Global Volunteers Worldwide Staff

USA Office Staff

Co-Founders

Bud Philbrook - Co-founder and CEO

Bud Philbrook

Co-founder and CEO:Bud Philbrook Bud directs the organization's internal and external business and is Chairman of the Board. He 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.

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Michele Gran - Co-founder and Senior Vice President

Michele Gran

Co-founder and Senior Vice President:Michele Gran Michele manages the organization's media relations and external messages, and works directly with host partners to promote and strenghten local development partnerships. 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 35 Global Volunteers teams.

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International Operations

Dorota Wierzbicka - Director of International Operations and Poland Country Manager

Dorota Wierzbicka

Director of International Operations and Poland Country Manager:Dorota Wierzbicka 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.

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Hu Di - Director of International Operations

Hu Di

Director of International Operations:Hu Di Hu Di manages operations and preparations for The Lucia Project, and our service programs in Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Vietnam and the U.S.A. Having been born and raised in Xi'an, China, Hu Di first served Global Volunteers as a volunteer English translator in 2004. Shortly thereafter, she was hired as Assistant China Country Manager and was promoted to China Country Manager and Associate Director of International Operations for Africa and Asia Pacific.  She was named Staff Person of the Month in February 2007, and later that year, presented with the Staff Person of the Year award. She led over 50 teams of volunteers until 2009, when she moved to Washington, D.C. to earn a Master's Degree in International Development Management. Before re-joining our staff in 2013, Hu Di worked for two years at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. 

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Dana Faust - Volunteer Preparation Manager

Dana Faust

Volunteer Preparation Manager:Dana Faust

Dana manages all details for each volunteer's pre-departure preparation as well as administers the post service program reporting and evaluation process. She focuses on creating an environment for success among hosts, community partners, local people, country managers, team leaders, volunteers, and co-workers in order to fulfil Global Volunteers' mission. With a Bachelor's Degree in psychology and nutrition, and fluency in Spanish and Swahili, Dana is well-versed in inter-cultural affairs, and brings her love of international travel and learning to all she tackles in the office.

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Andrew Philbrook - St. Lucia Project and Domestic Program Manager

Andrew Philbrook

St. Lucia Project and Domestic Program Manager:Andrew Philbrook Andrew manages operations, program logistics, team formation and volunteer information for The St. Lucia Project and service programs in the United States, coordinates Global Volunteer’s Earth Box support worldwide, and has served as an assistant team leader in St. Lucia and the United States. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural Communications from the University of Minnesota, and has travelled to St. Lucia, China, Jamaica, Poland and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana with Global Volunteers.

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Artie Mullins - West Virginia Team Leader

Artie Mullins

West Virginia Team Leader:Artie Mullins Artie was born to a coal miner father and a mother who worked as a part-time maid - third in a family of nine children in Beards Fork, West Virginia. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts and managed a local chain of bookstores, later moving to Ukiah, CA to become a department manager for Mervyn's Department Stores. Family ties called him back to Beards Fork in 1999, and he began volunteering for the Southern Appalachian Labor School - our host partner. In 2003, he became our permanent team leader in West Virginia.

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Volunteer Coordination and Marketing

Beth St. John - Director of Volunteer Management and Marketing

Beth St. John

Director of Volunteer Management and Marketing:Beth St John Beth manages the daily functions of Global Volunteers' outstanding team of volunteer coordinators and marketing staff including message creation, strategy and development. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Marketing Communications at Columbia College, an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, and a Coaching Certificate from the Coaches Training Institute. Before joining Global Volunteers, she led cross-functional brand teams at General Mills; provided coaching and business consulting services through her own business, One Eleven Coaching; and managed membership recruitment and publicity at Smith, Bucklin & Associates.   She has traveled to 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

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Julie Costa - Volunteer Manager

Julie Costa

Volunteer Manager:Julie Costa 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.

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Diane Fredricksen - Volunteer Manager

Diane Fredricksen

Director of Volunteer Management:Diane Fredricksen 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.

