In her role as Executive Director, Lori Vaclavik oversees all DaVita Village Trust operations, including partner selection, fundraising, chronic kidney disease screening, mission success, and partner sustainability. She works closely with the Board of Directors to lead the organization in expanding access to care for chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease patients in the U.S. and abroad.
Lori has 18 years of nonprofit leadership experience, and before her role at DaVita Village Trust she was the Vice President of Development and Community Relations for Project C.U.R.E., where she managed national fundraising activities.
Prior to joining Project C.U.R.E, Lori worked for Habitat for Humanity International as a global engagement officer through which she executed a national strategy to grow the organization’s partnerships with 84 developing countries. She also served as the Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver where she led fundraising, communications, volunteer outreach, and community relations activities for 12 years. During her tenure, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver was selected as “National Affiliate of the Year” from more than 1,200 affiliates.
Lori also has 11 years of marketing and management experience in the private sector. She received her bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College and has a master’s degree from the University of Denver and completed Harvard Business School’s “Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management” executive education program.
As DaVita Village Trust’s Program Director for Bridge of Life, Sara Hendren is responsible for mission partner selection and overseeing the overall management and continued success of Bridge of Life’s medical missions. She has over eight years of experience in nonprofit medical missions management and implementation.
Before DaVita Village Trust, Sara worked for Project C.U.R.E. as the Director of C.U.R.E. Clinics and International Travel where she was responsible for the management and development of medical mission teams. She has also served as the Volunteer Chairman of Project El Crucero for the past eight years and is responsible for the start up and management of an outpatient medical clinic and ministry in El Crucero, Nicaragua.
Sara has 15 years of marketing experience in the private sector and received her bachelor’s degree from University of New Mexico.
Communications and Program Manager
As the Communications and Program Manager, Stephanie Bertsch-Merbach manages various activities related to the organization’s programs, communications, and fundraising functions.
Stephanie brings to DaVita Village Trust over three and a half years of marketing and graphic design experience and recently earned her MA in International Studies with a certificate in Global Health Affairs from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies in Denver, CO.
Senior Director of Donor Relations and Communications
In January 2014, Greta Walker joined the DaVita Village Trust as the Senior Director of Donor Relations and Communications. Greta is responsible for directing the philanthropic funding objectives, internal communications and public relations initiatives.
After attending Baylor University on a full tennis scholarship, Greta began an extensive career in the nonprofit industry. She spent 14 years at the Denver Rescue Mission as the Director of Public Relations before joining Mile High United Way as the Senior Director of Strategic Relationships where she managed their major giving programs. Greta spent eight years on the Board of Directors for Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime, an organization with a mission to foster respect and appreciation for senior citizens by granting life enriching wishes. From 2005 to 2011, Greta participated on communication and marketing committees for Denver’s Road Home, the city’s 10-year plan to end homelessness, and their annual fundraiser PJ DAY.
Greta lives with her husband, Clark, and son, Connor, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Connor is 17 and ranked in the top 5 nationally for sabre fencing. She enjoys skiing, obeying her Cairn terriers Colfax and Max, and watching Connor at his fencing tournaments.
Director of Technical Operations
Chris Atwater’s role is to assess partner needs for future medical missions, advise DaVita Village Trust and their program Bridge of Life on the technical components needed for the safe and successful start-up of dialysis clinics, create infrastructure to streamline mission completion, and build up a solid corps of biomed teammates who will participate in future medical missions.
Chris has been volunteering with Bridge of Life since 2006 and has been on 21 separate missions and assessments with the organization. When Chris is not working with DaVita Village Trust, he is the Manager of Special Projects for the Corporate Biomed Team at DaVita Healthcare Partners.
Program Support Manager
As Operations Manager of DaVita Village Trust, Renee Thierry-Jones manages the logistics and operations related to the chronic kidney disease (CKD) rapid-screening program as well as general administrative and legal functions of the organization. She also has oversight of accounting and finance related matters, including the creation and tracking of budgets, vendor management, metrics and provides on-site support at CKD rapid-screening events.
Serving as the Finance Manager for The Kidney Trust for four years, Renee brings over 15 years of leadership and private-sector experience in financial analysis, reporting, accounting and financial operations. She earned her B.S. in Managerial Economics from University of California, Davis and is a Leadership San Francisco alumna.
As Program Director for The Kidney TRUST, Gloria Upchurch develops and maintains partnerships with potential and existing screening partners promoting CKD awareness and education. She manages The TRUST’s CKD rapid-screening program.
Prior to joining DaVita Village Trust, Gloria worked as a contractor designing and producing conferences, trade shows and special events that focus on client needs assessments. She also served as program development director for A Global Connection where she managed team building and incentive events and was responsible for operational and fiscal oversight of the annual budget, and volunteers both domestic and international. She was also responsible for executing strategic plans that resulted in the construction of the Olmoti Women and Children’s Clinic, The Kids With Camera program and Clean Delivery Kits program.
Gloria has more than 11 years of national and international experience in various healthcare, hi-tech and business settings as a project manager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business with a communication emphasis from Metro State College in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.