Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Board of Directors
Co-Executive Director USA, Founder
Board of Directors
Mike Safley was born and raised in Oregon. He attended the University of Oregon and served in the U.S. Navy Seabees, doing two tours of duty in Vietnam.
Mike was elected president of the fledgling Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) in 1990 and the Alpaca Registry (ARI) in 1996. While serving as president of AOBA, he conceived of and became the first editor for Alpacas magazine. He has been instrumental in the development of policies and practices for both AOBA and The Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI). Mike has written several brochures for the alpaca industry which continue to be printed by AOBA today including: “The Alpaca Investment,” “Fleece to Fashion” and “Alpacas the Color” brochure. He is also the author of Alpacas: Synthesis of a Miracle, Ideal Alpacas from Myth to Reality, The Alpaca Shepherd, and The Alpaca Chronicles.
Over the last 30 years, Mike has conducted seminars and lectures worldwide to audiences in England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, and Peru. He has been a judge at alpaca shows in the United States, England, Germany, Australia, Canada, and Peru. The major shows include the AOBA National, MAPACA, The All American Futurity, British Futurity, Alpaca Western Extravaganza, The North American Alpaca Show, The Great Western Alpaca Show, The Kentucky Classic, Estes Park Wool Market, and the Santa Fe Alpaca Show.
Mike worked to organize and fund Quechua Benefit since its inception, traveling to Peru with the crew for the past 13 years.
Co-Executive Director USA
Board of Directors
Mr. Cantwell is currently an Oil and Gas Consultant with both small and large clients. He has more than 34 years of industry experience in the management, engineering, operations and product marketing for domestic oil and gas companies.
Mr. Cantwell was on the Board of a non-profit school for 10 years. While on the Board, he chaired the Board of Directors for 3 years and chaired a Capital Campaign which raised over $10 Million.
In 2004 Mr. Cantwell co-founded Resolute Natural Resources, and was Senior Vice-President of Operations. At Resolute, Mr. Cantwell helped guide the company from a startup with seven employees through several key acquisitions, and finally going public on the NYSE, with over $500 million in assets. Prior to Resolute, Mr. Cantwell was Vice President of Kerr-McGee Rocky Mountain Corporation, following the merger of HS Resources with Kerr-McGee Corporation in August of 2001. As Vice President, his duties were to manage all aspects of Kerr-McGee’s Colorado assets in the DJ Basin. Prior to the HS/Kerr-McGee merger Mr. Cantwell was Vice President in charge of HS Resources D-J Basin District.
Mr. Cantwell earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado. He currently is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Mr. Cantwell is married and has two daughters. He is an avid skier and bicyclist.
Board of Directors
Chuck Gulotta graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997 with a PhD in clinical child psychology. He has worked as behavioral psychologist for 15 years and is currently the Program Director of the Pediatric Feeding Disorder Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The Kennedy Krieger Institute is an internationally recognized institution dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with pediatric developmental disabilities and disorders of the brain and spine. As the Program Director of Pediatric Feeding Disorders Unit he directs both inpatient and outpatient care as well as conducts outcome research on pediatric feeding disorders. Chuck also works part time as a contractor for the Veterans Administration conducting mental health exams for returning veterans.
In 2000 Chuck and his wife Ashley Hanahan purchased a small farm and began breeding suri alpacas as way to relax and enjoy the country life. They currently live on a 9 acre farm, Arcadia Hollow Alpaca Farm, LLC in Manchester, Maryland where the raise suri alpacas as well sell alpaca fiber and products in their farm store. Over the past 11 years in the alpaca industry Chuck has served as treasurer and board member for both the Maryland Alpaca Breeders Association and the MidAtlantic Alpaca Breeders Association (MAPACA). He has also organized and run as a volunteer the MAPACA Jubilee from 2006-2008.
Board of Directors
Janice Clingman is co-owner of Lodi Alpacas at Whistling Valley Farm. She is an experienced business development professional with a history of working in the insurance industry. Jan has an extensive background in accounting as well as experience as the Director/Treasurer for the Great Lakes Alpaca Association. Her wealth of knowledge both in business and the alpaca world make her a valuable member of the Quechua Benefit Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
Lynn Edens is an alpaca breeder and partner in a vertically integrated U.S. yarn, knitwear and textile business. Reflecting her philanthropic focus on human rights and health care and education access, she has both supported and served as a board or advisory committee member of several of non-profit organizations with community health and/or social justice missions. Naturally, it was also this combination of interests that lead to her interest in and support of Quechua Benefit’s important mission and leadership. Lynn previously worked on Wall Street for a decade as a bond market analyst – this was in the dark ages between the advent of the fax and that of the smaller-than-a-suitcase cellphone, however. She and her husband Wes have four grown children.
