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.


Rony Mejía

General Director for Guatemala Operations

  • Seven years of experience as Chief of Party and Deputy Director of Counterpart International Guatemala
  • 16 years of experience in development, including consulting work with USAID, the European Union, Rainforest Alliance, the Smithsonian Institution, and the United Nations Development Programme
  • Graduate of Fundación ICEF, Guatemala and Centro Universitario Villanueva, Spain (MA, Family Education Advising)
  • Graduate of Del Valle University (BA, Ecotourism)

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

Program Strategy & Evaluation

Katie Dawson

Director of International Programs

  • 12 years of experience working in international development in India, East Africa, and Latin America
  • Graduate certificate in Assessment and Evaluation (University of Cincinnati)
  • Graduate of Swarthmore College (BA, Economics)

As Director of International Programs, Katie is responsible for overall strategic program design, implementation, and effectiveness. She also directs the monitoring and evaluation of our programs, oversees the development of the Rise Program, and coordinates strategic planning activities. She works closely with the program teams in Guatemala, serving as a link between the U.S. and Guatemala offices.


Augusto Bal

Subdirector of Programs

  • 24 years of experience in education
  • 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.

Textbook Program

Luis Xicay

Field Representative

  • 29 years of experience in education
  • 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.

 


Cesar Juárez

Field Representative

  • Graduate of San Carlos University (BA, Education with a specialization in Educational Administration)
  • Nine years of experience in education

As a Field Representative, Cesar 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.


Maritza Rodríguez

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

Como Coordinador de Operaciones de Centros Existentes, Harold supervisa a los supervisores del programa, mantiene relación estrecha con el personal de los institutos y funcionarios del gobierno local.


Geovany Pérez

Computer Center Supervisor

  • 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 Supervisor, 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 Supervisor

  • High school graduate with a certification 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 Supervisor, Edwin is responsible for center operations involving administrative, pedagogical, and technical management. He also prepares computers for installation in new centers.


Leonel del Valle

Computer Center Supervisor

  • Six years of experience as a computer instructor
  • Seven years of experience as an IT technician and supervisor
  • Currently studying Systems Engineering at Mariano Galvez University

As Computer Center Supervisor, Leonel 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.


Lesvia Marleny Andrino

Pedagogic Specialist

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

As Pedagogic Specialist for the Spark Reading Program, Lesvia helps develop pedagogic and training activities to strengthen  educational quality through socialization and application strategies that promote literacy skills.

 


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

 


Candida Acajabón

Educational Trainer

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

As an Educational Trainer, Candi 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.

 


Gloria Choxin

Administrative Assistant

  • Currently studying Business Administration at Galileo University
  • Five years of experience as an administrative assistant

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

Rise Youth Development Program (Thousand Girls Initiative)

Ingrid Girón

Coordinator for the Rise Youth Development Program

  • School of Government of Guatemala (MA, Public Administration and Leadership)
  • BA, Social Work
  • Experience as the site director of a multi-disciplinary support center for survivors of domestic violence with Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres
  • Seven years of experience as a social worker

As Coordinator for the Rise Youth Development Program, Ingrid manages and coordinates the activities of the Rise Program (including coordinating scholarship agreements and payments and monitoring academic performance) and oversees supervisors and local facilitators.


Mayra Morales

Supervisor

  • Graduate of San Carlos University (BA, General Psychology)
  • Six years of experience as a psychologist

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


Nabby Sirin

Supervisor

  • Graduate of Mariano Gálvez University (BA, Clinical Psychology)
  • Two years of experience as a psychologist
  • Five years of experience as a teacher

As Supervisor for the Rise Program, Nabby is responsible for supporting program activities, and running workshops and youth development activities in the areas of Santiago Sacatepéquez and Yepocapa. She also assists with the selection of scholarship students, and coordinates with schools and other educational authorities.


Evelyn Roquel

Supervisor

  • Graduate of Mariano Gálvez University (BA, Social Work)
  • Five years of experience as a supervisor for Alas de Guatemala and Asociación Puente
  • Four years of experience as a teacher

As Supervisor for the Rise Program, Evelyn is responsible for supporting program activities, and running workshop and youth development activities in the area of Chimaltenango. She also assists with the selection of scholarship students, and coordinates with schools and other educational authorities.


Heydi Chancho Sirin

Local Facilitator

  • High school graduate with a certification in pre-primary education
  • One and a half years of experience as a teacher
  • Graduate of the Rise Program (2012)

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


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.


Marleny Batz

Local Facilitator

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

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


Any Xicay

Local Facilitator

  • High school graduate with a certification in pre-primary education
  • Four years of experience as a teacher

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Any is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in the areas of Cerritos Asuncion and Chimazat, Chimaltenango. 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.


Cecilia Serech

Local Facilitator

  • High school graduate with a certification in pre-primary education
  • One year of experience as a teacher

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


Audelina Cos

Local Facilitator

  • High school graduate with a certification in primary education
  • Graduate of San Carlos University (BA, Education)
  • Six years of experience as a teacher

As a Local Facilitator for the Rise Program, Audelina is responsible for running workshops and youth development activities in the areas of Yepocapa and Alotenango. 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

Local Facilitator

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

As a Local Facilitator 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.


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.

Finance

Jason Terwilliger

Chief Financial Officer

  • Graduate of Georgetown College (BS, Accounting)
  • Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor
  • 15 years of experience in accounting for nonprofit and educational organizations

As Chief Financial Officer, Jason is responsible for maintaining CoEd’s financial division, including daily financial operations, financial reporting, budgeting, tax preparation, and the annual financial statement audit. Jason also serves as management liaison to the Board of Directors’ Finance Committee.


