The Leadership Team

 

The governing board

Dave Herbison

David Herbison
Chief Governing Officer

David Herbison is a long-time Unbound sponsor and advocate and a strong believer in the organization’s mission of walking with the poor and marginalized. He has traveled to six countries visiting sponsored friends and projects, and experiencing firsthand Unbound’s valuable work and the life-changing impact of the personal relationship between a sponsored person and their sponsor.

David has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry. He has led successful strategic planning efforts and initiatives in product and deposit strategy, treasury management sales, eBanking and retail and business banking. He has been a member of the Association for Financial Professionals since 1997, when he earned the Certified Treasury Professional accreditation. David is a graduate of Oregon State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in finance and international business, and minored in foreign languages. He also completed graduate work at Portland State University.

David and his wife, Tina, live in the Portland metro area and are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters. David joined the Unbound Governing Board in 2014.

“As Christians and people of good will, I believe we are called to share our hearts and God-given talents and treasures for the betterment of our sisters and brothers. In doing so, we make our own lives richer. Unbound presents each of us a unique opportunity to live our faith through personal one-to-one relationships of mutual respect and support.”

- David Herbison


Emma Higgins

Emma Miller
Director, Vice Chair/Deputy CGO

Emma Miller has been involved in Unbound nearly all her life. Her parents have been sponsors as long as she can remember. Upon graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Marketing, she interned in Unbound’s U.S. Outreach department. It was then that she decided to sponsor Fernanda in Mexico.

Emma currently works in advertising, focusing on media, data and measurement. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

“Unbound’s strength lies in the community – from Kansas City around the world. I’m continuously inspired by the Unbound network to keep giving, learning, and growing – and always with a smile!”

- Emma Miller


Joe Barker

Joe Barker
Director

Joe Barker learned about Unbound more than 17 years ago at a church appeal when he first became a sponsor. Since then, he, his wife Ronnesia, and five children have enjoyed building relationships with three sponsored friends while learning about the mutual benefits of sponsorship.

After 21 years in the manufacturing industry, Joe used his years of volunteer positions with underserved communities in the metro Atlanta area to turn his passion into a career. He currently works as a teacher and community outreach director at a Catholic high school in Atlanta and remains active in community mentoring and church ministries.

Joe has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Florida A&M University. He lives in South Fulton, Georgia, with his wife and five children.

“Nelson Mandela once said, “It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead”. With Unbound, you are able to make that difference in the lives of all of our beloved sponsored friends on a daily basis and walk with them as they in turn change our lives.”

- Joe Barker


Dennis Bernardo

Dennis Bernardo
Director

Dennis Bernardo joined the Unbound governing board in 2017. He and his wife, Rosemary, first learned about the organization at a church appeal in 2001, where they decided to sponsor children from the Philippines. As they continued to share letters and photos with their sponsored friends, the Bernardos met them and their families for the first time on an awareness trip in 2013. Dennis and Rosemary’s own children have gone on to become sponsors as well.

Dennis graduated from De La Salle University in the Philippines with a degree in marketing. He furthered his studies at DePaul University, Chicago, in computer programming after moving to the United States. He’s worked in the financial industry for the past 30 years. Dennis says it’s amazing to be able to help give children across the world a chance to receive an education and have a bright and productive future through Unbound.

The Bernardos currently reside in Chicago, Illinois, with their three daughters.

“Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

- Dennis Bernardo


Abby Marie J. Rohr
Director

An Unbound sponsor since 2008 and a member of the Governing Board since 2019, Abby Marie J. Rohr is a native of Colorado. In January, 2019, she traveled on an Unbound awareness trip to the Philippines.

Abby holds an undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree from the University of Denver. She’s worked in various roles in the legal field since 2004, including in the financial and health care industries, as well as for a private law firm. Currently, she works as a paralegal for a carbon manufacturing and supply company, promoting clean energy generation and water filtration.

Currently living in Denver, Abby’s engaged in various volunteer activities in her community, including working with special needs children and with an inner-city high school mentorship program.

“There is a quote by Saint Augustine that I think is most indicative of what I believe I am called to ascribe to and in turn direct my actions towards: ‘One may be needy, and another may have plenty. But the Lord is the maker of them both. Through the person who has, He helps the one who needs; and through the person who does not have, He tests the one who has.’ (St. Augustine, Confessions 1, 13)”

- Abby Marie J. Rohr


Cindy Ricks

Cindy Ricks
Director

Cindy Ricks joined the Unbound governing board in 2018. In 2013 she first became the sponsor of a little girl in Uganda, but has since gone on to sponsor seven more individuals, and has traveled on two awareness trips. Cindy says Unbound’s personal and effective approach to assisting those on the path out of poverty has kept her invested in the program over the years. She especially loves the work Unbound does to empower not just the girls who are sponsored, but also the mothers of all the sponsored children.

Cindy grew up in a desert town in California where reading, learning about and exploring new cultures were always an emphasis. With a degree in plant genetics and breeding from Brigham Young University earned in 2003, Cindy went on to attend law school at Washington University in St. Louis, where she graduated in 2006. She currently serves as a career law clerk for a federal appellate court judge.

“Unbound combines my passion for efficient, effective philanthropy with my desire to form more meaningful, personal connections with my “fellow travelers on this mortal journey” (President Thomas S. Monson, LDS General Conference, April 2014). I love being part of the Unbound family!”

