Board Members

Board Members

Victor Haydel
President, 755 Restaurant Corporation   

Victor Haydel has served as President of 755 Restaurant Corporation since 1995. As a member of Sacred Heart, he has supported the efforts of ServeHAITI since its inception. He took his first trip to Grand-Bois in June 2010 and joined the board in 2013. Victor began serving as Chairman of the Board in January 2017. 

Eve Haydel
Financial Analyst, Turner Broadcasting

Eve Haydel earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Dillard University of New Orleans. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA and works as a Financial Analyst at Turner Broadcasting, where she has worked for the past 9 years.

Eve saw the impact that a trip Grand-Bois had on her brother, Victor Haydel, and knew she had to experience it for herself. She took her first trip in June 2012 and knew she was there for a reason and wanted to be a part of the beautiful community that she witnessed. Eve strives to use her voice to bring awareness and support to ServeHAITI’s mission.  She has been a board member since 2015.

Shakira Gavin
Enterprise Content Manager SaaS Leader, IBM

Shakira Gavin earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from The University of Georgia in Athens, GA.   Shakira works as a Software Sales Consultant with IBM and currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

Shakira first became involved with ServeHAITI in 2013 after being introduced to the organization by a friend.  After learning more about ServeHAITI’s mission and work in the region, Shakira was motivated to experience Grand-Bois firsthand.  Since her first trip in 2013, Shakira has been an active volunteer and supporter of ServeHAITI.  She has taken on leadership roles as the organization’s Social Media chair and on the 2015 Atlanta Fundraiser planning committee. She has been a board member since 2014.

Shakira’s personal mission is to bring more awareness to the community of Grand-Bois, Haiti and increase the support and reach of ServeHAITI.

Wayne J. Book, Ph.D.
Retired Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering      

Wayne J. Book is professor emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology, retiring as the HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Professor of Fluid Power and Motion Control in 2011. He joined Georgia Tech in 1974 after attaining degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.S., Ph.D.) and The University of Texas (B.S.) in mechanical engineering. He is a Fellow of IEEE, ASME and SME.

After visits to the parish of St. Pierre in 1999 as a member of the Sacred Heart delegation, he was struck by the need to treat and especially prevent maladies in Haiti that have almost been eradicated in more developed countries. Clean water for the citizens of Grand-Bois seemed to be the logical target and has been the major way that Wayne has applied himself in service through ServeHAITI.

Wayne believes that “education and appropriate technology of all types can lift the standard of living in Haiti and ServeHAITI has embraced these means with projects ranging from water purification to wind energy”.

Wendy Strassner, Esq.
President, Strassner Search Consultants, LLC

Wendy earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Virginia and Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia. After practicing law with Long Aldridge & Norman in Atlanta for five years, Wendy pursued a career in legal recruiting and established Strassner Search Consultants in 1999. Owning her own business afforded Wendy the opportunity to travel to Grand-Bois on several occasions and the flexibility to assume a leadership position with ServeHAITI as it grew out of a small but burgeoning ministry of Sacred Heart Church. She played a role in negotiating the initial agreement with Dr. Leopold Bourgouin, the Haitian Medical Director.

As chairperson of the Sacred Heart Haiti Ministry from 2003-2005, and as president of ServeHAITI from 2005-2006, Wendy was involved in several other initiatives, including negotiating the agreement for and working with the local contractor on Phase I construction of the Health Center. Wendy also maintained the organization’s books and served as Assistant Treasurer, then Treasurer from 2009 until 2017.

Wendy’s two daughters, born in Grand-Bois and former patients of the Health Center, inspire her each day to do everything she can to bring a better quality of life to the people of Grand-Bois.

Charmaine A. Lewis, MD, MPH
Hospitalist, New Hanover Regional Medical Center

Charmaine Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and French from Duke University and a medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She did her residency in internal medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

When she wandered into a downtown church for inspiration after a particularly hard day in the trenches of Grady Hospital, Charmaine saw a flyer asking for volunteers in Haiti. And, just a few weeks later she was on her way to Grand-Bois. From there it was love.

To gain a thorough understanding of the science behind solutions to international health obstacles, Charmaine completed a master’s in public health in global communicable disease soon after she started volunteering in Grand-Bois.  She is now a practicing hospitalist in Wilmington, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and three small children.  She speaks English, French, passable Spanish as well as Haitian Creole and is starting to become proficient in American Sign Language — all of which she used in just one day during her last trip to Haiti.

