Fern Remedi-Brown, M.Ed., MBA, President
Fern’s expertise is in designing successful programs that understand the needs of multicultural and multilingual populations, and she has a passion for eliminating global healthcare inequities. She has traveled multiple times to Guatemala and is working closely with the Guatemala NGO CorGuate. She has worked at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard School of Public Health, as well as freelance as a journalist, writing on global issues of social justice. 150 published articles can be found at Guardian Liberty Voice.
Fern has a Master’s of Education (English as a Second Language) and an MBA (Global & Healthcare Management). Fern and her spouse have two daughters of Latina heritage, one adopted from Guatemala.
Cecilia Nuñez O’Doherty, Treasurer
Cecilia Nuñez O’Doherty was born in Panamá and raised in New York City. As a teacher of 4th through 5th grade English Language Learners at a public school in Malden, Massachusetts, she empowers them not only through teaching the language; she also teaches the students to respect themselves. An artist, Cecilia uses mixed media and the written word as part of her message. She gives this same lesson to her two young sons. Ms. Nuñez always shares the lesson of “traveling with happiness.”
Lauren M. DiSalvatore, B.S.,Clerk
Lauren has always had a love for science, the environment, and helping others. She used to beg her mother every weekend to go to the aquarium or science museum, even though she had been many times. When she got to high school, she found a love for the outdoors and how she could help others in the Management side of Environmental Science. College opened her eyes to public policy and how helping others on the smaller scale makes a big difference. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Policy, with a minor in Clean Energy and Sustainability from UMass Boston.
Lauren is excited to work with the board members to achieve this water station in Guatemala and see where her knowledge could help those less fortunate!
Rabbi David Kudan, M.A.H.L., A.M.
Rabbi Kudan has served at Temple Tiferet Shalom of the North Shore (formerly Temple Tifereth Israel of Malden) since 2009. He was ordained in 1987. He studied Semitic Languages at the Catholic Institute of Paris and worked at a Paris synagogue during his rabbinic training. He also studied Aramaic, Ethiopic, and Hebrew Bible at the graduate level at New York University and at Harvard. He is completing his Ph.D. at Harvard University in the Department of Near Eastern Languages. Rabbi Kudan has been a Reform Rabbinic Advisor and has served as Director of Outreach at Harvard Hillel. He is a member of the outreach faculty of the Union of Reform Judaism.
A major focus of Rabbi Kudan’s work is in interfaith dialogue. He is committed to building bridges between the Jewish community and other ethnic and religious groups. One of Temple Tiferet Shalom’s missions focuses on hunger and poverty.
Zinna Alekseeva, B.A.
Zinaida (Zinna) Alekseeva has a B.A. from St. Lawrence University (NY state) in Multi Languages (French, German, and Spanish) with a minor in Government and European Studies. She is Vice-President of The Software MacKiev Company, est. 1997, a leading developer and publisher of award-winning software as well as a provider of contract development services to other software publishers in a variety of industries. Their products include Family Tree Maker, The Print Shop, KID PIX, WORLD BOOK, 3D Weather Globe, Hyper Studio, Mavis Beacon, and ClueFinders.
Zinna is dedicated to family and the environment. Originally from Moscow, she is innovative and energetic. Zinna lives in Boston with her partner Jack Minsky, their six children, and her mother.
Nancy Peña, B.A.
Nancy Peña is a native Guatemalan with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and an Applied Associate of Arts in Journalism who lives in Boston where she has worked for 15 years as a Patient Navigator at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She designed and developed the program there for at-risk patients with cervical cancer. Nancy is developing a patient navigation project in Guatemala along with medical experts there. She also has a cable television. program, Colores Latinos TV , which reaches multiple countries and informs audiences about public health and Latino culture. Nancy also regularly collects funds and goods and travels to Guatemala to assist disaster victims, such as from the 2018 volcano eruption.
Héctor Ricardo San José Roca, B.A., Project Manager
Ricardo has seven years of experience in international negotiation, six years in balancing the books of a company, purchasing, and managing a construction firm. He also has two years of experience in the food industry and in balancing books.
In 2015, Ricardo founded the organization, CorGuate. Sowing Opportunities stands for the dignity of human life and respects all members of the community with an open heart. CorGuate stands for Corazones en Acción por Guatemala (or Hearts in Action for Guatemala), which is very appropriate because the Q’echqi’ people (of Chajmaic) relate to one another with their language by referring to the heart, in their greetings and inquiries about one another’s well-being.
Juan Antonio Longo Arcia, B.A.
has a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Engineering from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and is a native Guatemala who has a passion for and deep understanding of the soil and the people of Guatemala. He has training in organic agriculture, in native and low-cost resources, in analytical Agri-lab solutions, in efficient processes, and in industrial security. He has worked for the Ministry of Agriculture in Guatemala and as departmental leader on a large farm.
When Sowing Opportunities first employed his services, he accompanied Ricardo San José Roca to the remote and destitute village of Chajmaic, Guatemala where he had the concept to take soil samples to test, to see if anything could grow. He determined that only Tabasco chili peppers could.
From the beginning, Antonio has proven himself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy engineer who is both innovative and has the skills to carry through projects on which he embarks.
Antonio has traveled with the team to explore how a working chili pepper farm functioned in the northern region of Petén. And, he has returned frequently to Chajmaic so that the villagers not only trust him, but are willing to add an extension to their room to accommodate him while learning about greenhouse farming in their village.
Federico Arriola, B.A.
Federico Arriola is a native Guatemalan and an agricultural engineer who has won awards for his projects in Brazil and Guatemala, including one for Pollo Campero. He traveled to Israel to learn the drip irrigation system of watering plants and devised a greenhouse system that is employed in a religious boarding school for young boys from indigenous villages around Guatemala who will return home to train their families in vegetable production. (Ref. https://youtu.be/qPfWz27HINw ) It is this system that he plans to employ in the remote village of Chajmaic, Guatemala to help the villagers to develop a food source and a livelihood. (Ref. http://www.sowingops.org/en/learn/guatemala-travelogue-december-2018/4/)
Denis García, M.S. in Plant and Environmental Science
Denis, originally from Zacapa, Guatemala (and more recently from Quetzaltenango), just defended his Master’s dissertation in Plant and Environmental Science at Clemson University, South Carolina.
Denis’ previous experience has been in monitoring surface water quality, and contaminant transport, as well as environmental and geotechnical services. While in graduate school, he served as mentor to undergraduates for a project in Haiti, monitoring and designing a prototype for drinking water quality.
In 2016 Denis worked as a Climate Change Consultant for the United Nations’ World Food Programme in Guatemala, to implement and test a smartphone app that provided information on weather alerts and agricultural advice.
Caroline Callison Tiffin, B.A., J.D.
Caroline is a journalist and retired trial lawyer whose passions are for humanitarian and development work in Guatemala and animal rescue, which she sometimes combines. She has traveled frequently to Guatemala for the past 20 years and is fluent in Spanish and in Guatemalan culture. Caroline provides homeland trip experiences for Guatemalan adoptees and their families as well as assisting adoptees in locating and reuniting with their birth families. She administers a scholarship fund that sends young Mayan men and women to university and volunteers with a large NGO based in the Lake Atitlan area. With her Canadian-American husband she is the parent of two now adult Guatemalan-American children.