About Founder’s Circle

Founder’s Circle members provide the investment funds needed to expand GoPhil’s wingspan in identifying and supporting innovative NGO’s quietly doing the heavy lifting in the global development arena. Committed members (individuals and/or couples) invest $5K per year specifically for GoPhilanthropic’s own critical internal development such as hiring staff, developing new regions and expanding our communications/PR tools.

Our Founder’s Circle members have much in common, starting with an immense passion for active, rather than passive philanthropy. The more they have followed this path of engagement, the farther they have each wanted to go — and not simply because it feels good, but because it feels right.

Most of these members have been through our growing pains alongside us over the years and almost all have traveled to connect one-on-one with our partners around the world. Probably the most important thing to us, though, is that they each share GoPhilanthropic’s values and ethics — including a belief in respectfully listening and learning from those who are closest to the issues and not assuming we have all of the answers.

Current Founder’s Circle Members

PETER BANWELL

Peter has been a friend of GoPhilanthropic for some time, first as an NGO partner (LEOT in Laos), then as a GoPhilanthropic donor, and more recently as a GoPhilanthropic Board member. He is retired from his very successful trucking business and has two daughters and two grandsons. He is deeply engaged in educational programs at home in the UK and all over the world. He travels pretty much all of the time!

BARBARA BURGER

Barbara leads a very full life based out of Houston as President of Chevron Technology Ventures. In her “free” time she can be found running, traveling or at the symphony. Barbara has been on several GoPhilanthropic Travel journeys, is passionate about support for education programs, has advised on several strategic matters and has recently hosted a GoPhilanthropic event in her home.

ROBERT & ROBIN CRAIG

Robin is a talented artist and Bob is someone who likes to understand the intricacies of how things work. Both are successful retired executives who travel the world and have a special affinity for SE Asia and supporting young peoples dreams. They divide their time between their homes in Arizona and NYC.

CRAIG CUNNINGHAM & EDDIE LESOK

Eddie is a retired CEO of his own business, yet remains active with the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra and the Van Cliburn Foundation. He sits on GoPhil’s Development Committee. Craig had a long career in marketing and is now a realtor in Santa Fe. He currently volunteers with Kitchen Angels, a meal delivery service for Santa Feans in need. Craig and Eddie live in Santa Fe and had the life-changing experience of traveling with GoPhil to Southeast Asia. They enjoy international travel, gardening, and the arts and are strongly committed to GoPhil’s mission.

LYDIA & JOHN DEAN

In 2007 GoPhil Co-Founder Lydia and husband John launched GoPhilanthropic Travel, the platform from which GoPhilanthropic Foundation was later formed. John is involved in luxury real estate in Provence and Lydia manages Communications and Travel for GoPhilanthropic. They love restoring homes, travel, music and family time and can be found in either Los Angeles, Provence, Asia or Central America.

MARISA FERMIN & DAVID ERESHENA

David and Marisa have been involved with GoPhilanthropic for many years. Their introduction to GoPhil was a trip to Nepal, and following that, Marisa journeyed to Guatemala. Marisa is an entertainment executive and lawyer, with thoughts of retiring one day. David, a commercial construction manager, enjoys coming up with an endless list of home improvement projects for their homes in Los Angeles and Santa Fe. Both Marisa and David cannot wait for the pandemic to get under control so they can travel with GoPhil again!

JUDI FRANT & MARK REFOWITZ

Judi and Mark engaged with GoPhil after supporting a partner in Cambodia. Since then they have joined GoPhil Travel in Guatemala and SE Asia. Mark, a retired health care executive, and Judi, a retired Human Resources executive, live in Southern California, where Mark continues to serve on a number of local health care boards and Judi is a volunteer reading tutor. They enjoy long beach walks with their dog, playing golf, bridge & birding (well, Judi does), and often take classes in their quest to learn Spanish. It is in recognition and gratitude for their own good fortune that they humbly decided to join the Founder’s Circle.

