Global Volunteers Board of Directors

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

Bud Philbrook, JD
St. Paul, MN

Trustee, Co-founder, Chairman, President and CEO

Bud directs the organization‘s internal and external business and is Chairman of the Board and the Executive, Finance and Long-term Planning committees.

Bud earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs, and a Juris Doctor (Law). 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, a government affairs consultant for Rural Ventures Corporation, and was in private law practice for 12 years. Bud has led dozens of Global Volunteers teams over 30 years.

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. 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 worked as a public relations consultant, and 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. She chairs the board Succession Planning committee.

Sam Hanson, JD <br />Minneapolis, MN

Sam Hanson, JD
Minneapolis, MN

Trustee

Sam is a shareholder in the firm of Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association, and a member of the firm‘s board of directors. After serving on the Minnesota Court of Appeals for two years and the Minnesota Supreme Court for five years, he rejoined 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.

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. She chairs the board Membership committee.

Todd Lefko <br />Elk River, MN

Todd Lefko
Elk River, MN

Trustee

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

Dr. Joseph Dunn <br />Palm Springs, CA

Dr. Joseph Dunn
Palm Springs, CA

Director

Joe has over 30 years of senior healthcare experience as a Psychologist and in executive administration. He most recently has worked for Tenet Healthcare in both Corporate Compliance and Education. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a Masters and PH.D in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in pediatric psychology, from the University of Kansas. Joe’s international volunteer work with Global Volunteers and Habitat for Humanity has taken him to Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Ghana, Malawi, Mongolia, Romania, Senegal and Tanzania.

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

Keith Kresge, JD
Los Angeles, CA

Director

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. Barbara Morris Golden CO

Dr. Barbara Morris Golden CO

Director

Barbara is a practicing geriatrician and serves as Medical Director for Centura Health Physician Group 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, and Peru and has lead teams in Montana and West Virginia. At home in Colorado, she volunteers with several community-based organizations. She is honored to serve as a commissioner for Serve Colorado, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service.

Jim Gorski,     St. Paul, MN

Jim Gorski, St. Paul, MN

Director

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

Director

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.

Peter Neiman <br />Harrison, NY

Peter Neiman
Harrison, NY

Director

Peter has spent over 30 years in Marketing and Advertising positions. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Brand and Advertising for the Unum Group, A Fortune 500 insurance company. Before that, Peter worked in a number of large Madison Avenue ad agencies including Grey, Bozell, J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy. He is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Management.

Peter volunteered in Greece during the summer of 2014. He lives in suburban New York with his wife, two daughters and two Jack Russell terriers.

Global Volunteers Headquarters Staff

Dorota Wierzbicka

Dorota Wierzbicka

Director of International Operations & Poland Country Manager

Dorota manages operations and preparations for service programs led by our Country Managers worldwide. For five years, Dorota volunteered as an an interpreter for Global Volunteers‘ Poland teams. In 2000, she joined the staff full-time as Poland Country Manager, and in 2007, was promoted to Associate Director of Operations. She was promoted to her current position in 2011 and continues to lead teams to Poland as well as to other countries as needed. She has a Master’s Degree in English language linguistics and a degree in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Dorota was named Staff Person of the Year in 2001 and 2004, and Staff Person of the Decade in 2010.

Peter Kelley

Peter Kelley

Director of International Operations

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from American University. Before joining Global Volunteers, Peter worked as Director of Interactive Media for The Nancekivell Group, Intranet Manager for Faegre & Benson, LLP, and International Product Manager/Field Communications Specialist for Realty Interactive, Inc. Most recently, Peter dedicated his time to writing and publishing his three novels. He has lived and worked abroad in the Netherlands and in the UK, and served with his family on Global Volunteers’ Cuba Service Program in March 2016.

Daniel Salazar

Daniel Salazar

Operations Program Coordinator and Peru Country Manager

Daniel has lived most of his life in Peru, but also studied and worked in the US. From Lima, he manages volunteer service program preparations and answers volunteers’ questions before their departure. Daniel earned his BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King’s College in New York and worked as an intern at the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. He served as Global Volunteers’ Peru Country Manager until the summer of 2017, when he was promoted to his current position.
Before joining Global Volunteers, Daniel was a professor at Universidad SEL in Lima.

