About The Team

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Martha Montiel-Lewis | Chief DARma + Founder

HOLA, soy Martha!  Like a lot of you, I have had this strong desire in my heart to make a difference and change someone’s life. Growing up with a father in the Army, and as a 1st generation Latin-American, I’ve had the incredible experience to see more of the world than most people whom I’ve met.  As a young person traveling the globe, I was struck at how some children had so little while others were blessed with an abundance – and based purely on the family and community where they were born.  It’s one of those fundamental concepts of fairness and justice that always tore at my conscience.

In 2008, these feelings were rejuvenated when we had our first little girl, Emery Xumara. Having the privilege to be a mother, I knew I wanted to teach my children to truly follow their true heart’s desires. I decided then and there I would follow my passion of making a difference in this world. I am so excited to see where this project takes us.  I want to find the true beauty in people, other countries, other religions, and other horizons.  I invite you to journey with us!

Outside of the DAR Project, I also love to spend time with my two beautiful girls, Emery Xumara (5) and Giada Maria (3) and my wonderful supportive husband Jeremy.

Jennifer | Marketing DirecDAR

I met Martha several years ago and we became fast friends when I got to know her as a fun-loving and stylish business professional. However, I soon realized, that this woman was special and had been put in my life for a reason. She is like a sister to me and I am consistently inspired by her dedication in equal parts as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, business-owner and God-loving, compassionate human being. She makes all of it look easy; not because it is, but rather because she is passionate about all of it. It never surprised me that Martha would choose to share her spirit and be a source of support for so many people on this planet who are in need. I believe 100% that when you are following your life’s path and listening with an open mind and heart, the world will open up its arms and opportunity will present itself. This has been true for Martha’s work with DAR up to this point, and I know that it will continue. I feel fortunate to be part of a dream that persists beyond the “no”s and the “why”s and the “it’s too hard”s. Martha asked me to write my bio for the DAR website, but I could not imagine talking about myself before recognizing this amazing woman who will be a friend of mine for life.

My experience as a marketing professional has allowed me to assist DAR in specific projects related to branding and message. I suffer from a severe case of wanderlust, plan to quench it (for the moment) by relocating to St John, VI and my longterm goal is to work towards ensuring a higher quality of life for the institutionalized elderly. I began visiting Erline, a 96 year-old woman with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, over 4 years ago. Her life story is a source of inspiration for each decision I make in mine and I know she has lived hers to the fullest.

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires and a touch that never hurts”

-Charles Dickens

Jenny | Projects LocaDAR

In 2004, I was fortunate enough to travel with fellow students from Vanderbilt Divinity School to Nicaragua. We visited the Nueva Vida sewing cooperative, formed to fight the 80% unemployment rate in Nueva Vida after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. I knew at the time that I wanted to learn more about the intersection of business, government, and religion in other (and sometimes poorer) cultures. The Dar Project is a perfect avenue for doing just that and more! Martha’s work is inspiring, and I am honored to be a small part of it. We work together on finding the best locations to send our donations and to channel our energy.

Outside of DAR, I am the Executive Director of Homeplace, a group home for three beautiful women with disabilities. I also work as a behavior therapist for children with autism and as Education Series Director at the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee.

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Taylor Richardson | Business Operations SupasDAR

Hello all! My name is Taylor and my biggest endeavor as of late has been the world of “soul searching.” Who am I? What do I want to be? What is God’s purpose and path for my life? Ah! So many simple questions that seem to have such difficult answers!

Thankfully, I was lucky enough to grow up believing that I should follow my heart and so far that philosophy has taken me to and through some pretty amazing places. I grew up with a passion for medicine, humanity and Latin America. Thus far, those passions have seen me through Pre-Med at the University of Tennessee, several medical mission trips to South America and even living abroad in Argentina. From the time I was six I knew I was going to be an Anesthesiologist for Doctors Without Borders, a volunteer organization that provides medical care to countries that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get the help they need. But when the time came to dedicate myself and take the plunge into medical school I found myself, and more importantly my heart, at a stand still.

I didn’t understand why God would give me such a change of heart at such a critical time in my life…and so began the “soul searching.” Now, after what feels like a lifetime of searching, Martha and The DAR Project are my answered prayer. I couldn’t be more thrilled and thankful to be working with a soul as beautiful as Martha’s and a vision that will undoubtedly changes lives all over the world. I’m so inspired and I can’t wait to explore the rest of God’s journey that lies ahead for The DAR Project.

Maarika Mann - Apparel Designer

Maarika Mann – Apparel Designer

My road to WeAreDAR has been a transformational one. Life journeys are always meandering ones, moving along in unexpected ways;  after getting married, graduating with a degree in elementary education, having children and moving to Nashville, my life seemed to be busy, but I craved for something more.  Design had always been a passion of mine but connecting my life’s dots and having the end picture look anything like art seemed impossible.  Then, in 2011 I followed my intuition.  I left teaching, enrolled in O’More College of Design as a Fashion Design student, and never looked back.

I met Martha when she teamed up with O’More and created our Designing for a Cause class.  Together, we designed and constructed a line of children’s clothes that became the foundation of the aDARable project.  Through this relationship I have been able to combine my artistic passions with my desires to give back to the world in a unique and powerful way.  I am grateful for this opportunity every day!

In addition to my role with WeAreDAR, I also have been chosen as one of Nashville Fashion Week’s Top Ten Emerging Designers of 2014.  My designs have been featured at the United We Style Fashion Show 2013 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and I am completing my final line of ten dresses for O’More’s year-end Eloise Fashion Show in May of 2014.

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Tiffany Meehan | Director of Digital Media

Hi, I’m Tiffany. I’m a lover of music, photography, long dinner chats & traveling. A year ago I made Nashville my home where I met Martha and was immediately drawn to her incredible spirit and excitement to help empower and educate women. We became fast friends and the more I heard about WeAreDAR, the more I wanted to be involved to help these amazing women in Haiti. I am so happy and thankful to be putting my passion for all things digital media to help spread the positive mission of WeAreDAR to Nashville and beyond.

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