Village Volunteers is a grassroots organization that partners with visionary leaders.
- Our Mission
- Our Core Philosophy
- Our Promise
- Empowering Local Leaders Who Strengthen Communities
- Culturally Relevant and Sustainable Solutions
- Cross Cultural Exchange
- Green Policy
Village Volunteers (VV) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works in partnership with rural village and capacity-building programs to support the development of sustainable solutions to community challenges.
The Village Volunteers community:
- Believes in the immense potential of all people;.
- Has respect for the diverse perspectives, creativity and talents of all individuals;
- Is committed to the principles of market-based, local economics, and entrepreneurship;
- Recognizes that women need special consideration for education, maternal health care, and a life free of violence.
- Believes in the power of partnership and collaboration to work towards social justice and gender equality;
- Is committed to facilitating educational opportunities to all who reach for their potential, and medical care for all who need help;
- Is dedicated to environmental conservation and biodiversity.
Village Volunteers will work to leave a legacy that supports self sufficiency and has a profound impact on the health and welfare of the communities we serve.
Founded in the belief that partnership and advocacy is a key factor in the renewal and healing of areas plagued by poverty, hunger and disease, we partner with communities to reach their full potential through collaborative, sustainable, grassroots approaches.
Rather than hindering growth by creating a dependency on outside management, the Village Volunteers’ model is based on empowerment: all village projects are executed and managed by locals. Village Volunteers supports local community efforts by providing grant writing assistance, developing income generating social enterprises and mobilizing the resources of volunteers worldwide.
Village Volunteers acknowledges that community members know how to solve their communities’ problems, but do not have access to the necessary resources and support. Village Volunteers brings together worldwide collaboration in support of inspired community leaders in Africa and Asia who empower local people, rely on indigenous resources, and build upon their existing cultural and economic context.
The opportunity for volunteers to live and work side-by-side with people in other parts of the world and to exchange knowledge, information, skills, and stories, gives everyone involved the opportunity to develop a meaningful common bond with our global community. The mandatory hospitality fees from Village Volunteers’ cadre of volunteers is sent ahead of arrival and will directly and indirectly support sustainable development programs in a host village.
We recognize that each and every one of us, individuals as well as organizations and businesses, must make a commitment to preserve and protect our environment.
Dedicated to preserving resources, we are committed to lessening our environmental footprint and strive to be a “carbon neutral” organization. We continuously apply sustainable principles to the way we operate; we strive to be paperless in all ways possible and all volunteer materials are accessed online. To offset the carbon produced by the air travel for each volunteer, 10 moringa trees are planted in the tropical regions we serve.
From The Founder and Executive Director
In an increasingly interconnected world, what happens around the globe affects us all. The challenge of growing poverty, hunger and disease worldwide can be addressed if we individually recognize our role as a global citizen, become aware of the issues and take steps to create a more just world for all.
Village Volunteers promotes self sufficiency by partnering with programs to enhance economic and educational opportunities, food security, and health conditions, with respect for the environment and culture. Village Volunteers is dedicated to assisting communities in their quest to achieve a healthy, self sustained life.
This vision is possible with the help of people like you.
Founder & Executive Director
Shana Greene incorporated Village Volunteers on October 17, 2003, the same day the UN declared as the International Day of Eradicating Poverty.
Working first in Kenya, the goal was to address poverty at multiple levels, recognizing the impact that interrelated issues play in its continuation. Kenya, a country particularly vulnerable to poverty due to the high rates of HIV/AIDS infections, has more than one million orphaned children as a result.
Village Volunteers has had to and still relies on the efforts of dedicated volunteers who have provided thousands of hours of expertise and valuable skills in our Seattle office and around the world. Join us!
Today, Village Volunteers’ work impacts the lives of thousands daily, works with partner organizations in Asia and Africa, and continues to grow as a self sustaining organization with a reputation for tangible and meaningful results. JOIN US!
Meet the Board of Directors
Village Volunteers’ Board of Directors consists of ten Directors with a strong, balanced blend of skills and experience.
SUE HWANG – Board President
Sue Hwang is a Senior Procurement Manager for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Supplier Management. In this position, she is responsible for strategic development, contracting and supplier management of aftermarket needs of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.While Sue was living in Japan, she was one of founding members of International Working Women’s Association (International and Japanese Career minded women’s network group) in Tokyo, Japan and served as a President in 1994 – 1995. Sue also served as Vice President of Women in International Trade, Washington State Chapter and a board member of Korea-America Trade Club in Seattle, WA.