Cindy Broders, RN, BS
Pediatric/School Nurse; Retired, Bellevue, IA Comm. Schools

Cindy Broders is an RN who received her bachelor’s degree in health arts from St. Francis University in 1993. She has more than 35 years experience in pediatrics. She first became involved with ServeHAITI in 2002 with one of the first medical missions to Grand-Bois and has returned frequently to provide health care at the clinic and assist with the teacher training programs in June. She became very interested in the prevention of malnutrition in Grand-Bois and started the Medika Mamba program at the St. Vincent de Paul Health Center. Since it’s inception in  June 2010, this program has had more than 140 participating children in the last with much success.

In 2001, Cindy received a phone call from her brother, Jim Froeschle, who was a parishioner of Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He called to ask her to travel to Grand-Bois on a travel mission. If you ask her, she’ll tell you that phone call changed her life!

Throughout the last 10 years, Cindy and many of her eight siblings have been deeply involved with ServeHAITI. Her sister, Liz, has been a volunteer coordinator for ServeHAITI for the past several years – organizing all the large delegations that go to Grand-Bois.

Cindy has been married to her husband, Dave, for 40 years. He has also been to Grand-Bois for the teacher training program. They have three daughters and one son, as well as 10 grandchildren.

Robert S. King, M.A.
Partner, Five Prime Advisors LLC

Rob was first exposed to the medical challenges of the developing world as a Jesuit novice working as an EMT in a clinic for malnourished children in Honduras in 1980.  His journey came full circle 30 years later when he flew medical supplies and a radio station to Port-au-Prince after the 2010 earthquake.

While his introduction to ServeHAITI was piloting relief flights, as a board member, Rob’s involvement has been active and varied.  In addition to serving on the organization’s Executive Committee, he is involved in the Economic Development initiative focused on the Grand-Bois region of the country, as well as leading ServeHAITI’s New York City fundraising efforts.

He is a partner in Five Prime Advisors, a New York-based strategic and valuation advisory firm.  He has completed Ph.D. coursework in Economics, holds an M.A. degree in Economics, and B.A degrees in Biology and Spanish Literature.  He spent several years after high school as a member of the Society of Jesus (the “Jesuits”) studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Liz McDermott
Trip Logistics Coordinator, ServeHAITI

Lizbeth McDermott is an LPN with experience in neo-natal intensive care and pediatrics. Liz became involved with ServeHAITI in 2002 when she received a phone call from her brother requesting help on a medical mission to Grand-Bois. This was one of the first medical missions through Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Liz has returned to Grand-Bois several times a year since that first visit. She served as Chairman of the Board of ServeHAITI from 2006-2008. She is also Trip Volunteer Coordinator for ServeHAITI and recruits delegates as well as coordinating the logistics in planning the groups of delegations that visit Grand-Bois. Liz was  instrumental in beginning the teacher training program in 2006.  This program currently  trains 75 teachers every summer and shows positive affects on thousands of students in Grand-Bois.

Liz lives in LeClaire, Iowa with her husband, Tom who has traveled to Haiti several times. They have three grown sons who have all traveled to Haiti on separate visits — working on the skylight installation, patient dossier review and water projects — as well as a daughter-in-law who currently serves on the Water Committee. Of note, it is a well known fact that our Medical Director, Dr. Leopold, is Liz’s “honorary” 4th son.


Robert Balke
Principal architect at tvsdesign; Director of the Design for Learning and Cultural Arts Studio

Robert Balke is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy; Bachelor of Environmental Studies (summa cum laude, 1972) and Master of Architecture (1974). Robert is a practicing architect registered in 5 states. He is married to Margaret C. Balke and has two grown children now living in Brooklyn. He has been active since the early days of outreach to Grand Bois, Haiti as the then President of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference of Sacred Heart Parish in Atlanta. Over a period of years he pursued and facilitated, through the International Office of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris, the formation of a sister conference of St. Vincent de Paul in San Pierre, Haiti. Aggregation of the San Pierre Conference was granted in June of 2001.

With representatives of the San Pierre Community, he helped to scout-out sites for Clinic construction in April of 2002. In March of that same year the initial funding commitment for a permanent Clinic building was provided by the St. Vincent de Paul Society at Sacred Heart and construction commenced in August of 2003. As a volunteer, Robert facilitated design and construction of Phase I of the Clinic through its completion in June 2005. He also facilitated design and construction of Phase II of the Clinic (second story) with construction commencing in Dec.2007 and finishing in May of 2009. He remains committed to the success of the St. Vincent de Paul Clinic and ServeHaiti, now as a board member.

Robert is a member of the American Institute of Architects, is a LEED accredited professional, also a member of the Sacred Heat St. Vincent de Paul Conference, The Atlanta Coffee House Club, the Society of College and University Planners, and The United States Institute of Theater Technology.

