These smart, passionate, and engaging individuals share our mission to guide nonprofit organizations in achieving their goals with support and expert resources. They share their expertise and time to provide consulting, lead workshops, and enhance Spokes’ services. It takes many hands to keep Spokes turning. These are the people that have invested their time in helping our community’s nonprofits grow.
Michael Simkins, Ed.D.
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Michael has been a member of several nonprofit boards and served as board secretary, treasurer, and president. He is no stranger to Spokes having started his relationship with us over 7 years ago taking workshops and then going on to leading workshops, facilitating the President/Chair Roundtable, and serving as a Spokes consultant.
His professional experience spans the education and nonprofit sectors from being a school principal in Los Osos and Cal Poly lecturer to CEO of a major Silicon Valley nonprofit. Currently, he is board past-president at San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre and president of his local property owners association.
Some fun facts to help you get to know a little more about Michael include that he loves to swim, ski, and cook. Michael lives in Los Osos with his wife, Maryellen, and their “cockerdoodle” Pepper.
To connect with Michael call (805) 547-2244 or email him at [email protected]
Grace Nielsen, Communications Assistant
Board of Directors
You could say that Jeff is a kid at heart — he loves anything that he can do with his girlfriend, Jessica, and their four awesome kids. But Jeff has another side as well – a superstar techie side. At 15, he built his first computer system and later went on to study electrical engineering in college where he worked as an automotive installation technician. And now, as CIO, he brings not only technical cred but also excellent customer service skills to his role at CIO Solutions. Jeff appreciates that Spokes supports many of the nonprofits that he works with every day. Serving Spokes helps him give back to several of his own customers, while at the same time, making a bigger impact than he could do on his own.
Michelle Willis Secretary/Treasurer
Gillian is Director of Communications and Resource Development at People’s Self-Help Housing. Previously, she led both the Dunes Foundation and Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts Foundation at Hancock College. She received her education in England at Plymouth and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. She has served the British and U.S. governments in Europe and the Middle East and volunteers with women-led microenterprises.