OUR TEAM

We’re a diverse group with a shared vision: to create a world where every child has the chance for a healthy and productive life. This enormous undertaking requires our collective experience, commitment, and energy. Good thing we’ve been taking our vitamins.


Leadership

Howard B. Schiffer
Howard B. Schiffer President and Founder

Howard started his career as a midwife, learning about the importance of prenatal nutrition for maternal and child health.

After a successful career in the natural foods industry developing quality products and turning them into best sellers through innovative marketing and promotions, Howard founded Vitamin Angels in 1994.

Through his extraordinary leadership of the organization, Howard has received numerous honors and awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award, a Global Humanitarian Award, and Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.

Howard truly believes every child deserves the chance to lead a full and healthy life. Howard is the author of three books. He has three children and lives with his wife in Santa Barbara, California.

Read the Founder's Story.

Robert Parker
Robert Parker Chief Operating Officer

Rob began his career with Arthur Anderson and KPMG, both global CPA firms. He then moved to private industry, holding the position of worldwide CFO for companies including Euro RSCG, Double-Click, and Lowe Partners. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Rob’s unique experience working for marketing agencies in a financial role has proven exceedingly useful to Vitamin Angels, allowing him to wear many hats for the organization. Currently Rob holds the position of Chief Operating Officer for VA, though one title doesn’t seem to capture the scope of his involvement.

Rob splits time between New Jersey and his favorite office team in Santa Barbara.

Team member since 2009.

Clayton A. Ajello DRPH, MPH
Clayton A. Ajello DRPH, MPH

Clayton is an epidemiologist, entrepreneur, and executive who lead or collaborated with experts in 30+ countries. He provides evidence-based, strategic, and operational advice to nonprofit organizations major transitions. Clayton specializes in advising non-profit organizations seeking to bring about innovative, sustainable, high impact public health initiatives in low- and medium-resource settings.

Clayton has consulted for governments, bi-lateral aid agencies, and multi-lateral organizations with strategic services pertaining to analysis, planning, and implementation of primary healthcare systems in low resource settings. He served as vice president for international programs at the Johns Hopkins University and JHPIEGO, as well as on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Upon returning to the private sector, Clayton founded the for-profit company LearnWare International Corporation. Since selling the company, Clayton has spent a decade as managing partner of inlexo. 

Scott Minger
Scott Minger Vice President of Retail Development

Scott Minger comes to Vitamin Angels with over a decade of experience in the retail industry. Most recently, he was the Category Manager for Vitamins, Diet, and Sports Nutrition at Walgreens. Scott is very excited to bring his retail expertise and business skills to an organization that aligns with his personal values. When he's not helping to bring Vitamin Angels to a store near you, you might find him on the golf course.

Team member since 2013.

Allison Hunt
Allison Hunt Sr. Marketing Advisor

Allison draws upon years of experience leading strategy for a global marketing agency to leverage the talents of the entire Vitamin Angels marketing team. She strives to use the group’s individual and collective work to creatively communicate the importance of our cause and inspire action by donors. Allison is proud of the amazing people she calls family, the bond she shares with them, and the love and respect they have for one another. Outside of Vitamin Angels, she loves being active and competitive—whether that’s playing soccer, hiking, practicing yoga, or any adventure in between. She’s always up for trying new things to keep her moving.

Team member since 2014.

Kristen Hurley
Kristen Hurley Director of Programs

As the Director of Programs, Kristen oversees the Programs management and technical services teams. Working with Vitamin Angels staff stationed throughout the globe, she ensures that our operations are running smoothly. Outside of work, Kristen enjoys staying active, hanging out at the beach and - most importantly - spending time with her two boys. The opportunity to be part of a mission that improves that lives of mothers and children around the world is what inspires her most.

Team member since 2016.

Amy Stanfield
Amy Stanfield Senior Vice President of Operations

Amy has an important role working alongside Vitamin Angels’ CEO, Howard Schiffer and COO, Robert Parker to ensure that revenue, marketing, internal capacity and strategic partnerships are effective and aligned with Vitamin Angel’s future direction! With a dual background in business and healthcare, she loves how her job combines her business acumen and her desire to care for others.

Outside of the office, Amy can often be found spending time with her family, who she credits to teaching her the value of love and the joy of hard work. You’ll also find her immersed in nature whenever possible, whether she’s trail running, mountain/road biking, or surfing. On top of that, she also teaches and practices yoga; she is a strong believer in promoting and maintaining a healthy body, mind and wellbeing - although she admits to sneaking a pint of ice cream on occasion!

Team Member since 2017. 

Development

Jenna Wolff Tovar
Jenna Wolff Tovar International Travel Manager

It’s a good thing that Jenna loves to travel, considering that her position keeps her on the road (and in a plane) quite often! Through her role, she collaborates with Vitamin Angels’ nonprofit partners to plan trips to the field to show our corporate partners what their support is making possible. Jenna says that her favorite part of her job is the opportunity to interact with people all over the world; she loves learning about our field partners’ programs and seeing how Vitamin Angels fits into the bigger picture. The absolute best part, though, is getting to meet the mothers and children we serve. Jenna is inspired by how the lives of those who travel with us are changed through the trips she coordinates, and loves being part of that experience.

