Philippines Board

Cori H. Baybay is as a member of Bread of Life Ministries, community worker, and a member of Hiyas Kayumanggi, which aims to reeducate the children about the country’s DNA. As a Business Management graduate of the University of the Philippines, she brings over 25 years of experience in various fields like research and development, banking and administration, legislation, planning, and project conceptualization to implementation in real estate development.  Her greatest fulfillment is to help people in any way possible. Currently, she devotes her time caring for her 87-year-old mother.

Lea F. Jocson, RSW, MPAG is a Philippine licensed social worker. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work and Master’s in Public Administration and Governance at University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos. She has various experiences in the field of social welfare and development. She is passionate in helping others. Her job experiences exposed her to different organizations dealing with various clients such as special children, alcoholic and substance abuse, victims of trafficking, sexually abused children, disadvantaged people and communities. She also had research experience at the University of Memphis, TN, USA as research assistant. She helped develop the research survey and coordinated contact with research site leadership. Prior to joining MRH as a board member, she worked at International Justice Mission as social worker.

Romulo (Romy) Mandalupe (MRH Board Chair, Philippines) is an active member of First Baptist Church in Cebu City as well as of The Gideons International, Cebu South Camp. He has more than 25 years work experience among fisherfolks, lowland and upland farmers, and agricultural cooperatives through his employment with various government and non-government organizations. He also has experience as a college instructor and providing outreach to street children in Cebu City. Currently, he is employed with an export manufacturing company and has served in the purchasing, admin and finance departments for more than 9 years now. He and his wife (Imelda) are blessed with three children and one granddaughter. In all of his endeavors, Romy brings his belief in servant leadership to life.

Tom Riveral is a Lawyer and Certified Public Accountant by profession. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR), a cargo-handling company in Cebu City as well as its subsidiaries and cooperative. He has been an officer and director of various business and civic organizations in Cebu. He is a recipient of several business awards such as: Golden European Leadership Award of WBA Socrates Award, Outstanding Cebuano of The Outstanding Cebuano Award and the Business Person Award of Consumers’ Choice Category Awards for Business Excellence to name a few and has been awarded by the University of San Carlos in 2009 as its Most Outstanding Alumnus under Virtus Category. He has served in the local board of My Refuge House since 2009. He is also passionate in helping small churches in the outskirts of Visayas Region in the Philippines.

Florimae C. Velasco is a CPA-Lawyer based in Cebu City, Philippines.  She holds the position as Manager for Business Development and Audit of Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR), a cargo-handling company in Cebu City.  She is also the Corporate Secretary of Portworkers Integrated Cooperative Services, a cooperative of OPASCOR. Currently, she is the President of Business Networking International – Capital Chapter in Cebu City and a Director of Financial Executives Institute of Cebu, Inc.  She has been involved in different church ministries while growing up in a Christian home.  She finds being a director of My Refuge House a very fulfilling ministry where she can serve in a professional level.

US Board

Russ Bermejo, MSW is an assistant professor at California Baptist University (CBU), in Riverside, CA.  He has over 25 years of professional social work experience ranging from direct practice to system reform initiatives focused on serving children and families affected by child maltreatment and substance use disorders.  Russ also currently serves as a financial grants management consultant for a U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs project supporting victims of crime in the US Territories. He served as an Aftercare Fellow for International Justice Mission (2008-2009) where he designed a job-readiness program for survivors of sex trafficking in Cebu, Philippines.  During his time in Cebu, he also served as the interim Clinical Director for My Refuge House before returning back to the US, and serving on the MRH Board.  From 2012-2016, Russ served as a lay pastor at a motel church in Anaheim, California.  Russ is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in social work at CBU and his research interests are focused on restorative justice.  He is married to Megumi and they have four children, Grace, Honor, Courage, and Hope.

Jim Hammond is a high school teacher in Charlotte, NC and an active member of Mecklenburg Community Church. Jim has visited the My Refuge House campus on three separate occasions: once to aid in the construction of the initial house, once to assist with developing marketing materials, and once as a part of the 10th Anniversary celebration. In addition to teaching theatre arts, English, and lots of other things, Jim has a Masters in Business Administration, a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and worked for nearly a decade in the field of television/video production.

Maria Huang was born in Macau, a Portuguese colony in mainland China, raised in Tokyo, Japan, and came to the US for college. She has been in the US since, working in the defense industry and with semi-conductor companies. Her interest and support in My Refuge House began when her son, Jonathan, made one of the initial trips to Cebu to help establish our work there. She has subsequently made a few trips to help establish systems to promote food sustenance. Her daughter Jennifer has also gotten involved, documenting the lives of some of our girls for a few years now.

Eleonor Purcil (MRH Board Secretary, USA) is an Environmental, Health and Safety Regulatory Compliance IT professional with Celanese, and has over 20 years experience in the Chemical Manufacturing industry. She was born in the Philippines, and moved to the US for college, where she became a US citizen in 2007.  Eleonor has a passion to help in the fight against child exploitation and human trafficking, and has been supporting My Refuge House for 3 years.  In 2018, she participated in the 10th year anniversary celebration in Cebu, and her desire to make an impact with MRH grew from there. She also supports Valiant Heart, A21, Dalit Freedom Network among other organizations. Eleonor is an avid dancer, loves nature hikes and travel. Antarctica is the only continent she’s not been able to explore.  She has degrees in Economics and Management Information System with minor in Psychology.

Eileen Rodriguez (MRH Board Treasurer, USA) is the owner of Couture Salon and Spa in Whittier, CA. She has been a long-term advocate and volunteer for MRH. She is passionate about building meaningful networks and has organized events to raise awareness and funds to support the mission of MRH. On her first visit to MRH, Eileen provided professional hair cuts for all of the girls and staff during a two-day marathon of hair cuts. When she isn’t mentoring other young professionals or inspiring community engagement, she can be found laughing with her family!

Mark Sampelo was first drawn to My Refuge House through his love of fashion when he volunteered at the MRH Fashioned for Freedom event in Dallas. He was inspired to learn that an interest in fashion could also help bring healing to those who have suffered and experienced horrible things. Mark’s mission is to share God’s love with all others in all walks of life despite background, upbringing, and who they are. He does this professionally as a Financial Advisor and bringing financial literacy and resources to serve underserved communities and families. He is also an active Community Leader, having cofounded several community organizations to create ecosystems of change and provide spaces of healing, inspiration, and growth. As a natural networker and leader in the Filipino Community in Dallas/Fort Worth, he has also engaged students to bring their energy and voices to the advocacy journey of MRH. When not juggling his many professional roles, Mark is cheering on friends and has been lately found running many miles with his dad.

Rachel Toberty (MRH Board Chair, USA) is a lawyer in Orange County, California. She is an associate attorney at Kirk and Toberty Law Firm, where her practice area is primarily focused on family law. She has served on the MRH Orange County benefit committee since 2015 and on the MRH US Board since 2017. Rachel naturally inspires others through sharing her passion for both the LA flower mart and the quest for justice and restoration.