Chief Executive Officerchrisfontana@global-visionaries.org
Chris Fontana is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Visionaries. Launched in 1999, through Chris's leadership GV has led more than 1,200 students and adults to Guatemala. An important aspect of his work is the co-creation of Global Leadership curriculum for Seattle area schools, first taught at the Global Studies Academy at Cleveland High School. He has an extensive background in cross-cultural training, and taught Spanish to middle and high school students for 13 years. Chris's passion for engaging youth in global leadership was evidenced in 1995 through his organization of YES, youth-organized Global Youth Environmental Summits. The 1995 Summit, sponsored by the United Nations Environmental Program, brought 300 high school students from 32 countries and 40 states together for one week of education in environmental and peace issues, social action, leadership skills, and direct environmental service. For his efforts, Chris won the 1995 Colorado Partners in Education Award. In 2008, Chris was an honoree of the Thomas C. Wales Passionate Citizen Award, and was honored by Seattle University's Albers School of Business with its 2011 Redwinged Leadership Award.
Mario Flores is GV's Program Director. He first joined the organization in 2006 as a Country Coordinator working in Guatemala. He was then promoted to Country Program Director there before joining the Seattle office as Program Outreach Manager. Mario was promoted to Program Director in May 2013. After studying Agronomics Agriculture at Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, Mario joined an International Crew for EarthCorps, a Seattle-based NGO. This experience ignited his passion to continue working in environmental restoration as well as social justice and environmental education. Mario remained with EarthCorps as an International Crew Leader, and later spent one year as an EarthCorps Outreach Intern. After completing his training in Seattle, Mario returned to Guatemala, where he organized and managed an eco-service learning project. This effort brought together 35 international volunteers from the U.S., Mexico and Argentina to restore trails and a natural park as well as build a native plant nursery facility. Born and raised in Guatemala, Mario understands the importance of community involvement and collaboration in social and environmental justice projects. Mario brings to GV his leadership and management skills, knowledge of restoration, experience in environmental education and community outreach, all which will help make Global Visionaries successful.
Director of Development and Marketingtomlapaze@global-visionaries.org
Tom's passion for enabling leadership skills, especially among young people, drew him as a donor of Global Visionaries in 2001. So after more than a dozen years as a Director of Marketing at Microsoft and 7 years as VP for interactive services at the agency DDB, Tom joined the staff of GV in 2015. Why the shift in career? "The world and every social and environment issue will have the need for good leaders, skilled at understanding global perspectives with passion for creating a world that is just and sustainable. If we foster the development of young people to this end, we ensure the future of every beneficial cause."
Caitlin Coggeshall is GV's operations manager. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the Evans School at the University of Washington, and a B.A. in Political Science from UW. After finishing her B.A., Caitlin joined the Peace Corps, and lived in Ukraine for two years teaching English. It was during this time that Caitlin realized her passion for empowering youth leaders. From then on she has been guided by her personal mission to "support opportunities for youth to develop their interests and skills in order to realize their full potential for leaders." It is this mission that drew Caitlin to GV as an intern during the summer of 2015, and back again as Operations Manager in 2016.
Jessie Chien is GV’s bookkeeper and joined GV since May 2017. She was born and raised in Taiwan and moved to Seattle area in 2007. She is a certified public accountant and holds a Master of Professional Accounting from Seattle University. After years working for companies and organizations of different sizes, she found her passion working for small and local ones and enjoys growing with them. She believes numbers have a huge impact on decision making for executives and would like to provide quality work to help GV grow and continue fostering youth like they always do.
Morgan Flake serves as Program Manager, where she works directly with participants, parents, and interns in coordinating all first-year program components in collaboration with the Program Director and colleagues. She holds a master of public health degree from Columbia University and a BA in Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. She has worked with youth as an instructor of urban and community health and as a coach, mentor, and program manager. Her background in public health led her to seek out this position so that she could influence the educational attainment of young people, which is the most powerful determinant of health later in life. She was drawn to GV's democratic classroom and youth-leading-youth models because it enables not only the content, but also the methodology, to empower young people.
Associate Program Managerelizabethcaldart@global-visionaries.org
Elizabeth Caldart grew up in Seattle and was a Global Visionaries program participant between 2007 and 2009. Elizabeth holds a BA in Critical Theory & Social Justice from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Since graduating, she has worked as Social Media & Communications Coordinator for a non-profit that delivers mindfulness based curriculum to youth. She has also worked to empower youth as a mentor, tutor and coach and has published a paper in the peer reviewed CTSJ Journal of Undergraduate Research. Elizabeth is excited to return to GV and work in collaboration with youth leaders to create positive change. In her spare time, Elizabeth can be found making mix CDs for loved ones, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.
