LEO Leadership

Our Leaders

 

We are a team of dedicated and experienced professionals with unique perspectives.  We are not only committed to each other’s personal and professional growth, but also to the success of the mission we care so much about and the many people we serve through education, fundraising, and mentoring.

We believe that effective leadership and board governance are paramount in building long-term significance for our investors. The vital aspects of our board governance charter include: helping keep the organization mission-focused, providing oversight and support for the CEO, being community advocates, committee work, financial reporting and support, and ensuring legal and ethical integrity and accountability. Our committee structures include fundraising, marketing, communications, investments, and programs.

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madeline winney

Madeline LoConti Winney
Chief Executive Officer

 

Madeline has made a career of serving people and igniting powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Arizona a stronger community for all. With a heart for youth and a vision for building future leaders, she launched LEO Foundation, formerly known as GCU Scholarship Foundation, where she has dedicated nearly 20 years to helping students achieve their educational and career goals through scholarships and leadership opportunities. Madeline also serves as Executive Director of Development for the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association, Inc. raising funds to benefit the annual Section 7 Event and Title 1 and at-risk youth in our community through the Youth Development Academy.

Throughout her accomplishment-driven career in various executive roles, she has cultivated innovative ideas, supported shared vision, and advanced the charitable legacy of others.

Madeline is recognized for her expertise in building partnerships with the private and public sectors and with community and philanthropic leaders. She utilizes the foundation’s voice to uplift student needs and develops impactful strategies to drive greater access and opportunities across the community. LinkedIn

Michele

Michele Simphoukham
Chief Financial Officer

Michele Simphoukham proudly serves as the Treasurer for the LEO Foundation. Michele has been in the tax and accounting profession since 1992 and became a CPA in 2000. She currently works as the Nonprofit Tax Manager for a local university.

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four young adult children. When not behind a computer crunching numbers, she can be found with her camera capturing beautiful moments.

LinkedIn

Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy
Board Member and Investment Advisor

 

Jim is President of Automotive Business Solutions, Inc. He has over 40 years of industry experience and has developed successful independent auto repair facilities, tire operations, and dealerships throughout North America. For the past 20 years, he has developed a reputation as an industry-acclaimed facilitator and business-building shop coach. He leads two large peer groups of highly successful independent tire, auto repair, and maintenance businesses in the United States and Canada.

His hands-on expertise and leadership, has helped transform small and large shop owners into profitable and leading-edge businesses. In addition, Jim’s uncanny ability to identify problems and workable solutions makes him a favorite in the management group industry.

Jim is a Ratchet + Wrench All-Star Award Winner and is one of the brightest minds in the industry when it comes to financials, marketing, employee development, business process/planning, and succession planning to name just a few concentrations. Jim spends his free time with his wife Sherri in Phoenix, Arizona hiking, biking, and off-roading. Jim has been a LEO Foundation board member since 2020.

LinkedIn

Sherri Murphy

Sherri Murphy
Board Member

Sherri is Vice President of Automotive Business Solutions, Inc.

When Sherri met her husband Jim in 1987, they dreamed of owning their own business; and in 1991, that dream became a reality when they started Automotive Business Solutions. In the beginning, they embraced the idea of always treating employees and customers the way they wanted to be treated. Over the years, operating with the highest level of integrity while providing various solutions for customers, they learned that it’s more important to treat people the way they want to be treated.

The business areas of expertise include fleeting of new cars, windshield rock chip repair, advertising, publishing, sales, customer support, and business coaching.

Sherri has a passion for travel and has seen all 50 states, most of the National Parks, and five out of six continents; Antarctica is yet to be seen. She is also a plantaholic, a gourmet cook, and enjoys staying active outdoors by hiking, biking, and most water sports.

LinkedIn

Jeff Lakes

Jeff Lakes
Board Member and Investment Advisor 

 

Jeff is the CEO of Financial Solutions Group, a nationwide debt management consulting firm he founded over ten years ago. Before FSG, he had over 30 years of industry experience in executive leadership roles with large corporations such as Hershey, Johnson & Johnson, Leiner Health Products, Rexall Sundown, and Kuji Sports North America.

Jeff’s greatest accomplishment is his family. He has been married to Lori for 32 years and has three children who all live in the Phoenix area.

Jeff has been a LEO Foundation board member since 2020.

In addition, he and Lori have served on various non-profit boards, including the Gaitway Foundation of Tucson and the Benton County Sunshine School in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Jeff spends his free time fundraising for LEO Foundation and enjoys church activities, family trips, the great outdoors, and helping other entrepreneurs get their projects off the ground.

LinkedIn

Lori Lakes

Lori Lakes
Board Member

Lori Lakes has been married to her best friend, Jeff, for over 30 years. She is the proud mother of three adult children and spends most of her time as a personal assistant to their young adult special needs daughter.

Lori is a former elementary and special needs teacher and home educator. She has served as a Gaitway Conductive Education board member in Tucson, AZ. She has been involved in various ministries in the church and served alongside Jeff on church mission trips to Romania.

She enjoys reading, being outdoors, cooking for others, and considers dark chocolate an important food group.

She is honored to be a part of the Leo Foundation and excited to watch God use the Foundation as a blessing to students.