Board President & Founder

Matthew Toms

Matthew began studying, working, and living in Latin America in 1996. He first saw poverty with his own eyes in early experiences in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, and was shocked, saddened, and overwhelmed by what he witnessed. Through his work in Latin America he came to have a better understanding of the human rights abuses and the oppression that occur inherently with these types of poverty, as well as the complexities of development and relief work and the difficulties in changing this reality. Over time, his work became focused predominantly around exposing high school, college, and graduate students to the abysmal living conditions, harsh realities, and severe abuses of human rights that occur on the bateys of the Dominican Republic and ultimately founded The Batey Foundation to help address these challenges. Matthew lives in Bethlehem, NH with his wife and 2 children.


Meglyn LaVoie

Meglyn Lavoie loves numbers. She is the business manager for the White Mountain School and the treasurer for TBF. She stepped onto the Board because of the profound life changing experience her step-daughter had on two service trips with TBF,  inspiring her to become the compassionate young woman she is today. 

Board Member

Jan Wojtasinski

Jan began his work with The Batey Foundation as a participant on a service trip in the spring of 2008. After working with The Batey Foundation on a photography project in the winter of 2011, Jan began to volunteer as a member of the Board. He is currently the Director of Marketing for the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Jan advises The Batey Foundation on technical projects, marketing strategy and program policy and operations.

Board Member

Chelsea Desrochers

Chelsea began her journey with The Batey Foundation in June of 2011 as a student participant on a service trip. She began serving on the Board of Directors as a public health professional in 2014. Chelsea is currently attending Boston University and working towards her Masters Degree in Global Health. Most recently, she served this past summer as an intern for The Batey Foundation 2015 and completed a needs assessments for Batey Naranjo.

Board Member

Sarah Andersen

Sarah's first trip to the Dominican Republic was in 2009 when she was a participant with the Batey Foundation. After graduating from college with a degree in Social Work, Sarah spent 10 months backpacking throughout Latin America and saw firsthand the impact of human rights violations on communities. Sarah spent two years living in the Dominican Republic and working for a local nonprofit whose mission is to educate and empower girls to end generational poverty. Sarah currently teaches Spanish at a high school in Virginia and works for a nonprofit over the summer that fosters global leadership through educational travel experiences. She has led numerous student groups to the DR through the Batey Foundation and brings her passion for social justice education and wealth of travel experiences to the Board.

Board Member

Nicole Mckeon

Nicole joined the board in 2017 after traveling to the DR with her colleagues for the organization’s first corporate partner program. Nicole and her team came back closer and stronger as a result of working together, in service, for a week. She brings a wealth of experience in marketing and fundraising as well as the support from her entire team at AppCast.