Our work in Haiti simply would not exist without the guidance and leadership of our board.

Joel Zylstra

Board Chair

Joel Zylstra is the Director and Managing Trial Attorney for CNA Insurance in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Joel has been traveling to Haiti since 2009 when he first went on a trip at the urging of his college roommate Josh White. Joel lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota with his wife Amy and son Nick.

Dimy Doresca

Board Vice-Chair

Dimy Doresca is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and an International Business Specialist and Consultant. He is also Lecturer in International Business, a Global Learning Faculty Lead, and the Director of the Institute for International Business, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa. His professional experience includes international market research, conducting business overseas, risk analysis, strategic planning, business development, operations, contracts administration, negotiations, claim analysis, and international banking. Doresca holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Augustana College and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Ryan Buresh


Ryan Buresh is a Certified Public Accountant living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he works as the Controller for CRST International. Ryan is also involved in several non-profits in Cedar Rapids, where he serves as the Treasurer of Kids First Legal and the St. Luke's Hospital Foundation. Ryan heard a lot about Haiti from his brother Chris but was amazed by the impact and scale of CHI's efforts in the communities it serves on his first trip in September 2013. Ryan is married and has two daughters.

Allie Adam

Board Member

Allie Adam is a Pediatric Resident at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. She first traveled to Haiti in 2012 on a medical team. She returned in 2013 for most of her year between her undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa and medical school at UNMC. During that year, she worked on various projects for CHI including a latrine project and partnership with the CHWs. Allie also spearheaded the construction of two soccer fields in Arcahaie and Do Digue. With the help of her former Hawkeye teammates, she fundraised enough money to host the Hawks4Haiti soccer tournament for the local intermediate and secondary schools. In total, Allie has traveled to Haiti with 5-6 medical teams, progressing from a non-medical undergraduate to a provider and board member.

Valerie McDougall Kester

Board Member

Robin Meetz

Board Member

Paul Elbing

Board Member

Paul Elbing is a Board-Certified Family Practice Physician with 12 years of experience in Emergency Medicine. He began traveling to Haiti with CHI after his daughter Rachel met Chris Buresh. He loves the Haitian community and is thrilled to be a part of such an amazing organization.

Jodi Cattich

Board Member

Kim Riley-Adams

Board Member

Cindy Balio

Board Member

Jill Thedens

Board Member