Meet the leadership team
President and CEO
Scott Wasserman stepped into the position of president and CEO following the unexpected passing of President and Co-Founder Bob Hentzen, who died Oct. 8 in Guatemala. Scott has been a guiding presence on the governing board for 15 years, the last 14 years as board chair.
He has been a sponsor of children through Unbound for 25 years.
Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history from the University of Kansas and a law degree from Harvard. He has practiced law for 28 years, and his focus for the last 20 years has been child advocacy law.
He is vice chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops National Review Board. The board advises the bishops on policies to prevent the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church. He also chairs the Independent Review Board to advise on response to allegations of sexual abuse for personnel in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
He is a recognized public speaker, lecturing at universities and to parent and youth groups on topics that include special education and legal issues regarding children.
Scott lives with his wife, Anabella, in the Kansas City area. They have three children.
Scott works out of the Kansas City office but expects to spend time traveling to visit projects around the world.
“For me, this is a personal calling to continue the walk started by Bob and his co-founders. What gives me courage is the faith and perseverance of the families living in poverty and the families who sponsor them.”
- Scott Wasserman
Director of Global Strategy
In 1997, Paul Pearce took a sabbatical from his career with a major international health care technology corporation and volunteered for Unbound in Guatemala. He was so inspired by the families he worked with that, after his year of service, he joined the Unbound staff — bringing leadership qualities and management experience cultivated in the business world to help families living in poverty have more choices in their lives.
As director of global strategy, Paul is responsible for monitoring, supporting and supervising Unbound's international efforts — ensuring that international strategy is consistent with Unbound core values and policies. Grounded in awareness through visits with families, overseas staff members and sponsors, Paul contributes to Unbound's domestic strategies — ensuring that domestic and international strategies relate to each other in a consistent and sustainable way. He also assists in the analysis and development of Unbound's governance system, and connects organizational strategies to Unbound's core values, stated mission and purpose.
Paul has an MBA from Rockhurst University. He and his wife, Kris, live in the Kansas City area.
"I love Unbound for really believing in the families. I find it an honor and privilege to work alongside Unbound sponsored members, their parents and the international staff. They continue to be the inspiration and at the center of our international decision-making processes."
- Paul Pearce
Director of International Programs
As the director of international programs, Dan Pearson leads the international programs department in its role to monitor the effectiveness and fiscal credibility of Unbound programs overseas. He and the other department members travel extensively to support and evaluate Unbound projects around the world.
Dan has a passion for program evaluation and working with stakeholders to identify goals and measure the impact of the program. He has more than 10 years of experience working with development programs around the world, and has lived and worked in South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Dan has a master’s degree in international affairs from the University of Denver and a master’s in public administration from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife, Kristina, and their three children.
“The best part of my job is visiting sponsored friends and their families in their homes. Each family teaches me something new. They remind me that each person’s life is rich, unique and important.”
- Dan Pearson
Director of Sponsor Experience
Raelene Dietz's background as a company president and owner of a chain of retail stores gives her a combination of business and people skills. She joined Unbound in 2004 and has held a variety of positions, all related to enhancing the experience sponsors and staff members enjoy with Unbound.
As the director of sponsor experience, Raelene guides teams that focus on providing sponsors with a personal, informed and enjoyable experience. The teams she leads give sponsors ongoing support, and they facilitate communication between sponsors and their sponsored friends throughout the relationship.
Raelene and her husband, Gayle, live in the Kansas City area. They have two daughters and three granddaughters.
"Witnessing the beautiful generosity of sponsors and their impact on the children and aging is a blessing! I'm thankful for the opportunity to be part of this movement."
- Raelene Dietz
Director of Finance
Martin Kraus is a certified public accountant with more than 25 years of experience in the areas of nonprofit and corporate finance as well as public accounting.
As director of finance, Martin provides financial and strategic leadership to Unbound. He is responsible for the areas of income processing, accounting, analysis and reporting, internal controls, financial planning, treasury and long-term gift planning. Martin leads a dedicated finance team that ensures the transparency, accuracy, timeliness and openness of Unbound financial information.
Martin is a graduate of Rockhurst University and a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Missouri Society of CPAs. He and his wife, Mary, have three sons and reside in the Kansas City area.
"Families living in poverty have many, many things in common with my own family. We all just need a little help to realize our potential."
- Martin Kraus
Elaine 'Laney' Haake
Director of U.S. Outreach
With a background in business and management, Laney Haake joined Unbound in 1995. Having served in a variety of roles at Unbound, Laney has developed a breadth of knowledge and experience that serves her well as director of U.S. outreach.
Laney oversees Unbound's efforts to invite people to sponsor and donate to one of the many programs designed to help families realize their dreams of a better life. In addition, her teams lead Unbound's online strategies, develop community partnerships, shepherd media relations, and tell Unbound's story through traditional and new media.
Laney holds an MBA from Rockhurst University. She lives in Kansas City with her husband, David.
" I am inspired on a daily basis by the lives of the families we meet and the dedication and hard work of the staff in our Kansas City office and around the world."
- Laney Haake
Francis 'Paco' Wertin
Church Relations Director
Paco Wertin joined Unbound in 1991 after 14 years of service and leadership as a missionary priest. His years at Unbound have taken him from directing the work of a shelter for homeless men to serving as CEO from 2002 to 2013.
As church relations director, Paco nurtures church relationships and communicates Unbound’s identity, grounded in Catholic social teaching. He supports our outreach within Catholic communities around the country and with the priests who preach on our behalf.
Paco has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s in theology. He and his wife, Claudia, have a daughter and live in the Kansas City area.
"All over the world, families living in poverty struggle heroically against tremendous odds. It is a privilege and joy to be involved in Unbound's work to walk with them in love and humility, as this community of compassion emerges and takes shape."
- Paco Wertin
Community Outreach and Media Relations Director
Elizabeth Alex brings a passion for storytelling to her role as community outreach and media relations director. An award-winning television journalist, Elizabeth joined Unbound in 2012.
For 17 years, she worked as an anchor and reporter covering news in Kansas City. She also traveled to places such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Israel and Gaza to report on how world events impacted life in Kansas City and the work of international aid organizations based there. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has remained committed to telling stories that help make the world a better place. She earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Arkansas.
Elizabeth and her husband, Alexandru, and daughter live in the Kansas City area.
“I love telling stories. I am delighted to be telling stories about the life-changing work Unbound is doing around the world.”
- Elizabeth Alex