HOW OSF BEGAN
WATCH THE CNN STORY ON OSF FOUNDER ANDY STEIN AND THE STORY OF HOW OSF WAS BORN
WHAT WE DO
ORPHANED STARFISH FACTS
ANDREW B. STEIN
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
Andrew Stein founded the Orphaned Starfish Foundation in 2001 to help orphans, victims of abuse and at-risk children worldwide escape their cycles of poverty and abuse through education and job training. From humble beginnings building a small computer vocational training center in an orphanage for young victims of abuse in Santiago, Chile, he has built the Foundation to now serve over 13,000 children in 62 programs in 27 countries: Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Honduras, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Ecuador, Haiti, Cambodia, Colombia, Ethiopia, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Uruguay, American Samoa & Nepal. Andy has partnered with local partners in each of these countries, including Save the Children, Rotary Club, and USAID.
"Tio Andy! Tio Mago!" Andy makes yearly visits to each Orphaned Starfish program. Mago is Spanish for Magician. He brings a magic show complete with balloon animals for all the children. (His highest amount recorded was 1,000 balloon animals in one sitting.) His visits also allow for a personal connection not only to the children but to the institutions and their directors and teachers. Every visit helps OSF learn what is needed at our programs so we may better serve these children. Every trip also allows for new program scouting.
For his work helping the children of the favelas of Brazil, Andy was awarded an Honorary Citizenship in Rio De Janeiro by their Congress. In the United States, he has also been awarded the Jefferson Award for Community Service, the key to the city of Miami Beach, and several other state and local honors. He and the Orphaned Starfish Foundation have been featured on CBS News, Fox News, ABC News, Telemundo and Univision as well as in the Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Star Ledger, Jewish Week and US Magazine. Andy has also been a member of the Benefit Committees for Aleh Foundation, National Academy for the Arts, US Doctors for Africa, and Harlem’s Playing 2 Win Foundation. Prior to his work with Orphaned Starfish, Andy was active in Special Olympics, Rotary Club and Counterpart International.
Andy Stein is also currently President and CEO of Makopastreet Partners, LLC. Makopastreet Partners provides senior debt financing for luxury and ultra-luxury hotel, and mixed-use developments, as well as infrastructure projects worldwide. In addition, Makopastreet Partners coordinates all stages of development for luxury and ultra-luxury hotel and mixed- use developments in the Americas, with a focus on the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Andy has been a featured speaker at several industry conferences worldwide and has been a guest professor on the topic of international hotel finance at Wharton for the past several years. From 1993 – 1996, Andy was based in Manila, Philippines as the Joint Head of Corporate Finance for Chase’s (formerly Chemical Bank’s) Manila Branch. During his tenure in Manila, Andy developed the Bank’s project finance and hospitality expertise in the Philippines. Andy also was instrumental in the execution of the Brady Plan bonds, which restructured the bank debt of several Latin American and Asian countries.
Andy holds a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the University of Virginia. Andy is married to Dilia Stein and has two sons, all very much involved with Orphaned Starfish Foundation. Andy lives in New York City when not traveling for the Foundation.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Karla Osorio is a Honduran-American New York native; a proud born and raised Brooklynite. In June 2018, Karla joined OSF as the Associate Director. She comes from a strong background of 10+ years of non-profit work, focused specifically on working with local NYC teenagers. She began her public interest work during college at the International YMCA, where she helped grant inner NYC youth the opportunity to travel to a different country or state and conduct a service learning project. She then moved onto the Chinatown YMCA servicing teens in the local Chinatown and Lower East Side community before moving onto The New Jewish Home, a nursing home facility that had a unique program of providing teens from local underresourced schools the opportunity to begin their careers in healthcare by training them to obtain their Certified Nursing Assistant certificate.
Karla graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, and while she was studying embarked on numerous world adventures after deciding that she wanted to accomplish visiting all seven continents. Some of the places she visited included Honduras, Chile, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Australia, South Africa and Thailand; so Antartica is on the radar. Some of these travels were predominantly for service learning projects, where she found some of the most beautiful people on Earth, who gave her a new set of lens to look through.
Karla enjoys the mountains, and great outdoors, and nature that Earth has to offer. During her free time, Karla can be found enjoying an iced latte at a local cafe, reading, associating with her mentors and spending time with her family, particularly tickling her nephews and nieces.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Gina DiRado joined OSF in November 2018 as Director Development. A skilled fundraising professional, Gina previously managed the Institutional Giving portfolios for The Paley Center for Media and Theatre for a New Audience. Having completed an M.F.A in Performing Arts Management at Brooklyn College, Gina has more than six years of experience in the nonprofit management field. Prior to her nonprofit work, Gina has four years of experience in customer service and relationship management roles, first at Apple Corporate Headquarters and then at Vendini Tickets Inc.
