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.
Securities Litigation Consultant, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Greg graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 1986 with a B.S in Finance. He currently works for Eversheds Sutherland in a consulting role with the Securities Litigation group, where he has worked since 2004. He resides in Decatur, GA where he is an active member of St. Thomas More Parish.
Greg took his first trip to Haiti with his oldest son in 2012. 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, help improve the lives of the people in Grand-Bois.
Enterprise Content Manager SaaS Leader, IBM
Shakira Gavin earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from The University of Georgia. She 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. Upon 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 as an active member of 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.
Hannah first traveled to Haiti in 2004 at age 13, it was there that she became interested in the medical field. From then on she returned to Gran Bois to serve the community any way she could . Hannah most enjoys spending time with the community health workers and the children of Gran Bois.
In 2013, Hannah was apart of creating a Haiti Relief Concert Benefit at Dickinson College in which the proceeds went to ServeHAITI in the wake of the tragic earthquake. Hannah graduated from Dickinson College in 2013 with a degree in Women’s and Gender studies with a minor in Spanish. In 2015, Hannah went on to complete Emory University’s accelerated nursing program where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Since graduation, Hannah has worked in Labor and Delivery, first at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, then across the country in Labor and Delivery as a travel nurse.
Lloyd’s Soccer Team Sales Account Manager
Ron Apollon is a Team Sales Account Manager for Lloyd’s Soccer, a sports retailer in the Atlanta and South Carolina area, and the Director of The Last Defense Goalkeeping Academy, a soccer organization that provides camps and training for young players. Ron holds a Bachelor’s degree from New York Institute of Technology and worked for 20 years in the Telecommunications field before pursuing his true love of coaching and managing in the sports and soccer arena.
Ron is a native of Haiti and has recently joined the ServeHAITI board. He hopes that his knowledge of the Haitian culture and customs will assist ServeHAITI in developing solutions to improve the lives of the Haitian people of Grand Bois as well as other areas of the country. Ron would like to use his expertise in working with children to better educate, lead, and mentor the youth of Haiti in order to get them to become self sufficient and improve their quality of life.
Robert Balke, AIA
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.
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”.
M.D. Premier Hospitalists of Kansas
Matt grew up in rural Southern Illinois and attended a pair of Big Ten Universities to complete his undergraduate and medical degrees. It was 2012, through the University of Iowa, where he first was introduced to Haiti – and eventually ServeHaiti. It was a love/hate relationship with Haiti early on, but the tug on the heart strings never dissipated. Matt completed a full spectrum, Family Medicine training program in Wichita, KS through the University of Kansas School of Medicine. During family medicine residency, he switched his ‘relationship status’ from “It’s complicated” to “In a relationship” with respect to Haiti. Multiple trips to work alongside the Haitian clinical staff led to a more active role in ServeHaiti. In 2017 he was asked to serve as U.S. Medical Director and then the following spring Matt joined the Board of ServeHaiti.
Dr. Downen is part of a private group of hospitalists and lives in Wichita, KS. He travels to Haiti when work allows. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends, listening to music and exercising, but don’t expect him to do cardio. You can catch him in the back of the room during the fundraisers and ducking out early to find the karaoke bar.
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 been employed since 2008.
Eve saw the impact that a trip to Grand-Bois had on her brother, Victor, and knew she had to experience it for herself. She visited Grand-Bois for the first time in June 2012 and knew she was there for a reason. She wanted to be a part of the beautiful community 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.
Trip Logistics Coordinator, ServeHAITI
Liz traveled to Grand-Bois, Haiti for the first time in 2016 and fell in love with the community and the partnership with ServeHAITI. Upon returning home, she found a way to stay involved by training to become the Trip Logistics Coordinator. She took over the role from Liz McDermott, in 2018, and joined the board in the same year.
Liz’s goal is share the mission of ServeHAITI with as many people as possible to raise awareness, funds and increase partnerships to further help us stand with the people of Grand-bois for an improvement in their quality of life. She thrives on ‘the magic of the mountain.’
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. He also leads ServeHAITI’s New York City fundraising efforts.
Rob 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.
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.
Kazushi Udagawa, MBA
Project Manager, Ripple
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 Labdoo.org, MSTERIO.org, 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, where he learned firsthand about the commitment and contribution of ServeHAITI to the people and the community of Grand-Bois.
Kazushi is a project manager at Ripple. He put his management skills to use while coordinating ServeHAITI’s NYC fundraisers in 2015 and 2017. He also led a musical concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC in 2013 for physically and mentally challenged performers, which drew an audience of 2,000.
He completed an Executive MBA program at Columbia Business School in New York and holds a 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 has run 7 marathons since 2015 and is motivated to run in many other countries.