Jonathan Melk and friend

Jonathan Melk, MD - Board Member, Chief Executive Officer

I first traveled to Montero, Bolivia, as a medical student in 2003, where I had my first opportunity to work with our current Bolivian partner, the Consejo de Salud Rural Andino. I was truly inspired by the dedicated leadership and work of the CSRA, and astounded by what could be accomplished with limited funds in Bolivia. Therefore, during the second year of my residency training – and with the generous support and encouragement of family and friends-- I founded the Rosa Vera Fund in April, 2005. The RVF has been an integral, challenging and tremendously rewarding part of my life ever since. I feel deeply grateful to the RVF’s Board, to the CSRA, and most of all, to those who have offered their support for the RVF and made our important work possible. When not working on the RVF, I am medical director of the Southern Arizona Children’s Health Project and a full-time community pediatrician for the nonprofit organization Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. that serves the rural southeastern Arizona/ Mexico borderlands. I absolutely love my career as a pediatrician. Whenever possible, you will find my lovely wife and me exploring the deserts and mountains of the Southwest.

Darlene Melk, MD - Chief Medical Officer

As the daughter of a political refugee from Cuba, Darlene Melk was able to gain an inside view of the barriers her mother experienced when trying to access services for her family. Not only was it difficult to communicate at times, but the culture was entirely new to her. Helping the underserved would become Darlene's focus after graduating from the University of Arizona medical school. Knowing that intervening early in children's lives ensures their best chance for a healthy future, Darlene has focused her career on those children with the least access to quality medical care. She currently works on a mobile medical clinic in southern Arizona and part time in south Florida, both partnerships with the Children's Health Fund. Working with the Rosa Vera Fund has allowed her to expand her practice of medicine to some of the most disadvantaged children in Latin America.
Lisa Hunt - Board Member, Medical Liaison

Lisa Hunt is a general pediatrician who cares for underprivileged children in Phoenix, Arizona. As a child, Lisa suffered from a chronic illness, and had always wanted to return the kindness and care she received to other kids in need. Working with Rosa Vera Fund provides her the opportunity to do just that. Lisa looks forward to the yearly work trip to Bolivia, where she performs family visits and patient examinations to determine where the Rosa Vera Fund can supplement the lives of those who truly are in need. Read more about Dr. Hunt.
Ricardo Sotelo - Chief Financial Officer

Ricardo is originally from Peru and is a bilingual Finance and Operations professional with 20 years of experience supporting domestic and international businesses. Now Head of Finance of a technology startup in New York City, Ricardo was inspired by our mission to improve health in a neighboring Andean country and is dedicated to providing his financial expertise to help the RVF strength its model of empowering and providing opportunities to local people. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Dr. Julie Myers, a long-time supporter of the Rosa Vera Fund, and their daughter.
Karen Melk - Co-Chairperson, Secretary

Karen Melk is Jonathan’s sister. She has been involved with the Rosa Vera Fund since the first surgery. She has her undergrad degree from the University of WI - Stevens Point, and a Master's from Columbia University. She taught middle school in central Harlem for 14 years before leaving to become a stay-at-home mom to her kids. Her mantra in life is to be generous, with time, money and patience. She is dedicated to the idea of making a long-term difference in the lives of children by supporting them with medical care and education. She currently serves as the board’s chair, responsible for the nitty gritty details of running a nonprofit.
Seth Lane - Board Member, Treasurer

Seth Lane started his career in 1990 as a network engineer and has evolved, over the past decade, into a tech entrepreneur. In 1999, he helped found PING, a network consulting firm that provided technical services to banks, pharmaceuticals, and other mid-tier and Fortune 500 companies. He sold PING in 2010 and today he is an NYC based Account Manager for Arista Networks, a Silicon Valley hardware and software manufacturer that designs network switches for cloud computing and high speed trading . He hopes that his skills recruiting and nurturing talent and fostering a loyal customer base will help him generate excitement about the meaningful work being done by the Rosa Vera Fund. Seth lives in Brooklyn with his wife Kyle Spencer, a journalist, and their two children, Spencer and Logan.
  Tina Manis - Co-Chairperson, Fundraising

Tina runs her own design firm, Tina Manis Associates, LLC. In Brooklyn, New York. She was inspired to join the RVF Board by her father's medical practice as a surgeon who, in the 1970's until today, devotes much his time as a surgeon helping those in need throughout Guatemala, El Salvador and Vietnam. She has always had an inclination of 'wanderlust' and has pursued an international career, practicing in The Netherlands and in England. She has studied in Japan, Russia and the Czech Republic and holds a Masters Degree in Architecture from Columbia University and a BFA in Interior Architecture from CCA. She is a Lecturer at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Design,Yale School of Architecture, Columbia University GSAPP, and Parsons School of Design. Tina's bold yet refined ideas bring additional vision to the Rosa Vera Fund; her commitment is continually inspiring others to take action with her motto being, 'If you're passionate about something – do it!' She loves life in Brooklyn with her family.
  Lesley Alderman - Board Member, Fundraising

Lesley has been writing about healthcare for over 15 years. She's worked for Money magazine, Real Simple and The New York Times. In addition to her journalism work, Lesley teaches yoga to children in New York City public schools. She's excited to combine her interests in healthcare and children's welfare at RVF. Lesley lives in Brooklyn with her husband Steve, stepson Harry, and son Charlie.
  Amy Sirot - Board Member, Editing

Amy Sirot is a journalist. She covers science, food, travel and the environment, and has worked in online, print and broadcast journalism. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.
  Laura Sweet - Board Member, Design and Website

Laura Sweet is the graphic designer/Web desinger for the Rosa Vera Fund. Her career as a visual designer and creative director spans 20 years. She has designed for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from small not-for-profit agencies to Fortune 100 companies and everything in between. Laura is a graduate of Cornell University and Pratt Institute. She is honored to work with such a dedicated team and for the wonderful people of Montero. Laura lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband and two children.
Paxton Barnes - Advisory Board, Grant writing

Paxton believes that every child deserves access to health care and is thrilled and honored to work with the Rosa Vera Fund. Paxton Barnes is a freelance exhibit designer for zoos, science and natural history museums. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter and son and a very old cat.
Lizzie Davis - Advisory Board, Social Media/Fundraising

Lizzie Davis is an enthusiastic volunteer and human rights advocate. She is currently a legal assistant and a prospective law student. Lizzie obtained a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She is committed to working towards sustainable solutions to human rights and development issues, and has volunteered her time working with refugees in San Diego and assisting with a micro-finance organization in Arusha, Tanzania.
Karen Ng - Advisory Board, Social Media/Fundraising

Having grown up in Hong Kong, Karen is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. She went to school at NYU where she majored in Economics and East Asian Studies and worked as a paralegal before entering marketing and business development at a global firm. She is the co-organizer of VolunteerNYC, a local community which helps link volunteers with various organizations and non-profits around NY. Karen is interested in various forms of art and an ongoing goal of hers is to visit all the museums in NY. She likes to go on bike rides in and around the city and hopes to be able to complete a half-century ride in the near future!


Bachelor of Science
Northland College, Wisconsin
Premedical Post-Baccalaureate
City College of New York, New York
Medical School
Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York
Pediatric Residency
Phoenix Children’s Hospital/ Maricopa Medical Center Pediatric Residency Training Program, Arizona