BRUCE LOGAN & ELAINE HEAD

Bruce Logan and Elaine Head reside on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia and spend part of each year in Vietnam as volunteers and spending time with their adopted Vietnamese family. Bruce has published three books: the first, in partnership with Elaine, is a memoir of time spent in Vietnam. He has also written two novels about human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Elaine lends her writing expertise to their philanthropic projects and she manages the fundraising and administration for their non-registered charity, Journeys of the Heart. They share three children and four granddaughters.

GREG KADEL

Greg is a retired endodontist and an avid philanthropist. He has a special passion for supporting education and mentoring of young people. He is a strong supporter of GoPhilanthropic’s partner programs in Southeast Asia. Among his many hobbies, he raises race horses, has a love of adventure and relishes the time he spends with his family who are spread across California, New York, Pennsylvania and Paris.

SHERRI LAUVER & KEVIN BIGLAN

Sherri is a social scientist working for the federal Department of Education. She cares deeply about solving the problem of inter-generational poverty around the world. She was fortunate to visit Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam with her daughter on a life-changing GoPhil trip and remains committed to supporting non-profits in East Asia. Kevin is a neurologist and a medical fellow at Eli Lilly & Co, where he is developing treatments for Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. Kevin and Sherri have three children ages 13-19 and live in Indianapolis.

JEANIE MAMULA

Jeanie is retired after 40+ years as an executive in healthcare. She loves meeting new people, exploring cultures, and learning a bit of their languages. She has traveled several times with GoPhilanthropic Travel and has a passion around access to healthcare and education, women’s rights and anti-trafficking. At home in Denver with her goldendoodle Suki, she is very active in her church, serving in several ministries, including visits to the homebound.

JEFF & TRACEY MORRELL

Jeff and Tracey have a passion for world travel and introducing their three children to the many wonders of the world. The couple first came to know GoPhilanthropic when they asked Lydia to help organize a journey to Southeast Asia some 9 years ago. Tracey Co-Founded GoPhilanthropic and now works full-time using her business skills for all things operational at the foundation. Jeff is a successful businessman and the CEO of Morrell Builders. The Morrell family lives in Rochester, NY.

CALVIN & PHYLLIS NEIDER

Cal and Phyllis became interested in GoPhil’s mission after meeting HUSK in Siem Reap, where their first-hand experience of seeing HUSK’s after school learning program, the adult women’s softie initiative, and family homeownership were instrumental to their desire to join GoPhil’s Founder’s Circle. Calvin and Phyllis live in New York where Cal is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Clearview Capital, LLC, and Phyllis is a watercolor artist and serves on the foundation board of Open Door and volunteers at the Pleasantville Cottage School.

RON RENEAU

Ron is a global consultant living in San Francisco and works in the area of leadership, team, and organizational effectiveness, and human development. Over the years Ron has been a steadfast supporter of GoPhil and has provided wise counsel in many ways. He has joined three GoPhilanthropic Travel journeys: Southeast Asia, Guatemala, and India, all of which he described as ‘transformational’ experiences. Not only does Ron have a passion for grassroots not-for-profits (he has had years of experience working with these organizations in the San Diego area), he also frequently reminds GoPhil to ask a very important question: “Who takes care of the caretaker?”

BRIAN & PEGGY SASSI

In the last 4 years, this dynamic duo have crossed 20+ countries off the bucket list …and still going strong. When not exploring various corners of the world, they can be found somewhere between Los Angeles, Santa Fe or Seattle. A former insurance exec and realtor, they have been deeply involved in various philanthropic organizations over the years. Somehow (and we haven’t figured out how!), Brian and Peggy were led to “Jumping the Picket Fence,” and subsequently to the programs GoPhilanthropic supports.

Former Founder’s Circle Members

DIEDRA ATKINS & RANDALL MANLEY

Randall and Diedra split their time between the Bay Area and Sonoma Valley. Combined, their families consist of three grown daughters and a new grandson. Randall and Diedra’s connection to GoPhilanthropic evolved out of strong personal interests in travel and culture and a desire to help others. Randall created the Make it Real Foundation in 2008 and partnered with GoPhilanthropic Travel in 2013 with the objective of linking his philanthropic ideals with his wealth management practice. Randall and Diedra have traveled to nearly every region where GoPhilanthropic has a presence. They even got married in Bhutan after a 2015 GoPhilanthropic Journey to Nepal.

