Board of Directors
Brett Parry, President, 2021-2022
Prior to his election to the role of President Elect, Brett Parry served Communications Director for SIETAR USA. Brett's early professional background was in the mining and engineering field in his native Australia, before moving into the business of retail franchising. In 2000, Brett moved to the USA to pursue international franchise opportunities. Shortly after arriving, Brett also began consulting to Australian companies wishing to expand into the North American market, many times in collaboration with the Australian Trade Commission. It was this shift that brought him to recognize the importance of cross-cultural knowledge and understanding. Brett soon expanded his business to include Asian and European clients, offering further real world learning opportunities in navigating cultural differences. Brett has been certified by a number of cultural learning organizations to deliver their programs in support of global mobility and cultural competency. He currently delivers these programs in support of executives and employees of some of the world’s largest corporations. Brett currently lives in Chicago, IL.
Sandra Fowler, Past President, 2021
Sandra M. Fowler entered the intercultural field in the 1970s
researching the Peace Corps PRIST induction program for the National Bureau of
Standards Applied Psychology division, followed by 8 years of U.S. Navy
personnel research during which the simulation game BaFa BaFa was developed.
She directed the Navy’s Overseas Duty Support Program from 1979 to 1989, was
president of SIETAR International in 1988, followed by 20 years as an
independent consultant and trainer. Her publications include the 2-volume Intercultural Sourcebook of Cross-Cultural
Training plus many articles and chapters in a variety of books on
Justin Sitron, Secretary, 2020-2022
Justin A. Sitron, PhD is associate professor of human sexuality studies and associate dean in the School of Human Service Professions at Widener University where he also serves as the director of the Center for Human Sexuality Studies and the Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative. Dr. Sitron has been working as a community-based human sexuality educator since 2005 when he left his career as a Spanish teacher to pursue a career more focused on diversity, inclusion, and social justice. As a public school teacher he recognized the incredible need for teachers and other human service professionals to better understand their students, especially their students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and sstudents from other marginalized and oppressed populations. He is trained at the graduate level in human sexuality education, has two certificates in sexuality education and sex therapy from the Fundación Sexpol in Madrid, Spain, and his doctorate in human sexuality studies. Justin’s current professional projects include training health care providers and community-focused educators how to ground their practice in a sexual and reproductive rights perspective that is informed by the principles of racial and economic justice. His work is grounded in an intercultural approach to understanding and connecting, and he continues to develop sexological worldview as a construct and framework to underpin and measure the impact of his work.
Alsu Schondelmayer, Treasurer, 2020-2022
Alsu Schondelmayer grew up in the Soviet Union. The year she graduated high school the word “perestroika” was introduced to the world. Her ability to work in diverse and changing environments was honed while navigating the swift social and economic changes that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union and then, after moving to the United States, by reconstructing her professional career from scratch in the new country.
Alsu brings to SIETAR USA 20+ years of experience providing accounting, financial, and tax services to organizations ranging from multi-billion corporations to small businesses. Tech-savvy, team-focused, and with a passion for automating and streamlining procedures, Alsu applies her strong analytic and problem-solving skills to address the dynamic needs of the companies she serves.
Dr. Rashmi Kapse is a Senior Intercultural Consultant and an ICF certified leadership coach. She coaches senior executives and managers for success in both international assignments and in managing intercultural, global teams. As a leadership coach, she works with leaders during their transition to a different role. She specializes in coaching leaders during global mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Kapse has over 24 years of experience working in India and the USA.
After earning her PhD in India and spending 2 years in the UK, she moved to the USA in 1998. She repatriated to India with her family in 2007 and moved back to the USA in 2013. This move really changed her perspective on the speed of cultural changes happening in developed and developing nations.
She is a Trained Yoga teacher and also conducts Yoga for Stress Management and Relaxation training. She is currently based in Princeton, New Jersey.
Dr. Michele Hanna, Leadership Development Director, 2021-2023
Dr. Michele Hanna is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Social work at the University of Denver where she currently serves as the coordinator of the Child Welfare concentration having taught both child welfare practice and policy courses. Dr. Hanna's research and scholarship focuses on child welfare, foster care, adoption and racial justice.
