Board Directory

 

Ms. Karen Graham, Chair (Oregon Partners)

Karen Graham is a longtime school administrator and has served on several district committees. She has lead initiatives to further education reform in her district and has taught education classes at Portland State University. Karen Graham joined Partners in 1993 hosting in the Adult Cultural Exchange. During her time as a member Karen has supported the wheel chair committee, artist exchange, developed the web site and newsletter and served as secretary of the Oregon chapter. She became the committee chair after retirement in 2005, continuing to the present.  She also created the Volunteer English Teacher and Tutors committee, now in its fourth year, which sends retired educators to teach in Costa Rica.

 

Mr. Harry Wing, Vice Chair (Peru Partners)

Harry Wing, now retired from a 30-year career in development, has lived in six different Latin American countries, through which he has designed, implemented and evaluated development policies and programs to assist marginalized populations in improving their standards of living and leadership skills. Harry began his involvement with Partners while living in Medellin, Colombia from 2004-2006 and became a member of the Antioquia – Massachusetts Partners. For the past six years however, he’s worked actively with the Peru – Texas Partners and held various leadership positions at the local and international levels. Additionally, he’s coordinated various youth programs on the chapter’s behalf and provided direct support to the rebuilding of the rural Peruvian community of Viña Vieja, destroyed by an earthquake in 2007.

 

Ms. Jan Brummond, Treasurer (Colorado Partners)

Jan Brummond is the Business Services Director for the Platte Valley School District in Kersey Colorado and oversees all of the facilities, grounds, food service, technology and transportation operations. In 2005, she joined the Colorado–Minas Gerais Partners and has held various leadership positions within the chapter, including Treasurer and Vice-President. Having served on a number of non-profit and philanthropic boards, Jan brings 40 years of financial management and community fundraising experience to the board. In her free time, Jan enjoys quilting and watching her new granddaughter. 

 

Mr. Wayne Chance, Secretary (Trinidad & Tobago Chapter)

Wayne Brian Chance from the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago is the President of Partners of America Trinidad Chapter. The Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Vision on Mission, an organization dedicated to rehabilitating and re-integrating ex-inmates, deportees, delinquent youth and the socially displaced into society, which is arguably the first organization of its kind in Trinidad & Tobago, and the wider Caribbean. During his tenure as a member of the Trinidad – Mississippi Partners, he has helped execute the US Department of State's Youth Ambassadors program and has worked as the chapters' Director of Public Relations.

 

Mr. Geno Bonaventura (Illinois Partners)

Currently, serves as N.P.I (New product Introduction) for Supply Chain Mechanical Engineering, Black Belt 6 Sigma and SME (Subject Matter Expert). Manages and leads a variety of projects with R&D (resource and Development) and Suppliers in North America, Europe and Asia.  First volunteered with Partners in 1994, with his wife, Deanna Shoss, serving as chair of the youth committee. Both worked on an exchange project involving students at Lincoln Park High School communicating with students at the Professora Zenaide Lopes de Godoy School in Sao Paulo-Brazil. This youth exchange evolved into a program to promote non-violent conflict resolution, including a virtual arts exchange program and a joint petition with over 700 signatures from students on both sides of the equator committing to non-violent conflict resolution.

 

Mr. Erik Brand (Minnesota Partners)

Erik Brand has worked for more than a decade in publishing, public affairs and international relations. He has volunteered with the Minnesota-Uruguay Partners since (2006), and in addition to holding various leadership positions within the Chapter, currently serves on Partners’ Foundation Board. In his professional life, Erik publishes the highly regarded Latin America Advisor, a daily analysis and intelligence brief at the Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank in Washington, DC, where he also directs its corporate program.

 

Mr. Jose Mario Corona (Jalisco, Mexico Partners)

Mr. Jose Mario Corona is a business owner and administrator who lives in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.  He is one of the founding members of the Jalisco Chapter and has been a member of Partners for the last 30 years.  Mr. Corona has a degree in Business Administration and has completed a number of training courses in a number of areas, including Administration of Public Municipalities and Transnational Analysis.  His leadership as the President of the Jalisco Chapter has led to a growth in its membership to approximately 130 members and the founding of a sub-chapter in the city of Arandas, Jalisco. 

 

Mr. Sam Drew (South Carolina Partners)

Sam Drew is the Founder and President of Te Bene Non Profit Corporation. He is the former Executive Director of the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University.Dr. Drew joined the SC/SW Colombia Partners in 1998, serving 8 years as chapter President.  He spearheaded his chapter's participation in the POA International Climate Change project, involving Clemson University and other statewide partners.  He helped write and implement a US Department of State grant to train youth and impoverished women in Colombia in leadership and entrepreneurial skills.  He brings four decades of leadership and organizational planning experience to the International Board.  

 

Ms. Rosemary (Binka) J. Le Breton (Minas Gerais, Brazil Partners)

Binka Le Breton is the Co-founder and Director of Iracambi Rainforest Research Center, a Brazilian non-profit dedicated to restoring the Atlantic rainforest. She has been involved with Colorado-Minas Gerais Partners since 1999 when Iracambi received its first exchange visit from two members of the Colorado chapter. As well as directing the Iracambi Research Center she served six years on the board of the Keystone Center: a respected policy and science education institution based in DC/CO. An experienced speaker, networker, linguist and traveler, she has lived on five continents, regularly tours the college lecture circuit, and has also presented at the United Nations in Geneva. Binka is the author of eight published books, is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and German, and is currently learning Japanese.

 

Ms. Raaida Mannaa (Barranquilla, Colombia Partners)

 Raaida Mannaa is the Creator and Project Manager of Global Youth Volunteers, the leading youth initiative of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) and Cofounder of red2021, a Latin-American social media campaign promoting volunteering. In 2011, she was the Coordinator of the 2nd World Summit for Youth Volunteering; since then, she has served as special advisor and member of the Barranquilla, Colombia-Florida Partners. Raaida’s passion for youth development has led her to work with groups like Youth Colombian Leaders, assisting the implementation of the PLAYLEE project and sharing the importance of volunteering as a speaker at youth conferences worldwide. 

 

Ms. Lisa Martin (Washington, D.C. Partners)

Since 2011, Lisa Martin has served as Executive Director of Silver Spring Town Center Inc. She has been actively involved with the Washington, DC-Brasilia Partners for nearly 10 years, holding various leadership roles throughout her tenure. In addition to having served in the Peace Corps as an English Teacher in Estonia 96-98, Lisa Martin brings over 15 years of experience coordinating arts and cultural events (i.e. the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the 2004 International VSA Arts Festival) to the International Board. She also has a strong background in volunteer management having recruited, trained and managed hundreds of volunteers for city-wide events.

 

Mr. Tibério de Paula Pedrosa Monteiro (Pernambuco, Brazil Partners)

Tiberio Monteiro has been a member of the Pernambuco-Georgia Chapter since 2003.  Over the last 10 years he has devoted his work as an attorney to issues related to non-profit institutions (Third Sector) in Brazil, an experience which will certainly be useful in his dealing with the POA Board. He coordinated the Vencer Project in accordance with a slogan, Character Counts, and also the Socorrista Voluntary Project.He helped, and continues to do so, the promotion of the American Fellow Program. He made an outstanding effort in 2008 to coordinate the event “40 years of Partnership” that included a trip to Pernambuco by 23 Georgians. His familiarity with legal issues has helped various chapters to adjust/update their social statutes in harmony with the norms and procedures followed by the Central Office in Washington DC.