Who We Are:
Mission Santa Maria is a U.S. based non-profit organization helping children and youth in the Ecuador. We raise money to help poor children and youth in Ecuador. Our programs provide food, clothing, and scholarships for children to attend school. We have been raising money in the United States since 2007.
40 years ago, a priest from Switzerland moved to Ecuador at the request of the local bishop to help families in need. Fr. Othmar Staheli began to say mass and visit the sick but soon realized that the coastal town of Ecuador needed much more. He traveled back to Switzerland and raised money to build roads, clean water facilities and health clinics. He built Santa Maria Del Fiat a home and school for the orphaned children of the province. Local women, similar to Mother Teresa’s nuns, volunteered to help the priest care for the children and teach in the school.
In 2007, Jim Campbell traveled to Ecuador after working in New York City for three years. After a friend told him about the mission he visited and met the children and the missionary sisters who cared for them. He quickly learned that the mission was having financial difficulty as donations from Europe were dwindling. When he returned he began to raise money to help the children at the mission with the help of his family and friends.
Jim saw how even a small amount of giving greatly impacted the children in Ecuador. He then founded Mission Santa Maria as a way to continue helping the children who need it most.
Meet the Team
President and Co-founder
Jim is the president and co-founder of Mission Santa Maria. That means he runs the show and initiates all staff meeting coffee orders. Jim oversees the overall operations of Mission Santa Maria and seeks to increase the impact of our giving initiatives. Jim graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville and earned his MBA from Georgetown University. He continues his day job at BNP Paribas as a Hedge Fund Credit Officer in New York City.
Michael studied marketing at Seton Hall University and has spent the last seven years in various marketing roles and is currently a Program Manager at Realogy Corporation. His marketing expertise prompted his friend (Jim Campbell) to hire (beg) him to help start Mission Santa Maria.
Michael is responsible for our website and marketing strategy. He finds time to work on Mission Santa Maria between caring for his wife and four children, organizing cornhole tournaments, 5k runs, cooking tournaments, mud-runs and providing free haircuts to all his friends and family. We don’t know where he finds the time but are grateful for his commitment to helping create Mission Santa Maria.
Liza is the newest member of Mission Santa Maria and brings a wealth of marketing and operational expertise. She is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Knopman Financial Training where her clients include major investment banks (Barclays, BNP Paribas, MorganStanley, UBS, Credit Suisse) and boutique broker-dealers as well.
Outside of her day job and volunteering, Liza enjoys entertaining friends and spending time with her husband, Leyland and their dog, Holly. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Peter manages the fundraising initiatives of MSM, tracks our financial statistics, and is our go to finance guy. He began his career in finance at Bear Stearns in the Sales & Trading dept. He then spent two years living in Chennai, India working on groundbreaking Microfinance projects through ICICI Bank. Currently, Peter is a Vice President in Prime Brokerage at BNP Paribas. When he is not working or crunching numbers for Mission Santa Maria, he can be found at concerts, running races, and working on other charities close to his heart such as ArtWorks and a Business Scholarship for aspiring young leaders.
Peter received his Bachelors at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is currently pursuing an MBA at NYU Stern School of Business.
Ellen is new to the staff of Mission Santa Maria, but not new to the Mission itself. She spent 4 months volunteering at the Mission in Ecuador after she graduated from the University of Notre Dame. Ellen studied English and Philosophy at Notre Dame and went on to earn a Master’s in English Education. She taught English in a high school outside of Boston, and now she stays home with her baby, Jack. Between changing diapers and stroller fit classes, Ellen will help Mission Santa Maria with all the behind the scenes work that helps us run. She has seen the value of the Mission herself and is so happy to be able to help it run well and grow to serve more children.