Executive & Honorary Board of Directors
A diverse, experienced team of experts in business development, organizational management, and education is leading Common Hope in its mission to promote hope and opportunity in Guatemala and to improve lives through education, health care, housing, and family development.
Common Hope has an executive board of directors and an honorary board of directors. Only the executive board members have voting privileges. All board members have traveled to Guatemala to work directly with the poor. Most have been down multiple times. The following is a complete list of our board members, their professional affiliations, and their involvement with Common Hope.
Kathy Longo is a senior principal with Accredited Investors Inc. Her area of concentration is wealth management, with a focus on discovering and implementing philanthropic goals of clients. Kathy is nationally recognized for her extensive experience and leadership in the financial planning field and has appeared in numerous national and local publications.
Kathy and her husband, Jay Pluimer, are Guatemalan adoptive parents and have visited Guatemala several times. They also sponsor three children through Common Hope.
Tom is a Minneapolis-based lawyer at Dorsey & Whitney LLP and an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School. He heard about Common Hope through his wife, Annette Atkins, who teaches at St. John’s University.
Tom has visited Guatemala many times and co-led a Vision Team in 2003. He believes that Common Hope is a very appropriate and effective way to serve the poor.
Kathy is a retired faculty member of Hamline University’s school of education, where she served as chair of the teacher education department. Kathy’s career spanned the fields of both education and psychology. She began her career teaching elementary school and special-needs children, then taught adult learners who were becoming teachers. Her work in psychology included college student development and counseling, hospital outpatient counseling, and private practice.
Kathy studied in Peru during college and describes her first exposure to Latin America as transformative. She discovered Common Hope through friends and soon joined Common Hope’s Education Quality Task Force. Having visited Guatemala several times, Kathy looks forward to future trips, learning more about Guatemalan life and culture, and contributing to Common Hope’s mission. Kathy is the proud sponsor of San Rafaelite Maria.
Dave Heider is the former president and CEO of United Hardware Distributing Co. and previously worked as a management consultant specializing in corporate reorganizations and turnarounds. He first learned of Common Hope through his daughter, Kate Heider, who is the sponsorship manager at Common Hope, and her husband, Joe Mueller, who has been a volunteer and sponsor at Common Hope since 1999.
Dave and his wife Ann are Common Hope Partners and also committed supporters of the arts. Dave writes, “Although I have not been involved with Common Hope for very long, I am impressed with the dedication of its staff, the efficiency of its operations and the importance of its mission in Guatemala.”
Mary Capozzi is the senior director of corporate responsibility for Best Buy. Mary has held various leadership roles within Best Buy, most notably her previous role as senior director of WOLF (Women’s Leadership Forum) and the Winning with Women business strategy. Mary has visited Guatemala with the board and sponsors two children through Common Hope.
Gary is COO of H3 Life Science Corporation, a global company that supplies raw materials to the pharmaceutical industry. Gary and his wife Mary sponsor two children though Common Hope and have traveled extensively to Guatemala with their family on Vision and Discovery teams.
Bob co-founded Fafinski Mark & Johnson, a commercial law firm in Eden Prairie that has been one of the fastest growing law firms in Minnesota since its inception in 1999. Bob is an owner and board member of Venture Bank and the co-chair of a capital campaign for Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria, MN. Thus far, the campaign has received pledges and debt forgiveness of over $11.5 million.
Bob, his wife Mary, and their four children are passionate about supporting charitable organizations that promote education and the development of children. Bob and Mary first visited Common Hope in Guatemala in 2006 along with three of their children, and the family has been sponsors since that time.
Jim has been a restaurant entrepreneur and has extensive business background in restaurant franchising and management. Currently, he is director of giving for a non-profit charitable corporation in California.
About his work with Common Hope, Jim writes, “It is my belief that we are all brothers and sisters, and each of us has a responsibility to reach out to those who are less fortunate. I also believe that those receiving a helping hand will soon be lending a helping hand, creating a stronger and better world. I have found that service to others has brought the greatest happiness and joy in my life. I’m grateful to be associated with Common Hope. The work Common Hope has done in the past, as well as the work currently being done today, is truly changing and strengthening the lives of disadvantaged children and families.”
Bill Huebsch is the founder and president of Corporate Philosophy, Inc., an advisory firm with clients in the publishing, lobbying, religion, academic, and .com sectors. He is an author and trained theologian and the past president of Twenty-Third Publications in New London, CT. Bill currently serves on the adjunct faculties of both Loyola University New Orleans and the University of Dallas.
Over the years Bill has served Common Hope as coach and facilitator for the staff and volunteers. In the 1980s, Bill served as financial advisor and manager to the parish at San Lucas Tolimán.
Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, a native of Guatemala, is an entrepreneur who has held three professional careers: one in the international financial services industry and two others in the entrepreneurial and culinary fields. After 20 years in business she founded Amalia, LLC, a culinary design business offering Latin gourmet cuisine for social and business gatherings. Her first cookbook, Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen, was published in the fall of 2012. In addition, Amalia is a founder and current president of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota, a non-profit fostering women’s entrepreneurship.
Guatemala is very near and dear to Amalia’s heart. She sees Common Hope’s board service as an opportunity to help Guatemalan children in an even more meaningful and direct way.
Laura Ness is a senior vice president within the operations area of UnitedHealth Group. She has extensive experience in both operations management and finance from her work at UnitedHealth as well as her prior experience at Northwest Airlines. Laura and her husband Lloyd have two children and live in Woodbury, MN.
Laura visited Guatemala in 2008 and is looking forward to future visits and working with Common Hope. She and her husband sponsor a child through Common Hope.
Shaun Nugent is CEO of Contour Technology, which creates electronic muscle stimulator systems. He is an experienced business leader and former CEO of Sun Country Airlines, CFO of LifeTime Fitness and CFO of Champps Entertainment.
Shaun and his wife, Chris Denton, are Guatemalan adoptive parents. They also sponsor two children through Common Hope.
Pete is an attorney with Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, P.L.L.P. He is an active Common Hope volunteer, having led Vision Teams in 2000 and 2006. Pete and his wife Judy are Common Hope Partners.
Tom Sullivan is a commercial real estate broker for Cushman & Wakefield | Northmarq. He specializes in representing buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants with their real estate needs.
Tom first traveled to Guatemala in high school on a mission trip and has been hooked ever since. He spent a year as a long-term volunteer with Common Hope in Antigua after graduating college, led a Vision Team of family members in 2007, and has served on the past three Noche de Colores committees, emceeing the event in 2009. Tom and his wife Katie, who was also a long-term volunteer, are Common Hope Partners.
Peter is founder and CEO of Snap Fitness, a fitness franchise that offers a convenient and affordable alternative to “big box” health clubs. Since founding the company in 2003, Peter has grown the franchise to nearly 2,200 locations worldwide. In 2010, Peter was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for his vision and dedication to making Snap Fitness an industry leader. When not running his business, Peter spends much of his time with his wife Kristin and children. He enjoys racquetball, golf, travel, and giving back to the community.
Honorary Board of Directors
Dave and Bina Huebsch
Dave and his family founded Common Hope in 1986. He and his wife Bina have since founded Rising Villages and split their time between Guatemala and Little Falls, MN.
John co-founded Common Hope and served as its executive director from 1992-2006. He has also worked with the homeless in the U.S, as a mental health specialist, divorce mediator, and carpenter. John first journeyed to Guatemala in 1985 to visit his parents, who were working there. This initial four-month trip planted seeds that would become 20 years of dedicated service to those living in poverty. In 2006, after careful preparation, John stepped down as executive director to join the board of directors. He now pursues his interest in spirituality and provides guidance to several non-profit organizations and their leaders.
Vice president of Amidon Graphics, Stan became involved with Common Hope after visiting Guatemala in 1998. He has also traveled to Guatemala on a Vision Team.
Annette is a professor of history at the College of Saint Benedict / Saint John’s University.
Ann enjoyed a successful career in marketing and sales, before taking early retirement to start a family. She now spends much of her time volunteering for organizations that focus on children and education. Ann is a strong supporter of Common Hope’s education programs and sponsors both a student and a teacher at New Hope Village.
Eric is the former CEO of Colonial Craft, Inc. He and his wife, Ann, sponsor two children.
Kim is the chairman of the Minnesota region of M&I Bank. His daughter was a long-term volunteer in Guatemala. Kim and his wife sponsor a child.
Ed is an entrepreneur and owner of Lariat Companies, Inc. He is a sponsor and has led many Discovery Teams, introducing friends and colleagues to Common Hope’s work.
Ron is a retired group president at Pentair Corporation, who became a board member after going to Guatemala on a Vision Team. He is a sponsor.
Vice-President of Kopp Family Foundation, Barbara is a volunteer and advocate for women’s growth and domestic violence programs. She traveled to Guatemala in 2000 with a Vision Team from her church.
An anesthesiologist in Minneapolis, Mike has participated in over a dozen Common Hope surgical trips since 1991. He also served nine years on the executive board.
Jim is the CEO of McDonald Remodeling. He is a former member of Common Hope’s executive board, serving as board chair from 2003 to 2007. Jim has been a regular Common Hope volunteer in both the St. Paul office and in Guatemala. He has hosted a Discovery Team and been part of Vision Teams in 2000 and 2001. Jim sponsors a student, named Dalila.
Larry & Peg Meyer
Peg and Larry Meyer have sponsored a child in Guatemala since 1991. Larry is the former mayor of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and he and his wife Peg spent a lifetime as entrepreneurs, establishing four companies which grew to over 400 employees. They have since retired to the United States Virgin Islands and sold their companies to their former employees. The Meyers were noted for their civic service to youth organizations, and in their retirement, they continue their work with youth on the island of St. Croix. Peg also conducts spirituality work and is currently a regent for Ave Maria University in Florida.
Gerry does fundraising on the West Coast for Common Hope. She was a long-term volunteer for three years with Common Hope in Guatemala. She sponsors three children and is a Common Hope Partner.
Dick is a retired commercial mechanical contractor from the Palen-Kimball Company. He continues to be involved in the development of micro-businesses in Central America. He has visited Common Hope in Guatemala many times and is the sponsor of Rosario Hernandez.
Greg is CEO of Palen/Kimball Company and CEO of Spectrow Alloys. He has been a sponsor and is a long-time donor.
Mary is a registered nurse working at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois. She participated in a Vision Team in 2005 and a Discovery Team in 2007. Mary also sponsors a student with Common Hope.
Greg is a general partner of Scherer Bros. Lumber Company. His favorite way to introduce people to Common Hope is to show them the project firsthand. He has visited Guatemala at least 27 times, bringing his entire family and over 40 friends to see the work up close. Greg and his family sponsor Claudia Larios, José Castro, and Nestor Benítez.
Linda is an active volunteer for social justice causes, through the League of Catholic Women and other avenues. She has been a committed ambassador for Common Hope, having led multiple Vision Teams to Guatemala and serving as an active volunteer for many Common Hope benefit events. Linda and her family sponsor Claudia Larios, José Castro, and Nestor Benítez.
Joe is the senior pastor of the Winnetka Congregational Church. He is a regular Vision Team leader, and he participates by being a sponsor with Common Hope.
Leslie is an elementary school educator. She is a sponsor and a regular Vision Team member.
Sandy is the retired assistant vice president of planning and analysis with the University of California system. She is the volunteer coordinator of Common Hope’s regional development group in the San Francisco Bay area. Sandy sponsors three children and was a Vision Team leader in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
Glen Taylor is the chairman and owner of Taylor Corporation. He also owns the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. Glen and many members of his family became involved with Common Hope after visiting our sites in Guatemala in 2002. Glen is a strong advocate and supporter of educational programs domestically and internationally.
Dean is the retired chairman of the executive committee at Kurt Salmon Associates Management Consultants. He is also the retired president of Textile Clothing Technological Corporation. Dean is a sponsor and led a Discovery Team in 2007.
John is a former marketing executive who is now a consultant and community volunteer. He and his wife sponsor a child.