Board of Directors

Paul Issa
Paul Issa | Chairman
Paul Issa is Chairman of the Issa Foundation, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, and Paul Issa Publications.  
diane-memberDiane Pollard | President and CEO
Diane was hired February 2010 as Issa Trust Foundation’s first paid employee. She has been working as Issa’s volunteer VP of Operations since its earliest planning stages in 2004, and with children in Jamaica since 1997.  
howard-mitchellHoward Mitchell| Vice President
A lawyer by profession, Mr. Howard Mitchell maintained a successful Commercial Law Practice for thirty-five (35) years, with concentrations in Mining Law and Taxation, before retiring in 2010. Mr. Mitchell has demonstrated a strong commitment to Public Service for decades and was appointed to the Board of the National Housing Trust (NHT) in 1987 and again served as Chairman from February 2008 to June 2012. He serves as a Justice of the Peace (JP) and 2017 he was awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) for outstanding service to Business and the Public Sector.  
alexAlex Ghisays | Secretary & Public Relations Director
Alex Ghisays has worked in the Jamaican Tourism Industry since 1984. She started her career as Public Relations Manager with SuperClubs. In 1997, Alex joined the Couples Resorts chain as Executive Assistant to the CEO & President, with special emphasis on public relations and events.  
alexJan M. Polack | Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Polack currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Couples Resorts. With 35 years in the hospitality industry in the US and the Caribbean, she has a demonstrated ability to effectively communicate complex information to varied stakeholder groups and manage the day-to-day financial operations of a world-class company to ensure optimal performance. Ms. Polack is an exceptional team builder and problem-solver with a wealth of experience in corporate financial planning.  

Advisory Board Members

Gary Gary Anderson, Doctor of Optometry
Dr. Gary Anderson, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, Past International Director, was elected to serve a two-year term as a director of Lions Clubs International at the association’s 93rd International Convention, held in Sydney, Australia, June 28 through July 2, 2010.  
GregGreg Anderson, Connexin
As a Founder, Director, and Chief Executive Officer, Office Practicum, Greg is responsible for overall business direction and resource allocation, with a special focus on Product Development and Sales & Marketing strategy. In a rapidly growing company, solid planning and execution is the key to ongoing success.  
Rob BarkemaRob Barkema – Biomedical Engineer
Robert A. Barkema, RT, is a Corporate Officer at Radiology Imaging Solutions, Inc. since its founding in 1987. Located in Grand Rapids, MI. Radiology Imaging sells and services most types of medical imaging equipment  
RobDr. Krysten Chin MD, MPH – Medical Advisor

Krysten Chin MD, MPH is a board-certified Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician, currently practicing in St. Petersburg, FL. She was raised in Kingston, Jamaica and still considers Jamaica her home. Krysten obtained her undergraduate degree from Columbia University in the City of New York, her medical degree from Stony Brook University School of Medicine in Stony Brook, New York, and most recently her Masters of Public Health from the University of Southern California. She completed her pediatric residency at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, FL where she then served as chief resident. She completed her pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she served as the chief pediatric emergency medicine fellow.

Susan J. KresslyDr. Susan Kressly – Medical Advisor

Susan J. Kressly, MD, FAAP is a board-certified general pediatrician with over 30 years of experience including founding her own practice, Kressly Pediatrics in Pennsylvania. Dr. Kressly has served in multiple leadership roles within the American Academy of Pediatric Practice including Practice Management, Payer Advocacy, Practice Transformation, Health Information Technology and Improving Population Health through Quality Improvement.

Sue has had the privilege of serving as a physician volunteer on several of the Issa Trust Foundation’s medical missions. She dedicates much of her advocacy efforts to promoting health and wellness of communities by investing in and supporting children and families. While children and adolescents may represent a fraction of the total population, they are 100% of our future!

RobSarah Meyer, MSN, RN, CPN, CPNP-AC

Sarah is the Program Director of the Emergency Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship program for Partners in Health and works clinically in the PICU and Emergency departments at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Sarah has been working in Haiti for over 10 years and spent 2 years living in Haiti while she was the Director of Critical Care Nursing Education at the University Hospital of Mirebalais. She is a strong advocate for continuing nursing education in the Caribbean and in developing countries. She graduated with her Nursing degree from The Ohio State University and her Masters of Science in Nursing with a minor in Global Health from the University of California, San Francisco.

Chris PanettaChris Panetta, Photographer/Videographer

An avid and passionate self-taught photographer for over 20 years, Chris has been capturing the beauty and people of Jamaica during his trips to the Island as a regular visitor since 2006. He and his wife, Debbie, fell in love with Jamaica’s natural beauty, relaxing vibe and have been vacationing at Couples Resorts several times a year since then. Chris has also developed a deep love and appreciation for Jamaican music, and he credits this with deepening his personal connection and understanding of the history, culture, spirit, language and people of Jamaica.

Ewan SimpsonEwan D. A. Simpson – Attorney-at-Law
Ewan Simpson, Attorney-at-Law, holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Intellectual Property Law, from the University of Turin (Italy) where he studied on scholarship from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), in 2009. He was called to the Jamaican Bar in 2004, having completed studies at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona (B.A. Geography) and Cave Hill (LL.B), as well as the Norman Manley Law School, and has served in various Legal capacities including a two year stint as Legal Officer at the Ministry of Education immediately upon returning home from his studies in Italy.  
Samantha WalkerDr. Samantha Walker B.Sc. (Hons), MBBS, DM (Paeds), MPH – Medical Advisor

Samantha has been a registered medical practitioner for almost 20 years. She is also a registered pediatrician and neonatologist in Jamaica.

She was born in St Mary and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. After completing her high school education at the St Hugh’s High School for Girls, she completed her first undergraduate degree with First Class Honours in Biochemistry and Zoology from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. She subsequently completed her undergraduate medical and postgraduate training in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Disease Research. She is also a NIH/Fogarty Research Fellow.