Board Members & Support

Pat Lawter
Pat Lawter

President

Pat has been a long-standing member of CCFI and is currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors. She enjoys meeting international students and has given her time to pick up arriving students at the airport, understanding the importance of a warm welcome.

Piedad Sanyer
Piedad Sanyer

Treasurer

Piedad has been a CCFI member for 30 years, joining the CCFI board in 2010, and currently serving as the Treasurer. She has traveled the Americas, Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East, and enjoys hosting international students in her home.

Jim Byrum
Jim Byrum

Board Member / CIV Chair

Jim has been involved with CCFI since the 1980s and has served several terms as Board President. He is a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Chile and has been instrumental in the development of the Council for International Visitors (CIV) program.

Carol Gelhaus
Carol Gelhaus

Recording Secretary

Carol’s love for international travel began in 1962 as an exchange student in Germany. She has served 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil, and 4 years as an educator in Japan. Today, when she’s not spending time with her family, she serves as the CCFI Recording Secretary.

Marion Crane
Marion Crane

Board Member

Marion’s life has been dedicated to international exchange – from hosting international students in her home to later becoming the Director for Ayusa Global Youth Exchange. Now retired, she splits her time between the Friday International Lunch Hour and the Arrival Assistance Program.

Robin Dean

Board Member

Robin joined the Board in 2009 and has been key in hosting the Friday Lunch Hour, sponsored by CCFI. She was a teacher in the English Programs for Internationals (EPI) at the University of South Carolina for 21 years. During her career, she had the opportunity to teach ESL in Japan. Now retired, Robin also serves on the board of the Columbia Green Board.

Jane Teas
Jane Teas

Board Member

Jane joined the board in 2009 to repay the kindness shown to her when she was a stranger in a foreign land. She has primarily focused on helping with the Friday Lunch hour. Her commitment to CCFI comes from her experiences living in foreign countries, including her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania.

Dickson Monk
Dickson Monk

Board Member

Dickson is the Executive Director of the Columbia World Affairs Council, a partner organization of CCFI. He is a native of Columbia and has had the pleasure of interacting with international visitors from an early age. Dickson joined the CCFI board in 2017 and is passionate about cultivating a supportive and connected global community. 

Jim Lawler

Board Member

Peggy Linton
Peggy Linton

Board Member

Peggy joined the board in 2017 and personally knows what is like to come to the US as an international, as she is originally from Cuba. Peggy is an avid traveler and has a great love for the world. She believes we can make our world a better place for future generations.

Lisa Ewart

Board Member

Lisa practiced law in Washington, D.C., and New York City, After several years of “talking herself out of it,” she joined the Peace Corps, serving in Morocco. She continues in community service as a CCFI and SASS GO board member.

Jeff Sadler
Jeff Sadler

Board Member

Jeff has been a Board Member of CCFI since 2019.  He is a retired insurance consultant and author who previously lived in Ecuador for several years, and enjoys working with international students.

Eileen Sadler
Eileen Sadler

Board Member

Eileen became a CCFI Board Member in 2019 after living in South America. She enjoys welcoming international visitors to our country the way others welcomed her as a foreigner while living in another country.

 

Melanie Dalton
Melanie Dalton

Board Member

Melanie Dalton joined the Board of CCFI in 2021 with the ambition of supporting a safe landing for new residents of Columbia SC.  Born in London, England and raised in Montreal, Canada, Melanie accepted a work transfer in 2000 and moved with her two sons to Lexington to enjoy new opportunities and adventures.  She loves music, the arts, social activities, and supporting her community. 

Ashlan Andrews
Ashlan Andrews

Global Carolina Student Coordinator

Ashlan is the Global Carolina Student Coordinator of the office of International Student Services at UofSC. Ashlan works with CCFI to coordinate airport pickups between CCFI and the international students arriving in Columbia for the first time.

Julia Ferillo
Julia Ferillo

International Student Services UofSC Liaison

Julia has been involved with CCFI for 29 years. She currently works at the University of South Carolina, where she assists students and their families with off campus needs, including housing, educational, cultural, and other personal areas of support.

Chris Reid

International Student Services UofSC Liaison

Chris is the Assistant Director of the office of International Student Services at UofSC. He works with CCFI to develop programs to integrate international students into the local Columbia community.

Sewell Gelberd
Sewell Gelberd

International Visitor Program Director

Sewell is the CCFI Program Director for International visitor programs. He moved to Columbia in 2000 from Chicago, where he lived most of his life. A VietNam vet who has had a varied career in Social Work and business. He loves his work at CCFI organizing programs and meeting international visitors.

Teri Byrdic
Teri Tolbert Byrdic

Photographer