEFE Board of Trustees also announces that it has named Karen Vahouny, communications consultant and adjunct professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Marymount University in Arlington, Va., chair for 2015; and Michael Bedke, partner with DLA Piper based in Tampa, Fla., will serve as vice chair.

Helen Norris

Norris holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and a Master of Arts degree from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. In her current role at Chapman University, Norris manages the institution’s information technology strategy, development and functions. As a key member of the university president’s cabinet, Norris ensures that all IT programs align with the university’s overall strategy and objectives. She also is a member of the CIO Executive Summit governing body and the TechJunction and Interface advisory group.

“The work done by NEFE positively impacts the lives of people across the country, and I am thrilled to be part of that,” says Norris on her appointment. “Having worked in higher education for many years, I have seen how financial education can be successful, and I look forward to contributing to the ongoing success of the NEFE mission.”

Prior to joining Chapman University in 2014, Norris was the associate chief information officer at California State University, Sacramento, and director of installation and service technologies client services at the University of California, Berkeley, where she developed the vision, strategy and standards for IT support at the institution.

Colleen A. Walker

In June 2014, Walker joined the Perot Museum of Nature and Science as the Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer. She most recently served as CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, where she successfully led the staff to become the first U.S. council to complete and implement a three-year strategic learning pilot, and oversaw the council’s first property master planning process to analyze eight service centers and six camps to better deliver on the Girl Scout mission. Walker also launched a capital campaign for two camps, including a South Dallas facility that is being transformed into a STEM Center of Excellence.

Working to develop female leaders and advocating for increased opportunities and education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) have been Walker’s priorities since college. In 1996, she founded Engineers of Dreams, a nonprofit organization promoting math and science literacy among fourth- through ninth-grade students, especially girls and young women, in Texas, Colorado and Louisiana. She developed a multimedia educational program, “Technology Today,” to encourage more than 60,000 participating students to pursue a technical education. In addition, she designed and launched a website that served as a student follow-up vehicle and educational link for the 175 schools she visited.

In recognition of her leadership, Walker has been honored by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the “Top 25 Female Business Leaders in Dallas” and by the Women’s Council of Dallas as “Woman of the Year.” In 2005, she was nominated for membership to Leadership America, a national organization that educates and connects accomplished and diverse women with the goal of increasing their impact globally.

“I am thrilled to be with NEFE. I’ve always been keenly interested in preparing people to make wise decisions about their careers and futures, and I am honored to be a part of this amazing group to increase financial literacy, which is one of my passions,” Walker says on her appointment to the NEFE board. “The insecurity that comes with the inability to manage money causes so much unnecessary stress and the more literate we become in the 21st century the better it is for us all.”

Walker graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural engineering. In 2000, she received a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University. While at Harvard, she was awarded the Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship for outstanding contributions to a nonprofit organization.

For more information on the NEFE Board of Trustees, click here.



  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]