Alumni: Where are they now?

Back in 2022, we launched a new alumni network – AMIGOS Alumni Connect. AMIGOS alumni go on to do some incredible things, so we are excited to share an update for Where Are They Now? where alumni can share their life and achievements.

The below submissions represent the 2023 “Where Are They Now Digital Yearbook.” Each fall, we will welcome new submissions to this digital yearbook. We are excited to share your stories!

Interested in deepening your connections to the AMIGOS community, join the AMIGOS LinkedIn Group where alumni, chapter leaders, staff, and other members of our community can connect through this private group.

Questions? Reach out to us at [email protected].

Candace House

Candace House (Panama ’19)

Senior at University of Southern California, incoming SHINE Associate at Deloitte

I created the University of Southern California’s first ever Black Career Fair in February 2023!

Alden Paine

Alden Paine (Panama, ’16, Ecuador)

Postbac Fellow, National Institutes of Health, NIAID

I graduated from Pitt in spring 2023 with a Bachelors in Microbiology, and presented my undergraduate research at a virology conference in Georgia over the summer. I moved to DC in July to be a postbac fellow at the National Institute of Health doing vaccine research before I apply to PhD programs!

David Caldwell

David Caldwell (Paraguay, ’15)

Account Executive at IBM

I’m currently working on closing a $400,000 software sale. It should be wrapping up at the beginning of 2024!

Jesse Eaton Luria

Jesse Eaton-Luria (Panama, ’15, Costa Rica, ’19)

Law Student at USC Gould School of Law

I recently interned at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in Arusha, Tanzania.

Maya Sterling

Maya Sterling (Ecuador, ’15, Nicaragua, ’17)

Senior Program Coordinator at Pan American Development Foundation

In December, I got a promotion! I’ve now been at PADF for 3.5 years supporting projects that advance transparency, civic participation, and civil society capacity building in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

Felix Souza

Felix Souza (Paraguay, ’14)

Electronics Technician/United States Navy

I’m currently a Navy recruiter in Phoenix and our district just won back-to-back District of The Year For The Nation. Happy to be part of a hard working team.

Joshua House

Joshua House (Dominican Republic, ’14)

Senior Consultant–Technology Solution Delivery–Government Public Sector at EY | Founding Author at Josué Casa Inc

We recently released our first published poetry book entitled, “Mahogany: Reflections of A Young Black Man.” 2nd book, entitled “College Chronicles”, and its accompanied screenplay are in progress, while the 3rd and 4th books entitled, “Silhouettes of Life” and “Redemption” are finished and in pre-production.

Paola Gutierrez

Paola Gutierrez (Dominican Republic, ’14)

Marriage and Family Therapy Behavioral Health Intern at the Community Youth Center of San Francisco

I am in the process of obtaining my Master’s Degree in May 2024. I have completed two years of graduate school so far and this is my last year of classes while being in my internship. I provide therapeutic services to youth ages 13-18 and have been learning a lot since I started my internship in August.

Marianne Simpson

Marianne Simpson (Costa Rica, ’13)

Science Teacher at Success Academy Charter Schools

Last fall, I completed a Master’s of Science in Elementary & Special Education. I was in school while teaching full-time, which was challenging but rewarding to be able to immediately put into practice the skills I was learning.

Julio Pacheco

Julio Pacheco (Honduras, ’11)

Lograr un título universitario y haber trabajado en HONDUTEL, donde me desempeñé como un excelente empleado, voluntario, puntual y servicial.

Akana Palani

Palani Akana (Paraguay, ’10, Ecuador ’11 & ’12, Panama, ’16)

Lecturer, Columbia University

In 2022, after 5 years researching nutrient cycling processes in forests, I obtained my PhD in ecology from Columbia University. Since graduating, I have been teaching science to college students. Currently I’m teaching the Frontiers of Science course at Columbia in New York City.

Emelie Matei

Emelie Matei (Dominican Republic, ’10, Mexico, ’11, Nicaragua, ’15))

Global Account Manager

Organized and executed a 55 in-person technical workshop, in Spanish, in Mexico City that was so successful it earned me a promotion!

Jackie Mostow

Jackie Mostow (Dominican Republic, ’09, Panama, ’10. Mexico, ’13)

Family Doctor, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center

Supporting folks seeking abortion care in banned states with the M+A hotline.

