As Chief Executive Officer of IPM, Joe provides the strategic vision, leadership, and supervision of all activities, programs and staff of this interfaith, international, non-governmental organization with offices in El Salvador, India, Kenya, and the USA. Joe began his work with IPM in June of 2001 and IPM has quintupled in size during his tenure.
Before working for IPM, Joe served as the Vice President of Capital, Endowment, and Philanthropic Programs at The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation (1997-2001). From 1990-1997, Joe lived in Rome, Italy where he pursued a Ph.D. at the Gregorian University and worked with a variety of organizations. Joe was a Research Assistant in the Department of Programmes at Caritas Internationalis (1990-1992); the Director of the Joined Hands Refugee Center (1991-1995), where he served as an IPM Project Coordinator; and, as Associate Director of the International Office for Justice, Peace, & Integrity of Creation of the Franciscan Friars Minor (1995-1997).
Joe holds degrees from the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) and Yale University (New Haven, CT), an Executive Education Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH), and a Doctorate of Ministry Degree from Eden Theological Seminary (Saint Louis, MO). Joe serves on a number of international and national Boards, has lectured and/or taught at leading academic institutions around the world, and was a member of the charter class of Cleveland Bridge Builders (2001). He is also the recipient of the Sanctae Crucis Award from Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), the highest non-degree recognition bestowed by the College on an alumna/us, and a special Founders Award from Gilmour Academy (Gates Mills, OH). Joe is married to Alyne Kemunto Cistone and the proud father of Francesca, JJ, and Kemy.
Ilze joined the IPM staff in June of 2006 and assumed her current position as Senior Director, Annual Giving & Constituent Relations in April 2015. Ilze is a member of the organization's leadership team with primary responsibility for managing all aspects of IPM’sAnnual Giving programs, including coordination of IPM’s signature Special Events, and serving as the point person working with IPM’s new International Passport Society Working Group to effectively coordinate the regional chapters’ volunteer efforts to raise awareness and mobilize resources in support of IPM. Ilze has more than three decades of experience in non-profit administration and resource development working with nonprofit social service, education, and healthcare environments. Prior to IPM, Ilze worked at the Center for Community Service at John Carroll University, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, Bellflower Center for Prevention of Child Abuse and St. Vincent Charity Hospital. Ilze holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace College with major concentrations in Finance and Management.
Douglas Lonero, Director of Accounting
Doug joined the IPM staff as Director of Accounting in 2016.
Lisa-Jean Silvia, Director, Community Engagement & Marketing
Lisa-jean is a nonprofit professional with over a decade of experience in program management, fundraising, and community engagement. She served as Director of City Fresh, a pioneer of Northeast Ohio’s local food movement also led the Harvest for Hunger campaign for the Cleveland Foodbank. At Neighborhood Connections, a grassroots grant-making program of the Cleveland Foundation, Sylvia co-created and launched Neighbor Up, a network of over one thousand individuals working together to strengthen the Cleveland community. Lisa-jean has also used her passion for innovation and organizational learning as an independent consultant offering community engagement and program development support for small to mid-sized organizations. “As a high school exchange student to Japan, I learned first hand about the transformative power of trusting, authentic relationships.” This belief is evident throughout Sylvia’s work.A native of Massachusetts, Sylvia moved to Cleveland to attend Case Western Reserve University, where she earned a Master’s in Nonprofit Organizations in 2005. Sylvia also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She studied as an exchange student at Tsuda Juku College, in Tokyo Japan. She has also traveled to Morocco and Niger, West Africa.
Rosalie Kell, Director of Administration & Planning
Rosalie Kell joined the IPM staff in March 2015 as the Executive Assistant to the CEO, working from the Executive Office in Bar Harbor, Maine. An entrepreneur, she brings a lifetime of experience in business management as well as building organizational capacity within non-profits. Rosalie is a degree candidate in Environmental Science from Hollins University, Roanoke, VA, where she served on the Presidents Environmental Advisory Council and also achieved a Certificate of Leadership from the Batten Leadership Institute. As a lifelong learner, she is currently matriculated at The University of Maine, Machais with a focus on Environmental Anthropology.
Rosalie has been actively involved in environmental and social justice initiatives for many years and embraces IPM’s model of supporting women and children on the margins of society in achieving personal and economic sustainability. She returned to Maine in 2010 with her son Will and their dog Tank. An avid gardener and sailor, she lives on Little Cranberry Island, Maine.
Alyssa joined the IPM team in May 2014, as the General Assembly Logistics Coordinator in our Cleveland office. Alyssa graduated from the University of Dayton with a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science and a minor in Human Rights Studies. While at UD, she was very active on campus, in the Dayton community and abroad in Guatemala and Malawi. Alyssa also received the Joyce Durham Award for the Best Student Essay on the subject of women and gender and the Dr. Margaret P. Karns Award for Academic Excellence and Service in Global and Local Issues. Alyssa is excited to work with IPM's team.
Fatima Pacas, Regional Director, Latin America & the Caribbean
Fatima graduated from the School of Social Science at the University of El Salvador with a degree in sociology. She studied two academic semesters at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. Her thesis focus was in Symbolic Violence against student women in San Salvador. In addition, she has a post-graduate diploma in Statistical Research Support at Universidad Centroamerica Jose Simeon Cañas (UCA).
She has been involved in the nonprofit sector for several years, which started through volunteering with several organizations including “Youth Outreach for Human Rights” (UJ PDDH) & National Coordinator Pro Youth of El Salvador (CIPJES), which focuses on leadership development training, human rights education, children and youth rights. Fatima has also coordinated the creation and implementation of Education and Health Planning for “Voluntarios Construyendo (TECHO-El Salvador).”
