The Ross Perot rule: “When you need a job done, you get together a small team and go with them all the way.”
JOE SHAFFNER, Board Chairman Pro Tempore
Joe Shaffner is thrilled to support Peace Corps House, as it becomes established and grows to support the community where it comes to rest.
Joe served in the Peace Corps from 2005-2008 in Uzbekistan and Suriname. He was a health education volunteer in Uzbekistan before that program closed early. He went on to Suriname, where he served for two years as a community economic development volunteer followed by a year as Volunteer Leader. He also spent his final year supporting UNICEF in developing an education pilot program.
Joe currently works as a Senior Communications Specialist for the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). Prior to that and for 2 ½ years, Joe served in a consulting role as a Marketing, Communications & Business Development Specialist with organizations like the Peace Corps, Spina Bifida Association, ICRW, IREX, Split This Rock, and DeJoseph Productions – which is a company currently developing a documentary about the Peace Corps. He has worked with Ogilvy Public Relations, Sheladia Associates, Inc. (an architectural and engineering firm), and FHI 360.
Joe is originally from North Carolina and likes hiking, camping, gardening, baking, dancing, and working with energized colleagues for a good cause.
VACANT, Board Vice Chairman
Kelsey Marsh is a documentary film/TV producer working at the intersection of social-change storytelling.
In 2010, Kelsey served in the Peace Corps as both a community health and economic development volunteer and primary resource teacher in the Kingdom of Lesotho. Her experience abroad reaffirmed her desire to craft compelling stories spotlighting human rights and social injustices.
Kelsey is the Associate Producer of “The Mama Sherpas” and “A Towering Task,” as well as Co-Producer of “Victorious: Women of the Gridiron,” and Producer of “Rolling Out.”
An early days Peace Corps House team member, Kelsey developed this website, merging over 350 emails ideas bounced off her!
Kelsey currently works at National Geographic.
VACANT, Board Treasurer
Irma Rodriguez is the retired Executive Director of Queens Community House, a settlement house in New York City. She spent 25 years as the organization’s Associate Director before assuming the position of Executive Director in 2008.
During Irma’s time at Queens Community House (QCH), it grew from a local community center into a borough-wide organization with 25 sites in 11 neighborhoods and serving 25,000 children, families and older adults. Under her leadership QCH developed a particular expertise in organizing, neighborhood preservation, community building, and promoting social services as a vehicle for social change.
Since her “retirement” in 2015 she has been the part time director of the International Federation of Settlement Houses and Neighborhood Centers, a large international group with over 5,000 member groups across the world. It’s most recent conference in Berlin was attended by over 350 persons and focused on the work of settlements and neighborhood centers with migrants and refugees.
Irma is a graduate of The City College of New York/CUNY with a BA in Fine Arts and received her MSW in 1980 from the Hunter College School of Social Work. Irma has also taught courses in community organization, social administration, and social work field instruction at several local universities.
With her background in fine arts Irma sees the work of settlement houses and community organizing as creative work. Her interest in Peace Corps House is an extension of this and a desire to bring all the pieces of her life together.
TOM HEBERT, Board Member
Preferring projects that empower local communities or challenge the status quo, Tom Hebert is a public policy consultant and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Nigeria, 1962-1964). After his Peace Corps service he integrated the faculty of a black Southern university and later served two years establishing USO Clubs on U.S. Marine Corps combat bases in South Vietnam.
Working with RPCVs, in 1968 he was a UNICEF refugee relief officer during the Biafra war on the island of Såo Tomé where he challenged the racism of the church-led effort.
Tom later lived in Washington, D. C. for several years as a management consultant. And with RPCV John Coyne he co-authored three guidebooks about alternatives to traditional higher education. Working for the State Department in 1977-1979 he managed a technical training program for young Nigerians. In 1986 he retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) after developing the Energy Conservation & Solar Institute on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Chattanooga.
For twenty years Hebert has lived in eastern Oregon on the Umatilla Indian Reservation where he has been a columnist for the Tribal newspaper, drafted the existing alcohol and drug policy, co-founded the Tribal cattle company, and developed the plan for a Tribal youth horse program.
Hebert is also a founder of Peace Corps House.
Cassidy Whitson is an RPCV who served in Zambia focusing on rural education development and malaria prevention from 2016-2017.
Before her service she worked in communications and public relations, specifically in the nonprofit sector. With a background in news reporting, she is excited to bring her writing experience to Peace Corps House to research and develop fundraising opportunities.
Cassidy plans to pursue a Masters of Public Health degree beginning in the summer of 2018 and continue her work in Southern Africa focusing on health equity and malaria/HIV prevention education.
She is excited to be a part of Peace Corps House as it continues to grow and to expand her experience in social service and community engagement.