Our Origins A spark turned into a passion... A dream becomes reality.
We began with a dream...
Sister Jan Gregorcich, belonging to the international community of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, had many wonderful ministry opportunities. Her experiences in Guatemala and Honduras were ones that TRANSFORMED her life.
Global Partners: Running Waters began shortly after Sister Jan returned to the US and was invited to find ways of sharing her MISSION experience with others.
Atthe same time, Dianne Henke wanted to do something special in Guatemala to HONOR her deceased father-in-law. She approached Jan, who INVITED her to visit Guatemala to see and decide for herself the best use of her GIFT.
Experiencing the SCARCITY of water and also realizing how CLEAN drinking water could completely transform the life of a community, Dianne chose to bring WATER to the village of Xeabaj 2 in the rural indigenous area of Quiche, Guatemala.That was the beginning of INVITING many others to experience the REALITY of water scarcity and SHARE their gifts so that friendships and PARTNERSHIPS could be formed and life celebrated.
TODAY, thousands of people in Latin America experience the NEW life that clean WATER affords. Since 2003, GPR has IMPACTED the lives of almost 42,000 people! Hundreds of people in the US and Canada have had their world visions and heart compassion expanded as GPRW continues to bring people together in new possibilities for the sake of a better GLOBAL community. We invite you to BE THE CHANGE with us!
Who We Are
Board of Directors and Collaborators
Sister Jan Gregorcich, SSND is a School Sister of Notre Dame and serves as the Executive Director. She has been with the organization since its inception. As a returned missioner from Guatemala and Honduras, Sister Jan now looks for ways to build relationships through collaboration on water, food, and health projects in Latin America.
Kent Bauer is a Capuchin Franciscan. He lives in Milwaukee, WI and does Capuchin formation work. He helps tirelessly with the decision-making as a Global Partner. He especially likes promoting its values and mission to everyday living.
Joyce De Cleene has over 57 years of experience within the realm of education teaching or tutoring in Mathematics. She worked tirelessly, along with two SSND Sisters, to found an independent high school called “Milwaukee Spectrum. Its purpose is to serve women who struggled in public schools. She has also spent seventeen years teaching students of military families in Germany. Joyce returned to Wisconsin in 2000 and is now a tutor at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
William Fenger is a municipal judge who serves as the organizational treasurer for Global Partners. He has been instrumental in organizing trips to Guatemala with Divine Mercy parish in South Milwaukee.
Kate Fontanazza grew up in a large Irish-Sicilian family and chose education as a profession. Her husband is also from a close-knit family. As an educator in city schools and as an adult with wide, open eyes and heart, she has become a community activist. She is an Associate of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and a member of St Michael parish in Milwaukee, WI.
S. Sylvia Hecht, SSND is a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) and has ministered as a teacher and advocate for the past forty-plus years. In those years, she has spent time with the poor and marginalized of Milwaukee, WI. The people to whom she has ministered have shared their hearts with her, and filled her with compassion as well as blessing her with gifts beyond measure. As an SSND, she is impelled to prefer the poor and to stand on the side of those who have been deprived of respect, justice, and life's necessities. She now continues that call by supporting the mission of GPRW.
Dianne Henke is the co-founder of GPRW and has been with the organization since its foundation. She hosts the annual picnic and helps build relationships between the Milwaukee community and GPRW.
Jason Meyler is an assistant professor of Spanish at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI. His teaching and research are attuned to issues of social justice that are being addressed through Latin American and US Latino art. In recent years, Jason has worked with Marquette University's Applied Global Business Learning Organization as a co-leader for student trips to Guatemala and Colombia.
Rebecca Moczulewski is an artist who aspires to connect art and social issues to advocate for marginalized peoples, support community organizations, and engage others in meaningful ways in WI.
Elizabeth Mueller is a recent Marquette University graduate. She has visited Guatemala with GPRW and observed the impact of water projects in Guatemalan communities firsthand. She is excited to work with GPRW and support its mission of providing financial resources to rural communities in Latin America in order to meet their needs for clean water, food, and improved health.
Richard Muirhead served in the Peace Corps in Peru from 1966 to 1969. Since his Peace Corps service ended, Richard has traveled to Latin America annually. He has taught in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina. He recently retired from his position as Director of International Studies at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, where he developed study abroad opportunities that focused on issues of social justice and service.
Dan Sass is a pharmacist for CVS after previously owning and operating an independent pharmacy for the past thirty years. He is active in dynamic men's groups, such as the Men of Christ for the past twelve years, and has always had an interest in water issues due to his active outdoor lifestyle.
George Stoneis recently retired from teaching a range of courses in Earth Science at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), including Earth Science, General Geology, Weather Fundamentals, Climate Change Fundamentals, and Energy in Nature, Technology and Society. He serves as co-chair of the MATC District Sustainability and Facilities Core Committee, and is Chair of the Annual Sustainability Summit.
Margaret Ward is a retired speech pathologist from the Milwaukee Public Schools. She is actively involved in both community and church organizations, and believes that church-based activities are an effective vehicle to serve those in need. Toni Wulff was a professor and administrator at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, where she worked to develop the Social Justice curriculum and expanded the service learning program. She currently teaches at MATC, and is involved in immigrant rights in the Milwaukee area.
Martin Gregorcich is an attorney and CPA. He offers business, legal, and banking advice to the board. He also prepares financial summaries and files yearly tax returns.