Jose Abreu – Director
José Manuel Abreu was born in San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic. He studied elementary school and secondary school at Colegio Evangelico Lucille Rupp in San Juan de la Maguana. For college, he studied Business Administration at Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. Since he was a child he always loved to do things for others and also practiced a lot of sports, such as baseball, basketball, track and field. He also loves fishing and horses. After finishing high school he took part in a exchange program to Canada. During that time, his Mother’s house burned down. When he returned and saw how the community had helped his mother, that changed his life and he started working for many nonprofit organizations. He has worked in Guatemala, El Salvador and more than 100 communities in the Dominican Republic. During his career in nonprofit work, he experienced much frustration with the management of the organizations. In 2005, he meet Rebecca Tate and Chris Goodrich and began talking to them about his dream to start his own non-profit. Two years later Cambiando Vidas was founded.
Rebecca Tate – President and Board Member
Rebecca Tate began traveling to other countries with mission groups in 2004. In 2007, together with a great group of individuals, she helped to co-found Cambiando Vidas in the Dominican Republic. From that time on, she has returned to the Dominican Republic several times each year. She lives with her two children in Connecticut and works as a Spanish Teacher.
Chris Goodrich – Board Member
Chris Goodrich is a writer, reporter, and educator. A reporter and literary critic for more than two decades, he co-founded Cambiando Vidas with like-minded volunteers following the realization that he preferred creating social justice to writing about it. He has published books on the problematic nature of legal education (Anarchy and Elegance) building a sports car from a kit (Roadster), and Habitat for Humanity (Faith is a Verb). He has three adult children, and lives in California.
Judy Lacker – Board Member
Judy Lacker has been a Board member of CV since 2008. She went on her first building trip to the DR after retiring from 36 years of teaching in NY State, where she met Jose (and fell in love with him and the people of the DR), subsequently meeting Chris and Rebecca upon her return. When CV was founded in 2007, she enthusiastically became involved in the organization and went on three more builds with CV. Judy enjoys learning and speaking numerous languages, including Spanish. She hopes to one day be able to speak Spanish with her grandchildren (yet to be conceived) since her older son Jeff recently married Giuliana, from Peru. Her younger son, David, who has also been on a building trip with CV, is finishing up a 6-year stint with the US Navy as a nuclear reactor operator. Judy is enjoying her retirement teaching and tutoring ESL students, thinking up new businesses, doing volunteer work in her community of Danbury, cooking, photography, films and reading. She occasionally enjoys dancing the ‘bachata’, but only if it’s with Jose!
Mike Bishop – Board Member
Mike Bishop’s interest in social responsibility began while on a build in 2006 in the Dominican Republic. It was through Jose’s inspiration and the enthusiasm of the founders of Cambiando Vidas that he got involved with the organization. Mike has brought many friends and family to the DR not only to build a new home for a family but also experience how a group of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures can accomplish more as a team than could be done individually. Mike, his wife Wendy and three adult children live in Vancouver Canada.
Sarah Lindsay – Board Member
Sarah first started working with Cambiando Vidas in 2007 when she spent that summer in the DR working with Jose to help launch the organization. The warmth and kindness of the community inspired her to start a CV chapter at her college and lead the organization’s first all-college volunteer build in January 2008. After graduating college, Sarah was invited to join the board in December 2008. A California native, Sarah currently lives and works in Washington DC.