AMOS Board of Directors
Arthur Francis, CA
Arthur was born and educated in Scotland. He became a Chartered Accountant (C.A.) there before moving, first to Canada and then to the United States.
He is retired from a career in accounting and business; which included, among other endeavors, the ownership and management of a home healthcare agency.
Arthur is a member of the Board of Trustees of Bacone College where he serves as treasurer and chairs the finance committee. At First Baptist Church Ann Arbor he is a trustee and member of the executive council.
Carmen Largaespada, PhD
Carmen Largaespada is a one of our Board members from Nicaragua, with more than 30 years of experience in planning, research, analysis, and evaluation of public programs and policies for social development. Her work has particularly focused on the fight against poverty, capacity building, and protection of the most vulnerable populations in Nicaragua and Mexico.
She has held numerous positions in international organizations as well as government entities in Nicaragua, including the post of Minister of the Family for two years.
Since 2008, she has served as the Director and Representative of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science, and Culture (OEI in Spanish).
Parallel to her position with the OEI, she volunteers her time to provide support for programs that target problems that affect children, families, the elderly, and rural communities in poverty.
Training and Publications:
Carmen Largaespada earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology, with a special focus on rural sociology. She also holds a Master’s degree in Sociology with a focus on regional planning, and a Doctorate in Sociology with a focus on research methodologies and sociology of the family. She has been a part of studies and publications on inclusive development with emphasis on the family, women, and children in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Canada.
David Hallett, JD
David grew up on a dairy farm in the rural Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. His love for Latin America began during a gap year in college when he spent time living with a family in Colombia, South America. During that time, he developed a cultural awareness that transformed his views on social injustice and inequality.
David attends First Baptist Church, McMinnville, OR, where he was introduced to the work of David and Laura Parajon through the church mission committee and their support of the Parajon’s as missionaries. He first traveled to Nicaragua in 2010 when he visited La Pimienta, a rural community FBC McMinnville directly supports on a long-term basis.
He currently serves as the Executive Dean of General Education at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. He has previously held the position of President at Pioneer Pacific College and also practiced law in Pennsylvania.
State University of New York, B.A. English Literature (1988)
Juris Doctorate (Law), University of Akron, Akron, OH
David Parajón, MD, MPH, MBA
Dr David G. Parajón, MD, MPH attended medical school at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, trained in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Medical Center in Albuquerque, and trained in preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
He and his wife Laura have been living and working in rural healthcare in Nicaragua since 2001. They are the co-directors of AMOS Health and Hope, a non-profit organization that trains, supports and works alongside health promoters and health committees in rural Nicaraguan communities to reduce infant and maternal deaths and promote health using a community-based empowerment approach.
Deborah Norton, MD, MPH
Deborah was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but was raised in Kenya. Her father was a missionary seminary and science teacher, and her mother was a missionary doctor. Her mom supervised health promoters in various parts of Kenya, often flying to clinics located in the northern desert region of the country.
Deborah went to Wheaton College, followed by University of Illinois Medical School, where she studied family medicine. She worked in community and farmworker health in North Carolina for six years, then studied public health and preventive medicine at University of North Carolina. Now she works in public health, helping women receive family planning and preventive care.
She finds joy at AMOS, where so many threads of her life have come together.
Laura Chanchien Parajón, MD, MPH
Laura grew up in the Washington D.C. area. Her passion for community health began as an undergraduate at Brown at the Center for Public Service, where she and two other students established an English as a Second Language Student Tutoring program for immigrants and refugees in Providence, Rhode Island. While in medical and public heath schools she helped establish two outreach programs to improve the health of immigrants and refugees in the Southeast Heights area of Albuquerque.
Since 2001, she has worked with a team of Nicaraguan health professionals and community health workers to improve access to health care in rural Nicaragua. In her work, she strives to serve alongside rural communities to collaboratively address and seek solutions to their health problems. Her special interests include teaching, community empowerment as a way to improve health, training of community health workers, and how faith-based approaches can be effective in improving the health of communities.
Laura is one of the founders of AMOS Health and Hope in 2006 and currently serves as the Medical Director of AMOS Health and Hope.
Brown University, Providence, RI (B.A. in Anthropology) (1990)
University of New Mexico School of Medicine (M.D.) (1993)
University of New Mexico School of Public Health (M.P.H.) (1999)
University of New Mexico School of Medicine (Albuquerque, NM)/ Family Medicine 1998
Marlene Francis, PhD
Marlene is a retired university teacher and administrator who lives with her husband, Arthur, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
She has been a trustee of her alma mater, Kalamazoo College, since 1980, serving as secretary and on the executive committee of the board and on two presidential search committees. She is also the author of “A Fellowship in Learning: Kalamazoo College 1833-2008”.
Marlene has a particular interest in institutional governance and history, and she is actively involved in the governance of First Baptist Church where she and her husband attend.
Rev. Dr. Jim Stinespring, D.Min.
Jim has been an AMOS Board member since 2015.
