Our Team

Board Members

Emmanuel St. Juste, born in Hinche, Haiti, has been Pastor of French Speaking Baptist Church of Stamford since 1974. Since 2001, Emmanuel and his church have been focused on building the Center of Hope (Haiti). Says Emmanuel - "With God's help and God's people support, we hope to rescue a great many children living in poverty."

Mark Newton received his Bachelor of Science degree at Portland State University, Portland OR, with a major in Business. Mark has over 25 years’ experience in finance and operations in commercial and aerospace industries, including positions as - Financial Controller at Glacier Products Inc., Portland OR, Financial Supervisor at Electromech Technologies, Wichita KS and VP Operations & Finance at Aero Quality Sales, Stamford CT. Mark is presently President and owner of Oakville Quality Products LLC in Oakville CT. Mark currently serves as President and acting Treasurer of COHH

Bob Micera is a senior real estate executive who currently serves as the Chief Investment Officer for Four Springs Capital Trust in New Jersey.  Prior to joining Four Springs Capital Trust, he worked for Cole Real Estate Investments, Cardinal Industrial Real Estate Services East, First Industrial Realty Trust, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan Securities, and Met Life.  He has significant experience in developing and implementing acquisition strategies for real estate portfolios with values in excess of $1 billion.   He also holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business. Mr. Micera’s charitable interests include children’s causes and he serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix.

Nancy has a Bachelors of Art and Masters of Science in counseling from the State University of New York at Albany. Nancy has been serving the needs of children for many years. She has taught children from pre-school age through junior college in public and Christian education in New York, California and Connecticut. She helped organize the School Site Council, an educational advisory group, in the local elementary and middle schools and served as chairperson for several years.

The Center of Hope (Haiti), Inc. is pleased to announce that Linda E.C. Alto has been elected to its Board of Directors. "We are pleased to have Linda join our Board” said Emmanuel St. Juste, Chairman of COHH. “She brings not only an excellent financial background, but also a commitment to the COHH mission.” “Linda has been on the ground in Hinche and knows first-hand the challenges that exist for COHH” said James L. Lipscomb, Chair of the COHH Advisory Board. “I am delighted to have Linda join our Board,” said Julie Atkinson, Executive Director of the Center of Hope (Haiti), Inc. “I am looking forward to working with her.” “Having met the children and seen the Haiti environment, I want to help COHH create a future for the children,” says Linda. “I am pleased to be a part of the COHH team.”

Ms. Alto is a Senior Vice President for Bank of America’s National Healthcare Team where she is responsible for senior debt products on the East coast.   Prior to joining Bank of America, Ms. Alto worked in Citibank’s Debt Restructuring for Latin America Group and completed rotations in Private Placements, Debt Restructuring, and Corporate Banking.   Ms. Alto’s experience includes extensive work with both private as well as publicly listed firms on senior debt financing, acquisition financings, and capital structure with an emphasis in pharmaceuticals and life sciences.   Ms. Alto received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Lehigh University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


Paul G. Cellupica is the Managing Director and General Counsel for Securities Law at TIAA, where he is responsible for securities regulatory issues impacting the company’s products and distribution.  From 2004 through 2014 he worked in the Law Department of MetLife, Inc. in various senior roles, including as Chief Counsel for the Americas, where had responsibility for legal support of MetLife’s insurance and financial services businesses in the U.S. and Latin America.       

Between 1996 and 2004, Mr. Cellupica served at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a number of capacities in the Division of Investment Management and the Division of Enforement, including as Assistant Director in the Division of Investment Management from 2001 to 2004.  Before joining the SEC, Mr. Cellupica practiced at the law firm of Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Cellupica is a frequent speaker on securities law and compliance issues and is a member of the Committee on Investment Management Regulation of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the Advisory Board of the Rutgers Law School Center for Corporate Law and Governance.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Opening Act, a non-profit organization that provides after-school theater programs to students at under-served New York City public high schools.

Mr. Cellupica has a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard College and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and was a law clerk for Judge David Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  He is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia, and resides in New York City.