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Mary Delorié - Volunteer Manager

Mary Delorié

Volunteer Manager:Mary Delorié Mary works with returning and prospective volunteers to guide them to service opportunities which suit their skills and intersts. She also initiates and manages partnerships with corporations to encourage and enable employees to serve on Global Volunteers programs. Mary has over 12  years of sales and management experience including four as a non-proft recruiter and recruiting manager, and over eight years in recruitment, sales and marketing at HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs). Mary’s commitment to service is evident in her ongoing interest and involvement in civil rights and community organizing.  Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College.

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Michelle Holker - Volunteer Coordinator

Michelle Holker

Volunteer Coordinator:Michelle Holker 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.

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Cynthia Holm - Volunteer Coordinator

Cynthia Holm

Volunteer Coordinator:Cynthia Holm Cynthia counsels volunteers to select service programs which match their skills and interest. Before joining Global Volunteers, Cynthia worked as a language learning consultant and a sales manager at various retail outlets. As a playwright from Twin Cities area, her work has been performed through out the Midwest and she continues to teach seminars in historical playwriting. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota and has traveled to Southern France, England, Wales and the Caribbean.

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Vicki Kappus - Volunteer Coordinator

Vicki Kappus

Volunteer Coordinator:Vicki Kappus 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.

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Patty Carlson - Volunteer Relations Manager

Patty Carlson

Volunteer Relations Manager:Patty Carlson Patty works with Encore! volunteers on outreach and awareness building for Global Volunteers. She supports volunteers' service program presentations, special events, participation at travel and educational fairs, and other promotions. 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.

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Christina Larson-Dickson - Institutional Relations Manager

Christina Larson-Dickson

Institutional Relations Manager:Christina Larson-Dickson Christina nurtures relationships with colleges and universities throughout the United States, and has worked in study abroad offices at North Dakota State University, the University of St. Thomas and Concordia College. Christina has also conducted thesis research on sustainable development through education by outreach, interviews and research on NGOs, schools and business in the Arusha region of Tanzania. Christina holds a Master of Arts in International Leadership and Development and a Master of Business Communications in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas

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IT and Administration

Linda Schlapp - Director of Development and LGBT Programs

Linda Schlapp

Director of Development and LGBT Program Director: Linda SchlappLinda works with volunteers and supporters to raise funds for Global Volunteers' partner community projects and general organization needs. Linda is also responsible for developing the LGBT program and managing the in-country cultural activities for self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender participants.

Linda has a long history with Global Volunteers. She started as a volunteer and in just one year, joined teams in Vietnam, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Tanzania and Mississippi. She later became the first Country Manager in China. Following her stay in China, Linda became the Director of New Program Development and helped start programs in the Cook Islands, Ghana, Greece, India, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Romania. Linda has lead over 30 teams for Global Volunteers and has travelled to 40 countries around the world.

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Kevin Matthews - MIS Manager

Kevin Matthews

MIS ManagerKevin Matthews Kevin manages our computer network and databases worldwide. He earned a Bachelor of Physics with Distinction at the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology. The majority of his career has been doing software development, primarily in operating systems and in backup and computer storage utility programs.

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Adam Kruczek - Media Development Manager

Adam Kruczek

Media Development Manager:Adam Kruczek 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.

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Jake Philbrook - IT Hardware Manager

Jake Philbrook

IT Technology Manager:Jake Philbrook Jake responds to technology needs within Global Volunteers' U.S. offices and international staff locations. Focusing on computer tech support, Jake is responsible for maintaining the day-to-day operation of Global Volunteer's vital information systems. He also creates multimedia content for the web site and online media. Jake is finishing a degree in Computer Science, and has served on Global Volunteers teams in Costa Rica, China, Jamaica and Russia.

