(Board Chair), Owner, Direct Marketing Group
Brian Ostenso is an owner of Direct Marketing Group, a company that offers direct mail marketing services to retailers, financial services companies, insurance companies and non-profit entities. Customers include Target, Aegon Insurance, US Bank, Transamerica, Feed My Starving Children and the Jimmy Carter Foundation.
Prior to forming Direct Marketing Group, Brian held executive positions with Medtronic, Inc. Minneapolis, MN, Electronic Data Systems, Inc. Dallas, TX and National Computer Systems, Inc. Minneapolis, MN. Brian has also cofounded several startup companies and continues to invest in and serve on the boards of several private entities.
Brian has served as a Vestry Member and Senior Warden of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Edina, Minnesota. Brian has also served as the Vice Chair of Council for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota (the Diocese of Minnesota) for the last several years. He also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Episcopal Homes in St. Paul, MN. Brian has also done volunteer work with the YMCA, Feed My Starving Children, Kids Against Hunger and Boy Scouts of America.
(Vice-Chair), President, Bizal Built, Inc.
Jim Bizal is the President/Owner of Bizal Built, Inc. a Design/Build Residential and Commercial remodeling firm located in Minneapolis, MN. The company specializes in older homes that require attention to detail and custom carpentry. Jim’s past experience includes Sales, Design, & Project management in residential remodeling, Sr. sales associate in the Gas & Welding industry, direct sales positions, and grocery store management. Jim and his family attend St. Stephens’s church in Edina, MN and he has served in the following areas: Vestry, Properties committee, missions committee, confirmation sponsor, youth group mission adult leader, Johnny Apple Seed Bash fundraiser leader, & church usher.
Jim’s volunteer commitments include: Committee chair for EpiscoBuilders/Habitat for Humanity, Board member for Voyageur’s National Park Association, and Board member for Edina Rotary. His involvement with Holy Cross Anglican school includes leading 19 mission trips to the school since 2006 and helping supervise over 175 volunteers on those trips and helping set up the foundation from the first inception. Jim’s schooling background includes degrees in Sales, Management, and Computers.
(Vice Chair), Managing Director, Nicollet Capital Investors
Tim Zosel Is the Managing Director of Nicollet Capital Investors, a Minneapolis based private equity firm focused on middle market businesses. Tim has over 20 years of private equity experience and was the founding member of two U.S. based private equity firms: SKM Growth Investors – Mid-market arm of Saunders Karp & Megrue (now APAX) and Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison – Minneapolis based mid-market Private Equity Fund.
Tim founded Nicollet in 2002 and subsequently was the creator of TerraVest Income Fund – A TSX listed publicly traded income trust focused on acquiring control of privately owned, Canadian based mid-market companies. Over the years Tim has been a member of the board of directors for over 16 private and public companies.
Tim is a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Edina, Minnesota and is currently a member of its Missions Committee. Tim has both a BS and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.
Retired Administrator, Offices of Dr. Allen Kent
Suzanne is currently an active leader of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, Texas. She has served on the Vestry, the Parish Life Commission and is now involved in various outreach projects All Saints’ supports within the community of Fort Worth, in Belize and Kenya. She served on the Board of Trustees at All Saints’ Episcopal School and currently serves on the Saints’ Award Committee. She is an active volunteer with Hope Farm, an after school program for at risk fatherless boys. Suzanne is a graduate of Texas Christian University.
She and her husband Allen are the parents of three and grandparents of four. In 2005 Allen and Suzanne assisted in the organization of a mission team from All Saints’ to Punta Gorda, Belize to support the medical community in the area. After three years of medical missions the team came to San Pedro to support the building of Holy Cross School. Allen and Suzanne continue to assist in the organization of mission teams from All Saints’ to Holy Cross.
Vernon & Francis Wilson
Retired Founders, Holy Cross Anglican School
Vernon Wilson co-founded Holy Cross Anglican School, Ambergris Caye, Belize in 2006 with his wife, Francis. Originally from Virginia, Vernon lived in Belize from 2001 until 2012 serving as a volunteer missionary with the US Episcopal Church. Vernon was responsible for developing the jewelry manufacturing rehabilitation program for the Belize Central Prison and taught there for several years.