Board of Directors
Bruno was born in Arequipa and received his education in business and economics in Peru. He worked for several years in the most important think tanks in Peru, advocating for free markets and economic reforms to lift the standard of living of all Peruvians.
After working for more than 16 years in the alpaca industry with Michell & Co. in various management positions, Bruno met Quechua Benefit, initially by supplying garments and knitwear for their online store.
Bruno became a supporter of Quechua Benefit’s work in the highlands, and he believes it truly make a difference. Years after the business relationship began, and having finished studying photography, Bruno participated as one of the principal photographers for Mike’s latest book, Vicuñas: Survival of the Finest.
“As a result of our ever-closer relationship, our friendship, common interests, and my participation in several of their social work projects, I was invited to join the Quechua Benefit Board of Directors, which I accepted with deep honor and enthusiasm.”
Thank you, Bruno, for your valuable contribution to Quechua and for joining the Board of Directors!
Board of Directors
Dr. Ian Tippets serves as an Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. He received his Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics from Ohio State University in 2010. Quechua Benefit is pleased to have him join our Board of Directors as our Education Director.
Ian has lived, volunteered, and done research in South America. His first experience with the Quechua people was when he worked with a humanitarian group based out of Cusco. Ian says, “I have always treasured my time living in South America, and QB allows me an opportunity to return and contribute to life-changing programs using my experience and skills.”
Ian plans to visit Peru in 2020 to develop a more complete understanding of the Casa Chapi program and its development. Additionally, he wants to identify and promote best practices and elevate Casa Chapi’s profile in the region. Ian also hopes to gain a personal perspective on the dynamics of the region to find ways to strengthen the efforts of QB.
Quechua Benefit is pleased to have Dr. Tippets as our Education Director. His expertise in Spanish and English as a Second Language education are a valuable addition as we continue to improve our educational programs at Casa Chapi.
Board of Directors
Kris has lived in Oregon for 30 years and has a long association with Quechua Benefit. Kris and his wife have traveled to Peru several times and are enthusiastic about Quechua Benefit’s work. Kris and his amazing wife Mimi Lettunich have two teenage sons.
Kris earned marketing and management degrees from Portland State University and was the captain of their football team. After a successful career in medical sales, Kris joined Twenty–Four Seven, an experience design firm based in Portland. Taking on the roles of Account Executive and Director of Culture, he has spent the last 10 years working with clients around the globe to create and execute customer–centric programs that produce brand advocates.
As the Director of Culture, Kris has helped drive the tenet of One Life. This allows members of Twenty–Four Seven to bring all their passions to the workplace. Through this concept, community work has had a spotlight in the culture. His past work advancing the lives of under-served children with Big Brother Big Sisters, CAMFED, Rosemary Anderson High School, The African Foundation, and Quechua Benefit has been in the forefront of these efforts.
Pamela is a retired attorney and full-time alpaca rancher.
She was born on a ranch in South Dakota, graduated from the University of Colorado, Phi Beta Kappa, then from the University of Notre Dame Law School. After graduation Pamela founded her own business law firm with three partners and grew that firm to 35 attorneys where she specialized in business and transactional law. She was then asked to become a partner in the multi-national firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher where she again practiced transactional law, specializing in oil & gas and real estate for 25 years before retiring.
Pamela’s community work has always centered on issues effecting women and children, homelessness and domestic abuse. She helped found and obtain funding for Denver’s first domestic abuse safe house, organized attorneys to assist domestic abuse victims and served on the board of the Gathering Place, a daytime homeless shelter for women and children and educational outreach community. She’s a founder and past-President of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association.
Pamela and Dale Cantwell have 2 grown daughters, Amelia and Elizabeth, and live at Xanadu Farm north of Denver. Pamela loves Delta blues, old-time railroads and traveling. She’s a certified glider pilot.
Ruthie Gohl has been a registered Nurse for 47 years she earned her Master’s Degree from University of Portland, and has retired from a career as a hospital Nursing Director in Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. The last 6 years of her career were spent as Walla Walla University School of Nursing Instructor, and she is currently Deputy Executive Director for Battle Ground HealthCare, a free clinic she founded which offers chronic medical and dental care for uninsured and underinsured.
In her spare time Ruthie has been an alpaca owner since 1997 and is the full time mother to 5 awesome children and their spouses, and 11, creative grandkids.
Ruthie is currently having fun going on mission trips (with High School Students) to share Christ’s love with others. Married to one handsome, innovative guy, Daryl Gohl, who is blessed by God to work to give back to others.
Richard “Dick” Miller is a retired Civil Engineer who has been working as well as volunteering in Central and South America for years! He is fluent in Spanish and served as an interpreter on many of out mission trip. He has been a advocate and fundraiser for over 20 years for children’s learning and their education in Guatemala.