Ruth Curran

Ruth Curran

Director of Partnerships and Collaborations

Ruth Curran, MS, initiates and manages our educational and institutional partnerships. She is an author, writer, and speaker with more than 28 years of experience as a strategist, business development executive, and organizational behaviorist in the for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental sectors. She is the author of two books on brain health and injury, and contributes to the Reaching Children’s Potential board/volunteer committee. She‘s served on both the St. Lucia and Tanzania demonstration programs.

Heidi Richter

Heidi Richter

Volunteer Manager

Heidi heads up our assistance to prospective volunteers and supports the volunteer coordination staff. Before joining Global Volunteers, Heidi worked in sales, marketing, and relationship management for a not-for-profit in the health and safety education arena. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of North Dakota.

Julie Costa

Julie Costa

Volunteer Manager

Since 1994, Julie has responded to prospective and Encore volunteer requests, questions and recommendations, and monitored service program developments. She shares her extensive history with Global Volunteers through recommendations on strategic direction and volunteer relations. Julie has a Bachelor‘s Degree in Media Communications and Marketing, and has worked in specialized reporting, writing, event coordination and public relations positions. She’s served on 18 service programs worldwide, and was named Staff Person of the Year in 2010.

Diane Fredricksen

Diane Fredricksen

Volunteer Manager

Diane manages all aspects of the daily activities of and motivates Global Volunteers’ outstanding team of volunteer coordinators. Before joining the staff in 1997, she held executive and management positions in the resort and hospitality industries in Florida and Mississippi. Diane has led 14 teams to Tanzania, India, Vietnam, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Montana, Ghana, South Africa, Greece and Brazil.

Michelle Holker

Michelle Holker

Senior Volunteer Coordinator

Michelle counsels volunteers to select service programs that match their skills and interests. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing and International Business and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin. She studied in Spain and Mexico, and has travelled widely in Europe and Latin America. She has led Global Volunteers teams in Ecuador, St. Lucia and also led a Cuba NOW! People-to-People group. She lives and works in Argentina.

Vicki Kappus

Vicki Kappus

Senior Volunteer Coordinator

Vicki counsels volunteers to select service programs which match their skills and interest. Before joining Global Volunteers, Vicki worked in wholesale and retail sales and was a gourmet food broker for almost 30 years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Resources and Consumer Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and has traveled worldwide: to countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America.

Jennifer Oie

Jennifer Oie

Receptionist

Jennifer manages front desk operations - phone, email, mail and fax communications; staff meetings and events; office maintenance; and a wide range of administrative functions. Before joining Global Volunteers, Jennifer worked in customer service for retail and banking institutions. She earned a Master’s Degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and International Studies from Texas Lutheran University. She studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa and Sorbonne, Paris, France.

Jack Bryan

Jack Bryan

Digital Media Production Coordinator

Jack Bryan is responsible for the coordination and creation of Global Volunteers’ digital content from concept through delivery. Prior to his current position, Jack was Global Volunteers’ Digital Media Intern for over a year. He’s a graduate of Hamline University in digital media arts and communication studies, where he previously worked producing videos for social media and marketing.

Patty Carlson

Patty Carlson

Volunteer Relations Manager

Patty recognizes and engages alumni volunteers through projects to sustain their support for Global Volunteers and our partner communities. She reviews service program photos and maintains our image library, and blogs about volunteer‘s experiences on site. Patty has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, a professional background in real estate sales and marketing, and has been a volunteer and board member for local non-profit organizations. She’s traveled internationally as a volunteer on Global Volunteer’s St. Lucia service program.

Rachel Dyer

Rachel Dyer

Finance Director

Rachel manages our accounting processes, works with our auditor, and ensures that program budgets and expenses are properly recorded. Rachel worked in cash and accrual accounting in the private sector before joining Global Volunteers. She has both an MBA in accounting and a Master’s Degree in accounting and financial management. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Washington.