When she’s not planning a trip or returning from one, Jenna stays healthy by eating well and staying active. She’s often on the beach, playing in one of several recreational sport leagues, or out hiking.

Team member since 2013.

Bryn Brown
Bryn Brown Manager of Gift-in-Kind

As Manager of Gift-in-Kind, Bryn solicits donations of product or product components from our corporate partners, ensured production is done in accordance with best practices, and follows their contributions all the way through to delivery. She says that her role is rewarding, because she works with partners to produce a tangible product that goes directly into the hands—and bellies—of the mothers and children we reach. Bryn loves meeting beneficiaries and sharing their stories with those who worked long and hard to manufacture the vitamins, and says it’s a daily reminder that every person has their own unique strengths and abilities that can positively impact the world.

Bryn’s favorite things to do with her spare time also keep her healthy; she exploring the great outdoors near her home in Colorado,  walks and weekend hikes with her dog, copious games of sand volleyball, a rekindled passion for swimming, and a little yoga for balance.

Team member since 2013.

Miriam O’Donnell
Miriam O’Donnell Sr. Account Manager

Miriam keeps our corporate partnerships active and thriving, which means Vitamin Angels continue to reach children and mothers worldwide. Prior to joining the Vitamin Angels team, Miriam helped the lives of little ones around the world in a different way: she taught English in France for elementary school children. She says that she is most proud of her work in France, and is grateful to have been a small part of empowering them to communicate with a more robust and diverse number of people in the world.

Once she came back to the States, Miriam was inspired to join Vitamin Angels because of the organization’s mission for global health. She believes that working here is an opportunity to help others on a large scale, as well as to travel and witness the lives of those who are not often visible. To stay heathy, Miriam loves to run, dance, and do yoga; when she isn’t traveling for her job, she most enjoys traveling to visit loved ones far from home.

Team member since 2014.

Brittany McMeekin
Brittany McMeekin Sr. Manager of Retail Partnerships

Brittany’s natural ability to build personal connections in business settings lends itself well to her considerable success as our Manager of Retail Partnerships. Brittany works with retail stores in the Natural and Specialty channels to develop and help implement cause-marketing campaigns that are both impactful and inspirational. Whether it’s coming up with fun and unique ways to get employees excited about fundraising for our cause or traveling to the field to share with corporate executives the impact of their support firsthand, Brittany ensures time spent supporting Vitamin Angels is always time well spent.

Whether in the office with colleagues, in meetings with donors, or spending time with program partners and grantees, Brittany is humbled by the strength, kindness, and devotion of the Vitamin Angels community that she is proud to be part of. 

Team member since 2008.

Alexa Miler
Alexa Miler Account Manager of Gift-in-Kind

From preliminary discussions all the way through product shipments, Alexa oversees and supports all Gift-In-Kind activity as the liaison between manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. Although her position requires a technical and logistical eye, the impetus that inspired her to join the Vitamin Angels team is rooted in an emotional connection - Alexa believes that her role gives her the opportunity to work for a cause beyond herself, helping to eradicate the worldwide problem of malnutrition. She is honored to be part of a team that reaches the unreachable, one child and mother at a time, to give them a voice in this world. 

Outside of the office, Alexa loves reading novels (especially the classics!), watching live music, and playing soccer. Every Saturday, she also goes on a new hike to explore all the beauty that Santa Barbara has to offer, in addition to rock climbing and ocean swimming. She enjoys staying fit by testing and pushing her limits - an example of which is her plan to get scuba certified this summer!

Team member since 2015.

Katelyn Harbison
Katelyn Harbison Executive Assistant/ Account Manager

Running a successful nonprofit is no easy task, and our founder, Howard, needs only the best support to help him manage the needs of the organization. As the Executive Assistant/Account Manager (Level 1), Katelyn is that and more. Beyond her work supporting Howard, she also assists the Development team with the logistics of trade shows and other initiatives. And if there's ever a need to translate something from Mandarin, give her a ring - she's professionally fluent after graduating with a Master's degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Edinburgh!

As to what inspired her to join Vitamin Angels, Katelyn credits the energizing, dedicated staff and the office environment, as well as the accomplishments of the organization throughout the globe. To stay healthy, she enjoys getting her groove on in Zumba and playing softball.

Team member since 2016.

Jessica Karas
Jessica Karas Senior Account Manager

As our Senior Account Manager working remotely from Chicago, Jessica is a leader within our Development team. She facilitates retail partner growth and nurtures account relationships to expand Vitamin Angels’ network of corporate collaborations. Her role as a mother of twins gives her a special connection to our organization’s cause, and she is grateful that her position that enables her to help Vitamin Angels reach more children globally. When she’s not in the office, Jessica loves to cook and is always looking for new recipes to try (with help from her little ones).  She also stays healthy with metabolic group training, running, long family bike rides, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Team member since 2016.

Emily Faraghan
Emily Faraghan Account Manager

Aside from her favorite hobbies - which include discovering new places, finding new music and eating brunch on the beach - Emily works hard to manage and sustain relationships with companies that seek involvement with Vitamin Angels. Her diligent efforts facilitate growth, development and financial contributions for our programs.

