Bud Philbrook, JDSt Paul, MN
Bud co-founded Global Volunteers, chairs the Board of Directors, envisions the organization‘s future, and leads its daily business affairs. He served as Deputy Undersecretary for the US Department of Agriculture in the first Obama administration, as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, as Assistant Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and was in private law practice for 12 years focusing on business and government law. Bud has led dozens of Global Volunteers teams over more than three decades, and has traveled to nearly 60 countries and territories. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Hamline University School of Law, a Master’s in Public Affairs concentrating on international development from the Humphrey School, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. Bud authored Global Volunteers’ "Philosophy of Service - A Strategy for Development" and the "Essential Services Prospectus". He also wrote "Conclave Conspiracy", a fascinating and entertaining novel about the first lay Pope in 1000 years.
Michele GranSt Paul, MN
Michele manages the organization‘s marketing strategy and external messages. She earned a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies/International Communications at Hamline University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at the University of Minnesota. Before joining the staff in 1990, she worked as a public relations consultant, and held communications management positions at various departments in Minnesota State Government, and in non-profit organizations. Michele has led over 50 Global Volunteers teams. She serves on the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors and chairs the board of directors Succession Planning committee.
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.
Since 1994, Julie has responded to prospective and alumni 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 25 service programs worldwide, and was named Staff Person of the Year in 2010.
Diane responds to volunteers’ requests, and manages special projects for our 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.
Dorota joined Global Volunteers as a volunteer translator in 1996, and joined the staff in 1997. She has held many positions of ever increasing responsibility.
As Director of Operations, Dorota manages all aspects of our programs in Europe, Africa, and Asia. After volunteering as an interpreter, Dorota was hired for that role. In subsequent years, she was promoted to Poland team leader, Poland country manager, and Associate Director of International Operations before becoming Director of International Operations in 2011. She has a Master’s Degree in English language linguistics and a degree in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Dorota was honored as Staff Person of the Month in November 2004, September 2006, September 2008, December 2009, October 2010, May 2013, January 2014 and April 2017. She was Staff Person of the Year in 2001, 2004 and 2013 and Staff Person of the Decade in 2010.
Peter 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 and has since led service programs in Montana and South Dakota. He was named Staff Person of the Month in March 2017 and again in May 2017, and Staff Person of the Year in 2017.
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.
Emily works with our university, corporate and faith-based partners, managing group volunteering and expanding the scope of our collaborations to increase service to all our programs worldwide. Her first experience volunteering in Tanzania with the women and children of Ipalamwa deepened her desire to do even more for communities in need around the world. With her background in holistic health and wellness, she became a Volunteer Team Leader. After successfully leading teams in Montana and West Virginia, she joined the Global Volunteers staff as a Volunteer Coordinator. In 2021, she was promoted to her current position.
Jennifer manages front desk operations - phone, email, mail and fax communications- in addition to staff meetings and events; state charity registrations; office maintenance; and a wide range of other 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.
Andrew started his Global Volunteers career as a janitor in high school. He was subsequently promoted to Office Assistant, Administrative Assistant, Program Manager, USA Operations Manager, International Operations Manager, Director of International Operations, Assistant to the CEO, and General Council over 15 years. Andrew has seven years of post-secondary education including a Bachelor of Arts and a Doctor of Law. He volunteered in China for six weeks immediately following high school graduation; led and served on 13 Global Volunteers service programs; managed volunteer team leaders; managed the final years of the Reaching Children‘s Potential pilot program in St. Lucia; and is Global Volunteers’ container garden expert.
Jake develops our overall business strategy, drives revenue growth, coordinates the corporate OKR process, and manages our data analytics turning data into knowledge. Having started with Global Volunteers in April 2002, Jake has held many positions of ever-increasing responsibility. He earned his Bachelors in Business with honors and his Masters in Business Administration from the University of South Florida, and has participated on Global Volunteers programs in Costa Rica, China, Guatemala, Jamaica, Tanzania, Russia, and the US.
Dimitra "Millie" Pinakoulaki responds to inquiries resulting from website listings, and researches social media opportunities and trends. 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.
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.
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.
Stephen Raja Chinnappan
Stephen manages the day-to-day logistics and volunteer engagement of our Nepal service program, and provides service program information to new volunteers on all programs, 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.
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. He was named Staff Person of the Month in January 2017 and January 2018. Before joining Global Volunteers, Daniel was a professor at Universidad SEL in Lima. https://globalvolunteers.org/your-guide-to-volunteer-travel-in-peru/
Angie is responsible for expanding our fundraising efforts to support existing and future programs around the world. Before joining Global Volunteers, Angie raised funds at increasing levels for nonprofits in the health and community development sectors.
She was also a Peace Corps Volunteer for 27 months in Liberia, West Africa, and has volunteered on short-term programs in India and Honduras. Angie earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin with a double major in Communication Studies and Spanish Language, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Twin Cities Corporate Volunteerism Council.
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.
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 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.
Buddhi Man Shrestha
Buddhi Man grew up in Tanahun, East Nepal. In 2001, he moved to Kathmandu after completing his Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS). In 2012, he started Fresh Fire Church in Maharajgunj, Chakrapath, Kathmandu and in 2016, together with his wife Madhu, they opened Papa’s House Children’s Home where they care for five orphaned boys.
Nayman leads the expansion of the RCP program in Tanzania, is the lead manager in the field and is a point person for fundraising initiatives. Nayman has a Master’s of Science in Development Policy and was the General Secretary for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) Iringa Diocese for 14 years.
Sifuni G. Mdegela
Sifuni grew up in the village of Ipalamwa, our Tanzania Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) Demonstration Program site. This is 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.
Regina 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.