Laura Hughes

Laura Hughes

Accounting Clerk

Laura reviews and processes volunteer service program payments, evaluations team leader packets. She has 11 years of accounting experience working in banking, reconciling accounts, running checks and data entry. Before joining Global Volunteers, she worked for 12 years in education. Laura earned an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Accounting from Century College in Minnesota.

Adam Kruczek

Adam Kruczek

IT Manager

Adam is responsible for web development and management, media design, and in-house video production. Adam also serves as on-site IT systems support for our local offices. Adam has spent over a decade working in technical support and systems management in the print media world. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 2006, he began to become more involved with web and visual media, focusing primarily in web development.

Jake Philbrook

Jake Philbrook

Sales IT Manager

Jake oversees the development, expansion and maintenance of our corporate database, and responds to technology needs across Global Volunteers‘ staff locations worldwide. Focusing on network functions and security, Jake is responsible for maintaining the day-to-day operation of Global Volunteer’s vital information systems and upgrading staff IT equipment. Jake is finishing a degree in Business, and has served on Global Volunteers teams in Costa Rica, China, Jamaica and Russia.

Millie Pinakoulaki

Millie Pinakoulaki

Volunteer Communications Assistant

Dimitra "Millie" Pinakoulaki works with volunteer coordinators on materials to help interested individuals and groups choose a service opportunity from her home in Greece. Millie began assisting her mother, Country Manager Sam Pinakoulaki, as a child on Global Volunteers teams in the early 2000s. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and a Master’s in Economic Theory and Policy from the University of Crete. She also recently finished a two-month internship in Istanbul, where she developed a needs assessment for an NGO.

Andrew Philbrook

Andrew Philbrook

On Educational Leave of Absence

Andrew was formerly Director of International Operations for service programs in St. Lucia, Cuba, Italy, Portugal and the United States. He currently leads volunteer teams when needed. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural Communications from the University of Minnesota, and has served in Cuba, St. Lucia, China, Jamaica, Poland, Mississippi, West Virginia, and the Blackfeet and Crow Indian Reservations in Montana with Global Volunteers.

Barbara Glubka

Barbara Glubka

Office Volunteer

Barbara is an alumnus of Global Volunteers programs in Peru and Cuba. As a once-weekly office volunteer, Barbara prepares our volunteer materials packets for mailing, and enters data and comments from Service Program Evaluations for review by our Operations department. She’s retired from administration at the University of Minnesota.

Dana Faust

Dana Faust

Volunteer Engagement Manager

Dana engages Global Volunteers’ Encore volunteers in social media, personal presentations, special projects, and helps develop visual content strategies and video campaigns for online marketing. With a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and nutrition, and an understanding of Spanish and Swahili, Dana is well-versed in inter-cultural affairs. She loves international travel and learning, and has served with Global Volunteers in Chennai, India and Anse la Raye, St. Lucia. Dana was named "Staff Person of the Year" in 2016.

Global Volunteers International Staff

Bao Li Wang

Bao Li Wang

China Country Manager

"Bao Li" completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English at Northwestern University of Political Science & Law in Xi’an in July 2001. She was a local Chinese volunteer with our program and was hired by the Sino American Society as its representative in July 2001. She has worked with every team of volunteers since that time. In May 2005, Bao Li was hired as the Assistant China Country Manager, and was promoted to Country Manager in 2009.

James Puati

James Puati

Cook Islands Country Manager

James is a New Zealand-born Cook Islander, and leads Global Volunteers service programs year around. He has worked at both elementary and high school levels as a Physical Education teacher and teacher of Maori. He has also contracted to the New Zealand Ministry of Education to develop Maori resources, and as a Pacific Island Education Advisor.

Debi Futter-Puati

Debi Futter-Puati

Cook Islands Country Manager

Debi was born and raised in New Zealand and moved to the Cook Islands with her family in 2002 so their children would be exposed to their Cook Islands heritage. Before joining Global Volunteers staff, she worked for the Cook Islands Ministry of Education as the Health and Physical Well-being curriculum developer. She is a health and physical education lecturer for the University of Waikato, and is currently completing her doctorate on youth sexuality.