Emily’s belief in the power of vitamins is what inspired her to join the team. She feels humbled knowing that her role on the Development team is helping to change lives and create opportunities for children and mothers across the globe.

Team member since 2016.

Marketing

Kim Saam
Kim Saam Associate Director of Brand Marketing

Kim's role leading branding and communications has put her at the forefront of communicating who Vitamin Angels is and what we stand for to all our stakeholder audiences. Bringing both creativity and attention to detail to her position, she collaborates with the Marketing team to bring our brand to life through events, campaigns, digital channels and more.

She joined Vitamin Angels as a way to give back to others who are not as fortunate, on a global scale. Kim loves knowing that, in some small way, what she does makes lives easier for fellow moms around the world—thanks to the power of vitamins, mothers can watch their children laugh and play, rather than worry about their health.

To maintain her own health, Kim enjoys distance running and yoga, and eating a vegetarian diet. She loves adventures with her family; whether it’s traveling far away, exploring local mountains, or building forts in the basement.

Team member since 2008.

Megan Kantrim
Megan Kantrim Senior Manager, Events

Whether she’s planning for a Vitamin Angels event or riding horses on her spare time, Megan is always on-the-go. As our Senior Manager of Events, she manages the strategy and execution of events to increase awareness and generate funding and donor recognition through the fiscal year. Megan travels regularly between the Santa Barbara office, event venues, and when her schedule permits, out in the field to meet the children her hard work is helping. After working in the corporate world, a desire to use her expertise to give back brought her to Vitamin Angels, and she loves being part of the cause (and being with her coworkers). Apart from horseback riding, Megan stays healthy by going on hikes, camping, dancing, Zumba, and paddle boarding.

Team member since 2012.

Chris Hortinela
Chris Hortinela Partnership Marketing Manager

People love hearing and sharing stories—it’s a timeless, tried-and-true way to disseminate ideas. Chris ensures that our corporate partners understand the impact of their support and can effectively pass along the stories of their partnerships with us to their customers. His logistical, interpersonal, and creative knowledge is invaluable to our team. Chris is proud of what he’s achieved over his tenure at Vitamin Angels, which includes his creation of policies to protect our beneficiaries in commercial use.

Chris joined Vitamin Angels to feel close to the cause—especially when the cause is saving babies! When he’s not connecting with our corporate partners, he likes to try new foods and spend lots of time outdoors.

Team member since 2012.

Natalie Hernandez
Natalie Hernandez Media & Events Coordinator

Natalie knows the power of the press, and uses her skills in public relations and event coordination to share Vitamin Angels’ message as effectively as possible. She loves seeing events come together and noting the positive press coverage that results from her outreach, as both give people a chance to connect with and support our cause. A lifelong desire to work for an international nonprofit brought her to Vitamin Angels, where she’s inspired by the knowledge that her work helps make a difference in the lives of children.

In her free time, Natalie likes to stay healthy by running, going to barre classes, yoga, and Zumba.

Team member since 2012.

Tyson Blades
Tyson Blades Manager, Design & Production

Mention any project that includes creative design or production, and all paths lead to Tyson. Since joining the team in early 2015, Tyson has provided event and campaign design support; divisional, web, and digital design and production; and video editing, to promote the Vitamin Angels brand. Drawing upon a visual background, Tyson was inspired to join Vitamin Angels because he wanted to work in an environment that supports his creativity.

Not surprisingly, his favorite hobbies are video and photography. Outside of the office, he stays fit by cycling around town and practicing kendo. Given his active lifestyle, very few could guess that he suffered from a stroke at age four – Tyson recalls the period when he learned to walk for the second time (following the stroke) as the proudest time of his life. He brings that sense of determination and dedication to both his outside interests and to his work at Vitamin Angels.

Team member since 2015.

Elysia Cook
Elysia Cook Digital Marketing Coordinator

A longtime passion for writing, coupled with an interest in the digital world, brought Elysia to the Vitamin Angels team in 2015. Her creativity breathes life into Vitamin Angels’ stories, which she shares across our all digital platforms and campaigns. Her previous jobs in advertising, marketing, and journalism led her to Vitamin Angels after she felt pulled to join a team focused on helping others. She appreciates the selfless nature of our staff and, in particular, the opportunity to use her skills to facilitate positive changes in the lives of children and mothers. 

To stay busy and healthy outside of Vitamin Angels, Elysia enjoys kickboxing, hiking, painting, and cooking. She believes the best way to show her love for family and friends is through good food made with love (and cheese).

Team member since 2015.

Ava Aufderheide
Ava Aufderheide Events Coordinator

Ava’s dual background in event planning and teaching English has taken her all around the world, to places like Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. She recently put down roots in California to join the Vitamin Angels family, where she helps set up and seamlessly execute our multitude of events. Her nomadic nature lends itself to her work within the marketing team, which enables her to interact with people from many different professions and cultural backgrounds. In addition to trying out new cooking dishes, she also enjoys breaking out the cello to play some of the classics during her free time.

Team member since 2017.

