James Ho1a2343eyt, M.A., President and CEO

James serves as the President and CEO and has over 30 years of nonprofit experience in administration and development, which include charitable endowments, special gifts, sponsorships, major donors, special events and planned giving. James holds a B.A. in Communications with a Minor in Philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago and a M.A. in Community Service and Administration from Regis University in Denver.  Email James.




0b12f7eKaren Resseguie, M.A., LCSW, Director of Program Services

Karen Resseguie, LCSW serves as Director of Program Services for Esperança and provides oversight for the agency’s domestic and international health and development projects. With a background in international studies and social work, she has 20 years of program development and project management experience working with vulnerable children and families from around the globe. Previous job experience includes Catholic Charities Community Services, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and Southwest Human Development.  Email Karen.





Kerry White, B.A., Finance Director

Kerry White, serves as the Finance Director for Esperança. Most recently White was director of business & procurement for Starwest Associates.  Kerry is an accomplished operations executive with experience in procurement, compliance, and contract management across multiple industries. Kerry holds a Bachelors Degree in Criminology/Sociology from the University of Colorado and  Masters of Science Accountancy from University of Phoenix. Currently, he manages all finance and donor database functions for Esperança. Email Kerry.




McKenzie Simmons, B.A., Development Director

McKenzie Simmons serves as Development Director for Esperança and oversees the organization’s fundraising, marketing and communications. She has over ten years of experience in marketing, communications and fund development with Girls Scouts- Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Arizona Childcare Consultants, and Cancer Support Community Arizona. McKenzie holds a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communications from the University of Kentucky and is a member of the American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center Class X-2016. Email McKenzie.




Maria Valenzuela

Maria Valenzuela, Phoenix Program Director

Maria has over 20 years of experience working on community health programs within the Phoenix metropolitan area and is bicultural and bilingual. She oversees the Phoenix programs, which include a healthy living series called Salud con Sabor Latino (Health with a Latin Flavor), development of nutrition and oral health curricula, and coordination of the Christmas Angel Program and Back to School Supply Drive. Email Maria.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaab3aaaajguwmtlkogmzlwu2mgetndrjnc1imzizlwm3otzhmguxngnlngAshley Faye, M.A., Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager

Ashley serves as the Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager for Esperança and is the primary contact for all grant, corporate and foundation relationships. Ashley possesses ten years of experience in the public sector, working with populations including refugees, trafficking and domestic violence survivors and indigenous communities. Ashley has a deep passion for international human rights and women’s issues and has served in both direct service and development roles throughout her career. In addition, she holds a Master’s degree in Social Justice and Human Rights with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management  from Arizona State University. Email Ashley.




Charlie Fulks, M.A.,  Surgical Program Coordinator

Charlie serves as the Surgical Program Coordinator of Esperança. Charlie oversees our international surgical brigades and shipments. Charlie received a B.A. in International Development Studies with a concentration in Agriculture, Environmental and Development Economics from Ohio State University and a M.A. in International Development Studies focused on the Environment from Ohio University. Email Charlie.




Nicol Emerick, B.S., Portfolio and Stewardship Coordinator 

Nicol serves as the Portfolio and Stewardship Coordinator for Esperança. Nicol has three years of office management experience and most recently was Program Manager at Lost Our Home Pet Rescue. Additional experience includes two years at the Arizona Animal Welfare League. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Public Service and Public Policy focusing in Non-profit Management from Arizona State University. Email Nicol.





Marisela Escamilla, B.S., Community Health Educator

Marisela serves as Community Health Educator. In this role, she is responsible for implementing program services for the Phoenix Program. Marisela works closely with schools, community clinics and community centers to identify needs and develop best-practice health education curricula and culturally appropriate programs. Escamilla recently graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Wellness. Email Marisela.




Elena Burr, B.S., Administrative Assistant
Elena serves as the Administrative Assistant for Esperança and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Adams State University. During her time at school, she started her career as a public servant working as a Resident Assistant for the housing program. Additional experience includes close to two years as an Administrative Assistant for Grizzly Videos. Elena has a passion for philanthropic work and hopes to gain valuable non-profit experience through her time at Esperança. Email Elena.


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