For over 25 years Joyce has been involved with expanding the capabilities of others – her 3 daughters, a “motherless daughter” she has taken under her wing and opened her home to, her students in the high school math classes she taught, and the employees in the global organizations where she has worked. Learning and development of both leadership and technical competency has been the central theme throughout her career.
In addition to a full family life and exciting career, Joyce finds time to get involved in the Houston community where she lives. She is an active volunteer and was recognized by Leadership Houston Class XXIV as the outstanding leader in the class.
Joyce holds a B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Louisiana.
Mary is a retired U.S. Navy officer who served our great country for 23 years. Her professional focus areas were aviation supply, admin, military law, and logistics. Though serving in the Navy was her great honor and privilege, she now directs her passion towards special needs children who live in the land of her ancestors. She has been the country director for COCI’s programs in Serbia and Bosnia since 2001.
Mary has an Economics degree from the University of Washington and did her graduate studies in International Security Affairs through the Naval War College, and also Money Markets at the University of South Florida. Since her retirement from the Navy she has built a successful real estate business in Coronado, California and also spent three years teaching English in Serbia at the university level. Recently she established an in-home health care program for American Veterans in Columbus, Ohio through the VA Center there.
Living 6 months of each year in Belgrade, Serbia, Mary’s commitment to both the Serbia and Bosnia programs has saved, changed and brightened the lives of children who are the innocent victims of war, poverty, trafficking and marginalization. Among over 3,000 beneficiaries of the COCI programs there, these special needs children have been given education, medical and dental treatment, social inclusion and general access to available public resources. Mary says it’s the most fun she’s ever had!!
Suzanne Bush Black – Austin, Texas
Suzanne Bush Black, BFA, MA, has been teaching, entertaining and empowering people to produce results beyond their dreams since 1978. She has presented all over the United States as well as Canada. Suzanne was privileged to be one of the first graduates of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California in the mid ‘70’s. Since that time she has built several successful training companies. As a lead presenter for the Werner Erhard Companies in her early career to partnering with the late Walter Hailey in his groundbreaking Dental Boot Kamp programs, Suzanne has worked with the best. Since the mid 90’s,she has led a remarkable team of professionals in designing solutions and communication strategies to help dentists succeed in the ever changing world of healthcare. Suzanne’s messages while tailored to dentistry, can be customized for any service business or healthcare practice.
As the founder and lead consultant of C3 Results Group, LLC, Suzanne Black heads a team of coaches impacting the communication and systems in multiple industries including healthcare, real estate and higher education. Suzanne’s work is always characterized by measurement and exponential practice growth. She is known as a dynamic speaker and takes the stage at many national meetings. Within the last year Suzanne and her team have completed a major project with the Loma Linda School of Dentistry. C3 Results was charged with the task of upgrading the management and patient communications of the Faculty Dental Practices. As a result of the implemented plan, The Dental Practice had an additional one million in revenue.
During her career she has participated in nonprofit charitable activities through The Hunger Project, Youth at Risk and now through Cherish Our Children International. In addition to her active Board member responsibilities, Suzanne also serves as the Board Secretary.
Judy Ernst, Indianapolis, Indiana and Eldorat, Kenya
Judy is an Associate Professor of Nutrition & Dietetics at the School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences at Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN. Judy obtained her Doctor Doctor of Medical Science in Nutrition from Indiana University. Judy has a passion for researching and discovering nutrition solutions for vulnerable children. She has spearheaded extensive research projects in Kenya around the plight of HIV exposed women and children.
Judy spends extensive time in Kenya and has introduced COCI to the vulnerable children needs in the area of Kisumu. She is an advocate of change and in addition to acting as a Board Liaison to the COCI programs in Africa, she has personally adopted a family in Kenya.
Kate Flavell, Bio Pending
Carla Heiser – Chicago, IL
Carla is a board certified metabolic and nutritional medicine specialist and a Diplomate and Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. Ms. Heiser holds a master’s degree in Nutrition from New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. Ms. Heiser is the founder of Avellino Group Ltd. The Avellino Group coordinates nutrient, pharmacy, lifestyle and case management for wellness and medical clients alongside of advanced practice medical doctors. In addition to providing comprehensive in-person integrative medical nutrition therapy, the Avellino team supports virtual education and concierge service delivery.
Ms. Heiser specializes in women’s and men’s health. She has over 25 years of experience focusing on clinical research and program development in the field of Nutritional Science. Blending nutritional therapy with medical approaches to optimize health outcomes is hallmark of the clinical practice approaches at The Avellino Group Ltd.
Ms. Heiser is a frequent invited-speaker at national meetings and has published research in the areas of diet effects on blood fat levels; antioxidants in human disease; and diet intervention for chronic disease. Before establishing The Avellino Group, Ltd. Ms. Heiser participated in education and research at the University level.