Stay tuned for a full bio on Jim!
Rev. Kent Harrop
Pastor Kent began serving on the Pastoral Staff at First Baptist Church in Beverly, Massachusetts in May 2014. Prior to that he was pastor of First Baptist in McMinnville, Oregon for 20 years. During his years in Oregon, the church began a partnership with AMOS. His first trip to Nicaragua was in 1988 when he met Dr. Gustavo Parajon and the work of Provadenic. Since then he has visited Nicaragua with Pastors for Peace in 1989, Provadenic in 2004, and three trips to support AMOS. He’s continually inspired by the mission of AMOS and the amazing people who make it happen. Kent and his wife Tricia brought their two daughters, Lindsay and Katelyn, to work alongside AMOS in 2008.
For fun Kent likes to kayak, ski, garden, and read. One of Kent’s favorite quotes is, “In Nicaragua everyone is thought to be a poet.” ~ Author Unknown
Rev. Mike Jeffries
Mike has been at First Fort Lauderdale since 1994; this is the fourth church in which he and Pastor Thompson have worked together. Mike assists Pastor Thompson in ministry coordination and message planning. In addition, he leads our global missions strategy which mobilizes members of the church for ministry in extended nations across the continents.
Mike also guides publishing initiatives for Orange, which provides leadership training and resources for more than 14,000 churches. Mike and his wife, Bridget, live in east Fort Lauderdale near the beach.
Octavio has been an AMOS Board member since 2008.
Stay tuned for a full bio on Octavio!
Roberto Antonio Martínez, MD, MPH
Roberto (Toño) was born in Managua, Nicaragua. He currently works for the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in Syracuse University. Roberto earned his medical degree from the UNAN Medical School in Managua, Nicaragua, and his Master of Public Health degree from the CNYMPH program in SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University.
Before moving to the United States, to continue his education, he served as the Rural Health Care Program Coordinator for AMOS Health and Hope. While at AMOS, he was inspired to work in Community Health by the example of Dr. Gustavo Parajón, Dr. David and Dra. Laura Parajón. He joined the AMOS board in 2015.
Robert McElroy, MD
Robert is a retired physician who has practiced general surgery for almost forty years, mostly in Topeka, Kansas. He has two boys with his wife Jean. One son lives in London. The other lives in San Jose, California, with his wife, Jill, and two girls, Hannah and Fiona.
He has had a life-long interest in health care for the rural poor. Many years ago he spent nearly two years at a Presbyterian Mission Hospital in a remote station in Western Ethiopia with his wife Jean. Starting about 1980, he began going to a Baptist Hospital on the north coast of Haiti where he performed surgery. He has been to the Bon Samaritain Hospital over thirty times, many times with Kevin Lake, a dear friend who was also on the AMOS board. Together in 2000, Kevin and Robert began working with Gustavo Parajón and Provadenic in Nicaragua. When Drs. David and Laura took over for Gustavo, they both began to support AMOS.
Robert enjoys sailing, his farm and horses, environmental activism with the state Audubon of Kansas, and visiting his grandchildren in California.
Román Santamaría, DDS
Dr. Román Santamaría Sevilla, one of four board members from Nicaragua, has served on the AMOS board since 2010. He is originally from Matagalpa, Nicaragua, and graduated from UAM (American University) as a dentist. He has vast experience serving on many board of directors and councils in churches and organizations in Nicaragua. He is pragmatical, easy to reach, and always willing to serve. He is especially drawn to working with others where there is a specific search for equity for all.
Román is also an entrepreneur invested in real state, coffee plantations, and other agricultural related activities.
He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Managua, where he has served as deacon since 2000 and is currently the President of their Board of Directors.
Sixto has been an AMOS Board member since 2008.
Stay tuned for a full bio on Sixto!
Rev. Dr. Tim Spring, D.Min.
Tim Spring and his wife Pauline have two grown children, ages 26 and 24. For the last 26 years he has been pastor of the North Hills Community Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, PA. He has been on the AMOS board for eight years, and has been bringing mission delegations to Nicaragua for the last fifteen years. He is a graduate of Grove City College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (D.Min.).
Honorary Member: Dr. Suzanne Lake, PhD
Dr. Suzanne Lake is a clinical psychologist from California. Suzanne is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and studied at Boston University, Fuller Seminary and School of Psychology, and Pepperdine University.
As a psychologist, she has taught psychology at the college and graduate level, presented at the state level, and published articles in psychoanalytic psychology.
With her husband, the late Dr. Kevin Lake, she helped establish Healing Hearts Across Borders, a medical missionary organization that serves the poorest people in the Tijuana area of Mexico. In particular, she served as consejera (counselor) in the HHAB’s quarterly trips to the Tijuana barrios and rural areas.
In her private practice in Pasadena, California, Suzanne treats individuals, couples, and families. Suzanne is the widow of Dr. Kevin Lake, a pulmonary specialist and humanitarian who served as an AMOS Board member for many years.