Our U.S. Team
Chief Development Officer
Julie brings 17 years of experience in non-profit fundraising to the role of Interim Chief Development Officer. Prior to stepping into this position, she served as Manager, Strategic Communications at HAS. She has worked for Steel Industry Heritage Corporation (Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area) in Homestead, PA, as well as Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.
Julie’s passion for Haiti and its people began in 2006 when she visited L’Acul to learn about Haiti Reforestation Partnership’s Comprehensive Development Project (CODEP), a community of rural neighborhoods that have invested themselves in reforesting the mountains around their homes. She has also volunteered with the NEGES Foundation in Léogâne, a Haitian-American led non-profit organization working with community to create systemic changes through disaster relief, women’s empowerment, education, economic development, capacity building, and health. In addition, Julie and her family are sponsors for the Team Tassy 1:1 Campaign, which helps Haitians find, train for, and secure dignified jobs.
After her first visit to Haiti, it became Julie’s goal to someday work for a Haitian-based non-profit organization. “It is a dream come true to be able to combine my love of Haiti with my passion for fundraising,” Julie says.
Anja Grant Zwetsloot
Finance Director, US Administration Office
Anja Grant Zwetsloot is Finance Director in the U.S. Administration Office of HAS, responsible for financial management of the organization’s U.S. operations, as well as consolidated corporate financials, corporate management and compliance and U.S.-based human resources. Anja earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Quantitative Methods from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and spent the first 25 years of her career in commercial and residential real estate and then nonprofit consulting. She joined HAS in 2007. “I feel a sense of pride, knowing that I am helping to preserve this vital institution started by my great aunt and uncle,” says Anja.
Samantha Strahota Paolo
Major Gifts Officer
Samantha Strahota Paolo is a Major Gifts Officer at HAS, and previously served as the Donor Engagement Manager for the organization. She is focused on building, fostering, and advancing relationships with donors.
Prior to joining HAS, she worked with organizations like American Ballet Theatre, the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art, and Ralph Lauren. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Junior League of Pittsburgh.
Samantha is moved by the rich history of HAS, and the remarkable work still being done over 62 years after the hospital’s founding. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to interact with the devoted community who make such a difference,” she says. “With our incredibly dedicated supporters, everything is possible.”
Major Gifts Officer
Joenal Castma serves as a Major Gifts Officer at HAS and is committed to cultivating and developing relationships with key stakeholders in service of the organizational goals around a self-sustaining Haiti. In this role, Joenal aims to broaden the HAS donor network.
Prior to joining HAS, Joenal spent seven years in the corporate space as a Client Relations Consultant. He has extensive client management experience and success working collaboratively to accomplish shared goals.
A Haitian-American, Joenal is passionate about HAS, and has seen firsthand the importance of organization’s work. Both of his parents live in Arcahaie, Haiti, and he enjoys spending time with them in the community they all love. Joenal’s love for Haiti also prompted him to join the Haitian National Soccer Team, where he played for several years.
Joenal is also deeply engaged in volunteer work in Western Pennsylvania, and has directed a youth soccer non-profit organization for the past 10 years. While leading the organization with a focus on management and donor engagement, he has also had the opportunity to support over 500 student athletes from diverse backgrounds.
As Marketing Manager, Courtney Patterson is the steward of HAS’ story and keeps supporters informed of the hospital’s news and accomplishments. It’s important to her that donors understand the pivotal role they play in shaping that story.
Courtney learned the ropes of the healthcare industry through working as a Marketing Strategist for Sagacious Consultants, a healthcare IT consultancy, now part of Accenture. She has extensive communications and marketing experience in a variety of industries, including green building, education, and the arts. She is a board member of Tree Pittsburgh and has coached nonprofits through Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh. After working on the for-profit side for many years, she is thrilled to be contributing to a small nonprofit that is making such a big impact.
Courtney’s interests in Haiti sprouted when she was connected with Josette, a single mother living in Port-au-Prince, through the nonprofit Work. Her first visit to Haiti with HAS was memorable for many reasons, one of the greatest being the opportunity to meet Josette in person.
Miriam Perez-Putnam is the Donor Coordinator for the Development Office at HAS. Her responsibilities include streamlining business processes, building donor engagement and Annual Fund giving, managing the alumni and friend database, and collaborating on various projects across the team. Miriam was drawn to HAS because she was so impressed with the sustainability of the hospital’s work and vision over the years. HAS was started in 1956 under the assumption of universal human dignity and continues to exist by that value. HAS delivers on its promise of providing low-cost, high-quality, health care to the citizens of the Artibonite Valley every day. She is proud to be part of such a life-affirming organization.
Before joining the HAS team she worked at Harvard University in the Alumni Affairs & Development office where she worked on the Reunion and Annual Campaigns team and served on the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. Outside of non-profit fundraising, Miriam is passionate about local politics, serving on the steering committee of a local volunteer group, coordinating trainings for canvassers, hosting fundraisers for state and local candidates, and getting to know her neighbors. She is also the co-chair of her high school’s Young Alumni Committee and serves on its Alumni Steering Committee. She lives in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh with her dog, Coco Boots.
Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Donnette Howell-Wright serves as the Office Manager/Administrative assistant, where she keeps the day-to-day operations running smoothly. She supports the Development staff in a variety of ways, processing daily donations, managing gift analysis and reporting, managing constituent records, and providing logistical support for fundraising events and board meetings.
Donnette has a bachelor’s degree in communications and master’s in mathematics and computer science from California University of Pennsylvania. Prior to working at HAS, she was a database administrator for a home healthcare and disability services company, and provided IT support and training as an independent consultant. In addition, Donnette has a background in teaching where she taught computer science to grades Pre-K through 7th grade, as well as reading, history and physical education. Donnette has also worked in multimedia media technology, developing training for different media formats.
As a native of the Caribbean, Donnette can identify with some of HAS’ causes and is happy to be a part of this growing organization as we move towards helping to create a self-sustaining Haiti.
Donnette also loves sports. She played volleyball for California University – and continues to be passionate about the sport, playing in local leagues. She is also an avid soccer fan and a devoted soccer mom.
Purchasing and Logistics Specialist
Nellie Player is the U.S-based Purchasing and Logistics Specialist for HAS, responsible for sourcing and shipping supplies, equipment, and medications. She joined HAS in 2006, following a nearly 20-year career in purchasing, serving as materials management for a 200 bed hospital and Materials Manager for a paternity testing laboratory in North Carolina. A certified purchasing manager, Nellie served for two years on the board of directors of the North Carolina Association of Hospital Purchasing and Materials Manager. She also spent part of her pre-HAS career teaching 5th grade in the North Carolina school system, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Edinboro State University. “I admire everyone who dedicates their lives as they work at HAS,” says Nellie. “It humbles me each time I visit. Every time I am able to save HAS money in purchasing or through donations of needed items, I feel a sense of accomplishment, knowing that the money saved will enable HAS to do more to serve their patients.”