Dr. Mimi Wong, MD - Chair: Dr. Mimi Wong is a Founding Board Member of Mending Faces and graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Creighton University Medical School and at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. She completed her Anesthesiology Residency and Trauma Fellowship at the University of Colorado. Dr. Wong works in a private practice as an anesthesiologist for Physician Anesthesia Services where she also sits on the Board of Directors. She has worked on medical missions in the Philippines for the last 13 years. Other medical mission work has included Leogonne and Milot in Haiti. In her spare time Dr. Wong enjoys being with her daughter, as well as skiing, hiking, and travel.
Dr. Jeff Swail, MD - Vice Chair: Dr. Swail is originally from Winnipeg, Canada where he obtained his MD in 1989. He trained in general surgery at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and in plastic surgery at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has been in private practice in plastic surgery in Boulder, Co. for 20 years and served as Chief of Surgery at Boulder Community Hospital from 2002-2004. Dr. Swail is a Founding Board Member of Mending Faces and has been going on cleft lip and palate missions to the Philippines for the past 10 years. Prior to that he had experience on several surgical missions to Mexico. Dr. Swail enjoys the outdoor Colorado lifestyle with his wife and three children, participating in skiing, snowboarding, cycling, water-skiing and ice hockey among other pursuits.
Monnie Biety, MBA - Treasurer: Ms. Biety has spent the last 20 years working in developing countries as a microfinance consultant. This work has provided her insight into life in a developing country that few people that live in developed countries such as the U.S. have. She has first-hand experience living and working in low income communities and with people who struggle to provide basic necessities and health care for their families. Ms. Biety has been a Mending Faces mission team member since the founding of the organization. She has an M.B.A. with an emphasis in accounting and finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B.A in Journalism from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Monnie lives in the foothills west of Golden and enjoys hiking, biking, running and skiing with her husband and spending time with her three dogs.
Dr. Sami Lababidi, DO - Anesthesia: Dr. Lababidi has been an anesthesiologist with Mending Faces since it's inception in 2010. He is also a Founding Board Member and participates in the mission annually. Raised in Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Lababidi received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of Missouri, his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed his anesthesiology residency training at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. He moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2004 where he currently lives. Hobbies include fishing, camping, barbequing, traveling, and just about anything outdoors. He is married to Carrie Lababidi, fellow Founding Board Member, right hand in the OR on the mission, traveling companion, and so much more.
"Of the things I've done in my life to date, many of those which make me the most proud have to do with my participation in Mending Faces."
Dr. Chris Biety, DDS, MS - Dentistry: Dr. Biety grew up in Whitefish Bay Wisconsin. He went to both undergrad and dental school at Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his Orthodontic Certificate and M.S. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Biety has had his own Orthodontic practice in Broomfield, Colorado since 1985. He has been married to fellow Board Member Monnie Biety since 1981. His recreational interests include playing rugby with the Boulder Rugby Football Club, skiing, mountain biking, hiking and traveling abroad. He is a volunteer Wildland Firefighter with Coal Creek Canyon FPD. Dr. Biety has been on medical missions to the Philippines nine times in the past 10 years, seven of those have been with Mending Faces.
Carrie Lababidi, BA, RRT - Allied Health:
Amy Metzger, CST - Inventory/Supplies: Ms. Metzger has been assisting in the operating room for hospitals and private practices for more than 30 years. She currently works at The Plastic Surgery Clinic in Denver where she has been for 14 years. Ms. Metzger has been on seven medical mission trips traveling to Bolivia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In 2016 she will return to the Philippines for her sixth mission with Mending Faces. Ms. Metzger has been married to her husband Scott for over 30 years and has two daughters, Courtney and Cally, who live in Denver.
Kerry Arellana, Nursing: Ms. Arellana is passionate about her profession as a nurse practitioner specializing in the stabilization and care of critically ill babies in the ICU. She has a clinical nursing doctorate degree (ND) from The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a Masters in Nursing Science from Regis University specializing in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. One of Ms. Arellana greatest joys is volunteering for Mending Faces and seeing the lives of so many children changed for the better. She is a Colorado native and enjoys being active outdoors including hiking and skiing with family and friends. She also loves traveling to far away places.
Julie Hobbins, Preoperative Coordinator: Ms. Hobbins started with Mending Faces in 2010, attended her first Mission in 2011 and has attended every Mission since. While on the Missions she runs the OR by scheduling patients for surgery, keeping surgeons on track, and bringing kids from pre-op to anesthesia and then to the PACU after surgery. Ms. Hobbins completed her Undergrad degree (in business and marketing) and Graduate degree (in education) at Colorado State University. She currently works at Davita where she manages chronic kidney disease education for five states. She also remains driven and passionate about education. Ms. Hobbins enjoys the beautiful four seasons and outdoors of Colorado living and is enthusiastic about traveling and learning about other cultures.
