Co-Founder of Children of Vinh Son Orphanage, Inc.
Marie (ThuTrang) Tran
Marie(ThuTrang) was born in NhaTrang, Vietnam. Her family (parents and ten kids) fled Vietnam in April 1975 during the conflict. In the summer of 2010, Marie volunteered to teach English to the children at Vinh Son Orphanage #1 in Kontum Province, Vietnam. The children made such a huge impact in her life that upon her return to the U.S., Marie along with her sister (Van Tran, Executive Director/co-founder of VSO, Inc.) co-founded Children of Vinh Son Orphanage Inc. Marie is a Business Management Faculty member at Edmonds Community College in Washington with 14 years of teaching experience. Marie is passionate about volunteering, teaching, and traveling. She strongly believes that international travel when done in conjunction with service work promotes cultural and human understanding.
Co-founder and Executive Director
Thanh-Van was touched and inspired by photos from her sister, Marie ThuTrang, of her volunteer work at Vinh Son Orphanages. As a result, The Children of Vinh Son Orphanage, Inc. was established in Boise, Idaho, by the two sisters along with a small group of dedicated volunteers.
Van lives with her husband John Schiff in Boise, Idaho. She is a graduate of San Jose State University Occupational Therapy program and specializes in hand therapy. Van currently works for St. Luke’s Clinic, Intermountain Orthopedics in Boise, Idaho.
Emily Fissel , Secretary
A Seattle native, Emily has lived, learned, volunteered and taught internationally, and is passionate about volunteer work, education, teaching, and cultural immersion. She traveled to Vietnam for the first time in 2009 with Marie (ThuTrang), and has been volunteering and working there every summer ever since. In 2011, Emily began a project to raise more than $40,000 to build a school in Dakrong District, Hai Phuc Commune, in the town of Ba Long, Vietnam. Additionally in the same year, Emily was introduced to Vinh Son Orphanages and has spent time at VSO #1 teaching, playing and spending time with the children.
Emily has her Master's in TESOL and is a faculty member at Edmonds Community College where she teaches Intensive ESL and Spanish. Committed to exploring new cultures and people, volunteering, and sharing the possibility of education with others Emily looks forward to working with Children of VSO, Inc., board members, donors, and the children of Vietnam.
Thanh Le, Treasurer
Thanh Le was born in Vietnam. He has been married for 27 years and has two grown children. He has been an active member of his church serving in different organizations that cater to the needs of the poor and the imprisoned men. In 2008, the trip to VN with his wife to visit the orphanages there helped him developed a deeper love for the abandoned children in this part of the world. Since then, he has been working with the communities at his church and other corporations to promote the awareness as well as to seek financial support for the orphans.
Although Thanh has been in the technical field in the past 28 years, but his passion has always been working with the under-privileged people around him. He believes that, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” (Mother Teresa)
Hue Tran Bergher, Advisor
Hue (Tran) Bergher joins the VSO Board serving as Advisor. Hue was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam and shares the story of emigration with her sisters, the founders of VSO, Inc. Ever inspired by the heart and generosity of her family, Hue fell in love with the many faces, images and heartwarming stories of the children of Vinh Son.
Hue currently serves as Regional HR Director for Tribune Broadcasting, a division of the Tribune Media Company. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Hue began her career as a teacher with the Richardson Independent School District. A few twists and turns later and Hue embarked on a challenging and rewarding professional path in Human Resources and Strategic Organizational Development. Never straying far from her heritage or her love for children, VSO has become the passion of Hue's charitable focus. Hue resides in Dallas with her husband and her two sons.
Thanh-Van Le Nguyen, Board Member
Thanh-Van Le Nguyen was born in Vietnam. She and her family were part of millions of boat people who have fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Throughout her life, she has been passionate about serving God through the people of all walks of life.
Her education and related work experiences include Public Relation, Early Childhood Education, and providing care for the elderly, the sick, and the poor.
She has been a parishioner of Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland, Washington since 1989. She has also been an active member of Saint Vincent De Paul and the Outreach Program that provide personal care to the low-income and homeless men and women in Kirkland and the surrounding communities.
In 2008, after visiting the orphanages in Vietnam and witnessing the way of life of the orphans there, she was touched deeply and vowed to pour her heart and mind to help those children. Since then, she returns to her homeland every year to help care for the abandoned children throughout the south and central areas of Vietnam. Her life motto is: "Love can change everything, and it must begin with Me.."
From left to right: Marie (ThuTrang) Tran, Thanh-Van Tran, Kathy Yochum,
Genie Austin-Calkins, Darlyne Pape, Kathy Holley, Marge Davis
©2016 Children of Vinh Son Orphanage ( VSO), Inc.