Sarah Munoz

Sarah Munoz (Honduras, ’05)

Founder of Munoz Tutoring Co

I am the founder of a Spanish tutoring company. I also do college counseling for native Spanish speaking families:

Lillian Ardell

Lillian Ardell (Costa Rica, ’99, Nicaragua, ’00 & ’01)

Founder of Language Matters, LLC

I presented a keynote speech to 100 bilingual teachers and their supervisors on the topic of Disrupting the Monolingual Bias. In this work, I coach bilingual/ESL teachers to become sturdier and more confident advocates for their students.

Megan Oleson

Megan Oleson (Paraguay, ’99)

Associate District Director at The Bachrach Group

I was recently given the opportunity to expand my staffing company into the Nashville market. I learned recruiting through volunteer recruitment while working with Amigos as a Training Director and continued the path.

Kevin Cunningham

Kevin Cunningham (Ecuador, ’98)

Farmer- Shakefork Community Farm

I will be presenting at the World Draft Cattle Symposium in Lorsch, Germany this March. As one of the few oxen powered farms in North America this a great opportunity to share how we utilize oxen in our production systems.

Brie McKee

Brie McKee Alasfour (Mexico, ’97)

First Grade Teacher

I’m proud to have been an elementary school teacher for over twenty years.

Zachary Held

Zachary Heid (Ecuador, ’97)


2024 incoming President of the San Mateo Dental Society. I traveled to Zambia in April 2023 to provide free dental services. Currently volunteering at Samaritan House as a community dentist.

Sheila Keller

Sheila Keller (Honduras, ’96, Mexico, ’97)

National Organizer for National Education Association

I’m currently working on a community campaign to pass an equity policy in Richmond, Indiana with a racial justice coalition made up of faith leaders, community members, parents, students, and teachers.

Aubin Phillips

Aubin Phillips (Paraguay, ’96)

Program Manager, Houston METRO

I’m the Deputy Project Manager for the METRORapid University Corridor Project, which when completed will be the longest Bus Rapid Transit in the US. I was also the Project Manager for METRO’s Urban Design Manual that won multiple awards from the American Planning Association and the American Association of Landscape Architects.

Jessica Parlanti

Jessica Parlanti (Costa Rica, ’95, Bolivia, ’00, Honduras, ’03)

Spanish teacher at Swallowtail Waldforf School. Farm, Yoga Instructor at Santosha Studio. Business owner and Ayurveda practioner at Prana Flow

I started my own business called Prana Flow that helps people incorporate Ayurveda nutrition in their life. I also designed and launched my own website, and learned how to make posters to promote myself and have successfully treated clients, and have given workshops and cooking classes about this topic.

Michele Hughes

Michelle Rondeau Hughes (Ecuador, ’94)


My professional achievements that I’m proud would be directed toward my volunteer work with children. My biggest impact to this world is supporting the children who have less and don’t get the chance to participate in activities and life experiences due to lack of wealth.

Laura Keels

Laura Keels (Ecuador, ’93, Mexico, ’94, Paraguay, ’98)

Family Nurse Practitioner, Providence

I have been working as a Nurse Practitioner for 18 years. I perform many minor surgical procedures and am the only Spanish speaking provider.

Caroline Baehner

Caroline Baehner (Dominican Republic, ’92, Honduras, ’93)

Singer for Sweet Caroline

Last year, I worked for AMIGOS as Kansas City Chapter Outreach Coordinator! And this year, as of September, Sweet Caroline is Hall of Fame for The Akademia Music Awards!

Marty Gross

Marty Gross (Mexico, ’91, Dominican Republic, ’92, Honduras, ’94)

Director for Access and Program Strategy, Mental Health and Infectious Disease; Johnson & Johnson

In my previous role at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, I supported the Government of Malawi to strengthen their routine health information systems, and to better use health data to plan, manage, and deliver essential health services.

Claire Ricci

Claire Hargrove Ricci (Ecuador, ’89, Paraguay, ’91, Brazil, ’94)

Pediatric Anesthesiologist

I recently started my own practice providing anesthesia to pediatric patients in dental offices.