In 2006, Carla made a life changing trip to Romania where she witnessed first hand the atrocities of vulnerable children. Following this trip, Carla advocated the support of a now grown “COCI kid”. Ana-Marie is now part of Carla’s family and is thriving in Chicago pursuing her dream of becoming a physician.
Miriam saw first-hand COCI in action in 2011 when she visited Children First Organization in Nyalenda in Kisumu Kenya, together with her sister Rose, upon invitation by Judith Ernst a friend and a founding board member of COCI. The model pre-school in the middle of a slum complete with nutritious porridge served to the kids and the Mandela garden was a picture that remained in Miriam’s memory for many months to come. Miriam became COCI’s first international board member in June 2013 and is very excited to be part of the programs COCI supports in Kenya.
Miriam lives and works in Nairobi Kenya as a Telecommunication’s Engineer with over six years’ experience in Quality and Process Management. She holds a Bachelor of Technology (BTech.) degree from Moi University Kenya and a number of professional certifications. She creates time to participate in activities that advocate and create awareness for more girls taking up careers in the Technology space.
The challenge and fun of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in August of 2013, the highest free-standing mountain in the world, provided the inspiration for the ‘Take A Step, Put a Smile on Child’s face’ Mt. Kenya climb in Dec 2013. Miriam is very excited to be part of a great team changing the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.
Arlene Levy – Houston, TX
Arlene Levy was married for 42 years to her extraordinary husband, Jerome, until he died from cancer in March, 2011. They have 2 beautiful daughters; Genene, 41 years old and Jennifer, 39 years old. Genene and Michael have 2 incredible children; Max, 8 years old and Lily, 6 years old.
For the past 36 years, Arlene has been participating in seminars and Leadership programs with Landmark Education Corporation. This has powerfully impacted; raising her family, her work as a teacher, realtor, first executive director of Cherish Our Children International, past National fundraising events coordinator, and Nikifit registration and nutrition support.
Arlene’s accomplishments include; her treasured family, B.S. in Education degree, being on staff or board of directors for Cherish Our Children International for 19 years, since 1993, and raising $100,000’s for the children COCI serves, 1st place All Natural Bodybuilding Competition, 2001, and supporting 1000’s of people in having breakthroughs in their lives, including fundraising and weight loss. She is committed to supporting others in accomplishing their goals. Arlene is an active Board member.
Rich has been a consistent top sales producer generating $280M over a ten year period selling network equipment to telecom service providers in North America. His sales approach focuses on future based solutions where he strives to invent a significant value gap between what the customer thinks they want based on their awareness of what solutions are available to them today vs. what they could have in the light of being made aware of unrecognized inefficiencies in their business or operations. He strongly believes that sales leadership today includes taking on educating their own employer in creating market differentiation based on field discovery intelligence gathered from customers.
Rich’s interests include leadership technology, hi-end audio and Taoist breathing meditation. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Electronic Engineering Technology from the University of Hartford and resides in Avon, CT.
Angela Onorato, Bio pending
Angela was born and raised in Houston Texas. She brings a wealth of relationships and exuberance to the Board. Managing the lives of 4 active children (which include a set of twins) and supporting her husband in his entrepreneurial business keeps Angela moving. An avid athlete, Angela spent 20 years on a travelling softball team. She loves the sport and has coached and still plays for fun. In addition to running a triathlon in support of the COCI kids, Angela also led the silent auction team for our 20 year Gala…having had experience from chairing her children’s school auction. Angela loves the mission of COCi and looks forward to the difference she can make in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. We are thrilled to have her.
Kenda-Le Pernin is a seasoned trainer, consultant, and coach. She is known for bringing rigor to her client engagements and has a track record of supporting clients in producing extraordinary results. Kenda-Le has a depth of experience in operations management. Several of her flagship clients have had major successes in operation management specifically in the areas of cost reductions, team cohesion, and operational efficiencies.
Offering a depth of experience in the Oil and Gas sector, Kenda-Le has worked with superintendents and supervisors at a Texas City refinery charged with improving operational efficiencies and performance. Kenda-Le has coached superintendents and supervisors on how they, in turn, coach their teams. Kenda-Le has worked with executives and leadership teams globally helping them create and implement new models for communication and employee engagement.
She served as vice president of a retail services corporation, where she was in charge of designing and delivering company-wide training initiatives as well as managing their sales and performance.
Outside of work, Kenda-Le is an avid scuba diver, past president of the PTA, a Girl Scout Troop Leader. Kenda-Le, her daughter, dog and cat make their home in Plano, Texas.Kenda-Le attended the University of Texas and the University of Houston.
Leeanne Rambin’s sixteen years of marketing and production experience encompasses media ranging from print and web to film and television. As the owner of Empire Creative Marketing, Leeanne has helped hundreds of businesses establish professional corporate identities through creative marketing materials, innovative website solutions and dynamic video productions. A highly motivated entrepreneur who built her own successful business, she empathetically supports other business owners in identifying unique strategies for growing their businesses. Leeanne uses her leadership skills to guide her team and is dedicated to developing lasting relationships with employees and clients.
