Board Members

The Barrio Planta Project

Bruce Makous

Board President

Bruce Makous is chief advancement officer of the Society for Science & the Public in Washington, DC. He has been a professional fundraiser for 32 years, previously serving as chief development officer for ACLU of Pennsylvania and before that as national vice president for development of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. He has held previous positions with American Association for Cancer Research, Drexel University, and The American College. He is a noted author on such fundraising topics as legacy giving, donor cultivation, and ethics. He has served on the national board of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the international board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and has been named by the Nonprofit Times as one of the “Most Influential and Effective” fundraisers in the United States, an honor reserved for only 14 individuals annually. He has an M.A. from New York University and a B.A. from Oberlin College. Bruce has served as President of the Friends of Barrio la Planta Board since 2014.

Rudy Espinoza

Board Vice President

Rudy is Nicaraguan American, originally from Miami but has lived all over the US & Latin America. Rudy attended an agriculture school growing up and went on to study International Agriculture & Development with a focus in Business Management/Marketing at Cornell University. After working in business in India, Chile and New York, Rudy moved to Nicaragua in 2010, where he discovered his passion for marketing and giving back. While in Nicaragua, Rudy served on the board of several nonprofits, which is where he became involved with BPP in 2011. Rudy’s notable work in marketing led him to Panama, New York and now Mexico where he currently works as senior Marketing & Strategy Manager at Intel in Mexico City, leading Intel brands in Mexico by expanding digital investment, influencer/content marketing and PR. Rudy has developed long-term brand strategy for products in the Latin American region and was recognized as an Intel Top Performer his first year on the job. Rudy utilizes his visionary leadership, expertise in marketing and strategic thinking to help BPP continue to grow through fundraising, marketing and consistent targeted outreach.

David Hersh

Board Treasurer

David Hersh is the Senior Director of Strategic Analytics for the Camden City School District and a Strategic Data Project Fellow at Harvard's Center for Education Policy Research. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at Rutgers University and the founder of The Endeleo Project, a non-profit that supports education organizations like BPP. Prior to starting his Ph.D. work, David was a Deputy Attorney General representing the state of NJ in child abuse litigation and an associate in Structured Finance for the NY office of Linklaters. Before that David taught HS math and physics in Maryland. He has been a member of the board of FBLP for over 4 years. David was born in West Milford, NJ and now lives in Philadelphia.

Kezia Carpenter

Secretary of the Board

Kezia Carpenter joined Friends of Barrio la Planta after a two-week trip to Nicaragua in November 2013. She met Dyani by chance and was deeply impressed by BPP’s commitment to the San Juan del Sur community and its innovative education programming. Over the past four years, Kezia has been an active board member, supporting BPP’s leadership in developing its program assessment practices, the creation of its first annual report, the initiation of its now annual Holiday Fundraiser, and the enhancement of BPP’s early childhood English program. Outside of BPP, Kezia has led or supported numerous mental health and education initiatives during her thirty-year career, including the pioneering of Cincinnati’s first intensive case management agency and the creation of a family childcare program for New York University, which now serves as a model for other universities (e.g., Harvard Medical School). She has worked as a teacher, program director, and educational consultant in private and public education settings in New York, Ecuador and Panama, including Early Head Start and Head Start programs. She collaborated with Migrant and Seasonal Head Start for her doctoral research and has presented her findings at national and international conferences. Kezia has licenses and graduate degrees in agency and community counseling, early childhood/elementary education, and interdisciplinary studies in the humanities. Kezia moved to Panama City, Panama in 2014. She enjoys living in Central America and has been working at a Panamanian school, helping their early childhood team improve its education program and launching a new university credit program for academically advanced high school students. This year she will join Florida State University Panama as a part-time humanities and education professor.

Dafina Williams

Board President Elect

Dafina Williams is Vice President, Public Policy at the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs). She joined OFN in 2006 and leads the organization’s public policy development and legislative affairs related to affordable housing, small business lending, community reinvestment, and healthy foods financing. She also manages the organization’s regulatory advocacy and state and local policy efforts. She has presented at numerous industry conferences and contributed to economic and community development finance publications, including OFN's policy book, Good Policies for a Great America. Dafina is a magna cum laude graduate of Temple University, where she received a BBA in Economics. She has been a member of the board of the Friends of Barrio la Planta since June of 2015. She currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.

Anshul Jain

Board Member

Anshul Jain works with Keystone Strategy, a boutique-consulting firm in Cambridge, MA. His work involves applied research and engagement across a wide variety of complex challenges related to technology, manufacturing, industry ecosystems and competitive market positioning, including expert litigation strategies for a diverse array of clients from established Fortune 100 companies to prominent leaders in cutting-edge technologies. Outside of strategy consulting, Anshul is completing his PhD in Political Science--his research has centered on political communication in the age of new media platforms. He is a co-author of The Social Media President: Barack Obama and the Politics of Digital Engagement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), has published a number of other articles, presented at numerous conferences in the field, been interviewed in print and on television, and is currently planning the defense of his dissertation. Anshul also worked with the Boston Public Schools for 6 years, first as a teacher and later as a curriculum consultant, and has served as the Co-Chair of the Governing Board of a Pilot School since 2012

Brenden Layte

Board Member

Brenden Layte is a Senior Development Editor for National Geographic Learning and a linguist with a focus on the psychological, social, and cultural aspects of language acquisition, bilingualism, and language variation. He has worked in ESL/EFL education for ten years, holds a TEFL diploma, and has completed teaching courses and training through the TESOL International Association. Brenden has a BFA from Emerson College and is currently enrolled in the graduate program for Applied Linguistics at Boston University, where he is designing and leading a research study on bilingual autobiographical memory encoding and recall. He has been a member of the board of the Friends of Barrio la Planta since June of 2015. Brenden was born in Worcester, MA and now lives in Jamaica Plain, MA.

Marc Shultz

Board Member

Marc Schultz presently lives in Amagansett, NY with his wife Dayna and 17-year-old daughter Maya. He has a B.S. from Syracuse University and an MBA from Pace University. Marc currently engages in projects such as real estate investments and is now building a small resort and retreat center in Escameca, Nicaragua at Costa Dulce Beach Resort. Prior to that, up until 9 years ago Marc had a career in the financial sector, which culminated into CEO at Head of America's for a global financial services organization.

Marc first visited Nicaragua in 2006 and immediately felt at home with the land and people and purchases land. He built a home a few years later and spends a good amount of time there. Marc plans to spend 6 months in Nicaragua and 6 months in Amagansett starting the fall of 2018. While in Nicaragua Marc sponsored children through the Fabretto Foundation, and tried to support local schools, communities, children and families, this was always done in a non-organized/structured manner. After being introduced to BPP he has been excited to continue to support a local community in a more efficient and structured manner, and has been behind the majority of fundraising efforts responsible for spearheading BPP’s rural Nicaragua branch, BPP Escamequita.

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