Global Volunteers Worldwide Staff


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.

Top of page

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 strengthen 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 40 Global Volunteers teams.

Top of page

Volunteer Coordination

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

Heidi Richter - Volunteer Coordinator

Heidi Richter

Volunteer Coordinator:Heidi Richter Heidi offers assistance to prospective volunteers in selecting service programs that best match their skill-sets and special interests. 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.

Top of page

Jeni Crump - Volunteer Coordinator

Jeni Crump

Volunteer Coordinator:Jeni Crump Jeni Crump assists prospective volunteers in the selection of service programs based on their skills, interests and talents. She listens and then helps match individuals with Global Volunteer's worldwide community partners. Before joining Global Volunteers, Jeni worked in direct sales and as an elementary classroom teacher. She earned a B.A. in psychology and education from Hamline University in St. Paul. While living and teaching in Germany, she had the opportunity to travel extensively, hiking, biking, and skiing in more than 20 countries.

Top of page


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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

Dana Faust - Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

Dana Faust

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator: Dana FaustDana 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 fluency in 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.

Top of page

IT and Administration

Linda Schlapp - Director of LGBT Programs

Linda Schlapp

Director of LGBT Programs: Linda SchlappLinda develops outreach strategies to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, and manages the in-country activities for LGBT groups on our service programs. Linda started her Global Volunteers career as a volunteer in Vietnam, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Tanzania and Mississippi. She later became the first Country Manager in China. Following her role 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.

Top of page

Rachel Dyer - Accountant

Rachel Dyer

Accountant:Rachel Dyer 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.

Top of page

Sherry Allenspach - Office Coordinator

Sherry Allenspach

Office Coordinator:Sherry Allenspach Sherry responds to incoming communications, processes applications and requests for information, manages office logistics and building maintenance, and assists with projects in the accounting and volunteer preparation functions. With more than 20 years of human resources, payroll, accounting and general administrative experience with Boston Health Care Systems, the National Marrow Donor Program/BeTheMatch and on the Maplewood City Council, Sherry is uniquely qualified to oversee the needs of staff in our busy home office!

Top of page

Kevin Matthews - Information Systems Manager

Kevin Matthews

Information Systems Manager:Kevin Matthews Kevin works on specialized information system projects as they come up. He earned a Bachelor of Physics with Distinction at the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology. The majority of his career has been in software development, primarily in operating systems and in backup and computer storage utility programs.

Top of page

Jake Philbrook - Network Systems Manager and Technical Support

Jake Philbrook

Network Systems and Technical Support Manager:Jake Philbrook 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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

Hu Di - Director of International Operations and Institutional Relations

Hu Di

Director of International Operations and Institutional Relations:Hu Di Hu Di oversees operations and preparations for service programs in St. Lucia, Cuba, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Vietnam and the U.S.A. She also manages our relationships with educational institutions. 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. 

Top of page

Andrew Philbrook - Manager of International Operations

Andrew Philbrook

Manager of International Operations:Andrew Philbrook Andrew manages operations, program logistics, host communications, team formation and volunteer information for service programs in St. Lucia, Cuba, Italy, Portugal and the United States, coordinates Global Volunteer’s Earth Box support worldwide, and 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.

Top of page

Alli Cruz - Volunteer Preparation Coordinator and Bookkeeper

Alli Cruz

Volunteer Preparation Coordinator and Bookkeeper:Alli Cruz Alli manages all details for each volunteer's pre-departure preparation, and administers the reporting and evaluation process after each service program. Alli earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Michigan-Ann Harbor and a Master’s Degree in International Development Practice from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. She volunteered in Brazil and Nepal before joining Global Volunteers, and served at Cornercopia Student Organic Farm at the University of Minnesota, where she was responsible for promoting awareness and experience around urban, organic agriculture.

Top of page


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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page


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.

Top of page

Sheeba Thankappan - India Program Assistant


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.

Top of page

Rani Selvarani - India Program Cook


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.

Top of page

Barnabas Anthonysamy - India Program Security Guard


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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page


Chemida Popo-Cox - St. Lucia Country Manager

Chemida Popo-Cox

St. Lucia Country Manager:Chemida Popo-Cox 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.