JANA PAGARAN- Board Vice President
Jana Paragan is the Corporate Support Account Manager for KUOW NPR. She has had over16 years of extensive experience in development as an Account Executive for the Seattle Times/ Seattle Post Intelligence, Seattle Magazine and Northwest Home and Garden, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and the Seattle Weekly.
Jana is also a world traveler, having been everywhere from San Miguel de Allende, to Uruguay, Croatia, Turkey, Italy and beyond.
Chris Moreland is currently CEO and Co-Founder at Donald-Moreland Inc.; Co-founder and Board member at “Ready 4 School;” an independent Strategic Consultant at Microsoft Inc.; and Board President at Village Volunteers. A skilled business executive with experience at Fortune 500 icons leading successful teams in sales, sales operations, marketing, and business development.
Chris was a Captain in the United States Air Force, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, and an MBA from Central Michigan University.
KIMBERLY TIPPENS, ND, MSAOM, MPH
Dr Tippens received her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Bastyr University in Seattle, Wa
shington, and completed a family practice residency at the National College of Natural Medicine with an emphasis on community health. Dr.Tippens was awarded a National Institutes of Health-funded post-doctoral fellowship, received an Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Certificate in Human Investigations, and participated in research evaluating expectancy in the treatment of metabolic syndrome and obesity. Dr. Tippens was granted a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award fellowship receiving training in health disparities and health services research, while completing her Master of Public Health degree program through OHSU.
ROBERT HOWE – BOARD TREASURER
Robert Howe is the CFO of Howe Real Estate, LLC, a real estate investor and manager since 2006, and Board Treasurer at Village Volunteers. Robert has over 30 years of asset executive management experience in real estate finance, sales and accounting.
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Robert earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from UCLA.
CAROL RADLO, MD
Carol Radlo is a family practice physician who has practiced in Kirkland for the past 15 years. She received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed her family practice residency at Swedish Hospital in 1984. After practicing in Wenatchee for almost 7 years, both at Wenatchee Valley Clinic and North Central Washington Migrant Health Center she moved back to the Seattle area to practice.
In the spring of 2006, Carol traveled to Muhuru Bay with her 17 year old daughter and spent two weeks as a Village Volunteer working at Mama Maria Kenya Clinic. Her professional interests include women’s and children’s health, disease prevention, and health education and communication.
Casey O’Connor received her J.D. from NYU School of Law and is currently a Senior Program Officer at Human Rights in China, where she is responsible for the international advocacy portfolio. Prior to joining HRIC, Casey conducted research on business and human rights and fieldwork on legal empowerment in indigenous communities and access to clean water in both the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa. Casey also previously worked in grants management at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Tracy Brigham has a Masters of Science Degree and teaches classes in Health, Nutrition, Global issues and college studies at Highline Community College. For the majority of the 2000-2001 school years, she was on professional leave traveling on the African continent researching the AIDS epidemic, female health issues and malnutrition.
During the summer of 2005, Tracy traveled with a Fulbright team to southern Africa where her emphasis was on the effect of different modalities of AIDS education and the de-stigmatization of HIV positive people. During the fall of 2005, she went on a second professional leave to the Indian subcontinent to study the HIV/AIDS epidemic, female rights issues, family planning, refugee issues (Tibet) and tsunami reconstruction (Sri Lanka.)
John Agyapong is a Procurement Manager with the Boeing Company, at the Everett, Washington site. John is responsible for developing innovative support solutions for the Commercial aerospace division, as well as business execution using a functional leadership model.
Prior to his employment at Boeing, he worked at Microsoft and AT &T . He is a native of Ghana, West Africa, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. John mentors young people at Mariner high school in Everett, where he volunteers in a class primarily geared to encouraging women and minorities to obtain careers in the sciences and engineering. He obtained his BS in Finance from Central Washington University in 1996, and his MS in Finance in 1998.
JANA PALLIS – BOARD SECRETARY
Jana Pallis is a consultant for nonprofits, e-commerce businesses, and health
organizations regarding sustainable growth and organizational transformation. She has been an interfaith minister since 2004 working with the elderly, at-risk youth, people with disabilities, the homeless, the hungry, and women from diverse cultures and religious backgrounds to live to their greatest potential.
