Dr. Jones is originally from Minnesota. He grew up in both Florida and Georgia, and attended college at Florida State University, where he obtained a B.S., an M.S. and eventually a Ph.D. in Neurobiology. After a two-year research fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, he came to Chapel Hill to attend medical school. After graduation, he stayed on at UNC for a five-year residency in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery. He was then a faculty member in the Dept. of Surgery for seven years before starting his own practice in Chapel Hill, which he ran for 17 years before retiring in 2015. He has a daughter adopted from Guatemala, and has been involved in GSSG since 2010.
Bob Dermody graduated from Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY and has an MBA from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. He is retired from working in the financial operations at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill after almost 20 years of service. Prior to that he worked in public accounting and taught at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY. He and his wife, Julie, have been involved with GSSG since 2004. Along with others, he and his late wife, Julie, sponsored one of the current GSSG students, Blanca Guarcas.
Berkeley Grimball, Jr. is founder and owner of Grimball Jewelers, which opened in Chapel Hill, NC in 1985. Prior to opening Grimball Jewelers, he started and ran several other businesses. In 1973, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He served as a board member of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Chamber of Commerce from 2000 to 2006. He is married with two sons and one grandson.
While raising her three children, Debbie Lindsey volunteered in the community and worked part time as a substitute teacher and Catholic school music teacher. Her volunteer work with immigrants and love of the Spanish language and Hispanic people led her to earn a BA in Spanish Education and a certificate in ESL education from NC State University, After graduation, she worked as an ESL teacher in elementary schools for ten years. Debbie and her husband, Tom, hosted GSSG student Rafael in their home for three years. In the summer of 2017, she led a group of five volunteer ESL teachers to travel to Guatemala to teach English to local townsfolk through a GSSG partner, the John Bodoh English Academy. Debbie currently works as a teacher assistant.
Jorge Paque works as a consulting Director in the recruitment of new students and is responsible for obtaining health records, passports, visas, and transportation within Guatemala. He received his licenciado from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala. He is a retired English teacher and an authority on the Guatemalan education system and conditions in Guatemala generally.
Brent Heiser has been involved with GSSG as board member and special events coordinator and other various roles since 2010. He has eighteen years experience in managerial and sales in service-oriented businesses and consults for profit and nonprofit corporations. He also has extensive experience in ministry conducting missions, retreats, and conferences in the USA, Ghana, Honduras, Ireland, and Guatemala. He has coordinated and promoted events including music concerts by Tony Melendez and Steve Angrisano. He attended East Carolina University and majored in business administration. Brent and his wife, Kathy, have been doing mission work in Guatemala since 2004.
Cristina España is the Viceconsul of Guatemala in Raleigh, serving her constituents, 80,000 in NC and 40,000 in SC, in charge of Cultural and Commercial Affairs, Mobile Consulates, the Protection and the Education Department and helped create the Empowerment Program of Guatemalans in the Carolinas. She is in charge of the annual organization of the Day of Guatemala in Raleigh, where about 4,000 people visit the event each year. Currently serves in the Board of L’école – French School of Raleigh and the Board of Latin American School. She was previously posted in Atlanta in charge of the Civil Registry Department and covered the 2011 crisis, reaching 6,000 dual citizenship registrations in 2011. She was later assigned in 2012 to be in charge of the Protection Department serving the Guatemalans detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Viceconsul España holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Marketing from the Universidad Latina of Costa Rica and the European University of Madrid. She has a background as a Theater Director in Guatemala and California with formal studies in Fine and Contemporary Arts.
Byron Cap graduated three years ago, and has been involved in a number of projects since then. Byron seems to excel in developing businesses that both fill a need in his local community and at the same time provide jobs and income. His first venture was to organize a coffee cooperative that allows local growers to pool their product and resources so that they can scale up and sell their coffee to a much larger market. Byron handles the distribution and marketing, and now their coffee is sold in several places in Guatemala and also, through the internet, in the US and other countries. Check it out at “Byron’s Coffee” on Facebook, or order through Green Cafeen (greencafeen.com).
Rex A. Dwyer, PhD joined the GSSG board in 2021. He is the adoptive father of two adult children from Guatemala. He earned a PhD in Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1988 and directed the Computer Science graduate programs at NC State University for two years. An enthusiastic life-long learner, he completed the MS in Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007 at age 48. His major paper for the MS dealt with comparative economic histories of Guatemala and Nicaragua. He was also pressed into service to teach Spanish III during his studies. He is presently employed as a data scientist supporting the work of biochemists at Metabolon, Inc. in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.