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Founders & Board Members

Lori Connell/COO/Founder

Lori Connell

COO

COO

Lori’s first visit to Honduras was in 1999 soon after Hurricane Mitch ravaged the capitol city and surrounding areas. She was part of a Torch mission team who came to provide housing, food and medical care.   Lori was impacted deeply by the poverty she saw, and was drawn to the women and children and their daily struggle to survive.  It was then that a passion for justice and empowerment for women in the developing world began.  Lori and her husband Mark moved to Honduras in 2008 to work among the people full time.

I seek to live out my life and faith by these words...Be the change you wish to see in the world.

In 2002 Lori Connell Co-founded Mi Esperanza. Lori serves as the Executive Director/Honduras and the President of the Honduras Board of Directors. Overseeing the day to day operations of the program which includes the training facility, micro-credit program, and social enterprise are her primary responsibilities.  Lori’s passion is to improve the lives of women living in extreme poverty, knowing it will change the lives of their children, families and communities...."the ripple effect of love is endless."   Lori & Mark have 2 children; Ryan Connell Hernandez and Eric Connell.  Lori's favorite job is being Lola to her 4 grandchildren, Will, Maya, Kate and Andrew.  The work in Honduras is a family affair and they deeply love serving together among the poor.   

 

Janet Hines/CEO/Founder

Lori Connell

CEO

CEO

Janet’s first experience with Honduras was in 1998 when she came on a two week mission trip.  When she returned the following summer after hurricane Mitch, the need for help and hope had become even greater.  She returned that fall and taught a quilting class to a group of women and realized that they had amazing talent and just needed an opportunity to learn.  It took three more years to bring this dream to life in December 2002. This is when Mi Esperanza was born.  Being able to be a part of bringing hope into lives where there was none is a huge passion in Janet’s life.

Being able to be a part of bringing hope into lives where there was none is a huge passion in Janet’s life.

Janet is Founder/Executive Director U.S.A and serves as the president of the board of directors, USA.  She travels doing presentations and speaks to groups about the Mi Esperanza program. She loves sharing what Mi Esperanza is about and engaging other women in the vision of Mi Esperanza.

Janet lives between Mandeville, Louisiana and Santa Ana, Honduras.  She has three sons, Micheal, Richard and Jonathan and one daughter, Stephanie.  She is blessed also with three grandsons, Christian, Zachary and Reid and three granddaughters, Emma, Laura and Elise

Jessica Schroer/Chair

Lori Connell

Chairman of the Board

Chairman of the Board

Chairman of the Board

Jessica L Schroer brings over 15 years of marketing and advertising experience to her current position with McCann Erickson (McCann Worldgroup) as a Vice President Account Director on the U.S. Army account. Jessica’s experience is rooted in field marketing for clients such as Bud Light, Hardee’s, Burger King, Toshiba and the New York State Lottery.  In addition to the work she has done in this arena, Jessica has spent time in the retail, hospitality and the not-for-profit industries with such companies as Tishman-Speyer, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Ameritech Cellular (Verizon Wireless).

Personal Passions

Jessica is passionate about giving back to the community, below is a list of programs she has been involved with in the past.

Muscular Dystrophy Association, Lamier Art Fair, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, Operation Food Search, University Adventures (Soup Kitchen), Urban Adventures, TORCH Mission Trip to Honduras, Women of Purpose Volunteer, Mi Esperanza Volunteer, New York City Marathon, National Veterans Golden Age Games, United Services Organization, Coordinated the Annual Army Soldier Holiday Drive and Locks of Love.

Jessica also enjoys traveling spending time with her family and watching the baseball Cardinals.

Education

  • MS in Industrial Communications (2000) emphasis in Marketing- Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO
  • BA in Corporate Communications (1997) - Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO

Kea Hampton

Lori Connell

Board Member at Large

on-line store and event manager

on-line store and event manager

Kea Hampton  resides in Hot Springs Arkansas and has been married to Bobby Hampton for 27 years.  They have five children and five grandchildren.  

Kea graduated Harding University in 1982.  She received her Masters degree in Social Work from University of Arkansas in Little Rock.  Kea provides mental  health services to the Hot Springs community.  She specializes in Attachment therapy, Drug and Alcohol counseling and the treatment of children and adolescents.  In recent years, Kea has provided mental health treatment to the juvenile delinquent population in Garland County.

