Our Team

Fundación Empresariado Sonorense A.C. (FESAC), legally established in 1999, is a Mexican nonprofit organization based in Sonora that focuses on community development in the border region. The Nogales Project supports the Nogales sector of FESAC through fundraising and building a binational network across the US-Mexico border.

Alma Cota de Yanez

Executive Director

Born in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Alma Cota de Yanez graduated from the Technical Institute of Monterrey (ITESM) with a degree in Business Administration. She began working with NGOs as a part time translator for Save the Children during her university studies. Alma served as a part-time teacher for ITESM, La Salle University in Obregón and Kino High School in Magdalena, Sonora. She also served as a board member of Lourdes Catholic School for cross border collaboration. She has been Executive Director of the FESAC Nogales chapter since January 2003, working to promote civil society, philanthropy, culture and an NGO network. FESAC works in close partnership with the Border Community Alliance in Arizona on a variety of cross border programs. Alma is the director for the Nogales Project.

Robert Phillips

Senior Advisor and Coordinator

Bob Phillips lived and worked on the AZ/Mexico Border from 2005 to 2015. He was the Executive Director of a children's clinic serving low-income families in New Mexico; he also directed and helped found a cross border community foundation, Border Community Alliance. Prior to this work, Bob was the CEO of a California nonprofit helping train a bicultural healthcare workforce with UCSF Family and Community Health. A Dartmouth and Stanford graduate with a MA degree in International Relations, he was a Stanford exchange scholar to the American University of Beirut. He is a member of the Community Advisory Panel for KQED (N. California NPR station), a lead consultant for the Green Valley Foundations Road to Recovery project, a Senior Advisor to FESAC and volunteer coordinator of the Nogales Project.

Kerry McCulloch

Public Health Intern

Kerry McCulloch is a graduate student getting her MPH in Epidemiology and Global Health through the University of Alabama. She recently lived in San José del Cabo, Mexico where she taught English and helped implement a mindfulness practice at a bilingual K-12 school. Prior to living in Mexico, Kerry worked in education and youth-development in Oakland, California, where she supported middle-school students at under-resourced schools. With an MPH, Kerry sees herself working in low-income communities to help people get the education, resources, and tools to access healthcare and prevent disease. Kerry joined FESAC as a volunteer in the summer of 2020 and is incredibly excited to be supporting the Nogales Project.

Nancy Lopez-Alvarez

Intern Coordinator

Nancy Lopez-Alvarez is an undergraduate student at Stanford University studying Psychology and Middle Eastern Language, Literature and Culture. When not studying vision and perception development, she is involved in anti-carceral work and advocating for immigration rights and quality education. She currently co-leads Prison Renaissance Zine at Stanford and tutors through the Rosalie Rendu Center tutoring program. She hopes to provide therapy services for children of immigrant families in the future, with a focus on trauma. Nancy joined the FESAC Nogales Project as a volunteer in the summer of 2020, working on social media curation and resource development.

Nina Theisen

Summer Intern

Nina Theisen is an undergraduate student at Brown University studying International and Public Affairs on the Development track. She is particularly interested in studying the effects of development on the environment, immigration, and other social justice and human rights issues. Outside of the classroom, Nina enjoys teaching adult English language classes through the Brown ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program. She is also the Co-President of Casa Machado, Brown’s program house for Spanish language and culture. Nina joined the FESAC Nogales project as a volunteer in the summer of 2021 and is very excited to be working on social media curation and fundraising.

Catherine Born

Summer Intern

Catherine Born is a native of Berkeley, California. She earned her BA in Spanish Language and International Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. In addition to a career in the field of education in the United States, Spain, Japan, and France, she has interned and volunteered at international nonprofit organizations with a focus on human rights, migration, and refugees (including a summer internship with the Border Community Alliance in 2013). Catherine joined FESAC in the summer of 2021.

McKenzi Thompson

Summer Intern

McKenzi Thompson is a recent graduate of Mills College, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. During her time at Mills, she developed an interest in reproductive justice and pursued this interest further by enrolling in a doula certification course. To expand her knowledge of how to address health disparities related to reproductive health, she applied to Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in pursuit of her Master of Science in Public Health in Global Epidemiology. McKenzi is eager to use her experiences and the knowledge she will gain at Rollins School of Public health to help address global and local reproductive health issues. More recently, McKenzi was selected to be an intern with FESAC. She will research reproductive health issues affecting migrant and asylum-seeking women at the Arizona-Sonora border.