Board of Advisory:


briankelleyDr. Brian Kelley -- President and Co-Founder

Dr. Kelley is the Assistant Professor for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of San Antonio. He received his Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1992. Brian is also the Co-Founder of Helping Hands International, along with his wife, Violette. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and three, beautiful daughters. (Click here to see an extended biography for Dr. Kelley)


britt Britt Sims, BCABA-- Vice President

Britt has extensive experience in youth ministry and working with families. He is a Certified Behavior Analyst and specializes in diagnostics, analysis, and intervention for children with Autism. Britt also focuses on training parents of children with challenging behaviors. He lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife and two boys. They are in the process of adopting a little girl from Haiti.


emily Emily Sims -- Fund Raising

Emily is the proud mother of two, adventurous young boys and a beautiful daughter who still lives in Haiti. She and her husband are in the process of adopting their first daughter from Haiti. Emily stays home with her children; navigating the joys and chaos of home life on a daily basis. She has a passion for the people of Haiti and social justice. Emily has worked in several churches as Assistant Youth Director alongside her husband. She has a Bachelor's degree from West Texas A&M. Emily loves being a mother, teacher, wife, worship leader, writer, daughter, sister, and friend. She also loves people of every race, age, economical status, and size! Learn more about Emily HERE.


Myriam Myriam Louisdor -- Director of Operations in Haiti

Myriam is a native Haitian, she manages and directs all
affairs for The Helping Hands International in Haiti. Myriam
is a business major with a minor in education and also has extensive real estate experience

She understands the needs and hearts of the


Kenzy St Felix -- Curriculum Administrator

Mr. St. Felix has been a mathematics teacher in Haiti since 1991. He served as Official Exam Evaluator for the Haiti Board of
Education 1995 to 2000. Kenzy St. Felix is also author of several
comprehensive mathematic text books for Haitian students.


donnathayer Donna Thayer, JD -- Board Member

Donna Thayer is a licensed attorney in Texas. She graduated from Southern Methodist University School of Law and has practiced in the areas of commercial litigation, construction law, contracts and property tax litigation. She currently works as a legal research consultant for Thomson Reuters.

In addition to serving on the Board of Advisors for The Helping Hands International, she is also a member of the Board of Directors for Open Door Preschool. She has traveled to Haiti many times and advocated on behalf of children and has a three-year-old son adopted from Haiti.


Daphyne Thomas Mirr, M.A., CCC-SLP  -- Board Member

Daphyne lives in the East Bay area of San Francisco, California with her husband and daughter.  She received her B.S. from Georgia Southern University and M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2003, she has committed her professional career to supporting special needs children and their families.  Currently, she works as a speech-language pathologist in a public school serving preschool through elementary age children with neurological disabilities and orthopedic impairments.  She is an active member of the California Speech-Language Hearing Association and the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.  As a working parent, she volunteers her time in her daughter’s school and various sporting activities, and as a co-leader of a local Girl Scout troop. In addition to these volunteer efforts, Daphyne is excited about the opportunities to support the educational and humanitarian needs of the children in Haiti through Helping Hands International.


victoria Victoria Petree -- Board Member

 Victoria was born and raised  in Costa Rica. She taught English for two years in my country.  She then moved to the United States in 1993 and started her journey as a Spanish teacher.  Now, she is very happy to be part of the Northside ISD family. Victoria holds a Bachelors of Arts-from the University of Costa Rica (English Literature). She is also a certified Spanish teacher. Victoria is currently a school counseling graduate student at the University of Texas San Antonio. Victoria has been married for the past 17 years and has two children.


wade Wade Petree -- Board Member

Wade Petree is originally from Roseville, Minnesota. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the US Army.  During his 20 plus years in the US Army, Wade earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in School Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University.  While serving in the Army, Wade spent 2 months deployed to Port au Prince, Haiti, during operation "Uphold Democracy”. Wade is also an Iraq war veteran. Wade is currently employed by Comal Independent School District as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology.