Meet the New Board:
PRESIDENT, THERESA DIAZ GRAY
I am a baby boomer (born at the height of the baby boom 1955), a published author, an artist, a widow, and a grandmother but none of those things define me. I’m a first generation Cuban-American living in Mexico.
I was born in New York City but spent my formative years in California. Because I lived in Cuba as a baby and toddler my first language was Spanish; technically I speak English as second language.
I’ve lived in three countries and six states. I’ve visited three other countries but I think of myself as a homebody.
Learning and creating are my passions. I am committed to living an abundant and creative life. I occasionally blog at http://thediypage.com/
TREASURER, BETH KNEPP
I was a post WWII baby and my family moved around a great deal. I was born at home in Scranton, PA. My family settled in Toms River N.J. when I was in third grade. I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.
I attended Ohio University and graduated as a speech/language pathologist. I worked in the field and as a special education teacher for over 25 years.
I have served as an officer of the IWC as treasurer and V.P. of programming. I am presently active with the Children With Cancer program and as a member of the HASH mismanagement board.
VP PROGRAMMING, CATHY HARRISON
I am the “middle child” with a brother 15 months older, and one sister 15 minutes younger than me. My father was career Army, so my family moved quite a bit until I was five, when we moved to the Chicago area. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, was married, had two children, and divorced. Met and married my second husband who is from Merida, and moved down here with my first two children and my children from my second marriage in 1986.
I have worked as a legal secretary, English teacher and academic coordinator; for the last 15 years I have worked as a translator and interpreter. For many years I was active in the Merida English Library as volunteer librarian, director, and co-coordinator of the last Chili Cook Off; and at one time I was the Campaign coordinator for the Patronato Contra el Cancer.
I have been a member of the IWC for several years, including as VP of Programming and editor of the Backyard Fence.
VP MEMBERSHIP, CAROL GREENBAUM JUDD
Born to refugee parents during the Baby Boom Era, I grew up outside NYC and became one of the first in my generation to earn a college degree. I became a Secondary School English teacher in a small upstate city and in Scotland. Scotland and Europe reawakened my passion for cooking, so after redefining the color of my parachute I entered The Culinary Institute of America for another degree.
Wanting to add to my life adventure I moved to Boston where I met and married my soul mate and enjoyed success as a chef. In 2002 I found myself back in education but this time I worked towards becoming a Director where I could provide healthy food options for optimum learning. This became my passion. Sadly my husband passed away but he started us on this Mexican journey and in 2014 I moved to Merida where I live with my three furry friends. Being Mexico, that count can become four very easily. I joined the IWC upon arrival for friendship and community service.
SECRETARY, FIONA WILMOT
I’m a human-environment geographer with research interests in mangroves, ecosystem restoration and people’s adaptations to climate change. Most of my adult life has been spent living around the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico engaged in marine conservation, although my dissertation work on mangrove restoration at Texas A&M was based in El Salvador, on the Pacific.
The Yucatán peninsula combines my research interests with my personal passions, which are music, food and folk arts. The IWC in Mérida has been the most welcoming group I have encountered in my travels, and I hope to contribute to its mission of friendship, personal growth and public service to the best of my abilities.
EDITOR, BACKYARD FENCE, ANDREA AGUILAR
I am a native Californian, who worked in Administrative and Advertising jobs for many years. In autumn 2014, my husband and I left the S.F Bay Area, jobs, and house behind to take a one-year-mid-life-travel sabbatical. We traveled the U.S., Mexico, U.K., and Europe while searching for a new place to call home, as well as a new livelihood. We were happy to discover Merida, and live here full-time as non-retired expats. I joined the IWC for community and involvement, and am grateful for many new friends.
My passions include fitness, yoga, and writing. I also love to read, learn, connect with people, art, spirituality, and travel…
I share more on my blog andrea*poem, and on Instagram (andreapoem).