Our Team

Lynne Moquete, Executive Director, has few moments to herself on a given trip to the Dominican Republic, but they’re best spent in her most peaceful place on Earth: a rocking chair on her Dominican mother’s patio with her Dominican mother, Vianela.  A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she’s spent most of her adult life returning to the DR to continue the work she started in ’90-’92.  With a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas, Lynne continues to teach Human Interaction at Casa Grande High School, where she loves her job, and encouraging her students to become involved in the local and global community.

Barbra Gronberg, Chief Financial Officer, is equally prepared to teach you Tae Kwon Do and glass fusion (with the kiln in her garage!). She also crunches numbers exceptionally well. Mother of Sean and Rion, Barbra relishes in experiencing new places with her family, chief among them the DR–because of the people, she says.

Junior Bello, Building Minds Director, is as dynamic as his favorite meal, the multi-tuber, multi-meat stew known as sancocho. He recognizes the importance of a smile—towards the down-and-out, by the down-and-out—in showing solidarity and resilience. He loves working with kids, who are in a transformational period, he says, and benefit greatly from a little emotional and spiritual guidance. Junior holds a BS in Business Administration from Universidad APEC.

Rose Hembrow-Beach, Strategic Initiatives, is a teacher that relishes in shadow puppets shaped like handle bar mustaches and stories of the big green homework monster who allegededly resides in a school tree. Rose is highly valued for her opinions and ritual of bringing peppermint patties to meetings. She holds a teaching credential and MS in Education from Dominican University of California. She loves hiking and traveling.

Kara Klinge, Strategic Initiatives, can be found dancing bachata in a Dominican disco, exploring SF Bay Area backroads, or preparing a cup of sustainably sourced coffee. Committed to social entrepreneurship, Kara has worked as a Tour Manager at Invisible Children, helped launch a groundbreaking farmer-owned coffee company in Tanzania, and co-founded Una Vida’s Madres program. Kara has an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University.

Leo and Lissette Mendez, Logistics Coordinators, may have first bonded over the buttery goodness of moro de guandules con coco, a decadent rice with coconut that they now share with their lovely daughters, Ashvel and Gaia. Leo and Lissette help Una Vida with logistics and planning in the capital out of the goodness of their hearts. In fact, there are two things Leo does not like, driving and sports, one of which he does regularly for Una Vida.

Candy Reyes de Rodriguez, Eye Care Project Lead, studied ophthalmology in Ecuador before returning to La Descubierta to start a family. She is a certified Ophathalmic Technician. She loves that her work includes helping the poorest of her community, and appreciates that Dominicans “siempre estamos feliz” in spite of day to day struggles; she is happiest spending time with her family, including her husband, a constant source of inspiration in her life.

Tricia Sweeney, Field Coordinator & University Partnerships, is as comfortable shopping at a Haitian market as she is helping her sister host a dinner party for ten in San Francisco. Although she could happily eat arroz y habichuela, rice and beans, every day for the rest of her life, she deeply appreciates the food culture of her native SF-Bay Area. Trying to live by Paul Farmer’s words to think globally and act locally, Tricia studied international relations and migration studies at UC San Diego and recently spent a year in Cochabamba, Bolivia mentoring students from the US in understanding the complexity of community development.

Anita J. Tarzian, Medical Consultant, believes in hospitality, mindfulness meditation, and lifelong learning. She has a Doctorate in Nursing Research with an emphasis in medical ethics, as well as a Masters in Intercultural Nursing, from the University of Maryland. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to La Descubierta during her service, Anita is particularly well-acquainted with the people and culture of our community. Currently she enjoys teaching nursing research, ethics and end-of-life care.