Chemida Popo-Cox

Chemida Popo-Cox

St. Lucia Country Manager and Volunteer Preparations Coordinator

Chemida handles the day-to-day logistics and volunteer management of The St. Lucia Project. Formerly teacher and acting principal at Anse la Raye Primary School, Chemida has lent support to volunteer teams since Global Volunteers’ partnership in Anse la Raye began in 2012. Born and raised in St. Lucia, Chemida has dedicated over 20 years to educating the children of Anse la Raye. She received her associate degree in Teacher Education and Education Administration from Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in St. Lucia. In 2011, she graduated magna cum laude from New York City College of Technology, with a Bachelor’s degree in Teachers Technology Education.

Maggie Bjorklund

Maggie Bjorklund

Ecuador Country Manager and Volunteer Engagement Manager

Maggie manages our service programs in Ecuador and Costa Rica and produces online strategies to engage new volunteers. Maggie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Studies and Spanish from the University of Minnesota, for which she studied development in Costa Rica and Ecuador. A native of Minnesota, Maggie has resided in Quito, Ecuador since her college years. Before joining the Global Volunteers staff, Maggie worked as an English teacher and translator in Ecuador.

Samantha Pinakoulaki

Samantha Pinakoulaki

Greece Country Manager and Marketing Assistant

Samantha was born and brought up in the south of England and graduated from a London school of performing arts with honors.She spent 10 years traveling the world with various dance groups. Her last group took her to Crete in Greece, where she met her husband of 16 years. They now have five children. Samantha volunteers to help mentally and physically handicapped children in her hometown.

Stephen Raja Chinnappan

Stephen Raja Chinnappan

Volunteer Preparations Coordinator

Stephen provides service program information to new volunteers and responds to their pre-departure questions. He was born and raised in Bangalore, India, and now lives in Porur. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in commerce, and owns a tour business in Chennai. Stephen served as our Country Manager and on-site consultant for our India Service Programs until February 2018.

Sheeba Thankappan

Sheeba Thankappan

Volunteer Preparations Coordinator

Sheeba provides service program information to new volunteers and responds to their pre-departure questions. She was born and raised in India, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History, and a nursing diploma. In 2008, she was hired as our India Program Assistant, a position she held until February 2018.

Mihaela Cirjontu

Mihaela Cirjontu

Romania Country Manager

Mihaela began working for Global Volunteers as a consultant in 1989. In 2000, she joined the staff full-time as the Romania country manager. A former teacher, Mihaela earned her degree in Bucharest, studying Romanian and world literature. A native Romanian, Mihaela and Dan married in 2004, and work together while raising their daughter, Dahlia. She was named Staff Person of the Year in 2006.

Dan Cirjontu

Dan Cirjontu

Romania Country Manager

Barladian by birth, Dan grew up in the same city and went to school there. He assists Mihaela with her photography and Internet needs, and with the children at the Tutova Clinic. Dan worked as a metrologist for 17 years at the Ballbearing factory in Barlad, one of the fewest of the kind in Romania, and of the biggest in Eastern Europe. He is currently studying to become a social worker.

Coca Petcu

Coca Petcu

Romania Nurse Aide

Constanta (Coca) Petcu joined Global Volunteers in 2007 to provide continuity of care for the children we serve. She has lived all her life in Tutova, near Barlad. Coca nurtures the special needs children at Barlad‘s municipal hospital in between service programs and works with volunteers throughout the year. An exemplary caregiver, she’s always patient, smiling and kind - loving the children like her own.

Makarios Mdegella

Makarios Mdegella

Tanzania Country Manager

Makarios leads Global Volunteers‘ teams in Tanzania, and manages our relationship with community partners. Before becoming Global Volunteers’ Country Manager for Tanzania in July 2016, Makarios served for three years as a Lutheran Pastor in Iringa and two years as a youth representative for Lutheran World Federation. He was also a Research Director at the African Center for Peace and Conflict Research in Dar es Salaam. He earned his Master‘s Degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from the University of Bagamoyo in Dar es Salaam and Bachelor’s Degree from the Tumaini University Makumira in Arusha.