Carine Jean-Claude is the Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President, Legal Affairs of Arrow Electronics, Inc.  Carine establishes and implements policies and procedures to ensure that the compliance programs throughout the Company are effective and efficient in identifying, preventing, detecting and correcting noncompliance with applicable rules and regulations. Carine develops, conducts and oversees internal reviews and audits to assess compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and Company policies and conducts compliance investigations, audits, and responds to government inquiries

Carine is head of the employment law function for the U.S, wherein she advises senior management, including the Chief Executive Officer, General Counsel, SVP of Human Resources on various employment/human resources matters. She oversees and provides advice and strategy for employment matters, policies and issues including pre-litigation, dispute resolution, investigations and government inquiries.

Carine is a former employment law associate with the law firm of  Edwards & Angell, LLP and a former Litigation Associate of the law firm of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Carine received her Juris Doctor degree from Boston University Law School and her Bachelor of Science degree from New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business.    

Advisory Board

Daniel J. Ansell is a principal shareholder of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and the National Chair the Real Estate Operations Department. He represents real estate firms, property management companies, national and international financial institutions, corporations, hotels, and insurance companies in all aspects of their use, management, and operation of commercial real estate. Mr. Ansell is a graduate of Binghamton University and the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.

Tim Charles, a resident of Melbourne, Australia,  is a professional violinist, teacher & entrepreneur. He performs with a range of ensembles across a wide variety of styles from classical, jazz, rock and heavy metal. He is the violinist/clean vocalist for progressive metal band, Ne Obliviscaris, signed worldwide to prominent independent record label Season Of Mist. A graduate of Monash University where he completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours, Mr. Charles also runs Welkin Entertainment, an Australian based events/management business that works as a booking agency, touring company, record label, publicist & more for Australian bands of a variety of genres. 

Will Frager joined COHH as a volunteer in 2008 as a videographer. However, his passion has always been the native Haitian language of Creole. Will studied Haitian Studies with an emphasis on the Haitiaan Education system at teh University of Kansas before transferring to New York University where he received his Bachelors of Linguistics in 2010 with academic distinction of summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Because of his dedication and leadership in 2011, we not only held summer school for the first time in the summer of 2011, we also opened our school, for the first time, in the fall of 2011.

Will received a scholarship in 2011 to join the Master's in Logic program at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands. However, throughout his first year in the program he continued his involvement with the development of the COHH school curriculum. He spent the summer of 2012 and 2013 in Hinche, Haiti developing the curriculum for our first, second and third grade classes, recruiting staff and selecting children for the program. He concluded the summers with  summer school programs to evaluate the newly developed curriculum and the teachers.

When he answered Pastor St. Juste's call in 2000 to travel to Haiti, he should have known God would be there with a joyful call to serve the people of haiti, too. From 1999-2006, Bob Guffey served as the pastor of Wilton Baptist Church of Wilton, CT, a congregation with a long history of ministry partnerships both local and global. Currently, Bob serves as senior pastor of Freemason Street Baptist Church, Norfolk, V.A.  Previously, he has served as president of a local Habitat For Humanity affiliate and was a member of the founding board of a major public-private ministry initiative empowering community members making the move from welfare to meaningful work. Bob is a graduate of Louisiana State University, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Emory University where he earned the Doctor of Ministry degree.

Christine M. Kim is a former partner in the law firm of Jones Day in Hong Kong. Ms. Kim has extensive experience in real estate mergers and acquisitions, private and public equity offerings and securitized financings. In connection with these transactions, she has represented acquirors, targets, advisors, issuers and underwriters. Ms. Kim is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is also a member of the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service. Ms. Kim is a graduate of Georgetown University and Columbia University School of Law.

James L. Lipscomb is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center of Hope (Haiti), Inc. and a former executive vice president and general counsel of a Fortune 40 U.S. corporation. Throughout his career, Lipscomb has held leadership positions in various local, state and national legal organizations, including the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the State Bar of California and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he served as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee.  He has spoken widely on many legal forums and has been published on many topics. His civic affiliations include serving as chairman of the Citizens Budget Commission of New York, trustee of the Practising Law Institute, director of Graffiti Ministries, Inc.,  and a member of the Economic Club of New York. Lipscomb was named to Inside Counsel Magazine’s 2006 list of the top 50 most influential in-house counsel in North America and was recognized especially for diversity initiatives. Mr. Lipscomb is a graduate of Howard University, Columbia University School of Law and New York University School of Law.

