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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chair, Sharon Powers, MT(ASCP): Sharon worked in the clinical laboratory field for over 40 years, serving in hospital laboratory management for 10 years. She volunteers weekly at a Sacramento food bank and is active in her church leadership. She and her family organized five El Porvenir service trips from the Fresno, California community where she lived prior to relocating to Sacramento. Sharon has traveled to Nicaragua for three large community water projects as well as hosted local El Porvenir information meetings and fundraisers.

Vice Chair, Kristen Lionetti: Kristen is an independent consultant with 20 years' experience working to increase social inclusion, equity, human rights, and international solidarity through direct service, program design and implementation, evaluation and research, and advocacy for public policy. She first came to the work as a Jesuit Volunteer in Nicaragua (where she also first learned of El Porvenir's work) and has since worked with various non-profit organizations to support programs and advocacy initiatives, largely related to social justice and migration in/from Central America.

Secretary, Jan Adams: Organizational and political consultant with over 2 decades of experience. Jan has been an advocate for the people of Nicaragua since she first became inspired by the Sandinista revolution in 1979. After traveling to Nicaragua in 1984, she worked in the United States to impede further U.S. interference in Nicaraguan self-determination and offered critical support to many Sandinista initiatives. 

Treasurer, Andrew J. Simpson: Andy graduated Cum Laude from Colorado State University in 1973 and from the University of Colorado Law School in 1977; he practiced law in Boulder, Colorado for forty years in the areas of real estate, business, banking, contract and transaction law. As the sole owner of Advantage Exchange Company, one of the first Qualified Exchange Intermediary Companies in Boulder, he is recognized as an expert in IRS Section 1031 exchange transactions. Andy is a former chairman of the Boulder County Bar Association Real Estate Committee and has served on many non-profit boards. He volunteered for the Landlord-Tenant Hot Line sponsored by the Jefferson County Action Center for over three years. Andy has participated in three work trips to Nicaragua through El Porvenir, helping build a wash station in 2014 and fuel-efficient cooking stoves in 2016 and 2019. Andy is also an active volunteer with Colorado Friends of El Porvenir.

David M. Arnolds, J.D.: Dave is a retired attorney who spent most of his 37 year legal career in mining and oil and gas related matters. Dave was in-house counsel for Atlantic Richfield Company and later for Chevron Corporation. Dave received his Bachelor of Science degree in Scholastic Philosophy from Loyola University (Chicago) and his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. In 2010 Dave received the “Highest Possible Rating in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards” from Martindale Hubble.

Prior to attending law school Dave spent five years in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Flight Officer in the F4 Phantom and was awarded various medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, while in combat in Vietnam.

In addition to being on the board of directors for El Porvenir, Dave formed the Colorado Friends of El Porvenir, an auxiliary group in the Denver Metro Area that has supported El Porvenir since 2001. He is also on the board for Family HomeStead which provides emergency and transitional housing for homeless families in the Denver Metro Area and for the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network which provides legal representation for people held in detention while in deportation proceedings. 

Jeffrey Dreiblatt: Jeffrey is a poet, artist, and volunteer firefighter. His poetry has been published in numerous journals in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. He is retired from a career in digital marketing. Jeffrey has been a supporter of El Porvenir for more than 15 years. In 1983, he moved to Nicaragua at the suggestion of his friend Ben Linder and spent a year learning about and working in support of Nicaragua. This has led to a lifelong commitment to the people of Nicaragua and Central America. 

Jack Dunn: Retired manager for Alcoa with 30 years of experience in personnel, labor relations, and corporate security. B.S. Industrial Engineering, J.D. Law. Licensed PA Realtor (retired). Past President of Church Council, Columbine United Church, Littleton, CO. Initiated church water project with El Porvenir in 2009. Participated in El Porvenir work project in Nicaragua in 2011. Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver regular construction volunteer since 2000.

JoAnn Lynen: Executive Vice President, Global Talent Management. JoAnn has strong ties to Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where she lived for 7 years in the 1990s, working in the non-profit and education arena. Upon earning her Master of Business Administration, she pivoted to a 20 year career with a global management consulting firm, including 15 years as a Talent and HR leader. She previously led two work trips with El Porvenir. JoAnn is fluent in Spanish. She joined the board in 2022.

Lenna Kottke: Lenna spent a career in non-profit management, focusing on services for older adults and people with disabilities. She served as Executive Director of a community transit agency in Boulder, Colorado, for 25 years, retiring in 2016. In 2012, she was introduced to El Porvenir and traveled to Nicaragua. Following that visit, she helped secure funding for a major project to bring water and sanitation to three communities in the Camoapa district. She organized an El Porvenir work trip in 2013 and returned for a celebration of the new water system in 2014. She joined the Board in 2023.