Mohamed Kassim

Mohamed Kassim

Tanzania Program Assistant

Before joining our staff, Mohamed was a guide at the State Travel Service, a park ranger at Ngorogoro Conservation Authority Area and a conservation education specialist. In 1996, he was hired as a driver for Global Volunteers teams, and became a program assistant in 2009. He completed training in Minnesota in 2009.

Regina Mhagama

Regina Mhagama

Tanzania 1000 Days Rural Caregiver

Regina Mhagama works with volunteers and local mothers on strategies to provide the 12 Essential Services through our Tanzania Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) Demonstration Project. Raised in the Iringa District, she now lives with her family in the village of Peramiho, where she graduated from the Secondary School for girls. Regina then earned a degree in Community Development from the University of Tumaini in Iringa. She previously was a bank officer in Tabora.

Sifuni G. Mdegela

Sifuni G. Mdegela

Tanzania 1000 Days Rural Caregiver

Sifuni G. Mdegela grew up in the village of Ipalamwa, our Tanzania Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) Demonstration Program site, where she works with Global Volunteers teams and local mothers and children. She attended the Secondary School in Pomerini, Global Volunteer’s first community work site. She now lives with her family in the town of Iringa. She earned her degree in Community Development from Tumaini University in Iringa.

Winfrida Mshindo

Winfrida Mshindo

Tanzania Team Leader

Winfrida Mshindo was born and raised in the town of Iringa, and earned her degree from Tengeru Institute of Community Development in Arusha with a concentration in Participatory Project Planning Management. Before joining Global Volunteers staff on the Tanzania Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) Demonstration Project, Winfrida was a Community Development Officer for the Iringa District Council.

Anna Victor Mwenda

Anna Victor Mwenda

Ipalamwa Area Health Clinic Manager

Anna Victor Mwenda was born, raised and educated in Iringa. She earned a certificate in records management from Tanzania Public Service College and has trained with the Community Bible Study (CBS) to obtain a certificate to teach children and youth. Before joining Global Volunteers, Anna was an insurer with Prighose Insurance Agency and also worked for the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development as a record manager.

Nesia Tengelakwi

Nesia Tengelakwi

Tanzania Cook

Nesia, known affectionately as Mama Tony, prepares nutritious and tasty meals for volunteers at the RCP Center. She has been a member of Global Volunteers staff in Tanzania since 1992. Nesia and her family reside in Pommern, which is also in the Iringa region.

Global Volunteers Volunteer Staff

Norman Baxter

Norman Baxter

Volunteer Team Leader

Norman has participated on Global Volunteers service programs in Russia, Vietnam and Cuba. Now retired, he worked 12 years as a banker/lender and 17 years on overseas technical assistance projects as a project manager, resident adviser, consultant, and trainer. During his consulting career, he organized and led numerous study tours in the US for foreign officials and students. He has been active in his local community as a volunteer his entire life. Currently, he is teaching financial literacy in local high schools, serving as an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer during tax season, and performing as treasurer of the local historical society.

Dr. Carol Conzelman

Dr. Carol Conzelman

Volunteer Team Leader

After serving with Global Volunteers for the first time in Costa Rica in 1994, Carol was so impressed with the Philosophy of Service that she completed Team Leader Training the next summer. Since then, she has lead volunteer teams on service programs in Jamaica, Italy, Ecuador, Tanzania, and Ireland and Cuba. She also serves on the Global Volunteers Board of Directors. Carol teaches cultural anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, serves as the Associate Director of the Global Studies Academic Program, and brings students to Bolivia each summer for a Study Abroad course.

Phil Dittmann

Phil Dittmann

Volunteer Team Leader

Phil first served in 2017 on Global Volunteers’ Montana Service Program. Phil recently retired from a career in energy engineering and construction and wanted to re-focus his energies on accomplishing a little good thru Global Volunteers. He completed Team Leader training late in 2017 and will soon lead teams in West Virginia as well as Montana. Phil currently lives outside of Chicago in the Dunes National Lakeshore area of Northwest Indiana. He also volunteers at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History leading public tours of the museums anthropology collections and exhibits.

