Our Executive Team
JON DESSEL: CO-FOUNDER, CHAIR & CEO
Jon Dessel has an extensive and uniquely diversified professional background with over 27 years of business management experience. This consists of 16 years in an executive leadership function and 13 years in specialty finance, which includes Mortgage-Backed & Asset-Backed Securities, Corporate Bonds, and Securitization. Jon is also a recognized industry expert in advanced enterprise Information System design, architecture, configuration, deployment, social media, and mobile technology. He is a firm believer that “Technology is critical to creating competitive advantages, creating a learning organization, and automation of essential product service delivery in alignment with corporate goals, forecasts, and plans."
His education background includes an MBA degree from Pepperdine University with emphasis in Presidential Key Executive Management and a Bachelor degree in Accounting. Jon is also a Certified Six Sigma process engineer, a Corporate Social Responsibility Officer and a member of America’s Who’s-Who. His extensive experience has led him into several excellent high-profile opportunities providing consulting services to major corporations such as PepsiCo, Wachovia Securities, Orange County Transit Authority, Bank of America, Onyx Acceptance Corp, Hughes Data Systems, USGS & CIA, Fluor Daniel, 21st Century Insurance, First American Title, Thales Avionics, Petco, First Union Bank, Edwards Cinema, Parker Hannifin, First Alliance Mortgage, ETrade Financial, Triad Financial, Ford Motor Credit, GMAC Financial, Hyundai, and AT&T.
Throughout his career, Jon has remained dedicated, committed and personally involved in numerous community-driven endeavors, such as Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Cancer Research Collaboration, Feed the Children (FTC Transportation), Habitat for Humanity, CHOC Children’s Foundation, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Child Abuse Prevention Center, Boys & Girls Clubs, Orangewood Academy, Farm Aid, Save our State Parks Association, and as fundraiser benefit organizer for several community recreation and park groups. His reputation as an empathetic, insightful, action-driven and visionary leader is supported by his advisory positions with numerous United Nations humanitarian response groups and the many non-profit organizations on which he maintains board positions.
DAVE ROSS: CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
David is an impassioned, established and highly valued non-profit advocate. He is committed to building and strengthening the amplitude of humanitarian, social, environmental and other non-profit organizations wherever his expertise is needed. He is sought after based on a wide variety of skills, including executive coaching, executive searching, board development, planning, evaluation, discussion facilitation and fund-raising strategies.
Dave also works closely with the non-profit community in seminar development, workshops, and other learning methodologies that allow him to draw upon the latest management research and other non-profit empowerment and educational models. To further compliment his wide-range of value add contributions, he is particularly favored for his highly tailored and personalized approaches. Based on these attributes, his reputation as a trusted advisor and luminary to both non-profits and enterprise platforms is well anchored.
Before completely devoting himself to championing the non-profit sector, Dave enjoyed an exemplary 20 year + entrepreneurial-rooted enterprise career. The primary avenues of success relate to various aspects of real estate and credit card services/banking. These cumulative experiences and related areas of expertise have honed Dave into the exceptional organizational leader that he is today. He shares the forefront of executive leadership at We Are Communities and is intimately involved in organizational vision, strategy, operations, sustainability and human capital. Accordingly, Dave is considered a cornerstone to our very existence and through his exemplary interpersonal and communication skills will be at our leading edge as we positively impact meaningful global causes.
Dave continues to explore, develop and strengthen new skills and areas of expertise, such as corporate social responsibility, sustainability studies, non-profit leadership, community response marketing and humanitarian diplomacy.
ROBERT PAQUETTE: VP - SOFTWARE & INFORMATION SOLUTIONS
An accomplished innovator with over 25 years of enterprise application development experience. Applications designed and developed by Robert have been used by such companies as General Motors, Ford Motor Credit, and E*TRADE Financial.
As a testament to the quality and usefulness of Robert's work, two organizations Robert was associated with were acquired specifically to gain access to the applications Robert designed and developed. In addition, many of Robert's applications developed and implemented a decade or more earlier are still in use with only minor modifications.
Besides hands-on technical work, Robert has leveraged his experience to directly manage and coach development teams consisting of both permanent and contract members, including both domestic and global team members. Robert is also one of the relatively few application/database architects and designers with both a solid hands-on business and technical background. Having held positions ranging from intern to business owner within a very diverse range of industries, Robert is able to effectively communicate with and understand the needs of the customers and employees at all levels within an organization.
