Meet the Board of Directors

Raphiel Benjamin
Raphiel Benjamin has been practicing radiology in Santa Fe since 1970. He and his wife Karen have three grown children and five grandchildren. Raphiel served in Vietnam as a Battalion Surgeon with the 101st Airborne Div., 1965-1966. He returned to Vietnam as a tourist in 2000, and again in 2005, accompanied by 3 grandsons. He reports that it was amazing to see Vietnam through the eyes of younger people. He is pleased and honored to assist in this worthwhile project, enabling people to become self-sufficient.

Larry Eccard
Larry and his wife, Linda moved to Santa Fe in 1994.  They have two grown ‘kids’ and two grandsons.  Larry is a retired pilot of 35 years which included a tour in Vietnam in 1969.  He went back to Vietnam in 2007 with Linda and was captivated by the country and its people.  He is honored to be involved with such a noble organization as the Vietnam Project.

David Feldt
David and his wife Peggy have lived in Santa Fe since 1985 where they have raised their two daughters. He is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the US Air Force from 1968 to 1972. While he is currently enjoying a career in real estate, he has had a number of careers including carpentry, the ministry, insurance sales, and management. He and his wife have a long history of involvement in various charitable organizations.

Marv Freedman
Marv Freedman saw Vietnam for the first time in 1965 as a U.S. Marine. Part of his time there was spent in a village where he got to know Vietnamese people as friends and neighbors. He returned to Vietnam in 1995 and has been going back ever since. Marv, along with Janie Oakes, founded The Vietnam Project in 1999. He travels to Vietnam once or twice a year to identify and evaluate potential projects and recipients, administer projects and to reevaluate prior and ongoing projects. Marv lives in Santa Fe, NM with his wife, Kim Phuong Nguyen.

Pierr Johnson Pierr Johnson
Pierr is a retired physician who has lived in Santa Fe since 1987. Prior to that he served for three years with the Indian Health Service in Gallup, NM. He has two sons who were born and raised here. He is honored to be on the Board of such a positively impactful organization.

Tom McGuffy
Tom McGuffy and his wife Vicki moved to Santa Fe in 2005. They spent their working careers in Houston, Texas manufacturing systems and components for industrial gas turbines and other large machinery. Tom served as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot in Vietnam in 1968 - 1969. He is honored to be a part of the Vietnam Project and to support the many great projects that they undertake.

Kim Phuong Nguyen
Kim Phuong Nguyen was born in Vietnam in a rural area in the Mekong Delta. In June 2002, she moved to the United States. She travels to Vietnam once or twice a year to visit her family and to work on our projects. Having lived most of her life in Vietnam, she is in a position to see that our projects are socially and culturally appropriate, and that we get the best value possible for our money. She now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, Marv Freedman.

Janie Oakes, Director Emeritis
Janie Oakes, a Santa Fe, New Mexico resident for three decades, is a writer, visual artist, and certified leader of InterPlay, a philosophy and technique which uses improvisational forms to build community and create playfulness and ease. In former lives she was a labor and delivery nurse, a non-profit board president, and a full time mom. She was drawn to the Vietnam Project because she believes in changing the world one person at a time. Janie retired from the board in 2018.