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Staff

Leadership

Amy Carol Dominguez, President of Hands Offering Hope

Amy serves as the President and Executive Director of Hands Offering Hope Foundation. Amy’s career has taken her around the world to countries like Ethiopia, Liberia, Colombia, Argentina, Canada, and Mexico. She has a passion for life that flows into how she runs and manages each team she has led. Her experience ranges from leading pieces of business for a large marketing agency to building international research projects to creating weekly crafts for young kids in an after-school program. Amy founded the Institute in Chiquilá, Mexico, in 2015 with Brian and Rachel Gawlak after serving the people there for nearly 15 years. Her life and heart are forever committed to opening doors for young people to thrive and know they’re loved. Her heart and vision for Hands Offering Hope is that all youth and children served will know their value and purpose in this life and achieve great things for their families, towns, and countries. And that all those who offer skills and talents will know the power in deploying excellence to lift others up. Amy and her husband Adiel live in Connecticut and enjoy regular adventures around the globe that include coffee, great food, and beautiful vistas.

Karmina Vargaslugo, Administrative Director, Hands Offering Hope Mexico

Karmina comes to Hands Offering Hope with a diverse background, including a career in commercial architecture, business strategy, and sales and a passion for training young people to be the best they can be in this world. After two years of volunteering with our Michael Lotito Fellows program, Karmina formally joined our team in March 2020 as the Director of Hands Offering Hope Mexico. She arrived just as COVID-19 hit the world and has been instrumental in deploying our teams to respond to the urgent needs of Lazaro Cardenas. Karmina handles all of the financial and organizational administration of Hands Offering Hope Mexico and is overjoyed to be able to help and empower young people. “I was born with a dream to help others and to give love to those who need it most. Now, I feel so happy to make that dream a reality – it has been my greatest joy.”

Karmina lives in Cancún, Mexico, with her husband Alejandro and their two dogs.

Obed, Program Director, Hands Offering Hope Mexico

Obed started working at Hands Offering Hope in 2019 as the Institute’s FIrst Year Director. After making a radical impact in students’ lives, Obed returned in 2020 to help lead the Institute in a time of a global pandemic. He joins the team full time as the Program Director, leading all new programmatic development in the county of Lazaro Cardenas.

Obed has been working with youth for the last 5 years. He has been traveling all over Latin America to share motivational messages of purpose with young people who are eager to make a change in the world. Through this podcast, DeltaLife, Obed generates meaningful and relevant content for students facing all kinds of challenges. Obed lives in Tizimin with his family and is excited to be a part of the Hands Offering Hope Family in a more robust way.

Adiel Dominguez, President of Hands Offering Hope Mexico

Adiel is the President of Hands Offering Hope, Mexico and has been serving in various capacities in the Institute since 2016. His background is in business, logistics and marketing and he ensures that the operations of the work in Mexico are done with excellence. He is also a fine artist and photographer and helps teach the Institute’s self-expression week and trains our marketing staff to capture our brand. Adiel has his Bachelor’s in Business and Tourism from Centro Universitario de Valladolid and his MBA in marketing from Sacred Heart University.  He and his wife Amy live in Trumbull, Connecticut and Chiquila, Mexico and enjoy traveling, hosting friends and being Tio and Tia to lots of kids they love.

Jenni-Rae Ventling, Administrative Coordinator

Jenni-Rae Ventling’s love for the people of Mexico began many years ago when she joined her middle-school class on a mission trip to Chiquila. It is now her pleasure and heart’s mission to serve the very same community she visited as a teenager with excellence and order using her managerial and organizational skills as Administrative Coordinator for Hands Offering Hope. 

Jenni-Rae manages Hand Offering Hope’s daily organizational operations and staff support. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Management from Post University and resides in Monroe, Connecticut with her husband Brandon. They have four children and enjoy exploring nature and the outdoors.

Board

Claire Tondreau, Chair

Claire Tondreau has a background in brand strategy. After starting her career in advertising, she founded and led a boutique consultancy that helped clients including Barnes & Noble, Citi, Media IQ, Sprint PCS, and Volvo drive brand expansion and revenue growth. She currently works in executive and leadership development, with a focus on women in technology. Claire joined Hands Offering Hope as an executive advisor in 2016, leading annual board meetings and facilitating discussion around key decisions. Claire joined as a director in 2018 and chairs the newly formed Women’s Collective.

Claire spends her time between Brooklyn and New Jersey. She loves surfing, being a good villager, and facilitating small changes that can have a big impact.

Gonzalo Celorio Morayta, Vice Chair

Gonzalo Celorio Morayta is the President of CM Idiomas, one of the leading interpreting agencies in Mexico. His experience is deep in the areas of education, languages, diplomacy, administration and event coordination. Gonzalo has led the interpretation for many significant historical events including the Deputy High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights’ visit to Mexico. He served on the organizing committee for the UN’s Fifth Global Forum on Reinvention of Government as the liaison between the Office of the President for Government Innovation of the Government of Mexico. He has led the translation of significant texts and has authored and published, along with his wife Frances, over a dozen books for teaching English to high school students with several leading publication companies. Gonzalo has worked as a professor at El Colegio de México. Gonzalo joined the HOH board in 2017 and resides in Cuernavaca with his wife, Frances and has three grown children doing amazing things around the globe.