Programs

Amy Steets
Amy Steets Senior Program Manager

Overseeing the entire Program Management department, Amy’s role is vital to keeping all of our programs aligned and thriving. She leads efforts to coordinate our programmatic efforts with international and local nonprofit partners.

A mother herself, Amy says that the best part of her job is that Vitamin Angels is a family of amazing people, committed to serving mothers and children in every aspect of what we do. In her spare time, Amy loves being with her family, playing on the beach, hiking in the Santa Barbara hills, and camping in the mountains and along the coastline of California.

Team member since 2009.

Ann Micka
Ann Micka Regional Program Manager, US & Canada

Due to the staggering need for vitamin supplementation abroad, much of our work is international. But know that children and mothers here in North America need help too—just ask Ann! Ann oversees the development and expansion of field partner networks in the U.S. and Canada, ensuring that moms and children at home have the opportunity for healthy and fulfilling lives too. Ann, who calls herself a health science geek, loves how Vitamin Angels is an evidence-based, proactive public health organization that provides effective solutions to very specific global nutrition challenges. She appreciates how her position enables her to work with other innovative organizations to provide quality healthcare to those in need.

Ann likes to stay healthy by playing outdoors—in particular, cycling, hiking, climbing, and backpacking. Although she primarily cooks healthy food, using local fruits and vegetables, she also loves baking sweet treats to share with others.

Team member since 2011.

Amanda Hsiung
Amanda Hsiung Regional Program Manager, Asia

Since Asia is the largest continent in the world, our programs in that region require the leadership and know-how of someone who isn’t daunted by the task of serving such a huge area and population. That’s where Amanda steps in. Her role revolves around finding new organizations that are eligible to receive vitamin grants, and supporting them through the process of applying for, receiving, and distributing our vitamins. She also supervises five of our remote consultants who are based in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

After moving cross-country to join Vitamin Angels, Amanda has no regrets about her decision to start a life on the West coast. She loves having the opportunity to help millions of children get healthy starts to life, and says going to work every morning feels great. Outside of work, Amanda stays as active as possible by playing beach volleyball, hiking, or otherwise getting out to enjoy the beautiful Santa Barbara weather.

Team member since 2014.

Austen Musso
Austen Musso Regional Program Manager, Africa

In 2011, Austen flew to Kenya to work with an NGO for the summer. As part of his job, he helped the organization apply for a grant from Vitamin Angels, unaware that the task would change his life. After witnessing how quickly and efficiently Vitamin Angels operated to help resolve the local shortage in vitamins, Austen knew that he wanted to join the team. Following that pivotal summer, he fittingly joined the team as Regional Program Manager for Africa. His job revolves around the maintenance and expansion of our relationships with nonprofit partners throughout Africa, with the majority of his time dedicated to reviewing grant applications, coordinating vitamin shipments, providing technical guidance, and collecting reporting.

Aside from his life at Vitamin Angels, Austen enjoys playing Frisbee, tennis, hiking, beach volleyball, distance running, scuba diving, and cooking from the farmers' market to stay healthy.

Team member since 2012.

Quinn Harvey
Quinn Harvey Regional Program Manager, Latin America & the Caribbean

Quinn’s work at Vitamin Angels infuses our organization with Latin flair. Her focus on programs in Latin American and the Caribbean expand our reach and networks to countries across that region. Quinn enjoys her work at Vitamin Angels and how it enables her to travel to meet our wonderful partners and connect with the work she does every day from sunny Santa Barbara. When she’s not at work, she’s most likely watching her husband coach college baseball.

Team member since 2013.

Molly Russ
Molly Russ Program Coordinator

Molly’s role — keeping up with our more than 700 field partners on 5 continents – is imperative to maintaining efficient programs. She supports and helps to expand our reach in all regions, which gives her a unique opportunity to work with individuals from around the globe. She is inspired by Vitamin Angels and its simple, yet powerful idea that a small capsule or tablet can profoundly change a child’s life, and loves being able to support and empower organizations through her role.

Molly loves to travel whenever possible, and says that she strives to truly immerse herself in the places and cultures she experiences. When she’s not on the road, she loves spending time at the beach and playing with her dog.

Team member since 2015.

Catarina Sales
Catarina Sales Logistics Specialist

Considering how many vitamins we deliver around the globe (upwards of 300 million a year!), it is imperative that we have a logistics expert on board. Catarina makes this magic happen, monitoring all aspects of commodities and product inventory, shipping, and more on a daily basis. And in case someone from a French speaking country requests a shipment, don’t bother translating--Catarina was born and raised in France. Though she moved to the States later in life, she brought her roots with her and graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in French.

Catarina says that the supportive and cooperative environment at Vitamin Angels is the best part of her role. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys traveling, learning new languages, dancing, and going on walks and hikes to stay healthy.

Team member since 2013.

Ada Laurén
Ada Laurén Manager of Technical Services

As our technical guru on all aspects of our programs from specifications to best practices, Ada ensures that Vitamin Angels product and projects are up to snuff from every angle. Her background in science research and nursing makes her well-suited to tackle the challenges of her extensive position. Ada monitors and analyzes technical information to determine its use for practical applications; liaises with and provides technical guidance for use by staff, consultants, and field partners; and supervises a team of international trainers, among other things.

