Linda Smith

Founder and Former Executive Director

Linda has a background in education, public health, entrepreneurship, fair trade, business operations and community sustainability. She has been connected to Guatemala since 1988. She earned an MBA and MA in Latin American Studies from UCLA, is fluent in Spanish and is learning Kaqchikel. Dreamer, doer, and constant learner, Reading Village continues to thrive under Linda’s leadership and expertise.

Aaron Smith

Board President

Aaron is an analyst at Google, where he uses data to analyze and improve security for users. Aaron earned a BA from Wake Forest University and a MS from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Outside of work, Aaron can be found chasing his son, wife, and golden retriever and indulging in Swiss chocolate.

Tommy Perkins

Board Treasurer

Tommy is a Senior Manager of Sales for rogenSi, a management consulting firm based in New York specializing in leadership, communication and sales effectiveness. Influencer, negotiator, team player and father, he manages client teams to develop the strengths of leaders in many top line organizations. Tommy earned a BS from Texas A&M University and a MBA from the Universidad del CEMA in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he spent several years with his wife before moving back to the US. Now he lives in New York and attempts to corral two young children.

Jan Wanner

Board Secretary

Jan Wanner has worked in education for nearly 40 years. In that time, she has been an elementary teacher, Special Education teacher, school librarian, counselor, IT consultant, even school secretary. Now officially retired, Jan is learning to paint, write and photograph her way around the world. Those travels took her to Guatemala twelve years ago and her interest in the country has grown ever since. Jan joined the Reading Village board in 2013. She has traveled with us on three Learning Journeys and brings an intense creativity as well as her education expertise to our team.

Larry Dressler

Founding Board Member

For over 25 years Larry Dressler helped people in organizations and communities mobilize their collective insight, commitment, and energy to make a positive difference in the world. He is a facilitator of high-­stakes conversations and a trusted advisor to leaders who seek to weave authentic engagement and collaboration into the fabric of their organizations. Confidante, trip-leader, and visionary, Larry is a founding board member of Reading Village and currently serves as the Program Consultant for the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation.

Debra Robbins

Board Member

Debra is the immediate past president of Reading Village and serves professionally as a rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas. She has served her congregation, the largest Reform synagogue in the state of Texas, for 25 years. Inspirational fundraiser, teacher, and leader, Debra has refined her leadership expertise as Vice President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and on the Board of Jewish Family Service. A published author and passionate reader, she joined the Reading Village board in October 2011, participated in her first Learning Journey, accompanied by her family, in March 2012 and her second Learning Journey with women from her congregation in March 2014.

Melissa Vuernick

Board Member

Melissa is a former special education teacher who has worked in learning and development for over 20 years– twelve of which were in the publishing industry.Now, Melissa is the Executive Director of Leadership and Professional Development US at Kaplan. Melissa spends a lot of time outside of NYC, her current home, traveling for both business and pleasure.

Colin Sivasundaram

Board Member

Colin is a director with rogenSi based in New York and as a happy coincidence, a colleague of Tommy Perkins. In that role, he is the co-head of facilitation and design for the North American practice. He is well travelled and passionate about human transformation. At nearly ten years in this role, and after 19 in the I.T. industry, Colin is passionate about “giving back” – helping those who can’t always help themselves. He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne where he earned a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science. At home, he enjoys reading, films and listening to an increasingly diverse list of music.


Karen Duane

Board Member

Karen has over 25 years of experience working with global brands within the fashion apparel retail sector, specializing in merchandising across international markets. She is currently a Senior Director with the Ann Taylor brand in her native New York City.  Her career and innate wanderlust have brought her to over 40 countries, including Guatemala in 2016 when she participated in a Reading Village Learning Journey.  Creative and curious, Karen also has a deep passion for design and the arts.