- Cindy Ricks


Lisa Phillip
Director

Lisa Phillip became an Unbound governing board member in 2021. She is a sponsor and Unbound traveler, having participated in a 2019 awareness trip to Kenya.

Born and raised on the island of Trinidad in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Lisa lives in Miami. She has also lived in Brazil and Indonesia.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration. She works as an Enterprise Data Architect, specializing in enterprise-wide data strategy, data architecture and design, data privacy and compliance, and data governance.

Lisa has a love for travel and a passion for social justice. When asked about her personal philosophy, she offered the following quote:

“In the words of Toni Morrison, ‘If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.’”

- Lisa Phillip


Ana Mencini
Director

Ana Mencini was born in New York State and now lives in the Chicago area. She joined the Unbound Governing Board in 2021. Ana holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Lake Forest College, a master’s in writing from DePaul University and a juris doctorate from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she was managing editor of the university law review.

After college, Ana worked 10 years as a technical writer before pursuing a law career. She now has her own firm specializing in immigration and real estate law. She also spent three years as a law professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Ana has three sons and a large extended family that lives nearby. An avid traveler, she was able to fulfill a lifelong ambition by traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2019 before the pandemic. She also enjoys gardening, scrapbooking and crafts.

“Be nice and pass along your good fortune. Be thankful even in the hard times.”

- Ana Mencini


Hugo Plaza Beltran
Program Coordinator, Cochabamba, Bolivia

As one of two governing board members representing the leadership of our overseas programs, Hugo Plaza Beltran serves as the coordinator of Unbound’s program in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He grew up in the city of El Alto, Bolivia, which is 13,600 feet above sea level. He’s the youngest of seven children.

Hugo studied chemical engineering at San Andres University. Facing a lack of jobs in his field, he went back to night school as an Unbound scholar and studied accounting. From 2005 to 2009, he served as a volunteer and service-scholar, and as an accounting assistant in several local Unbound communities. During this time, he learned about developing social programs with families.

In 2009, Hugo became the general accountant for the La Paz program. He subsequently served as an interim coordinator in Santa Cruz and, in 2012, was named coordinator in Cochabamba. Hugo is married and has two children. His family motivates him and provides the foundation to know himself and live in service.

Because he is a current staff member, he serves as a non-voting member.

“If we want to live with dignity and fullness, we must recognize the other and seek his good. I have the grace to have God in my life and to have found Unbound, which teaches me every day new lessons, and gives me joy and challenges. That is what I convey to my coworkers and families: ‘I am with you and what I learn I put it to the service of all.’ I firmly believe that I will be a better person if I help my fellow human beings develop.”

- Hugo Plaza


Vincent Murmu

Vincent Murmu
Program Coordinator, Dumka, India

Vincent Murmu serves as coordinator of Unbound’s Dumka program in India, which is Unbound’s most remote program and is located in one of India's most remote and under-developed regions. Unbound’s Dumka office primarily serves indigenous communities of the Santal tribe.

Vincent grew up in a Santal village of 500 people, and both of his parents were illiterate. Through a random act of kindness from an individual Vincent had only met once, he received the funds needed to continue his education. He graduated with a degree in history from Salesian College of North Bengal University in Sonada, Darjeeling. Vincent speaks English, but his native language is Santali, one of the oldest languages in the world.

Vincent began working for Unbound in 2004 as a field animator and counselor before being appointed to coordinator in 2010. Prior to joining Unbound, he worked as a teacher and primary school principal. Vincent’s favorite part of working for Unbound is visiting with the families. He is married to a high school teacher and has a daughter and a son.

Because he is a current staff member, he serves as a non-voting member.


Rev. Dennis Martin

Rev. Dennis Martin
Unbound preacher

As a priest of the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, Father Dennis Martin served as a teacher in Catholic schools, pastor and associate pastor of parishes. As a director of pastoral care at a Catholic hospital and chaplain at a V.A. hospital, Father Martin ministered to the spiritual needs of people. For 20 years he enfolded the Spanish ministry into two parishes. Father Martin continues to serve the Diocese of Davenport in Hispanic Ministry. He enjoys celebrating Mass in Spanish because he believes the communities’ positive vibes uplift the human spirit. In his free time, he bikes, golfs and travels.

Because Fr. Dennis is an Unbound preacher, he serves as a non-voting member.

“Working with Unbound gives me an outlet to answer the pope’s call to solidarity with the poor. I feel personally involved by not only calling on sponsors but sponsoring myself.”

- Father Martin


Scott Wasserman

Scott Wasserman
Ex-officio member
President and CEO

Scott Wasserman and his wife, Anabella, sponsored their first child through Unbound soon after they married in 1988. Since then they have sponsored numerous children and adults in various countries. Now that their three daughters are adults, they credit Unbound sponsorship with teaching them to see the image of God in all people, especially the poor.

Scott became president and CEO of Unbound in 2013. Prior to accepting this position, he was a guiding presence on the governing board for 15 years, the last 14 as board chair.

A graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Kansas, Scott served on the National Review Board advising the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on policies to protect children. He and Anabella are active leaders in their local diocese and parish.

Scott works out of Unbound’s Kansas City headquarters, and spends much of his time traveling to visit families served by Unbound around the world.

“As sponsors, my family and I have received more from our sponsored friends than we have given them. We are grateful to help them on their path to self-sufficiency. In return, they have given us love and joy.”

- Scott Wasserman