Meet the Team

THDS Advisory Board

Behind the Board of Directors, The $100 Solution has a strong team of passionate individuals who serve on our Advisory Board. They include members from our academic partners, committed supporters since the inception of The $100 Solution service-learning model, and past board members. The $100 Solution relies on their unwavering support, guidance, and energy as we continue to grow as an organization and seek to enrich lives and learning through service.

Dr. Strenecky
Founder & Chief Advisor

Dr. Bernard J. Strenecky presently serves as the Scholar in Residence at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. His responsibilities in the Office of International Programs are the development of innovative curriculum and program design and the establishment of faculty development programs. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Scranton and a doctoral degree in Education and Curriculum Design from the University of Rochester. Dr. Strenecky has taught or consulted in over 50 countries. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to international education development and service-learning. The highest of these honors is the Gold Crown of Merit which was awarded by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for outstanding contributions to the development of the country of Barbados. Dr. Strenecky serves in the Diplomatic Corp of Barbados and holds the title of Honorary Consul from Barbados to Kentucky. In concert with The Prospect-Goshen Rotary Club of Kentucky, Semester at Sea, and Western Kentucky University, he developed the global community development project known as The $100 Solution.

Zubin Davar
Founding Member

Zubin Davar was a founding member of The $100 Solution on the Fall 2007 Semester at Sea voyage. He's since visited over forty countries, studied in Shanghai, China, and worked for the U.S. Ambassador to Spain at our Embassy in Madrid. His career spans public service, building businesses from scratch, and core corporate experience. Zubin helped launch a mobile tech microfinance remittance transfer startup in 2009. Next, he built his chops in marketing, operations, and strategy at Red Bull North America, including stints leading teams in NYC and then, nationally, in Canada. He went on to work for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti's tech team, helped launch an incubator in Pakistan, and mentored many startups. Now at Google, he helped scale Alphabet startup, Google Fiber, prior to his current role as a Business Development Lead for the Google Assistant - building the monetization model for Google’s innovative AI voice platform. Zubin earned both a BA and MBA from UCLA. He is the recipient of a Riordan MBA Fellowship and also an honorable mention for the Charles E. Young Humanitarian Award.

THDS Board of Directors

Comprised of young professionals under the age of 30, The $100 Solution prides itself in being managed by an entirely volunteer Board of Directors whose members exude a common passion for changing the world. With an Advisory Board and Fellows as strong pillars of support, the Executive Board seeks to build the program to support learning and development worldwide.

Maggie Mercer
Maggie Mercer
Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Board

Maggie first learned about The $100 Solution through a course at Western Kentucky University, in which we completed a project in conjunction with the African American Museum of Bowling Green. After participating in another project with a local farm that helps adults with special needs, Maggie became passionate about service-learning and the five pillars of The $100 Solution. Maggie became a The $100 Solution Fellow in 2017 and completed rotations in the Academic Development and Marketing departments before becoming a Senior Fellow. Maggie graduated from WKU with degrees in International Affairs and Diversity & Community Studies, and has now relocated to Washington DC where she obtained  a masters degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. Maggie was elected to the Executive Board as Chief Academic Officer in 2018, and was elected the CEO and Chairperson of the Board in September 2020. Maggie is driven by the values of the Starfish story in leading The $100 Solution and in her current role at an international development firm in DC.

Sam Sturges
Chief Financial Officer

Sam Sturges first became involved in The $100 Solution through encouragement by current board member Maggie Mercer to join the THDS Fellowship Program. Sam became a fellow in 2019 while completing his undergraduate degree in Accounting at Western Kentucky University that spring. He completed two projects during his time as a fellow in the finance department before being elected to the CFO role in June of 2020. Sam currently lives in Bowling Green, KY and works as an Accounts Payable Clerk for Sumitomo Electric Wiring System. Sam hopes to use his skills to help the organization grow further and gain experience for potential future non-profit accounting work.

Eric Griswold
Chief Marketing Officer

Eric Griswold became involved with The $100 Solution while on the Fall 2009 voyage of Semester at Sea. Through his participation in an International Service-Learning course, Eric led efforts to provide English language education to a senior citizen community in Hong Kong. In 2010, he was elected to the Associate Board serving as Director of Alternative Programs. In 2011, he was elected to the Executive Board as Vice President of Finance where he drove the organization's financial and international growth. In 2013, Eric began his term as Executive Vice President and Director of Finance. In this role, Eric oversaw the daily operations of the organization while being responsible for financial growth and collaborating with the President to implement all strategic initiatives. In August 2014, Eric was elected as CEO and Chairman of the Board. Eric holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Stevenson University and an MBA from University of Rochester. Eric is also a Lean Six Sigma - Green Belt, which allowed him to drive efficiencies at companies he’s worked for and The $100 Solution. Currently, Eric works for The Hershey Company as well as leading The $100 Solution.

Elaine Flynn
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Bill Sherman Research Foundation

Elaine Flynn was introduced to The $100 Solution as a Semester at Sea voyager in May 2011. Her desire to learn more about the organization led to her involvement in a project through Western Kentucky University which aimed to enhance recycling initiatives at a local high school, as well as the implementation of two Semester at Sea Reunion Voyage projects near Ensenada, Mexico. In 2013, Elaine was elected to the associate board and assigned to rotations in the marketing and academic development departments. She started her current role as Chief Operating Officer in 2017 and oversees the Bill Sherman Research Foundation. Elaine obtained her B.S. at Western Kentucky University in Geology and Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis. She is driven by her desire to serve others in her community and around the world and has found her passion fueled by The $100 Solution service-learning model.