U.S. Leadership TeamMentors International’s Leadership Team brings a robust level of knowledge and expertise. Combined they bring over 50 years of experience in leadership, management, finance and economics, training and development, marketing and communications to name a few. They are dedicated to the mission of ending poverty in a sustainable way.
President and CEO
Curtis Bennett comes from humble circumstances and knows the power and benefit of a true mentor.
Throughout his career, he has had vast experience in many avenues of for-profit business to non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and international business. He has traveled extensively throughout the world and has personally witnessed the extreme poverty facing many families. Recently, Curtis and his wife Sheri were released after serving a term of service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presiding over the Mexico Missionary Training Center, located in Mexico City from January 2017 – January 2019.
Curtis is very appreciative for the mentors and examples who have helped shape his life. He strongly feels like now is the time in his life where it is his turn to pay it forward. He is grateful to serve as the CEO of Mentors International and help empower families to grow in greater self-reliance in all aspects of their lives.
When Curtis is not helping to share and grow the mission of Mentors International, he is found spending his time with his beautiful wife Sheri, his five children, and their 12 grandkids. He also enjoys exploring the great outdoors on his mountain bike.
Vice President of International Operations
Nathan has seven years of experience as a microfinance practitioner, holds a degree in Economics and has a passion for microfinance and how markets can be used to help the poor. Prior to Mentors International, Nathan spent three years working in Market Research where he worked in sample procurement and sample analytics. Nathan has also engaged in several small entrepreneurial endeavors over the years and enjoys working with small businesses of his own and those of our Mentors clients. In May of 2013, Nathan temporally moved his family to Manila, Philippines for nine months to closely work with and enlarge the impact our organization is having on the poor.
Chief Financial Officer
David’s financial experience has come from serving as Vice President of Finance and Controller for the international headquarters of Children’s Miracle Network (17 years). He was part of a leadership team responsible for increasing annual fundraising from $89 million to $240 million during his tenure – over $2 billion in funds raised altogether. His role in the nonprofit industry has allowed him to wear many hats that have contributed to his overall business acumen. David currently serves as Treasurer on the board of the Children’s Medical and Research Charities of America. David received his Bachelor of Art degree in Finance from Utah State University. Additionally, he holds a masters degree in Nonprofit Management (MNM) from Regis University, graduating with Honors.
Emily Thomas received her BA from BYU and her MA from the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester in International Development Management. While in the UK, her research included fieldwork in Northern Uganda and studying the effect of education for girls in developing countries. This experience has proven valuable as Emily has led a team to develop and refine Mentors International training and mentoring programs. Her interests also include capacity building, monitoring, and evaluation, impact evaluation, data analysis, improving inefficiencies, and has enjoyed using these interests while consulting for various NGOs. Emily loves working with the Mentors International team and also serves on the Advisory Committee. When she’s not in the office, she loves spending her time traveling, being with her family, or doing just about anything in the mountains.
Director of Marketing
Sarah Barrett has worked in the non-profit sector for over 15 years. Previous to her position at Mentors International, she worked for the Utah Safety Council helping to promote their mission of saving lives through education and training. Sarah has a background in marketing, communications, and website design. Sarah enjoys running and experimenting with new recipes. She also likes to hike and explore the National Parks with her husband and three kids. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Mentors International and truly believes this organization is making a difference where we serve.
Melanie Winterton came to Mentors International because of her love for humanitarian aid and serving others. Melanie has worked as an office manager for eight years and truly enjoys the relationships she has built with her co-workers. Melanie enjoys hiking, traveling, spending time with her family and laughing. She feels very blessed to be part of an organization that does much good in alleviating poverty throughout the world.
Program Manager, Pearls with Purpose
Wendy Bird is the founder of Pearls with Purpose, a social-impact organization which blends micro-enterprise training with humanitarian assistance. Since 2002, Wendy has inspired and motivated people all over the world by sharing her passion for “teaching women to fish” rather than “giving them a fish.” As a certified High Performance Coach, Wendy leads women toward self-sustainment with jewelry-making and micro-enterprise skills along with 12 key traits/disciplines which allow an individual to live sustained levels of energy, connection, joy, purpose, influence and clarity on a more consistent basis with simple system implementation. These women use this empowering knowledge to improve their own lives and that of others. They hand create products which are sold in developed countries and manage their own long term self-reliance, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.
Wendy has received such awards as “Humanitarian of the Year,” “Woman Making a Difference,” “Best of State” in jewelry production, and has been featured on Good Things Utah and various radio shows. She does keynote speeches throughout America teaching core concepts of social entrepreneurship and life purpose. As a result of her infectious and motivating passion, Wendy has helped bring about change for thousands of people worldwide. She is the mother of 5 children, and Nana to 5 grandchildren. When in country, she resides in Riverton, UT with her husband
Our International Directors are native to the countries in which they serve. They are deeply committed to their communities and to the people they lead.