Jana graduated with a B.A. in International Business with honors from Seattle University, and her Masters in Transformational Leadership from the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University
Leah Cole is a Project Manager at Xtreme Consulting Group, Inc. in Kirkland, WA. She earned her BA at Bates College with a double major in Politics and Chinese and a concentration in Mathematics. Leah has volunteered with Village Volunteers since 2014 and focuses on communications, that includes newsletters and college volunteer recruitment. Leah is an avid traveler and, as a Pacific Northwest native, she is an outdoors enthusiast.
Arnie has over 30 years of experience serving in a wide spectrum of financial and operational leadership roles for Fortune 500 companies comprised of some of the most well-run and well-recognized companies in the world. Arnie is well respected and known for his ability to provide creative solutions to complex problems and has a strong reputation for developing and effectively leading cross-functional teams in unique and challenging environments. Arnie’s background includes not only the traditional roles in finance organizations, but he is extremely familiar with complex business operations and strategic finance decisions and execution.
Arnie holds a BS degree in Accounting from the University of Minnesota and an MBA in International Finance from California State University. He is a Certified Internal Auditor (inactive) and is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership. He also served on the Ethics and Leadership Advisory Board for Gonzaga University.
Lisa Ladmer is an artist, art therapist, and an advocate for the environment, human rights, immigration reform, indigenous peoples, women’s rights, reproductive rights, education and children, especially children of conflict. She has been a featured journalist on several radio programs including Latin American Journal. She has traveled to El Salvador and Guatemala for journalistic work and to participate in art therapy programs for children of conflict. She was the regional director of CISPES in Central California from 1987-1990. She has a fine arts degree with a minor in political science and sociology from UCSB.
Meet the Advisory Board
The Advisory Board is an international network of experts whose collective abilities, experience, and knowledge complement both the goals of Village Volunteers partnerships and initiatives, as well as the organization as a whole.
Tom Ternes worked for 32 years as an Industrial Engineer at The Boeing Company developing his talents in a wide variety of skills including project planning, project implementation, project cost and schedule monitoring, process standardization and improvement, proposal development and writing, cost accounting, contract management and training of project management and Industrial Engineering techniques.
Since retiring in 2010 has volunteered as a consultant with non-profits and NGOs, both internationally and locally, performing a range of tasks including grant writing, fundraising, fleshing out business plans, writing and publishing reports and manuals, documenting project lessons learned, developing safety and health plans, creating and teaching an ergonomics course, translating websites and creating marketing posters and brochures.
Tom holds a BS degree in Psychology from Washington State University as well as certificates from the University of Washington in Project Management, Fundraising Management and Technical Writing and Editing.
RENEE GASTINEAU, MBA
Renee Gastineau, MBA is owner and president of Gastineau Communications Inc., a Seattle-based public relations and communications consulting business that works with social enterprises. Ms. Gastineau has a diverse background in communications and public affairs, including news reporting, media relations, corporate communications and event planning. Ms. Gastineau is the author of business trend and marketing articles for professional journals and educational websites. She earned an MBA from Seattle University, a B.A. in Communication and English from James Madison University; a Certificate in Management from the University of Washington; and recently earned the distinction of Accredited Business Communicator (ABC), from the International Association of Business Communicators.
Zephaniah Ajode is a young conservationist in Kenya with great passion for building healthy ecosystems, community development and youth empowerment. He earned his Tourism and Wildlife Management Diploma from Moi University, Kenya. Mr. Ajode has worked for several non-profits and community-based organizations initiating sustainable projects such as organic farming, ecological sanitation, agroforestry; aquaculture, etc. He is an environmental educator, has non-profit management as well as environmental restoration experience. Mr. Ajobe has just completed his Earthcorps Leadership and Restoration training for future Global Environmental Leaders course in the US, and was asked to be an Ecology Educator at the University of Arizona, Cooper Center for Environmental Learning. He was one of twelve to be chosen for the Earthwatch Europe Fellowship program in 2010.
BRIAN P. MAGNUM, PhD
Brian P. Mangum, PhD received his MS in Medical Anthropology from Idaho State University and became an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, where he focused his teaching and research on international healthcare and sustainable development. During this time, Brian developed a post-baccalaureate certificate program in medical anthropology that includes a significant international healthcare experience in the Caribbean Basin. Brian currently resides there as the core international faculty while conducting fieldwork for his joint MPH/PhD in Public Health Epidemiology. He brings a varied background in medical anthropology, public health, and medicine, ethnography consultant to preserve and record cultures.