Kazushi Udagawa, MBA
IT Project Manager, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
Kazushi has always been passionate about being a part of the global community and enjoys philanthropic works. His involvement in socially-driven activities focusing on education and children include,, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York, and various local volunteer activities. He has also served as committee member of the Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami annual memorial events TOGETHER FOR 3.11 since 2012. Moreover, he has many close Haitian friends so it did not take long for him to connect with ServeHAITI. After the earthquake in Haiti, he attended the NY fundraiser organized by ServeHAITI, and 2 months later visited Grand-Bois when he learned the commitment and contribution of ServeHAITI to the people and the community of Grand-Bois. His involvement to the organization strengthened since then.
Kazushi is a project manager at MUFG Union Bank in NYC. He has demonstrated a strong management skill to run ServeHAITI NYC Fundraiser in 2015. He also lead a musical concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC in 2013 for physically and mentally challenged performers and gathered 2,000 audiences.

He completed Executive MBA program at Columbia Business School in New York and holds B.A. in Marketing from University of Miami. He grew up in Japan, Singapore, India, and Miami and now lives in New York City. He has traveled to more than 50 countries and loves playing soccer with people around the world. He ran 3 marathons since 2015 and is motivated to run in many other countries.

Joanne A. McGriff, MD, MPH
Assistant Research Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
Associate Director, Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at Emory
Joanne A. McGriff is Assistant Research Professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and the Associate Director of the Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).  She is originally from Long Island, New York and completed her undergraduate work at Princeton University then earned her MD and Masters in Public Health from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (NY).

Joanne served as Executive Director of ServeHAITI for four years (2008-2012) where she provided leadership and guidance for healthcare staff at the Saint Vincent DePaul Health Center and the seven ServeHAITI US organizational committees. During the same time, she was also the U.S. Director of a four-year USAID-PEPFAR grant in HIV prevention in Grand Bois, overseeing a staff of 26 community health workers and other personnel implementing the program.

As a Haitian American, Joanne is committed to “serving” Haiti and working collaboratively with the Grand Bois community and other Board members to improve health and respect the dignity, culture and inherent capability of each Haitian citizen we serve.

Gregory Amoroso
Securities Litigation Consultant, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Greg graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 1986 with a B.S in Finance.  He currently works for Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in a consulting role with the Securities Litigation group, where he has worked for the past 12 years.  He currently resides in Decatur, GA where he is an active member of St. Thomas More parish. 

Greg took his first trip with his oldest son in 2012 and both were struck by how much ServeHAITI does for the community of Grand Bois and how much more there is to do.  Greg has since worked to raise awareness of the needs in Grand Bois through his parish and the greater Atlanta community.  Meanwhile, his son has taken a leadership position with his parish at Marquette University which runs a twinning program with a parish in Mon Opital Haiti.  Greg has taken additional trips to Grand Bois, including one with his other son, and enjoys being able to help and interact with the wonderful people of the area. His goal for his involvement with ServeHAITI is to, in some small way, to help improve the lives of the people in Grand-Bois.

Volunteer Positions

Matt Downen, MD
Hospitalist, Premier Hospitalists of Kansas

U.S. Medical Director for ServeHAITI

Matt attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign for his pre-medical training, and then completed his medical training at the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine. He completed his residency in family medicine at The University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita, Wesley Family Medicine Residency Program, and currently practices as a hospitalist in Wichita, KS.

While doing some soul-searching, Matt traveled to Haiti for an extended period of time. It left an imprint on his life and it became clear that Haiti would remain a part of his life moving forward. He continued traveling to Haiti during his family medicine residency through the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita. It was during this time that he received the AAFP Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education, a nationwide award offered to only 12 of the more than 3,500 family medicine residents.

His first trip to Grand-Bois was headlined by a late night moto ride up the perilous mountain road. Since then the fun and excitement has only grown. He has traveled to Grand-Bois several times over the past few years and often gets excited about planning his next trip as the current one is winding up. He is honored to begin serving in a more official role and looks forward to collaborating on making ServeHAITI’s imprint in Grand-Bois one of health and vitality. 

Liz Kelly
Area Business Director, Fertility, West Coast, EMD Serono

Trip Logistics Coordinator in training

Liz lives in Los Angeles where she managers sales reps for a biotech company who manufactures fertility medication to help people become parents.  After hearing about ServeHAITI’s mission from her friend, Michelle Hession, Liz wanted to experience it for herself. Liz took her first trip to Grand-Bois in the summer of 2016 and felt compelled to contribute to the movement in solidarity with the beautiful people she met.  

On her first night in the clinic, she witnessed the birth of a baby and  was struck by the parallel’s between how badly American’s want to become parents and the effort Haitian mothers put in to having a baby in a safe environment- sometimes a three hour walk, in labor!  After returning home, she reached out to Liz McDermott to see how she stay could stay involved. She is currently training to become ServeHAITI’s new Trip Logistics Coordinator.  She hopes to create a west coast community that believes in, and gets to experience the magic of the mountain with her.