The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) was formed in 2006 by alumni Scholars to help support the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s mission and goals. Currently 15 alumni serve on the AAB on a 3 year rotation. This month they were happy to welcome 7 new members, Greg Melia (1989), Deborah Stine (1991), Marc Eichenbaum (2000), Heidi Koester Oliveira (2001), Michaella Gallina (2006), Sheel Tyle (2008), and Sandy Williams Alumni Legacy Scholar Akbar Khan (2014), at their annual retreat.
Greg Melia, CAE, a 1989 Coca-Cola Scholar, is an innovator passionate about connecting people through networks and associations. He currently serves as US Vice President of Industry News Program Development for ITN Productions, a leading British news and television company. Previously he held executive roles with the American Society of Association Executives and US Chamber of Commerce. Greg holds degrees from The College of William & Mary and London School Economics, and has completed additional studies in creativity and change leadership at the International Center for Studies in Creativity. He was named an Association TRENDS “Young & Aspiring Association Professional” in 2009 and an honorary member by Farmhouse Fraternity in 2016. Greg lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife, Amy Bartow-Melia, and daughters Francecsa (11) and Marguerite (8).
Deborah Stine, a 1991 Coke Scholar, is director of development for Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. She has promoted and facilitated philanthropy for over 20 years in a variety of roles including major gifts, grant writing, events, workplace campaigns, communications, and program development. Previously, she served for 10 years as vice president of a national school dropout prevention and intervention organization and managed fundraising, volunteers, and communications for the Combined Federal Campaign in Washington, DC, and United Ways in Houston and Nashville. She has served as a consultant and volunteer to College Bound St. Louis and other nonprofit organizations working to increase positive outcomes for youth. Deborah earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Vanderbilt and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown. She lives in St. Louis with her husband, Greg, and their twins Aubrey and Aidan.
Marc Eichenbaum, a 2000 Coca-Cola Scholar, serves as the Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeless Initiatives. Marc is a licensed attorney who specializes in public policy, strategic communications and governmental affairs. First appointed by former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and subsequently by Mayor Sylvester Turner, Marc manages the City’s involvement in The Way Home, Houston’s nationally recognized homeless housing initiative. Since 2012, The Way Home has housed more than 7,500 homeless individuals, effectively ending veteran homelessness and reducing overall homelessness by nearly 60%.
Previously, Marc oversaw external affairs for the City’s Housing and Community Development Department – serving as the Department’s spokesperson while overseeing community and legislative relations. In addition to successfully advocating for the passage of over 200 pieces of local legislation, Marc worked on a variety of transformative community revitalization and economic development initiatives. Marc’s prior endeavors include managing a multi-million dollar political campaign and working on a national political convention.
Marc received a dual B.A. in Government and American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Houston College of Law. He serves on the board of the Holocaust Museum Houston and on leadership committees for various organizations, including the Hermann Park Conservancy, the Alley Theatre, and the Jewish Federation of Houston. Marc is a Leadership Houston Fellow, New Leaders Council Fellow, and member of The University of Texas Friars Society.
Heidi Koester Oliveira, a 2001 Coca-Cola Scholar, recently joined the Global Human Rights team at Mars, Incorporated, focused on innovative approaches to human rights across key agricultural supply chains. She has built her career at the intersection of business growth and societal benefit. During nearly nine years with The Coca-Cola Company, Heidi managed partnerships, communication and engagement around economic development, human rights and shared value strategies. She also focused on health partnership and policy, including the expansion of Project Last Mile, a ground-breaking initiative to enhance health systems in 10 African countries. Previously, Heidi worked in international development with the U.S. Peace Corps in rural Costa Rica. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master in Sustainable Development from Escuela Organización Industrial in Spain. While her roots are in Iowa, Heidi has lived in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Spain. She and her husband Augusto live in the Washington, DC, area.
Michaella Gallina is a 2006 Scholar and the Director of Investor Relations for Spectranetics, a publicly traded medical device company. She was previously an analyst at a hedge fund and also worked in investment banking. Michaella is a Boettcher Scholar and summa cum laude graduate of the University of Denver. She holds both a BS in Finance and an MS in Finance with an emphasis in Not-for-profit Management. Michaella also sits on the national selection committee for the Barron Prize for Young Heroes and the board for the Temple Grandin Equine Therapy Center. She is a national champion equestrian and resides in Denver, Colorado.
Sheel Tyle, a 2008 Scholar, is a Principal at NEA, the world’s largest venture capital firm with portfolio companies including Uber, Coursera, Buzzfeed, and Clovis Oncology. As an angel investor, Sheel has invested in Andela (Board of Directors), Casper, IfOnly (Board Observer), Mark43, One University Network, and Robinhood (Board Observer). He was previously on the business development team of Skybox Imaging, which was acquired by Google in 2014. Sheel graduated from Stanford University in three years, at the age of 19. He is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and was on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2013. In 2016, upon invitation of the White House, Sheel was part of the US delegation with President Obama on his historic visit to Cuba.
Akbar Khan, a 2014 Coca-Cola Scholar and a Sandy Williams Alumni Legacy Scholar, is the founder of Bags to Riches, a non-profit organization that has collected 30,000 conference bags and redistributed them to schoolchildren in the developing world. Akbar took a Gap Year to work for the ONE Campaign, a political advocacy group aimed at fighting preventable disease and ending extreme poverty. He’s currently a student at UC Berkeley where he consults for Berkeley Consulting. Through BC, he’s worked on creating solutions for companies in a variety of industries, from educational technology to autonomous vehicles. Originally from Salt Lake City, Akbar enjoys hiking up mountains in the summer and skiing down them in the winter.