Dale is a Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor with Robert W. Baird & Co. He has been providing wealth management advice to high net-worth individuals, professionals, business owners, corporate executives and non-profit organizations for more than thirty years. He graduated from Washington State University in 1982 and has worked with notable firms Dain Bosworth, Piper Jaffray and Wells Fargo Advisors.
In 2014 Dale joined Robert W. Baird & Co. through the acquisition of McAdams, Wright, Ragen. In 2000 he successfully completed his Certified Investment Management AnalystSM designation (CIMA®) through The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA). In 1990, he obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado.
Through his local church, Dale Co-Founded Bridgetown Mentor’s Forum – a once a month speaking forum featuring business owners and professionals primarily from the Portland metro area aimed at mentoring the younger generation about life, career and family.
He is an advisor to the Development Team at Bridgetown Inc. a non-profit organization that provides assistance and relief to Portland’s homeless community as well as low income families and children in the metro area.
Dale and his wife Cher currently reside in Portland, Oregon. He has two sons, Lucas and Braden. He loves sports and the outdoors and his favorite activity is fly fishing the many streams and rivers in the Pacific Northwest.
QB Peru Staff
Peru Country Director
Alejandro Tejeda Barzola was born in Majes, an agricultural valley in the Arequipa region of Peru. He graduated from San Agustin de Arequipa University with a degree in Economics in 1985.
Alejandro joined the QB team in 2009 with a great deal of experience working on governmental projects in Southern Peru. He has always enjoyed focusing on rural projects with Quechua communities and alpaca breeders.
For me, is a great achievement of my life to witness how much we are growing. As the Quechua Benefit Peru Country Director, I have to give my best every day in all activities and projects. Casa Chapi a beautiful opportunity for our kids — it is changing their lives. I am very happy to work with American people who believe in the Peruvian people.
Peru Health Programs Administrator
Claudia was born and raised in Arequipa, Peru. In 2010, she graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the Catholic University of Santa Maria. After college, she worked in retail and then the public sector at the Regional Office of Transport and Communications. Currently, she is pursuing a Masters in Human Resources. She joined the QB team in June 2016 as Administrative Assistant at our Arequipa office.
Working with Quechua Benefit has been one of the most satisfying experiences in my life; it is an honor to work with and for people who have a huge heart. I feel really blessed to be part of this family.
Principal of Casa Chapi
Guini Calcina Vargay is an inspiration. After working for the mining industry, Guini was encouraged by her family to become a teacher. She began by teaching three- and four-year-olds, which motivated her to continue more training. Guini has taught various ages and ethnicities in Peru for fifteen years. Her investment in Casa Chapi is not merely academic. Guini says, “I enjoy and admire children in their successes, achievements, and joys as a single family.” She loves watching students develop confidence and independence. As the children come from diverse backgrounds, she helps them create a new happy family that helps them face the challenges of life together.
Administrator of Casa Chapi
Lusmila was born in the village of Tuti, in the Colca Valley of Peru. She grew up speaking Quechua.
Lusmila worked alongside Padre Marcos for four years as the church secretary in Chivay. She then studied and graduated from the University Marcelino Champañat in Lima with a degree in primary education in 2001. She taught elementary school for the next 12 years, and joined the team at Casa Chapi in March 2016 as the administrator and assistant teacher. She says that her job at Casa Chapi has been a welcome challenge, and that she is very happy to share in the children’s daily experience of learning.
Margot was born in Arequipa, Peru. She graduated with a degree in Education from the University of Saint Augustine in 2005 and then went on to teach in both public and private schools in Arequipa. She joined Casa Chapi in 2013 as a house mother. She stepped into her natural role as teacher when Casa Chapi first became a school, and she was appointed Principal in 2015.
Working at Casa Chapi is a wonderful experience. I feel great satisfaction working with Quechua Benefit and serving children of the highlands in need of education and love. I’m happy to be part of a team that has grown and achieved great things in our three years together. I am thankful that these children have the opportunity to continue studying in Arequipa. Education is something that cannot be taken away.
Teacher at Casa Chapi
Maria Luisa was born in Ocoña, on the coast of Southern Peru. She graduated from the Institute of Santa Maria with a taching degree in 2007. At a young age, she belonged to a Christian congregation of religious sisters.
She taught primary school for the Municipality and worked as an assistant educator in high schools for four years. She joined Casa Chapi in 2013 as a House Mother then began teaching primary grades in 2016.
Over the years I have been here, Casa Chapi has grown significantly with new buildings and many new activities. Today we serve more than 60 highland children, and I am happy to be part of this team. I am committed to being a teacher and auntie to these children so that I can create positive change their lives.