After living in the Vancouver area for more than 25 years, my husband and I recently relocated to beautiful Vancouver Island, where we are enjoying our early retirement lifestyle, along with our 6 year old Bernedoodle, Murphy. Our 3 kids are in university, each spreading their wings and leaving the nest as they invest in their futures. We love to travel both near and far, and seems we continue to be drawn to the ocean and beautiful beaches, while also fitting in time to visit friends and family along the way. After a 30 year career in Human Resources, I am pleased to be joining the UWPIAA Board in the role of Professional Development. I’m excited to work with a team of volunteer alumni to help build an infrastructure that will help to connect alumni with similar career interests across the globe, creating opportunities for networking, international assignments, and/or remote work opportunities. Thank you for the opportunity to represent and I look forward to working with you all.
Originally from New York State, I have lived in Nashville, Tennessee for the past 35+ years. Although healthcare administration has been my profession, my passions are the performing/visual/literary arts and travel. One of my most exciting travel experiences was in 2019. I knew Joseph Miklave, my maternal great grandfather, had a Slovenian family name of Miklavc, and I had a picture of a Miklavc gravestone taken somewhere in Slovenia. Using this information, and a whole lot of googling/messaging, I tracked down a relative in Slovenia! Working together (my new-found relative and I are kindred spirits), we put together a family tree dating back to 1569. I traveled to Slovenia in 2019 and met 80 cousins!!! Subsequently, kindred spirit cousin has visited our US Miklave family and eight of the US Miklaves have traveled to Slovenia! In 2017 and 2018, I was fortunate to to participate in three UWP eXperience European tours, where I made new UWP friends (both alumni and the parents of cast members). I want others within the UWP network to have similar opportunities! In addition to a cadence of fun reunions, I hope I can support UWPIAA as it facilitates engagement through frequent communication, interesting events, opportunities to help others, professional and “area of interest” knowledge sharing, and social connections throughout the entire alumni community. When I am at home, I enjoy volunteering with start up companies and walking my pandemic rescue pup, Miklave.
Jon Griffin (’88E)
I’ve been on the board 3 other times as technology or web chair! First in the 90s, then 2000s then 2010s and now 2020s. I travelled with ’88E, and was the guitar player. I spent most of my adult life working as a programmer or systems administrator, even though I also write, record, play, and produce music (mostly jazz and Latin). I was married in Cuba, have a house there in Havana, but live most of the year in Billings Montana. I have a daughter (Helen Griffin), who travelled in ’19B, and my son (Jon Anthony), who is still in school in Billings.
Phil Worcester (’76C)
Debbie Lagomarsino (’68B)
External Relations & Awards Chair
I traveled in ’68B and ’69B and have served on the UWPIAA board from 1995-2003 as well as 2019 to the present. My residence is split between California and Indiana. I’ve been an educator for over 50 years, teaching special education in Zaire, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. I’ve also taught piano for over 40 years and am an avid traveler, reader and bridge (card game) player. I’m delighted to be serving as the External Relations and Awards Chair, as I value the connections that I am able to make with our alumni around the globe.
Kristina T’Seyen (’78C)
I live in Belgium but spent 10 years living in México. I have 3 wonderful daughters, Anneleen – Cast ’10B, Katelen Cast ’10B, & PR and Alexandra – UWP Camp and a grandson Mathías. One of my passions is travelling and reconnecting with friends and family. Cooking, gardening, and walks on the beach are all favourite ways to spend my time and my favourite place is where sun, sea and mountains meet. I am honoured to have been invited as the Alumni Community Chair. I so look forward connecting and reconnecting with many alumni and helping other alumni around the world to find those with common interests and to learn from those unlike ourselves. I am excited about the opportunity to show alumni how the new UWPIAA can be relevant to them through the new programs and offerings.
