Rich is Owner and COO of SJ Creations, Inc. Since 1996 Rich and his wife, Sundi, have owned and operated SJ Creations, Inc. designing, developing and producing high quality bath and body products which are found in major retailers throughout the United States and Canada. Through our extensive travel overseas and in the US, we have secured valuable partnerships with a variety of international as well as domestic contacts. Previously Rich started and sold 7 Summits Sports, a sporting goods manufacturing representation business and also spent time in the corporate world at the Coleman Company. Rich & Sundi have been married for over 19 years, have 2 Daughters, Spenser and Jensen and beyond a successful business have a mission to serve others. Rich was inspired in 1989 by the work of International Relief Teams and has been involved in various capacities since: serving on the Board in the early 90’s, then again joining the Board in 2013 through the present, and by participating on teams for San Quintin, Mexico, and Croatia.
Mike has served the nonprofit community in various capacities for many years, including Board of Directors roles with Conner's Cause for Children, The Grauer School and The Jenna Druck Foundation. He is the founder of Mako Steel located in Carlsbad, CA and is currently one of the owners of Rip Current Brewing in San Marcos. Mike continues to participate in charitable outreach programs for IRT, including reconstruction and eye care missions. He looks to continue to balance his business and family interests with his involvement in the nonprofit sector.
Susan Callahan has had many years of leadership roles in the international nonprofit sector as well as long-time community service including serving on the La Jolla Town Council for 3 years. Susan served on numerous international nonprofit boards including Project Concern International (PCI) where she chaired the Resource Development Committee for 5 years. Susan joined IRT’s staff in 1999 working in both development and communication roles. She retired in 2015 as IRT Director of Communications but quickly transitioned to join IRT’s Board of Directors where she has been able to continue making a positive contribution to IRT’s work worldwide to help those in need. Susan also serves on Connect Med International’s Advisory Council and continues to serve on PCI’s Emeritus Board of Directors. Susan is also continuing her 14 year involvement with Rotary International and currently serves as President of the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club.
Anthony is the managing partner of Carlo Development, a southern California-based real estate development company. Carlo Development also owns and operates multi-family and self storage/industrial properties throughout California. Carr is also a managing member and co-owner of San Diego Self Storage, the largest self storage company in San Diego County, with 18 locations. Prior to this, Carr was a registered principal for C&L Securities Corp., a wealth management firm, and an investment advisor licensed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He received his B.A. degree from UCLA Anderson School of Management before beginning his career in finance and real estate.
Toni brings over 27 years of experience developing Lean organizations worldwide, including in Asia, Africa, Europe, South and North America. She has worked for two premier international consulting groups—Productivity Consulting Group and the Kaizen Institute—providing sensei, consulting, and internal leadership towards sustainable, lean, and purposeful work cultures within an unwavering environment of respect for people. Toni has lead Kaizen Study Tours in Japan and Europe for executives from North America, Europe and Asia, which has afforded her an exceptional view of the changes in the improvement industry over time. Humanitarian development is a top priority for Toni. In 2014 she led a Lean effort for World Vision in Ethiopia through Honsha, and has served on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (2009-10).
Troy is a Certified Public Accountant and partner at the San Diego accounting firm Considine & Considine. Troy has been providing proactive accounting, consultation, and tax strategy services to individuals and businesses in San Diego for over 20 years. He is a member of the California Society of CPA’s and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Troy currently resides in Carlsbad, CA with his wife (Bryn) who is a High School Spanish Teacher and his two children.
Kay taught nursing at San Diego State University for 35 years and practiced as a Certified Nurse Midwife at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. She is currently a legal nurse and midwifery expert witness and consultant, using her clinical practice, education and extensive experience. Kay was introduced to IRT in 1998 when she was asked to volunteer for a multi-year project teaching obstetricians and midwives in Latvia as they emerged from the Soviet era. She describes the experience as the highlight of her professional life. Kay came to know the integrity of IRT and its staff, and has been involved as a board member and volunteer since that time.