Prior to coming to Belize, Vernon lived in the Tidewater area of Virginia, where his accomplishments included spearheading a national fund raising campaign for Habitat for Humanity. He also designed, produced and marketed a highly successful line of Christian jewelry, “The Signature Series”, which was sold throughout the United States. Vernon has won numerous jewelry industry awards, including twice winning the International Pearl Design Competition held annually in Tokyo, Japan.
For more than 20 years he owned and operated ‘The Golden Touch’, a jewelry store, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Vernon is a self-taught jewelry designer and goldsmith whose work has been highly sought after by dignitaries and celebrities worldwide.
Francis Wilson, along with her husband Vernon, co-founded Holy Cross Anglican School, Ambergris Caye, Belize in 2006. She served as Local Manager until 2012 when the Wilsons moved to Panama. She is a volunteer missionary with the US Episcopal Church since 2001 serving first in Belize for 12 years and now in Panama.
Prior to moving to Belize, Francis was a lifelong resident of Virginia where she was an active member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Newport News, Virginia. She is the proud mother of three children and the very proud grandmother of eight. Her passions include justice for the underprivileged, providing educational opportunities for the marginalized and taking care of every stray dog she encounters.
Chief Scientist, Baron Advanced Meteorological Systems
John McHenry, M.Sc, M.Div, has served in Belize as a short-term missionary at HCAS and other Anglican school and church locations numerous times over the last 15 years. As a member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Raleigh, John has led twelve teams to HCAS and will be leading a 13th during spring of 2019. John came to know about HCAS through the former Bishop of Belize, the Rt. Rev. Sylvestre Romero, who was ordained priest in the mid-1970s. During that period, “Fr. Syl” served a mission location in Guatemala where John’s uncle, the late Rev. Robert Gibson, was also serving; thus the connection.
After receiving graduate degrees in Meteorology and Religious Education, John served as a full time parish youth minister for five years in the 1980s while obtaining the M.Div. degree from Duke University Divinity School. Since that time John has been employed professionally in meteorology, where he has published numerous scholarly articles and commercialized a number of technologies. He currently holds the title Chief Scientist with a company that provides data and services to both broadcast and government agencies, including international development locations in Latin America and Eastern Europe.
John has served St. Michael’s as past chair of the Outreach committee and founding member of the Adult Missions committee, on the Adult Education committee, as a youth and adult Sunday school leader, as a youth ministry advisor, a chalice bearer, a lector, a guitar accompanist, and has led or participated in a large number of missions undertakings. John is an accomplished singer/songwriter and has published two contemporary Christian CD’s; both are available as fund-raisers for HCAS. John also serves on the Advisory Board of the Episcopal Campus Ministry in Raleigh, and is a Visiting Scholar in the Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Science Department at North Carolina State University.
John is married and has three children, all of whom have participated in at least one Belize mission trip. Overall, John has dedicated nearly two years to short-term missions.
Richard & Cindy Shaffer
Holy Cross Volunteers
Richard and Cindy Shaffer have been Holy Cross volunteers since 2007 and Foundation Board members since 2014. For the past five years they have served as the Board’s liaisons on the ground in San Pedro, spending as many as 20 weeks each year working directly with the Holy Cross administrators and many of the volunteer teams who visit. They authored the proposal that resulted in a Companion Relationship between the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio and the Anglican Diocese of Belize.
The Shaffers are both licensed lay worship leaders in the Diocese of Ohio and lead services on a regular basis. They have led mission teams to Jamaica, Tijuana and Belize.
Richard is retired from General Motors. He has served as treasurer for his home church of Grace Episcopal, in Defiance, Ohio and several terms on the Vestry. For many years He and Cindy were the youth group leaders at Grace. Richard is the treasurer and property manager of Green Meadows Condo Association.
Cindy retired from her role as Senior Director of Gift Planning at Defiance College in 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business management and master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from DC. Cindy is a volunteer at the local food pantry and is a founding director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Defiance County.
The Shaffers have two grown children and three grandchildren.
