Board of Directors
Dr. Susan Nedza is Senior Vice President of Clinical Outcomes Management at MPA Healthcare Solutions, Inc. She is an emergency physician and healthcare executive with experience at the American Medical Association, Anthem, Inc. and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Susan attended Gannon University and is a graduate of the Stritch School of Medicine of Loyola University. In addition, she received her MBA from the Kellogg, Graduate School of Business of Northwestern University.
Susan visited Olancho with a mission team in 2015, and was impressed by the drive and the competencies of those on the ground. She could see the sustainability of the mission, as efforts continue even when teams return home. Susan joined the Olancho Aid Board of Directors in 2015. She shares a passion for volunteer service in Latin and South America with her husband Dr. Oswaldo Lastres.
Susan has served as Board Chair of the Hinsdale Public Library and as President of the Board of Maria High School. She is a trustee both at Gannon University and the Juvenile Protective Association, based in Chicago. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Master’s Program in Bioinformatics, University of Chicago.
Don DiLucchio, Vice President
With over 35 years in the Financial Industry initially as a CPA for a Big 8 firm and growing in responsibilities for managing the Central United States for a large corporation, Don brings a wealth of financial knowledge, connections and management to the Board. Educational background includes a BS in Accounting from St Francis University as well as an MBA from J.L Kellogg School of Management.
Don leads a mission team yearly from Holy Family Parish in Tennessee and has served on the Olancho Aid Board since 2011. Holding the position of Chair for the Finance Committee, many significant improvements have been made to monitoring the individual success of each school and project within the organization.
Don lives in a suburb of Nashville, TN, with his wife of 30 years and 4 children. He is a member of the Holy Family Catholic Church Advisory Board, is the Holy Family Catholic Church Mission Honduras Advisory Board Chair, and coaches YMCA youth basketball and soccer.
Rob Privette, DVM, Treasurer
Rob is a retired Veterinarian from Kennewick, Washington, who primarily treated dogs, cats, and exotics over the last 35 years.
In 2007, after a year of discernment, Rob and his wife, Kristi, each took a leave of absence from their jobs to spend a year in Juticalpa, Honduras volunteering with the Olancho Aid Foundation. During that year, Rob found himself serving in various capacities but primarily focusing on teaching English at the Catholic University in Juticalpa and doing administrative work for Olancho Aid. Rob worked to form Olancho Aid into a corporation, to apply for tax-exempt status, and to recruit volunteers for the 2008-09 school year.
After returning to the United States in 2008, Rob was invited to join the Board and accepted without hesitation. Since that time he has served in several positions with the Board. Over the last 8 years, OAF added a 4th school, has become more financially stable, and enrollment has grown from 400 students to more than 700 students.
Rob considers his experience with Olancho Aid a life changing one, resulting in an ongoing commitment to the people of Honduras. Rob is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Holy Spirit Parish Evangelization Committee, and leader of Alpha Evangelization Program.
Jackie is the owner and director of Casa de Amigos Bilingual Preschool. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University and has a Master’s degree in Elementary Education (K-8 & Spanish). She has been an educator in the Ascension Public School System since 1998. In 2007, she and her husband built the first bilingual preschool (Casa de Amigos Preschool) in Ascension Parish. Their 3 year old son, Matthew was one of the first students enrolled. She firmly believes education is the key to transformation.
At the age of 3, Jackie and her parents left their home in Havana, Cuba in the pursuit of religious and political freedom. They left their home with only the clothes on their backs and the love of Christ in their hearts. Her parent’s hardships and sacrifices have always served as her driving force to support those in need. Because of the similarities between Cuba and Honduras, Olancho holds a very special place in her heart. She first visited Honduras in 2008 and Olancho specifically in 2012 as a member of the St. John Mission Team. She has been an active member of the Olancho Aid Board since 2014. Jackie and her husband of 25 years, Jan, live in Prairieville, Louisiana with their son, Matthew. Their daughter Marissa served OAF as a Summer Immersion Counselor in 2014 and Summer Immersion Camp Coordinator in 2015 & 2016.
Being a member of Alpha Delta Kappa-Beta Eta Chapter Sorority, has given her the opportunity to facilitate the partnering in education between ADK-Beta Eta, St. John’s mission team, special needs professionals, and Olancho Aid’s Escuelita Nazareth. Jackie is a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Prairieville, LA, and a committee member for their mission team.
Mark Avery is the director of Haymakers for Hope, a non-profit organization which raises funds for cancer research, care, and survivorship through white collar amateur charity boxing events held in Boston and New York City. Mark previously served as an Assistant Director within Development at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and has worked in the non-profit management space for 8 years. He lives with his wife, Kelsey, in Boston MA.
Following an OAF volunteer mission trip, Mark instantly found a passion for the people of Honduras and he strives to utilize his fundraising experience to improve the quality of lives within it’s poorest communities. He joined the Board in 2014. The people of Honduras and the work of Olancho Aid have also touched Mark’s family. His mother and sister participate with mission teams each year.
Lisa is a retired Network Administrator from Rubicon LLC in Geismar, LA. As a lifetime parishioner of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Prairieville, LA, Lisa with her husband, Willie, and two sons traveled to Honduras for the first time with mission team in 2005 and was deeply transformed by the missionary experience and the people of Honduras. She has returned with teams every summer and has coordinated mission trips in partnership with OAF since 2011. Four generations of her family and many volunteers from ages 10 to 86 have participated in mission trips and as short-term volunteers.
Lisa joined the Olancho Aid Foundation’s board of directors in 2014. She provides IT support including an annual review of IT processes and support strategies. Lisa coordinates annual mission trips and fundraising activities sponsored by St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Prairieville, LA.
