Rebuilding Together El Paso has a full volunteer Board of Directors.
Roger, who is of Dutch origin, came to live in the US in 1996. His career with Philips Electronics moved him over three continents, before setting down in El Paso. After finishing his Ms Sc in Industrial Engineering and Mgt Sciences, he moved to Portugal, to start his international assignments. The first part of his career he was an internal consultant in Organization and Efficiency, working in countries like the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore and Austria on factory, national organization and Product Division levels. During the second half of his career, he managed factories and complete businesses in Portugal, Juarez Mexico, Ohio, Poland and again in Juarez and was responsible for starting new activities, selling complete factories and unfortunately also to have to close factories, all as part of the industrial and technological cycles.
His passion is to keep people focused and motivated in challenging situations, where personal livelihoods are at stake. His management style is participative and consensus based, striving to provide a mission and purpose in the organization.
Roger is 67 years old and has his family partly in Texas and party in the Netherlands.
Now retired, Roger is active as president of Rebuilding Together El Paso and is working with an all volunteer Board and up to 1000 El Pasoan volunteers to take care off the homes of low income elderly and or disabled , driven by a vision that seniors and people with disabilities should be allowed top age gracefully, safe and healthy in their own homes.
Roger is also a council member of the National Affiliate Council, which give him the opportunity to represent El Paso on a national level.
Laird Smith, the Secretary of the Board
In his daily life Laird lectures Global Business at the College of Busi- ness at UTEP. The global aspect of his interest comes from quite a few years international life in various European countries, although he worked also closer by in Mexico. This international experience gives him a broad perspective of life and makes him serve for the community through Rebuilding Together El Paso, very much stimu- lated by his wife, who is the treasurer. At our Board, Laird is the sec- retary; he is amongst others responsible for writing and publishing the minutes of the board meetings and he makes certain that newsletters and other communications with the community that we send out are properly edited. Laird is supporting the organization al- ready for many years and participates actively in any fundraiser or operational event like the National Rebuild Day. When discussions are getting heated in the Board, he always knows how to make a quip to release the tension. This makes him a well valued colleague and friend.
We are proud to have Karin Smith on our Board as Treasurer. With her background in Accountancy and her qualification as CPA she is well equipped to control
finances of our non-profit. ! Karin is of Austrian background and has lived over 30 years in the USA, first in Michigan and since the nineties in El Paso. Recently she made her final commitment to her “new” country, by acquiring US citizenship. !
Karin has a busy job in the El Paso accountancy firm SBNG, where she manages the tax accountants, which makes the months March and April when the tax season is in full swing, doubly busy in combination with Rebuilding’s Event Day preparations. !
With Karin’s support “Rebuilding Together El Paso” has established a solid financial control. The last 5 years our non profit! has had a surplus, which has very well enabled us to fulfil on a continuous basis our mission of providing service to low income elderly and or disabled homeowners.!
When the City audits our organisation regarding proper qualification of homeowners or when we are audited on our financial control, it is Karin who in her professional way provides positive evidence.
Dr. Joseph O’Connor
Joe O’Connor is involved with Rebuilding Together El Paso as a major part of his fourth career, Retirement. Joe began his first career, Military, as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Commissioned in 1968 as an Infantry officer, he served in ranger, airborne and airmobile units in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Vietnam and Cambodia. Returning from Vietnam in 1971, he changed branches to Military Intelligence (MI), first serving with Counterintelligence units at Fort Bliss, Texas. While serving there, Joe earned an M.A. in Economics from UTEP. After attending the MI Officers Advanced Course in Arizona, he served in Germany with a Signals Intelligence/Electronic Warfare battalion. Leaving the Army in 1976 after eight years active duty for his second career, Business, Joe served for 15 years as an Army Reserve officer in Imagery Intelligence and Psychological Operations battalions and on the intelligence/security staffs of various headquarters of reserve and active duty commands, including Department of the Army at the Pentagon. He retired in 1991 as a Lieutenant Colonel to become an active Boy Scout and Girl Scout Leader for his son and daughter.
In his second career, Business, Joe served in various Human Resources (HR) Management positions with Pfizer, Monsanto, General Signal and Mallinckrodt Medical. He completed his 25 years in Business in 2001 as Vice President & Global HR Leader for Actuant Corporation, a Fortune 500 company in the Milwaukee area.
Joe started his third career, Academia, as a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned his Ph.D. in Management Science in 2005. He then joined the faculty of a university with a brand-new Ph.D. in International Business program: UTEP. His very first course taught at UTEP was a doctoral seminar in strategy. For eleven years, Joe taught strategic management and organization development courses at UTEP at the doctoral, MBA and undergraduate levels before retiring in 2016.Introduced to Rebuilding Together by a UTEP faculty colleague, Joe is looking forward to helping further its mission of enabling El Paso seniors and disabled persons to live in dignity in their own homes.
Dr. Radosveta (Ettie) Wells
Dr. Radosveta (Ettie) Wells, born in Bulgaria, graduated from the Medical University in Sofia, completed residency in emergency medicine at the University of Virginia, worked in private practice emergency medicine for years, currently assistant professor at the Department of Emergency Med- icine, associate residency program director, Paul L. Foster School of Med- icine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, married to James Wells, children Yana and Edward.
Ettie is on the governance Board of Rebuilding Together El Paso.