KATE KILLERLAIN MORRISON
Kate Killerlain Morrison is the Marine Program Director for the Massachusetts Chapter of The Nature Conservancy currently. In the past, she was an Ocean Policy Analyst at the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management as a lead staff for the Massachusetts Ocean Management Initiative, working on implementation of the 2004 Ocean Management Task Force Recommendations, including assisting with proposed legislation. During that time, Kate has managed consultants working on ocean management projects, chairs the Massachusetts Interagency Ocean Planning Work Group, and represents MCZM on the Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary Zoning Working Group and the Gulf of Maine Council Working Group. Kate was also Program Chair for The Coastal Society’s 20th International Conference in May 2006. Kate has a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington where she studied international fisheries trade in West Africa, and has worked as a staffer in the Washington State Legislature prior to joining MCZM.
JENNIFER NYIRANEZA MPYISI
Jennifer Nyiraneza Mpyisi is a member of the Architectural Association since 1982 receiving the Royal Institute of British Architects I and II post Graduate research in appropriate design and technology followed by the Post Graduate Course at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Tufts University This specialization was focused on creating Design Solutions for Health Care, Education and Institutional Design, with an emphasis on a holistic design approach, including landscaping. Her strengths in planning and evaluation, public relations and strategic management for non-for-profit projects have enabled her to integrate her training with her interest in working with community development.
RISHO EDWARD SAPANO
Risho Edward Sapano, a native of Sudan, Ms. Sapano has worked, both in her homeland as well as in the United States, in the area of disaster relief and community development. Ms. Sapano has worked as Program Field Officer for the Canadian Save the Children Fund in Sudan where she managed relief projects intended for internally displaced persons. These projects included supplementary feeding centers, primary healthcare clinics, education, income-generation activities, and water sanitation services. She also worked for the Sudanese National Committee for Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices affecting women and girls. For ten years, she held leadership positions with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society and the Sudanese Girl Guides Association. She represented both organizations within Sudan and abroad in Austria, Egypt and Libya. Following her move to the United States, Ms. Sapano attended Clark University in Massachusetts, where she earned her master’s degree in International Development and Social Change. After graduation, she joined Oxfam America in Boston as the Program Assistant for Africa, providing programs and administrative support for the organization’s regional programs in Southern and West Africa. Ms. Sapano is also a member of the American Red Cross.
JONATHAN M. SCHERCH, PhD
Jonathan M. Scherch, PhD is a Core Faculty member of the Graduate Programs in Environment and Community at Antioch University, Seattle, WA. A certified permaculture designer and teacher, his background includes more than 25 years of sustainable community organizing and development initiatives, place-based appropriate technology design and applications, and teaching across five universities. Dr. Scherch is also a Returned United States Peace Corps Volunteer (Jamaica, 1991-93, Community Development Sector), and he teaches and consults on ecological design strategies emphasizing low impact solutions and local resource use.
IN MEMORY: RICHARD MICHAEL TUCKER, MD (1956 – 2007)
Richard Michael Tucker was a medical doctor specializing in infectious disease at the Wenatchee Valley Clinic where he was a Clinical Associate Professor for the School of Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Tucker was also a medical staff member at Central Washington Hospital. He received a Masters of Business Administration through the American College of Physician Executives at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Tucker was a member of the North Central Washington Rural Health Foundation, and in 2000 served as chairman of both the Continuing Medical Education Committee and the Board of Directors. In addition, Dr. Tucker worked on the development of a healthcare delivery system for HIV/AIDS in the rural clinics that work with Village Volunteers. As published in the Seattle Times from June 2 to June 3, 2007:
“Richard was a pillar to his community where he was the medical director for quality and education at the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center and an infectious disease specialist. He was also vice-chairman of the medical center’s board of directors. He started the medical center’s research department in the 1990s and for many years worked with people suffering from infectious diseases, and the underserved and underprivileged. He was committed to his patients, his community, his family and his friends. In addition to his many local commitments, he was working with an African relief organization to develop a vaccine program and health care delivery system for villages in Africa ravaged by AIDS and HIV.”