About Us

Zonta International Board Bios

Ute Scholz
Zonta Club of Verden, Germany, District 27
Motto: Stay flexible in your hips.

A member since 1992, Ute says that she has learned a lot through Zonta, such as languages, how to do online business and the flexibility of working together with different people every biennium. Ute has served on all Zonta levels. Among others, she was chairman of the International Young Women in Public Affairs Award Committee and governor of District 27, one of Zonta’s largest districts. 

Ute is a graduated lawyer. After 22 years as a legal adviser and chief executive in public administration, she now works freelance as a business coach and mediator. She knows how to motivate volunteers and how important team spirit, reliability and leadership are for a successful organization.

Ute’s goal for Zonta is to be known in the world as a reliable and sustainable human rights organization that focuses on women and girls and whose members are engaged and proud to be a Zontian. 

Salla Tuominen
Zonta Club of Helsinki I, Finland, District 20
Motto: Either you run the day or the day runs you.

Salla is a third generation Zontian and has been a member since 2005. During the 2020-2022 Biennium, Salla served as Vice President and Zonta’s future is her focus. Salla has been active throughout all levels of leadership, including being a director of the 2018-2020 International Board and has had extensive experience within her district board having served in almost all roles. 

As an attorney at law specializing in both domestic and international corporate transactions, Salla keeps a “can do” attitude while working under enormous time pressure with complex legal and strategical issues alongside international teams.

Her goals are to put more emphasis on long-term strategic planning for Zonta's focus areas, simplify Zonta's organizational structure, advance effective topical working methods and attract diverse members. Salla believes that motivated members are needed to achieve gender equality and keep Zonta strong in the future and that active communication will strengthen the visibility and impact of Zonta.

Fernanda Gallo-Freschi
Vice President
Zonta Club of Milano-Sant Ambrogio, Italy, District 28
Motto: Resourcefulness and generosity.

Fernanda is a second generation Zontian and has been a member since 2010, progressively taking on leadership roles at the club, district and international levels, most recently having served as 2020-2022 International Director.

After working for almost 40 years in technical male-dominated fields as a civil and environmental engineer, Fernanda developed a deep personal experience in how to overcome gender workplace inequalities. She speaks four languages and has gained multicultural awareness and enhanced leadership skills while being responsible for joint ventures with global partners in IT and research and development. In the last years, she turned to consultancy in the field of environment, workplace safety and sustainability, recently adding workplace gender equality auditing to her professional competences.

In addition to her professional and Zonta experiences, Fernanda has also held other community service leadership positions, particularly in multicultural education. Throughout her experiences, Fernanda has led by example. As the COVID-19 pandemic challenged all members, Fernanda looked for ways to collaborate, continue with events and share tools. For this biennium, Fernanda is fostering long-sighted strategic planning to ensure the sustainability of Zonta in the future. Membership is key. While long-established women’s rights are shaken, she wants Zonta to be bold in its advocacy: involving more youth, enhancing alliances with peer organizations, and facilitating national actions in countries across districts. 

Souella Cumming, ONZM
Zonta Club of Wellington, New Zealand, District 16
Motto: Working together, serving others, for better outcomes for women and girls globally.

Most recently an international director for the 2020-2022 Biennium, Souella has been a member since 2007. She has actively contributed to the effective oversight of Zonta’s finances having served as a member and then chair of the Zonta International Finance Committee. 

Souella is a practicing, chartered accountant and brings a strong financial background, business acumen, governance and risk management experience, which have enabled her to constructively question Zonta International’s long-term position and actively support good financial stewardship. 

Souella’s goals are to reimagine the future with a world where women can achieve their full potential. She feels that critical to Zonta’s success is the development of a longer-term strategy, realigning governance and management to support the execution of the strategy, developing financial strategies to ensure a long term fiscally responsible organization, and using Zonta’s voice to champion women’s rights on the global stage.

Annika Bränström
Zonta Club of Sundsvall, Sweden, District 21
Motto: Stronger together - for equal opportunities!

Annika has been a member since 1997, having served as a governor, lieutenant governor, area director and vice area director. She is very proud of the activities and the digital solutions clubs and committees have found as they have worked through the pandemic. Annika supported her district with coherent communications and extended the feelings of inclusion to district countries by translating her district’s first-ever electronic conference, which she was responsible for organizing, into Latvian. 

With her degree in law and as a former Director General, Annika has worked and developed digital services and infrastructure for companies and citizens. She has worked with the digitalization of e-services and national and international change management for more than 35 years. She is now working as an Inquiry Chair for the Swedish government. She is used to working internationally and taking on leadership roles in many different organizations and companies.

Annika’s goals are to be more well-known and visible to attract and retain members while continuing to modernize the organization and simplify bylaws and policies to "feel" open, inclusive and transparent.

Reneé Coppock
Zonta Club of Billings, USA, District 12
Motto: Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time. Let’s take these steps together to change the world.

Since joining Zonta in 1996, Reneé has served on multiple international committees and task forces as a member and chairman and has been a governor, lieutenant governor and area director. While most known for her work in bylaws and resolutions, Reneé has increased advocacy within her district by focusing on topics such as human trafficking, inherent bias, indigenous women, the #MeToo movement and the 16 Days of Activism.

Reneé is a senior attorney and her legal background has enabled her to have a full understanding of governing documents, develop conflict resolution skills, sharpen strategic thinking, and adhere to high ethical standards and fiduciary responsibility, among many other honed skills. Her involvement in a diversity committee has broadened her knowledge of issues impacting minorities and women in the workplace.

