Ibis Schlesinger, Founder and CEO

Ibis is the founder and President of Ties to the World. She has been involved in projects to help people in need all her life - from entertaining at leprosy centers, senior centers and orphanages as a junior and senior high school student, to designing low-income homes for earthquake victims as a young adult, to coordinating medical and other supplies for flood relief in Guatemala more recently.

As a community leader, she has been president of a Northern California political party, chair of the education committee for the San Francisco Hispanic Chamber, and served on several boards and chaired several fundraising events

Jerry B. Hildebrand, Chair

Jerry Hildebrand is one of the world's recognized leaders in microfinance and social entrepreneurship. He is currently director of the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Previous to this, Jerry was past-President and CEO of Katalysis Bootstrap Partnership, a microfinance network is one of the world's recognized leaders in social entrepreneurship in Central America, which provided micro loans to over 200,000 clients (67% women).

Previous to that he was Caribbean Regional Field Director for International Voluntary Services, founding board member of the Appalachian Alliance for Socio-Economic Development Projects, and the Deputy Director of Vermont's Office of Economic Opportunity. Jerry was also a charter fellow of the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation, and one of the first Peace Corps Volunteers stationed at Lake Titicaca, Peru.

Kim Wirtz, Art to the World Program Manager

Kim Wirtz graduated form both the University of California, San Diego's bachelor program on Mechanical Engineering Science and the University of California, Berkeley's Masters in Business Administration program. She was involved in the management of multiple aspects of the real estate development process in the urban S.F Bay Area where she was responsible for finding land deals, negotiating purchase agreements, and obtaining the development entitlements for single family and multi family residential development.

During her work as Auction Co-Chair of the Sleepy Hollow Elementary she developed theme and vision, and led teams of volunteers in producing a fundraiser that raised over $230k for the school. As program manager of Arts to the World, Kim is in charge of leading our project and is taking care of managing the production line which will consist of cards, posters and possibly notebooks with the art produced by both Guatemalan local artists and the children form the Hogar San Francisco Xavier.

Hunter Tanous, Program Manager of Service To The World

Hunter Tanous is a freshman at University of the Pacific majoring in International Relations and Global Studies with a concentration in Peace and conflict resolution. He has become involved with the Council of Social Entrepreneurship and is learning all he can about self sustainability. He spent a week volunteering in a border town in Mexico, a week in Biloxi, Mississippi volunteering shortly after Katrina, and was part of the local Red Cross. He was an exchange student in Argentina from August 06 to June 07 and has traveled to many countries.

Christian Norton, Financial and Media Planner

Christian Norton recently graduated from the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) majoring in Political and Social Economics. He has performed significant research on Mexican migrants and their family's health care and is deeply driven by promoting awareness on the creation of opportunities for children around the world. During his work he has evaluated public policy programs in health in Mexico and is now in charge of the financial and media planning for Ties To The World.

Elena Stein, Youth Leader

Elena Stein attends the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, with a concentration in Distributive Justice. Elena is committed to the promotion of human rights, particularly the rights of children. Her experience with social action on the behalf of children's include leading a Free the Children to promote child poverty issues, spearheading a variety of fundraisers to raise money and awareness, and attending many Leaders Today academies and conferences to develop leadership skills.

She has worked on more local children's issues through interning with the Family Service Agency and being a camp counselor for autistic children. Additionally, her interest in the role of government as a means for social change has led her to internships with Senator John Kerry, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and State Senator Jackie Speier. Elena was one of our youth leaders at the Hogar this past summer.

Bryant Williams, Youth Leader

Bryant Williams attends the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he is majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, with a concentration in distributive justice. He is interested in business as well as economic development/philanthropy in developing countries, particularly Latin America. In Guatemala, Bryant has been involved with Fotokids, Potter's House, and the Hogar San Francisco Xavier. He enjoys traveling and is a member of Penn's Varsity Golf Team, which won the Ivy League Championship in 2007. Bryant was one of our Youth Leaders to the Hogar this past summer.

Austin Osueke, Webmaster

Austin Osueke studied Computer Science in San Francisco State University and is studying at Stanford University. He has worked as an IT consultant for Federal Government agencies such as the Department of Energy, General Service Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. He has been involved with Texas-based non-profit organization New Hope Counseling Center which deals with HIV/AIDS outreach as well as The Children's Counsel of San Francisco. He is in charge of Ties To The World's website.

In The Memory of John M. James

John James was director of the James Institute, an education, counseling and consulting center in Lafayette, CA. John taught professionals from over 50 countries at the Institute, and was a keynote speaker and workshop leader for public and professional groups in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Central and South America, Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Canada and across the US. He was the author of 4 books, including Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit. John also taught psychology and religion courses at Saint Mary's College of California, where he served as Director of Sport Psychology for the intercollegiate teams. John was founder and director of the Oasis Center, a Day Treatment School and Residential Treatment Home in California

"Our mission is to establish a set of trade business practices that can help orphanges create financial self-sustaninability while teaching the children life skills and successful independent living."
–Ibis Schlesinger