Staff and Board members
GEEO is run by a small staff and our board of directors, who tirelessly donate their time and talents to help educators travel. Each staff and board member is experienced in their own field, and brings a unique perspective to GEEO.
Jesse Weisz, Founder and Executive Director
Jesse founded GEEO in 2007 to share his passion for traveling with America's teachers. Jesse discovered the wonders of travel during high school when he made two trips to Europe as a member of the US National Ultimate Frisbee team. Later Jesse studied film in Sydney and landed a three month all expenses paid trip to Asia to shoot stills and video for an Australian tour company. From there Jesse was hooked on travel and has visited over 70 countries.
In 2003, Jesse started his own new business development consulting company for European advertising agencies. In 2006 he cut back his consulting hours to start GEEO. In September of 2010 GEEO received funding, hiring Jesse to work full time for a job he had been doing as an unpaid volunteer for the previous four years.
Natasha Weisz, Outreach Coordinator and Office Administrator
Natasha serves as GEEO's Outreach Coordinator and helps GEEO in an administrative capacity. Natasha spent her childhood in the Philippines and New Zealand. She has worked for the Royal New Zealand Navy, primarily as the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Navy. She also served at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, D.C. as the Personal Assistant to the New Zealand's Defence Attache to the United States.
Aaron Muderick, Board Member and Treasurer
Aaron is President of Crazy Aaron Enterprises, a toy and promotional merchandise manufacturer based in Philadelphia, PA. Aaron helped found GEEO and is an essential part of the organization. As a successful entrepreneur, Muderick brings to GEEO his experience in managing all aspects of small organizations including marketing and advertising, organizational startup, outsourcing, and business finance.
Zachary Klughaupt, Board Member and Secretary
Zach is an Associate Counsel at Ansell Ltd., where he specializes in transactional and corporate work involving the U.S. and Latin America. Prior to joining Ansell, he practiced law at a number of law firms and companies in New York and Sao Paulo. Zachary received his law degree from Duke University, where he was a Lead Editor of the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law and spent a semester at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. He graduated cum laude from Duke University in 1999, where he earned a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Spanish. He is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, and now lives in New Jersey.
David Easthope, Board Member
David Easthope is a senior analyst at Celent, an international strategy consultancy for financial institutions. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and member of the CFA Society of San Francisco. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1998, where he earned a B.A. in Economics and where he later earned his MBA in 2004. He is proficient in Spanish. David brings a passion for travel to GEEO's board.
J.D. Bowers, Board Member
Dr. J.D. Bowers has been teaching for eighteen years and has taught at secondary schools and universities in Uruguay, Hawaii, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Turkey and Cyprus. He is an Associate Professor of History at Northern Illinois University and the Director of the Genocide and Human Rights Institute. A graduate of the College of William & Mary and Indiana University, he is an adventurous traveler who frequently visits the Middle East, a coffee and soda fiend, admirer of art, and avid fan of learning new things. He lives in Northern Illinois with his wife and two daughters.
Peggy Altoff, Board Member
After traveling with GEEO to Southern Africa in the summer of 2010, Peggy accepted GEEO's invitation to join our board of directors. Her wealth of experience is a huge asset to GEEO.
Peggy is the former President of the National Council for the Social Studies. A veteran of more than 30 years in education, Peggy has taught middle school and high school, supervised pre-service teachers, and taught continuing education classes. Four years as Maryland's state specialist in Social Studies preceded nine years as K-12 supervisor in Carroll County, MD. Peggy now resides in Colorado Springs, Co where she worked for 8 years as the social studies coordinator in District 11.
Peggy's professional passion for social studies is most often manifested in working with teachers, both in the classroom and through professional development. She has developed workshops and taught graduate courses related to reading and literacy and their importance in unlocking social studies content for students.
Laura Heikkila, Board Member
Laura is a special education teacher in Norman, Oklahoma. She works with 6-8th grade students in the resource and general education settings. She serves as the Special Education Department Chair and enjoys integrating her travel experiences into her classroom curriculum. Outside of teaching and traveling, her passion is serving with the organization, Remember Nhu, to prevent global child trafficking. After traveling to the Middle East and Southeast Asia with GEEO in the summers of 2011 and 2012, Laura became a board member in 2013 and continues to travel through GEEO programs.
GEEO has had the help of many people over the years and we could not be where we are today without their hard work. John Warner, Ron Fenska, Lucas Bialecki, Lianna Martin, Amylee Silva, Emily Mikus, Leanne Greentree, Nathaelle Roy, Mia Travers-Hayward and Melanie Yusuf at G Adventures are instrumental in the day to day running of our operations. Bruce Poon Tip, the founder and owner of G Adventures had the vision to partner with GEEO and without him we would be able to serve a small fraction of the teachers we help travel today. Our website was designed by Shawn Burant and Attit Patel, who did an amazing job at an amazing price.
Special thanks also go out to our amazing artist Frank Fallon. Frank has designed our logo, promotional materials and much more and almost all of his work was donated out of the goodness of his own heart.
We would also like to thank former board members who helped build GEEO. They include Berenice Felix Diaz, Beth Begy, Jeremy Baker, Mike Iacovella, Anna Nuzzo, Claire Sturm, Sarah Wesley and Dan Dominguez.