Staff

Executive Leadership

Joseph Berninger

Co-Founder/Executive Director

  • Former marketing representative for IBM
  • Graduate of the University of Colorado (MA, Religious Studies)
  • Graduate of Xavier University (BA, History)
  • Has implemented development projects in Guatemala since 1997

As Executive Director, Joe is responsible for overall management and oversight of U.S. operations. He is also responsible for program design, implementation, effectiveness, strategic planning, business plans, and measurable results.


Joanne Wessels

General Director for Guatemala Operations

  • 16 years of experience in development, including as a program director, interim country/executive director, and strategy consultant with various NGO’s and INGO’s in Guatemala
  • Coursework in Monitoring & Evaluation, Humanitarian Leadership, Early Childhood Development, and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Master’s Degree in Public Administration, University of Twente, The Netherlands with specialization in International Relations and European Integration

As Guatemala General Director, Joanne is responsible for overall management, oversight, and effectiveness of Guatemala programs and operations. She also coordinates strategic plan implementation and program operational plans.

Program Strategy & Evaluation

Augusto Bal

Subdirector of Programs

  • Experience in education since 1998
  • Former Administrative Director at various public schools
  • Former Administrative Coordinator, Guatemalan Ministry of Education (Chimaltenango)
  • Coursework in Pedagogy, History, and Mathematics at San Carlos University, Guatemala
  • Graduate of El Seminario Teológico Centroamericano, Guatemala City (MA, Theology; BA, Religious Studies)

As Subdirector of Programs, Augusto oversees all of CoEd’s programs in Guatemala, leading their strategic development and fostering coordination among them. He also manages our relationship with the Ministry of Education and coordinates partnerships with other organizations.


Mayra Sidler Guzman

International Programs Manager

  • Graduate of Northern Kentucky University (MPA; certificate in Nonprofit Management, BS, Sociology)
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector, including serving on the Board of Directors’ team of the Latino Leadership & College Experience Camp
  • Experience working in the education system as community liaison/interpreter

As the International Programs Manager, Mayra serves as a link between the U.S. and Guatemala offices and supports the strategic planning process and program evaluation. She also oversees systems and office technology.

Textbook Program

Luis Xicay

Field Representative

  • Experience in education since 1993
  • Former Administrative Director at various public schools, including Cerritos Asunción

As a Field Representative, Luis is responsible for monitoring Textbook Program activities, including providing support to teachers and administrators in the program, making sure revolving fund payments are collected, and conducting program evaluations. He also provides tour support.

 


Victor Coyote Guitzol

Field Representative

  • Graduated as a primary education teacher
  • 16 years of experience as a coordinator of education projects with the Rigoberta Menchú Organization since 2006
  • Experience as a Field Representative at CoEd since 2021

As a Field Representative, Victor is responsible for monitoring Textbook Program activities, including providing support to teachers and administrators in the program, making sure revolving fund payments are collected, and conducting program evaluations. He also provides tour support.


Alann Emilio Canel MonterrosoAlann Emilio Canel Monterroso

Field Representative and Teacher Trainer

  • Bachelor’s in Education with Specialization in Educational Administration at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala.
  • Three years of experience as a teacher
  • 16 years of experience as a call center analyst and supervisor
  • Experience as a supervisor at CoEd since 2020

As a Field Representative and Teacher Trainer, Alann is responsible for coordinating teacher training and monitoring Textbook Program activities, including providing support to teachers and administrators in the program, making sure revolving fund payments are collected, and conducting program evaluations. He also provides tour support.


Maritza Rodriguez

Textbook Program Assistant

  • Experience as an assistant for various private companies
  • Coursework in Business Administration & Information Systems in FISICC-IDEA, Galileo University

As the Textbook Program Assistant, Maritza is responsible for carrying out the administrative processes that enable the program to function, such as managing program school records and providing secretarial support.