Leeanne began her career in 1997 as a marketing manager for a land development company. She worked for the American Diabetes Association where she successfully managed fundraising campaigns and developed marketing strategies and helped in fundraising efforts as a member of Team Diabetes. Before establishing her own advertising business, Leeanne worked as a production and traffic manager at a full service ad agency that focused on marketing for major home builders in Boca Raton, Florida.
Leeanne graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a BA in Theatre Arts. She spent several years working in the film industry in various capacities on made for TV movies and feature films, including “Mars Attacks!”. She also taught theatre classes to children and adults, and founded a theatre troupe where she co-produced and directed a series of plays that received rave reviews from local media coverage. She was recently the Executive Producer and an actress on the feature film “The Mark”. She has appeared on stage various roles in productions at the Clear Creek Community Theatre. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their seven children.
Mrs. Robbins, Partner and Senior Consultant for Mark Kamin and Associates, Inc, .has been consulting and training executives and professionals for over 20 years. Formerly, she was the founder and principal of Advant-Edge Technologies Group, Inc., an Arizona based consulting firm. She has consulted with a wide range of businesses since 1987, from restaurant chains to utilities, hospitals to high tech companies.
She is grounded in the paradigm of business and business language, which continues to be a source of her success. Becky is a proficient communicator and relies on her tough compassion to uncover hidden issues in an organization, which is essential to causing their success. Becky is a highly accomplished coach, having the executives and managers she works with take on and fulfill breakthrough projects.
Becky began her career with one of the largest training and development companies in the world and has been leading adult educational and transformational seminars since 1982 in North America, Europe and the Middle East. She works with both small and large organizations, such as Sterling Bank of Texas, Houston Independent School District, Camden, Metals USA, ConocoPhillips, EDS in Frankfurt, Germany, Western Geco (a division of Schlumberger), First City Monument Bank in Lagos, Nigeria and many others.
Becky has been a featured speaker at the National Automotive Dealers Association, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), The Federation of Houston Professional Women and Texas Society of CPAs. She has been on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Women Business Owners and was formerly a broker and sales trainer for Merrill Lynch.
Ms. Robbins has designed and delivered programs for over 400 companies, including companies in Israel, Canada, Germany, Nigeria and other international locations. Her practice focuses on the human factor in business and she is in great demand to coach individual executives and management teams. She has trained and coached over 15,000 people and has a passion for their success.
Becky and her husband, Jeff, are part owners in an engineering and construction company in Lagos, Nigeria where they are devoted to and succeeding at developing residential communities. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Cherish Our Children International.
Steve Young, Spring, Texas (bio pending)
Mary Louise Zeller is co-creator of “The Phoenix Event”, a seminar that transforms the myth of aging, allowing for the participants to access living as ageless and limitless beings. www.thefenixevent.com Mary Louise walks the talk; she is a 6th degree Black Belt, a Master Instructor, and International Certified Referee in Olympic Sport Taekwondo. She has been a 20-time U.S. National and 9-time International Gold Medalist. She is a world-class coach and at the age of 67, was a member of the 2010 U.S. National Team in the Technical Forms Division of Olympic Sport Taekwondo. She is an owner of a global marketing business, is a published author, and motivational speaker. She is fluent in Spanish, is an accomplished classical guitarist, and has trained and competed at an International level in Equestrienne Jumping. Along with her husband, Ron Zeller, a world-class business consultant, a world champion power lifter and an ultra-marathon runner at the age of 79, Mary Louise Zeller aptly coaches people in, not only dreaming the impossible dream, but doing it!
In 2004 Mary Louise was inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and was acknowledged as the “International Female Competitor of the Year”. At the Korean Open in 2004 she was also awarded the prestigious “Hwarang Warrior Award” for “Female Competitor of the Year.”
She is co-author of the book, “Secrets of The Fountain of Youth”, and has been featured on CBS Saturday Morning with Katie Couric, NBC’s U.S. Olympic Gold, Extra, CBS, NBC, and ABC News. She has been the focus of numerous regional and national publications, including Sports Illustrated for Women.
Ron’s primary career focus has been the exploration, study and practice of educational disciplines that concentrate on the nature of breakthroughs in productivity and accomplishment. Ron is a highly regarded leader in the development and presentation of specialized training programs in communication and self-development for organizations. He is a Trainer, Coach, Speaker, Consultant and one of the partners at MKA and Associates in Houston TX, an international consulting firm.
Ron has been a participant in The Hunger Project. He raised money for this charity by running marathons in Russia and the U.S. for 5 years. In 2010, at 77 Ron won first place at the World Power Lifting championships in his class and now holds 4 world records in Raw Power Lifting. Ron became an active board member of COCI because he thinks that our organization is an innovative, exciting way to serve children around the world. He also is committed to breaking up the false conditioning that has us relate to each other as our age and not as who we are. This is his first year on the board.