Rev. John Ugobueze, M.A., DHCE
Father John Ugobueze was ordained as a diocesan priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria, in 1985. He served as a priest and pastor in rural parishes in the State of Anambra, Nigeria for nearly 10 years, among them, St. Gregory’s Catholic Parish, Iyiowa, Odekpe, Anambra State, Nigeria. His Archbishop sent him to the United States for graduate studies, where he earned a Masters degrees in Theology and in Rhetoric Communication, and a Doctorate in Health Care Ethics (DHCE). Fr. John is Board Certified in Clinical Pastoral Education, having completed his Chaplaincy training with studies and pastoral care with several United States medical centers, including the Mayo Clinic, and while employed as vice president of Spiritual Care at the Provena Medical Center in Illinois. Presently Fr. John resides and works in Houston. He serves as one of the nine full-time Chaplains at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC), one of the largest and most prestigious VA Medical Centers in the country, serving almost 130,000 veterans from all over the country.
While he was in Nigeria, the local, mainly rural parishioners of his parishes wanted to recognize him for his apostolic work as spiritual director of the CATHOLIC EUCHARISTIC PRAYER MINISTRY, ODEKPE. Community members urged their leaders, Chiefs, Okakwu, Local Government Area Head and Principal to donate a large tract of private and community property to allow the Church’s continued work in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in the “alleviation of misery and want among the sick and poor,” as the the property Deed states. After his experiences in Nigeria, Father John sees a critical need for high quality medical and psychiatric care in rural communities. Scientific surveys and studies by the United Nations, World Health Organization, NGOs, and researchers in Nigeria’s Teaching Hospitals also concur with Fr. John’s observations.
Fr. John has not forgotten the wishes of his Nigerian parishioners in Odekpe. He founded a United States IRS 501(3)(c) not-for-profit corporation. Assisted by a team of professional advisors in Texas and Nigeria, he is working to raise funds from foundations to design and coordinate construction of a Western model hospital in the impoverished rural Odekpe community.
Board of Directors
Jan Madey, Architect
Mr. Madey is an architect with over 30 years’ experience in design of hospitals and other medical and commercial research centers in the United States and Overseas. He holds the position of Senior Project Manager and Laboratory Planner at Huitt-Zollars/Morris. In addition to providing advice to Fr. John as a Board Member, Mr. Madey is harnessing his multiple talents as our group’s key professional during the concept design stage of the planned Western style hospital that Fr. John wishes to be built in Okoti-Odekpe, Anamba, Nigeria. His team portfolio includes the The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Rice University, Houston, Texas. He is known in architecture circles for his extensive international perspective. Mr. Madey earned his Master’s Degree in Architecture from Gdansk University of Technology in Poland.
Ignacio Valdes, M.D., psychiatrist and IT developer
Dr. Valdes is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. His practices General Psychiatry in the Houston metropolitan area with its large population of Nigerian immigrants. Dr. Valdes has experience with brain imaging and a thirty-two-year history of working in the healthcare IT arena. He has been working on a regional Electronic Health Record for 15 years. He is a former adjunct professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston School of Health Information Services. He has a Computer Science degree from Texas A&M and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Houston. Dr. Valdes provides invaluable knowledge and advice as the Board works to determine the proper conceptual design of the hospital. Dr. Valdes and Mr. Madey are collaborating as they study examples of “best practice” in the design of psychiatric hospitals and clinics.
Janet Blazek Valdes, Director Human Resources
Janet is excited to be a board member of The Catholic League for the Poor of Nigeria. As former Principal of Stonebridge Partners, Janet worked with the Managing Directors in raising funds for venture capital and global private equity firms. With that experience, she will help raise funds for The Catholic League for the Poor of Nigeria hospital.
Executive human resources leader and trusted advisor, Janet Valdes most recently was the Director of Human Resources for Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser, a premier Dallas litigation firm.
Valdes has fifteen years of human resources experience in the financial and legal industries. Previously, Valdes served as the Director of Human Resources and Operations for Carter Financial Management (Carter Advisory Services and Carter Financial Management: An Independent Registered Investment Advisor. $1.3 billion AUM).
For ten years, Valdes was the Managing Director/ Director of Human Resources for Integrated Financial Solutions Group where she and the CEO built a company from the ground up to $350 million AUM. Valdes started her career with Goldman Sachs in New York City, after which she excelled at driving success in emerging growth firms.
Valdes has a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. An alumna of Leadership Dallas, Janet is a member of the Harvard Business School Club of Dallas and the Harvard Clubs of Dallas and Houston. She is the former founder of IvyPlus, an Ivy League networking group.
Bruce Ehni, M.D.
Baylor College of Medicine. DeBakey Veterans Administration Medical Center. Dr. Ehni, a long-time member of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish, and a neurosurgeon in practice for over 39 years is active in medical society volunteer projects. He provides invaluable advice to our Board regarding Western style medical practices within a hospital.
Francisco J. Agraz, Esq., attorney at law and IT consultant
Mr. Agraz, a member of the Board is also Secretary and Treasurer. A Texas Attorney since 1988, he volunteers to help community groups in formation and governance of non-profit entities. He currently consults with small law firms regarding cyber security issues. He has a combined total of 18 years’ experience as a Public Relations Analyst with Exxon-Mobil and as Community Relations Specialist with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He is co-author of a public relations training manual titled “The Business of Truth: A Guide to Ethical Communication,” International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). His FBI Community Relations work is featured as an example of Best Practices in the university level textbook, “Effective Public Relations,” 9th Ed., Prentice-Hall. At St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Houston, Texas, Mr. Agraz is an Instituted Acolyte, Lector, and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. He has served on various non-profit boards such as the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast (Corpus Christi), and Family Services Center (Houston), and the Public Relations Society of America, Houston Chapter.
Andrew Ketner, Esq.
Andrew Ketner is a senior associate in King & Spalding’s Corporate, Finance and Investments practice group. Andrew advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity transactions, strategic investments, and other corporate transactions, with a particular focus on the energy industry.
He also has experience representing developers, sponsors and investors in connection with various project development and financing activities.
In addition to his energy practice, Andrew has experience representing clients across the manufacturing, industrial services, technology, financial services and healthcare industries. He counsels public and private companies on a variety of corporate and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, capital-raising transactions, business formations, corporate restructurings and corporate governance matters.
John Regnier did his undergraduate and graduate work at Creighton and Iowa Universities. He worked for Shell Oil for 33 years before retiring in 2000. Professionally, during his lengthy career as an executive with Shell Oil – USA, John held a variety of high level assignments in Human Resources, Governmental Affairs, Refining, and Organizational Consulting. For the last 10 years of his career, John was the principal manager of the Corporate Human Resources Organization for Shell Oil – USA. Now, John is very active at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Parish, Houston, Texas, serving as an Instituted Acolyte and a volunteer advisor for fund-development efforts.
Bill Loper, Bookkeeper
Bookkeeper and QuickBooks ProAdviser. Loper Business Solutions is an accounting/bookkeeping service with 25 plus years of experience as a Purchasing Manager/ Controller. His services include Accounts Payable, Bookkeeping Services, Reconciliation of checkbook/credit cards or payroll, especially via QuickBooks as a certified ProAdvisor consultant. Mr. Loper’s role and involvement as a volunteer advisor has assisted the Treasurer and Board of Directors of Catholic League for the Poor of Nigeria, Inc.with up to date reconciled bank statements and general advice regarding accounting controls. Mr. Loper is a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM).