After years of donating medical supplies, hosting children’s parties, and patronizing the market, Ellen Ciompi finally joined the board of The Scrap Exchange in 2013. She’s a native New Yorker but has lived in Durham since 1982 with her clarinet-playing, wine-critiquing husband, Arturo, and their two daughters. Ellen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, plus an RN, and recently retired after working for 25 years as a certified Operating Room nurse. This leaves her with more free time to pursue her musical passion: creating and performing cabaret shows. Over the past couple of years, Ellen has released a CD (“Taking a Chance on Love”, available from her and on iTunes), appeared on the NPR/APM radio show “Piano Puzzler”, written articles for “Durham Magazine”, and been a contestant on “Jeopardy!”. You can follow her exploits at her website, www.ellenciompi.com.
Libby Long Richards
Libby is a native of South Carolina and a graduate of Converse College with a bachelor’s degree in politics and in theater. She works as the Senior Community Programs Officer at Triangle Community Foundation where she manages the Foundation’s Community Programs in youth literacy, the arts, environmental conservation, and the Send A Kid To Camp initiative. Libby is a Goodmon Fellow and has her certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.
Taylor Mingos is the founder and CEO of Shoeboxed, a cloud-based service that streamlines expense tracking and bookkeeping for over 500,000 users worldwide.
Shoeboxed’s mission is to create more entrepreneurs. Our goal is to make starting and running a business so easy and approachable (starting with expense tracking and bookkeeping!) that we empower individuals to turn their passion or hobby into a venture or side-business.
Shoeboxed currently employs 45 individuals at its headquarters in Durham, NC; 6 programmers in its European office; and 10 in Sydney, Australia, through a joint venture with an Australian financing group.
A native of Kansas City, Taylor graduated from Duke University in 2007 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and German Studies.
While at Duke he spent several semesters living in Berlin and working in the founding team of startup studiVZ.net, which was later acquired by a German media conglomerate Holtzbrinck after a bidding war with Facebook, Inc.
Prior to Duke, Taylor owned a LLC in high school that offered freelance video services and web design. His experience running an LLC for the first time generated the ideas that led to starting Shoeboxed.
Outside of Shoeboxed, Taylor is active in the Durham startup scene as a mentor and seed-stage angel investor. He is a hobbyist electronics geek and recently began volunteering with a few initiatives to enhance access to quality technical education in Durham Public Schools.
Karen retired in 2011 from a 45-year career in non-profit finance in New York City and Durham. She worked as a Grants Accountant for UNC-Chapel Hill and was Business & Facilities Manager for two non-profit schools: Duke School for Children and Central Park School.
Karen has also been volunteering at The Scrap Exchange on a weekly basis for a number of years. She finds that volunteering feeds her creativity and she loves to turn the stuff she sees into a new piece of art.
Adam Rust has been Director of Research at Reinvestment Partners since 2005. He writes about alternative financial services in his blog Bank Talk. In 2012, he testified at the CFPB’s field hearing on prepaid cards. He regularly speaks at conferences about how advocates should divine a path to reforming the prepaid card.
He has master’s degrees in journalism from the University of Missouri and in City and Regional Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Finance at Indiana University in his spare time.
In 2006, Carolina Academic Press published his book “This is My Home: The Challenges and Opportunities of Manufactured Housing.” In 2009, FHA Secretary David Stevens nominated him to represent consumers on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee. He testified on the need to reform manufactured housing finance before a Congressional subcommittee in 2012.
Rust is the co-trustee of the Harry L. and Helen M. Rust Foundation. The Rust Foundation operates from Kansas City, Missouri but has supported groups in six states. It makes grants to non-profits working in the fields of education, social services, and health care.
Cathy loves art, percussion and kids. She is living her passion in this fabulous city by owning and operating Music Explorium and playing bass drum for the Bulltown Strutters, a community band started by Cathy and her clarinet-playing husband, Blaise. From time to time Cathy creates new instruments for her Rockin’ Reuse Percussion program. Cooking creatively without gluten or eggs has become a recent endeavor, and she is proudly growing more and more of her own food.
Kevin is a Communications Specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He works in communications, policy development, and regulatory analysis for a range of national air pollution standards. In his career, Kevin has experience working in the private, non-profit, local, state and federal government sectors. Kevin earned a B.A. in Public Administration at Miami University (Ohio) and a M.P.A. at UNC-Chapel Hill. He can be found in Durham coffee shops drinking coffee, reading, journaling, thinking, talking, working … sometimes all at once. Kevin is super-passionate about sustainability, social justice, and community.
Ethel Simonetti is an energetic, inquisitive, generalist. Now retired, Ethel currently enjoys dance classes; public school tutoring; advocacy for a living wage; and contributing to philanthropies that promote diversity, creativity, and access to artistic disciplines.
Ethel has been a neighborhood activist in Southwest Central Durham for 30 years — organizing and serving neighborhood causes with dependability and resourcefulness.
As co-owner of The Tuba Exchange (with musician, entrepreneur and husband Vincent Simonetti) Ethel served for 20 years as CFO and office manager. She earlier worked in state, county, and ecclesiastical bureaucracies, as employment technician, teacher, social worker, and as an ordained pastor.
An active volunteer, Ethel has nurtured such Durham initiatives as Partners Against Crime, The Religious Coalition for A Non-Violent Durham, Women-in-Action’s Dispute Resolution Center, and The Pauli Murray Project. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Georgia; and received the M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Duke University, magna cum laude.
Richard has had a long and varied career, including stints as a Methodist minister, in corporate logistics, and as a hospice chaplain.
He and his wife Carole met while they were both at Duke University — he as a Divinity School graduate student and she as a professor in the business school. They lived in Western New York and in Flagler County, Florida, among other locations, before relocating to Durham in March 2015 to be closer to family.
Richard holds a B.A. from The School of International Service at The American University in Washington, D.C.; a M. Div. and Th. M. from Duke University Divinity School; and an M.B.A. in transportation management from Syracuse University.
He is a lover of thrift stores and yard sales, and creator of the Thrift Shoppe Trail.
2015-2016 FUQUA on Board