Kim Cordes, Treasurer

Kim has worked as a corporate tax accountant for the past 20 years. She and her husband Scott were married in 2001 and live in Buffalo Grove, Illinois with their nine-year old dog Cayman. Kim and Scott are highly involved in a young adults ministry at their church. Originally from Marion Indiana, Kim is an avid Indiana University Hoosiers Basketball fan. She TiVos every game. As a Certified Public Accountant, she’s excited to serve Hands Offering Hope as the Treasurer.

Thomas Hendrican, Secretary

Tom has spent his entire business career in IT and related fields, currently focusing on IT financial management. With his management, communication and finance skills, he ensures effective administration for Hands Offering Hope. Tom and his wife of over 40 years, Shelli, have had a life-long passion for young people. They have been deeply involved with Hands Offering Hope since its inception and have supported work with youth all over the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Russia and around the globe. Tom and Shell attend Church of the Apostles in Fairfield, Connecticut and enjoy travel, great food, adventures to New York City, London and around the world.

Katherine DiLeo, Director

Over the past 15 years, Katherine has provided high level executive organizational and administrative support in various financial firms. Beginning her career in the retail industry and moving into event planning, her passion has always been rooted in building relationships and improving customer experience. For the last decade, she has lent her keen eye for detail and strong organizational skills to improve operations and run day-to-day schedules for CEOs and Presidents of a privately owned hedge fund, boutique fitness company as well as a Fortune 100 company. Having held roles of increasing responsibility, she currently works as a Project Coordinator working for the President of American Express’s Global Services Group, managing a variety of important initiatives for the President.

Katherine has been involved with Hands Offering Hope since January 2020, joined the board in September 2020 and is eager to bring the same level of excitement and optimism that she felt on her first trip to Mexico, to the rest of the world. Katherine currently lives in Westchester with her husband, Rocco, an architect, and her two daughters. She serves as both the President of the PTO and the Treasurer of the PTA in her respective children’s schools. When she’s not working, you can find her doing something fitness related or spending time with her family.

Scott Lawton, Director

Scott Lawton’s career success is rooted in a commitment to the guest experience in the restaurant industry. He has built strong, profitable brands for the groups he has worked for. Scott co-founded and directed all operations for the renowned bartaco brand where he currently serves as CEO. Over the seven years, Scott led bartaco’s growth from 0 stores to 15 stores, 60+ million in sales operating in 8 different states, resulting in an acquisition in 2018. Prior to that Lawton held key leadership roles with Tribeca Grill, Buckhead Life and Big Time Restaurants.

Scott has been actively involved with Hands Offering Hope since 2018, joined the board in 2019 and is at the helm of the social enterprise plans for the organization. Scott is an avid music lover and lives in Trumbull, Connecticut with his wife Katy, their five children, and beloved pets.

Jennifer Lotito, Director

As President and Chief Operating Officer of (RED), Jennifer is responsible for the overall strategic and operational issues of the organization, overseeing the short and long-term priorities that continue to build the (RED) brand and generate critical and sustainable funds to help end the AIDS pandemic. Jennifer also oversees (RED)’s Business Development and Partnerships efforts and has been personally instrumental in developing and executing relationships with some of (RED)’s biggest partners, including Apple, Bank of America, Beats by Dre, LVMH, Salesforce, Starbucks and others – the brands who have helped generate over $600 million for the AIDS fight, impacting over 140 million lives.

Prior to joining (RED) in 2008, Jennifer was a Senior Partner at Ogilvy Worldwide, responsible for overseeing the global IBM and American Express accounts. A native Bostonian, Jennifer started her advertising career at Houston Effler after graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jennifer is Co-Founder and President of the JML Hope Foundation, a 501c3 private foundation that focuses on the power of mentorship to nurture the minds and hearts of the next generation of leaders. She also serves as a Board Director to Hands Offering Hope, a non-profit organization focused on empowering the youth of the world, especially within Mexico.

Richard L. Luebke, Jr., Director

Mr. Luebke is a high-integrity senior private education executive, builder of Pima Medical Institute (PMI) into an 18 campus organization serving communities in 8 Western states including Arizona, California, New Mexico, Washington, Colorado, Montana, Nevada and Texas.  Since 1983 he has provided leadership in the development of occupational curriculum and programmatic accreditation resulting in 24 new vocational disciplines. Focused on delivering quality education that leads to employment the institute has graduated over 120,000 students (circa December 2018).

His unique view of employee engagement led to the creation of an employee ownership plan in 2002 that allows each staff and faculty to be an owner in the institute.  Through this empowering approach the college has achieved continuous growth (10% CAGR) and profitability.