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Office Volunteers

Carol Allin

Carol Allin

Office Volunteer:Carol Allin Carol assists the Operations Department with volunteer evaluation data entry. She works full-time at a computer consortium and internet service provider serving many Minnesota school districts. In her free time, Carol enjoys playing classical piano, learning about other cultures, and keeping her speaking and comprehension of the German language sharp. She has a Bachelor's Degree in German and European History.

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International Field Staff

AFRICA

Edward Mgeni - Tanzania Country Manager

Edward Mgeni

Tanzania Country Manager:Edward Mgeni Before becoming Global Volunteers' country manager, Edward served for 21 years as master and department head at Pommern Secondary School. He earned a Bachelor's Degree from Kenya Highlands Evangelical College and a diploma from Marangu Teachers College before he began his teaching career. He studied English and teaching methodologies in Leeds, Britain and completed Mafinga National Service Camp in 1984.

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Mohamed Kassim - Tanzania Program Assistant

Mohamed Kassim

Tanzania Program Assistant:Mohamed Kassim 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.

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Mama Tony (Nesia Tengelakwi) - Tanzania Program Cook

Mama Tony (Nesia Tengelakwi)

Tanzania Program Cook:Mama Tony (Nesia Tengelakwi) As a lifelong resident of Pommern, Mama Tony has known Global Volunteers since we began working in the village in 1986. She was hired in 1992 as Cook and Housekeeper of the Global Volunteers guest house, and delights volunteers with her healthy, traditional meals. As is the custom in Tanzania, Mama Tony takes her name after the youngest of her sons, which is how she's fondly known by all.

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James Nyalusi - Tanzania Program Driver

James Nyalusi

Tanzania Program Driver:James Nyalusi James safely transports Global Volunteers teams from the Dar es Salaam airport through Iringa and on to our host villages in Global Volunteers' four-wheel drive vehicles. He's a trained "Class E" driver for Pomerini Secondary School, and joined our staff as a driver in 1997.

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ASIA

Stephen Raja Chinnappan - India Country Manager

Stephen Raja Chinnappan

India Country Manager:Stephen Raja Chinnappan Stephen was born and raised in Bangalore, and now lives near Chennai in the suburb of Porur. He has a Bachelor's Degree in commerce, and before becoming Country Manager, he served as our on-site consultant in India for almost a year. Stephen owns a tour business in Chennai, which he runs when teams are not on-site.

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Sheeba Thankappan - India Program Assistant

Sheeba

India Program Assistant:Sheeba When Sheeba married India Country Manager Stephen Raja Chinnappan, Global Volunteers gained a nurturing and intelligent cultural consultant. Like a "first lady" to an American president, Sheeba cheerfully took on many coordination tasks and made our volunteers feel at home in Chennai. In 2008, we formally hired her as our Program Assistant. Sheeba has earned a Bachelor's Degree in History, and a nursing diploma.

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Rani Selvarani - India Program Cook

Rani

India Program Cook:Rani Rani prepares nutritious and flavorful traditional meals for volunteers at Global Volunteers' guest house in Chennai. After lovingly cooking for her family of origin, and later her husband and children for over 30 years, in 2003, at the time she was widowed, Rani accepted a staff position with Global Volunteers.

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Barnabas Anthonysamy - India Program Security Guard

Barnabas

India Program Security Guard:Barnabas Barnabas ensures the safety and comfort of Global Volunteers' teams at our guest house in Chennai, India. Before joining the India staff in 2004, Barnabas worked as a security guard at Ramachandra hospital in Chennai. As is customary in his country, he uses his father's name, not his formal name, as his common name.

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Bao Li - China Country Manager

Bao Li

China Country Manager:Bao Li Wang "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.

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CARRIBEAN

Warren Williams - The St. Lucia Project Country Manager

Warren Williams

Volunteer Team Leader:Warren Williams Warren served on the Global Volunteers board, completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training, and has led more than 70 teams on service programs in nearly all of Global Volunteers' partner communities. He retired as a senior Colonel in the U.S. Army after more than 30 years of service; with two years as a combat leader in Vietnam; eleven years as a negotiator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); and as Chief of Joint Strategy, Forces Command in Operation Desert Storm. He earned a Master's Degree in Education, is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and NATO School, and is fluent in Greek, Vietnamese and Italian.

