People of OfC
OfC’s Board of Directors
The meeting of Doug’s passions and convictions made OfC inevitable. His vision for OfC as a forum for teaching sustainable development is a natural combination of his desire to assist communities with improving living conditions and his conviction that the best way to help people is to teach them. OfC results from the spiritual roots of his care for the condition of the world combined with his desire to go someplace warm in the winter. In the mid-’80s, Doug served in Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea advising local government projects. He then got his Master’s of Urban Planning from the University of Washington. As the town planner for Belchertown, Mass., he also serves on several local, regional and state-wide boards to further community and educational development. Doug is the former chair of the Kestrel Land Trust, an Amherst-area land conservation trust, and is active with South Amherst Congregational Church and its outreach work.
Ken’s heart was touched on a trip to the Dominican Republic with Doug and Dave Wintsch, OfC’s third founding partner, where the three – with Ken’s daughter Amanda and Timothé Indrik – talked about forming OfC. Ken’s experience on this trip changed his life – and this change is indicative of what happens to any of us who become involved in and work with a community different from our own. Ken realized that not only are there needs to be met and young people to teach, but there are many adults who seek fulfilling activities and contributions; OfC is a way to link all three. Ken’s vision for OfC is to teach effective sustainable development through the three communities OfC serves: the students of OfC courses, the host communities, and the adults who support and participate in OfC’s work. Ken is a frequent world traveler in his paying job as an epidemiologist at ENVIRON International Corporation. He is a former University of Massachusetts professor of Public Health.
Cyn is thrilled to join the Board of OfC! Cyn grew up in Amherst and went to high school with Doug. She currently lives in Saugerties, New York, with husband, Jim. They have two children–Noah who is in high school, and Chaeli, at UMass. Her true love (despite her family) is volunteering. She was eager to go to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, but struggled to find the organization that felt like the right match. Once she learned about OfC, she knew immediately that this was the group for her. Cyn and Chaeli joined OfC for the close of Lekol Dete in August, 2011, and both fell in love with the experience, the people and the culture. OfC has become a big part of each of their lives and and they continually strive to support OfC’s programs. Cyn feels honored to be part of this amazing group of individuals and looks forward to nurturing the growth of OfC.
Chaeli is OfC’s first OfC student board member. Chaeli has been involved with OfC since she was in high school. Now at UMass, she brings her youthful enthusiasm and provides us with insight of the student perspective. Chaeli’s energy and her deep commitment to improving the lives of others through education inspires us all!
Edilson Timothe, Haitian Project Coordinator (Les Cayes)
Edilson is Timo’s son. Like his dad, Edilson is dynamic, intelligent, funny, caring, and attentive to every detail. He is a gracious host and works hard to manage OfC’s projects. We are blessed to have his attention. Edilson loves music and dreams of being a producer. He takes excellent care of OfC’s programs and is a wonderful host for our courses.
Pam Albertson, Treasurer
Having spent 20 years living in many countries via State Department postings, Pam and her husband, Steve Hartwell, settled near Amherst. Pam is glad to use her accounting experience to assist OfC. Beyond OfC, Pam was on the board of US National Committee for UNWomen (the United Nations Development Fund for Women) for several years. Presently she is treasurer for Zonta of Quaboag Valley. She continues her work as an accountant for a private accounting firm.
Elizabeth Mundt, Manager
Elizabeth has over 20 years of experience managing multiple operations simultaneously including field hockey clubs, children’s schedules, Ken, and the Amherst ENVIRON office.
OfC’s Advisory Board
David R Buchanan, DrPH
Professor, Community Health Education; Director, Division of Community Health Studies; Director, Institute for Global Health; Full Professor of Community Health Education, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts. David earned his Master’s and his doctorate in health education from the School of Public Health at the University of California. His primary research interests include public health ethics; community-based participatory research; education programs; and international health.
Dave is one of the founders of OfC and was instrumental in guiding and shaping the organization as a Director (2008-2010). He has been a youth leader for nearly forty years, with over 25 of those as Young Life’s area director in Amherst. Dave has brought teenagers to Haiti, Mexico, the Navajo reservation, Bahamas, New Orleans, Miami and more to learn about needs and how to address them. He has also taught auto mechanics and been a high school wrestling coach. Dave is a true spiritual leader, living out the tenets of his Christian faith in all he does through his devotion to loving all people and his commitment to serve where he sees needs.
