President, co-Founder and Executive Director
Karon Wright is the President, co-Founder and Executive Director of The Greater Contribution. She is a passionate advocate for the poor and a frequent speaker about the fight against poverty. In 2006, Karon and her co-founders were motivated by recognition of the abundance of their own lives and a desire to make a greater contribution – to give back and make a difference in the lives of those who are so much less fortunate. They formed The Greater Contribution. Since 2006, under Karon’s leadership, during the last 11 years, The Greater Contribution has provided over 13,000 micro loans to women living in abject poverty, allowing them to start small businesses and begin to work their way out of poverty. Karon was given national recognition with a “Vibrant Giver Award” for her dedication to poverty relief worldwide. She was one of the featured speakers at the TED conference in Thousand Oaks in 2010 and was named A 2016 Peace Hero as part of a nation-wide celebration commemorating the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and honoring those in local communities working toward peace. She has been nominated for a CNN Hero Award in both 2017 and 2019. She travels to Africa every six months to monitor the TGC loan program there.
Jo Lynn Feinstein
Jo Lynn is a self-described country girl at heart. Born and raised in rural Ohio, she retains a strong appreciation of nature and animals. She also exudes a can-do, help-those-you-can attitude. Over the years she has volunteered in programs such as adult literacy, Junior Achievement and equine assisted therapy. She was part of the earliest discussions about founding The Greater Contribution and volunteered for special projects with us over the years.
Recently retired from the corporate scene, Jo Lynn continues to teach university courses online. Jo Lynn’s professional life focused on training and development. She is happiest when someone is learning, whether it is her, her colleagues or her friends. The business basics and literacy training that we provide to the women in Uganda is one of the things that led Jo Lynn to devote more time in support of The Greater Contribution when she retired from corporate life. Jo Lynn holds a Doctorate in Education as well as an MBA.
Amber Masci serves as board secretary and focuses on grant writing and grants research team leadership. She co-authored the 2020 International Monetary Fund grant TGC received entitled Micro Loans for Macro Change.
Amber’s non-profit work history includes hand-on science instruction for elementary school students through The Discovery Center for Science and Technology in Ventura county. She also served as a board member for Worldwide Marriage Encounter in the Southern California area. Amber has over 20 years of biotechnology sector experience including technical, project management, and operations positions. She is a certified project manager through Project Management Institute.
Amber is committed to empowering our borrowers to lift themselves out of poverty and create a better life for their families and communities. She greatly values that TGC provides borrowers a hand up, not a hand out, to help them become agents of their own success. The story that speaks to her most is that of a TGC borrower who used her business earnings to purchase her son his first pair of shoes – at age 10! Amber continues to work for women so they may create satisfying, safe and productive lives.
Scott and his wife Marilyn have lived in Thousand Oaks for 13 years. Scott is retired from his most recent career as a Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor. He also had careers in the Telecommunications and Broadcasting industries.
Scott has always been involved in his community; from his time in Virginia with the Salvation Army, Jaycees, United Way and Chamber of Commerce. Most recently he served as a Board member of the Westlake Center for Spiritual Living and now The Greater Contribution.
“I have rarely seen a charity as effective and impactful as The Greater Contribution,” Scott exclaimed. “The dedication and devotion to this noble cause shown by Karon and her supporters is inspiring and I had to be a part of it.”
Introductory Board Member
In a quarter-century of international travel, Brad Kieffer had one of his biggest “aha!” experiences in Africa. After meeting and overnighting with village leaders, school children, parents and educators, he knew he wanted to one day give back to the cultures that treated him with such kindness, generosity and love. As a member of The Greater Contribution’s board of directors, he is fulfilling that dream.
Brad retired in 2018 from a corporate communications career spent with Health Net, LLC, Anthem, Inc. and The Disney Stores. He now provides communications and public relations project management and counsel. At The Greater Contribution, he collaborates with others on a variety of communications and public relations efforts.
He and his wife Karen Oxrider live in Ventura County. They enjoy spending time wherever hiking boots and trekking poles are needed, and planning where they will find their next aha! moments.
Susan D. Barney
Introductory Board Member
Susan has extensive experience in tax and accounting issues. She began her career in 2001 with a large local forensic accounting firm. As a CPA, Susan provides tax research, planning and compliance filings for her clients. She provides analysis of assets, liabilities, income and expenses, alimony and child support consultation, and business valuations.
She also has expertise in the areas of business management, entertainment, and various service providing industries. She has advocated for clients with the Internal Revenue Service and state and local tax agencies as well as international experience with respect to individuals, corporations, and flow through entities.
Susan’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting from California State University, Northridge and a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University.
Susan actively promotes the health, welfare, and education of women and children. She currently volunteers with several not-for-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area. Susan recently joined the board of directors of The Greater Contribution and holds the position of Treasurer. Susan shares a passion in the mission of The Greater Contribution. Providing women in Uganda with business education and a small loan to start and grow their businesses give the women a foundation that will transform their lives forever. With the help of The Greater Contribution, the women make a positive impact on the economy. They pass their knowledge and skills onto their children, thereby making a positive impact on their family. The positive impact in their lives results in confidence that will lead to continued growth.
Introductory Board Member
Michelle was fortunate to learn the nonprofit ropes at a young age through a NY-based charity, ‘A Midwinter Night’s Dream’, which benefited the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which was acclaimed in the New York Times as a “million-dollar success.” While working towards her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree, she discovered her passion for healthcare as a human right.
In her post-doctoral fellowship at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, she founded an International Public/Private Partnership in East Africa focused on promulgating access to malaria treatments. Through this experience, Michelle realized her life and career goal to close the gap between healthcare innovation and developing countries. She sought to expand her experience in innovative drug development at Amgen, Inc and now is focusing her career back towards public health, through her role at an innovative vaccines development company.
Michelle has also served as a non‑profit board member for a Sierra Leone-based organization until 2018. With a fervent love for promoting women’s independence at every opportunity, she is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the TGC board. She is inspired by the women who have benefited from TGC-provided microloans to date, and looks forward to contributing towards many borrowers’ successes to come.
Rebecca has over 15 years of experience in administration and office management of all kinds. Her previous work includes management, bookkeeping, and self-employment. Both in her personal and professional life, Rebecca believes passionately in supporting others to help them change the trajectory of their lives. The ability to help support the work of The Greater Contribution and the micro-loan program is a gift. Rebecca is a wife to one and a mom to 3 children and resides in the Conejo Valley.
Laura serves as web designer, keeping our website updated and running smoothly. Her background in online content production and web design spans 14 years. She has volunteered extensively in her own community in various positions, including maintaining the website for her local PTSA as VP of Communications.
Laura has always had a strong desire to expand her reach beyond her own community and is passionate about helping women lift themselves and their families out of poverty. When she noticed that The Greater Contribution needed a web designer, she knew she had found her opportunity.
Laura grew up in northern Canada, but now lives with her husband and two children in Seattle. She enjoys spending time traveling with her family whenever she has the chance.