Mr. Luebke currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Pima Medical Institute and also serves on local and national boards in a variety of social ventures.

Mr. Luebke has served the education community through his leadership on the board of the Arizona Private School Association and the board level leadership on the national Career Education Colleges and Universities.

His civic involvement includes service with Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts of America, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Cystic Fibrosis, American Lung Association, Sold No More (an agency dedicated to fighting sex trafficking) and Agape Hospice.

Before joining Pima Medical Institute in 1983 he served as Finance Director for the Los Angeles Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  Mr. Luebke earned his B.S. in Secondary Education from Idaho State University.

André Moraes, Director

André leads Digital Marketing and Tech Innovation for PepsiCo’s Foodservice division, across all beverage, snack and food brands.

Prior to joining PepsiCo, André worked on both the tech and agency sides of the marketing world—leading consumer insights and marketing intelligence at Google within the food and beverage sector, as well as serving as Global Director of Marketing Sciences at OMD .

André is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University where he teaches marketing analytics to students in the Integrated Marketing masters program. He holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from Fairfield University, a Master of Science in digital marketing from Full Sail University, and is a Fulbright Scholar. He speaks four languages fluently and is a long time guitar, bass and drum musician and has played for multiple bands and groups throughout his life. He has even taken to making his own guitars to add to his growing collection. André lives in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife Megan, daughter Camila and dog Lulu.

Dr. Mike Mycoskie, Director, Medical Training

Mike is a known doctor, leader, connector and strategic consult. Mike spent his career in Arlington, Texas as a leader in orthopedic surgery. In 1981, Mike founded Arlington Orthopedic Associates, the second largest orthopedic group in Texas. He served President of group from inception until retirement in 2011. During his time, he built ambulatory surgery center, 2 physician office buildings in including PT and MRI facilities. And as his final project, he built a full service, 24 inpatient bed orthopedic hospital in partnership with Baylor Healthcare System. Mike recently retired from orthopedic surgery practice after 30 years and has been strategically involved in several social entrepreneurship projects. He is the Medical Director at TOMS. There, Mike works specifically in the area of podoconiosis, looking to eradicate it initially in Ethiopia and ultimately globally. Mike serves as an advisor on the Start Something that Matters Foundation and works with organizations to help establish effective business plans that sustain impact. Mike has a deep passion for kids in need and has travelled the world in support of efforts that meet their needs. Mike is the pioneer and director of the Hands Offering Hope Medical Training Program, which connects global medical experts to local medical professionals to provide capacity and training. Mike lives in Marina del Rey with his wife Pamela Jean (Doehler) Mycoskie of 46 years. Pam and Mike have three children: Blake, Paige, and Tyler. And are thrilled to have four grandchildren, Becket, Preston, Summit, and Charlie Sage. Mike graduated in 1976 from Tulane University’s School of Medicine.

Erisa Hines Stilley, Director

Erisa Stilley is currently working on the EDL (entry, descent, and landing) engineering team for the Mars 2020 rover project. This mission will collect samples at its location on Mars and store them for a future mission to get them and bring them back to Earth! Previously, she enjoyed planning drives for the Curiosity rover currently operating on Mars. Over her 10 years at the lab, she has served as the Cruise Attitude Control Systems Engineer for Mars Science Lab (Curiosity), has worked on the DAWN Asteroid mission and on Altair, the next generation moon lander design. Erisa has an MS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Miami, Florida. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Brock, her church family in Pasadena, seeking adventure in the outdoors, and participating in some community theater.

Andrea Rupp, Director

Andrea Rupp joined Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP) in September 2012 as Vice President, Human Resources and oversees the company’s human resources functions. From 2010 until joining HPP, Ms. Rupp served as Director of Human Resources for The Sports Club/LA, a collection of luxury fitness and health clubs located in Los Angeles and New York. Ms. Rupp has held various human resources positions in media and entertainment, including from 2009 to 2010 at Bexel, a provider of broadcast services, and from 1999 to 2008 at Blue Man Productions, the organization that manages, produces and promotes Blue Man Group worldwide. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Beginning in 2014, she has traveled four times to Haiti with Healing Haiti and Haiti Partners to provide support and counsel for their programs. Over the years, she has spent time volunteering with foster youth in Los Angeles and is a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children in Los Angeles. In July 2018, she made her first trip to Chiquila, Mexico to serve as at trainer and Women’s Summit panelist at the Global Youth Leadership Institute with Hands Offering Hope.

Andrea lives in Santa Monica, California, loves to run and is an avid Yankee fan.

Alejandro Ventura, Advisor to the Board

Alejandro Ventura is an enthusiastic young leader from San Ángel, Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico, a rural community that relies heavily upon agriculture. He was one of the first students to complete Hands Offering Hope’s Summer Institute and went on to serve as one of the first Institute directors in 2019. 

He recently graduated with a degree in commerce and international business—a course of study he selected because of his passion for improving the economic outlook and development opportunities available to young people in his community, and the broader economy of the region. 

He is a dedicated leader, responsible, and focused on his goals. 

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