MEET THE TEAM

THE HANDS BEHIND CHES


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Maryse Pénette-Kedar

Board of Advisors

Maryse Pénette-Kedar, President of PRODEV’s Board of Directors, has dedicated her life and her treasures to strengthening Haiti’s economic, social and political infrastructure. As the daughter of an iconic leader in education the Honorable Max Pénette, she is committed to continuing her family’s tradition of nation-building on the principle of quality education for all.

Today, Pénette-Kedar, is ever more engaged in what she calls “the battle for Haiti’s future”.  As the Founder and Board President of the Progress through Development through Education Foundation (PRODEV), where she oversees the  local foundation ‘s efforts to manage three schools in different parts of the country and offer over 1000 students, access to quality education.  Pénette-Kedar is also co-chairs CLE, the Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence.

Pénette-Kedar She currently serves as the Senior Consultant to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the President of SOLANO, Royal Caribbean’s affiliate in Haiti. She was Haiti’s Tourism Secretary of State from 1995-1999. In that capacity Pénette-Kedar undertook a critically needed inventory of Haiti’s natural assets. Between 1987 and 1990, Ms. Pénette-Kedar was widely credited for having played a critical role in negotiating Haiti’s entry in the Lomé Convention, while serving as the Chargé d’Affaires attached to the Haitian Embassy in Belgium. As a signatory of the Lome Convention  Haiti was positioned to secure the financial and technical support of the European Community, considered today the most important source of international development aid.

Pénette-Kedar’s civic mindedness has been recognized throughout the years, most notably with the Grand Croix, the highest honor and recognition bestowed by the Government of Haiti, for her accomplishments. Maryse is our voice of wisdom and our champion in Haiti.


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Emmanuel Stefanakis

Board of Advisors 

Emmanuel (Manny) Stefanakis has been advising CHES as a MIT Venture Mentoring Service mentor since 2013. For forty years in 30 countries, Emmanuel Stefanakis has been a pioneer in applying sustainable development principles in development projects and programs. He specializes in “designing with nature” to reduce construction and operations costs, reduce natural disaster risks, and create more socially attractive environments. He has planned, designed and overseen the construction of more than 200,000 housing units, 40 new towns, and several urban revitalization plans in the United States, Caribbean and Middle East. He has significant experience in capacity building and institutional strengthening. For USAID he pioneered the implementation of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) that promoted public private partnerships.

As an entrepreneur, he has formed companies that implement sustainable development strategies for profit. In 1987, he created Agias to recycle industrial by-products for organic food production. In 2005, he formed Sustainable Living LLC that designed and built the first LEED Platinum (12- 13th in the USA) market-rate homes in Massachusetts in 2007; these homes reduced energy and water consumption by half while providing a toxic free environment with sustainable materials.

In the academic sector, Emmanuel has taught, advised and managed. At Harvard University he directed the Master of Public Administration Program.He served as President of a 100-year old American college focused on sustainable agriculture in Greece and was charged with its modernization and financial reforms. He has served as Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and as faculty in the MBA Program at the Arthur D. Little Management Education Institute (now Hult). He has lectured at numerous universities and designed executive education seminars in the United States, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Southeast Europe and Middle East on behalf of the United Nations, World Bank, EBRD and USAID. He is on the Advisory Board at the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University.

He trained 250 professionals in the former Soviet Union on converting environmental risk into financial liability for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), directed a US Agency for International Development (USAID) policy program based in Prague to improve environmental quality through use of market based tools, and advised a Governor in Mexico on sustainable tourism.

Manny has three children who are devoted to public health of the poor developing countries, environment, and international relations.


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Venita Bell Shaw

Board of Directors 

Venita worked in the financial sector for over 40 years! Venita she left to pursue her passion as a freelance photographer. She is the owner of VBS Photography.  VBS Photography specializes in many aspects of photography including photo philanthropy. She partners with non-profit organizations to tell their stories through her photography.  Venita was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio where she attended the Ohio Visual Arts Institution where she studied Photography.   Venita has lived in the Boston area for 31 years, has one son, loves Crossfit and loves traveling. Venita avidly promotes our work, she captures our what we do in her photographs. 


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Judy Cazeau

Board of Directors

Judy Cazeau was born in the US but is very much in tuned with her Haitian roots. Judy has had the experience of visiting Haiti several times in her life growing up. With a background in psychology and sociology, Judy, was a social worker working with the homeless population for close to 5yrs with the Department of Children and Families. One thing Judy always speaks about is that “homelessness in the States is completely different from the homelessness I’ve witness back in Haiti – Two different worlds!” Today, Judy is an entrepreneur who is a power connector. Judy is working with CHES to fundraise and create a platform that will drastically take the organization to a higher level that will enable us to do more good work!


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Jacques Chery

Board of Directors 

Jacques (Teddy) Chery has been a long-time advocate of CHES prior to joining the board. He served as an aide and Director of Constituent Services and International Affairs to Massachusetts State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. In that role, Jacques has assisted countless new immigrants in getting acclimated to the city of Boston. He has worked in the Cambridge Mayor’s office and Jacques has  served as a guest lecturer at Suffolk University. Jacques is currently sits on the board of Institute for Democracy & Justice in Haiti (IDJH) and is a loving father to three beautiful children.


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Nathalie Gauthier

Board of Directors

Nathalie A. Gauthier is an officer within the State Street Global Markets (SSGM) division of State Street Corporation where she is a business analyst in the Securities Finance on the IT Project Management team. Nathalie has held a variety of roles within the company in the following divisions: Risk Excellence/Business Risk and Controls, Corporate Finance, Global Procurement Services, and Global Infrastructure Systems.