Martin Ross, ME
Marty is a mechanical engineer whose work is mostly in heat transfer and thermodynamics. He studied mechanical engineering at UMass, RPI, and Caltech. He is interested in alternative energies and heat recovery. Most of his career he has worked in power generation, submarines, and aircraft engine components. He is on the UMass MIE Alumni Board and is an officer in his local ASME chapter. Marty is a Commanding Officer in the US Naval Reserve, but spends most of his military time at the submarine base in Groton and in Washington. Marty and his family live in Canton, Conn.
Joan Paul, Esq.
After a career in tax and joint venture law in the Silicon Valley, Joan came to live in the quiet of Amherst with her husband, Bruce Schaeffer. Joan is a member of the Massachusetts and California bars and has a private practice in Amherst. During a previous career as a mathematician, Joan was a volunteer teacher in a special program teaching math to underprivileged elementary school students. This experience interested Joan in creative education as a tool for effecting meaningful change. She finds the energy, creativity and potential effects of the OfC mission very appealing and is pleased to have the opportunity to be part of growing this organization.
David King, PhD
Adjunct Research Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation; Research Wildlife Biologist USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. Dave provides OfC with expertise in wildlife ecology and conservation, particularly in relation to habitat management. His research includes the study of forest habitats and human influences on bird populations, including analyses of the effects of climate change and other human-made stressors on their populations. Dave’s work takes place throughout eastern North America, as well as Central America, the Caribbean, Asia and Central Europe. With Dave’s guidance, we can work with other groups to teach both Haitians and OfC students about the importance of retaining and replanting Haiti’s forests.
Rutherford is a brilliant, kind and powerful presence in all of OfC’s activities. He sings, he prays, he smiles, he plays, he translates, he protects. He grew up in Simon, the neighborhood of the Maranatha school, and so offers deep local knowledge. Rutherford is studying mechanical engineering in the Dominican Republic and teaches multiple languages (Spanish, French, English, Creole) to pay his way. Despite the distance, he almost always makes the two-day trip by bus to be with our groups. Rutherford has a beautiful soul and we are graced to have his friendship.
Timothe Indrik, Haitian Project Coordinator (Les Cayes)
OfC begins with Timo. Ken and Doug met Timo in the Dominican Republic where Timothe was a French language teacher at the La Vega Christian School. It was here where the idea of OfC began. It was Timo’s love for the Haitian people, especially those in his home region of Les Cayes, that inspired and continues to inspire OfC’s work in Haiti. He also founded the Ouragan FC soccer club in Simon, Les Cayes, and for over ten years was Haiti’s representative in the International Sports Coalition. He was also a youth leader with a long affiliation with the international organization, Young Life, and was an accomplished basket maker. Timo’s acute attention to every detail, his knowledge of his area, his dynamism and effusive personality, his good humor and his endless energy resulted in more accomplishments that can be measured.
Alumni and Emeriti
Joyce was an OfC student on a course in Haiti in January, 2010. It affected her so deeply that she joined OfC’s board of directors when a position opened. She has since retired to Florida. While a director, Joyce provided steady and reasoned midwestern sensibility to Ken’s and Doug’s dreaming. She was exactly what we needed to move us along and her departure was a sharp loss. Joyce joined OfC because OfC listens to the local communities to find out what they need and aspire to, and she realized that any assistance she could give to those communities would help. Joyce also served as OfC’s Adult Volunteer Coordinator. In that capacity, she met numerous individuals who want to help others and was able to match them with tasks to assist OfC. Joyce has a degree in business; however, she has spent most of her life helping others whether they are family, friends or strangers. She and her husband, Dan, are enjoying the slower lifestyle, but continue to keep busy and contribute to their community.
David I. Bell, EdD, Past Advisory Board Chair
Associate Professor, International Development and Social Change, IDCE Coordinator of Experiential Learning, Clark University, Worcester, Mass. David has worked extensively in southern Africa in education, empowerment, social transformation and community development. He has also worked at the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. His current research is in the social and political juncture of education policy in sub-Saharan Africa and the role of higher education in social transformation. His work includes a focus on experiential and service learning.