David McHale, Corporate Development: Mr. McHale has worked with Mending Faces Outreach since he started attending missions in 2012. Passionate about the work that Mending Faces and the life changing impact the organization has on families in the Philippines, Mr. McHale was asked to join the Mending Faces Board in 2018. He is currently the Chief Legal and Human Resources Officer for The Doctors Company with degrees in government from the University of San Francisco, a law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, and an MBA from the University of Illinois. Mr. McHale splits his time between Napa and the Northern California foothills, and enjoys almost any physical activity, travel and exploring the wine country.
ASSOCIATE BOARD MEMBERS
Daniel C. Wennogle: Mr. Wennogle, who was born with a cleft lip and palate, was fortunate enough to receive world-class medical care in the United States from some of the best surgeons in the field. He went on to develop a love of the spotlight and public speaking and has practiced law as a commercial litigator since 2004 focusing on construction, real property and commercial disputes. He hopes to bring the spotlight to the mission of Mending Faces so that it can continue to make an immeasurable difference in the lives of children and their families across the world.
Amy Kennedy: Ms. Kennedy is an Orthopedic Trauma Physician Assistant for the Orthopedic and Spine Center of the Rockies in Northern Colorado. She received her BA from Colorado College and her graduate degree from Red Rocks Community College/St. Francis University. she has been traveling to the Philippines on medical missions for 15 years and she is proud to have been a part of Mending Faces since its start.
“I am grateful for all of the relationships forged though each and every mission and for the opportunity to serve the wonderful people of the Philippines.”
Jay LaVigne, Esq. : Mr. LaVigne is a Founding Board Member of Mending Faces. After graduating with a law degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, he was admitted to the Bar in 1986. From 1992 to 1998 he worked on a large international trade secret and copyright case. In 1998 Mr. LaVigne formed i-Legal where he currently works with his wife Ms. LaVigne. In his free time Mr. LaVigne enjoys spending time with his daughter, grandson, and wife. He also enjoys traveling to the Philippines as often as he can where he served in the Peace Corps, met his wife Ms. LaVigne.
Donna LaVigne: Ms. LaVigne is a Founding Board Member of Mending Faces. She grew up in the Philippines, which gives her the unique ability to understand the needs of our patients. She is active in the Filipino community in Colorado and serves on the Board of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, and as an Advisor of the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership. Ms. LaVigne holds a B.S.in Civil Engineering from Aklan College, in the Philippines. She currently works with her husband, Mr. Jay LaVigne, at i-Legal. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family (and grandson) and visiting the Philippines.
Gabby Wong: With over 24 years of experience in the management consulting and private equity-backed software industry, Ms. Wong is an accomplished senior executive with extensive experience in building global organizations with a mission of customer success. She has held executive leadership positions with worldwide responsibility for customer operations, customer experience, services, training, support, and account management at several high-growth, private equity-backed SaaS companies.
Currently, Ms. Wong is Executive Vice President of Customer Operations for FranConnect, the industry leader in providing cloud-based, enterprise franchise management solutions to major franchise brands. She is as passionate about impacting the community experience as she is about customer experience, and is thrilled to serve on an advisory board with a mission as hopeful as Mending Faces.
Cathy McNamara: Ms. McNamara has traveled to the Philippines with Mending Face on three medical missions. She was asked to join the board in 2013 because her attraction to leading the outreach activities in and outside of the hospital. She has worked in marketing and sales all of her life, and loves to brainstorm new and creative ideas on how to promote Mending Faces and create awareness through events, social media, and fundraising. She enjoys volunteering for Mending Faces and advancing the cause of cleft lip and palate repair, and relishes the people she has met on the Missions. Ms. McNamara has lived in Denver for 20 years with her family, but was raised in Hawaii, and feels very much at home in the Asian culture. She studied International Affairs and Mandarin in college, which inspired her to live and travel extensively throughout Asia.
Jeremy Douglas, Outreach/ Media: Mr. Douglas is an Account Executive at Catapult PR-IR, where he facilitates and manages publicity opportunities for technology companies. A Colorado native and Fort Lewis College graduate, Douglas enjoys the outdoors, traveling, sports and cooking.
Maya Brook, Executive Director: Ms. Brook has a background in journalism, public relations, and non-profit fundraising. She received a B.S. in Journalism and Communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduating she spent time in Australia, New York, and California, before deciding to move back to her native Colorado. She has worked for media outlets including the Associated Press, and for marketing and public relations agencies. Ms. Brook started at Mending Faces in 2014, and is thrilled to be a part of such a worthy cause - improving the lives of children. In her free time, Ms. Brook enjoys spending time with her husband and three young boys and practicing yoga as often as she can.
Mabel Palomar, Local Liaison: Ms. Palomar lives in the Philippines. Since 2016 she has been helping plan the Mending Faces Medical Missions - working with the local hospitals and schools.
Rhonda Diltz and Svein Kornerud
As someone born with a cleft lip and palate I know how receiving surgery and medical care early changed the course of my life. Our faces are fundamental to the way we interact, communicate and see one another in this world. Mending Faces helps children with cleft lips and palates interact and communicate, and most importantly, it helps them be “seen” truly for who they are. I cannot think of something else so fundamentally important as this. -Daniel C. Wennogle