Jeffrey (JD) Douglas (’91B)
I was introduced to UWP in 1984 when my family became a sponsor contact and a host family. We are still in contact with the PR Rep and our student from that year. From that moment on I knew I wanted to travel in UWP and was fortunate to do so in 1991. That experience has helped to shape me as an individual and has helped to provide perspective in my life everyday. Although my experience in UWP empowered me to initiate some smaller philanthropic events back home, I’ve always wanted to do something greater. When I attend UWP reunions, I sit in awe of the alumni who win Everyday Hero and Blanton Belk Awards for all that they are giving back to their communities. They are inspirational I’m so excited to take on the role of Alumni Engagement Chair for the amazing opportunity to find a small way to give back to the organization that has meant so much to me. I’m thrilled to be working with the UWPIAA BOG and our global alumni. I grew up in Maine, and now, for the 2nd time, I live in one of the suburbs of Boston, after stints in San Diego, Cleveland and the Washington, D.C. areas. My wife Julia (Hector), who is from Ontario, Canada traveled in 1990. We met at several Boston Alumni events in 1998 & 1999 and will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary later this year. We have an amazing 14 year old son named Carter. He’s a true “renaissance man” enjoying many sports (especially soccer), music, theatre and is a subtle comedian. As a family, we like to travel to new places and enjoy skiing together. I also love to play golf and spend time working in my yard. Professionally, I spent my early years as a high school and middle school teacher. I’ve spent the last twenty two years working in the life sciences industry as a Sales Leader, and for the last 15 years, going back to my teaching roots as a Learning & Development Leader.
Marisa Connors (’95E)
I’m a Marylander who now lives in Colorado with my alumnus hubby, Ken Connors (’89E) and our daughter and son who are UWP Jr and Cast K/T alumni and host siblings for some pretty awesome alumni spanning 10 stagings from ’15B to ’20A. I’ve been a Cast Rep since our 5 year reunion and delight in helping keep our group connected as well as supporting the connections and communication of our alumni worldwide. I was honored to serve on the Future Committee as the Communications Subcommittee Chair. We were challenged to reinvent the association to address what alumni most wanted from the organization and the new structure is a result of that effort. I joined the board in 2022 as the Communications Chair and it is truly a pleasure to give back to the organization and to other alumni. I am working to improve and strengthen our information channels and foster connections with and share about the initiatives led by alumni and my colleagues on the board.
Mary McCullough (’90B)
Events & Reunions
Karen Cvitkovich (’84B)
I am a lover of family, travel, cooking, nature and spending time with friends. I am the proud Mom of two amazing kids (now adults!). My husband and I share our time between our house in Warren, Vermont and an apartment in Boston, Massachusetts. My work and my passion is helping people better understand how their cultural differences impact the way they collaborate and work together. Our differences, when understood, can be our biggest strength! I believe now, more than ever, we need to be connected to each other globally and for me Up With People alumni are a big part of that. We can make so much more of an impact together than we ever could individually. I look forward to making an impact with you!
McKell Neilson (’95E)
Stu Shepherd (’78E)
Birger Husted (’87A)
I am originally from Denmark and currently live in Prague in the Czech Republic. I traveled in ’87A and have served as a member of the board of the Danish UWP Alumni Club from 1988 to 1992, helped with arranging EAM meeting: 1992 Copenhagen, 1998 Prague and 2011 Prague. I’ve served as the EMEA Representative on board from 2019-2021. And, I have served as the Vice President on the current UWPIAA board since May 2022. I’m also a member of the legendary Up with People Survival Band. My day job is owner of the Executive Search firm Husted EMA Partners Czech & Slovak, and I’ve been a 20+ year member of the board of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic, Chairman Danish Czech Business Forum, Founder of NGO foundation fund Ninin Sen, focusing on improvements in senior care in the Czech Republic, and been a 20 year member of Rotary Club Prague International. I also have my rock band Stormin’ and jazz band with 6 members from 6 different countries. We have played in two films 1864, and The Marco Effect, a film based on a Jussi Adler Olsen thriller.
Heather Reilly (’92A)
I traveled in ’92A, ’95-’97 PR, ’97A, ’98B, ’99 (projects), ’00E and have served on the UWPIAA board in the roles of ‘90s Era Rep (’20-’21); briefly as Alumni Community Chair and now as Secretary. I’m a Canadian currently living in Orlando, Florida. I took a sabbatical from being an elementary school teacher for my cast year in UWP and went back to teaching for two years, then was on the road again with UWP through the closure in 2000. In the fall of 2001, began working for Cirque du Soleil and have been with the company in various positions since then. Through UWP and Cirque, I have travelled to more than 20 countries and 49 / 50 of the US states.