A life-long lover of the arts, Gina is a classically trained vocalist who has performed extensively in opera and musical theater. She received her B.A. in Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance from Santa Clara University, where she was the recipient of the Achievement in Opera Award and winner of the University's Concerto Aria Award.
In her free time, Gina volunteers with Bad Ass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and PAWS NY, and enjoys traveling, running, cooking, and experiencing the cultural offerings of NYC with family and friends.
TREASURER/DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Eric is the founder of Greenview, an international consultancy helping travel and tourism catalyze innovation and best practice through strategy, programs, data management, and reporting. Greenview advises several hotel companies and lodging REITs, in addition to citywide event organizers, cruise lines, DMOs, and industry organizations including the WTTC and UNWTO. With 20 years of hands-on experience, Eric is a frequent speaker, convener, and researcher on the topic of sustainability.
Eric earned a B.S. from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and a M.S. in Tourism & Travel Management from New York University. Eric’s notable industry work includes serving as technical consultant for the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, and launching the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking index, Green Venue Report, Green Lodging Trends Report, and Hotel Owners for Tomorrow. Eric is a member of the UFI Committee on Sustainable Development and the International Standards Working Group of the GSTC. He has held a research fellowship at the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research been an adjunct instructor at the New York University Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. Eric through Greenview has also developed the Greenview Portal, the first ever software to track sustainability for all tourism related companies.
LUZMARIA DEL CARMEN HURTADO MENDOZA
Luzmaria Hurtado, better known as "Lucita,” was born in Panama City, Panama. She has always been passionate about new technologies and enjoys integrating what she learns into computer programs that exist in her community called El Chorrillo – her humble neighborhood in Panama City.
That same passion led Lucita to graduate in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. In 2008, she then began to study to obtain a degree in Information Systems Engineering at the Santa María de La Antigua Catholic University. There she discovered her true vocation: Education. She then joins the Orphaned Starfish Foundation program as a technology teacher at Parroquia de Fátima, directed by the Mercedarian Religious priests, participating in multiple trainings that helped improve her teaching methods.
In 2015, Lucita collaborates with these same priests to lead the Orphaned Starfish Foundation program to El Salvador in the neighborhood of La Libertad, San Salvador. In efforts to continue to enhance her skills, in 2013, she went on to study Higher Education at the Specialized University of Las Americas, and in 2015 also studied Specialization in Pedagogy for Youth Education at the University of Panama. In 2017, Lucita left for Mexico City to study her Master's Degree in Education, with Emphasis on Innovation and Educational Technology, and returns to Panama in January 2019 to bring all the knowledge acquired in innovation and technology to all students.
GENNA "MARK" REVITZ
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
Genna “Mark” Revitz is a producer, on-air talent, a passionate sports and movie fanatic, travel enthusiast and philanthropist from Miami, Florida. In her television career, she spent more than 6 years at WSVN in Miami, the nation's’ number 16 media market. Genna has covered every major sporting event in Miami - from the HEAT’s runs to the NBA Finals to every one of the University of Miami Hurricanes’ bowl games - since she began her career with WSVN in 2011. In the entertainment world, she was Deco Drive’s go-to producer and talent for covering movie junkets.
Genna graduated from the University of Miami School of Education with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration (class of 2010). Genna’s passion for helping those in need is evident through her commitment to philanthropy. She has served on committees for events such as the PAMM Art of the Party REMIX fundraiser, is a Young Founder of Mt. Sinai Medical Center and has helped Global Empowerment Mission, which provides aid, relief and helps rebuild areas who have been affected by natural disasters.
When Genna’s career brought her to Manhattan in 2018, she immediately dove into the city’s philanthropic world. She’s a proud supporter of YJP NYC and served on the committee for Orphaned Starfish’s 2019 gala.
FOUNDER OF GREENVIEW
FOUNDER & OWNER
NEW BEGINNINGS CONSULTING
FOUNDER & CEO
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
PRESIDENT & CEO
INLAND PACIFIC COMPANIES
THOMAS C. RICHARD
CONSULTANT, FORMER CHAIRMAN
MERRIT & HARRIS
SVP, MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
THE PALEY CENTER
CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
INTERSTATE HOTELS & RESORTS
GROUP CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER,
MEDICAL DEVICES & SUPPLIER DIVERSITY
JOHNSON & JOHNSON
EVP, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
DAVID J. WILLIAMS
MANAGER OF DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
THE STORY BEHIND OUR NAME
One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the starfish still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water.
The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach's dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.
Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the child, "What are you doing?" "I'm saving the starfish," the child replied. "Why waste your time?... There are so many you can't save them all so why does it matter?", asked the man.
Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water... "It matters to this one.", the child said.