Meet the members of the NCOA Services, LLC Board of Directors:
James Firman, Chairman
James Firman, EdD is Chair of the Board of NCOA Services, LLC and President & CEO of NCOA. For more than 30 years, he has been a leading force for innovation in services, programs, and public policies for older persons.
Under his leadership, NCOA has developed many nationally acclaimed programs to improve the health, independence, and economic security of older adults. NCOA has also developed world-class core competencies in collaborative leadership, fostering and scaling evidence-based innovations, and advocacy.
Prior to joining NCOA as president and CEO in January 1995, Firman was, for 10 years, founder and CEO of the United Seniors Health Cooperative (USHC), a nonprofit consumer organization. At USHC, he directed the development of the early versions of BenefitsCheckUp®, now one of NCOA’s core bodies of work.
Also at USHC, he oversaw the development of one of the nation’s first insurance counseling programs for older adults, which helped lead to the development of the national Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP). As an advocate, he significantly influenced the development of federal Medigap legislation and long-term care insurance regulations throughout the United States.
From 1981 to 1984, Firman served as a senior program officer at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where he helped develop initiatives in aging and health care finance, as well as the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers program.
Firman has served in several national leadership roles, including Chair of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (three times), Board Chair of the National Human Services Assembly, and Chair of the Independent Sector’s National Advisory Committee on Charting Social Impact.
For the last three years he has been named one of The NonProfit Times Top 50 leaders on their Power & Influence list.
Firman earned his MBA and his EdD from Columbia University.
Carolyn Buck Luce
Carolyn Buck Luce is a gifted strategist and leader who has spent her career building highly effective businesses and teams. She has been a leader concurrently in both the private and public/non-profit sectors for the last four decades holding executive management and board director positions.
Having recently “matriculated” from a highly successful career at Ernst & Young, Buck Luce is the co-founder of Imaginal Labs LLC, a boutique consulting firm focused on helping courageous leaders make the difference they dream of. Buck Luce spent the last two decades as a Principal at E&Y, most recently as Global Life Sciences Leader responsible for building a $1 billion global business serving life sciences companies with management consulting, risk, tax and M&A solutions. She is widely regarded as a provocative and insightful thought leader on the transformation of the HC industry. She is well known throughout the corporate and academic community for her leadership on talent management issues. Buck Luce serves as a Commissioner on Women’s Issues for Mayor Bloomberg as well as an adjunct professor at Columbia University teaching “Women and Power” and the Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Talent Innovation.
Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Buck Luce spent 17 years in lending, investment banking, consulting and government service. She started her career as a diplomat working for the US State Department in the Soviet Union, stationed in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moscow.
Her passion for the transformation of the HC industry and the advancement of women came together as she was named the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association 2012 Woman of the Year. Buck Luce is most proud to be the mother of four children.
Heather Dupré has 30 years of experience creating and growing the world’s strongest brands. Current President & CEO of Egg Strategy, Inc., Dupré leads a 55-person global marketing consultancy with focus on world-class Fortune 500 clients, including Nestlé, Coke, Kraft, Kellogg, Estée Lauder, J&J, and Vanity Fair Corporation.
In a previous position for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dupré created and launched the award-winning Viactiv Active Nutrition for women, the first “by women for women” brand that won best new product of the year from Business Week.
She also led all marketing functions for the U.S. division of the Japanese consumer products leader Kao, where she launched the award-winning Bioré skincare product in the U.S., restaged the firm’s flagship Jergen’s to regain market prominence, and acquired and expanded the Curèl brand.
Dupré earned her MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She teaches adjunct classes at the University of Colorado Leeds Graduate School of Business in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Dupré also serves on the Board of NCOA.
Julie Goonewardene is the associate vice chancellor for innovation and strategic investment for the University of Texas System. In this role she serves as the strategic leader and advisor for the UT System and UT institutions in all areas related to commercialization, growth and expansion of innovation and entrepreneurship including the UT Horizon Fund. She is also responsible for the development of sustainable academic-industry partnerships.
In addition to being recognized as an expert in bringing groups together across the health care spectrum to develop solutions to medical issues, Goonewardene is an experienced entrepreneur. She co-founded and served as president of a venture-backed software company, which she sold in 2004.
Goonewardene is a frequent speaker both nationally and internationally on entrepreneurship and an author on innovation.
Goonewardene holds a Bachelor of Science with honors in general management and a Masters of Science in health communication both from Purdue University.
Goonewardene also serves on the Board of NCOA.
David Sidwell is a director, Chairperson of the Risk Policy and Capital Committee, and member of the Compensation Committee of Fannie Mae, Washington D.C., director, Senior Independent Director, Chairman of the Risk Committee and member of the Governance and Nomination Committee of UBS AG, and is a senior advisor at Oliver Wyman, New York.
He the Chairman of the Board of Village Care, New York, and is a director of the National Council On Aging. Sidwell was Executive Vice President and CFO of Morgan Stanley between 2004 and 2007.
Before joining Morgan Stanley he worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co., where, in his 20 years of service, he held a number of different positions, including controller and, from 2000 to 2004, CFO of the Investment Bank. Prior to this, he was with Price Waterhouse in both London and New York. Sidwell graduated from Cambridge University and qualified as a chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Sidwell also serves on the Board of NCOA.
Stephen Swendiman heads his own consulting firm. He works as a consultant for the National Association of Counties (NACo) Financial Services Center and as an advisor for the Public Finance Authority. Prior to his consulting work, he was Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director for NACo Financial Services Center where he was oversaw a joint venture between the NACo and the Davenport-Pitts Group to provide value-added, cost-benefit financial services.
Prior to joining the NACo he served as the Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). Swendiman also held several position for the Shasta County, California government including county supervisor where he was responsible for policy and oversight of management for a county of 130,000 people, a budget of $100 million and a workforce of 1,200 people.
Swendiman graduated with a Master’s degree in Education from California State University and Bachelor of Art degree in U.S. History from University of California, Berkeley.
He co-founded Palo Alto Venture Partners in 1996, after starting the US Information Technology Operations of the UK venture capital firm, Thompson Clive & Partners, in 1988. Ziebelman has served on the boards of early stage companies that ultimately became public companies, such as AvantGo (AVGO), Persistence (PRSW), and Vicinity (VCNT).
Ziebelman has also served on the boards of dozens of privately held high technology companies across a range of sectors from cloud based computing (DemandForce) to online car insurance (esurance) to computer security (PostX). He is an independent director to a select number of privately held companies. Ziebelman was named to AlwaysOn’s Venture Capital 100 – the top 100 VC’s for 2012.
He enjoys teaching students as a Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for the course “Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital” and as a visiting lecturer for several other business schools including the University of Sydney EMBA program. He has advised Fortune 500 companies on how to be more entrepreneurial within the context of a larger organization.
Ziebelman is on the Stanford Graduate School of Business MSx Advisory Board and the advisory board of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford and was formerly on the executive board of the Pacific Skyline Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a past president of the Yale Club of Silicon Valley.
Ziebelman graduated with a Master’s degree in Management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Bachelor of Science degree in Combined Sciences with honors and distinction in the major from Yale University.
Ziebelman and his wife, Cindy, live in Palo Alto, California, and have three sons.