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Mujeres en Cambio Elects New Board

By Mary Norquist

In late spring, Mujeres en Cambio elected a new Board of Directors and Executive Committee members.

Mujeres en Cambio, known as MeC,. is a nonprofit (NGO) organization that gives scholarships to deserving, underserved young women in the campo surrounding San Miguel de Allende. In the 2018–2019 school year, we awarded scholarships to 187 young women from 46 villages, amounting to 1,738,010 pesos. For more information,

The Board of Directors

Maria Guadalupe Arriola, President, is a longtime San Miguel de Allende resident and was the manager of the Real de Minas Hotel for many years. She has served on the boards of several organizations. She brings with her experience and a great leadership style.

Pakina Fernández, Vice President, is one of the original founders of MeC and is a former director for Sistema Nacional para el Desarollo Integral de la Familia (DIF).

Rhea Calkins, Treasurer, Director of Special Projects, is responsible for managing and reporting the financial operations of MeC and is currently revamping the student and donor history and tracking systems. She has been in leadership positions with other nonprofits in New York.

Misty Haskett, Assistant Treasurer, deals with the actual handling of the money MeC receives. Haskett has served as president of MeC twice in the past.

Beth Rosener, Secretary, continues in this role as she has been in this position for the past three years. Rosener was also involved with several other nonprofits in San Miguel. She brings a wealth of experience.

Mary Norquist, Member at Large, Director of Development and Communications, is returning to MeC after an absence of two years. In the past, she was responsible for communications and public relations. She now adds to that the responsibility raising funds and developing grant opportunities.

Steve Breslin, Member at Large, Amistad Project Chair, has long been an admirer of MeC and joined our board this year to spearhead our new partnership with Amistad Canada. He has an extensive background working with NGOs and divides his year between San Miguel and Ottowa.

Chris Yannitelli, Member at Large, Co-Chair, Events Committee, has been involved with MeC for years but only now has become a board member. She has been active in other San Miguel nonprofits and also is an ESL teacher.

Executive Committee Members

Donna Chalancin, Scholarship Distribution, has been involved in scholarship distribution for a number of years and brings great leadership to this quarterly job. She is responsible for tracking all the recipients, keeping track of their GPAs, and monitoring their attendance at the distribution meetings.

Charlotte Bell, Rug Hookers Project, is responsible for leading the rug hook project, which was one of the initial projects undertaken to help women in the campo develop skills from which they could earn money. The Rug Hookers at Augustine Gonzalez is now an organized co-op that sells its products worldwide.

Trish Leavens, Co-Chair, Events Committee, is a relative newcomer to San Miguel and MeC, but she brings significant experience serving on boards in the US, one of which was a scholarship foundation.



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