Our Team2018-06-04T15:01:46+00:00

Haiti Team
Linsey Jorgenson
Linsey JorgensonFounder/Executive Director
Linsey got her start in International aid working for an orphanage in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. As Program Director, she focused on creating and implementing programs within the orphanage. In addition, she developed multiple projects within the “street” community. It wasn’t long before she realized how much time and effort were required to impact these street children that she fell in love with. Linsey founded Streethearts in October, 2012. The model she created focuses on 7 areas necessary for children to cultivate and maintain a healthy heart – Faith (Christian Studies), Nutrition/Clean Water, Health & Hygeine, Safety/Discipline, Sports & Recreation, Education, and Workforce Development. Prior to her work in Cap-Haitien, Haiti she served as the Vice President of Marketing for Back on my Feet, a nonprofit combating homelessness through running, and worked for MOI, Inc. a commercial real estate company in Washington, DC. As Manager of Marketing & Business Development, she was responsible for generating new business relationships, launching re-branding efforts, and executing large-scale corporate events. Linsey is a graduate of East Carolina University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication. To read the full founder’s story, click the button below. Linsey lives in Haiti full-time.
FOUNDER’S STORY
Smitty Petit-Frere
Smitty Petit-Frere
Smitty leads our Christian studies program. His weekly Bible studies at the safehouse are split by age to address the different positive messages each demographic needs to hear. Younger kids are taught forgiveness, sharing, and honesty, while teens learn how to live in Jesus’ image while navigating the trauma of an adolescence on the streets. As a youth pastor, Smitty has a special heart for the spiritual growth of children. He loves working with street kids because it creates a space for God to enter their lives and help change their situations.
Tchalin Petit-Homme (Intern)
Tchalin Petit-Homme (Intern)
Tchalin helps provide support across all of our departments, specifically in the areas of Administration and Child Development. He joined the team in 2015 to learn leadership and how to develop a non-profit in Haiti, geared towards children. He has always been passionate about running his own program for children when he finishes school. He was born and raised in Cap-Haitian and loves soccer, music and spending time with the kids. He also has a passion for agriculture and wants to attend university for agriculture after he finishes high school.
Mercuis “Lavila” Pierre
Mercuis “Lavila” Pierre
As a father himself, Lavila sees all children as just as worthy of love as his own. Before working at Streethearts, he had a business buying and selling TVs and radios. Now he acts as a security guard and mentor to the kids in the safehouse, modeling and enforcing good behavior and habits. He wants to see all the children grow up to lead honest, safe lives.
Sibille Buhlmann
Sibille Buhlmann
Sibille is a physical therapist who came to Haiti for the first time after the earthquake in 2010. Her main focus was to teach haitian medical professionals on Spinal Cord Injury, after completing her training in Switzerland. She worked for one of the largest SCI rehab centers in Europe for ten years before moving to Cap-Haitien, Haiti in 2014. She is in charge of a Neurorehab center at one of the local hospitals and is a teacher at a local school. She has been volunteering with Streethearts for over 2 years, and currently serves as their in-country Accountant working alongside Wegley, Higgenbotham, and Associates (Accounting/Tax services) based in Virginia (USA).
Francis Edouard
Francis Edouard
Francis lived in the States between the ages of 11 and 26, after which he moved to Haiti to make a change and discover his heritage. He was spurred into action against the exploitation of street youth after he overhead two young boys talking about prostituting for food. Francis started at Streethearts in 2013 as a volunteer and has since joined on full-time. His responsibilities include managing our workforce development program and community events. He firmly believes that no matter your background, all kids deserve a chance.
Kaitlyn Lewis, Education
Kaitlyn Lewis, Education
Kaitlyn is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She accepted Christ at age 4 and has been walking with the Lord ever since. She graduated from Juniata College in 2016 with a Bachelors in Educational Studies and Human Behavior. She’s since worked in a Special Educator role since then. Streethearts stood out to her the minute she walked in. The environment is indescribable. Streethearts is all about loving one another and helping one another grow in all aspects of life and it’s not materialistic and she love’s that, and that’s when she knew she wanted to join the family! Kaitlyn’s role in Streethearts is to be the resource teacher, the creole teacher and the English as a second language teacher. Her goal is to help the kids gain a better education while also helping them understand that learning can be fun and ultimately help them gain a good future.
Jennifer Roth, Volunteer (Education)
Jennifer Roth, Volunteer (Education)
Jennifer is a certified French and ESL teacher and holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching a Second Language. She has been teaching French to elementary school students for 23 years. She currently works at Glenwood Elementary in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She loves working with children and has always had a special connection with them. She spends her summers in Haiti focusing on French and English literacy enrichment and remediation with our boys. She also works with Haitian teachers in the region providing much needed professional development.
