Response. Relief. Renewal.
Communitere is an innovative non-profit, pioneering an effective international model for sustainable disaster recovery. We create dynamic, collaborative hubs in affected communities that make a powerful impact by giving individuals the means to become self-reliant.
Our proven grassroots approach involves an active, experienced, on-the-ground presence with a focus on providing the resources, processes and tools required to empower local communities to take an active role in the renewal of their own community. In addition, we are committed to bridging the gap between individuals who are willing to help and organizations that can effect change. Central to that commitment is the notion that communication, information and strategic partnerships are vital to effective emergency response, recovery and renewal of affected communities.
Communitere has been on the ground in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake, in the Philippines since the super typhoon hit in 2013, and in Nepal since the earthquakes in 2015. We look forward to sharing how Communitere is supporting each of these unique communities and how we are growing our global efforts.
A History of Success
A disaster, by definition, destroys communities by severely affecting not only life and normalcy but infrastructure, leadership and hope. But disasters also motivate those who have a heartfelt desire to help. In the aftermath of the 2004 earthquake in the Indian Ocean that caused the most deadly tsunami in history, an astonishing array of organizations and people responded, mobilized and arrived in record time. They brought energy, technology, skills, food and comfort… and they brought it all at once. Unfortunately, the heartbreaking result of this instantaneous outpouring was that it exposed fatal logistical gaps; rice rotted before it could fill empty stomachs, medicine expired before it could help the sick and dying, and water languished in warehouses while thirsty people drank fetid water contaminated by disaster.
Communitere grew out of this failure. In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami – and in Peru following the 2007 earthquake, Haiti in 2010, the Philippines in 2013, and Nepal in 2015 – Communitere provided the ability to connect the dots at the final mile and created a foundation that provided a path to repair and to ensuring that everyone affected sees hope for the future. From closing the immediate gaps in the supply chains to helping rebuild homes once the emergency conditions abate, Communitere’s global network of volunteers and partner organizations come together to ensure that aid is efficiently and effectively used to rebuild communities that have been profoundly affected by disaster.
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Sam began working in post-disaster relief after hearing of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. As Project Manager for the Tsunami Volunteer Center (TVC) in Thailand, Sam led the reconstruction of the coastal village of Laem Pom.
After the Peruvian earthquake of 2007, Sam worked as Operations Director for Burners Without Borders (BWB) in Pisco, Peru. There he managed over 800 volunteers representing 34 countries, culminating in over 54,000 man-hours of relief operations. The program developed by Sam and BWB was handed over to local partners, which resulted in the founding of Pisco Sin Fronteras (PSF).
Most recently, Sam spent four years in Haiti, responding to the 2010 earthquake. It was in Port-au- Prince that he founded Communitere and the successful model of grassroots relief-response that has now been duplicated in the Philippines.
Aside from relief work, Sam is an avid climber and has designed and constructed multiple forest canopy zip-line tours.
Robin is an international social entrepreneur, philanthropist and mother of three daughters who currently lives in Sydney, Australia. Robin’s professional background is in media sales and marketing where she spent seven years in local and national television sales.
Robin first traveled to Haiti in February 2012 with the group Off the Mat, Into the World. The group of 15 participants raised over $300,000 to invest in women owned and operated, grassroots business and social organizations in Haiti. That trip marked the beginning of Robin’s journey into the world of social entrepreneurship and ignited her love and passion for Haiti and its people.
Currently, Robin is working with the group Alaos Haiti to develop an innovative type of green building using recycled polystyrene – in essence, turning Styrofoam trash into houses. She is also on the leadership team that is working to launch the first international affiliate of Off the Mat, Into the World in Australia and New Zealand.
Robin loves to travel and has been to Haiti five times in the last two years to work on various projects with multiple organizations. Her primary focus is continuing to find organizations and projects that are working toward socially integrated, sustainable goals.
Co-Founder & Board Member
Jimmy brings nine years of experience in the non-profit arena to Haiti Communitere; previously, he worked as Environmental Coordinator for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. There he focused on the restoration of traditional homelands and strengthening the tribe’s ability to contribute to Lake Tahoe Area public policy.
In 2007, he was exposed to disaster relief work in Peru with Burners without Borders (BWB). As BWB Program Coordinator and a board member of Pisco Sin Fronteras (PSF), Jimmy has dedicated himself to the long-term sustainable redevelopment of Pisco.
Jimmy graduated with a BS in Environmental Management and Policy from Indiana University.
Emma Weisman, Esq.
Emma has been with Communitere since 2010 when she joined Haiti Communitere in Port-au-Prince. She has a background in writing, small business development, international human rights law, nonprofit management, development and civil litigation.