Phillip C. McVey: Multi-national Corporate Executive | Consultant. After four years of military service, Phil enjoyed a 29-year business career in the U.S., Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. His experience included managing branch operations and leading multiple businesses globally, as well as analyzing and improving global operations for large multi-national corporations. His seven years working and living in Latin America included assignments in Panama, El Salvador, and Mexico. Phil is fluent in Spanish and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and business administration respectively. Having joined the board in 2015, he previously served as Board Chair, chaired the finance committee, and has participated in a work trip to Nicaragua with El Porvenir.

Nora Pillard Reynolds, PhD: Nora is the Editor of Globalsl and Fellow for Ethical Global Learning in the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College. Immediately following her graduation from Villanova University in 2002, Nora traveled to Nicaragua for the first time. That trip led her to co-found Water for Waslala, a small NGO that implemented 18 community water projects serving over 3,400 residents while reaching another 3,800+ residents since 2014 through a household filter micro-loan program. Most recently Nora led the acquisition strategy and on April 1, 2016, Water for Waslala was acquired by El Porvenir and WaterAid. Joining the Board of Directors of El Porvenir will enable Nora to continue working to ensure access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in Nicaragua.

Gabriela Tinoco, MS: Gabriela is an environmental engineer who worked with Montgomery Watson in the 1990s; she served as Finance Director and Executive Director for El Porvenir from 2003-6. She is a native of El Salvador, and has visited El Porvenir staff and projects in Nicaragua many times.  

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El Porvenir Board of Directors and Staff, October 2023

EMERITUS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Pat Baker and Phil Dunn: Pat is an advocate with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, a statewide poverty law center in Boston. She’s focused for the last 10 years on anti-hunger initiatives and most recently fighting against attempts to gut core safety-net programs. Phil, an attorney, has worked exclusively for almost four decades in a private practice as a labor/management arbitrator and mediator. Pat and Phil married in Nicaragua in 1987.

In 1987-88, they lived in Puertas Viejas, Nicaragua, working with that community to build housing financed by Habitat for Humanity. In collaboration with Carole Harper and Mike Prentiss, they also participated in low tech potable water projects, in the very beginning of what would become El Porvenir. After a couple of years back in the U.S., Pat and Phil were back in Nicaragua in 1990-91, splitting their time between El Porvenir and Habitat for Humanity in Esquipulas and El Crucero. While living in the States since 1988, they have led many El Porvenir work delegations to Nicaragua. Phil served on the EP Board for most of two decades, with particular attention to personnel matters.

Chris Conway: Spanish teacher at Albany Academy, NY. In his former position at the Rensselaerville Institute, he had extensive experience in small-community, self-help water and sewer projects in the United States. He lived in Nicaragua 1986-87, teaching at the University of Central America and serving as a social anthropologist at the National Museum.

Fredrick C. Cooper, PhD, P.E.: Professional engineer and President of Cooper Zietz Engineers, Inc., a civil and environmental engineering company working in the field of water supply, wastewater disposal, and public infrastructure projects in the U.S. and abroad.

Raymond P. Finney, BA, MRE: Century 21 Realtor; affordable housing advocate; 35 years of experience in housing and community development, including Denver Regional Office of HUD; Rocky Mountain Regional Director of Habitat for Humanity International; renewable energy advocate; bilingual.

 

Richard Gammon: Dr Richard H. Gammon is Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry and Oceanography, and Adjunct Professor(Emeritus) of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. He is a former Co-Director of the UW Program on the Environment (2004-2007). Richard has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in chemistry, oceanography, atmospheric science, global biogeochemical cycles, and climate change. His research has emphasized the measurement and interpretation of atmospheric trace gases critical to climate change. Richard served as the Director of Science at the Pacific Science Center (1979-80) and remains actively involved in improving the understanding of the climate change challenge with frequent public talks.

Carole Harper: Carole was born in Mobile, Alabama and escaped to the north when she graduated from high school and enrolled in Oberlin College in Ohio. She holds a B.A. degree in political science from Oberlin, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco. She lived and worked in Nicaragua 1986-1990 with Habitat for Humanity; then, with friends, she co-founded El Porvenir in 1990. She currently lives in Sacramento, California and worked for decades with the State of California as an Administrative Law Judge with the Department of Social Services.

J.B. Jones: Former President and CEO of the Elk Grove Water Works, a municipal water utility.

Mark SmithMark W. Smith, PhD, is a health economist and Vice President at CATHEXIS, a federal consulting firm near Washington, DC.  For more than 20 years, he has studied the cost, delivery, and effectiveness of health care.  He participated in El Porvenir work trips in 2005 and 2009 and served on the Board of Directors from 2010-2020.  

Liz Specht: Founding Board member of El Porvenir; Board President emeritus of St. John's Educational Center, San Francisco; local environmental activist. 

Dick Whitmore: Retired forest engineer and watershed consultant. Dick took El Porvenir's reforestation program and transformed it into our comprehensive watershed restoration program to conserve existing forests, restore degraded areas, and restore stream flow and recharge groundwater sources. Dick has been on 8 work trips and travels to Nicaragua to train forestry staff as well.

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