Renee Armstrong

Renee Armstrong (Paraguay’88)

Family Physician – Sutter Health

Helped to design processes for primary care clinicians trying to manage virtual patient care, to better serve our patients and decrease clinician burnout.

Jill Roth

Jill Roth (Ecuador, ’87, Costa Rica, ’19)

Nonprofit Volunteer

Co-PI of Project RAÍCES, a federally funded initiative to diversify who enters (and stays in) the teaching profession. Includes work with five majority BIPOC high schools in Nebraska.

John Hicks

John Hicks (Mexico, ’87)

Operations and Quality Assurance Manager

Wrote grants totally 400k for our Head Start.

David Wiard

David Wiard (Ecuador, ’87)

Trainer for Public Transportation at PARTA (Retired)

Just continuing to enjoy my job.

Samantha S

Samantha Schoech (Panama, ’86, Ecuador, ’87)

Staff Writer, NYT Wirecutter

Samantha Schoech is the voice of Wirecutter on all the New York Times podcasts.

Ted Hamman

Edmund (Ted) Hamann (Panama, ’85, Mexico, ’86, ’87, & ’90, Ecuador, ’89)

Professor of Education Policy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Co-PI of Project RAÍCES, a federally funded initiative to diversify who enters (and stays in) the teaching profession. Includes work with five majority BIPOC high schools in Nebraska.

Andres Audrey Jackson

Audrey Jackson (Panama, ’85, Paraguay, ’86)

Head Start Administrator, City of San Antonio

As of January 2024, I celebrate 33 years of working with young children and their families within the early education and public health program called Head Start. My first position as a Bilingual Home Visitor in Redwood City, CA felt like an extension of my time in Amigos. It was a soft landing within a caring group of people with the mission of supporting immigrant families to learn how to support their children within our country’s educational systems. I’ve been in my current role as the Director of the CIty of San Antonio Head Start Program partnering with San Antonio ISD and Edgewood ISD for the past five years. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have spent my entire career in health work and I feel that Amigos helped to put me on a path to serve those who might not always be seen in our society.

Rich Mertes

Rich Mertes (Mexico, ’84)

Somatic Counselor

As a counselor, I have the challenge and the honor of helping people who are suffering from depression, anxiety, and addiction–often caused by the residues of traumatic experience. Witnessing their gradual liberation from these things is deeply satisfying.

Raja Chatterjee

Raja Chatterjee (Peru, ’83, Ecuador, ’84, Paraguay,’85)

Professor, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Elected President of the Wake Forest University Faculty Senate. Recertified Critical Care Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Sleep Medicine. Completed Commanding Officer tour in the Navy Reserve.

C Green

Chris Green (Mexico, ’82)

Deputy District Director (San Francisco) – US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Every day, I get to work with a team of smart, passionate, and inspiring individuals who have dedicated themselves to the protection and advancement of civil rights in the US. It’s a dream job that I likely never would have had if I had not participated in Amigos.

David Baron

David Baron (Dominican Republic, ’80)

Internal Medicine Physician

I am the primary physician for a panel of patients of which three or four hundred are Latino individuals and families in my medical practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

John G. O'Malley

John O’Malley (Ecuador, ’78)

Financial Advisor (self employed)

Life Member of Million Dollar Round Table. In Top 10 of all Allstate Financial Representatives in eastern USA

Tricia Mintz

Tricia Mintz (Nicaragua, ’78, Honduras, ’79, Paraguay, ’80, Mexico, ’81)


I semi retired, but still prepare tax returns for friends and family.

Lance Cope

Lance Cope (Guatemala, ’78, Honduras, ’79, Paraguay, ’80, Mexico, ’81, Venezuela, ’82)

Public Engagement – The Cosanti Foundation

These days my time is spent focused on non-profits, volunteerism and my grandson Rafi. I call it the encore life.

Lloyd Marcum

Lloyd Marcum (Honduras, ’77)

Endodontist (retired), President Marc Air

I have transitioned my practice of Endodontics to a new doctor, and expanded my airline to provide service to California and Nevada. I have trained my daughter to take control of the airline as she is able.

Tammie Klein

Tammie Klein (Nicaragua ’77)

Retired Obstetrician/Gynecologist Springfield Clinic

I was fortunate enough to retire three years ago. I continue to do volunteer work in the medical field.