Computer Program

Miguel Quinteros

Computer Centers Program Coordinator

  • More than seven years of experience in finance at Credomatic of Guatemala and Distribuidora Alcazaren
  • Graduate of Mariano Galvez University, Guatemala City (BA, Business Administration)

As Computer Centers Program Coordinator, Miguel is responsible for overall management of the program, including program design, implementation, and effectiveness. He also assists in the strategic direction of the project (educational approach, student learning goals, geographic reach, etc.), budget creation and monitoring, compliance and reporting, and Computer Center revolving fund management.


Harold Cóbar

Operations Coordinator of Existing Educational Technology Centers

  • 13 years of experience as Coordinator and Director for Magazine Futuro, Galileo University
  • Graduate of Galileo University, Guatemala (BA, Informatics and Business Administration)
  • Coursework in Quality and Reliability Management, Galileo University

As Operations Coordinator of Existing Educational Technology Centers, Harold is responsible for coordinating program advisors and managing our relationships with school and local government personnel.


Leonel del Valle Rodríguez

Computer Center Regional Advisor

  • Graduate of Galileo University (BA, IT & Administration)
  • AAS in Computer at ACCESA Academy
  • Three years of experience as a Supervisor in ADRI Association
  • More than 11 years of experience as a computer teacher in different institutions such as Intecap, Da Vinci Univerisity

As Computer Center Regional Advisor, Leonel is responsible for center operations involving administrative, pedagogical, and technical management. He also prepares computers for installation in new centers.


Geovany Pérez

Computer Center Advisor

  • Seven years of experience as a computer and math teacher
  • Five years of experience providing technical and administrative support at Centro de Estudios Y Sistemas De Computación (CESC)
  • Currently studying Science and Systems Engineering at San Carlos University, Guatemala City

As a Computer Center Advisor, Geovany is responsible for center operations involving administrative, pedagogical, and technical management. He also prepares computers for installation in new centers.


Edwin Pú

Computer Center Advisor

  • Bachelors Degree in Science and Letters
  • Currently studying Systems Engineering, Mariano Galvez University
  • Four years of experience as an Area Supervisor and PC Maintenance Assistant at Centro General de Servicios y Empedrados Antigüeños

As Computer Center Advisor, Edwin is responsible for center operations involving administrative, pedagogical, and technical management. He also prepares computers for installation in new centers.


Mónica de Ramírez

Administrative Assistant

  • Eight years professional experience as an administrative assistant for various private companies
  • Volunteered in Honduras for a year and a half
  • Currently studying Business Administration at Mariano Gálvez University, Guatemala City

As Administrative Assistant, Monica supports and assists the Computer Centers Program and provides training and meeting support.

Spark Reading Program

Rebeca Román

Spark Reading Program Coordinator

  • Five years of experience as a teacher
  • Two years of experience as an assistant professor at Rafael Landívar University
  • Three years of experience as a trainer and workshop facilitator
  • Graduate of Mariano Galvez University (MA, Education)
  • Graduate of Rafael Landívar University (BA, Early Childhood & Pre-Primary Education)

As Spark Coordinator, Rebeca is responsible for Spark Reading Program logistics and administration, including coordinating training sessions, in-class observations, and evaluations.
She is also responsible for program methodology.


Claudia María Salguero

Educational Trainer

  • Graduate of Rafael Landivar University (BA, Early Childhood & Pre-Primary Education)
  • Fifteen years of experience as a teacher
  • Experience as a trainer since 2020

As an Educational Trainer, Claudia trains teachers, conducts classroom observations, and helps with evaluation studies.

 


Milton Ramos

Educational Trainer

  • Six years of experience as a primary school teacher
  • Currently studying Human Rights at University of San Carlos of Guatemala
  • Graduate of Mesoamericana University (BA, Philosophy)

As an Educational Trainer, Milton trains teachers, conducts classroom observations, and helps with evaluation studies.

 


Kimberly Jérez

Educational Trainer

  • Graduate of University of Galileo (BA, Education)
  • Five years of experience as a teacher

As an Educational Trainer, Kimberly trains teachers, conducts classroom observations, and helps with evaluation studies.