Fatima has participated in several meetings and workshops around Latin America, like the Latin American meeting of Childhood and Adolescence "The Importance of Investing in Children" Santiago de Chile, 2007”; The Mesoamerican Youth Meeting, Guatemala 2009; Youth Pre-Conference of the Americas, Salvador-Bahia, Brazil 2010; and the World Youth Conference, Mexico 2010.
Fatima believes a better world can be possible if people around the world are of social awareness, creatives and respectful. Promoting positive thinking, commitment, determination, communication and passion for justice and peace. Through her work at IPM in the past two years, Fatima has supported the wide range of IPM’s Project Partners work with women’s cooperatives and education programs.
Adela Zayas, Regional Associate for Latin America & the Caribbean
Adela studied her Psychology Major at Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA). She has been evolved in different social movements during her educational process, including projects related to environmental consciousness and conservation, community development, gender equality and women empowerment. Adela is passionate about working with women and youth, in the past, she worked for TECHO, a non-governmental organization, as the coordinator for the Youth Leadership Program, focusing on Human Rights inside urban and rural communities in El Salvador. She also has been leading a project call “Artesanas del Mar”, supporting
Adela also leads a project call “Artesanas del Mar”, supporting the personal and economic development of young women of a community located in La Paz, El Salvador, through a microenterprise initiative. She is now a member of the IPM staff, coordinating Immersion Experience Program in the Latin America and Caribbean region and supporting local Project Partners. She is very happy to work with IPM because she shares its work philosophy and ideology. She believes in people's capacity to connect with each other, despite their different experiences through life, and how the union of these souls allows the creation of a solidarity network that can transform a shared reality.
Mahesh Upadhyaya, Regional Director, South Asia
Mahesh Upadhyaya lives in Ahmedabad, India. Mahesh has a diverse educational background; he has studied biochemistry, social management, advocacy, and organization and system development, both in India and in the United States. He currently serves as Director of the Solidarity Center in India and is an organizational development consultant to new and emerging human rights and development groups. Mahesh has been IPM’s Regional Consultant for the Indian Sub-Continent since 2005 and was elected to the Board in 2006. He joined the IPM Staff in 2009, and currently, serves as Regional Director for South Asia.
Soni Shrestha, Regional Office Associate, South Asia
Soni began working with IPM Project Partner OUEST (NEPAL) in 1998. After OUEST changed leadership in 2011, she transitioned to working as an Office Assistant and Mediator for the IPM Project Partner, Calendar Program with the Social Work Institute (SWI), to communicate messages between IPM, SWI & local women groups. Soni has an MBS (Master in Business Study) from Shanker Dev College and an MBA, RD (Master in Rural Development and Humanities) from Tri-Chandra College. She most recently attended short-term training programs organized by SWI focusing on participatory management, skill development, and women empowerment training.
Himmat Chauhan, South Asia Fellow
Himmat was born in Dalit family in Golana, India. His father, Pochabhai Chauhan, a social activist for Dalit and cast system justice, was killed during the Golana massacre in 1986. Pochabhai’s widow, Daniben, with the support of her two sons, Himmutbhai and Rameshbhai, founded the Pochabhai Foundation to carry on the work of Pochabhai.
The mission of the Pochabhai Foundation is to advocate for gender and caste equality. They perform rural development and social mobilization activities in their region, forming youth groups, providing education in life skills, and raising awareness about government schemes and benefits available for Dalits. They also work on environmental and water issues in the community with the support of like-minded individuals and social professionals. Their aim is to fight for rights of education, health, caste and gender equality, freedom, and employment, to create a peaceful and respectful society for all.
Himmat joined IPM as a South Asia Fellow in 2016. His efforts directly supports IPM Project Partners and Community Partners in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Gujarat, Nagercoil and other Community Partners in Himmat's network. As a fellow, Himmat is involved in coaching, mentoring, and empowering leaders so that they can support the formation of community organizations increasing the collective strength of initiatives that work in favor of the poor and disadvantaged. The project emphasis is on training and mobilizing communities to access resources within their own countries for development and related projects.
Jared Odhiambo, Logistics Coordinator, Sub-Saharan Africa
Jared joined IPM in 2004 and is a consultant providing logistical support to the IPM Immersion Experience Program in Sub-Saharan Africa specifically in Kenya and Tanzania. He has vast experience in providing logistical support including transportation, accommodations, interpreting and cultural understanding. Jared has completed several computer courses at the Computer Pride Training Center and obtained an ICDL (International Computer Driving License) certificate. Jared also has completed a certificate program in Tour Guiding and Security Awareness. Jared lives in Nairobi with his spouse and three children.
Pablo Martin Castro, Nicaragua Logistics Coordinator
Pablo Martin Castro has worked with IPM for more than four years as a Logistics Coordinator for all IPM Immersion Experience Programs in Nicaragua. He has a long history of accompanying delegations, particularly throughout the Xavier University Nicaragua Program. He is married and the father of three.
Johnny Portillo, El Salvador Logistics
Johnny Portillo handles logistics and travel for IPM’s El Salvador Office. He has been with IPM since 2010. when he began providing transport services to IPM’s Immersion Experience delegations. He is married and the proud father of a son.
Carlos Quijada, El Salvador Logistics
Carlos Quijada has worked with IPM for more than five years accompanying and driving for IPM’s Regional Office. He supports frequent visits to IPM Project Partners in El Salvador, and Immersion Experience Program trips. Carlos is married and the proud father of one boy and one girl.