Who We Are
Focus Central America was founded in 2021 by Philanthropist, Barry Segal, as his third foundation. Wanting to do more to address the issues that cause people to flee their homes, Barry’s idea is simple: empower community leaders to solve the issues in their communities.Meet the Team
Barry Segal / Founder
Barry’s successful entrepreneurial career began over 45 years ago with the simple principle of always doing the right thing. When Barry sold his company, Bradco, in 2008, it had 150 branches. Barry continued this mantra in philanthropy as the founder of the Segal Family Foundation, Focus for Health Foundation and now Focus Central America Foundation. Each organization and project has something very important in common, a goal to improve the quality of life of as many individuals as possible.
After graduating from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in 2004, Martin worked to become the Vice President of Operations for Bradco Supply. Bradco Supply is the nation’s third largest distributor of commercial and residential building materials. From 2008-2010, he served as the Vice President of Acquisitions negotiating numerous strategic and financially important acquisitions for Bradco Supply. In 2010, Martin joined the Segal Family Foundation full-time as a managing director. In Central America, Martin focuses the Foundation on making efficient investments in projects that will make a lasting difference to help improve lives of people around the world. In addition to his role with the Segal Family Foundation, Martin is a real estate investor and manager of several real estate partnerships. When Martin is not working or spending time with his lovely wife Kristen, he enjoys fishing, skiing, playing tennis, and spending time with family and friends. Martin and Kristen reside in Chatham, NJ.
Sharon earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Binghamton University. She began her career working for New York State division for youth in Binghamton, NY and later in Queens, NY. Her original plan was to study for a master’s in social work but after spending summers and spare time at Bradco, she joined her family business. Deciding to focus on Real Estate, she worked in commercial real estate as an agent then at Bradco. This will be Sharon’s first time working on a board but has been very active with the SEGAL Family Foundation and Focus For Health Foundation. She is active in her current Temple, as well as her past temples in fundraising, event planning and real estate decisions. Sharon resides in Randolph New Jersey. She and her husband have three children, one grandson and two dogs. Sharon enjoys hiking, playing tennis, art, puzzles and spending time with family and friends.
Brooks Smith is a Presbyterian pastor who has served churches in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He holds degrees from Wesleyan University, The University of Chicago, Colgate Rochester Divinity School and the New School University. In Allentown, Pennsylvania he was the co founder of the Hispanic American Organization. In New Jersey, he chaired the board of the Grant Avenue Community Center and co founded El Centro Hispano Americano. Working through The Resource Foundation, he recruited hundreds of people to participate in mission trips to Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Ecuador especially to build low cost housing. He served the national Presbyterian Church through its advisory boards for the Self Development of People and for Presbyterian Disaster Response. After Hurricane Sandy, he organized the Union County Long Term Recovery Task Force and chaired the multi agency response for 3 years. His wife Gail is a retired guidance counselor and director. They have two sons and 3 grandchildren. He enjoys tennis, gardening, dancing and traveling.
