Our Dedicated Leaders
Our Dedicated Leaders
A dedicated and diverse group of leaders care for and empower the success of our initiatives and projects worldwide.
Lisa brings over 30 years of management and business experience to ImpactAVillage. Previously, Lisa worked 28 years as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Galil Motion Control. As the founder of Lisa’s Hearth, she regularly gathers community in her home to experience various teachers, healers and the arts. On behalf of ImpactAVillage, she makes connections with cultural ambassadors who can work within their community to manage projects that improve healthcare and education. Lisa received a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981 and is the mother of two grown children.
Cara is the founder and CEO of The Sage Group, a firm placing marketing & business consultants into short-term assignments at companies throughout the Bay Area. A serial entrepreneur with a marketing, business and management consulting background, Cara has seen small groups of people with shared vision create extraordinary impact both in the business and non-profit worlds. Cara received an MBA from Stanford University in 1995.
Dr. Desmarais graduated from Life West Chiropractic College in San Leandro in 1990. Her husband, Ron Desmarais is also a chiropractor and they opened their own practice in South San Francisco, CA, in 1994. They have two children, Sophia and Luke. Charisse was first interested in the plight of the Lost Boys of Sudan through her friend Jennifer Martin who has helped several Lost Boys, including Deng Jongkuch.
Deng was born in South Sudan in Bor County. In 1987, when he was only five years old, he was separated from his family after his village was attacked by soldiers during the Sudan Civil War. Deng walked over 1000 miles with other displaced children to seek safety. He lived in a refugee camp for over 10 years until he was selected to come to the U.S. in 2001 along with 3800 other “Lost Boys of Sudan”. Deng graduated from California State University-San Jose with a degree in Health Sciences in 2008 and from Touro University with a Masters of Public Health in 2011. After the war ended, Deng returned to his village in the summer of 2005 and was reunited with his family after 18 years. He was dismayed to find his village in poor condition with no roads, clean water or school and became passionately committed to helping communities in South Sudan and around the world improve education and healthcare. Deng received U.S. citizenship in 2010 and is the father of five children
Weight Loss and Body Image expert Laura Fenamore knows firsthand how love can save lives. Growing up in an abusive home, Laura was a compulsive overeater from childhood and an alcoholic by junior high. In her mid-twenties, Laura overcame her addictions, and in the course of a year released 100 pounds. Through her coaching practice and online community, OnePinky, Laura teaches women to love and accept themselves just as they are. Laura leads her students into the heart of why they dislike their bodies and treat themselves poorly so they can come out the other side wiser, happier, healthier, and better role models for future generations. A long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay area, Laura has worked with visionaries such as Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield and John Gray. Laura is committed to offering hope and possibility to those who have overcome extreme hardships.
St. Michaels School, Sacramento
Laura brings to the board over 25 years of business and philanthropic experience. She is an active board member of several non-profits in the Sacramento area including the Child Abuse Prevention Center, the B Street Theater and the Community Center Theater. Laura is passionate about projects that help improve health and education, especially educational programs that reduce and eliminate abuse of children.
Lisa brings practical sensibilities as a tax accountant and financial business advisor with over 25 years of experience with small businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs. Her passion is to empower and educate clients to deal more effectively with financial and business planning. Lisa is currently an Enrolled Agent specializing in business and tax consulting and bookkeeping training at Kreger and Garden Accountants. She also sits on the Executive Board of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin County. Lisa shares her personal understanding for health and education with compassion and empathy. She has undergone numerous surgeries and battled to understand how to function and thrive with limitations. Her deep understanding of physical hardship has taught her how to live passionately with empathy and compassion.
Cara has been a writer most of her life. A UCLA graduate, for over thirty years she has been an award-winning copywriter for a wide variety of accounts in Los Angeles, Monterey, and Sacramento, creating major advertising and public relations campaigns for clients in all media – TV, broadcast, print/online/blogs and in all industries. Cara has also published books and gives talks based on her deep love of nature as well as her long-time correspondence and friendship with the father of Anne Frank, Otto Frank. She was honored to be one of the editors of Lisa’s and Deng’s beautiful book, “A Story of Hope.” The power of hope, global unity, making positive choices, love and respect for all humans and non-humans is the foundation upon which Cara speaks and writes about. Cara is honored to be a part of ImpactAVillage which is devoted to helping a worldwide community dedicated to this same philosophy. Otto Frank mentored Cara years ago with these words of hope vs. hopelessness, “Even if the end of the world is imminent, you still plant a tree today…” As long as there is light even in the darkest of times you can still plant hope.
NEWS UPDATE: IMPACTING OUR CALIFORNIA VILLAGE
November, 2018: ImpactAVillage continues to support our local “village” of Northern California devastated by fires with our recent donation to the North Valley Community Foundation for relief of victims and workers of the Camp Fire. This is the way to impact a village!
October, 2017: The board members of ImpactAVillage voted to help our local “village” of Northern California devastated by the fires. We donated relief funds to the Redwood Empire Food Bank who is providing critical food to shelters for our neighbors displaced by fires. This is the way to impact a village!