Paul Reidy

Paul Reidy (Honduras, ’77 & ’79, Paraguay ’78)

President, Celtro Inc.

I’m helping build a medical device company that will help deliver more cost-effective cardiac management for people without the need for invasive and repetitive surgeries.

Edward Cazier

Edward Cazier (Honduras ’76, ’78 & ’79, ECUADOR, ’77, Panama, ’81)

Senior Development Geologist at Westlawn Americas Offshore

Helped a startup grow through several transformative transactions; served as panelist at geothermal professional society annual meeting.

Lani Marquez

Lani Rice Marquez (Nicaragua ’76, Honduras ’77, Paraguay, ’78-’80)

Knowledge Management Director, University Research Co.

In October, I celebrated 40 years working at URC. I am still productive and contributing to the organization’s success and feel respected and valued by my colleagues.

Kim Van Maren

Kim Heath Van Maren (Ecuador, ’75 & ’77, Nicaragua, ’76)

Retired Healthcare Executive

Amigos taught me to build personal connections with people of varying cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs. I have used those skills in a long career in healthcare management and sales, as well as mentoring and supporting young women in attaining educational, personal and career goals in the U.S., Honduras, and Kenya. I believe it paying it forward.

Gordon Schutze

Gordon Schutze (Bolivia, ’74, Nicaragua, ’75)

Vice Dean of the School of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics

I have been especially proud of being able to still work in the realm of global health in my current position.

Nancy Hendryx

Nancy Hendryx (Nicaragua ’73, Mexico, ’82)

Freelance Tour Guide

I am a licensed tour guide for Qatar, which makes me a de facto ambassador for the Middle East and Islam

Anthony Anella

Tony Anella (Ecuador, ’73 & ’75, Colombia, ’74)

Principal of Anthony Anella Architecture and Founder of the Leopold Writing Program

The professional achievement I am most proud of is protecting 30,828 acres of ranch land with a conservation easement. The project is profiled in “SAVING THE RANCH: Conservation Easement Design in the American West,” Island Press (2004), which I co-authored.

Sherril Johnston

Sherrill Johnston (Guatemala, ’71)

EO Hospitality Team Coordinator (Educational Opportunities Tours)

Retired after career as United Methodist Pastor and missionary to South America. Working, traveling, and coordinating hospitality teams around the world with faith-based travel company post retirement.

Robert Collier

Robert Collier (Honduras, ’70,’73, & ’75, Nicaragua, ’71 & ’74, Colombia ’72)

Consultant /Clinician at PDA Lower Manhattan

I sold my dental practice in Tucson, Arizona and semi-retired. My wife, Judith Henderson (an AMIGOS alum.) and I then moved to New York City

Phil T

Phillip Tunison (Guatemala, ’69)

Owner White Tiger Builders LLC

My company restores old houses. I am currently working on a 94-year-old treasure in Clearwater, Florida. It is a labor of love, as it is my own home.

Valerie Carlisle

Valerie Carlisle (Guatemala, ’68)

Retired Poughkeepsie City School teacher. Currently Boardmember of Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden

Since 2014 I have been involved with immigration issues, both locally and nationally. I’m proud to be a member of Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden and a lead in the local Hudson Valley chapter, Reunite Migrant Families.

Penn Avera

Penn Avera (Honduras, ’67)


Data base management, data architecture, project management, and market research.

Peter Benziger

Peter Benziger (Honduras, ’67, Guatemala, ’69, Paraguay, ’72)

Happily Retired

I started two companies and was able to retire early enough to fulfill my dream of sailing around the world in our sailboat, and visiting 44 countries in 8 years.

Steve Cook

Stephen (Steve) Cook (Honduras, ’66 & ’65, Guatemala, ’67)

President and CEO, Fieldstone Partners

We helped pioneer a large joint venture between NAV CANADA (the FAA of Canada) and Iridium Communications, called Aireon (, that pioneered satellite based global commercial airline monitoring, to increase flight safety and route flexibility.

Susan Macdonald

Susan MacDonald

CEO Eye Corps

Dr. Susan MacDonald cofounded Eye Corps; a nonprofit working in subsaharan Africa. Eye Corps focuses on reducing blindness with surgical training and education of ophthalmologists.