Our Board

Dave Smith- President

David Smith is a founding member of Honduran Children's Rescue Fund and serves as the President. He is a former Director of Sales Operations from Swagelok Company in Solon, OH. He obtained his B.S. in Economics at Villanova University. He is also a honorary Board Member of The Newman Foundation of Northeast Ohio and an active member of Gesu Parish.

Joe Ciuni

Joe Ciuni is a Practice Leader, Project Manager, and Municipal Engineer for the GPD Goup-Architects, Engineers, Planners. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and a Professional Surveyor in the state of Ohio. He is also a city engineer for Beachwood, Bedford, Shaker Heights, Streetsboro, and University Heights.

He also is the Women's Varsity Soccer coach at Gilmour Academy. He has helped lead many of the Gilmour Academy Mission Trips to Honduras over the last 10 years.

Sheila Birch

Sheila is the Treasurer. Retired CPA, and former audit partner from Ciuni and Panachi Inc, she brings her experience with small business, government and nonprofits. She graduated from Ursuline College and completed her accounting studies at John Carroll University. She was the Treasurer for Recovery Resources, Inc. and the Bratenahl Community Foundation.​

Anne Markowski

Anne Markowski is a Partner at the law firm of Williams, Moliterno, & Scully, L.P.A. She received her Bachelors degree in Accounting from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and her juris doctor from the University of Akron School of Law. Her legal practice focuses on litigation in the area of insurance defense. Ms. Markowski is also on the board of Playhouse Square Partners and is active in the Outreach Commission at Gesu Catholic Church. Ms. Markowski became involved in the Honduras mission through Gesu in 2013.

Father Mike Ausperk

Father Mike was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and was ordained a priest in 1989 for the Diocese of Cleveland. He served in many parishes and schools. Currently, Fr. Mike Ausperk is assigned to Holy Family Church in Stow. He organizes and leads an annual medical mission for Holy Family Parish in association with Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos.

Chris Ann Catanese

Chris is an Assistant Vice President of Ancora Wealth Advisors. She is also has served for the past twelve years as the Head Varsity Cheer Leading Coach at Gilmour Academy. She and her husband have four children and are active parishioners at Gesu Parish where she is involved with the Youth Group. She has been to Honduras numerous times with groups from both Gesu and Gilmour Academy helping with the needs of the children at Nuevo Paraiso and their community. 

Father Karl Kiser, S.J.

Fr. Kiser received his undergrad from Michigan State. In 1997, he was ordained at Gesu. At Loyola University of Chicago, Father obtained his degree in the Study of Jesuit Philosophy. He received his MDiv from Boston College. For sixteen years, Fr. Kiser was the President of University of Detroit Jesuit High School. In 2016, Church of the Gesu in University Heights Ohio welcomed Father as their new Pastor. Fr. Kiser has a love for the people of Honduras as well. To date, Fr. Kiser has gone on seven Mission Trips to Nuevo Paraiso.

Dale Lewis

Dale was employed at Saint Luke's Medical Center for 35 years until its closing in 2000. Most of those years, Dale was the Director of Pharmacy Services. He then worked at Kindred Hospital for eleven years. Retired now, Dale is involved in numerous volunteer activities at Gesu. He coordinates all of the medication for the Gesu medical brigades to Honduras. Dale has been on 16 trips.

Jack Licate

Jack A. Licate, Ph.D. received his B.S. from St. Louis University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. He has lived and worked in Mexico and traveled to Honduras numerous times. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos and has served on numerous governmental commissions and nonprofit boards. He is the retired Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic's Division of Institutional Relations and Development. ​

Rosemary Nemeth

Rosemary Nemeth has taught in the Catholic Diocese for over 34 years. 30 of the years have been at Gesu School. She teaches part time at John Carroll University in the Education Department and for WVIZ/PBS Ideastream. Ms. Nemeth introduced the popular JCU Science Olympiad for Catholic Schools throughout the Cleveland Diocese. She fell in love with the children of Honduras during the Summers of 2009 and 2010 on the Gesu Mission Trips. ​

Tom Newcomb

Tom is a graduate of Denison University. For the last thirty years Tom has traveled nationally and internationally as the owner of Corporate Dining, Inc. and Campus Dining, Inc. an operations consulting firms in onsite dining. He has traveled to Honduras each year since 2009 to escort student trips and work construction projects at Nuevo Paraiso, one of Sociedad Amigos de los Niños Social Programs.

Ashley Ponce

Ashley Ponce is the Outreach coordinator at Church of the Gesu. She received her Bachelors Degree in Spanish from John Carroll University. Ashley is also a third-grade Catechist in the PSR program and actively works in a variety of service projects. She became involved in the Honduras Mission through Gesu in 2014. Ashley serves as a co-leader and translator on the Mission Trips.

Brian Smith

Brian Smith became the Clinic’s Director of Strategic Project Development in 2003 after being a part of the Cleveland Clinic team for 10 years as Director of Construction. Brian has two undergraduate degrees in Construction Technology as well as a Master’s of Business administration degree from Case Western Reserve University. He is active on several not-for-profit boards that provide humanitarian aid to developing countries around the world with the majority of his efforts focused on Honduras, Central America. He has also lead many of the Gesu Medical and Construction Mission trips to Honduras over the last 14 years.

Todd Welki

Todd has served as the Treasurer of the Honduran Children's Rescue Fund until 2017. She is a Certified Public Accountant with over 25 years experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Prior to retirement, she served as Chief Financial Officer of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Todd has participated in numerous mission trips to Honduras.

Honduran Children's Rescue Fund | 2470 Miramar Boulevard  | University Heights, OH 44118
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