Meet our committed Board Members
Warm Heart has board members on two separate official Board of Directors, one in the U.S.A. for Warm Heart Worldwide, Inc, and one in Thailand for Warm Heart Foundation.
Warm Heart Worldwide, Inc. Board Members
Professor Dana Brown, President
Professor Brown holds a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European Studies from Oxford University and a PhD in Political Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Professor Dana Brown is the Dean of the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
In addition to experience working in academic institutions, Dana has also worked in business and with new start-ups, including Amazon.com in its early years. She has helped to establish a number of active learning initiatives for entrepreneurs and has a particular interest in social entrepreneurship and its impact on local economic development.
Warm Heart is a big part of Dana’s life. She has visited Warm Heart multiple times, is a sponsor and donor, and has worked with Warm Heart on several educational initiatives.
Jason Highberger, Vice-President
Educational Background: BBA, Langston University; MBA, Trident University International
Professional Background: Jason has over 20 years with establishing and operating businesses across various industries, including energy, cleantech, food services and wellness. Held senior positions ranging from founder to operational officer. Spent several years at management consulting firms. An active Board Director for early childhood business in Singapore. For past two years, volunteering for Warm Heart.
Joan Van der Veen, Secretary
Educational Background: BFA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Marketing and Advertising Design from the University of Kansas, Lawrence; ASP Accredited Home Staging Professional
Professional Background: Joan has a wide range of experience and capabilities spanning professional activities including real estate, design and creative marketing and art director. Additionally, Joan continues to support a wide range of community service groups including but not limited to West Amwell Township Environmental commission, Planning Board and Fire Company Auxiliary.
Her personal mission is enhancing lives through caring and consistent service. Finally, Joan has been a positive and steady supporter of Warm Heart throughout the years. Joan receives and manages the US based mail, donations and other critical administrative tasks.
Evelind Schecter, Treasurer
Evelind (B.A. Yale, M.B.A. Columbia) left her position as Director of Specialized Business Support Services at Merck and Company, Inc. to become Director of Finance at Warm Heart Thailand.
Born in Japan, and raised in Japan, Hong Kong and the Soviet Union, she has also had a long career in international business and consulting.
With over twenty-five years of experience with business management, she brings Warm Heart her extensive knowledge of human resources, operations and technology.
Dr. D. Michael Shafer, Former President (July 2008 – April, 2020)
Dr. Shafer (B.A. Yale, Ph.D. Harvard), Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, is published widely in foreign policy and international political economy, and has taught at universities around the world.
Dr. Shafer is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a 21st Century Fellow. With funding from, inter alia, the Department of State and European Union, he has managed higher education reform initiatives in the Baltic states, Central and Eastern Europe, and Lebanon.
Dr. Shafer is the founder of Global PACT, an international community development and civic engagement training program. With funding from Ford, Open Society Institute, Prudential and the United States Institute of Peace, he ran Global PACT programs in Brazil, Cambodia, Croatia, South Africa and Thailand. Since 2008 he has devoted himself entirely to Warm Heart.
Tara De Worsop, MBA, Board Member
Tara graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Cultural Anthropology in 2008. She then spent one year working with Warm Heart on a Center for Global Security and Democracy Fellowship.
She returned to the US to continue working on Marketing and Sales for the Warm Heart Microenterprise Initiative and then as U.S. Director.
In 2011, she joined the Japan ICU Foundation and served as Program Director.
Today, Tara is Director of Development & Communications at Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC).
Tara is also a member of the Connections Council for an international South African nonprofit called Infinite Family, an MBA candidate at NYU’s Stern School of Business and a freelance illustrator.
Tanvi Savla, Board Member
Tanvi graduated from Rutgers University in May 2007 with a BA in Genetics and Economics. After graduation, she started working in Investment Banking Operations at Goldman Sachs in New York, where she stayed six years.
She left the firm early July 2013 to travel the world and, while on the road, stopped by Warm Heart, where she saw all the amazing work being done and got her hair braided by the curious and sweet children living there.
Tanvi is now back with Goldman Sachs in New York.
Honorable Meryl Frank, Board Member
The Honorable Meryl Frank is the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Prior to being appointed Ambassador by President Obama, Ambassador Frank served as Mayor of Highland Park, NJ for eight years, where she forged what New Jersey’s leading newspaper called “the Highland Park Model” for ethics and good government and set the standard for other municipalities in innovative methods of delivering municipal services.
Ambassador Frank authored the federal Family and Medical Leave Act signed by President Clinton in January of 1993 and the New Jersey Family Leave Act signed by Governor Kean in 1989.
She has served on the National Board of the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum and as the Democratic Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Commission on the Appointment of Women.
She is the National President of the Women’s Division of the American Jewish Congress.
Warm Heart Foundation Board Members
Mr. Duangmawong has served on the Warm Heart Board since 2009. He became Chairman of the Board in 2011. He has a degree in Education Administration from Sukhothai Thammathirat University and taught in Phrao for 22 years.
After retiring from teaching, Mr. Duangmawong was elected to serve as Board Member of Administration for Maewan Sub-District where Warm Heart’s offices were located from 2008 to 2012.
Mr. Duangmawong’s background in education and community involvement drew him to Warm Heart.
Prachan “PJ” Jakeo was born in Phrao. At the age of 17, he moved to the U.S. where he completed high school and joined the U.S. military. As a member of the United States Air Force, PJ was a logistics specialist, stationed across the United States and several countries overseas.
After he retired from the USAF, he returned to live in Phrao. He provides the Foundation Board with complete bilingual and bicultural capabilities. He is an extraordinary community liaison.
Between his mother’s family’s relatives, his father’s political connections, and his deep, personal rapport with the community, PJ opens a remarkable number of doors for Warm Heart.
Born and raised in Maewan Sub-District, Mr. Chainurak served as the President of the Maewan Administration Organization for eight years between 2001 and 2009.
Appreciating his strong and effective leadership in community development as President and his support of our mission, Warm Heart asked him to join the board of the Warm Heart Board in 2009.
He was elected chair, a position he held for two years. Once he finished his term, Mr. Chainurak remained on the Board, contributing his ideas and experience about farming and ways to help the community thrive.
Mr. Tansupayone is the Phrao District Ombudsman for legal issues regarding domestic and family services.
Mr. Tansupayone began working as a Warm Heart Board member in 2009 after he met Dr. Shafer at a district conference and saw the possibilities Warm Heart offered Phrao.
Dedicated to improving social welfare, Mr. Tansupayone’s main goal is to help the public.
He recently won an award as the best Ombudsman in all of northern Thailand. He is currently an advisor to the Warm Heart Board.
A native of Phrao, Mr. Tammachai has served on the Board since 2010. Mr. Tammachai has a degree in Social Studies from Sukohthai Thammathirat University, was a teacher for 14 years, and has served as a government officer for 19 years.
He has worked in the Chiang Mai Cultural Office, the Chiang Mai Education Office, and the Phrao Education Office. He currently serves as the Secretary to the Chairman of the Phrao Sub-district.
Drawing upon his wide government experience, Mr. Tammachai has provided critical advice to the Warm Heart Board. His passion for education and especially for Thai traditional culture led him to Warm Heart.
Rong Don, a native of Maewan Sub-District, joined the Board in 2009 because he believes in Warm Heart’s projects and values the fact that Warm Heart is a Thai organization that helps the community and the people of Phrao.
He holds a B.A. in Community Development from Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, and an M.A. in Political Science from Khonkaen University.
Rong Don served in the Maewan Administration Organization from 2006-2009 and today operates his own business.
Warm Heart is grateful for all of the support we receive from our board members.