 


Vivian Nohemí Cabrera Méndez

Educational Trainer

  • Graduate of Mariano Gálvez University (BA, Educational Administration with specialization in Quality Management)
  • Graduated as a bilingual intercultural primary education teacher
  • Experience as a facilitator of the Maya Mam language since 2019
  • Three years of experience as a teacher

As an Educational Trainer, Vivian trains teachers, conducts classroom observations, and helps with evaluation studies.


Ana Victoria Rodas Andrade

Educational Trainer

  • Graduate of San Carlos de Guatemala University (BA. Educational Administration & BA. Psychology)
  • Graduate as a Pre Primary Education Teacher
  • Experience as teacher and trainer

As Educational Trainer for the Spark Program, Ana Victoria trains teachers, conducts classroom observations, and helps with evaluation studies.


Gloria Choxin

Administrative Assistant

  • Currently studying Business Administration at Galileo University
  • Experience as an administrative assistant since 2017

As Administrative Assistant, Gloria provides administrative support for the Spark Reading Program, including training and meeting support

 


Lisbeth Eugenia Ovando Hernández

Educational Trainer

  • Graduate of Rural de Guatemala University (BA, Educational Administration)
  • Graduate as a Primary Education Teacher
  • 15 years of experience as teacher and coordinator

As Educational Trainer for the Spark Program, Lisbeth trains teachers, conducts classroom observations, and helps with evaluation studies.

Rise Youth Development Program

Candida Acajabón

Rise Program Coordinator

  • Graduate of University of San Carlos of Guatemala (BA, Education)
  • Six years of experience as a teacher

As Rise Program Coordinator, Candi manages and coordinates the activities of the Rise Program, including preparing scholarship agreements and payments and monitoring academic performance.

 


Cesar Juárez

Supervisor

  • Graduate of San Carlos University (BA, Education with a specialization in Educational Administration)
  • Experience in education since 2013

As a Supervisor for the Rise Program, Cesar is responsible for supporting program activities, and running workshops and youth development activities in the areas of San José Poaquil and Patzun​. He also assists with the selection of scholarship students, and coordinates with schools and other educational authorities.


Teresa Santelel

Local Facilitator

  • Graduate of Galileo University (BA, Education)
  • Four years of experience as a teacher

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Teresa is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in San José Poaquil. She also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with schools and other educational authorities, and prepares and delivers supplies to students.


Maribel Pérez

Local Facilitator

  • High school graduate with a certification in teaching
  • Five years of experience as a teacher

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Maribel is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in the area of Paley in San José Poaquil. She also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with schools and other educational authorities, and prepares and delivers supplies to students.


Heidy Paola Patzán

Local Facilitator

  • High school graduate with a certification in primary education
  • Coursework in psychology at Mariano Gálvez University

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Heidy Paola is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in Patzicía and Patzún. She also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with schools and other educational authorities, and prepares and delivers supplies to students.


Ana Bajxac

Supervisor

  • Graduate of University of San Carlos of Guatemala (BA, Education)
  • One year of experience as a teacher
  • Experience as an assistant and facilitator since 2017

As a Supervisor for the Rise Program, Ana is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in the areas of Magdalena, and Santo Tomás Milpas Altas, Sacatepéquez. She also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with schools and other educational authorities, and prepares and delivers supplies to students.


Elubia Guamuch Ixcojoc

Local Facilitator

  • BA in Education with a specialization in Quality Management
  • Two years of experience as a teacher
  • Beneficiary of the Rise Program from 2014 to 2017

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Elubia is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in Santiago Sacatepequez. She also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with the schools and other educational authorities, and prepares and delivers supplies to students.


Deysi Yomara Hernández Sujuy

Local Facilitator

  • BA Education in Language and Communications
  • Graduate as a Primary Education Teacher
  • 5 years of experience as a teacher

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Deysi is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in San Pedro Yepocapa. She also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with the schools and other educational authorities, and prepares and delivers supplies to students.


Sandra Capen

Administrative Assistant

  • Graduate of San Carlos University (BA, Education)
  • Three years of experience as a teacher
  • Graduate of the Rise Program (2011)

As Administrative Assistant for the Rise Program, Sandra provides administrative support to the Local Facilitators, Supervisors, and Coordinator.