Board of Directors
Susan Pelczynski, IIDA, LEED® AP, NCIDQ
Susan Pelczynski, IIDA, LEED® AP, NCIDQ Secretary
As Managing Principal and Head of the INTEC Group DC office, a nationally ranked Architectural and Commercial Interior Design practice, Ms. Pelczynski brings nearly 30 years of workplace design experience for Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial clients. Susan has participated on several boards including the Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Design Advisory Board, as Board Chair, and is currently serving as Secretary of the Board for StreetHearts. Susan first became involved with Streethearts after hearing Linsey Jorgenson share her Founder’s Story. Susan supported the initial drive to collect donated tennis shoes for the boys to jog. She marshalled her friends and resources to help stuff the car, to get more school and clothing supplies to Haiti. And eventually facilitated a virtual fundraiser to raise $15,000 for a Christmas campaign, feeding thousands of people during the holiday week. Susan continues to be an active connector in support of the program.
Daniel Gibson
Daniel GibsonFundraising
Daniel Gibson is a founding partner of Sylebra Capital Management and has been working for the firm since June of 2011.  Sylebra Capital Management is one of the largest hedge funds in Asia with ~$1bn+ in assets under management and focuses on the technology, media and telecom industries.  Prior to that, he worked at Coatue Capital from 2008 to 2011 as a Partner and Analyst.  From 2006 to 2008 he was an associate at Calera Capital, a multi-billion private equity fund based in Boston.  He started his career with UBS Investment bank in New York as a member of the media group.  Mr. Gibson has a BA in Economics from Amherst College.
Bryan Bullington
Bryan BullingtonTreasurer
As business partner and franchisee for Chick-fil-A restaurants of Pearland, Texas, and former Senior Manager for Accenture, Bryan Bullington brings over twenty years of business acumen and expertise to Streethearts. As a graduate of Texas A&M University with degrees in Architectural Design and Philosophy, Bryan spent the first phase of his career in management consulting serving clients in the energy sector. For the past fifteen years Bryan has served as a Chick-fil-A a franchisee and participated on multiple strategic advisory counsels for Chick-fil-A corporate. He was first introduced to Streethearts while working in Haiti on another hummanitarian project. He was quickly captivated by the unique work that Streethearts was doing to change the lives of abandoned boys and young men in Cap-Haitien. Initially, Bryan’s involvement was limited to project work in Haiti for the organization. He continues this work while also serving as Treasurer and assists with fundraising and strategy.
Emily Davis
Emily DavisOperations
Emily’s first mission trip to Haiti was in 2010 where she met Linsey and was intrigued by her passion to support the Haitian kids and wanted to work with her. She returned when Streethearts first opened and was immediately drawn to the sweet souls under the boys’ rough exterior. Since her first visit to Streethearts, Emily has committed to returning for the Summers and Winters and currently helps to run the group trip program. She has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Nonprofit Studies from James Madison University and is to receive a Masters in Organizational Sciences from The George Washington University in May 2018.
Kristin Gainey Ferree, MSN, RN, FNP
Kristin Gainey Ferree, MSN, RN, FNPMarketing
Kristin first travelled down to Haiti in 2013 to visit one of her best friend’s Linsey Jorgenson and to see what Streethearts was all about. She decided to become more involved after falling in love with the kids, the staff, and the program. Kristin was honored to join the Board of Directors to help take Streethearts to the next level. Kristin has a Masters’ Degree in Nursing from East Carolina University. She is dual-certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management & a Certified Diabetes Educator. She is having fun learning about Marketing and is thankful to have the support of her family.
Advisory Board
Kevin Shelly
Kevin Shelly
Kevin earned his B.A. in Business Administration from USC. He has spent the last 25 years in Executive Sales Management and Business Development in Government and Education. He is the current Vice President of the public sector for MarkLogic focusing on sales and services. He also served as Vice President of Sales for Angel, Senior V.P. of Sales for the US & UK for ACS (acquired by Xerox), and worked for Oracle Corp. for almost 10 years leading in business development. Kevin’s stellar resume also includes, V.P. of Sales for state, local, and education in the US & Canada for Bearing Point for more than 10 years. He spent several years working in account management for the Federal Government and has overseen projects with revenue streams of up to $60 million dollars.
Hans Schutt
Hans Schutt
Hans earned a B.A. in Accounting from Lynn University and followed up with a Masters of International Business from NOVA Southeastern and a Masters of Science in Finance from FIU. He began his career working for a Caribbean import/export company. He then was employed in Miami at an Engineering firm as Project Administrator and was essential Expedition document control software and Primavera Scheduling software expert. He customizes reports for Expedition using Sybase Infomaker software and has provided financial and risk management services as well.
Laurence Desvignes
Laurence Desvignes
Laurence Desvignes has a Bachelor degree in agronomy and development, a Master degree in agriculture and a Master Degree in International Relations and European Politics. She has 20 years’ experience in 20 war-affected countries where she worked both in development and emergency situations. She worked with various NGOs as an agronomist initially and with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a coordinator, then general manager of mine action programs worldwide. In 2005 she arrived in Haiti as the regional office manager for ICRC in northern Haiti. In 2008-2009, she was the assistant manager for a private import company as well as its director of operations for a tourism project in Labadie. Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, she was recruited again by the ICRC. From October 2010 to October 2011, she ran the MSF office (Doctors without Borders) in the North for the emergency response to the cholera epidemic. Currently, she is the Program Manager of OXFAM for the North and North-East departments and also serves as the President and founder of MANUSODANY, Association for Haiti, a French NGO registered in Haiti.
