Our Team

Our Team

Shirley Barna - Super Girl Facilitator Trainer

Shirley has a passion for psychology and working with children.  She has over 10 years of experience working with children, families, and adults in the capacity of a counselor, problem solver, and advocate.  Shirley received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies at Northern Arizona University.  At age 15, Shirley’s passion with working with children began, at her first job working at a summer camp with children with cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and other physical handicapped conditions. She continued working with children in various capacities as a summer camp counselor, lifeguard, swim coach.  After college, Shirley worked as a social worker for the State of Arizona and had the experience of working with hundreds of children and families.  Shirley has several years of experience working in Human Resources and specializes in employee relations where she solves employment related conflict and problems.  Shirley continues to feed her passion by serving on board of directors with a non-profit groups in Phoenix who raise money for various children’s charities, and she also completed countless hours of organizing and participating in hands-on activities with girls and young women.  Shirley believes that passion for working with mental health issues and giving stem from caring for a father who has battled his own mental health illness for her entire life.

Carrie Severson - Founder and CEO

In January 2011, at the age of 32, with only her savings and 401k dollars in hand, Carrie took a leap of faith.  She knew deep down she was always meant to make a big impact in the world.  More specifically, she knew she was meant to be a light in the world.

She learned how to share her light when she created Severson Sisters, and empowerment organization for females headquartered  in Phoenix, Arizona.  Severson Sisters provides programs and services that help girls ‘Connect to their Inner Super Girl’.  The organization’s mission is to inspire girls to live their life as their authentic, awesome, super self. Severson Sisters plays a role in the lives of Super Girls to help them become confident Super Women who will lead their communities.  We do that by offering a creative and supportive program called the Super Girl Program.  Carrie Characters Unite_crop2

In 2012, Carrie was honored for her work with Severson Sisters through Sally Hansen’s ‘Best of You’ recognition in New York City and was featured in the September 2012 issue of Glamour magazine. She was the first nonprofit to graduate from the prestigious AAAME program, sponsored by APS, for small, minority and women-owned enterprises throughout the Phoenix area. In January 2013, she was honored as the Young Non-Profit Professional of the Year for Phoenix by the Young Non-Profit Professional Network – Phoenix Chapter.  She was included in the 2013 Top 50 Power Women issue of New Made Revolution Magazine. Most recently, Carrie was selected by USA Network and NBCUniversal as one of the 2013 “Characters Unite” award winners.

She believes her life purpose is to be a light for girls so they do not endure the same darkness.  Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  And she wakes up every day with that intention in mind.

Interested in joining our Advisory Board or Board of Directors? Please fill out our Board Interest Form!

Advisory Board

Holly (Severson) Hammerquist

Holly is an integral spoke in this wheel – and the real sister in Severson Sisters! As an educator in Phoenix, Holly brings so much of her education and experience to our programs.  Holly makes sure that the girls enrolled in the Severson Sisters Super Girl Program always show their true colors. She strives to do her personal best every day and expects the same from her students and the people she surrounds herself with. She enjoys empowering girls. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree program, studying curriculum.


Anne McGill

Anne McGill 1 Anne is a licensed psychologist who has worked with children, adults, and families in a variety of different roles including counseling, psychological testing and research.  She has functioned as a advocate for children, adults, and the elderly, always focusing on positively affecting their sense of well-being.  Her experience includes providing services for a myriad of settings, including disabled students at state universities, intake and crisis management at local hospitals, psychological and counseling services for local schools and social service agencies, and conducting clinical drug trials for mood disorders.  Anne completed her Pre-Doctoral internship at Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI, where she specialized in behavioral medicine and focused on helping others cope with the psychological aspects of medical illnesses.  She then returned to the Phoenix area and completed a Post-Doctoral fellowship with the Sheriff’s Office, conducting pre-employment evaluations, employee crisis management, and counseling services.  She currently provides consultation services to medical personnel as needed and lives in Scottsdale with her husband and three young children.



Board of Directors


Kristina Beres - Secretary

Kristina Beres has 15 years in the financial services industry and is Vice President Client Advisor at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A. We do keep her pretty busy with Severson Sisters, but this Super Girl still finds time to further her education! She is in her graduate program at University of Phoenix. She’s also a former kids Martial Arts instructor and Dog Lover! Send Kristina a note if you’re interested in donating to our mission.





Jenn Wilson - Treasurer

Jennifer Wilson is a highly motivated real estate professional since March 2011. Her Jenn 1passion for helping other people has been the driving force in all her endeavors. With a father who has invested in Real Estate since she was a child, it was almost inevitable that she would one day have a career in the field. Meeting new people and being able to help them fulfill their dreams of buying or selling a home brings Jennifer great joy. She believes a long-term relationship is far more valuable than any single transaction.

She also believes in giving back to the community. In 2012, she joined the Valley of the Sun Active 20-30. The Valley of the Sun Active 20-30 Club is made up of approximately 75 professional women, ages 20-39, who are committed to fundraising and participating in organized hands-on activities with local children’s charities. Through VOS 20-30, Jennifer volunteers at a variety of organizations including, but not limited to, Florence Crittenton, Severson Sister’s, Child Crisis Center, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. In addition to volunteering, She fundraises through the Valley of the Sun’s special events, Holiday Wine Soiree and Viva: A Valley’s Kids Foundation Benefit in an effort to contribute financially to these causes.




Ed Garay

Ed is the CEO of Lutrum LLC, his own business. With a background and B.S. and A.A.S. in Information Technology, Ed’s our tech guy! We put him in charge of the fulfillment process for the Severson Sisters Super Girl Kits. He’s a Dad’s Club Member for Settler’s Point Elementary School, Contributor to Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology organization, 2010 Arizona Republic’s 35 under 35 Entrepreneurs, and lead previously owned IT organization to 2009 Small Business of the Year and 2010 Chandler 100 recognition.