Advisers & Interns


Jim Adriance: Sustainable Development

Jim served 17 years with the Inter-American Foundation as Country Foundation Representative for Ecuador, Peru, and all of the countries of Central America, including 5 years with Guatemala. With the US Peace Corps he served 2 years as a volunteer in Costa Rica and 5 years as the deputy director in Guatemala. Since 2009 Jim has been an independent consultant serving foundations, companies, and non-profits to strengthen their community development and engagement programs. During his career Jim has developed programs in food security, health, environmental management; youth development, business development; water; strengthening civil society, and appropriate technology. He is personally interested in helping young people engage in the world and develop their role as world citizens.

Ann Conway: Sustainable Development

ann conwayAnn has thirteen years overseas experience in international development as Peace Corps Country Director, Program and Training Officer, and Training Director. She was the manager of multi-cultural staff and American volunteers in projects in education, health, small business, ag/environment, HIV education, and NGO development. Ann spent four years as Regional Manager of Peace Corps recruiting office. She has nine years’ experience in a financial corporation as senior manager of employee relations, training and development, and marketing. She currently lives in Chiapas, Mexico.

Jean Duffy: E-Commerce Logistics Support

Scan copyJean is one of a group of women in Minnesota committed to supporting Natik’s e-commerce efforts. She is originally from Ireland and is currently the Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Becker, MN school district. Her oldest daughter Roisin lived in San Cristobal from August 2012 to May 2013.

Kyle Castronovo: Graphic Design

11866440_10153483987456358_4985402366231263795_nKyle Castronovo is from the sunny state of California and currently works as an artist and graphic designer in San Francisco. He attended Santa Clara University for his undergrad and earned a Master’s Degree in Design from California College of the Arts in 2012. He worked on the design for the Catalog for Change for 2015, and is happy to bring his skills to the Natik Family.


Susan Stoltenberg: Fundraising and Entrepreneurial Development

Susan is Executive Director of Impact NW, a provider of educational and social services in the Portland, OR metro area. She has demonstrated successful leadership skills in non-profit organizational, financial and program development, education, marketing, advocacy, fundraising and outreach. Currently, Susan is a Commissioner on the Washington County Commission on Children and Families and is a member of the subcommittee on Community Schools for the Oregon State Commission on Children & Families. Susan will be assisting Natik in our development of fundraising and business strategies.

Brittany Burton: Teen Scholarship Writing Collaborator

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 10.56.16 PMBrittany holds her B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Southern California and is currently pursuing her M.A. in International and Intercultural Communications from the University of Denver. Her previous work experience includes marketing management for an international volunteer organization, and she has studied abroad in Spain and Nicaragua. In March 2013, she joined the Natik team to work on building business partnerships and fundraising for Natik’s Just Apparel project. She has recently taken on the responsibility of collaborating with the teen scholarship program coordinator Candelaria Esquina Damian to help the scholarship students improve their writing skills through their monthly essays that we use for blogs and for communicating with sponsors about their lives, hopes and dreams.

Lola Reid Allin: Service Learning Trip Consultant

lolaLola’s varied careers reflect her curiosity about our world. She has been an airline pilot, SCUBA dive-master, lecturer, and travel guide. She is also an award-winning photographer and world traveller. Her international volunteer work includes photographic documentation of medical missions (Kenya, Honduras) classroom teaching (Guatemala, Kenya) and seniors’ companion (Guatemala). She is a Rotarian, and recently was able to promote a significant Rotarian donation to one of our partners.   Her volunteer work with Natik calls upon her love of travel; she is helping us conceive and market Service Learning trips for non-academic groups

Maria Cristina Heberling: Education Advisor

Maria Cristina has been in education for twenty-seven years, as a classroom teacher and a Reading Specialist and Credentialed Library Media Teacher. Her travels to Mexico, Thailand and Costa Rica inspired a dream of creating, forming or participating in a traveling library to bring books, literature, love and learning to people who do not have access to the world of literature —a powerful, transformative tool. She has a strong connection with La Puerta Abierta’s Mobile library.



Melanie Diaz: Secondary School Scholarship Program Support

Melanie DiazMelanie is currently studying English and Global Studies at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a woman of Hispanic heritage, growing up in East Los Angeles, California, she has pursued various roles in assisting Hispanic communities in the United States and abroad. During her first two years at CMU she regularly volunteered in El Círculo Juvenil de Cultura, an organization which provides children of Hispanic descent with the opportunity to learn/practice Spanish and to learn about Hispanic cultures. Between January and April 2015, Melanie also interned with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, where she wrote articles pertaining to issues within the hemisphere, specifically in relation to Latin America. Some of her focuses included solar energy, international immigration policies, and military intervention. In the summer of 2015, Melanie intends to travel to Merida, Mexico, where she will study the various health facilities available in the Yucatan, in preparation for her comparative study on healthcare in the United States and Mexico.