Aurelio Hernandez Ordoñez
Guatemala Senior Director
Aurelio has worked with GV since 2003; prior to his involvement he worked with El Centro Linguistico, La Union in Antigua. He coordinates all on-the-ground activities in Guatemala, connecting GV with local partners for service projects and cultural exchanges. He has worked in Tourism and Hotel Management since 1994, and holds a degree in Business Administration from the Universidad de Francisco Marroquin. Aurelio enjoys working with foreign visitors to Guatemala and believes strongly in the benefits of building partnerships between Guatemala and foreign organizations toward a common goal of creating a better living standard for all Guatemalans.
Country Program Director
An Antigua native, Billy graduated in an accounting career in 2007 and is currently studying Auditing and Public Accounting at la Universidad de Mariano Galvez. Before becoming involved with GV, he was a regular teenager, unaware of the injustice around the world. In his last year of high school, he began to volunteer with GV, and was deeply impacted by the work he did constructing a school near his hometown. He stayed involved with the project for the rest of the year, adopting the school as his final project. That same year, he was invited to be on the Guatemalan GV staff. With GV he is a trip leader and specializes in cultural exchange, teambuilding, and leadership. He loves challenging paradigms and helping students develop a new way of perceiving the world during their learning adventures with GV. Of his experiences with GV, he says: “I’ve learned that education is the most important thing to make change in myself, and from this acknowledgement can extend change to my fellow countrymen, working together to build a just world. My dream for GV is to create the same opportunities that I’ve had for other Guatemalan youth.”
Claudia Hernandez Garcia
Program Logistic Coordinator
Claudia Irene Hernández García was born in San Miguel Escobar; she has been with Global Visionaries since 2013 after processing coffee with her family for 9 years. Claudia values the strengths taught at GV, including leadership, integrity and honesty. She received a degree in Tourism in 2007. Claudia also believes that by stepping out of our comfort zones we can become global leaders. "Education creates better opportunities for youth"
Jose Eduardo Cordova Alvarez
Jose Eduardo Cordova Alvares was born in Antigua Guatemala and currently lives in Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) Sacatepequez. He is 22 years old and graduated with a degree in business administration. Eduardo has been a participant and volunteer with Global Visionaries since 2013. He has a passion for social and environmental justice and loves working with youth. Eduardo says he loves empowering young people because every person can make a difference and youth are central to positive change.
Sandra Hurtarte completed training to be a secretary, and is now studying to receive a degree in social work. She is pursuing a degree in social work because, in her words, “I like to find the opportunity to improve and change people; I have faith that through one, seeds are sown for progress of an entire community.” Sandra joined the Global Visionaries team in 2016. She was drawn to GV because of the opportunity GV provides to people with limited resources, as well as the opportunity it gives her to empower Guatemala’s youth to be leaders of a better future.
Veronique Burke has been involved with Global Visionaries since her daughter, Camille, traveled to Guatemala in 2008. Mrs. Burke started the Parent Network for GV this year and has continued on as the coordinator. She’s worked with young people – of all ages – throughout her life. Now, she’s a therapist and manages a small counseling group in Bellevue, WA.
Sara Frame is a science teacher at Chief Sealth International High School. Before her years at Chief Sealth, she was an environmental and outdoor educator, working for organizations such as the Teva Learning Center, IslandWood, Seattle Audubon, Sound Experience, South Seattle Community College, and TechStart. In addition, she also took students abroad to Mexico, Nicaragua, and Ghana so they may begin to have a conscious awareness about social justice. She says when she’s not teaching or traveling, you'll probably find her on the bus headed to a local Zumba class, or at home making mean, green smoothie.
Denise Hagen has been a Physical Education teacher at Chief Sealth International High School for the past seven years. She’s a gym and field supervisor and a tennis coach. It’s always been a dream of hers to travel with students to another country and learn about its culture, educational system, and what impact we can, and do, have on it.
DeAira Handugan is a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Chief Sealth International High School. She enjoys hiking, reading and traveling. Ms. Handugan says she’s “passionate about the content that [she] teaches” and she makes her classes “exciting and engaging for the students.”
Becky Horst is a Sports Medicine and Health teacher at Chief Sealth International High School. She’s been teaching in the Seattle Public School System since 2005. Mrs. Horst now lives in West Seattle with her husband and son. She says she’s “excited to have this opportunity to be part of such a wonderful program, to experience all that Guatemala has to offer and to interact with such a great group of students.”
Katie Kelly is a Spanish Bilingual Paraprofessional at Evanston Township High School. She previously lived in Spain for 4 years teaching English. She spent two years in La Rioja and two years in Madrid. She will be attending DePaul University in Chicago starting in the fall to pursue her Masters in Spanish Education. In her free time she likes to travel, read, and be with her dog.
