Schadrac St. Louis, Executive Director

5674952Schadrac, or Shad was born in the town of Sibert, Haiti, quite close to the 8067981current location of the HEART school.  His father worked tirelessly throughout Shad’s childhood in the United States to earn enough money to move his wife and children to New York because they feared for their lives during the political turmoil during the 1990’s. His father was able to get the whole family into the United States, only to die shortly thereafter in a car accident. This left Shad with a strong resolve to do well in school, go to college, and ultimately return to Haiti to create sustainable change through education. He currently manages our team on the ground in Haiti.

For situations requiring immediate attention, Mr. St. Louis can be reach at 1-845-283-8064.

Maria Blon, President

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Maria Blon is the President of the HEART Board and has been volunteering in Haiti with Shad St. Louis since July 2010 when she traveled down upon the request of her daughter Carina. Maria has a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics from Penn State University and a Masters in Education from George Washington University. Her career as a college professor teaching mathematics and training future elementary teachers with hands-on, interactive methods have been helpful when training teachers at the HEART in Haiti School.

Maria’s lifelong passion for the environment is opening the school community to sustainable solutions to Haiti’s challenges with deforestation and health concerns with cooking fires. Read more at this link to Biodigestion.

Maria is a speaker and author, publishing a book called, “Living Passionately: 21 people who found their purpose and how you can too!” This book includes stories of the HEART school from Director Shad St. Louis and Community Liaison Carina Blon. A student, Jean Widletson Gaspard and school cook, Rosita Labousse also have stories in the book. All proceeds from this book are donated to HEART. Please follow this link to view and purchase the book: Living Passionately

 

John Katzenstein, Treasurer

John Katzenstein is the Treasurer of Heart. His professional background includes thirty years of corporate experience in 6479168_origmanagement and staff positions in finance and education in various locations throughout the country; instructor positions in business and finance in three colleges; and at the present time, he manages the NYS Attorney General’s Westchester Regional Office Consumer Frauds and Protection Unit. He possesses a BS degree in economics and an MBA degree.

John was introduced to Schadrac St. Louis, founder and principal of Ecole Mixte de Sibert, and  President of HEART, when Shad while attending college, worked as an intern at the Attorney General’s Office. After Hurricane Katrina, John and Shad, with a group of college students, traveled to New Orleans to dismantle damaged homes. After the earthquake in Haiti, John and Shad traveled to Haiti to distribute clothes, food and hygiene products to displaced Haitians. Since 2011, John has traveled to Haiti numerous times as part of a medical mission and to review the operations of the school and its finances. On each visit, John was inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of the staff and students, the learning that is occurring, and the respect that is fostered, with very limited financial resources and under very poor conditions. John is so impressed that the school is able to provide a quality education to over one hundred impoverished students for the same cost as educating two students in his hometown.

John believes that the future of Haiti is dependent on providing a superior education to its young people, including those children whose families are too impoverished to pay for the education. It is imperative, if Haiti is to break its shackles of being the poorest country in Latin America, that the future leaders receive a world class education.  John believes that the school, under the dedicated leadership of Shad and his staff, is providing an outstanding and unique opportunity to its students.

John’s primary responsibilities, as Treasurer, are to ensure accountability, creditability, control, accurate reporting, and efficient and effective management of HEART’s assets.  John believes that “you make a living by getting but you make a life by giving”.

Carina Blon, Community Liaison

Carina traveled to Haiti on 3 service trips while the HEART school was being formed and lived in Haiti for two and a half years 232256volunteering full time as Community Liaison for HEART.  While there she began taking courses online towards her degree, the first one being Community Organizing which was helpful to the work being done at that time! Carina has a Bachelor of Science in Human and Community Services with a concentration in Administration through Empire State College Center for Distance Learning. She is currently a Casework Assistant with the Department of Social Services in Orange County New York. Since January 2014 she’s been back in New York and continues to volunteer as Community Liaison maintaining the biographies of all Heart students, coordinating all Buddy Program correspondence and cross cultural learning exchanges between US and Haitian students, and providing input to the sustainable community empowerment initiatives for HEART.

 

Corinne Warren, Secretary

Corinne Warren is the Secretary of the HEART Board. Her professional experience comes from working in the mental health field Corinne Warrenas well as serving in various officer positions in organizations such as Key Club International in high school and the American Heart Association Club in college. She comes to the board with a bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Cortland State University and is currently pursuing her master’s in Healthcare Management from Clarkson University.

Corinne volunteered in Haiti in 2012 because her longtime friend and fellow board member Carina Blon was volunteering and living there at the time. After returning back to the states, she decided that her studies in athletic training were not global enough; she decided to change her major to reflect the way in which she wanted to impact more than just athletes. Furthermore, her professional and personal goals have been impacted because of the trips that she has taken to Haiti.

Corinne hopes that her knowledge of mental and community health can help the people of both Merger and Sibert. She is hopeful for the future of the school and the community that surrounds it.

Sandra Murray, Fundraising

Sandra Murray joined the Board of Directors of HEART in July 2014 to head up the fundraising efforts.  Sandy is past president of 3689468_origthe Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club and owned and operated a computer consulting and training company in Atlanta GA.  Dick Martin was a dear friend, who led the way on getting the school built.  She wants to see this school thrive.  She has a BS degree in mathematics.  She loves to bicycle, learn new things about science, go bird watching and spend time outdoors.

George Garland, DBA Sustainability Committee

Dr. George Garland is currently President of the Board of the Southern New York Division of the United Nations Geoge GarlandAssociation-USA. He is a board member of HEART in Haiti.

Dr. Garland’s career with US-EPA spanned 34 years, culminating in a Distinguished Career Award. From 1988 to 1992, he was Chief Technical Advisor for Toxic Chemicals and Pollutants for the UN-WHO Regional Office for South East Asia and worked in India, Indonesia, Burma, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. He has done consultations with the World Bank and USAID in the Russian Federation to establish a national hazardous waste management system and specifically in Nizhni Tagil to improve the water supply system.

Over the last ten years Dr. Garland has held several positions in NGOs. He has been Director of the World Energy Forum, Executive Director for National Membership at the United Nations Association of the USA, and Executive Director of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area.

His many publications include articles in Biocycle magazine on organics management (compost).

Recent volunteer activities include supporting NGOs designing improved cook stoves and sustainable fuel using biogas, ethanol, and coconut husks in Haiti. His numerous speaking engagements have recently been concentrated on UN Sustainable Development Goals and climate change policy. His many teaching assignments include “The Energy Puzzle” for Collegium at Westchester Community College and international affairs at EF International in Tarrytown.