Karen L. Shepard
Executive Director


headshot-Karen-ShepardMrs. Shepard brings over twenty-five years of not-for-profit experience in both the health care and education industries to the Alliance. She brings a wealth of knowledge in organizational management and performance, in addition to building professional, collaborative teams, leading execution and accomplishing strategic goals.

Before joining the Southwest Alliance for Excellence, Mrs. Shepard was the Executive Director of a School Tuition Organization and the Deputy Director of a long-term healthcare trade association, both in Arizona.

According to Jean Hammelev, Chairwoman of the SWAE Board of Directors, “Karen will play a significant role in helping to move the organization forward and expanding our services to members. Her extensive experience and dedication to outstanding results are exactly what the Alliance needs to deliver the high level of value our members expect.”

Mrs. Shepard noted, “Southwest Alliance for Excellence is a true leader in the industry and I am excited to be a part of the team. I think my passion for non-profit work and experience in providing professional service will be valuable to my position here.”

Sandy Kube
Performance Excellence Program Manager


Sandy-Kube-headSandy’s education includes a Masters in Administration/Public Management, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is Certified as a Quality Improvement Associate through the American Society for Quality.She has been on the Board of Examiners for the National Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (2011-2013) and has served as an Examiner, Lead Examiner, Trainer, Mentor and on the Board of Overseers for SWAE since 2009

Sandy is retired from public education after a twenty-five year career. While in public education she held the positions of Manager of Quality Services and Manager of Professional Learning.