As a leader and change agent, Nathalie has served selflessly in various capacities inside and outside of State Street. At her company,  the include leading the Black Professionals Group and Professional Women’s Network. For the past three years, Nathalie has held the position of VP of Operations for the National Black MBA Association Boston Chapter, now tenure end of 2017. As a board member leading the Operations team, she steered efforts for programming which engaged members in growth in the chapter pillars of Career, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Lifestyle fulfillment. She is also a founding contributor for the Affinity Leadership Consortium, which works collaboratively with regional affinity professional groups.  She is also a member of ALPHA, the largest Latino professional organization in the country and National Association of Black Accountants. Nathalie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Bentley University.


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Wadner Pierre

Board of Directors

Wadner Pierre is an award-winning photojournalist and a native of Haiti. Wadner is currently working as the Communication Manager for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). He received a Master of Science in International relations from University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK and a Bachelor of Art from Loyola University New Orleans, School of Mass Communication. Wadner has been working as a photojournalist, blogger for the past ten years. His work was featured in national and international outlets such as Inter Press Service-North America (IPS), The Maroon, Gambit (a New Orleans-based weekly newspaper), and in Margaret Trost’s book,“On that Day Everybody.” Additionally, Wadner is a Social Media and Web Specialist. Wadner also has a background in diplomacy and global affairs. He has participated a different international workshops on diplomacy and global affairs, and received two certificates from London-based think tank Global Diplomatic Forum (GDF); is a contributing writer for the GDF blog, Diplomatic Digest; actively contributes to the GDF social media platforms.


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Rose Roseme

Board of Directors

Rose, a Haitian-American woman, is a founding member of CHES’ board. She leads the CHES’ product sales fundraising initiative and weighs in on the strategic direction of the organization. She travels to volunteer and to teach on CHES mission trips. From 1998 – 2000 while living in Haiti, Rose started-up a social enterprise. She opened a low-cost clinic in Limbe, Northern Haiti where she treated patients with minor ailments. Through her social venture, Rose helped hundreds and hundreds of people in the surrounding communities. Rose is a registered nurse and works currently as a Nurse Manager at an assisted living facility in Massachusetts. She is a proud grandmother to three children. Rose is another voice of wisdom on our team. She promotes our work and trains Haitian entrepreneurs.


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Rebecca Roseme Obounou

Board of Directors & President

Rebecca runs and leads CHES. Inspired by her experiences as a Haitian-American who was born in the US but raised in Haiti as a young woman, she founded CHES in 2008. Her time in Haiti taught her that the most vulnerable Haitians seek dignified jobs before they seek charity. This realization shaped her life’s trajectory. Rebecca decided to go to business school due to the conviction that she developed that business is one of the key elements to poverty eradication. She earned her undergraduate degree in Management from Bentley University and holds a Master in Business Administration from Babson College with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and the Business and Social Innovation Intensity Track. Her career  includes corporate retail, real estate sales, product sales, and hospitality. She currently works at Babson College as Assistant Director of the Schlesinger Fund for Global Healthcare Entrepreneurship. Rebecca is happily married, loves traveling the world, and enjoys well-made movies and TV series.


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Marson Sam

Board of Directors

Marson Sam was born and raised in Cap-Haïtien, Haïti. He received he education there in computer operating systems as well as graphic design. He began working at a young age as a teenager at his dad’s (Jacquelin Sam) business, Eko Carrefour des Techniciens. He is also a disc jockey and musician; Marson started a Kompa band called Imperial Band in Cap-Haitïen, Haiti as a teenager.

He moved to Florida in 1999. There, He got into the real state and mortgages business and later opened a tax service business. Marson was also talk show host of a popular Kajou TV show in West Palm Beach from 2008-2014. He attended Palm Beach acting school and was later casted as a main character in Le Prix à Payer a Mora Jr. Etienne film in 2008. Later that same year, He played as supporting actor in I Love You Too a Nerlin St. Fleur Film.

Marson has a passion for Haiti and food and beverages and always wanted to become in entrepreneur in that space. In 2014, he opened Eko Resto Bar And Grill in Cap-Haïtien that he currently runs. Marson is engaged to his beautiful fiancée Wilda Joseph and is a loving father to two beautiful children. Marson actively promotes our work and serves as a trainer and mentor to our constituents in Haiti.


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Vanessa Etienne

Haiti Operations Director

Vanessa Etienne was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She earned her bachelor degree in International Management from the Univèrsite de Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada. Vanessa also earned a masters in health administration at the Univèrsite d’État d’Haïti. Her professional experience includes customer service representative and quality services manager at the Hospital of Canapé Vert and sales coordinator at Digicel, Haiti’s largest telecom company, as a sales coordinator. Photography is Vanessa’s hobby. She photographs events such as birthdays and communions. At the beginning of 2017, Vanessa joined our team in Haiti to expand and manage CHES Haiti Operations.


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Marcia Rosemé

Liaison and Content Designer

Marcia Roseme is a skilled fashion designer residing in New York. She obtained her BFA in Fashion Design, from Mass College of Art and Design. At the age of six, she moved from America to Haiti. While there, her mother use her education in nursing to provide low-cost health care for hundreds of impoverished Haitians. This experience brought Marcia to understand the  power of using her skill as a designer and artist to empower others.

As a self starting individual, she’s worked with many-high level fashion companies such as Express and Tracey Reese. She’s versed both women’s & men’s  apparel. Marcia is also a skilled artist across many mediums which include sketching, oil painting, graphic design and more.


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Andral Obenor

Volunteer

Andral serves as our eyes and ears on the ground in Haiti. He also joins CHES mission trips and is involved in trainings the organization hosts. Andral is also a part-time radio talk show host and marketing agent at UNIBank in Haiti. Andral graduated from Université Chretien du Nord d’Haiti (UCNH). He is married and a proud father of two young girls.

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