Anne Cunningham

Senior Analyst

  • Graduate of Ohio State University (MS, Physics)
  • Graduate of Xavier University (BS, Physics, Mathematics, Information Systems)

As Senior Analyst, Anne primarily provides decision-support data and analysis. She also performs some internal control functions, projects future financial needs, and assists the CFO.

 


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.

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.


Mario Mus

IT Manager

  • Five years of experience with SEGA, a Microsoft-certified computer sales & service company
  • Coursework in information systems at San Carlos University

As IT Manager, Mario is responsible for technical support for the Computer Centers, computer equipment inventory control, and maintenance on computers in the Guatemala office.

 


Edwin Rodríguez

Computer Technician

  • Four years of experience as a computer technician in Grupo Editorial Santillana, Belen School, and Fines Guatemala, S.A.
  • Currently studying information systems at Mariano Galvez University

As Computer Technician, Edwin is responsible for inventory control, maintenance of CoEd staff computers, and technical support for the computer centers.

 


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.

Development

Ann Dempsey, CFRE

Director of Philanthropy

  • 16 years 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 Director of Philanthropy, Ann is responsible for overall fundraising strategy and management, including foundation relationships, major gifts, marketing, events, and donor relations.


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 Ohio Pathways Rotary eClub

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.


Amanda Wirthlin

Donor Relations Manager

  • Experience working in-country for nonprofits in Guatemala and Honduras
  • Graduate of Anderson University (BA, Business Management)
  • Current graduate student at the University of Cincinnati

As Donor Relations Manager, Amanda works with supporters who are closely involved with CoEd’s work in Guatemala. She manages the major gifts program, supports CoEd’s Board of Directors and US Advisory Board, and collaborates with Canadian Friends of Cooperative for Education on fundraising strategies. She also coordinates CoEd’s Helping Hands service tour.


Lisa Groh

Senior Grant and Strategy Coordinator

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


Abby Gaide

Senior Development Coordinator (Rise Program)

  • Graduate of the University of Cincinnati (MA, US History)
  • Graduate of Valparaiso University (BA, History)
  • 4 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including work for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

As Senior Development Coordinator of the Rise Youth Development Program, Abby facilitates meaningful connections between supporters and the students/families we serve in Guatemala. This includes matching new sponsors with students, communicating student status to sponsors, and coordinating with the Guatemalan team.


Angie Gilmore

Development Officer: Canadian Friends of Cooperative for Education

  • Graduate of University of Waterloo (MA, Geography; BA, Environment and Resource Studies)
  • Graduate of University of Ottawa (BA, Education)
  • Graduate certificate in Fundraising Management (Ryerson University)

As Development Officer, Angie works with the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) Ambassadors and Canadian Friends of Cooperative for Education. She focuses on increasing support for sponsorships for 7th-12th grade students in Guatemala.


Juan Pablo Maldonado

Tours and Events Coordinator (Guatemala)

  • Graduate of the University of San Carlos (MA, Industrial Administration; BA, Business Administration)
  • More than three years of experience as coordinator for Xerox and Autómata, S.A.

As Tours and Events Coordinator, Juan Pablo is responsible for tour planning and logistics. He also coordinates with the program field teams and schools to arrange and schedule school visits and experiences.


Caroline Phelps

Development and Accounting Coordinator

  • Currently studying Nonprofit Management at Indiana University
  • Graduate of Centre College (BA, Spanish)
  • 4 years of experience working with nonprofits in the U.S. and Latin America

As Development and Accounting Coordinator, Caroline provides support for CoEd’s partnership with Rotary clubs, tours to Guatemala, and accounting. She also helps coordinate the Bridges and School-to-School Programs.


Emily Paver

Marketing & Outreach Coordinator

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

As the Marketing & Outreach Coordinator, Emily is responsible for growing CoEd’s visibility and support through recruiting tour participants and sponsors.


Mayra Sidler Guzman

Development Coordinator (Rise Program)

  • Graduate of Northern Kentucky University (MPA; BS, Sociology)
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector, including co-founding Supporting Latino Families in NKY
  • Former community liason/interpreter for Covington Independent Public Schools

As Development Coordinator, Mayra helps facilitate communication between Rise scholars and their sponsors. She also oversees donation processing, CoEd’s database, and office technology.

 


Andrea Zúñiga

Administrative Assistant for Communications and Tours (Guatemala)

  • Graduate of Rafael Landivar University (BA, International Relations)
  • Three years of experience as an administrative assistant
  • Six years of experience as an English teacher

As Administrative Assistant, Andrea is responsible for providing administrative assistance to the Director of Partner Development and the International Service Coordinator.

 


Isabella (Bella) Smith

Communications Assistant

  • Graduate of the University of Cincinnati (BBA, Marketing, minor in Psychology)
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector, including work for Magnified Giving

As Communications Assistant, Isabella is responsible for creating and editing content for CoEd’s website, blog, social media, eNews, GLP updates, and other marketing pieces. She also assists the sales and marketing team, and provides grant and annual fund support.

 


Jaclyn Lynch

Administrative Assistant

  • Graduate of Ohio University (BA, Sociology; MA, Sociology)
  •  2 years experience in the nonprofit sector, including work with Restavek Freedom

As Administrative Assistant, Jaclyn manages CoEd’s annual Fall Fiesta and other special events. She is also responsible for office management and donation processing.