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Theresa Gulley-Reed, Ed.D., M.B.A. - Co-founder, President Emeritus, Secretary, and COO

Lawrence E. Wallace (March 27, 1945-June 30, 2007) - Co-founder

Executive Board Members

Theresa Gulley-Reed, Ed.D., M.B.A. - Co-founder, President Emeritis, Secretary, and Chief Operations Officer

Biography of Dr. Theresa Gulley-Reed

Theresa Gulley-Reed, Ed.D., M.B.A. is COO/Co-Founder of an educational non-profit, Saint Nia Foundation, Inc. located in Sacramento, California.   The Sacramento-based non-profit is dedicated to empowering at-promise youth through financial literacy,  self-exploration, and empowerment.    


Dr. Reed is a native San Franciscan and has worked in the non-profit arena for over 20 years.  She received her M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco with a focus on finance and earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Sacramento State University.  Theresa developed a sense of accomplishment when she began tutoring pregnant teenage mothers in the early 1980s in San Francisco before there were after-school programs for them.  This experience gave her a sense of obligation to her community to care for those less fortunate than herself.

Dr. Reed has recruited a team of professionals who have a desire to give back to their community by supporting youth’s success through education.  She recently expanded her non-profit to include financial management summits for teens and foster care youth and career opportunity training.

Dr. Reed is currently working on collaborations with other local non-profits and community-based organizations to teach financial literacy to young adults.  These collaborations will include providing: an authentic, culturally-sensitive curriculum for all students; new learning opportunities for students in grades 6-12 and beyond; and parent resources.  It is Theresa’s hope that more young people become financially literate and that one day, financial literacy will become part of the high school curriculum throughout the nation.

Dr. Reed started her work with the unhoused in 1997 as a volunteer for Marian Residence for Women Shelter funded by St. Anthony Foundation, Inc. in San Francisco. She served meals and taught resume writing skills. She then went on to lead a team of college students to assist St. Anthony in utilizing the welfare-to-work program. 

Dr. Theresa Gulley-Reed
Dr. Malaika K. Singleton

Malaika K. Singleton, Ph.D. - President and Chief Executive Officer

Biography of Dr. Malaika K. Singleton

Malaika Singleton, Ph.D. is the President and CEO of the Saint Nia Foundation, Inc., a real estate investor, serial entrepreneur, and philanthropist. A neuroscientist by training, she spent over 5 years in state government policy and programs as a California Council
on Science and Technology (CCST) Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Consultant for the California State Senate, and Program Coordinator/Analyst for the California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers. She currently serves on the CCST Alumni Steering Committee and the Selection Committee for the Science and Technology policy fellowship program.

Dr. Singleton's teaching, tutoring, and mentoring experience includes, but is not limited to:

  • Tutor/Mentor at Dayton Elementary School with the Community Agencies Corporation/Rutgers-Newark Academic Foundations Center

  • Tutor/Instructor for Project M.O.S.T. (Middle School Opportunities in Science and Technology) for the Rutgers-Newark Academic Foundations Center

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Teaching Fellow in K-12 Education at McKinley Street School, Newark, NJ

  • Teaching assistant, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at University of California, Davis, CA.

  • Mentor for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) at Holmes Junior High School, Davis, CA

Dr. Singleton's experience working with the unhoused population and food insecure includes conducting an independent study course in sociology on the causes of homelessness at Rutgers University-Newark and volunteering at a soup kitchen, serving meals at the Goodwill Rescue Mission in Newark, New Jersey.

Dr. Singleton volunteered with the Saint Nia Foundation for 9 years before serving as CEO, a position she has held since 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology, jointly awarded by Rutgers University-Newark College of Arts and Sciences and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of California, Davis.

Ira Nell Ross - Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

Biography of Ira Nell Ross

Ira Ross grew up in San Francisco and in 1987, she and her family relocated to Sacramento where she currently resides today.  Ira attended Sacramento City College for several years and took a variety of Art, Clothing Construction, and Fashion Designing Classes.  She has an Associate’s Degree in Clothing Construction and Fashion Design.  Ira has a background in Genealogy Research and for several years has participated in genealogy conferences and is researching her family roots.  Ira had her watercolor artwork displayed in a gallery exhibit at Kennedy Art Gallery in Sacramento as part of the Saint Nia Foundation's Art Exhibit Fundraiser for Black History Month in February 2011.

Ms. Ross became a member of the Saint Nia Foundation Board in 2009 and is currently the Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer.  She has been involved in several of Saint Nia's activities over the years including the Empowerment Financial Management Summit for Teens in July and August of 2015, and the Saint Nia Foundation, Inc. Inaugural Family History and Genealogy Summit Fundraiser on October 15, 2016. 

Ira Nell Ross

Advisory Board Members

Karen Bridges, Ed.D., M.A., M.Ed. - Education Specialist

Biography of Dr. Karen Bridges

Dr. Bridges, Assistant Principal for Sacramento City Unified School District, serves as the instructional leader for the school site by setting clear goals; managing the delivery of curriculum; ensuring that teachers get the training, support, and direction they need to deliver quality instruction to every student; coaching and evaluating teachers and related activities. Experienced Instructional Coach with a demonstrated history of working in the primary/secondary education industry.


Dr. Bridges is skilled in lesson planning, educational technology, instructional design, training, and classroom management. She focuses staff on closing achievement gaps between subgroups of students; builds staff capacity to effectively and consistently use student data to drive
instructional decisions.


She visits classrooms regularly; observes and gathers data to make adjustments as necessary and appropriate to meet district and school goals and objectives relating to curriculum, best teaching practices, cultural competency, and related factors.

Dr. Bridges is a strong education professional who received her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy from California State University- Sacramento.

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Dr. Karen Bridges

Athina Salazar - Business Coach

Biography of Athina Salazar

As a Life Mastery Consultant, certified by the Life Mastery Institute, Athina Salazar can help you design and manifest a life that's in harmony with your Soul's purpose.

Athina inspires and empowers all those that are drawn to her to live their highest vision in the context of love and joy. Her passion is teaching clients to unlock their true potential, achieve outrageous success, and live a life they LOVE living!

Athina is an inspiring speaker, passionate educator, and a highly sought after transformational coach.

Athina brings more than fifteen years of business management and executive leadership experience to her role as the Chief Possibility Officer of Life 2 Design, which provides coaching and support to individuals and businesses in the Personal Development/Human Potential industry. As a Certified Life Mastery Consultant, Athina takes you from the edge of your comfort zone to the land of infinite possibility. She is passionate about working with individuals, organizations, and communities to help bridge the gap from where they are today, to where they want to be tomorrow. She specializes in helping people who feel stuck and dissatisfied with their lives, to move quickly into building their dreams and enjoying a richer life experience.

Now combining this background with the proven DreamBuilder technology, Athina is helping clients achieve extraordinary results in accelerated time. She is filled with joy and gratitude as she works with people to transform their lives and close the gap between the life they were living and the life they LOVE living.

Athina offers content rich interactive workshops that take participants on a journey in which they design, define, test, and experience a crystal clear vision of the life they would love – a life that is in alignment with their highest purpose. They will have a unique opportunity to “step into” the life they are imagining and feel a resounding “yes”.

Athina Salazar
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