Lonni Skrentner is a career educator born and educated in Detroit, Michigan. She lives in Edina, MN and San Pedro, Belize. She spent 39 years in and out of secondary social studies and language arts classrooms. After retirement, she was elected to a term on the Edina Public Schools Board. She is active in the League of Women Voters at the local, state and national levels. During the winters, from 2011 on she has volunteered time at Holy Cross Primary School, working with Standards V and VI students working on reading comprehension and writing skills for the exit exam. She also meets with and mentors classroom teachers at Holy Cross. Lonni has done teacher training for the Archdiocese of Belize on Zoom.
Lonni has been married for 50 years to Bob, avid scuba diver, who is the reason for their Ambergris residence. They have two grown children, Jeff who is a chemical engineer with a food company, and Melissa who is married with two daughters…who are wonderful grandchildren!
Holy Cross Associate
The Rev. Jan Lamb has been associated with Holy Cross since its beginning, having helped build some of the first classrooms and the dining hall. She has made annual mission trips to Belize for 18 years. At Holy Cross, she has served as volunteer coordinator and chaplain and provided in-service training for teachers.
Jan is an Episcopal deacon serving as the Archdeacon in the Diocese of North Carolina and as the deacon at St Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Durham, NC. She taught in Exceptional Children’s programs in Mississippi and North Carolina for 43 years. She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS, and a Master’s in Learning Disabilities from the University of Texas. She has 2 sons and 2 granddaughters.
Robert 'Bob' Frady
Financial Director, Grace Episcopal Church, Yorktown, VA
Bob Frady is the Financial Director and Treasurer at Grace Church Yorktown, VA and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newport News, VA. Retired after 28 years in the U.S. Air Force and 14 years as a defense contractor, Bob recognized the need to volunteer in support of the less fortunate. Following a meeting with Francis Wilson, the founder of Holy Cross along with her husband Vernon, he helped build teams from Grace to support Holy Cross since 2011.
Bob also serves as the President of Board of Directors of Lackey Clinic in Yorktown, VA, a free and charitable clinic serving the medical needs of the low income and uninsured residents of York County and the Greater Williamsburg, James City County and northern Newport News. He is also a member of the Diocese of Southern Virginia’s retreat and camp center at Chanco on the James.
Ben Hopkins first volunteered at Holy Cross Anglican School in 2010. The mission of the school and those who live and work in and around Holy Cross have touched his life in a profound way, and Belize and its people have a place of honor in his heart. Ben has returned to Holy Cross again and again, bringing his family and friends along with him, and helping to organize and lead volunteer teams from two churches in North Carolina. He joined the HCEF board in 2022 and shares the board's vision to support and promote high quality education for children in Belize and other developing countries. Ben and his wife Rebekah live in North Carolina, but a small part of their heart is always in Belize.
Allie Smulka is a career fundraiser, having served as an associate gift officer for Children's Minnesota in Minneapolis, and now co-manages the Patterson Foundation for Patterson Companies, Inc. Allie and her family are members of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Edina, MN and she was a part of the first volunteer group to visit and work at Holy Cross Anglican School back in 2008. She has returned for three subsequent mission trips to Belize. Allie serves as the Vice Chair of the Stewardship Committee at St. Stephen's and is involved in various community outreach initiatives through the church community.
Allie is married to her husband Andrew, and has a daughter, Whitney. Her mission is to help raise critical dollars through the Holy Cross Education Foundation to keep this incredible school up and running for years and generations to come.
Isolene Bailey is a past graduate and scholar of Holy Cross Anglican School. Isolene graduated in 2010 from Holy Cross Anglican School where she was awarded an academic scholarship. With the help of the Holy Cross Scholarship Program she acquired her Diploma, Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.
Isolene Bailey is the Executive Assistant for foreign company, Where We Help. Holding positions in the HR, Accounting and Management Team. Isolene is the first Belizean to serve on the Board. As a board member she hopes to help provide and sustain the loving learning environment at Holy Cross that she credits with molding her future.
“Though I am not yet the woman I aspire to be, I look at the woman that I’ve become. She’s learned the importance of hard work and dedication. She is molded by perseverance, commitment and determination. She is equipped with intellectual knowledge and the experience to cope, battle and achieve.”
— Isolene Bailey, Holy Cross Graduate and HCEF Board Member