Julia Gaspar-Bates, Local Groups Director, 2020-2022
Julia Gaspar-Bates joined the SIETAR USA Board of Directors as Local Groups Director in 2017. She has been a member of SIETAR USA since 2002 and has been involved with the organization in various capacities over the years such as heading up the SIETAR Washington DC chapter from 2007-2010, co-chairing the SIETAR USA conference in 2013 and teaching yoga at many of the annual conferences. Julia is co-founder and president of Intercultural Alliances, LLC, a global intercultural training and consulting firm. Since 2000, she has provided cross-cultural training and consulting services on four continents and in multiple foreign languages to executives, educators and students, military service members and governmental and non-governmental personnel. A dual citizen of the U.S. and the U.K., Julia lived in France for over seven years, has lived for shorter periods in Mexico, Italy and Switzerland and has traveled to over 45 countries. She speaks French, Spanish and Italian fluently and is currently studying Brazilian Portuguese. She has been an adjunct professor at George Washington University since 2007 and writes a bi-monthly column "Cultural Connections" for the Hyattsville Life & Times newspaper. Julia holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University.
Dr. Sherri Tapp, Membership, Outreach & Diversity Director, 2021
Dr. Sherri Tapp joined the SIETAR USA Board as Director of Membership, Outreach & Diversity (MOD) in 2018. Sherri is an Associate Professor of Graduate Education at Oral Roberts University, where she teaches Culturally Responsive Education, Effective Leadership and related courses. She has performed extensive research in the areas of Cultural Competence in Education and Jury Consultation, and her other interests include Motivational and Inspirational Speaking, Coaching and Consulting. Dr. Tapp's focus and expertise is on providing professional development training in Cultural Competence, Diversity, Leadership, How Adults Learn, Learning Theories, Brain Research and Community Education Programs among other topics. She is a key note speaker providing inspiration and motivation to all audiences. She also serves as a Board member for The Greenwood Cultural Center, an organization whose mission is to preserve African-American heritage and promote positive images of the African-American community. Through educational and cultural experiences, intercultural exchange, and cultural tourism, the Center touches all sectors of the community.
Cheryl Woehr, Professional Development Director, 2021
Cheryl Woehr joined the SIETAR USA Board of Directors as the Professional Development Director in 2020. She is a full-time faculty member in the Counseling Department at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. As the International Services Coordinator she assisted international students in adjusting to American culture and the academic system. As a counselor, she specializes in cross-cultural, crisis and career counseling. From 2003 to 2005 she worked with University of Nevada, Reno NCIV Program as the Intercultural Business Education and Training Manager working with international visitors, helping them to understand American culture and providing training to local businesses and organizations. She has extensive training experience focusing on intercultural communication and cultural diversity, equity and inclusion. She holds a master's degree in counseling psychology and a bachelor's degree in psychology from California State University, Chico.
Cheryl grew up in a military family and spent much of her life living and traveling abroad. She considers herself a Third Culture Kid and has traveled to 38 countries on five continents and spent most of her formative years living abroad in Madrid, Spain and Tripoli, Libya. More recently, she lived in Morocco where she worked at Al Akhawayn University for almost three years as the Counseling Services Coordinator and social sciences instructor. Her interests include traveling, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, art, Japanese and Medieval bookbinding and film.
Hamilton Cruz, Sponsor Partnership Development Director, 2020-2022
Hamilton J. Cruz grew up Nu Yorican in the Bronx, NY. He has lived in Miami, Florida, San Francisco, California, Yannawa in Bangkok, Thailand, and Koga, Utsunomiya, and Fujisawa Cities in Japan. His business background ranges from Import/Export to Human Resources. He has held staff positions as an ESL English Teacher, Training Manager, Intercultural Consultant, Corporate Consultant, and Senior Corporate Consultant. Hamilton possess Master’s Degrees in Education and Economics. He has worked with corporate training organizations and post-secondary institutions assisting people in improving their intercultural and interpersonal communication skills, along with their critical and analytical capabilities. Hamilton currently lives in Las Cruces, NM with his wife, three kids, and their dog. He teaches and practices the martial art of Aikido, occasionally performs on stage, and runs in his free time.