Although primarily focused on commercial organizations, Robert has also been involved with many non-profit organizations as well. Beginning with his appointment to the Bridge Youth & Family Services Board of Directors in 1981, Robert has worked to expand and improve the services provided by non-profit organizations dedicated to helping young people and families improve their social and emotional health.
Robert is particularly passionate about organizations which not only help to solve or alleviate an immediate problem, but which also provide the knowledge, skills, and opportunities for young people to improve their quality of life in the future, especially for those who are unable to ask for or obtain help without assistance.
Areas of expertise and experience include the design, development, coding and implementation of OLTP and data warehouse databases and front-end applications, high-volume financial applications, high-traffic social and collaborative websites, performance improvement/training delivery applications, document and enterprise knowledge management applications, organization goal and mission promotion/tracking applications, e-commerce websites, and mission-critical line-of-business applications.
Pedro Lobo is a highly innovative and creative professional with over thirty five years experience in international business. He is an empathetic social entrepreneur with a track record of envisioning, implementing and building profitable business enterprises. His personal interests is the pursuit of life enriching experiences, both professionally as well as personally, where he can make a positive contribution towards the betterment and sustainability of our interconnected world.
Pedro’s educational background is in design, architecture and international business practices and has worked in North America and throughout Asia over the course of his professional career. His diverse business activities include serving as Regional Director S. E. Asia for the Port of Seattle and the State of Washington, establishing successful product design development and architecture offices in both Hong Kong and Singapore, operations and oversight responsibilities for manufacturing facilities in China, and providing consulting services for N. American, European and Japanese companies in Asia. Throughout his career Pedro has recognized the courage and conviction needed to understand and tackle the social, environmental, and community development challenges so prevalent in today’s global environment. His international experience combined with his extensive network of institutional investors, top-tier banks, financial institutions, and trading platforms gives him the tools and resources necessary to effectively drive his grand vision for monumental, positive change in areas such as community development, social justice, individual empowerment, equitable and sustainable business practices, alternative energy production, and environmental preservation.
Pedro holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, and is a strong believer in lifelong learning. He continues to pursue post-graduate coursework in design, planning, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, strategy, conservation and other related disciplines.
Pedro together with his wife and four children have a primary residence in Southern California and in Hong Kong. He enjoys traveling and a wide range of physical sports, activities and the Arts.
Roy has always maintained a sincere interest in the betterment of local and global humanitarian, social, environmental and economic endeavors and the desire to make a profound and sustainable difference on both a professional and personal level. His extensive experiences with both start-up organizations as well as larger public companies, have paved the way for an impassioned pursuit of true social entrepreneurship.
Roy provides a wide range of executive and corporate management skills and has extensive administrative, management and legal experience in the corporate environment. His business background includes a strong legal and contract management base in both the commercial and government sectors, domestic and international. This includes an extensive working knowledge and understanding of international, commercial and government related business transactions and requirements. His background also includes a strong understanding of US federal oversight regulations such as FMS, ITAR, FAR, etc.
He is a seasoned administrative and legal professional with over 35 years of diversified legal and business management experience. His areas of expertise include contract writing, negotiation, implementation and enforcement, corporate law and proprietary protections, business planning, budgets, staffing and risk management. Former positions of responsibility include President/CEO of Technology One Security Services, Inc., President/CEO of Pacific Circle Technologies, Inc. and Director of Contracts and Legal Affairs for Lear Astronics Corp. a Division of GEC Marconi Defense Systems. With his continued interest in socio economic and humanitarian endeavors, Roy is an active advisor to We Are Communities Foundation, an international NGO.
Regarding his education background, Roy earned his Bachelor’s Degree in business at Cal State University at Los Angeles, pursued his MBA at the University of Southern California and received his Juris Doctorate at Northrop University Law School, Los Angeles.
Mr. Westhaver has been involved in international business for the past 32 years. His experience encompasses all aspects of mergers and acquisitions, finance, business and project development for both for profit and non-profit organizations. A seasoned consultant, Mr. Westhaver has assisted and advised companies at the conceptual stage through to becoming profitable enterprises. He has consulted with companies throughout North America, South America, Australia, Europe and Asia in sectors as diverse as mining, nanotechnology, alternative energies such as wind, solar and waste to energy, sustainable resort and housing developments, government relations, structured financial instruments and the re-structuring of companies. Mr. Westhaver currently serves as a Director or as an Advisory Board member on numerous private, public and humanitarian foundations in Europe, Canada, South America, Philippines and in the USA.