• our team

    Tom Pegues, Executive Director

    “It is an amazing feeling to help people with no expectation of anything in return, simply for the joy of improving the lives of others.” Tom Pegues was taught from an early age giving to others is a pleasure and a responsibility, as a result his work with non-profits comes as second nature. Over the course of his 20 year career in Risk Management, he has used his business sense to leverage his commitment to giving back, both at home and abroad. “It is my hope that my own giving, whether it is financially or just with my time, will inspire acts of giving in others, and continue on in perpetuity.”

     

    Tom attended Franklin University in Lugano, Switzerland, recently he resigned from the board but remains very involved. He seized the opportunity to travel throughout Europe during that time, and today travel is one of his greatest joys. “It is important to find your joy in this life. It is going to make everything else function more smoothly because it is a constant replenishment of your soul.“

    Jacques Africot, Director

    Born in 1978 in Jacmel. Jacques has 6 half brothers and 8 half sisters. He is the second child of his mother and first of his father. He grew up with his step grandmother and grandfather. In 1998, he graduated from (public) high school at Lycée Daniel Fignole in Delmas, PauP. From 1998-2002 he studied linguistics at UEH (public university). From 1999-2005 he received training seminars for trainers by Justice and Peace and also worked on training sessions about human laws for church ministers in different parishes and other humanitarian groups. In 2010 he received training in Mind Body Medicine with The Center for Mind Body Medicine lead by James Gordon. From 2003 until now Jacques has been active in his church choir group. Since 2013 he's worked as interpreter and creole teacher. From 2002-2007 he worked for BFI as houseparent. Starting in 2007 he's worked as the Director.

    Doris Chernik, PhD, Co-Founder, Board Member

    When Doris first visited Haiti, she saw a wonderful, creative population with amazing paintings and sculptures, using all kinds of materials, even auto hub caps, wires, wood, cloth and cardboard, to create amazing artistic works. She also saw orphan children living on the street, garbage piled high on the streets and homeless women cooking bits of food in metal cans to feed a family of 6 or more. She immediately decided to help. Doris had big dreams of establishing a colony, with a senior center, a school, a clinic and a community center. Doris co-founded the first orphan home in 2005 with 12 children aged 4 to 12 after Hurricane Hugo destroyed Gonaives.

    New York Board Members

    Lisa Nichols

    Lyssa Sampson

    Jennifer Damiano

    Laura Fortinsky, Board Emeritus

    Kristie DeKoker, Board Emeritus

    Local Haiti Board Members

    Pierre Frantz Joseph, Accountant

    Ariche Ezachiel, Principal of the Suisse Ecole

    Hugue Mondesir, Plumber / Electrician

    Frantz Large, Eye Doctor

    Diane Gaillard, Director, Devoted to Children Foundation

     

    In order to maintain a non-profit organization status in Haiti, there must be an active local board

     

    Jennifer Damiano, Marketing

    Jennifer Damiano has been working with organizations that are global in nature and exemplify world-class standards in every respect. Among her most satisfying work is for major nonprofit organizations, extensively with Human Rights Watch, and other notable non-profit clients include: Committee to Protect Journalists; Roosevelt Institute; Rockefeller Foundation; and the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. Her corporate clients include Loews Hotels, Bulova Corporation, Fabergé, Chanel and Tiffany & Co. Jennifer has twenty years of experience successfully leading creative marketing teams.