Board of Directors
This group of professionals brings a wide range of talent, professionalism and wisdom to ProNica. With their continued commitment to Quaker principles of consensus decision-making and collaborative action, the ProNica programs in Nicaragua are assured of sustained accompaniment as equal partners.
Herb Haigh has been involved with ProNica since its inception. He has been President of the Board during ProNica’s evolution from an informal organization of concerned Quakers to a registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation with NGO status in Nicaragua. Herb has recently retired as the President of AmeriPlus, the largest Medicare supplement hospital network in the U.S. The parent corporation, AmeriLife, has been a great supporter of ProNica’s work, providing its in-house services to help design and produce promotional materials for ProNica.
Herb is very active in several national Quaker organizations. He has written a number of articles about his experiences in Nicaragua which have appeared in Friends Journal, Quaker Life and Quaker newsletters around the country. Herb is a member of St. Petersburg Friends Meeting.
On her first trip to Central America in 2005, the pleadings of poor women living in shacks in the Managua city dump inspired Pam Haigh to resurrect an old beauty school nearby.
The former hairstylist and retired owner of Panache Salon in St. Petersburg, Florida, raised enough funds to re-open the school and just one year later, in 2006, the first class of underemployed women graduated from the 10-month cosmetology course, giving them a dignified means of self-support. Since then, Pam hasn’t missed a single graduation ceremony. The Acahualinca Beauty School is solely supported by ProNica. In 2008, Pam received the Women of Peace Award for her empowerment of women in the Nicaraguan slum of Acahualinca.
Pam is a member of St Petersburg Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and currently serves on the Board of ProNica as Co-Clerk. She continues to raise money for the beauty school by receiving donations for cutting hair at corporate and Quaker events.
Carl Hersh is an award-winning documentary and television producer and videographer with a long history covering Latin America and the Caribbean. He has worked for a wide variety of U.S. networks and European news agencies and was based in Mexico City for several years before moving to Miami where he was founder/owner of Close-Up Productions. He has crossed the globe doing corporate as well as news and entertainment programs. He produced a series called “Farmer Stories” for Starbucks, spending time in Latin America, the South Pacific and Africa, documenting improvements in the lives of small coffee growers after securing contracts with Starbucks. He is the author of Produccion Televisiva – El Contexto Latinoamericano and spent years teaching television news production to Latin American professionals. He speaks fluent Spanish.
His interest in Nicaragua began when he covered the Sandinista Revolution in 1979. He is an active member of the Miami Friends Meeting, where he has served as Clerk. For relaxation, he plays cello in a jazz band and once a year plays in the Faith-and-No-Practice Band at Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
Doug was involved with ProNica back in the 1990s, up to 2009, when he moved to Pendle Hill to become Director of Finance, HR, IT, and Grounds and Maintenance. Within ProNica he has been Treasurer, Director, Clerk, and on the Board in years past. Doug is married to Becky Steele, of Tampa, also formerly of St. Petersburg Friends Meeting. Doug attended Lafayette College, the University of Madrid, and N.Y.U. He is a former psychologist, hotelier and business consultant.
Doug and Becky now reside in Portland, Maine, where he is Clerk of the Friends School of Portland. He and Becky are involved in the Portland Monthly Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting, and Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). Doug remains involved with Quaker Quest, and Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). He’s excited to rejoin ProNica, which he considers to be a personal spiritual calling, and looks forward to being involved in the mutual support and education between Nicaraguans and citizens of the United States.
Bradford R. Stocker, Ed.D.
Brad Stocker was called to education early. His first teaching was when he was just 15 at a day camp teaching swimming and shoe tying. Since then he has taught all levels from pre-k to grad school. While no longer in the employ of others he is still involved in education through workshops and grandchildren. Brad’s first involvement with Nicaragua was in the late 70’s when he joined a solidarity group helping with medicines and literacy supplies. In 1986, his life was radically altered when Tere and two kids, all Nicaraguan-born, became his family. Two years after they were all married, Brad received a Fulbright to work at UNA (la Universidad Nacional Agraria) to develop an undergraduate English program. It was when he first met his mother-in-love and learned more deeply the culture of Nicaragua.
Brad considers himself bicultural if not completely bilingual. He didn’t begin his Spanish lessons until well into adulthood – not something he recommends. However, it has been essential to who he has become and how his family has evolved.
Brad and Tere support several projects in Nicaragua and currently Brad follows Tere onto the ProNica board. ProNica holds a special place in their hearts, not only because of the work that it does but also because it was a ProNica presentation at Miami Friends Meeting that brought them to those Friends where Brad is now a member and Tere is an attender. You may have noticed by now that Brad cannot tell you who he is without Tere. We are nothing outside of our relationships.
Brad and Tere believe in the power of love and that Earthcare and solidarity are expressions of it. These two quotes are a reflection of their thoughts on the latter:
I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person and learns from the other. I have a lot to learn from other people.
– Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan social justice activist
Love is the most universal, formidable, and mysterious of cosmic energies.
– Teilhard de Chardin
Johannes is a journalist who has covered Latin America for many years. He is the editor and co-owner of Cuba Standard and CubaNews and hosts Florida Caribe, a news and public affairs show aired on WSLR 96.5 FM in Sarasota, Florida.
He is fascinated by the increasing power of grassroots organizations and elated about the strengthening cooperation and integration among Latin American and Caribbean nations. He first visited an exhausted Nicaragua in 1989, witnessing the near end of the U.S.-waged contra war. Johannes admires ProNica because it is one of few foreign NGO’s that has remained in Nicaragua and it is a U.S. organization looking eye-to-eye with Nicaraguan grassroots groups, based on the premise of solidarity, partnership and mutual education.
He was appointed to the board by the Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and is a member of Sarasota Monthly Meeting.