The Board of SHEAF/ESPIGA
Five people make up the SHEAF Board: a president, treasurer, secretary and two others. These officers bring to the board a broad expertise and experience in agriculture, administration, business, cooperatives, marketing, plant science, overseas service, social work and pastoral care. They come from various religious backgrounds. They are all committed to improving the standard of living of Nicaraguans and to promoting real and meaningful development in Central America
Colleen Ellis, B.A., M.S.W. is a retired social worker. Her career began with the Ministry of Community and Social Services, included over 20 years with the Homewood Health Centre of which 10 years were as the director of the Social Work Department, and concluded with Pace Consulting specializing in working with Employee Assistance Programs. She is a member of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Guelph. She was a director of the Hopewell Children’s Homes which provides residential, respite and recreation programs for children and adults with severe developmental, physical and mental disabilities. She and her husband have toured aid projects in Nicaragua as part of a Flames tour and they support projects there.
They live in Guelph; have 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren.
Greta Hofstra, B.A., MSc.,was an Information Management Coordinator and lecturer at the University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario for several years. Then in 1986 she established her own Marketing Research Company in Guelph. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Her first trip to Nicaragua was in 2000 after which she has made several trips there and became a supporter of projects in Nicaragua. She is desperately trying to learn the Spanish Language. Now retired in Guelph, she and her husband are keen supporters of SHEAF/ESPIGA They have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren, one of whom has visited projects in Nicaragua.David Portillo Nuñez, BSc., MSc., was born in a small village in El Salvador and has first-hand experience of the issues in the hard scrabble of life in rural Central America. He walked 6 kilometres to attend primary school but persevered to attend the University of El Salavafor and obtain a degree in Agricultural Engineering. During this time he participated in the National debate for peace in El Salvador and worked with Christian denominations in proposing solutions to the armed conflict between the government and the guerrillas. As a professional, he worked to help agricultural coops in the East region of El Salvador to improve their production of crops including coffee, sugar cane and grains, and to promote the introduction of appropriate technology.
He came to Canada in 1990 and studied English and French; then went to McGill for a M.Sc. in plant science. He started a career with London Life as a financial security advisor in 1998. Since then he has worked in financial services and is presently a sales manager with Sun Life financial. He is an active member at Dorion Evangelical Church and its services to the poor. He has been married for the last 26 years, with four children and one granddaughter.
Joe Reed, B.D., D.D., served as Area Missionary in Central America and the Caribbean for over twenty years. He is largely responsible for establishing Presbyterian partnerships in the area. He introduced literally hundreds of people directly to the needs of the region. He also served as the moderator of the 127th General Assembly. He was the inaugurator of SHEAF/ESPIGA and is its President. He is pastor of Maisonneuve Presbyterian Church in Montreal's East End. He is fluently trilingual; English, French and Spanish. He currently resides in Montreal, but maintains a home in Nicaragua where he frequently works.
Denis A. Séguin, B.A. DipAgr. was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies at Laurentian University. In the mid-seventies, he moved to the Ottawa Valley, enrolled and graduated from Kemptville School of Agriculture. During all of his working years, Denis was employed by various Eastern Ontario farm supply co-operatives and retired in 2011 from the largest Ontario dairy co-op – Gay Lea Foods Co-operatives. Although “retired” he works three months a year; during the spring season at Embrun Agricultural Co-op as a Member/Customer Service Representative in the Crops Division. He has maintained a keen interest in Latin America and Nicaragua throughout the years. Being partially retired now, Denis endeavours to spend a couple a months per year in Nicaragua. He and his wife Patricia have lived in St-Albert, ON since 1989. They have a son, André and a daughter, Stéphanie.