Global Volunteers Board of Trustees and Board of Directors

Bud Philbrook, JD <br />St. Paul, MN

Bud Philbrook, JD
St. Paul, MN

Trustee, Co-founder, President and CEO

Bud leads the organization‘s internal and external business affairs. He has served as Deputy Undersecretary for USDA, as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Assistant Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and was in private law practice for 12 years. Bud has led dozens of Global Volunteers teams over 35 years, and has traveled to more than 50 countries. He earned a Juris Doctor (Law) degree, a Master’s in Public Affairs concentrating on international development, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science. Bud authored Global Volunteers "Philosophy of Service - A Strategy for Development" and the "Essential Services Prospectus". He also wrote "Conclave Conspiracy." Bud chairs the Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors and the Executive and Finance committees.

Michele Gran <br />St. Paul, MN

Michele Gran
St. Paul, MN

Trustee, Co-founder, Senior Vice President

Michele manages the organization‘s marketing strategy and external messages, and directs the marketing staff on volunteer relations, media strategies and website development. She earned a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies/International Communications and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Before joining the staff in 1990, she served in a volunteer capacity building the organization’s image and visibility while she worked as a public relations consultant. She held communications manager positions at various departments in Minnesota State Government, and in non-profit organizations. Michele also has led over 50 Global Volunteers teams worldwide. She chairs the Board Succession Planning Committee and serves on the Board Marketing Committee.

Sam Hanson, JD <br />Minneapolis, MN

Sam Hanson, JD
Minneapolis, MN

Trustee, Co-Founder

Sam is a shareholder in the law firm of Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association, and a member of the firm‘s board of directors. Sam served on the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court before rejoining Briggs™ Business Litigation Section and Energy Law Group, and is a member of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. He is a former litigation section head and firm president. Sam practices principally in the areas of arbitration and mediation, complex civil litigation, appellate law and public utility regulation. Sam has led and participated on Global Volunteers Service Programs in China,and the US, and led an exploratory trip to India.

Sue Laxdal <br />Hilton Head Island, SC

Sue Laxdal
Hilton Head Island, SC

Trustee, Corporate Secretary

Sue consults with corporations, governments and non-profits in participatory approaches to organization development, operational planning, transition management, management development and organization analysis. She earned a Bachelor‘s Degree in Business Administration and an Masters in Organization Development at Pepperdine University. Sue is a founding member of Minnesota Worldwide Women, Minnesota Facilitator’s Network (MFN), International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and MSOD Alumni Network. Sue has been a volunteer or team leader on more than a dozen Global Volunteers programs on six continents. She has served on the board of directors since 1984.and currently chairs the board Membership committee.

Todd Lefko <br />Elk River, MN

Todd Lefko
Elk River, MN


Todd is President of International Business Development Company, an import-export firm. He has led and participated on Global Volunteers Service Programs in Jamaica, Russia, and China, and participated on exploratory trips to Mexico and Guatemala. Todd has taught urban affairs, political science, international relations, political philosophy, political campaign management, leadership, organizational development, public administration and sociology at the university level, and has lectured at universities in Russia, China, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Todd writes for Rossiske Vesti, a Russian political newspaper and offers commentary for Rusya-Al Youm, the Russian Arabic Television channel for the Middle East.

Jim Gorski,  <br />   St. Paul, MN

Jim Gorski,
St. Paul, MN


Jim has spent 43 years in human resources, organization development and management consulting. He was the HR Director and a member of the executive teams in two different organizations. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Political Science, and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations. He has served with Global Volunteers in Hanoi, Vietnam where he taught English to college students.

Pamela Griffin <br />Jacksonville, FL

Pamela Griffin
Jacksonville, FL


Pamela is a highly experienced Organization Effectiveness Consultant focused on organization strategy and design, effective sourcing and selection, change management, succession planning and developing and implementing broad solutions to more effectively manage human capital. She currently is a Director at SSA & Company. She began her career in IT consulting at Cap Gemini, and then transitioned to Management Consulting in 2003. Pamela enjoys travel and has visited many cities across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Tanzania, Mexico and the Caribbean for both business and personal adventures. Pamela’s favorite vacations are those spent with Global Volunteers visiting the village of Ipalamwa Tanzania in 2008, 2009 and 2010; the village of Pommern, Tanzania in 2012; and the St. Lucia program in 2014.

Keith Kresge, JD <br />Los Angeles, CA

Keith Kresge, JD
Los Angeles, CA


Keith is an attorney currently working as a part-time Administrative Hearing Officer for the City of Santa Monica, California. He retired in 2010 from full-time work with the City after 25 years with it’s Rent Control Board. He received a Bachelor’s degree in political science at SUNY College at Buffalo and completed law school in Fullerton, California. Keith began his association with Global Volunteers in 1998 as a volunteer on a team in Puglia, Italy. Since then he has participated in 15 other Global Volunteer programs all over the world, most of them with his partner of 25 years, Timothy Cunniff.

Dr. Mindy Lull,      <br />    Penfield, NY

Dr. Mindy Lull,
Penfield, NY


Mindy is a faculty member at Wegmans School of Pharmacy, St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology, and combines these two fields in her work as a faculty member focusing on global health & service. Mindy served on her first service program with Global Volunteers in 2014, when she travelled with a group of pharmacy students to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. Since then, Mindy has brought additional groups of students on Global Volunteers trips every year and served as a Volunteer Team Leader -- participating on programs in Peru, Tanzania, and on additional programs to the Blackfeet Reservation.

Dr. Barbara Morris <br /> Golden CO

Dr. Barbara Morris
Golden CO


Barbara is a practicing geriatrician and geriatric advocate in Denver. She and her husband participated on their first Global Volunteer program in Ecuador in 2008. She fell in love with the philosophy and art of volunteering in partnership with local communities and organizations. She’s since volunteered in Vietnam, India, Peru and Tanzania and has lead teams in Cuba, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. At home in Colorado, she volunteers with several community-based organizations.

John Taylor <br />Huntington, NY

John Taylor
Huntington, NY


John is an independent consultant with a decades-long focus on Healthcare Information Technology. His work experience includes management and executive positions with Deloitte, KPMG, and IBM Watson Health, and he has worked with clients that include Catholic Health, NHS Scotland, Pfizer and Aetna. He has a BS/Econ from Wharton, and also maintains certification as a Project Management Professional.John has volunteered as part of Global Volunteers teams in Peru, India, and twice in Tanzania.

Deborah Pollard       <br />   Clifton, VA

Deborah Pollard
Clifton, VA


Deborah co-founded Arena Technologies LLC and serves as President She leads the company’s strategic vision to integrate key operational and intelligence solutions and technologies to meet national security objectives. Prior to founding Arena, Deborah founded a successful educational consultancy and served as an Officer in the Air Force. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy and her Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University/John F. Kennedy School of Government. Deborah and her family have volunteered extensively both in the U.S. and abroad, including with Global Volunteers in Pommern, Tanzania.