Emma is an equality activist who believes, as the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares, that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and that they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of family-hood. She is devoted to the Communitere ethos of giving communities the tools to empower themselves.
When Emma is not “on the clock,” she can be found curled up with a book.
Treasurer & Board Member
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti spurred Delphine’s third major disaster response. The first was with the Tsunami Volunteer Center in the Taptawaan village project in Thailand where she spent four months. The second was with Pisco Sin Fronteras (Burners Without Borders) in Pisco, Peru where she lived and worked for eight months.
Delphine arrived in Haiti in June of 2010 and has dedicated herself to multiple roles including international volunteer coordinator, Cholera Education Coordinator, MAPS (Men Ansanm Pou la Sante) and Community Outreach Director.
In addition to her multifaceted and versatile skills, Delphine speaks French, English, Haitian Creole and Spanish.
Mike’s life and career are all about re-thinking industries and trends to create mass appeal and participation. He continually pushes the boundaries of shared economy models and their impact on innovative ecosystems, sustainable development and grass-roots community activation to improve civic life.
Currently, Mike is an affiliate of Institute for the Future, Organizer for the National Day of Civic Hacking, a member of the Board of Directors for Communitere, Director of the Free Burma Project, Creative Director of the Urban Innovation Exchange, Community Organizer for the free sharing site, Yerdle and, most recently, a co-founder of [ FREESPACE ]
Other projects and innovations Mike has been involved with include Yahoo!, Project Manager for Pacific Building and Design and Director of Sustainability for Temple Nightclub, America’s first “green” nightclub.
Mike has also been a participant on the original Advisory Council for the UN-backed Business Council on Climate Change, elected Chairman of the Kyebando Green Movement in Kampala, Uganda, Creative Consultant at the Barlow, a new “maker” retail community in Sebastopol, and Culture Hacker at Innovation Endeavors, Eric Schmidt’s VC firm.
Mike is also an urban beekeeper and loves sailing.
Though Rachael began her career in finance and compliance, her true passion is a desire to serve. She fulfills this passion by applying her skills to social entrepreneurship. At her best when facing wicked problems, Rachael thrives where there is a gap, an underserved population or a new way of tackling an old issue.
Rachael first applied her solution-oriented outlook and entrepreneurial spirit when she established a charity that provides homeless babies a safe place to sleep. More recently, she has devoted herself to re-humanizing our work lives by applying compassion and mindfulness to enterprise and innovation. Currently, Rachael is the Director of Refraction, a co-working experiment that brings together leaders in technology, social good and the arts into a diverse community that is focused on innovation, collaboration and impact.
In addition to her work, Rachael is committed to supporting social entrepreneurs working toward positive sustainable change. She co-founded and continues to support the Dandelion Support Network, a charity that supports vulnerable families and is working to launch the first international affiliate of Off the Mat, Into the World in Australia and New Zealand.
When Rachael isn’t working or with her two young sons, you will find her devouring the latest research or on her (yoga) mat.
Bobbi Dunphy is Head of Business & Strategic Partnership Development for Treasure8, a food and tech innovation company based on Treasure Island in San Francisco. Treasure8 develops, patents and deploys healthy food ingredients, processes and products that address the world’s need for highly nutritious, convenient whole food solutions while concentrating on food waste, thereby confronting some of the biggest challenges in the global food system.
Bobbi is a social entrepreneur who has worked at the nexus of water, food, climate and energy security for the past 15 years. As a Founding Member and Strategic Director for the Global Peace Index (the inaugural initiative of the Institute for the Economics of Peace in Sydney, Australia) published by The Economist annually since 2009, Bobbi has worked closely with Heads of State, Nobel Peace Laureates, CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, renowned humanitarians, entrepreneurs, celebrities and environmentalists.
She currently sits on a number of Advisory Boards including High Water Women’s summit, Nexus Global Network and WaterTrust.org and recently was named one of 50 Global Achievers by the Australian Government for her outstanding work in the water security sector.
Leiasa Beckham brings over 15 years of real estate experience to Communitere’s Board of Directors. She specializes in grassroots development projects that serve the affordable housing, social enterprise and nonprofit sectors. Her most notable projects are the City of San Francisco’s Central Market Economic Strategy, Community Arts Stabilization Trust, San Francisco Nonprofit Displacement Program, San Francisco Community Land Trust’s 55 Columbus in Chinatown and the Refugees Resettlement Program for the City of Lewiston, Maine.
Leiasa holds a Masters in Urban Studies and Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelors’ of Science in Urban Affairs and Planning from City University of New York City.
When Leiasa’s not busy promoting social equity, she spends her time with her family doing anything else but real estate.