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Chemida Popo-Cox - The St. Lucia Project Assistant Country Manager

Chemida Popo-Cox

St. Lucia Assistant Country Manager:Chemida Popo-Cox Chemida assists Country Manager Warren Williams with 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.

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EUROPE

Dorota Wierzbicka - Director of International Operations and Poland Country Manager

Dorota Wierzbicka

Director of International Operations and Poland Country Manager:Dorota Wierzbicka 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.

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Samantha Pinakoulaki - Greece Country Manager

Samantha Pinakoulaki

Greece Country Manager:Samantha Pinakoulaki 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 travelling 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.

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Mihaela Cirjontu - Romania Country Manager

Mihaela Cirjontu

Romania Country Manager:Mihaela Cirjontu 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.

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Dan Cirjontu - Romania Country Manager Assistant

Dan Cirjontu

Romania Country Manager Assistant:Dan Cirjontu 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.

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LATIN AMERICA

Edith Rodriguez Preciado - Peru Country Manager

Edith Rodriguez Preciado

Peru Country Manager:Edith Rodriguez Preciado Edith earned a diploma in Advance English and Methodology in Language Teaching from Instituto Cultural Peruano - Norteamericano and served as coordinator of the English department after she taught elementary and high school English in private schools for five years. She considers it crucial to remain updated in the field of English teaching, and attends numerous seminars and international conferences related to this area.

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Maggie Bjorklund- Ecuador & Costa Rica Country Manager

Maggie Bjorklund

Ecuador & Costa Rica Country Manager: Maggie BjorklundA native of Minnesota, Maggie manages our service programs in Calderón, Ecuador and in Monteverde, Costa Rica. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Global Studies and Spanish from the University of Minnesota for which she did a semester abroad in Costa Rica and studied grassroots development in Ecuador. For the last ten years, she has resided in Quito, Ecuador. Before joining the Global Volunteers staff, Maggie worked as an English teacher as well as a translator in Ecuador.

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SOUTH PACIFIC

James Puati - Cook Islands Country Manager

James Puati

Cook Islands Country Manager:James Puati 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.

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Volunteer Team Leaders

Pam Cromer- Volunteer Team Leader

Pam Cromer

Volunteer Team Leader:Pam Cromer Pam first served on Global Volunteer's Turkey Program in 1997, and followed the next year in China. She completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training, and began leading teams in 2000. She has lead just under 50 teams to nearly all our partner communities. Pam earned a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work, and has been in private practice doing long-term psychotherapy for more than 40 years. She has served on boards for abused children, counseled patients with HIV, and participated in early research on death and dying. With all this, she says her " best job in the whole world is being a grandmother to my five grandchildren...ages 5 to 16."

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Milt Diehl - Volunteer Team Leader

Milt Diehl

Volunteer Team Leader:Milt Diehl Milt first participated on a Global Volunteers Free Enterprise Institute in Ukraine in 1997. He followed that with more than 35 teams, leading all but two of them. They include: Ukraine, Mexico, Minnesota, Poland, Ireland, China, Italy and a record 17 teams to Hungary. He said he enjoys leading teams because it "offers the opportunity to to interact with and get to know wonderful people I otherwise would not have met." Milt earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration and worked in manufacturing before he taught business and accounting classes at the Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin.