Kent Husted
Kent Husted
Kent Husted launched Empowering Action in January 2013. He holds a Masters of Business from The Johns Hopkins University and a Masters from Dallas Theological Seminary. Before being called to EA, Kent served in student ministry for 20 years in the metropolitan area, most recently at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. Numerous short-term mission trips around the globe were the impetus to form Empowering Action.
Volunteers
Megan Variano
Megan Variano
Megan is mental health therapist who specializes in substance abuse and trauma. She has been in the field for 9 years in various settings and started her own private practice in Raleigh, North Carolina 3 years ago. Megan has been traveling to Haiti for 6 years now to help wherever it is needed. Normally she brings art therapy activities for the boys and tries plan at least a few adventures to get out and see some of Haiti. Megan has enjoyed watching Streethearts grow from the very beginning when it was just an idea into the great nonprofit it is today. Megan has enjoyed watching some of the boys who were there from the start, grow into wonderful young men who want to change and lead their country. She feels blessed to be able to have the privilege to visit every year and feels it is truly an experience that grows her every time.
Jen Hill
Jen Hill
Jen works as a medical device sales rep. She became involved with Streethearts since 2013 (?) after seeing and hearing about Linsey’s passion for the boys and the work she doing. Jen is a monthly sponsor and also travels to Haiti to volunteer in any capacity needed; whether its joining forces with the kids contributing to the community or just passing time playing soccer and hanging out. Jen states, ” I have gotten such joy from watching the boys grow, develop and evolve from being “street kids” through this incredible program. Sreethearts has changed my life and they forever have my heart!” Ke pou laria!
Jennifer Roth
Jennifer Roth
Jennifer is a certified French and ESL teacher and holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching a Second Language. She has been teaching French to elementary school students for 21 years. She currently works at Glenwood Elementary in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She loves working with children and has always had a special connection with them. She has been to the northwestern region of Haiti several times in the past two years on mission trips. Most recently she hosted a summer camp in Cap-Haitian, where she and five colleagues were paired with Haitian teachers to provide a variety of math, science and language arts enrichment experiences to one hundred students in the Cap-Haitien area, which included boys from Streethearts. We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer to Cap-Haitien, Haiti where she will be working with our children in an effort to further their education.
Sarah Proctor
Sarah Proctor
Sarah is a senior associate attorney at the law firm of Alston & Bird LLP, where she practices corporate law with a focus on finance. Sarah received her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Political Science from East Carolina University. Sarah lives and works in midtown Atlanta and enjoys traveling and doing anything outdoors.
Maggie Johnson
Maggie Johnson
“I became involved with Streethearts when I visited with a Chick-fil-A team through Lifeshape International in August of 2015. I knew right away that God was working in this place and that I wanted to be more involved with this incredible organization. My husband was able to visit in September of 2016 and our hearts remain focused on supporting Linsey, the staff, and the boys at Streethearts as the Lord provides opportunity.” Maggie is focused on sharing Streethearts with her church and local community to increase support and awareness. She volunteers with one of our partner organizations, Woven Grace, in finding additional retailers to sell the products the Streethearts boys make to include; greeting cards, journals and keychains.She resides in Terre Haute, Indiana, with her husband, Derek, and two children, Brody (5) and Mazie (3). She loves playing and watching all sports, reading, speaking and teaching about Jesus, and supporting her husband with their Chick-Fil-A restaurant.
Kerry Gabler
Kerry Gabler
Kerry has spent the past 15 years building relationships across the DC, MD and VA markets, as the CEO Meet Market Inc. With broad business development experience spanning commercial real estate, technology and the pharmaceutical sectors, she has developed a client portfolio ranging from Non-Profits to Fortune 500 companies. Kerry’s success is based on unwavering client and strategic partner advocacy and her conviction that the clients she represents offer their respective industry’s best and brightest. Kerry is THRILLED to be part of the StreetHearts’ Team and looking forward to supporting this incredible organization.
Donna Roland
Donna Roland
Donna Roland
Donna is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania working with people of all ages; always a special interest in children, attachment/bonding, trauma, and culture. Her lifelong call to serve God and people led her to North Haiti in 2010. She has worked with psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors providing mental health clinics and education in several areas from Ouanaminthe to Cap Haitien, with the goal to contribute to self-sustaining Mental Healthcare program development in Haiti. She first came to Streethearts in 2016, very impressed with it’s integrity and success, she is excited to be invited back and hopes to return again and again!!
Lindsey Waters, M.Ed.
Lindsey Waters, M.Ed.
Lindsey is a certified School Counselor from south-central Pennsylvania. She spends the school year working with children in grades K-8. She is married to Shawn and they have two amazing children together, Easton and Emerson. Lindsey took her first international trip in the summer of 2016 to provide mental health care to the people of Northern Haiti. A stop at Streethearts during that trip was a complete blessing from God. Lindsey was amazed at the resiliency, and the grateful hearts and kind spirits of the young men she met there. Lindsey hopes to be able to continue a relationship with the Streethearts family and the beautiful people of Haiti!