©2019 by Paz Amigos, Inc.

MEET OUR DIRECTORS

ADELA GARCIA DUNCAN

President

Experienced, trustworthy, fun. These are just a few of the ways coworkers describe this invaluable member of our team. Adela is truly a joy to be around and makes it a pleasure to work with Paz Amigos.

LAURA PINAR KESSLING

Vice President

For as long as she can remember, Laura stuck up for "underdogs" and always felt drawn to those in difficult situations. She spoke up against wrongdoings, often getting in trouble for not "minding her own business". Yet, it didn't stop her. And it STILL doesn't stop her. Born on Incirlik AFB in Adana, Turkey to a Turkish mother and a US Airman father, she spent her childhood in Turkey and moved to the US when she was 15. She is fluent in Turkish. Laura has a BS in Criminal Justice from Columbus State University. She got her real estate license in order to buy, and sell, their renovation homes since her and her husband began flipping homes in 2018 after he retired from the Army. Laura is an avid sports fan. She absolutely loves traveling and learning about other cultures. She has been married to Chad since 2002 and they have one daughter, Annika.

RITA ELLIS

Founder & CFO

Rita is an immigrant - twice over - born in Scotland, raised in Canada and now a US citizen. Perhaps that is why immigration is so important to her. Rita believes that even if she was born here she would still be vigilant about ensuring a safe, fair and reasonable immigration policy. Her work with Paz Amigos has put more than a face on the current state of immigration, it has put the inhumanity of it all into perspective for her. She believes we MUST do better as Americans. Rita says it is a privilege to be part of a non-profit that makes a tangible difference here in Columbus, GA.  Rita owns a local business, is married to a local physician, has 3 kids, 2 grandkids and 2 pups.

JUDY BARNETT

Secretary

Judy became involved in Paz Amigos after becoming an activist with the Indivisible Columbus Georgia group.  She is Georgia born and raised. Judy attended nursing and anesthesia school at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta, and graduated from Columbus State University.  She worked in Columbus area hospitals for 38 years as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist before retiring in 2009.  Her time now is spent teaching yoga, reading, hiking, sailing, and spending time with her friends, family, and 5 granddaughters.