Husna Waziri studied community development at college. Her greatest wish and plan is to become a social worker. She especially likes working with her community and special needs kids. Previous experiences include Sales Consultant at Bayport Financial Services and Executive Director of the Center Vote for Dar es Salaam.
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.
Anna Victor Mwenda
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.
Debora was born and lives in Iringa. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) in Mwanza region. Before joining Global Volunteers, she taught in Isaka Secondary School in Kahama-Shinyanga region, and she was engaged in a small entrepreneurship in local fabric (Batiki) making.
Elkana Valence Chaula
Elkana earned her Masters Degree in Social Linguistics from Open University of Tanzania. Before taking on the role of Caregiver, she was a health worker in Manyara, worked with the clubs of environmental conservation and malaria campaigns, was elected as National Assistant Chairperson of Health Workers for almost five years. She is committed to fighting for the community and helping them and is keen to move along this route in the future.
Josephat Ezekia Nyenza
Josephat Ezekia Nyenza was born and raised in Ipalamwa. He took his primary education in Fikano Primary School. Before joining Global Volunteers, Josephat was working in Dar es salaam as a shop security.
Loinad Samweli Chusi
Leonard Samweli Chusi was born in Ipalamwa village in Iringa region. He took his secondary education in Fikano primary school in Ipalamwa village. Before joining Global Volunteers, he was a shop keeper.
Amilia Telaka Kikoti
Amilia was born and raised in Ipalamwa and graduated from secondary school there. Before joining Global Volunteers, Amilia was a Matron of primary school students at Star International Primary School in Iringa.
Julius was born and raised in Manyara but moved to Ipalamwa when he was starting secondary school. He is the tenth of 12 children in his family. Julius ensures that the chicks and chickens in Global Volunteers’ model chicken coop are fed and vaccinated, the eggs are collected, and the structure and yard are kept clean. He also assists with the installation of hand-washing stations.
Ashura lives in Iringa. She competed her Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development with a concentration in Participatory Project Planning and Management from Tengeru Institute of Community Development (CDTI) in Arusha. Before joining Global Volunteers, Ashura worked with Iringa Municipal Council (at Kihesa ward) as Assistant Community Development Officer.
Denis Pilion Mkemwa
Denis Pilion Mkemwa was born and raised in Iringa-Ipalamwa. He was educated in Ipalamwa. He earned a level one certificate in Plumbing from VETA Iringa. Before joining Global Volunteers, Denis worked with ASAS Iringa as plumber.
Goem Nikodemu Mlengela
Goem Nikodemu Mlengela was born, raised, and educated in Ipalamwa village in Iringa region. Goem took his primary education in Fikano Primary school in Ipalamwa. Before joining Global Volunteers, he worked as security in Mtwivila construction that was dealing with construction of road.
Herman L. Mtengela
Herman L. Mtengela was born and raised in Ipalamwa village, Iringa, Tanzania. He earned a certificate of laboratory technology from Mafinga Huruma Medical Training Center in Iringa, Tanzania. Herman was working at Cardinal Rugambwa Hospital in Dar es Salaam in clinical laboratory activities such as sample collection, performing lab tests of patients, and quality control of test for two years.
Veronica Sagamadunda Kiwola
Veronica Sagamadunda Kiwola was born and raised in Ipalamwa village. She earned the certificate of nursing from Ruaha Emergency Care and Home Nursing school for two years and worked as a nursing attendant at Mission clinic for five years in St. Charles Borromeo.
Fadhili was born and raised in Ipalamwa, attended secondary school in Pommern, and moved to Iringa to attend driving school. He gained years of experience working as a driver in and around Iringa. He’s married, with three daughters. He now drives Global Volunteers’ van to and from the airport in Iringa, and delivers volunteers to work projects in the five villages in the Ukwega Ward.
Rashid Mpumu was born and raised in Morogoro Region. He is educated to the level of Primary school. He was a driver of trucks, public buses, and small cars.
Berifa Makongwa was born and raised in Ipalamwa where she completed her primary school education. Berifa was a farmer before joining Global Volunteers.
Irene Festo Mtengela
Irene is a cook at Ipalamwa Primary School. She was born and raised in Ipalamwa and her education was at Fikano Primary school. Until working for Global Volunteers, she was a farmer in her family’s fields. She has a daughter, Moreen.
Jali is a cook iat Ukwega Primary School. She was born and raised in Ukwega Village and graduated standard 7 from the school where she now works preparing Rise Against Hunger fortified meals provided by Global Volunteers. Before working with Global Volunteers, she worked in a restaurant in Dar-es-Salaam.
Zakina is a cook at Makungu Primary School. She was born and raised in Makungu Village, where she attended school through standard 7. Before working for Global Volunteers, she worked in a private shop in the neighboring village of Mafinga.
Dr. Carol Conzelman
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 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.
Celida is passionate about volunteering internationally, and for several organizations in Central Florida.She served on her first Global Volunteers program in Cuba in 2017. She currently serves as a project leader with Hands On Orlando. Celida has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts specializing in Interior Design, and owns her own business. She previously worked at Disney for 15 years in a variety of guest service, professional, and operational roles. She loves to travel and is a fluent Spanish speaker.
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.
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 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.
Dr. LaVerne Lewis
LaVerne"s first Global Volunteers service program was in Tanzania in 2012. She followed that with service in China in 2014 and Greece in 2018. She earned her Doctorate in Education from Northcentral University, a Master‘s Degree in Education from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Taxation from SUNY. She’s owned a tax and accounting business for almost 35 years, and retired in 2014 from working as a Sheriff’s Deputy in Multnomah County after 18 years. She currently teaches accounting/taxation and criminal justice administration at Mt. Hood Community College in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Mindy Lull
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.