Brian has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Principal at Gupta Wealth Management. Brian is also committed to giving back to the local community. He has been involved with the San Diego Kiwanis Club & Foundation for 15 years and is a past President for both organizations. Additionally, Brian served as President for the Washington-Lincoln Laurels For Leaders organization which recognizes every ASB President at the high school level in San Diego County.
Mary Kubota Wiebel RN, MSN, ANP currently works in Temecula, California as an Adult Nurse Practitioner managing acute and chronic illness in a family practice setting. She began her nursing career 23 years ago at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. Working primarily in oncology, she became interested in issues related to end of life and biomedical ethics. She participated in the hospital’s ethics committee discussing topics related to affordability of care, experimental treatments and end of life care. Later, she received a Master’s degree in Nursing Science at the University of San Diego and took additional coursework in philosophy and religion with an emphasis in ethics. During her time in graduate school, she began her involvement in community outreach with The San Diego Urban League. She taught classes in rehab centers in San Diego on prevention of Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS transmission. Eventually she moved to street outreach with San Diego’s homeless population regarding disease transmission and prevention. She continues to teach as an associate clinical instructor for the University of San Diego and most recently Georgetown University’s online Nurse Practitioner program. Mary, as so many others, was moved by images of destruction and suffering left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and volunteered to join a medical team with International Relief Teams in 2005. Since this experience she has continued to volunteer with IRT in a variety of settings and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors. She is madly in love with her husband and toddler who both keep her very busy and happy.
Barry La Forgia is the executive director of International Relief Teams (IRT). In 1986, Barry went to the Amazon jungle on church mission trip to construct temporary lodging for indigenous people. He was so moved by the need and the poverty he witnessed, that in 1988 he left his successful law and real estate practice to found Southwest Medical Teams, now called IRT. Barry has received numerous awards for his visionary leadership of IRT and was named “Citizen of the Year” by the City Club of San Diego, “Man of the Year” by the St. Thomas More Society of San Diego, and was one of San Diego Magazine’s “People to Watch”. For his organization’s efforts in promoting nursing education in developing countries, Barry was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, as an honorary member in 2007. Recently, Barry received the Della Strada Award for humanitarian service from the San Diego Chapter of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. In 2013, Barry was inducted into the Nutley, New Jersey hall of fame, his hometown. Barry is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and a former Air Force pilot. He flew more than 100 tactical airlift missions in Vietnam. He holds advanced degrees in Economics, Business Administration, and Law. Barry practiced law for 12 years in San Diego before founding International Relief Teams in 1988.
Chris has worked in the residential and commercial construction management and real estate development field for twenty years. He is a business owner of Animal Urgent Care in Escondido, a 24 hour emergency veterinary clinic. Chris has led IRT construction teams in post Katrina Mississippi, Alabama after the tornado, and for the last three years in New Jersey since Superstorm Sandy.
Marinus has over thirty years of experience in physics, software development, project management, and advanced technology development. He has successfully managed and supervised development projects and programs. As a member of development teams, he has investigated and participated in the continued development of leading-edge technologies. He has analyzed and structured complex systems by combining the views of a user, a physicist/mathematician, and a software engineer. As a founder of Tapestry Solutions, he was responsible for the continued advancement of its technologies and the overall graphical user interface design of its products. He continues to lend his expertise to startups in the field of interactive software development.
Matthew serves as the IRT Board Secretary. Matthew has a software and product management background and has led the product development of online systems for eCommerce, email, web analytics, website monitoring, website load testing, cloud search, social networks, and internet security. He was introduced to IRT by a friend at Church many years ago. After serving as an ambassador along with his beautiful bride he was asked to join the board. Matthew's enthusiasm and excitement for the mission and work of IRT is infectious at every meeting he attends. Simply put: "There is simply no better place to invest the treasures you have been blessed with than IRT!"