Kea made her first trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras in 1982 with a mission team from Harding University.  At that time she developed a love for the people.  Her next trip to Honduras was with Torch Missions in 2002 where she met Janet Hines and Lori Connell and soon after, Mi Esperanza. 

Kea is an active advocate for the Mi Esperanza project.  She travels to events to raise funds and awareness for Mi Esperanza.

Amy Cashio

Lori Connell

Board Member

Treasurer

Treasurer

Amy has been married to Richard Cashio for almost 30 years.  She has two children, Molly and Mary Susan. Richard and Amy live in Birmingham, AL with their boxer, Lola.
Amy became interested in Honduran mission work in 2002 when her daughter Molly volunteered to go to Honduras with the youth at Homewood Church on a two week Torch mission trip.  Amy accompanied Molly on that trip with the group and returned for a second time in 2003.  Her third visit was in December 2003 with her husband Richard.  Amy says: "I fell in love with the people of Honduras on my first trip, and have believed in the work since that time.
Amy's educational/work background is in business.  Graduated in 1980 from University of Alabama with a degree in accounting and worked in the banking field for 10 years.  In addition, served in a board position for her family steel business from 2000 until the business sold in 2008.
Amy enjoys spending time with family, gardening, reading and playing bridge.  

Julie Lawson

Lori Connell

Advisor Chairperson/Board Member

Board Member 

Board Member 

Julie and her husband came on a medical mission trip to Honduras in late 1999 shortly after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country.  It was on this trip that they met and fell in love with a little Honduran girl with a congenital heart defect.  Through a series of miracles, they were able to bring Denia over to the United States for life saving heart surgery.  Now permanently tied to Honduras through Denia and her family, Julie and her husband continued coming over the years to Honduras on various mission trips and to see the family.

As an artist, Julie always looked for ways to use art to help the people of Honduras.  When she discovered Mi Esperanza, she knew she wanted to invest her time in this work.  In 2011, she began working to establish the Jewelry Studio of Mi Esperanza.  Since that time, she has become more involved in all aspects of Mi Esperanza and spends her summers in Honduras as well as two months in the winter each year training the women in the jewelry studio as well as helping where needed.

Julie is honored to be a part of Mi Esperanza and looks forward to many years of helping the women of Honduras.

E.A. Lepine

Lori Connell

Board Member at Large

Production House Advisor

Production House Advisor

E.A. started working with Mi Esperanza as a summer intern in 2008. She quickly fell in love with our mission and our people and continued to come back to Honduras to do product development for Mi Esperanza. She now runs a small clothing company and employs the Mi Esperanza maquila for the production of her line. EA has a passion for the growth of the program and brings a young and innovative personality to the Mi Esperanza board. E.A. is married to her husband James and they live in Denver, CO. 

Christa Smith

Lori Connell

Board Member

Secretary 

Secretary 

Christa’s first trip to Honduras was in the summer of 2009.  She had no idea the immediate connection she would make with the people of Honduras and the impact it would have on her life.  As she served the people of Honduras, Christa found herself astonished at the harsh conditions in which they lived; yet God’s love was evident in the way they expressed their gratitude to her, as well as each other. As Christa continued to visit Honduras, she was introduced to the work of Mi Esperanza, and being an educator, she found this mission of educating women to better themselves and their families exciting and empowering.  Christa considers it an honor to be a part of Mi Esperanza and looks forward to serving the women of Honduras.

Christa currently lives in Georgia with her husband, Marty and their two daughters, Hannah and Sarah.   

 

Jeremy Phelps

Lori Connell

Production House Operations Advisor

Production House Operations Advisor

Production House Operations Advisor

Jeremy made his first trip to Honduras in 1999 with Torch Missions and quickly fell in love with the country, realizing that God had stirred a passion in him for the people of Honduras. Over the years, he returned eight additional times with short-term mission teams, working and serving around the communities in Tegucigalpa. In 2015, he was accompanied by his wife, Melodye, and their two sons, Abram (5) and Everett (2). 

He has spent his career in product development working for Newell Rubbermaid and now with Nissan North America. With experiences in the commercialization of consumer packaged goods and automotive, he brings with him knowledge of retail operations, market research, and operations management to help with the production side of Mi Esperanza’s operations. 

Jeremy is excited to continue the great work and changed lives of Mi Esperanza.