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Board Of Directors

Khushbu Patel​

Founding Board of Director, Governance Chair

About Khushbu Patel

Khushbu’s professional career has ranged from running a small business to being a part of nonprofits. She holds a strong connection to education as an Adjunct Faculty member at St. Mary’s University. Patel has taught courses in globalization, technology and its impacts, along with cultural and social development. She has seen how basic education has helped create opportunities for low income children through her travels in India, Bolivia and Bangladesh. As a member of the Board of Directors for Give More HUGS she is looking forward to continue helping children reach their potential and achieve their dreams.

Lyndsey Hoffman​

Board of Director, Fundraising Chair

About Lyndsey Hoffman

Lyndsey is the Store Manager for The Microsoft Store at Park Meadows, and specializes in training, productivity, solution selling and leadership development. She has also worked with Microsoft as a Business Sales Specialist and Community Development Specialist empowering our community to achieve more. Her background in technology started with multiple local startups where she created the companies’ foundations for HR and training. She brings her experience to empower every business and organization in her community to achieve more, while coaching consumers of all ages, using the phenomena of today’s technology as her tools to inspire and grow Give More HUGS.She possess a firm belief that the way to beneficially transform a society is to inspire people - not only on a spiritual plane, but by empowering their culture and economic foundation through education and technology.


Brittney Hill​

Board of Director, Programs Co-Chair

About Brittney Hill

Brittney was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Mercer University, and a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Scranton University. As a former educator of underprivileged students, Brittney is passionate about literacy and all students receiving an equal and quality education. Her background in teaching middle school students sparked her passion for the lifelong learning process as it relates to adults. She served as a manager of training and talent management in Human Resources (HR) and currently is an HR operations leader in Dallas, Texas. Brittney hopes to educate the community on the importance of providing all students, regardless of their economic status, with the necessary support and resources needed to become lifelong learners.

Vicki DeWille​

Board of Director, Governance and Development Chair

About Vicki DeWille

Vicki holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Maryville University in St. Louis, MO. She retired from AT&T after holding various executive level positions. While at AT&T she was a formal and informal mentor to many and held a leadership role in the Employee Resource Group dedicated to employees with disabilities and employees with disabled children. She strongly believes that everyone deserves a good foundational education regardless of economic status, disability or other difference. She supports the mission of GMH and hopes to help develop compassionate leaders for our future. She is the extremely proud mom to Lindsay who was born with cerebral palsy. Thanks to many devoted and masterful teachers, Lindsay graduated high school with honors and now attends college.

Andrew Brown

Founding Board of Director, Governance Chair

About Andrew Brown

Andrew graduated from Carthage College with a triple major in Finance, Business Administration, and Marketing before starting his Masters in Finance at Harvard University. His work experience ranges from being a financial advisor, trading commodity option spreads, managing rental properties, to climbing the corporate finance ladder. His true passion is educating and helping others which is where writing books and joining Give More HUGS comes in play. He believes GMH has the potential to help people all over the world.

Joseph Vasile

Board of Director

About Joseph Vasile

Joe is currently Cisco's State, Local Government and Education Services Sales Consultant for its Central Operation. He worked 17 years at IBM and 4 years at Cisco Systems prior to his current role. During his corporate tenures at IBM and Cisco he held various roles, ranging from Project Manager to Services and Sales leadership. Prior to leaving IBM, Joe served in the North America Software Group team as their Midwest Sales Leader for API Management and Internet of Things. Joe was a small business owner – he founded and eventually sold a small multimedia company.  He also has supporting DOD and Air Force programs as a government contractor (TS/SCI) and is PMP certified. Joe was a High School Math and Computer Science teacher and Coach in Queens, NY. After earning his BS in Computer Science from St. John’s University, he went on to earn his MA in Educational Technology from Long Island University and is currently pursuing an MBA at Baylor University, TX. Joe has experience in several industry verticals including Public Sector, Insurance, Aerospace, Education, Health Care, Oil and Gas. Joe also has a long history of volunteering with Make-a-wish, Meals on Wheels, United Way, Catholic Charities, and Gemers4Vets.

Donna Gee

Board of Director, Secretary

About Donna Gee

Dr. Gee is a Professor in the Teacher Education Department at Angelo State University. She received her doctorate from Texas Tech and taught in the public schools for 9 years before her career in higher education. Dr. Gee is interested in how children learn and the professional development of educators. She believes in the empowerment behind diversity and education.

Leadership Team Members

Christopher McGilvery

Founder and Executive Director

About Christopher McGilvery

Christopher is an educator who has lived abroad in Dominica and has traveled to several countries. He has created many bonds in various communities. Through volunteering and becoming involved with those communities, he has seen first hand the many children who do not have the basic school supplies.  Every child deserves to have the tools for learning so they can experience a quality education. Living abroad launched the idea of Give More HUGS - Helping Unite Giving Souls. Everyone has a giving soul within, and Give More HUGS would like to unite with anyone who wants to help provide youth with the tools to inspire a love for learning, reading, and creativity!

Ann Aro

Executive Assistant

About Ann Aro

Ann has an education degree from the University of Texas in Austin and currently resides in Louisiana with her husband, son, and labrador. She has been privileged to watch Give More HUGS unfold since living on the Island of Dominica. She has seen first hand the need for educational resources in the schools and wanted to get involved. She has a decade of teaching experience which inspired her even more to bring quality education, excitement for learning, and resources to all children! She feels so grateful to be given the opportunity to be a part of the GMH team.