 


Lilian Edith López Lemus

Local Facilitator

  • BA Education in Environmental Orientation
  • Graduate as a Primary Education Teacher
  • 7 years of experience as a teacher

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Lilian is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in Santa Lucia, Sacatepequez. She also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with the schools and other educational authorities and prepares and delivers supplies to students.


Yesica Candelaria Xinico Ajú

Local Facilitator

  • BA in Social Work with an emphasis in Development Management
  • Graduate as a Pre-Primary Education Teacher
  • 8 years of experience working with young people in NGOs, as a field technician

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Yesica is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in Patzún, Chimaltenango. She also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with the schools and other educational authorities and prepares and delivers supplies to students.


Marisol Garcia

Supervisor

  • Bachelor´s in Educational Administration at the University Panamericana.
  • Graduated as a Pre-Primary Education Teacher
  • 7 years of experience as a teacher

As Supervisor for the Rise Program, Marisol is responsible for supporting program activities and running workshops and youth development activities in Tecpan and Yepocapa, Chimaltenango. She also assists with selecting scholarship students and coordinates with schools and other educational authorities.


Axel Isaías Illú Quiej

Local Facilitator

  • Graduate as a Primary Education Teacher
  • 13 years of experience as a teacher

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Axel is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in San Pedro Yepocapa. He also assists in the selection of scholarship students, coordinates with the schools and other educational authorities and prepares and delivers supplies to students

Finance

Liza O’Neal

Controller

  • Finance professional with 10+ years’ experience in cost accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, and operational controlling.
As Controller, Liza is responsible for overseeing the organization’s financial operations, accounting processes, and reporting functions.

 


Aníbal Colindres

Financial Coordinator

  • 11 years of experience with Save the Children Guatemala
  • Graduate of Mariano Gálvez University (BA, Business Administration)

As Financial Coordinator, Aníbal is responsible for payroll, expense, and income accounting. He also manages financial reporting.

 


Elda Aguilar

Accountant

  • Former General & Assistant Accountant for various private companies
  • Graduate of Panamericana University (BA, Accounting)

As an Accountant, Elda is responsible for maintaining the proper functioning of accounts through effective accounting organization and administrative support.

 


Andersson Hernández

Accounting Specialist

  • High school graduate with a certification in accounting
  • Currently studying accounting at Da Vinci University
  • Four years of experience as a bank assistant

As Accounting Specialist, Andersson provides support with inventory, monthly travel reports, control of petty cash, writing checks, and other accounting activities.

 


Krista Jaeger

Finance & Development Specialist

  • 20+ years’ experience with Account Management, Corporate Social Responsibility Program Development, Data gathering, and Analysis for Reporting.
As Finance & Development Specialist, Krista helps as support for Development and Donation Processing and serves as Finance Assistant to the CFO.

 

 

IT & Operations

Horacio Samayoa

Operations Director

  • Former rural development coordinator for CARE in Alta Verapaz
  • Graduate of San Carlos University (BA, Agronomic Engineering in Renewable Natural Resources)

As Operations Director, Horacio manages central operations in the Guatemala office, including organizational development, finance, and legal work. He also supports the programs through planning and process improvement.

 


Emy Pérez

Human Resources Coordinator

  • Eight years of experience in the nonprofit sector
  • Former Logistics Assistant for Catholic Relief Services
  • Former Human Resources Assistant for CARE
  • Graduate of Mariano Galvez University (MA, Human Resources; BA, Business Administration)

As Human Resources Coordinator, Emy is responsible for human resources management, and for ensuring the application of general policies and procedures. She also provides tour support.


 

Ann Dempsey, CFRE

Salesforce Product Director

  • Two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, including work for the YWCA and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati
  • Graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management (Northern Kentucky University)
  • Graduate of Xavier University (BS, Computer Science)

As Salesforce Product Director and Senior Philanthropy Advisor, Ann is the resident Salesforce Administrator and loves to work closely with the development and program teams to identify, develop, and deploy improved business processes using Salesforce.