Ada is our longest-serving team member outside of our founder! Her attention to detail is legendary, as is the mysterious fact that every day is her birthday. She enjoys spending time outside every day in sunny Santa Barbara. 

Team member since 2007.

Elizabeth Hagee de Zambrano
Elizabeth Hagee de Zambrano Program Technical Specialist

As one of our Program Technical Specialists, Elizabeth trains and develops materials for service providers on how to administer vitamin A and deworming treatments properly. She was inspired to join Vitamin Angels because of our sustainable model and focus on using partnerships and the community to save lives, and ultimately thwart the cycle of poverty. She’s especially proud of being part of a group that truly cares about the well-being and future of everyone in the world.

Elizabeth thrives by exploring the world and meeting amazing people, which leave her with invaluable memories. She also loves cooking and discovering nutritious substitutes for recipes; she says that doing so is a fun way to keep herself and her family healthy.

Team member since 2014.

Jamie Frederick
Jamie Frederick Program Technical Specialist, Monitoring & Evaluation

Jamie joined Vitamin Angels as part of the Technical Services team, specializing in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). She earned her Masters of Social Work and Masters of Public Health (MSW/MPH) from Boston University, and her BA from University of Dayton in Communication Journalism. Most recently, Jamie helped to develop the M&E systems at Nuru International in Kenya and Ethiopia. In her spare time, she can be found hiking, visiting the butterflies in Goleta, and enjoying the Santa Barbara sights.

Team member since 2015.

Luz Escubil
Luz Escubil Consultant, Phillippines Country Program Manager

As our in-country consultant for the Philippines, Luz mobilizes field partners in the area to join us in filling the gap in vitamin A coverage. She brings prior experience working in both the public and private sectors to her role at Vitamin Angels, where she is inspired by working with and for children and mothers, "particularly those living in disadvantaged communities." Through her localized efforts, she loves being part of the force that gives hope to children - "through the work we do, Filipino children have a better shot at a brighter tomorrow," she said.

When she's not making a difference on the ground, Luz enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling domestically and abroad, and eating mechado - her favorite local meal.

Team member 2015. 

Minaud Dacius, MPH
Minaud Dacius, MPH Consultant, Haiti Country Program Manager

Along with a large network of NGOs and CBOs, Minaud manages our program in Haiti to deliver essential micronutrient products within the country. As a physician with a MPH degree, he brings with him a combined experience in clinical and public care with hospitals and NGOs. "I believe that healthy and happy children are the key towards a sustainable development for my country," Minaud says. "I believe that if I can reach Haitian newborns [with vitamins] during their 1,000 first days of life, this can contribute to drastically change the country."

Minaud's work in Haiti gives him the special opportunity to witness the long-term and ongoing effects of vitamin supplementation. He's continuously inspired by the stories that parents share with him about how vitamins help their children's health improve. He also draws inspiration from many parents from poorer areas who are wholeheartedly dedicated to their children's health. "They will do whatever they can to keep their children healthy and to send them to school," he says. "That gives me hope."

Aside from his work with Vitamin Angels, Minaud enjoys going out with his wife, reading, and going to the beach - or all three at the same time! To maintain his health, he exercises at a gym close to his home and makes socializing with friends a priority.

Enrique Rios, MPH, DrPH
Enrique Rios, MPH, DrPH Consultant, Mexico Country Program Manager

Enrique's work with Vitamin Angels is not the first time he's treated nutrient deficiency in children. After studying Medicine in Mexico and receiving MPH and DrPH degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, he held the position of National Director of the Nutrition Program for Indigenous Populations in Mexico at the Ministry of Health, where his team incorporated universal iron supplementation to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia in children under five years of age.

After his tenure there, he shifted his focus to more administrative work, but was unfulfilled by the change. "Vitamin Angels gave me the opportunity to go back in track with what I love most, which is working with disadvantaged populations and implementing interventions that can improve their nutritional status - especially children and mothers," Enrique says. Now, his role at Vitamin Angels enables hm to identify and manage NGOs that align with our vision for field partners. "This is the first time I've worked with an American nonprofit organization, and I am proud to be part of Vitamin Angels," he says.

During his free time, Enrique likes to read history and biography books, as well as spend quality time with friends and family. Health is not just a priority in regard to his life's work, but also with his personal well-being - Enrique goes to a fitness club daily to work out, run, swim, and play tennis. But when he wants to treat himself, his go-to dish is mole enchiladas and tacos!

Suleiman Oshioke Yakubu
Suleiman Oshioke Yakubu Consultant, Nigeria Country Program Manager

"I am committed to a vision of improving the nutrition of infants and young children [from] underserved communities – and Vitamin Angels supports this vision 100%," Suleiman, our in-country consultant for Nigeria, says. His dreams manifests itself through his ongoing coordination of vitamin A and albendazole distributions, which take place in hard-to-reach communities in Nigeria.

