Burma Humanitarian Mission

Meet Our Team

MIKE ISHERWOOD

Mike is Chair of the Board for BHM. Formerly our Treasurer, Mike led our original efforts to become recognized as our own 501c3. Mike maintains relations with the Backpacking Medics that BHM supports and reviews all new funding requests. Mike also coordinates media opportunities and press releases. An avid, life-long runner, he leads the Run for Burma teams.

"I was a young teen in Foster Care in Michigan where the state had control over who I lived with. When I was 15, I was yanked out of a home and moved to a new family. I had zero control over my own life. I learned first-hand, in a very personal way, what my liberty meant to me and my own experience of being displaced from my home gives me a personal resonance to what I imagine the children of Burma experience when they are forced to flee the security of their villages -- displaced to camps or becoming migrant workers in Thailand, working hard to support their families, and struggling without support to build their future. Or when their parents are killed at the hands of the junta and they are forced alone in the world. " Read Mikes's Full Story

JAN COULTER

Jan joins the board of BHM as the Director of Education, charged with overseeing education programs along the Thai-Burma border, scholarships to refugees from Burma, and educational outreach in the US. She has previously served on the board of the Burmese American Democratic Alliance and is an active supporter of the Minmahaw School in Thailand.

"My commitment to Burma is the marriage of two important parts of myself: the leftist, social welfare leanings I inherited from my mother - even in high school, I was active in protesting the war in Vietnam. The other side is a resonance with Buddhism, which has been an ever-deepening journey through my life. Some of my early experiences taught me that these two parts of my life are not separate from one another – my spiritual practices shape my intention to create a world based on the values of service, kindness and compassion." Read Jan's Full Story

AMITY ARORA

Amity joins the BHM board with a tradition of service - particularly in areas where there is an intersection of human rights and medical need. She is a Registered Nurse with a background in Information Management and has formerly worked for the International Red Cross. Amity brings this background to her role as Director of Medical Programs.

"From a very early age, I had an appreciation for how fortunate most of us are in this country to have a roof over our heads, access to healthcare, food, and clean water. While growing up, I travelled to India and witnessed such abject poverty - human beings literally living in the gutters, scrounging for food, and desperately ill - forgotten people. I was impacted by plight of the human condition when denied basic, fundamental rights." Read Amity's Full Story

MARY EKSTROM

Mary brings over 25 years of health care related business services and management experience to her role as Treasurer of the Board of BHM. She has volunteered with BHM since 1999 and has supported many of our grass-roots fundraising efforts. Mary spearheads Burma Save Soap and youth outreach.

"Throughout my career, I’ve worked with the elderly and with developmentally disabled adults. It’s satisfying to see that I make a positive difference in the lives of the clients I serve. However, it has also made me conscious of two very big differences between the elderly and developmentally disabled in United States and the ethnic minorities of Burma." Read Mary's Full Story

JENNIFER ZURICK

Jennifer is the Executive Director and is a founding member of BHM. Jennifer has overseen the operations of BHM since its beginning and initiated BHM’s original fundraising efforts. In her role of Executive Director she is charged with expanding our programs and public outreach and keeping this amazing team of people moving.

"I have been an activist since starting an on-campus environmental organization at Ventura College back in 1990. In 1992, I began work with Greenpeace and began to focus attention on areas where there is an intersection of environmental and human rights abuses. In the mid-1990s, I joined the protests against the Yadana Pipeline at Unocal gas stations. At these protests I had the opportunity to meet a community of refugees who fled Burma after the military violence in 1988. They had endured the worst human rights violations imaginable but retained a quiet graciousness and dignity that touched me." Read Jen's Full Story

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