Yesica de León

Administrative Assistant & Receptionist

  • High school graduate with a certification in accounting
  • Graduate of the Rise Program (2017)
  • Currently studying business administration at Mariano Galvez University

As Administrative Assistant & Receptionist, Yesica provides support with phone calls.  She also coordinates messaging, and provides administrative support to the Human Resources Coordinator.

 


Dany Donis

Warehouse & Logistics Officer

  • High school graduate with a certification in accounting
  • Four years of experience as a warehouse assistant with Save the Children and Arte Fino Company

As Warehouse & Logistics Officer, Dany is responsible for warehouse reporting and textbook inventory control. He also oversees CoEd’s fleet of vehicles.

 


Samuel Molina

Maintenance Messenger

  • More than 12 years experience as a pilot messenger

Samuel (Felipe) manages general maintenance and messenger duties for the Guatemala office complex.

 

 


Vilma Monterroso

Hospitality

Vilma manages the cooking, cleaning, and general hospitality necessary for running the CoEd Guatemala office.

 

 

 


Julio Asturias

Hospitality

  • Eight years of experience in hospitality

Julio manages the cleaning and general hospitality necessary for running the CoEd Guatemala office.

 

 


Alvaro Rodríguez

IT Assistant

  • Two years of experience as a computer technician.
  • Studying Information Systems at Mariano Galvez University.

As an IT Assistant, Alvaro is responsible for inventory control, maintenance of COED staff computers, and technical support of the computer centers.

 


Edith Cruz

Systems Support & Development Coordinator

  • Currently pursuing a Bachelors in Business Information Systems at the Northern Kentucky University. 
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector since 2018, including serving on the Board of Directors’ team of the Latinx Leadership & College Experience camp.
  • Experience working in Higher Education since 2018 in various departments but mainly as a student/community liaison to support Education Equity access through culturally responsive and multilingual strategic planning.

As Systems Support & Development Coordinator, Edith assists in maintaining CoEd’s databases along with providing support with projects happening across all of our systems and troubleshooting any IT issues that our staff may encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Development

Abby Gaide

Director of Development

  • Graduate of the University of Cincinnati (MA, US History)
  • Graduate of Valparaiso University (BA, History)
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector since 2015, including work for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

As Director of Development, Abby is responsible for the overall fundraising strategy and manages a portfolio of individual, foundation, and institutional donor relationships.


Howard Lobb

Director of Partner Development

  • Eight years of experience working in the technology industry for Lexmark, B/E Aerospace, and ImageX.com
  • Graduate of Valparaiso University (BS, Mechanical Engineering)
  • Experience implementing development projects in Guatemala since 1999
  • Co-Founder of CoEd’s Computer Center Division in 2001

As Director of Partner Development, Howard is responsible for collaboration and relationships with supporters in Guatemala and the U.S., as well as with partner nonprofits in Guatemala.


Jessica Stieritz

Liaison to Rotary International

  • Professional experience in the nonprofit sector since 2000, including work for Peace & Justice Programs at Xavier University and time as a Jesuit Volunteer
  • Graduate of Xavier University (BA, English)
  • Member of the Rotary Club of Cincinnati

As Liaison to Rotary International, Jessica is responsible for coordinating CoEd’s partnership with Rotary clubs around the world, known as the Guatemala Literacy Project. She also manages the grants process with Rotary International, advises the Project Tours team, and contributes to other special projects.


Lisa Groh

Senior Grants and Strategy Manager

  • Experience designing and implementing websites for nonprofit organizations, including accessibility validation and usability testing
  • Graduate of the University of Cincinnati (MA, English & Professional Writing)
  • Graduate of Muskingum University (BA, English, Psychology)

As Grant and Strategy Manager, Lisa manages the grants program, and prepares grant reports and proposals, as well as other marketing copy. She also manages updates to the website.