Prior to joining Vitamin Angels, Suleiman specialized in Maternal Newborn & Child Health as a Technical Consultant at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in Nigeria, which gives him valuable insight into the needs of the children we serve. In regard to his work, he enjoys going out to rural communities and hearing success stories from the families who have benefited from vitamins. "I am very proud of the work I am doing to strengthen the poor healthcare system in my country," he says.

For fun, Suleiman likes to watch movies and spend quality time with his family. He also keeps healthy by playing table tennis and enjoying pounded yam and egusi soup, his favorite meal.

Team member since 2015.

Dr. Shilpa Bhatte, MD
Dr. Shilpa Bhatte, MD Senior Program Advisor, India Programs

Dr. Shilpa has worked in public health for over a decade, and has specific experience working in the community eye care sector that helps her mitigate the challenges of blindness prevention in India - especially in children under five, a notably unreached target group. As the Senior Program Advisor for our programs in India, Shilpa's role is to identify the gap where children are not receiving vitamin A from traditional health networks, and identify local NGOs that can fulfill those needs.

Her introduction to Vitamin Angels immediately inspired her to get involved and learn more. "I was so impressed to see Howard mingle with the children in the slum communities - he was playful and respectful, irrespective of the fact that they resided in slums," she said. "I knew then that I had to work with Vitamin Angels. So when I was offered a job a few months down the line, I was more than happy to accept."

Despite the conflicting opinions of her mentors, Dr. Shilpa is most proud of her career shift from clinical medicine to preventative healthcare. "My seniors cautioned me in choosing public health as a career as opposed to being a successful physician or surgeon; however, I decided to do what felt right, and I am proud to have made that decision," she said. Outside of work, Dr. Shilpa loves watching "The Big Bang Theory," working out five days a week, and eating any meal that is served "hot and with love! I respect all kinds of food, because I have seen how a lack of it can be detrimental."

Team member since 2010.

Dr. Nikhil Harikrishnan, MPH
Dr. Nikhil Harikrishnan, MPH Consultant, India Country Program

As one of our consultants in India, Dr. Nikhil assists Dr. Shilpa Bhatte in expanding our program in India to reach more children with essential micronutrients. In his words, he was inspired to join the organization because "Vitamin Angels always puts the kids in need first; everything else is secondary. I loved that, and wanted to be a part of it!"

Dr. Nikhil is motivated, in particular, by his interactions with the "selfless, dedicated staff members" of the field partners he works with on a daily basis. Through his position, he hopes to dispel the common misconception "that micronutrient supplementation is not important, or that ‘my child eats well, s/he gets all the nutrients s/he needs from the food I give her/him.'"

When he's not on the clock, Dr. Nikhil enjoys watching and discussing cinema with his friends, "ad nauseam!" He stays healthy by lifiting heavy at the gym and eating well, but also enjoys dosa with coconut chutney - a local meal that is his favorite "by a clear mile!"

Team member since 2015.

Sony Thomas
Sony Thomas Consultant, Training Coordinator, India Country Program

Since our program in India is the largest within Vitamin Angels, we depend upon our consultant team in the area to effectively train and mentor new grantees. Sony ensures that these trainings are planned and executed smoothly, handling coordination with trainers and organizing logistics for each of the VAS+D courses. In addition to a doctoral degree in Social Work, Sony also boasts over 10 years in HIV prevention and care trainings. However, he had not heard about vitamin A supplementation as an intervention prior to his work with Vitamin Angels - "getting to know [how] vitamin A capsules are lifesaving for children and are the most cost-effective intervention for their overall growth was inspiring," he said.

Speaking to what motivates him, Sony believes that his cross-country travels to reach different regions "has been my force to carry on!" One experience, in particular, drives him to continue his work: "I met a young lady during a donor visit who shared how she lost her elder son at the age of two, due to ill-health. She still carries this guilt of not being responsible enough to take care of his health. So she now takes every opportunity to attend any health camp and do whatever it takes to ensure the good health of her only daughter. She told me, 'I will not live if my daughter dies.' It brought tears to my eyes." Thankfully, Sony's tireless work with Vitamin Angels helps ensure that many other parents have the opportunity to give their children healthy futures.

Apart from his role within Vitamin Angels, Sony enjoys traveling with his family, exercising to stay fit, and enjoying all meals prepared Kerala-style. He has a special place in his heart for parotha and beef curry!

Team member since 2014. 

Abiola Akanni
Abiola Akanni Consultant, Nigeria Country Program

Abiola joined the Vitamin Angels team after working with the United Nations World Food Programme in Nepal. Now, as a country consultant in Nigeria, she recruits NGOs to join Vitamin Angels' field partner network and help reduce vitamin A deficiency in the area. The field partners' efforts serve to complement what the Nigerian government is also doing to reduce VAD in the country; this two-pronged approach helps ensure that more children under five are reached.

Vitamin Angels' unique approach to healthcare inspired Abiola to get inovlved - collectively, we're "helping the civil society in Nigeria understand that health services can be delivered at minimal cost," she says. The best part about her job, she says, is that our team is "spreading the word that it is also the civil society’s responsibility to ensure that there are healthy [children] under five in Nigeria," and she's proud that her work has contributed to reaching over three million children in Nigeria.

