It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act."
The entire staff at SEA2C is comprised of a team of unpaid volunteers with a shared passion to make this a better world, one life at a time.
Kirk was born in DaNang, Vietnam in the summer of 1969 during the height of the Vietnam War. Immediately after being born, he was taken to the Sacred Heart Orphanage on the order of his Vietnamese grandfather, who felt shame from his daughter’s pregnancy by an American military service member. In 1972, he was adopted by a US Army Major that was serving in the Vietnam War and was raised in a wonderful loving adoptive family. As a military dependent, he has lived all over the globe but spent most of his formative years in
Texas and South Korea.
Kirk spent the first 48 years of his life believing that his birth parents were killed in the Vietnam War. In 2017, on a whim he submitted to a DNA test simply to learn more about his true ethnicity which led him to the discovery of his birth mother and father, whom were both alive and well and living in the US, and birth siblings he didn’t know existed. Since then, he has reconnected with his birth family and in 2019, his life came full circle when he returned to Vietnam and reconnected with his Vietnamese relatives as well as two Catholic nuns who cared for him at the orphanage.
Kirk has an AA in Photojournalism and BA in Communications from Austin Peay State University. His diverse professional background includes a storied career in Law Enforcement, Photojournalism, and Multimedia Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations. He is currently a Communications Professional and UAS Pilot for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Kirk resides in the beautiful coastal community of Norfolk, Virginia with his wife Madeliene and their children. He volunteers in his local community by serving as an Executive Board Member for the "East Oceanview Civic League" . In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Tim Lai which is a partnering 501(c)(3) NPO with SEA2C. Tim Lai has many missions that parallels the missions of SEA2C and the collaboration and sharing of resources between Tim Lai and SEA2C is going a long way to positively impact lives. When he's not working, he enjoys long distance running, fishing, surfing, boating, and most importantly of all, quality family time.
Through the SEA2C Foundation, Kirk seeks to share his blessings by reuniting war orphans with birth families and veterans separated by the war and to help each find healing from a lifetime of stigmas attached to being a part of that tumultuous time in our history. He is also passionate about giving back to our active duty military personnel and Veterans who have served honorably in combat to maintain the freedoms that are so often taken for granted. Kirk is the Director and Co-Producer for the SEA2C in-house documentary series production, "Intersections".
Vice President & Treasurer
Rachel was born in DaNang, Vietnam in 1973. She was given up for adoption by her Vietnamese grandmother, who wanted Rachel to have a better life than what her biological family could provide at the time. She spent time at Sacred Heart Orphanage in DaNang and To Am Nursery in Saigon, before being adopted as a one year old by her family, who were living in Connecticut at the time, and still do.
She grew up in Connecticut, has lived in Manhattan and London, and currently resides in the coastal community of Rye, New York with her husband, Fabrizio, their sons, and dog. Rachel graduated summa cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Economics and has an MBA from Yale University’s School of Management with a concentration in finance and non-profit management. She has worked in finance and non-profit management and currently works as a Senior Analyst for Kinneret Group, a New York based private investment firm.
While Rachel has always known that she was born in Vietnam, she assumed that her biological family perished in the war. In 2017, Rachel took a DNA test which linked her to a family she never knew she had, including her birth mother, who still lives in Vietnam and whom she reunited with in 2018 and her half-sister, who immigrated to New Jersey in the 1990’s.
Since finding her birth family, Rachel has been active in the Vietnamese adoptee community and is passionate about paying forward the blessings in her life through the SEA2C Foundation’s programs.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Michael Anderer was born in DaNang, South Vietnam in November 1971. He was adopted out of an orphanage and came to the United States in December of 1972. He grew up with his adoptive family in Rockville Centre, NY.
Michael graduated Fairfield University in 1993 with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts.
Michael joined the McDonald's system in 1992 when he started working with his father, Larry Anderer, when the family purchased their first McDonald's franchise the historic 12000th McDonald's Restaurant in New Hyde Park, NY.
Michael eventually became a franchise Owner/Operator and bought his first restaurant in 2006 in Mineola, NY. In his career as a McDonald's Operator Michael has held multiple Operator leadership positions.
Michael has also been committed to philanthropy throughout his professional career. He began working with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in 2000. He was part of the RMHC Asia Scholarship Committee from its introduction in the New York market until it ended in 2018. Michael also worked with the organization that helped develop APIASF. APIASF (currently APIA Scholars) was the first nationwide scholarship program for APIA students in the United States. Michael also served as a board member for RMHC New York Tri-State for 15 years and was the RMHC NY Tri-State Board President and helped them successfully merge with a sister organization into the newly formed RMHC NY Metro.
Michael has three children, Samantha , Matthew, and Christopher. Michael's hobbies include guitar and photography and he will often have a story to share about traveling
to see his favorite sport soccer.
Michael Co-Hosts the SEA2C Podcast program "From Sea to Sea" with Cahn Oxelson.