Reneé feels that members must be enthusiastic about international service/advocacy as impassioned people join and remain in organizations. By increasing awareness, Zonta’s relevance will be reinforced and confirm that members are truly building a better world for women and girls, thereby strengthening membership.

Anne-Marie French Cudjoe
Zonta Club of Accra II, Ghana, District 18
Motto: We must all be intentional, taking action within our spheres of influence to bring about transformational change.

A member since 1997, Anne-Marie has held many committee positions internationally and within her district along with being a governor, lieutenant governor and vice area director. She contributed to the development and growth of Zonta clubs in her district by helping them build up their capacity and communication connectivity, computer literacy and social networking to retain their membership and to ensure that clubs remained vital, vibrant and relevant.

Professionally, Anne-Marie is CEO of a corporate image management. Her skills entail being a good judge of character, being results-oriented and entrepreneurial and having interpersonal and research skills. Her involvement with civic and community organizations gives her the right perspective and mindset to help fulfill Zonta’s goals of ensuring women’s empowerment, eradication of domestic violence, forced marriage and more.

Anne-Marie’s goals for Zonta’s future focus on advocating for girls’ education as the issue has far reaching implications for the girls themselves, their children, the community and the world’s economies.

Monika Geise
Zonta Club of Muenster, Germany, District 29
Motto: Empowerment of women and girls will lead to a better world for all of us!

Monika has been a member since 2006. She has served as her district’s treasurer, lieutenant governor and most recently, governor. During the last two years, she has maintained members’ enthusiasm and commitment by encouraging advocacy and donation actions in international campaigns. She also attracted record numbers to attend the electronic district conference while promoting awardee connections and networking.

As a senior partner in an auditing and tax consulting company, Monika is experienced in motivating and inspiring people and considers effective communication a vital part of her daily work ethic. As a professional mediator, she possesses negotiation and conflict solving skills as well as empathy to understand people´s needs.

Monika’s goals for Zonta include focusing on providing the right support to members to help them solve local issues, which leads to greater global impact. She feels that by empowering younger members, they will profit from others’ experience while they inspire others by their energy, ideas and competencies.

Teresa Lin
Zonta Club of The New Territories, Hong Kong, District 17
Motto: Stay positive, make the impossible possible

Since 2001, Teresa has been a member of Zonta serving most recently as the International Advocacy Committee Chair, her district’s governor and before that, lieutenant governor. Within these roles, she organized webinars that aligned the goals of Zonta while raising knowledge and awareness and promoted unison of country advocacy projects to allow for efficiency and a united voice. She also organized new clubs, succession planning, advocacy road shows, top donations, forums and media.

Teresa is chairman and CEO of Intrabase Financial Services Ltd. and has held many director and chairmen positions in banks and leasing associations. Within her career, she has gained skills in business modeling, strategic management, organizational development, compliance and governance, large team management and strong communication skills.

Among the goals Teresa has for Zonta are ending gender-based violence and child marriage, supporting Zonta clubs in the post-pandemic era, boosting memberships through strong branding developments, forming advocacy groups of Zontians with specific interest on particular goals and encouraging advocacy actions regarding women’s inequality induced by climate change.


Britt Vaughan
Zonta Club of Burbank Area, USA, District 9
Motto: Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan the flames (Rumi).

Since 2011, Britt has been a member of Zonta and has served in all positions of club leadership and in her district as the PR & Communications Chair, Lt. Governor, and Governor.

A nonprofit grants professional, Britt brings an advanced understanding of nonprofit sector values, requirements, and regulations to her role in Zonta. She has extensive experience in developing and tracking outcome measurement, program evaluation, strategic planning, effective communication, and budgeting.

Britt wants Zonta to be the premier, global organization for building a better world for women and girls through increased engagement and brand recognition. Her vision for Zonta is a progressive, intelligent, cutting-edge organization that people yearn to be involved in. In her free time, she enjoys travel, reading, community activism, and being a life-long learner.

Britt in the News: Britt Vaughan Adds Zonta International Director to Resume

Sandy Venn-Brown
Zonta Club of Stanthorpe Inc., Australia, District 22
Motto: By searching for and stumbling over new ideas, we learn.

Sandy has been a member of Zonta since 2000. She considers herself a self-starter, innovative and energetic who does not shy from hard work and is always looking to improve Zonta's standing in the community. She has served as governor, lieutenant governor, area director and as her district’s nominating committee chair. Within these roles, she has recruited members and recognized them for their achievements, established the first e-club in Australia/New Zealand and helped coordinate the inter-district conference with more than 900 attendees.

Professionally, Sandy has held varied senior management roles. Within her career, she has gained many skills including team building, open and regular communication, decision making, conflict management and resolution, decisiveness and project management.

Sandy feels that members join to achieve Zonta’s goals of gender equity and local activities are essential to increasing visibility and membership. She wants to work to spread Zonta’s name and mission and encourage tangible actions to achieve gender equity and eradicate gender-based violence.

Sandy in the news: Sandy Takes International Role

Myra Celestin
Zonta Club of Oak Brook, IL, USA, District 6
Motto: Consistency wins!

Myra joined the Zonta Club of Oak Brook in 2021. She serves on the Board of Directors, Service, and Scholarship Committees as well as Parliamentarian for District 6.  Myra is a Nursing professor and a military veteran with over 27 years of service whose life and career have been devoted to education and leadership. 

Myra demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in the military, earning the Battalion Commander position and the Meritorious Service Medal.  She received the Outstanding Achievement in Health Science Award from Chicago State University for her role in educating and mentoring future healthcare professionals to assume leadership positions in the hospital and military settings.  

Her goals for Zonta are to advocate for policies that promote higher education and leadership roles for women and girls and laws to assist and protect Domestic Violence victims and survivors. 

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