When Abiola isn't working, she enjoys cleaning and eating her favorite local meal, wheat and edikaikiong soup. She also makes an effort to exercise to keep her body and mind healthy!

Team member since 2013.
 

Claire Jacobs
Claire Jacobs Logistics Coordinator

Vitamin Angels’ global impact wouldn’t be possible if our product shipments never made it from point A to point B! Luckily, Claire helps ensure that our vitamins are shipped out and distributed with accuracy and care. She coordinates with various grantees throughout Canada and the United States, helping mothers and children across North America receive the essential nutrients for a healthier, brighter future.

Outside of work, you might find Claire experimenting in the kitchen with a new plant-based recipe, or learning new songs on guitar and banjo. She enjoys staying active and taking advantage of the beautiful Santa Barbara scenery, whether that be hiking in the Santa Ynez mountains or running along the shoreline.

Team member since 2016.

Christy Nichols
Christy Nichols Learning Solutions Manager

As our Learning Solutions Manager, Christy facilitates eLearning training for vitamin A and deworming tablet distribution through our field partners. Her role helps Vitamin Angels create more opportunities for health care providers to become involved in our work. Besides hanging out with her family during her spare time, Christy’s favorite activities include traveling and learning about new cultures. For that reason, helping global organizations build their communities makes her job even more enjoyable! 

Team member since 2017.

Rebecca Nerima
Rebecca Nerima Consultant, Program Coordinator, Uganda


Rebecca’s role as our consultant for Uganda supports the expansion of our in-country micronutrient supplementation program in coordination with local health systems. She is the point of contact for more than 30 current field partners in Uganda, while also working to identify new potential partnerships that will ensure that we serve hard-to-reach, remote communities in all corners of the country. Working alongside local organizations, visiting communities and witnessing the impact of our work, she shared, is her favorite part of her job. 
 
Coordination and management is only one facet of Rebecca’s job, though. In addition, she educates individuals and field partners about vitamin A and deworming; her work helps communities better understand our efforts and work towards a healthier future for themselves and future generations. A common misconception, she says, is that many mothers believe that multivitamins are contraceptives and lead to infertility. She works to dispel fallacies like this and empower people with knowledge, which is not always easy - there are often language barriers and customs that vary across communities, which is why her collaboration with local organizations is invaluable for building trust, educating, and making a difference in the lives of many people across Uganda.
 
Outside of her work with Vitamin Angels, Rebecca loves spending time with her son – whom she affectionately refers to as her “little man” - and  the rest of her family. She also loves singing, baking, gardening and being outdoors.
 

Team member since 2016.
 

Francis Ohanyido, MD, FRSPH, FAPH
Francis Ohanyido, MD, FRSPH, FAPH Country Consultant, Nigeria


Francis Ohanyido, MD, FRSPH, FAPH is Vitamin Angels’ country consultant in Nigeria. He leads programmatic and technical work for the organization, ensuring that our programs are successfully implemented across the country. Prior to joining Vitamin Angels, he worked with leading multilateral programs under organizations such as UNICEF, WHO and USAID. Notably, Dr. Ohanyido served as a high-level liaison for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) with the support of Save the Children. He was also a Special Country Coordinator for Pneumonia in Nigeria under the UN Commission for Lifesaving Commodities for Women and Children, among other accolades. 
 
Dr. Ohanyido believes that having the power to make an impact on a child’s life is truly a rewarding experience. In addition to his family, he is inspired by the underserved mothers and children he meets and serves in the field.

Team member since 2017.
 
 

Otte Santika
Otte Santika Consultant, Indonesia Country Program Manager

Otte’s past experience working for UNICEF and the Micronutrient Initiative makes him the perfect fit as our in-country consultant, and an invaluable part of the Vitamin Angels team. In his role, he identifies qualified field partners to distribute vitamin A and deworming to hard-to-reach communities. His responsibilities also include providing training and monitoring, as well as overseeing the logistics process.

A childhood dream to become a doctor guided Otte to a career in healthcare, and he’s inspired by the opportunity to help children sustain a healthy life through proper nutrients and practices. His current role doesn’t stray far from his early aspirations, and the impact of his work on the children and mothers in Indonesia we serve reiterates his tireless efforts. At his core, Otte believes that malnutrition robs a child’s future, and investing in nutrition creates a better world.

Team member since 2015.

Mulamba Diese, MD
Mulamba Diese, MD Consultant, DRC Country Program Advisor

Mulamba Diese, MD has worked alongside Vitamin Angels since 2016 as our consultant for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He oversees our programs within the country, promoting Vitamin Angels’ mission while empowering and improving the lives of others. As part of his role, Mulamba also searches for potential field partners, provides technical training, and works closely with the Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders to ensure our services are well-coordinated. His hard work is demonstrative of his lifelong passion for helping others, as he previously worked at UNICEF, USAID, and CDC. He has also lectured on infectious diseases and immunology and has lent his expertise to other health and nutrition initiatives.

Through his efforts as our DRC consultant, Mulamba’s goal is to reduce the infant mortality rate in the DRC through our vitamin A supplementation and deworming programs. His favorite part of his job at Vitamin Angels, he says, is witnessing and sharing the stories of our impact on individuals and communities. Despite his defining work as a champion for health, he also identifies himself as a human rights activist, and a family man who loves and protects his children.

