AbouT Us

Our Story

The Foundation for a Better Puerto Rico is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2014. Recognizing that Puerto Rico has been facing enormous challenges on multiple fronts, we committed ourselves to do all we can to assist those who are working on solutions. 

The focus of our efforts has been on the island of Culebra, with a population of 1,800. We are dedicating most of our energy and resources to the recovery of Culebra and Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma & María.

The recent earthquakes in the southern region of Puerto Rico have had a traumatic impact of the residents of the affected communities. Our Foundation has partnered with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine to bring a program of community-based healing and resiliency-building to those communities.

We hope that Culebra’s experiences in becoming a sustainable community with the highest quality of life will become a model that others will want to replicate in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

Your contribution now is more important than ever. Funding will be utilized immediately for basic human needs in communities across Culebra and Puerto Rico.

Playa Melones, Culebra

Our Board

Dennis Rivera

Dennis Rivera is President of RC Consulting Group, LLC. He is the former Chair of SEIU Healthcare, the healthcare division of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Launched in June of 2007, SEIU Healthcare unites over 1.1 million nurses and healthcare workers in an effort to provide the highest quality healthcare to every patient, heal our nation’s broken healthcare system and bring hope of better jobs and better lives to millions of caregivers throughout the U.S. Modern Healthcare, the industry’s foremost publication, ranked Dennis Rivera sixth on its list of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.”

As President of 1199SEIU from 1989 to 2007, Rivera oversaw dramatic growth in union membership within the healthcare sector. His knowledge of hospital systems and his desire to improve the quality of patient care helped transform the state of labor-management relationships in New York. With Rivera’s guidance, healthcare workers emerged on the national stage as a united, passionate voice for working families on a host of social issues, including healthcare access and affordability, economic justice, immigration rights and the Iraq War.

Born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico in 1950, Rivera attended the University of Puerto Rico and moved to New York in 1977 to work as a union representative.

Theresa Bischoff

Theresa (Terry) Bischoff is currently a Partner with RC Consulting Group, LLC, focused on strategic consulting for healthcare and other not-for-profit organizations.

From January 2004 to September 2010, Ms. Bischoff served as Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross in Greater New York. It is the largest Red Cross chapter in the country, covering the five boroughs of New York City as well as Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan Counties.

From 1984 to 2004, Ms. Bischoff was at NYU Medical Center where she served as President for the last six years of her tenure. An advocate of healthcare on the national, state, and local levels, she has held many other positions, including Chair of the Greater New York Hospital Association and Chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which represents 125 accredited medical school and 400 major teaching hospitals.

She also serves on the Boards of Mutual of America Capital Management, IDB Bank of New York, Foundation for a Better Puerto Rico and Salud Para Culebra.

Ms. Bischoff is a graduate of the University of Connecticut where she earned a B.S. in Accounting. She also holds an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and is a CPA.

Tonio Burgos​

With five decades of business, government, civic involvement and legislative affairs experience, Tonio Burgos brings unique insight and comprehensive understanding of how to get results on behalf of clients.  A top rated consulting and lobbying firm in the tristate region, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, Tonio Burgos & Associates has successfully worked with clients on a variety of projects in the public and private sector for over 30 years.

Tonio worked for Governor Mario Cuomo for 15 years.  Tonio served as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and as a Director of the Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH). He also served as Vice Chairman of the NJ Economic Development Authority, a Board Member of NY School Construction Authority, as well as the Treasurer of the Camden, NJ Recovery Board.

Tonio has served in many capacities and received numerous honors from charitable organizations and educational institutions.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York City Police Foundation, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) Board, and RFK Foundation.  Lehman College awarded Tonio an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree in 2015.  He received the RPA’s Lifetime Leadership Award and the NJ Alliance for Action’s President’s Award.  In 2017, Tonio received the Citizens Union Gotham Greats Award.  He has served for over three decades as a member of the Democratic National Committee and Chair of the Regional Democratic Governors Association Council.

Betsy Gotbaum​

Betsy Gotbaum has had a distinguished career in New York City’s public and private sectors. She became involved in civic affairs in the 1970’s while serving on the staff of former Mayor John Lindsay as Assistant for Women’s Issues and Assistant for Education. She continued her work in education with Mayor Abraham Beame.

In the late 1970’s she was recruited to run the New York Police Foundation. In 1990, she was appointed the first female Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation by Mayor David Dinkins. After leaving the Parks Department in 1994 she became President of the New York Historical Society.

Ms. Gotbaum served as the New York City Public Advocate from 2002 to 2009. She was the third woman elected to a citywide post in New York City’s history She is currently the Executive Director of Citizens Union.

Corrie Lefebvre​

Corrie Lefebvre is the Senior Associate Director of Parent and Leadership Giving at Wheaton College in Norton, MA.  Prior to working at Wheaton College, Corrie worked at Brown University where she saw philanthropic support and participation grow to more than $6 million from 2,200 donors, surpassing 2,000 for the first time ever.   She has worked in higher education in the Vermont and Boston area for over ten years. Corrie is originally from upstate NY and has a bachelor’s degree from St. Michael’s College and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Northeastern University.  Corrie loves to travel, spend time with her husband and two girls, and is passionate about animal welfare. 

Keyla Torres

Keyla Torres O’Neill is a young entrepreneur and jewelry designer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a major in Advertising from Sacred Heart University. One of her passions is to travel around the world where she enjoys the sights, culture, gastronomy and local people that in return inspire her in designing new collections for her brand Kei Jewelry.

We hope that Culebra’s experience in becoming a sustainable community with the highest quality of life will become a model that others will want to replicate in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

Subscribe below to follow our progress and stay up to date with the latest news. We are continuing to seek funding for all these important initiatives and truly appreciate your support.

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