Kathy Forcey

Kathy Forcey

Volunteer Team Leader

Kathy earned her BA in History, an MA in Political Science (Public Administration), and a Juris Doctor. She practiced law in Connecticut and Pennsylvania for eleven years and worked with non-profit organizations developing affordable housing for 10 years. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in S. Korea and, many years later, in Azerbaijan. She volunteered with Global Volunteers in Mexico in 2016 where she taught English to young technical college students. She completed Team Leader training with Global Volunteers in December 2017 and is looking forward to leading teams in Montana and other locations.

Mike Harris

Mike Harris

Volunteer Team Leader

Mike first served with Global Volunteers in Montana in 2016, and was trained as a volunteer team leader four months later. He earned an MA degree in School Administration and worked as a special education teacher, a director of special services and an elementary school principal. For the past 12 years Mike has been the superintendent of schools in Southampton, New Jersey and was recently named Superintendent of Schools for Burlington County in 2017.

Lucy Heegaard

Lucy Heegaard

Volunteer Team Leader

Lucy Heegaard is a licensed teacher who first served in 2015 with her son on Global Volunteers’ St. Lucia Service Program. In October 2017 she served in Seidlce, Poland. In Feb. 2018 she served in Ciego de Ávila, Cuba. Lucy loves the service element of Global Volunteers. She lived in Spain for 2 years and has been fortunate to travel extensively on all continents except Antarctica. Two of her favorite hobbies are playing tennis and photography.

Emily Johansen

Emily Johansen

Volunteer Team Leader

Bio - Coming Soon

Amy Keegan

Amy Keegan

Volunteer Team Leader

Amy‘s first service program in Malungeni, South Africa cemented her commitment to Global Volunteers: "To have a front row seat in the life of the people of Malungeni was a priviledge! How else would you, in the first few hours in South Africa, be sitting in someone’s house, sharing a cold beverage with a family that was so pleased to see you that they couldn‘t stop smiling, or talking about their country!" Since then, she’s completed team leader training and led a team to Costa Rica in 2012. Amy was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She owns two restaurants and works as a business consultant for a local non-profit - teaching business skills to entrepreneurs. She underwrites microloans and works alongside her clients to help ensure their success.

Julie Knudsen

Julie Knudsen

Volunteer Team Leader

Julie began leading Global Volunteers teams in 2007 after serving on two U.S. service programs. Since then, she‘s led teams in Montana, West Virginia, St. Lucia and Vietnam. Julie’s a licensed clinical social worker and currently works as the only social worker for a large urban PA school district. She is the mother of three daughters and enjoys traveling, the outdoors and yoga. She also serves as the Board President of her county’s Department of Behavioral Health/Developmental Disabilities, is a board member of the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, and is a Youth Aid Panel Volunteer.

Mindy Lull

Mindy Lull

Volunteer Team Leader

Mindy served on her first service program with Global Volunteers in 2014. She first travelled with a group of pharmacy students to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, and has brought additional groups of students on Global Volunteers trips every year since — participating on programs in Peru, Tanzania, and on additional programs to the Blackfeet Reservation. Mindy is an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY where she focuses on Global Health education and outreach.

Louise Mollik

Louise Mollik

Volunteer Team Leader

Louise served in Cuba in 2015, immediately followed by an India program and volunteer team leader training. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education from Hiram College and a Master of Divinity Degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. She taught in parochial and public schools for 8 years, and has served as an ordained minister in long term care, campus and parish ministry for almost 25 years. She retired in the summer of 2017 to devote her time to her four grandchildren and more Global Volunteers service programs as well as her beloved husband and dog.

