Loryn Pinney (Director) Loryn grew up in Madison, CT. She graduated from Cazenovia College in 2006 with a BFA specializing in photography. After college, she began as a full time teacher at Madison Learning Center while shooting her photography on the side. In 2007, Loryn began to co-lead the high school youth group at The First Congregational Church of Madison. Loryn first became involved with the mission when she brought the youth group down as a construction crew for 2 trips. On her third trip down with the group, she stayed on as in-country staff. She spent her first year in the Dominican observing in a few public schools as well as teaching in 2 villages. Her second year in the Dominican, Loryn opened the doors to our school house in La Sabana and led our first class of 3 and 4 year old Dominican children. Her third year, she continued with teaching 2 classes in our school house along with administration work and helping the director in many ways. In her fourth year working with the mission, she was involved in teaching and overseeing 4 classes in 2 villages. She also assisted with starting work on our property, monthly expense reports, running camps in the summertime, and helping new staff become acclimated. In the summer of 2014, she moved back to Madison, CT where she is currently living. We welcomed Loryn as our new director in October 2015. She is so excited to continue working with The Village Mountain Mission family!
Bill Benson (Founder) graduated Glens Falls, NY, HS in 1959 and Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pa., in 1963 with a BA. Bill and his wife Donna have been together 48 years with four children. Bill left John Hancock as a field Agent in 1969 to join the Boy Scouts of America. While serving 28 years with the Boy Scouts, he worked as a District Executive, Inner City Executive, Exploring Director, District Director, Field Director, Scout Executive (Northeast Ohio Council, Cherokee Area Council, Chattanooga) and worked on National Staff as Director of Operation Florida Sea Base. While with the BSA, Bill taught at The National Camp School, National Training Center (Philmont, New Mexico) and served as SubCamp Administrator at the National Jamboree. Bill and Donna retired in 1997, sold the house, bought a schooner, sailed off and lived aboard for five years. In 2000, he was led to plan and begin The Village Mountain Mission.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Larry Bond (President) was the leader of the first youth group to travel to Luperón as part of “The Village” Mountain Mission Project. He is a long-time educator, having worked as an elementary and middle school teacher, an elementary school principal and is currently retired as data manager for the Pickerington, Ohio Local School District. Larry lives with his wife Teresa near Amanda, Ohio. He has two sons, Patrick and Michael, who have also been participants in VMM building crews. Larry has been a Boy Scout and Cub Scout leader, a youth league and high school soccer coach, and is active in his local church. He earned a BS in Elementary Education from the Ohio State University and a MEd in Educational Administration from Ohio University, and has served as the president of the VMM board since its inception.
Charlie Garrison (Vice-President) has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and retired from Procter & Gamble after 32 years of service. He is a Technical Consultant and maintains more than 50 years of involvement in the Boy Scouts of America. Charlie was a part of the inaugural year of teams to Luperón in 2004 and has traveled back three more times over the following five years. Charlie was and continues to be the right hand of Founder and Director Bill Benson. During his time, he has developed administrative procedures, worked and re-worked the Leader’s Guide, helps to write the yearly budget, and most importantly is heavily involved with long-term planning.
Charlotte Souers (Secretary) has participated on mission trips with VMM since its beginning in 2004, when she participated in the 2nd group that arrived. She has participated in the Health Field Studies Initiative in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2 trips in 2010. Charlotte coordinated the nursing part for the first 3 years and has headed the Healthcare Initiative begun in 2010. Her group has initiated the nursing educational component of the mission for the Healers. This continues to be built upon in adding educational sessions and topics. She has assisted the Healers to begin home visits, health fairs, and community/school presentations beginning in 2010. Charlotte has served as Secretary of the Board.
Jodi Bird (Treasurer) currently resides in Lancaster, Ohio with her husband and three children. She is a realtor and an active member of the community. She was recently chosen to serve on the Academy of Realtors in Fairfield County. Prior to real estate, Jodi ran a personal business for 15 years selling Usborne Books. This included scheduling, marketing, finance and grant writing along with assisting parents, teachers and librarians with their literacy material needs. She holds a degree in Elementary and Special Education. Jodi has led a group three of the four years that she has gone to the DR. Her oldest son and her daughter have also had the experience of going on a mission trip through the VMM.
Dr. Scott Anzalone (Medical Director) lives with his wife and three children outside of Logan, OH. With BA’s in Biology and Molecular Biology, Scott went on to get his Board Certification in Family Medicine after completing his studies at The Medical College of Ohio. In addition to running his own private medical practice, Scott teaches at the Ohio University School of Medicine. He was the Chief of Obstetrics and Pediatrics as well as the Chief of Staff at Hocking Valley Community Hospital. He attends the Church of the Nazarene where he has also held positions including Sunday school teacher, board member, and superintendent. He was the Board President of the Logan Christian School and serves on the Logan Hocking Board of Education. In addition to his trips to Luperón with the Village Mountain Mission, Dr. Scott has also led medical mission trips to Jamaica and Mexico. In his free time, Scott enjoys his horses, the theater, woodworking, and is currently building a sport car. He has been a Board Member since 2010.
Lee Yarberry (Logistics Coordinator) relocated to Miami, FL after retiring from 33 years combined active and reserve time in the U.S. Marine Corps, including 3 tours in Iraq. His military experience includes Infantry, Operations, Intelligence, Logistics and Maintenance Management, and Civil / Humanitarian Affairs. His military reserve time includes over 13 years in corporate positions. He now serves as the Vice President Network Integration for Aeropost International Services, Inc. Lee has been very successful in several business industries specializing in program and project management. His key business positions include: SVP – Operations, CIO, Implementation Manager – world-wide deployment of a key Air Force ERP System, VP – Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering Manager and Manager – Inventory & Production Control. A long-time volunteer, Lee’s work with service organizations includes: Village Mountain Mission (participant leader, Promotion chair), Boy Scouts (US and Iraq), Girl Scouts, Red Cross, United Way, youth sports programs, regular church activities and the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. He was voted onto the Board in 2009.
Doug Hertlein (Legal Director) is with the law firm of Allen Kuehnle Stovall & Neuman LLP located in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to joining Allen Kuehnle, Doug’s career included serving as an Assistant Director for the Ohio Department of Insurance, attorney with the firm of Thompson Hine LLP, and farming with his father and brother. Doug obtained his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Economics from the Ohio State University and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. Doug is a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Canal Winchester and has been active in Boy Scouts in various capacities for 46 years. He has been married for almost thirty-one years to his wife, Lori, and the couple has three sons. Doug first became familiar with VMM when contacted by Bill Benson for assistance in some legal issues that arose for the ministry. Doug and Lori have lead two crews with VMM.
John Hemmerly (Construction Consultant) lives with his wife Pam in Pickerington, Ohio. He has two grown children: Brad, a collegiate rowing coach, and Sarah, a math and science teacher. John graduated from The Ohio State University, BS ’74, MA ‘84, in Industrial Technology Education, and recently retired after 35-years teaching Industrial Technology, construction, and manufacturing. He remains self-employed with 40-years experience in fabrication, building construction, automotive, and construction equipment repair. John attends Brice United Methodist Church and is chairman of the trustees and serves on its finance committee. He is on the school board for the Brice Christian Academy. After completing a mission trip to Haiti in 2003, John was invited by a coworker to participate with first group to traveling to Luperon in 2004 and has made numerous additional trips since. He has written and continues to revise the Construction Guide as we learn to blend American and Dominican building methods.
Please feel free to contact any of our staff with questions you may have!