Jessica Goudeau, Executive DirectorJessica is working on her doctorate in Ethnic and Third World Literature from the University of Texas in Austin, where she also teaches English as an Assistant Instructor. She taught ESL in Thailand in college and traveled to hill tribe villages where she first met Karen Hill Tribers. She and her husband Jonathan lived in Brazil and Chile, where they developed a passion for economic and community development. They have two small daughters who love their Burmese friends.
Caren George, Business Development DirectorCaren has lived in the advertising and marketing world for the past 12 years and is happiest when she can use the power of communication and storytelling for good. As a travel writer, she has fallen in love with the world's diverse and interesting cultures and feels blessed that her relationship with the refugee community brings those customs and traditions into her family's life in Austin. As a designer, she enjoys the creative process of product development and tinkering with Hill Triber communications. She and her husband Jason have three little ones who make them laugh every single day.
Meagan Brown, ESL InstructorMeagan first fell in love with other cultures after a mission trip to the Philippines at the age of 14. After encountering the kindness, generosity and enduring hope of the people living in poverty, she tossed her Seventeen magazines in the trash when she returned to the U.S. and knew she wanted to live her life making a difference in the lives of those who need it most. She has taught ESL and developed educational programs in various refugee communities for the past 10 years. She and her husband have two children and love all things outdoors.
Dr. Salai, Burmese TranslatorDr. Salai Tun Than is a retired agriculture professor, who spent his entire career working to improve farming conditions for Burmese hill tribes and ethnic minorities. In 2001, at the age of 73, he held a one-man protest in front of Rangoon City Hall in his academic gown. He was promptly arrested and sentenced to seven years in the notorious Insein Prison. He was released 17 months later after carrying out a hunger strike, denouncing the authority’s treatment of prisoners. Dr. Salai was granted asylum by the U.S. in 2005 and received the Bishop Tji Hak-soon's Justice and Peace prize in 2007 in South Korea. He lives in Austin with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and sweet, baby granddaughter.
Ansam, Childcare CoordinatorAn Iraqi refugee herself, Ansam brings warmth and joy to her role as the childcare provider for our artisan meetings. She handles the various needs of several preschoolers, many of whom do not speak English, with grace and humor. She works with the childcare volunteers who assist her in entertaining and instructing the littlest members of the Hill Country Hill Tribers team.
Board of DirectorsTerra Brimberry – President
Jenny Rich – Vice-President
Jonathan Goudeau – Secretary/Treasurer