She has volunteered for many charitable and civic organizations through her employer, church parish and local schools. Lisa is active in prison ministry at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women and other church social responsibility ministries.
Michael is a Manager of the Pharmacy Sourcing Team at HealthTrust Group Purchasing Organization.
Michael’s first experience with Olancho Aid was with a mission team from Holy Family Catholic Church in the summer of 2010. He met his now wife, Carina, during one of his visits with the team. In 2012, Michael moved to Juticalpa and volunteered full time with OAF for 2 years as Director of Development. During his time in Juticalpa, Michael founded the Santa Clara Summer Camp, enhanced the scholarship program, and worked to enhance donor relationships and communications. Carina and Michael now live in Nashville, TN and continue to support the organization in many ways. They return annually as mission team members with Holy Family Catholic Church.
Michael volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters Middle TN and is a member of the Pharmacy Advisory Board at HealthTrust.
Bishop Joseph Bonello, O.F.M. & Father Celio Mencías
Olancho Aid Team
Our Board members are based all over the US and bring varying perspectives to the table as decisions are made regarding policy and planning for Olancho Aid. They know it is essential to seek counsel from leaders in the Church who are based in Olancho. In 2014, Olancho Aid invited Bishop Bonello & Father Celio as advisory members of the Board. Padre Celio also leads faith development for the Foundation and gives mass weekly at each school for our students and teachers.
Carlos Najera, Executive Director
Carlos has devoted his life to the Olancho Aid Foundation for over 16 years. Early on Carlos managed everything from volunteers and mission teams to fundraising and strategy development. He worked closely with founder Father Donahue to implement his vision and manage operations as the organization grew at a somewhat overwhelming rate. Today, Carlos oversees 100+ employees as well as operations. He works directly with the Board to shape the future for Olancho Aid students, employees, and volunteers. Carlos and his wife Reina live just outside of Juticalpa with their 4 children.
Yareli Antunez, Executive Assistant
Yareli took on the role of executive assistant in 2013 and she supports each project of the Foundation in various ways. She manages our education software systems and aids in general IT support for the schools and main office. Yareli collaborates with our Scholarship Coordinator in the production of materials for sponsors and provides assistance to each project manager and the Executive Director.
Francisco Barahona, Controller
Francisco started his career with Olancho Aid in 2005 as a bookkeeper at Cardenal. Since then he has held several positions in the organization including Director of Human Resources and General Administrator. In 2016, Francisco took on the role of Controller and will oversee financial accounting and record keeping for all operations.
Stephanie Fore graduated from Knox College, Galesburg, IL, in 2013. She comes to Olancho Aid after serving for two years with the BECA (Bilingual Education for Central America) program at Amigos de Jesús Children’s Home in Macuelizo, Honduras. Stephanie brings experience as a 4th grade classroom teacher, a mentor to international teaching volunteers, and a recruiter for her university. She is excited to begin her term as the new Volunteer Coordinator and looks forward to supporting volunteers on the ground, recruiting new volunteers, learning, and building relationships at her new home in Juticalpa.
Oscar Fuentes, Mission Team & IT Coordinator
Oscar began working for Olancho Aid in 2010 as an IT manager. Soon he took over coordinating mission teams. Oscar strives to customize the mission experience to accommodate the strengths and goals of each individual and team. Oscar has led the mission team program to sustainability by ensuring the operation does not run on a deficit. He has implemented strategies to improve quality while cutting cost in the areas of security, menu planning, event/job planning, and improved staffing procedures. Oscar also develops, maintains, and troubleshoots IT systems throughout the foundation.
Dámalis was hired in 2016 to oversee human resource functions for the Foundation. Trained as an architect, she brings a diverse educational and professional background with experience in training, billing, and working with adolescents. She was an instant fit with our office team and works closely with them and our principals to further establish the community between employees within the workplace while ensuring compliance with Honduran employment law.
Nohemi was hired in 2016 to enhance best practices in accounting. With over ten years of experience in banking and business, Nohemi brings professionalism and perspective to the Foundation. As the Foundation has formalized its relationship to the Catholic Church, Nohemi acts as a liaison with the church in the area of accounting. She has enjoyed the opportunity to work within each of the Foundation’s schools, and has a special affinity for the important work being done in Escuelita Nazareth.
Jessica Santavy, Director of Advancement
Jessica, a graduate of Gannon University, was hired in the spring of 2016 to develop fundraising efforts, donor communication, volunteer recruitment, and alumni relations. She served as a volunteer teacher with Olancho Aid during the 2007-2008 school year. Jessica helped transition to the new Olancho Aid website in 2016. She is based in the United States and collaborates with the team in Honduras in order to better connect our networks between countries. She seeks to improve Olancho Aid donation and communication processes while ensuring best practices in fundraising.
Pablo Sarmiento, Water Purification Coordinator
Pablo, who studied civil engineering, was hired in 2014 to develop Olancho Aid’s Water Purification project. He traveled to Tennessee to receive training from Living Waters for the World, Olancho Aid’s partner in bringing clean water to Hondurans in rural villages. Pablo has overseen the process of system implementation in more than 16 villages thus far. He continues to seek out new communities in need of a clean water source while maintaining relationships and educational initiatives with those utilizing a system already.
Wendy Varela, Scholarship Coordinator
Wendy began working with the Olancho Aid Foundation as a teacher in 2005. In 2010, she was asked to take charge of developing the scholarship program. The program has grown to include more than 135 sponsors and over 145 recipients. In addition to home visits and monitoring academic progress, Wendy works to enhance the relationship between student and sponsor through consistent communications.