Top of page

Sue Beckwith - St. Lucia Lodging Manager

Sue Beckwith

Lodging Manager:Sue Beckwith Born and educated in the UK, Sue moved to St. Lucia in 2005, marrying her St. Lucian husband in 2010. She's part of  the local community, serves as President of the local Vendors and Water Taxi association, and is well-known for her charity work in the local community. She previously managed the lodging we now lease as our "home base," and oversees the facilities and staff, ensuring volunteers' safety and comfort, and introducing them to the St. Lucian culture.

Top of page


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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

Dan Cirjontu - Romania Country Manager

Dan Cirjontu

Romania Country Manager: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.

Top of page

Constanta (Coca) Ghincenau - Romania Nurse Aide

Constanta (Coca) Ghincenau

Nurse Aide:Coca Ghincenau Constanta (Coca) Ghincenau 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.

Top of page


Daniel Salazar - Peru Country Manager

Daniel Salazar

Peru Country Manager:Daniel Salazar Daniel has lived most of his life in Peru, but also spent significant time in the US. He 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 has managed many groups and individuals in a variety of settings and has engaged volunteers on community development projects. He's deeply committed to the development process. Before joining Global Volunteers, Daniel was a professor at Universidad SEL in Lima.

Top of page

Maria 'Maru' Moreno - Peru Country Manager

Maria 'Maru' Moreno

Peru Country Manager:Maria Morneo Maru is an International Affairs Major from the American University of Paris, France. She has lived in eight different countries and speaks four languages. She is half Peruvian and half Venezuelan. She completed her internships with UN Geneva and the UN Refugee Agency. Prior to joining Global Volunteers, she worked for more than 10 years as an ESL teacher. Her biggest passion is helping others and taking care of her 10 y/o daughter.

Top of page

Maggie Bjorklund- Ecuador & Costa Rica Country Manager

Maggie Bjorklund

Ecuador & Costa Rica Country Manager: Maggie BjorklundMaggie manages our service programs in Calderón, Ecuador and in Monteverde, Costa Rica. She also manages our service program blogs. 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.

Top of page


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.

Top of page

Volunteer Team Leaders

Lindsey Ball - Volunteer Team Leader

Lindsey Ball

Blackfeet Program Team Leader:Lindsey Ball Lindsey first served in 2005 on Global Volunteers' Peru Service Program while completing her Bachelor's Degree in English at the University of New Mexico. After "instantly falling in love with her experience and Global Volunteers," she completed team leader training in 2006, and led her first team to Pelican Rapids, MN in 2007. She currently resides in Chicago, IL where she continues her growth in service working for an early childhood education non-profit organization.

Top of page

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."

Top of page

Barb DeGroot - Volunteer Team Leader

Barb DeGroot

Volunteer Team Leader:Barb DeGroot Barb DeGroot worked for ten years as media relations manager for Global Volunteers and led teams in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Italy, South Africa, Vietnam and the United States. She has also served on Global Volunteers program in Greece, Poland, Romania and China. A native Minnesotan, she received a Bachelor's Degree in Latin American Area Studies at the University of Minnesota, where she is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in strategic communications. She currently is a Public Relations Specialist at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

Carol Conzelman - Volunteer Team 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.

Top of page

Kristina Herman-Hill - Volunteer Team Leader

Kristina Herman-Hill

Volunteer Team Leader:Kristina Herman Hill Kristina was a volunteer coordinator with Global Volunteers from 2002 to 2008.  She was fortunate to participate on service programs in Minnesota, Ghana, Hungary, China, Poland, and Tanzania, and has led teams in Quito, Ecuador in 2010 and 2011, and a Cuba Now! program in 2013. Having taught English on many of these programs, she discovered a love of teaching, which led to her decision to pursue a new career as an English as a Second Language teacher.  Kristina says she now has the “best of both worlds” because having her summers off as a teacher allows her to serve as a Volunteer Team Leader.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

Kathy Mace Skinner - Volunteer Team Leader

Kathy Mace Skinner

Volunteer Team Leader: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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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."

Top of page

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!

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

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.

Top of page

Google Google