Amanda Wirthlin

Senior Individual Giving Officer

  • Professional experience working with nonprofits in Central America since 2013, including two years based in Antigua, Guatemala
  • Graduate of Anderson University (BA in Business Management, 2010)
  • Graduate of University of Cincinnati, College of Allied Health Sciences (MA, 2020)
  • Certified Speech Language Pathologist, currently serving Spanish-speaking families in Wilmington, NC

As Senior Individual Giving Officer, Amanda communicates with Major Gift donors and sponsors to steward gifts and collaborate on funding opportunities in order to reach more families in Guatemala.


Jaclyn Lynch

Senior Development Coordinator

  • Graduate of Ohio University (BA, Sociology; MA, Sociology)
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector since 2017​, including work with Restavek Freedom

As Senior Development Coordinator, Jaclyn manages CoEd’s tours to Guatemala and other special events.

 


McKinley Wagner

Sponsorship Coordinator

  • Graduate of Eastern Kentucky University (BA, Spanish)
  • Three years of experience working in International Education

As Sponsorship Coordinator, McKinley is responsible for program communications and updates to sponsors. She also helps with data maintenance and other projects. 

 


Jenny Rios

Development Specialist

  • Graduate of California State University, Channel Islands (B.A Political Science, B.A. Global Studies)
  • Experience working in Education at a collegiate and college prep level
As Development Specialist, Jenny is responsible for supporting staff with everyday operations in addition to assisting with connecting donors with students and schools in Guatemala.

 


Ligia Quezada

Donor Visit Specialist

  • Graduate of Francisco Marroquín University (BA, Communication Sciences)
  • Bilingual secretary
  • More than 15 years of experience in sales and coordinating tours

As Donor Visit Specialist, Ligia is responsible the details tour planning and logistics for school visits and more. Coordinate with program field teams and schools to arrange and schedule school visits and school experiences.


Pamela Oliva

Donor Visit Specialist

  • Graduate of Rafael Landivar University (BA, Communication Sciences)
  • International Bachelor
  • 3 years of experience as a translator in NGOs

As Donor Visit Specialist. Pamela is responsible the details tour planning and logistics for school visits and more. Coordinate with program field teams and schools to arrange and schedule school visits and school experiences.


Savannah Gulick

Donor Relations Coordinator

  • Graduate of University of Cincinnati (BA Spanish, BA International Relations)
  • Experience working in education as a Spanish teacher
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector (including Peace Corps)

As Donor Relations Coordinator, Savannah is responsible for supporting CoEd’s tours to Guatemala, Guatemala Literacy Project fundraising and donation processing, and the Major Gift team in stewarding gifts and communicating with donors.


Ashley Pinnell

Development Coordinator

  • Graduate of Santa Clara University (BA Communications, MA Education)
  • Experience in the education sector since 2016, including admissions and higher education

As Development Coordinator, Ashley supports the Grants team with maintaining foundation and corporate relationships, prospect research, and grants cycles. She also works to engage new and active Rotary clubs to increase program support.


David Gehret

Development Coordinator

  • Graduate of University of Cincinnati (BA Organizational Leadership)
  • Experience in the collegiate education sector specifically billing, payments, and registration

As Development Coordinator, David supports the Major Gifts team with being a contact for donors, tours and Rise prospecting, and volunteer coordination.

Marketing

Emily Swisher

Marketing & Outreach Manager

  • Nonprofit experience in marketing and communications since 2015, including work for the Holocaust and Humanity Center as a Scripps Howard Intern
  • Experience in for-profit sector in office management, marketing, and human resources
  • Graduate of Northern Kentucky University (BA, Writing Studies and Education)

As the Marketing & Outreach Manager, Emily is responsible for managing marketing campaigns to grow CoEd’s visibility and support, including through recruitment of tour participants and program sponsors.


Joy Chou

Communications Specialist

  • Graduate of the University of Kentucky (BA, Arts Administration)
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector since 2020, including work for the University of Kentucky, Central Music Academy, and the Smithsonian Institution

As Communications Specialist, Joy is responsible for executing CoEd’s marketing strategy, including content creation, as well as social media and website management.