Team member since 2015.

Joygrace Muthoni
Joygrace Muthoni Consultant, Kenya Country Program Manager

As Vitamin Angels' country consultant for Kenya, Joygrace's responsibilities include training, coaching, and providing technical assistance to field partner organizations. She brings years of experience in reproductive, maternal and newborn health as a nurse and midwife to the Vitamin Angels family, and cites her previous roles as inspiration to support our mission. Joygrace loves working with communities and believes in the importance of ensuring individuals' access to health care, which has helped her succeed in her role and improve the lives of others. Outside of work, she loves to swim and enjoy her favorite local meal, Nyama Choma (barbequed beef)!

Team member since 2014.

Shruti Menon
Shruti Menon Country Consultant, India


Overseeing programs in India, Shruti works as our country consultant in India- helping the Vitamin Angels team expand their reach in communities across India. With an extensive background in health and education from her experience at  the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics, Shruti understands the value of health and works tirelessly to change the lives of others. At 18, she was diagnosed with grand-mal seizures but she  is proud to say that she has never let her condition define her career choices or limit her aspirations. Shruti’s favorite part of the job is being in the field and  having the opportunity to meet beneficiaries…especially the little ones(kids)! Her role comes with a lot of responsibility and travel so she admits that after a long trip nothing beats the feeling of coming home to the warmth of homemade chicken, curry and rice.
 

Maulana Hasan
Maulana Hasan Country Consultant, Indonesia

Maulana is Vitamin Angel’s country consultant in Indonesia.  As a country consultant he contacts grantees, leads training, monitors programs and works behind the scenes to ensure our mission is carefully carried out across the country.  When asked to share a memorable experience he re-accounted visiting a small village in Sumba, across from a beautiful beach and state that though, “ around the beautiful place, many children had limited health access”, a contrast in standard of living that stood out to her. When Maulana isn't working she enjoys farming with her family, riding bikes and playing badminton to stay active.

Arvind Caulagi
Arvind Caulagi Consultant, Marketing Coordinator, India

Arvind serves as our Marketing Coordinator within India’s programs division. His love for storytelling led him to pursue a master’s degree in Art, Design and Communication,  which has helped him thrive at his job. His eagerness to contribute to the wellbeing of children in his home country motivated him to join V.A.  When asked to elaborate on one thing about India that people in the U.S might not know, he responded that, “ India is a diverse country and every state has its own unique charm and identity. What people may not know is that every state has its own language, something that always proves to be a huge challenge”, - especially for his team developing content across the country. A personal achievement that he is most proud of is serving others and also winning the top prizes for best documentary and best editing at a prestigious student film festival in India.

Corporate Services

Maureen Boyle
Maureen Boyle Corporate Services Manager

There is always one individual in a workplace who acts as the glue for the team, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. At Vitamin Angels, that person is Maureen. Her duties as our Corporate Services Manager encompass oversight of all Human Resource, IT and Operational functions to support the entire staff. Considering how often our team members travel to the field, this is not always an easy task! Regardless, Maureen loves being able to call working with the Vitamin Angels staff and our extended community her “work.” She also has a special place in her heart for the mothers and children we serve.

When she isn’t at the office, Maureen is probably hiking in the hills of Santa Barbara with a huge smile on her face. Her favorite thing to do is to be steeped in gratitude for the many blessings in her life, her son being the greatest of them all. She is also grateful for the Vitamin Angels staff, who she says amazes her in the depth of their talent and compassion, every day.

Team member since 2008.

Joyce Fernandez
Joyce Fernandez Accounting Manager

It takes a special, detail-oriented person with a love for numbers to manage an organization’s entire scope of financial activities. Without her expertise, we wouldn’t be able to uphold our 4 star Charity Navigator rating. Joyce loves her job at Vitamin Angels because it allows her money managing skills to shine.  She’s especially proud of successfully completing four clean financial audits. Aside from the technical aspects of her work, she appreciates Vitamin Angels’ vision and how it affects the world.

Although Joyce loves working magic with numbers, she has other interests too. When she isn’t spending quality time with family and friends, she enjoys walking, golf, and tennis to stay healthy.

Team member since 2009.

Shelly Gralewski
Shelly Gralewski CRM Program Director

To keep our global organization aligned and secure, we turn to Shelly. Her management of our databases and integrated cloud systems’ security and development provides the necessary infrastructure we need to operate without any hiccups or obstacles. When she’s not keeping our systems in check, Shelly likes to embrace new experiences of all kinds and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Team member since 2013.

Andrea Marie Rosenbaum
Andrea Marie Rosenbaum Executive Administrator

As the Executive Administrator for Vitamin Angels, Andrea is responsible for the review and organization of the team’s legal documents and coordinates all Board of Directors meetings. Aside from those projects, she also works primarily with our COO. The knowledge that our work is saving the lives of children, our most precious resource, motivates her every day and is her favorite part of working at Vitamin Angels. Out of the office, Andrea stays healthy by eating right, exercising, and trying to keep up with her ever active daughters.

Team member since 2013.

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