Canh was born in DaNang in 1971. The son of a Vietnamese woman and African-American serviceman, Canh was immediately taken to Sacred Heart Orphanage where he lived for 10 months. In 1972, he was adopted by the Oxelson Family and raised in a small farming community in Central California. The cross-cultural challenges were significant, but a loving family and competitive swimming kept him afloat! Canh went on to earn a BA in Psychology from the University of San Francisco and an Ed.M from Harvard University. Since college, he has been helping young people find their higher educational path as both a college admissions officer and a high school guidance counselor. Canh is currently the Executive Director of College Counseling at
Horace Mann School in the Bronx, NY.
Canh has been involved in the Vietnamese adoptee community for almost 20 years. Periodically, he is asked to speak at events and share his adoption story and his search for identity. In 2020, a DNA test revealed that his biological mother is alive in Vietnam and still lives only 10 minutes from the Sacred Heart Orphanage. Canh is looking forward to the day when he can reconnect with his birth mother. In the meantime, he’s enjoying getting to know his half-sister and her family who now live in the United States. Canh Co-Hosts the SEA2C Podcast program "From Sea to Sea" with Michael Anderer and host and narrates "Intersections", the documentary style series produced by the SEA2C production team. Canh also serves as the SEA2C spokesperson.
Ann Bolen has spent 35 + years in mortgage finance. In 2018 she took a job with Berkadia Commercial Mortgage and is based in Norfolk, VA. Ann focuses on arranging multifamily loans around the country through programs offered by US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Berkadia is the Nation’s leading provider of multifamily and healthcare financing.
Ann retired from the Virginia Housing Development Authority where she served 27 years in many capacities. She has always been focused upon making the “hard to do deals” work.
Ann is a Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) through the Mortgage Bankers Association and completed the MAP approved underwriting training offered by FHA/MBA in 2013. She is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill.
Ann is President of the East Ocean View Civic League and very active in the redevelopment of
her community in Norfolk.
Virginia Beach Chief of Police (retired)
After serving two years with the Montclair, NJ, Police Department, James (Jim) A. Cervera joined the Virginia Beach Police Department in1978, and was promoted through the ranks. He was appointed to the top rank of Chief of Police by then City Manager, James K. Spore in 2010.
After more than 44 years of law enforcement, he retired from the
Virginia Beach Police Department on May 1, 2020.
Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from St. Leo University in St. Leo, Fla., and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Old Dominion University. He graduated from the FBI National Academy 171 session in Quantico, Va., the Police Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond, the University of Virginia’s Senior Executive Institute, the Senior Management Program in Policing from Boston University, and the National Executive Institute.
Jim currently works as an Adjunct Instructor for the FBI-National Academy Associates and Tidewater Community College.
"Beach Lyfe" Fishing Guru and Guide - Southeast Atlantic Region
Danny Roberts is affectionately known as “Dan-da-Man” within the Coastal Virginia fishing community. He is a lifelong resident of Virginia and currently resides in the beautiful coastal city of Virginia Beach. As 1 of 10 siblings, he understands the importance of having balance and connections with those you love. Strangely though, being the 5th son out of 6 boys and 4 girls, his connection to nature seemed to have developed right out the gate as he would venture off by himself as a young man, exploring the woods, fishing, and crabbing with his friends. Danny was always the daredevil and risk taker of his group which in turn, had his friends tagging him with the nickname of “Tarzan”. Danny is a 1991 graduate of Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake Virginia. After graduating, Danny was faced with the ultimate question that challenges so many newly graduated young men… “what are you going to do with your life now?” Fortunately, his late father, Mr. Thomas Roberts Sr, at the time was a commercial construction supervisor for a general construction company and understood Danny’s anxiety. He introduced Danny to the construction world to which he continues to master to this day.
Being a Christian and seeing the “fish” as a symbol related to his faith, Danny adopted a philosophy that fuels his drive to seek saltwater therapy as a means of maintaining life’s balance. Danny says, “If I can introduce a level of love through the art and joy of fishing and it captures one’s heart, then catching fish is by-product of those actions”. This is something Danny believes in, and he applies it within his principles of living. Danny is the proud father of 3 boys and a young daughter and he and his fiance’ Charlene focuses on instilling these principles of life and faith into their family. Danny carries this mindset over his online audience within the fishing community, and anyone he meets because he believes that “at the end of the day, if you can impact someone’s life for the good and give them a reason to count their blessings, then all of it is worth it and you can end up with a pretty good portion of seafood to put on
the dinner table at the same time!”
Danny’s “on-boarding” into the SEA2C Team is an interesting story. For more than a year, Kirk had been following Danny’s social media posts in the Chesapeake Bay area fishing groups to learn more about bettering the odds of landing bigger and better fish, but it was the optimistic, upbeat, energetic, and encouraging nature that Danny displayed that really got Kirk’s attention. As the SEA2C mission began to evolve and the “Beach Lyfe” program came to fruition, Kirk knew he needed a saltwater fishing aficionado that was as passionate about the sport as he was, on deck with the right heart to ensure its’ success, and Danny was a perfect fit. Danny must have thought Kirk (a complete stranger to Danny at the time) was crazy when out of the blue, he called him and asked him if he wanted to get out on the water to do some offshore fishing. After a few trips out, Kirk and Danny quickly bonded as they both shared the same optimistic outlook on life and are always looking for ways to help others. The rest as they say is history!