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Gail Emerson - Volunteer Team Leader

Gail Emerson

Volunteer Team Leader:Gail Emerson Gail first participated on a Global Volunteers Tanzania Service Program in 1990. "I was doing contract work at that time," she recalled. "I wanted to do something meaninful, and that program exceeded my expectations. She served on a Poland Service Program, completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training, and has led more than 15 teams to Poland, India, Greece, Tanzania, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Montana, Hawaii and Oklahoma. Gail is a marketing and capital consultant and a Realtor in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Milagros Flores Chamochumbi - Volunteer Team Leader

Milagros Flores Chamochumbi

Volunteer Team Leader:Mlagros Milagros (Mili) is formerly Global Volunteers' Peru Country Manager. She recently completed graduate work in Child Psychology in the United States. She performed her internship at the Pericultorio (PPA), the orphanage in Lima where Global Volunteers teams work. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and completed Master's work at the University of the Sacred Heart in Lima in 2010 to become a licensed psychologist.

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Carol Conzelman - Cuba NOW! Group Leader

Carol Conzelman

Cuba NOW! Group Leader: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 now is a Group Leader for Cuba NOW! She also served on the Global Volunteers Board of Directors for three years. 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.

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David Johnson - Volunteer Team Leader

David Johnson

Volunteer Team Leader:David Johnson David has served on Global Volunteers programs in Spain, Italy, Peru and twice to Mexico, and has visited other countries on his own. He completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training in 2011. He holds a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Minnesota, where has worked for 30 years. He says he "enjoys travelling with volunteers because of the high quality of those seeking to help others as part of their vacation experience."

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Amy Keegan - Volunteer Team Leader

Amy Keegan

Volunteer Team Leader:Amy KeeganAmy'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.
 

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Michelle Lindstrom - Volunteer Team Leader

Michelle Lindstrom

Volunteer Team Leader:Michelle Lindstrom Michelle first participated on a Global Volunteers Portugal Service program in 2009.  Since then she has volunteered in South Africa, Italy, and St. Lucia, and completed Team Leader training in 2012.  Michelle has been self-employed for 21 years as a Licensed Massage Practitioner.  She has served as a Massage Board member for the Washington State Department of Health and was a Site Review Team Leader for COMTA (Commissions on Massage Therapy Accreditation).  She currently resides on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

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Maria Maki - Volunteer Team Leader

Maria Maki

Volunteer Team Leader:Maria Maki Maria first joined Global Volunteers as a volunteer on a service program in Texas. In 1998, she served as China Country Manager in Xi'an, and returned for the China Team 100 celebration in 2004. Maria has also led teams to Mexico and Hawaii. She says: "travel that feeds the soul is the reason I continue to experience the world with wonderful volunteers to wonderful places. I look forward to the next journey!"

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Cindy Murray - Volunteer Team Leader

Cindy Murray

Volunteer Team Leader:Cindy Murray Cindy first participated on a Global Volunteers service program in Mississippi, USA in 1997. She subsequently completed Global Volunteers' Team Leader Training, and has led teams in South Florida, West Virginia, Minnesota, Montana, Costa Rica, and Poland. She was born in upstate New York, raised in Minnesota, schooled in Wisconsin, and now resides and works in Orlando, Florida. Cindy holds a Dual Masters’ Degree in Human Resources and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Drama.

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Ann Marett - Volunteer Team Leader

Ann Marett

Volunteer Team Leader:Ann Marett A native Texan, Ann first participated on Global Volunteers' teams in Greece and Spain in 1999. Thereafter, she completed Global Volunteers' Team Leader Training, and served as our country manager and team leader in China in 2000, and in Mexico in 2005-2006 and has also led teams in Peru, Costa Rica, the Cook Islands, Greece, Italy, Australia and the United States. Now retired after 32 years as a corporate public relations professional, she is feeding her passion for learning about cultures around the world, including in the U.S.

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Patty Prue - Volunteer Team Leader

Patty Prue

Volunteer Team Leader:Patty Prue Patty first participated on a Global Volunteers team in Ghana in 2008 and loved her experience so much that she returned to Ghana with her son in 2010. Later that same year, Patty completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training and offered her coaching services to country managers. Patty leads McCartan Consulting and is a certified business coach with extensive global human resources executive experience. She has a number of professional certifications, serves on not-for-profit boards and is a graduate of Stonehill College, North Easton, MA.