Jen joined the Focus for Health team in January 2019. Jen has spent most of her career in the field of human services, specifically working with high-risk populations and people with disabilities. Throughout the years, she has incorporated her interest in wellness and nutrition into her career. Jen has partnered with various organizations throughout the last 25 years and has written numerous cookbooks and wellness manuals geared towards people with disabilities, as well as WIC and SNAP recipients. . In 2021, Jen helped Barry form Focus Central America and is excited to serve on the board. When Jen is not working, she can be found cooking, gardening, and driving her kids to sports practices. Jen has degrees in Psychology from Rutgers University and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Our Advisory Board
Abraam Miguel Tol Ramos
Abraam Miguel Tol Ramos / Liaison to Guatemala
Abraam has experience with the Western Cooperation Studies Association, working on trainings for Organized Civil Society; ENERGUATE, as a social promoter and facilitator between users in rural areas and consumer protection authorities. He has worked with USAID on Political Training for Youth in the departments of Alta and Baja Verapaz. Additionally, with World Vision, on work with Employment and Entrepreneurship for young people who have just graduated from high school. He has also worked with the Consular Section – Embassy of the United States in Guatemala, as Advisor on Indigenous Peoples Affairs, providing training workshops to all staff on their work with Indigenous People. Contact: email@example.com
Doménica Chevez / Liaison to El Salvador
Doménica has a degree in International Relations with experience in the design, planning and execution of international projects for development. She has extensive knowledge in social issues, experience in negotiation, fundraising, and public policy analysis. She has worked with international organizations, civil society institutions, as well as both the private and public sectors. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jayson Mena / Liaison to Honduras
Jayson Mena, has a Honduran Bachelor of Social Work with a concentration in Public Policies and a Masters in Public Administration. He also studied theology and has experience in the field of agriculture and coffee growing. He has a commitment to his country, to fight against injustice, inequality, and poverty. He feels it is necessary to promote a culture of community development, while taking into account that the lack of opportunities for the community is due to poverty and inequality. He remains confident that through Focus Central America he can contribute to building stronger, more resilient communities with a promising future. Contact: email@example.com
Alex Counts/ Consultant to FCA
Alex Counts is a consultant, educator and writer focusing on mission-driven organizations, social entrepreneurship, and microfinance. He established Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit, in 1997 and led it for 18 years. He served as a board member of the Katalysis Partnership, which focused on microfinance in Latin America, and which today is known as Red Katalysis. He is the author of 4 books including "Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship (Revised Edition)," published by Rivertowns Books in 2021.
Meet the Team
Director of Operations and Strategy
Jodi will be joining Focus Central America in September 2022. She has nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofits, with a focus on women’s rights, youth development and resource mobilization. Jodi has a long history of engagement with Central America including two and a half years spent serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama. Prior to joining Focus Central America, she served as the Executive Director of Princeton in Africa for seven years, where she helped develop fellowships focused on responsible engagement across the African continent. Jodi holds a master’s degree in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies from The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. In her free time, Jodi enjoys knitting, dancing, and hanging out with her son. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Juan D. Cubillo / Program Director
Juan Diego Cubillo is a Costa Rican native and a U.S. Air Force veteran with a B.A. in Public Relations and a M.S. in International Relations. Post-undergrad, Juan Diego began working with the International Rescue Committee to assist immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Juan Diego then returned to Central America as a U.S. diplomat with the U.S. Department of State from 2018-2020. While there, he worked at the U.S embassy in Guatemala City helping advance bilateral relations between Guatemala and the United States through consular efforts, public outreach, and charitable efforts. With his role at Focus Central America, Juan Diego is incredibly motivated to lead an impactful grant-making program that will directly improve the livelihoods of Central Americans. Contact: email@example.com
Angelina Ortega / Operations Coordinator
Angelina is a Dominican Native who immigrated to the states at a young age, she has a bachelor’s degree in health administration and completed her master’s in public health from New York University amid the pandemic. While in school she worked with both the public and nonprofit sectors to help advance health equity among the vulnerable populations including homeless, immigrants, LGBTQ+, and veterans to name a few. She’s had experience in empowering communities through project engagement, education and capacity building to help address current issues within the community. She’s hoping to bring those same qualities and even more to the organizations and communities in Central America to help them build a better and brighter future. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dana Wise / Director of Communications and Partnership Engagement
Dana joined the Focus for Health & Focus Central America team in December 2021. Dana has spent most of her career working in the non-profit sector in community development; including the time she spent serving in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia. She has always had a passion for helping others, especially in developing countries, and is excited to have a job where her personal passions and professional skills can align to help grassroots non-profits around the United States and globally. Dana has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and a master’s degree in Leadership from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. When she’s not at work, Dana is enjoying being a newlywed through traveling, going for hikes, and taking long walks with her rescue pit bull. contact: email@example.com