HELENA RIBE

Helena is an international development economist and a retired senior executive from the World Bank. She holds a Masters and a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. Helena has a passion for social and cultural issues and is a Founder and Board member of the Women’s International Study Center (WISC) in Santa Fe, a mentor to folk artists and young professionals, and a Board member of GoPhilanthropic and the United World College in Costa Rica. Helena was born in Colombia and is a U.S. citizen. She is mother to Matthew and Isabel and proud grandmother to Nina. She splits her time between her homes in Santa Fe and Bethesda.

MARTIN & KATHLEEN RICHARDSON

Kathleen and Martin have been supporters of GoPhilanthropic since its inception. Their support towards the global education goals of GoPhilanthropic aligns with their ‘day jobs’ as professors at the University of Central Florida. At UCF, they not only teach a broad cross-section of students, but lead many multi-national research and exchange programs that provide young scientists and engineers with a glimpse of the global side of science. Based in Orlando, the Richardson’s enjoy travel, gardening and winter-time sports in Utah.

GREG & MARYANN RIVERS

Greg and MaryAnn have been along for the GoPhilanthropic ride since before it registered as a non-profit (responding to an appeal for funds as Co-Founder Lydia Dean ventured to Southeast Asia). Since then their support for GoPhilanthropic has come in so many ways — from hosting a Nepal Earthquake fundraiser and book signing event to facilitating corporate in-kind donations as well as program sponsorships through Greg’s business New Paradigm Promotional Marketing. They live in Northville, Michigan, and have two sons Cole and Jeremy.

JANE MORRELL

Jane, a lifelong philanthropist, spent years advocating for women and children and creating and running  non-profits that provided critical food sources and safety nets for those in need in Maryland. Jane traveled with GoPhilanthropic to India and Nepal to engage first-hand with the programs she supports. She is particularly passionate about issues relating to vulnerable women and girls.

DEE ANN MCINTYRE

Dee Ann retired from a state legislative career to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she serves on the board of the NM School for the Arts (NMSA) and the Women’s International Study Center (WISC). In Wichita, Kansas, she also serves on the Board of the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation and on the Advisory Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC. Dee Ann divides her time between homes in Santa Fe, Chicago, Wichita and Mérida, Mexico. Her major interest is in art, working mostly in watercolor. Having lived in Argentina, Central and South America are of special interest to her. Nepal and Southeast Asia are also high on her list.

SHARON MATTIOLI

Sharon became involved with GoPhil after she and her husband Alton met the Dean family in Vietnam more than a decade ago.  Their involvement began by supporting CEF, and Sharon has made six trips to Vietnam to encourage a scholarship student they supported when Alton died in 2014. Sharon also met GoPhil partners in Guatemala, where her heart was won by youngsters at Aula Mágica. Sharon has two children and four grandchildren and lives in the State of Washington. She also got a new puppy, Gideon, during the 2020 lockdown.

Friend’s of GoPhil

Friend’s of GoPhil is a group of committed individuals dedicated to providing direct support for
GoPhil’s vision, mission, and long-term sustainability through providing donations of any
amount, up to $5K, designated specifically for GoPhil’s general operations and other essential
funding needs.

Many donors want to do more than simply write a check but aren’t sure what they might do.
Many do not know, nor do they feel they have the opportunity to be an active part of a
solution for creating positive social change in the world. That’s where Friend’s of GoPhil comes
in as a way of making a real difference.

Current Friend’s of GoPhil Members

CHRISTINE BRUCE AND JORGE BERNAL
LINDA DEWOLF
CYNTHIA FEIDEN WARSH AND RICHARD WARSH
AUDREY CHUMLEY
DEE ANN MCINTYRE

We are extremely grateful for this amazingly generous group of supporters, along with our
Founders Circle members, who help GoPhil’s own sustainability and invite you to consider
participating in either group by contacting GoPhil at [email protected]