John Katzenstein is the Treasurer of Heart. His professional background includes thirty years of corporate experience in management 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”.