Henri Robert Paul was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Renal Diseases Division at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. He is also an Attending Physician at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, New York Methodist Hospital and Kings County Hospital Center. He attended the University of Illinois and Ross Medical School. Dr. Paul also serves a member of the Board of Directors for the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH).

Alan J. Robin is a partner of Shartsis, Friese, LLP in San Francisco. He represents real estate firms, financial institutions and corporations in real estate matters throughout the United States. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation of the American Bar Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of the California International Relations Foundation, a foundation associated with the California State Legislature. Mr. Robin is a graduate of Swarthmore College and New York University School of Law.


Flora Schnall is a retired partner of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. She has served as president of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, as chair of the Real Property Section of the New York State Bar Association, and as chair of the Real Property Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She has also served on the board of directors of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center of New York and is a director and member of the Executive Committee of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council. Ms. Schnall is a graduate of Smith College and of Harvard Law School.

Joe Zavalishin is a Senior Vice President at OptumRx, one of the largest pharmacy care services organizations in the nation where he is  responsible for overseeing pharmacy provider and payer relationships. Joe joined OptumRx through the acquisition of AxelaCare, a national provider of home- based nursing and pharmacy infusion services, where he was an Executive Vice President. Joe has a career of distinguished employment as a Vice President at Walgreens, Head of Planning and Development at Aetna, Director of Product Management at Cigna, Strategic Planning Officer at Conning Corporation and Actuarial Consultant at Travelers Insurance. Joe earned his M.B.A. in Finance & Strategy from the Lally School of Business at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and two Bachelor's degrees, one in Environmental Health & Safety, and another in Industrial Psychology, from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He currently resides in the greater Chicago area with his wife and family and is a competitive distance runner.


Julie Atkinson has over ten years of experience in business and law.  After graduating from Harvard University, she joined the Boston Consulting Group as an associate.  Ms. Atkinson is also a graduate of Stanford Law School.  She practiced law at both Davis Polk & Wardwell as well as Latham & Watkins, and clerked for judges in the Southern District of California and on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  In addition, Ms. Atkinson spent five years as a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit working on asylum cases.  She has experience working with nonprofit organizations on education and poverty issues, most recently working with Kiva Microfunds in San Francisco, California, and SchoolWish.org. Ms. Atkinson has traveled extensively in Asia, South America, and Europe, and has studied several foreign languages.  


Antoine Charles is Haitian-American, fluent in Haitian Creole, French, and English.  He describes himself as an “out of the box” thinker and a person who likes continuity and planning.  He is passionate about helping others.

Previously, Mr. Charles was a special education math teacher for twelve years in New York City and Florida. Mr. Charles also worked as a program director for a single room occupancy facility in New York City.



Wisny Geffrard is the Director of Field Operations. He is responsible for the administrative operations of the orphanage in Hinche, Haiti. Mr. Geffrard is one of the original founders of the COHH and was responsible for oversight of the construction of the project. Mr. Geffrard, a native of Mirebalais, lives in Hinche, Haiti with his wife Marie Samuelle and son, Soëren Wissamuel. He was educated at the “Siloe Primary School” and the “Lycée National De Mirebalais.” He graduated from the Northern Christian University Of Haiti with a major in Theology.  He was ordained in May 2000 at the Philadelphia Baptist Church in Mirebalais. He moved to Hinche in 2002 to work at the Center of Hope (Haiti) site.


Lydia C. Nugent is a  Director of Field Operations – Real Estate Investments for MetLife, Inc. She has over 30 years experience in real estate investments with MetLife, Tishman West Management Corp., Huntington National Bank and other companies.  She has held a variety of positions in civic organizations, and is a graduate of Southern California College, Anaheim, CA CMA and University of California, Irvine, Assoc. Pre-Med Program Biological Sciences.