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Ron Reimann - Volunteer Team Leader

Ron Reimann

Volunteer Team Leader:Ron Reimann Ron served on the Global Volunteers board, completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training, and has led teams to Russia, Ukraine and St Lucia. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, with a Masters Degree in public administration from Harvard University. He served in the submarine force, in several national security positions, as a Congressional staff officer, a transportation policy officer in the Carter and Reagan administrations, and vice president at Burlington Northern Inc.

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Sue Surma - Volunteer Team Leader

Sue Surma

Volunteer Team Leader:Sue Sue participated on her first Global Volunteers program in 1989 to Guatemala and completed Team Leader Training in 1994. Sue has led teams to Mexico, Costa Rica, Mississippi, India, and Ireland, and served on 13 others programs. She has a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts, a Degree in Travel Planning, and an Associate of Science degree in Nursing. Sue has worked in the hospitality, tourism and health care industries.

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Jim Swiderski - Volunteer Team Leader

Jim Swiderski

Volunteer Team Leader:Jim Swiderski 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.

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Joe Testa - Volunteer Team Leader

Joe Testa

Volunteer Team Leader:Joe Testa 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."

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Phyllis Thompson - Volunteer Team Leader

Phyllis Thompson

Volunteer Team Leader:Phyllis Thompson 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!

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Taiana Torea-Allan - Volunteer Team Leader

Taiana Torea-Allan

Volunteer Team Leader:Taiana Torea-Alllan Taiana (Tai) is a New Zealand-born Cook Islander who lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Tai worked as Global Volunteers' Cook Islands Country Manager in 2007, and has since led four teams to South Africa as a volunteer team leader. Holding an Advanced Diploma in Environmental Management and a Diploma in Sales Management, she works on projects in sustainable living and environmental conservation (her "passions") in Sydney and Rarotonga.

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Francoise Yohalem - Volunteer Team Leader

Francoise Yohalem

Volunteer Team Leader:Francoise YohalemFrancoise has led more than 30 teams for Global Volunteers over 20 years to Costa Rica, Vietnam, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Portugal and the U.S. She is fluent in French and Spanish, and enjoys teaching English as a Foreign Language to women in her community near Washington DC, as well as in Mexico, where she resides part of the year. She has an MA in Studio Art, and has recently retired from a busy career as a Public Art Consultant.

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Judy Werner - Volunteer Team Leader

Judy Werner

Volunteer Team Leader:Judy Werner Judy first joined a Global Volunteers service program to Jamaica in 1995 and "caught the volunteer vacation bug."  She completed our extensive Team Leader Training in Minnesota in 1997, and has since led volunteers on service programs in Texas, Tanzania, Costa Rica, and the Cook Islands.  She lives in Vermont - where she works with Discovery Map International.

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Warren Williams - Volunteer Team Leader

Warren Williams

Volunteer Team Leader:Warren Williams Warren served on the Global Volunteers board, completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training, and has led more than 70 teams on service programs in nearly all of Global Volunteers' partner communities. He retired as a senior Colonel in the U.S. Army after more than 30 years of service; with two years as a combat leader in Vietnam; eleven years as a negotiator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); and as Chief of Joint Strategy, Forces Command in Operation Desert Storm. He earned a Master's Degree in Education, is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and NATO School, and is fluent in Greek, Vietnamese and Italian.

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Marcy Freedman - Volunteer Team Leader

Marcy Freedman Winzer

Volunteer Team Leader:Marcy Marcy served in St. Lucia in July, 2012 and was so moved by her experience she completed team leader training later that year. She has most recently worked for 11 years for Pathfinder International, a US based NGO, as Human Resources Manager. In that role, she's traveled to 10 countries to provide HR support. Marcy has worked as the Executive Coordinator of a program for Special Olympics to create a permanent competitive sports program (1980) for mentally challenged citizens of Suffolk County in Boston and worked as a Neuro Developmental Therapist with multiply challenged children to establish the first newborn to three programs in MA.

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