Cindy Murray

Cindy Murray

Volunteer Team Leader

Cindy served on her first Global Volunteers service program in Mississippi, USA, in 1997, and was immediately asked to serve as a Team Leader. Cindy has led multiple teams in Montana, Minnesota, Florida, and Costa Rica. She has also led teams in Cuba, West Virginia, and Poland. Cindy is a Floridian by way of New York, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. She earned a dual Masters’ Degree in Human Resources and Development, and a BA in Theatre & Drama. Cindy works as a producer of special events and corporate programs for a "world-famous mouse" in Orlando, Florida. She’s active in Central Florida arts and culture; both as a patron and as a photographer. She serves on the Board of Hands on Orlando, and is partial to Kundalini yoga, bicycling, second hand clothing stores, and New Yorker cartoons.

Kathy Rea

Kathy Rea

Volunteer Team Leader

Kathleen has traveled with GV since 2013, serving in the U.S. and Caribbean islands. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and two graduate degrees in education. During her career, she has taught infants to adults and internationally. Kathleen lives in Southern California with her husband, and they have a son and a daughter. She enjoys Broadway musicals, nonfiction books, film festivals and photography. During baseball season, she loves cheering on the Anaheim Angels.

Jeff Rogo

Jeff Rogo

Volunteer Team Leader

Jeff has served on two Global Volunteers service programs in Italy, and been a Volunteer Executive on USAID-funded projects in Armenia and Georgia.He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from John Carroll University and an MBA from the University of Tampa. Two of his three “careers” have provided him with the opportunity to work with volunteers. He has worked in trade association management and government affairs and served as Alumni & Development Director for Jesuit High School in Tampa. His third “career” was radio broadcasting.

Kathy Mace Skinner

Kathy Mace Skinner

Volunteer Team Leader

Kathy first joined a Global Volunteers service program in Vietnam in 1995, and completed team leader training in Mississippi shortly thereafter. This, and a serious interest in developing cultures solidified her commitment to peace building through Global Volunteers. She has since lead over 20 teams worldwide, and has participated internationally with Rotary International. Kathy’s career has spanned positions as a teacher, mediator, lawyer and magistrate – the latter from which she recently retired. She divides her time living on an acreage in Iowa and a beach house in Mexico.

Jim Swiderski

Jim Swiderski

Volunteer Team Leader

As a former staff member, Jim led over 50 teams to nine host countries during his 12-year career at Global Volunteers. He served 3 1/2 years as our China Country Manager, and as a volunteer team leader to the Cook Islands, Poland, and Vietnam, and also joined teams in India, Minnesota, Texas and Mississippi. Jim had a career in human and economic development, working in both public and private organizations. He has managed a Subcommittee for the US Congress, and recently helped lead efforts to expand U.S. federal support for international volunteer service. He currently works in Washington D.C. for Congressman Nick Nolan.

Joe Testa

Joe Testa

Volunteer Portugal Country Manager & Team Leader

Joe first joined a Global Volunteers service program to Guatemala in 1991. He completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training in 1993, and has since led more than 50 teams worldwide. Joe earned an MBA and built a highly successful ground water and water purification business. He sold the company and now serves as General Manager so he can spend more time with two beautiful grandchildren, volunteer as an ESL tutor, and continue as a “big brother” to the same “little brother” he’s had for 20 years with "Big Brothers, Big Sisters."

Phyllis Thompson

Phyllis Thompson

Volunteer Italy Country Manager & Team Leader

Phyllis learned about Global Volunteers on the NBC Today Show in 2003, and immediately became entranced with our English teaching program in southern rural Italy. She volunteered that same year, and soon after completed Global Volunteers‘ Team Leader Training. She has since led 15 teams to Italy as well as to China, Costa Rica, Montana, Portugal, and South Africa. Phyllis holds a Master’s degree in Health Professions Education, and is a certified health professional, practicing for over 25 years in radiation oncology. She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, William. Her favorite place to visit is Italy!

Karen Wark

Karen Wark

Volunteer Team Leader

Karen first served with Global Volunteers at the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. She has since served in Cuba, Ecuador, Romania, Vietnam, and West Virginia. Karen has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and an MS in Education. She currently lives in New York City where she enjoys working for an international philosophical organization and volunteering as a literacy, math, and ESL tutor.