Darin Iraj

Ambassador Coordinator

About Darin Iraj

Darin has been actively involved in community service and is an advocate of improving education for underprivileged children in nearby communities. His commitment to helping young children develop a passion for learning and success in school has driven Darin to volunteer and collect thousands of books for the Reach Out and Read Aloud Program, as well as tutor in local afterschool programs and participate in the New York Junior Tennis and Learning Program. Darin hopes to pursue a future in law, fighting for equality in education for underserved populations. In his free time, Darin enjoys being a part of his school business club, spanish club, school newspaper, sneaker blog, tennis, basketball, soccer and traveling. Darin is also a part of our social media and marketing teams!

Tiffany Baltierra

Ambassador Coordinator

About Tiffany Baltierra

Tiffany grew up in a household where learning and curiosity was encouraged. Being taught the value of gratitude and hard work from parents who fully embody these qualities has had a profound impact on her life today. Tiffany is an active promoter of making prominent opportunities for student success at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Her goal in life is to become a leader who serves her  community and creates a lasting impact on this world, one person at a time. She is excited to be a Senior Ambassador with Give More HUGS, as well as take part in our social media and marketing teams!

Holly Barker

Finance Director, CPA

About Holly Barker

Holly graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina Asheville with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She currently resides in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC where she is licensed to practice as a Certified Public Accountant. In lieu of “crunching numbers,” she enjoys hiking, reading, and creative writing. Holly is excited to be a part of the Give More HUGS team because she believes that a quality education can inspire and empower people to reach their utmost potential and to live life to its fullest.

Jessica Garrido

Marketing and Events Director

About Jessica Garrido

Jessica received her Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design at Angelo State University and is also working towards receiving her teachers certification to teach All-Level Art. She loves school, learning, and being involved with the community. She works with the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art in the education department, is an active member with Kappa Pi, an International Honorary Art Fraternity, and is an alumni for the People to People Student Ambassadors. Jessica is enthusiastic about using her experience with Graphic Design to support the Give More HUGS cause.

Danielle Tropiano

Marketing Team

About Danielle Tropiano

Danielle is a first generations graduate from Queens College (QC) in Communications and Media Studies. During her time at QC, Danielle was a member of Epsilon Sigma Phi Sorority Inc. (ESP), aiding in the organization’s recognition as a local sorority on campus and making Queens College the fourth university within the Tri-State area to recognize and accept the newly founded Greek organization. She held various executive board roles in ESP before graduating in 2016. Since graduating, she has been working within a world renowned firm which practices global law as an Executive Administrative Assistant. It is with great anticipation that Danielle has joined the Give More HUGS team, as she believes the work they continue to do towards the mission will reach great heights.

Sydney Asselstine

HUGS Ambassador Coordinator

About Sydney Asselstine

Sydney is a medical student at St. George’s University on the island of Grenada. Sydney hails from Canada and currently performing her clinical rotations at hospitals in the United States. She hopes to pursue a career in primary care and sports medicine while maintaining her love of fitness and athletics. Her time in Grenada has led her to seek out a way to positively impact the community there. She worked as a HUGS Ambassador to provide the students in Grenada with access to much needed supplies and hopes to continue to make social change on the island. Sydney has always valued education and understands the opportunities that can come from a positive classroom environment. She is motivated to help every child have access to those experiences and Give More HUGS provides an excellent outlet to do so!

Merhawit Girmay

Backpack Coordinator

About Merhawit Girmay

Merhawit is the founder of Selfless Act Drive, a donation drive that takes place in Dominica at the end of each semester to provide necessities being donated by students to the local community. She graduated from George Mason University with a B.S in Biology with a minor in Information Technology. Although her background was mostly science and research based, she always had a love for volunteering, event planning and community outreach that she consistently took part in throughout her college years and continues to today.

Once she moved to Dominica the love and passion for service grew. Growing up in a church teaching kids, she never thought it would come full circle to her considering a career in the field of education by pursuing education or counseling as a master’s degree. She is eager to learn and build on her knowledge to better serve her community and to advocate for the necessities of education and basic needs that every human deserves by partnering up with Give More HUGS. She is immensely grateful for the opportunity with Give More HUGS whose mission and value she admires dearly.

Hailey Callanan

BookShare Coordinator

About Hailey Callanan

Hailey is from New York and currently goes to Manhattanville College. She believes Give More HUGS is a passionate foundation that truly fights for quality education and introduces young individuals to the most inspirational people. She wanted to become the HUGS BookShare Coordinator because of the message and mission that Give More HUGS represents. This foundation inspires her daily and reminds her to fight for a quality education for all. Hailey says "HUGS also remind me to be humble and find ways to change someone’s life for the better. This foundation helps me to become a better person each and every day. Remember the key to succeeding is to never stop believing in who you are!"

Paula Orrego

Communications and Media Intern

About Paula Orrego

Paula is a Psychology and Social Action student Palo Alto University (PAU). She is a Public Relations officers at the Coalition for Disability Advocacy and Education and the Assistant to the Director of Alumni Relations at PAU. Outside of school, Paula is a social justice and political activist as well as mental illness awareness advocate. Her primary focus is on anti-bullying and she has spoken about this social issue at various schools, conferences, and other venues over the years. After serving as a college ambassador from 2017-2018, Paula is excited to return to Give More HUGS as a Communications and Media Intern, and she hopes to impact more lives this year.