Guest Post: Meet The V.I.P. Committee

Laura Carter_spare parts guest blogger
Laura Carter, Communications Director Providence Catholic School

If you were to ask me why the spare parts inaugural fundraiser–V.I.P. (Very Important Party)–is the ‘must attend’ party of the year, I would have to say it has a great deal to do with the event committee. Each committee member is working with great enthusiasm to create an event which will be fun, educational and inspiring! This diverse group has a common passion that drives them to contribute time, energy and funds, to support Ms. Cantu and spare parts. So, without further ado, may I introduce some of our V.I.P. committee:

Carla Berryman: Fourth grade teacher at St. Paul Catholic School, wife and mother of two boys Gunner 19 and Logan 22.
“I got involved with spare parts out of a necessity to find cheap/free supplies for my classroom as well as school. My room has become the “wal-mart” of the school. Teachers seek me out first for supplies before going anywhere else. I believe that the spare parts motto of our Art Club: “All we have is All we need,” is something we should take very seriously. I have also been involved with spare parts long enough to see materials cycle back around. I find that really super cool!”

Giovanna Carrola: Artist/photographer, Art Educator at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, mom to two AwEsoMe! teenage daughters and married to Frank.
“I became involved with Mary Cantu and spare parts when I responded to a request for volunteers to help them move from one location to another (after the first teacher giveaway). I have been around since! I offered to help spare parts because it is an organization which I believe in. The mission to reduce/reuse/recycle is important to me, not only as an art teacher, but also as a parent and person on this earth! I am so proud of Mary Cantu and her efforts in this movement…she is on to something B I G!!”

V.I.P. committee members: Diane Dixon, Shirlene Harris, David Frank, Jennifer Herrera & Kelly Schaub
V.I.P. committee members: Diana Dixon, Shirlene Harris, David Frank, Jennifer Herrera & Kelly Schaub

Laura Carter: Day job-Communication Director Providence Catholic School. Otherwise engaged as nonprofit advocate and blogger. Married to Richard Irons, Pastry Professional, mother and grandmother.
“I became involved with spare parts because I see it as a combination of essential elements I believe very important to our community–education, art and environment. Mary is doing an amazing job with growing the program’s outreach. I enjoy the mix of people and ideas, and learning how to be a reuse crafter–a real stretch for me!”

Diana Dixon: Advertising Design student at the International Academy of Design & Technology (IADT).
“I was a student of Mary’s and found out about spare parts during my classes with her. This term, I chose a hands-on project with spare parts for my project management class. I fell in love with the organization, and am now volunteering for spare parts for more than just a grade in school. I love that spare parts has an annual giveaway where teachers get materials for free to use in their classrooms–materials that they would otherwise have to pay for out of pocket since so many school budgets for the arts have been cut.”

Samantha G. Guerra: Admin Assistant in Bexar Co. Probate Court 2, face painter, blessed to be “Mom” to two beautiful teenage girls and “Wife/Friend” for 25 years to a really great guy.
“My involvement with spare parts is very new and quite fortuitous. I believe a life without art, imagination, giving and caring is lacking. Mary’s vision and mission reflect these important life components and enriches all who are fortunate to participate with and benefit from spare parts.”

V.I.P. committee members: Pak Leung Lai, Lorena Alvarez, Dezarre Boone, Giovanna Carrola, Sarah Dunckel & Deborah Mireles
V.I.P. committee members: Pak Leung Lai, Lorena Alvarez, Dezarre Boone, Giovanna Carrola, Sarah Dunckel & Deborah Foster-Mireles

Deborah Foster-Mireles: Day job-Accounting Tech II at Baptist Child & Family Services.
“I became involved with spare parts in September of this year through my daughter (who is a student at IADT) which is assisting with spare parts projects. I find spare parts to be a great and exciting organization working toward improving our community and it’s environment by its reuse practices, teachings and sharing. Everyone works very well together sharing their thoughts and ideas. Way to go Team, Keep up the great work!”

David B. Frank: Social entrepreneur, media and marketing creative, arts education advocate, dedicated father and friend. Founder of ArtGives.Org and Say It With Photos, LLC.
“I was fortunate enough to have met Mary Cantu when spare parts was first born. Mary has the passion, vision, dedication and determination necessary to develop spare parts into a strong community resource. ArtGives.Org and our team of media and marketing partners will continue to provide support for spare parts because their programs are important to the well-being of the entire community.”

Jennifer Herrera: KLRN Community & Media Engagement Manager.
“I enjoy volunteering with nonprofit organizations such as Gemini Ink. Through the power of social media, I followed Mary Elizabeth and discovered spare parts. Mary’s passion and drive led me to become involved in the group, while also learning about being more resourceful with everyday materials.”

Lori Schnedler: Works in the finance department for the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency in downtown San Antonio.
“I also help to coordinate our hotels’ Green Teams and environmental programs. I was looking for a green project to do with the children of our associates at our annual holiday party, and after searching the internet, I found Mary and spare parts. I immediately felt connected to her purpose and mission and I quickly became a supporter. I am committed to helping in whatever way I can to further her efforts and grow her organization into the success I know it can be!”

V.I.P. committee members: Marty Taglauer,  Lori Schnedler, Jeanne Cantu, Laura Carter & Samantha Guerra
V.I.P. committee members: Marty Taglauer, Lori Schnedler, Jeanne Cantu, Laura Carter & Samantha Guerra

Jeanne Cantu: A retired educator who is a firm believer in reusing which leads to saving money and reducing landfill waste.
“Classroom teachers spend so much of their own money to provide resources for their students’ projects. Spare parts offers teachers a way to acquire materials for free. Jeanne is the daughter of who she believes is the original ‘reuser queen.’ My 96 year old mother has practically zero waste. Reusing is possible and necessary for us all.”