Our Team.

Meet Our Leadership

Deborah Plotkin


Born and raised in New York City, with the tragic loss of her father as an infant, Deborah’s hardship resulted in establishing her path of giving a voice and serving those in need both within the US and internationally. With a graduate degree, Deborah became an advocate for children with autism and other special needs. Additionally, with ….. Read More

Ochan Charles

Country Director – Uganda

In addition to providing ICT training in Gulu, Charles is a youth counselor, providing counseling, guidance, life and job skills training and health education. By fostering AIDS and other STI awareness and furthering other health education goals he continues to improve the outlook for his students.

Board of Directors

Dr. Ron Plotkin
Chairman Board
Dr. Ron Plotkin earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Rochester. In addition to several decades of clinical practice, Dr. Plotkin has assumed a leadership role in several nonprofit organizations. He served as part of the executive leadership team at the San Diego Regional Center addressing professional development, strategic planning, and organizational development. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies in their professional development activities. He has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Sister Schools of San Diego and is currently the Chair of the Board of U-TOUCH.
Joshua M. Searcy
Board Member
Joshua M. Searcy is an attorney in private practice since 2010. He received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and his Bachelor's degree from the University of California Irvine. Beyond providing legal counsel, Joshua Searcy shares his passion and deep interest in empowering individuals and societies to overcome all obstacles and improve the quality of their existence.
Cynthia Stern
Board Member
Having spent the month of January in Uganda was the single most touching experience of my adult life. The Ugandan people were the most hospitable and kind people and the rich Ugandan culture is beyond captivating. The Ugandan’s need our help and I truly believe that we can make a difference in their everyday life as U-TOUCH has proven to us all. A little bit about me and my background: Cynthia is a businesswoman and divides her time between her Design Business in San Diego, DRP International Design Inc., and running a Hospitality Business in Key West Florida, Palms Hotel, and Palms Sugarloaf. Her Design business has afforded her the opportunity to travel and design both residences and commercial properties around the world. Her education was in Child Development with a graduate degree in Psychology. She paid for her education by designing clothing and later began designing fabrics for interiors which was the launching of her Interior Design Business. Cynthia is a perfectionist very detail-oriented and a successful entrepreneur. She is a great communicator and an excellent listener. Cynthia is a gift to U-TOUCH and is delighted to work with the team to help U-TOUCH grow and prosper.
Dr. Jeffry Schafer
Board Member
Jeffry B. Schafer, MD, FRSM is a cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon practicing since 1973. He has taught at the University of Alabama's School of Medicine and at the University of California at San Diego. He is an active member of the nonprofit community as a board member of Mainly Mozart, the San Diego Opera, and Partners Against Crime. He is a supporter of many children's charities and has volunteered his plastic and reconstructive skills for the Rotary Foundation's Thousand Smiles in Mexico.
Deborah Plotkin
Board Member
Emma Silvera
Board Member
Elizabeth (Mandy) Senhen
Board Member
Elizabeth A. (Mandy) Senhen comes to the U-TOUCH mission through a career in special education as a dedicated teacher and a tireless advocate for students with special needs. After retiring from teaching her exploring led her to Africa which opened her eyes to the reality that talent resides everywhere but resources are not fairly distributed throughout the world. With an uncommon spirit and energy, she is committed to making that situation change.

Advisory Board

Noah Wieder:
Board Member
Noah is an experienced business executive, entrepreneur and inventor, with several start-ups and a venture backed business to his credit. He started a web based company in 1999 and grew to generate millions in online revenue in the past decade and is currently CEO of SearchBug, Inc. and Intelligent eCommerce, Inc.
Dr. Norman Jacknis
Board Member
Dr. Norman Jacknis, Director of Cisco’s IBSG Public Sector Group (the company’s strategic consulting think tank), is a globally recognized expert in government innovation and transformation. Dr. Jacknis has extensive executive and leadership experience in local and state government, including Westchester County, and other technology and innovation organizations. Prior to his public service, Dr. Jacknis had diverse experience as an executive in the software industry, with emphasis on Internet applications and distributed computing. Government Technology Magazine selected him as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers who, using technology … broke bureaucratic inertia to better serve the public“ – a list which included not just technology leaders, but elected officials as well.
Chuck Philyaw
Board Member
In 1987 Chuck founded Industrial Computer Source (ICS), which grew to $22M in sales with over 100 employees. It was acquired by Dynatech which kept Chuck as a Group VP . With his sharp business acumen he has been involved in several seed investments. Chuck balances his life with his dedication to his family and his wise counsel to non-profits.

Our Staff

Denis Lapyem
Project Assistant
Beatrice Atoo
Women’s Empowerment