Daniel Molotsky has been a teacher for over twenty years. He has taught overseas in Tanzania and Thailand, worked as a teacher in a therapeutic wilderness school and taught in a variety of positions in public school. He currently works in the Port Townsend School District as a teacher in their K-12 public alternative school, The OCEAN Program. In addition to teaching, Daniel has a deep interest in environmental studies and recently completed an MS in this area. He and his family enjoy spending time outdoors hiking and bird watching. Daniel is looking forward to being part of the Global Visionaries program.
Dale Rector says his primary life interests include family, youth and travel. He has helped raise four sons and one daughter while teaching Spanish, French, and German over a thirty-two-year career in California and Seattle. Mr. Rector's interests, as well as his experience as a soldier in the Vietnam War, have spurred him to be active in supporting resistance to all forms of oppression, since they so directly impact all children of all ethnic backgrounds.
Kathleen Sullivan is a Spanish teacher at Evanston High School. She attended Marquette University for undergraduate and graduate school, and earned a Master's in Spanish Literature. She loves traveling and has lived in Madrid and Seville in Spain as well as one year in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In her free time she enjoys things outdoors, running and has run two marathons. Her favorite place in Chicago is the lakefront trail. She is very excited to be a part of the pilot program Global Visionaries at ETHS and looks forward to the Guatemala experience.
Chris Twombley is a coach and teacher at Mercer Island High School. He currently lives in West Seattle with his wife and children. Mr. Twombley says he’s most happy when he’s hanging out with his kids, learning, watching the Sounders, listening to live music, and eating falafel. This is Mr. Twombley’s fifth year as a recruiter and trip leader for Global Visionaries.
Marc Weinblatt, founder of the Mandala Center for Change, has been a professional educator, theatre director, activist, and workshop facilitator since 1980. He has worked with communities ranging from police to homeless youth, grassroots organizers and laborers to university deans. Mr. Weinblatt regularly facilitates diversity and anti-oppression workshops in a wide variety of contexts across the U.S. with a commitment to bringing a deep sense of spirit and humanity into social justice work.
Eileen Yardley is a teacher at Ballard High School and a parent of GV youth participant. She says when she’s not teaching, you can find her hanging out with her family, running, reading, or exploring the glorious Pacific Northwest. After five years of interest, Mrs. Yardley looks forward to her first experience with Global Visionaries this summer.
Noah Zeichner is a National Board-certified Social Studies teacher at Chief Sealth International High School. He currently teaches Global Leadership, American Government and IB Theory of Knowledge. During his teaching tenure, Noah has traveled with students to Guatemala and China. In 2012, he journeyed to Brazil as part of the Teachers for Global Classrooms fellowship. For the past three years, Noah has coordinated a student-led, school-wide festival called World Water Week.
Noah Zeichner is a National Board-certified social studies teacher at Chief Sealth International School in Seattle, Washington. He currently teaches Global Leadership, American Government and IB Theory of Knowledge. He works in a hybrid role, spending part of his day supporting the Center for Teaching Quality's global teacher-leadership initiatives and the majority teaching and mentoring young people and colleagues. During his teaching tenure, Noah has traveled with students to Guatemala and China. In 2012, he journeyed to Brazil as part of the Teachers for Global Classrooms fellowship. For the past four years, Noah has coordinated a student-led, school-wide festival called World Water Week. In 2014 Noah was honored with the World Affairs Council Global Educator of the Year. He is also among 50 finalists chosen from 1,300 teachers in 127 countries for the Global Teacher Prize, widely known as the 'Nobel Prize' of education.
Kimberly Corrigan is the former Executive Director of the national K12 curricula publisher, Facing the Future, now a division of Western Washington University. Kim also currently serves as a U.S. Affiliate for The Earth Charter Initiative based at the University for Peace in Costa Rica and as a Director for the nonprofit Board of Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy. She holds a master's degree in communication from the Edward R. Murrow College at Washington State University and a Master Certificate for Project Leadership from Cornell University. Kimberly lived overseas for nearly a decade in the 90s while directing the development of market surveys and educational materials across Eastern Europe, China, Ukraine and Russia for a Dutch-owned company based on Cyprus, and upon her return became a Senior Product Manager at Gear.com (now Overstock.com). An avid sailor, diver and reader she can also be found walking Washington's freshwater coastlines with a heavy supply of dark chocolate.
Terry was elected to 3 terms as Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State. Before that, she spent over 30 years in various capacities—teaching in the classroom, serving as leadership with the WA Education Association, at the University of Washington, and district leader in Central Kitsap. She also served as Executive Director of the San Francisco School Alliance.
Karen Kodama is the former International Education Administrator and former Principal of John Stanford International School.