Karen J. Lokkesmoe, Ph.D., Conference Oversight Director, 2020-2022
Karen J. Lokkesmoe is a founding member of the SIETAR MN local group, and has played a key role in the planning administration of their monthly meetings since the groups inception in 2001. She has served as the co-chair of SIETAR USA's 2018 Saturday Seminars, and most recently as the Conference Chair for SIETAR USA's 2019 National Convention in Atlanta, GA, where she was responsible for all aspects of planning and oversight of the conference, including the conference program and all event logistics. Dr. Lokkesmoe has taught global leadership and intercultural competence at the University of Minnesota, and Capella and Argosy Universities. She has consulted with corporations, NGOs, and educational organizations around the world and is currently the President and Director of Global Leadership and Intercultural Development at Leadership Across Meridians, LLC.
Dr. Joel A. Brown, Esq., CLC. 2020-2022
Dr. Joel A. Brown is the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos LLC, a management consulting and coaching company based in San Francisco, USA, specializing in global diversity and inclusion, leadership, change management, and strategic storytelling. Joel is also an adjunct professor at the IESEG School of Management in Paris & Lille, France, where he teaches Storytelling for Leaders and Story Listening. As a change agent, Joel works strategically to cultivate innovative, creative, and adaptive environments where the cultural genius of everyone can be harnessed and leveraged successfully.
Joel is a member of several international think tanks, including D2K, the Diversity Collegium, SIETAR, and the Global Community Dialogue. He is also an Expert Panelist with the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks. Joel is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the Virginia School of Law, and received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College in May 2018.
Ray S. Leki 2018-2020
Ray S. Leki is a career member of the Senior Executive Service of the United States government at the Department of State, Foreign Service Institute. He is also an adjunct professor of intercultural management with the rank of Senior Interculturist in Residence at American University, and an author. At the Foreign Service Institute, he is the director of the Transition Center, where he oversees preparation and support for employees and family members entering, transitioning within, and leaving the U.S. foreign affairs community. At the U.S. Department of State, he has been a leader in dealing with far-flung diplomatic communities experiencing crisis and trauma. Recent interventions included work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Algeria, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He has focused his organizational efforts on creating smarter, more resilient, and more effective expatriates. In 2016, he opened the Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience as a new division within the Transition Center. Ray is also a published author: Travel Wise: How to Be Safe, Savvy and Secure Abroad (Intercultural Press/Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2008).
Rob Pusch 2018-2020
Rob Pusch has been an active member of SIETAR USA since 2002. Rob has served as the Communications Director and has been part of the conference planning team since 2010. Rob is associate director of Syracuse University Project Advance and oversees SUPA’s instructional services unit. He also teaches in the Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation program at SU. As a consultant, Rob does workshops on LGBT issues. He is one of the coauthor’s of the Cultural Detective: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.
Monica has been an active member of SIETAR USA for more than 20 years. She has previously served as Treasurer for SIETAR USA, as well as in several other roles. As the Global Mobility Manager for the Newmont Mining Corporation, Monica is a versatile international human resources professional recognized for a consultative style that fosters a culture of inclusion and a “do the right thing” philosophy. Her background includes multi-industry experience and broad financial knowledge with a reputation for sound decision-making and a focus on customer service, with a demonstrated ability to balance the needs of the business and the employees.
Suue Shinomiya, 2021-2023
Ms. Sue Shinomiya (USA), MBA, Chief Connectedness Officer of Global Business Passport / Connectedness of Portland, USA, empowers professionals to connect, lead and succeed across cultures and differences, in an increasingly global, diverse and complex world. She is an expert and published author on Japanese culture and business. She delivers programs and coachings on a range of intercultural and inclusiveness topics and uses the Japanese concept of Ikigai as a visual purpose-finding coaching tool.
A SIETAR USA member since 2000, Sue previously served on the Board of Directors of with the Professional Development and Conference Oversight portfolios and Co-chaired the Denver SIETAR USA Conference in 2011. She has spent many years in Asia, six of them managing an on-site intercultural program for a US Corporation in Japan. She speaks Japanese and has studied Mandarin Chinese. Sue has been an Adjunct Faculty Member of Portland State University’s Master of International Management program and is currently a corporate member of the Japan America Society of Oregon. Understanding culture through interaction, travel, writing, photography and nature is her passion, and her recent in explorations include Australia, Mexico, Myanmar, Thailand, Belgium and Ireland. She lives in the Pacific Northwest in Portland, Oregon.