Casa Team

Monika Mahr is the Executive Director of the Casa Grace Foundation.  She has a great many responsibilities, including coordinating and overseeing everything that the Casa Grace Foundation does.  She coordinates and oversees all 4 of the programs, along with working closely with sponsors from other countries, as well as hiring and overseeing employees.  Her primary responsibility as the Executive Director of Casa Grace is to help those in need.  One way Monika does this is by serving as a liaison between foreign, mostly western sponsors and the Romanians that Casa Grace seeks to help.  Her duties are many and she does her best to keep God as the focus of all that the Casa Grace Foundation does and stands for.

Monika has a Bachelors degree in management, and is in her 2nd year of a Masters Degree program where she is studying Social Project Management.

Before coming to Casa Grace, Monika worked for the Integra Association as a loan officer in micro lending from 2000 until October of 2003.  She has worked at Casa Grace since November, 2003.

In her free time, Monika enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, decorating their home, and reading.

Berta Andrea Szondi (pronounced Bear-ta Son-dee) is the secretary for the Casa Grace Foundation, but she does much more than just answering the phones.  Berta interviews all the candidates who come for social assistance, and she is also responsible for all the cases in the Vocational Training Center Program.  This means she does all the interviews, assessments, and evaluations for the VTC Program.  Along with this Berta coordinates all the meetings, interviews, etc. for the Casa Grace Foundation.  She is also a social worker, and lastly, she does also answer the phones.

Berta has two Bachelors degrees, one in Baptist theology, and one in Social Assistance.  She is now working on her Masters degree in Public Administration and Community Development, and will finish this semester.

Berta worked for the Children in the Son Foundation for 6 months in 2000, and from 2000-2004 was in school full time.  She has worked with Casa Grace since March of 2004.

Berta has a passion for flower arranging/decorating in her spare time, including many weddings during the summer months.  She also enjoys crafts for kids, teaching Sunday school, and listening to Christian music.

Dana Mirza is a professional tailor who spends most of her time at Casa Grace teaching tailoring and sewing classes as part of the Vocational Training Center Program.  Along with teaching tailoring classes almost everyday, Dana also serves as one of Casa Grace’s drivers, often going to Budapest, Hungary to pick up arriving sponsors and bring them to Oradea, Romania.

Dana has a Bachelors degree in textiles, a Masters degree in strategic management, and a minor in psychology/pedagogy.

From 1979-1985 Dana worked at a fabrication/textile factory.  Her son was born in 1985, and after staying home to raise him, Dana began a tailoring business from her home in 1989.  This lasted until 1999, and in ‘99 Dana came to Casa Grace and has been here ever since.

In her spare time Dana enjoys singing in 2 choirs, one at her church and one with The Organization of Romanian Christian Musicians.  Her other hobbies include driving, and going on excursions to the mountains.

Debora-Teodora Silaghi (pronounced Tay-o-dora Sea-lag-gee), or Dora for short, is a registered nurse who works with severely handicapped orphan children as part of the Kingdom Kids Program of Casa Grace.  Her primary responsibility is to give these children lots of love and affection, which they never received while growing up in the orphanage.  Though they now live in special family homes, these children suffer from years of neglect and Dora does her best to help them become independent and develop normal skills.  She works with the children on both the mental and physical levels through sensory stimulation, using all 5 of the senses to teach them basic motor skills.  This is very hard work and takes great patience, but with love and God’s grace these children do make small improvements over long periods of time.

Dora has a nursing degree from a 3-year school, and also has specialized training in occupational therapy.

Before coming to Casa Grace, Dora worked as a lab nurse in a medical dental and general practitioners office from February of 1995 until November of 1998.  In November her son was born and she took 2 years paid maternity leave, as allowed by Romanian law, and then in May of 2001 began working at Casa Grace, which has continued until the present.

Dora’s hobbies include creating needle point pictures, listening to Gospel music, cleaning house, and cooking.

Marilena Foltut (pronounced Mar-dee-layna Fole-tootz), or Mari for short, is the Director of social work for the Families in Difficulty Program of the Casa Grace Foundation.  Marilena is responsible for interviewing families coming for social assistance and determining which ones qualify for Casa Grace’s programs.  She writes the contracts for each case and is responsible for keeping up with the progress of each family.  She makes sure the material donations which come in for poor families are distributed correctly, according to each family’s need.  Marilena does her best to choose wisely which families Casa Grace will help and how best to help each one.

Marilena has a Bachelor’s degree in socialogical sciences and also a Bachelor’s degree in theology.  She is currently working on her Masters degree in Public Administration and Community Development.

Before coming to Casa Grace, Marilena worked for the Emmanuel Hospice, a ministry of Emmanuel Baptist Church here in Oradea, Romania.  She worked there from 2002 until December of 2004. She has worked at Casa Grace since August, 2005.

In her spare time, Marilena enjoys teaching Sunday school to children in her church, cooking, working with children, reading, and watching films.

Ana Cornelia Pop (pronounced Pope) is a social worker who works full time with the Families in Difficulty Program of Casa Grace.  This is a social assistance program, and Cornelia’s primary responsibilities are in encouraging the families that Casa Grace helps to finish their education.  Adults who never finished school are encouraged to go back and finish, but Cornelia mostly encourages the children of these families to stay in school and graduate.  Many of these families are very poor and want to help themselves get out of poverty, but they need someone to come along and lend a hand.  This is what Casa Grace does, and if the children of these families can receive a good education and get good jobs in the future, it’s a very real possibility that their families will get out of the cycle of poverty in which they currently find themselves.  Therefore educational encouragement is a large portion of Cornelia’s job.  She also assists in choosing new families to be helped through the Families in Difficulty program once each year, and is responsible for making the contracts with the families and seeing that they receive the correct amount of aid, depending on their situation.

Cornelia has a Bachelors degree in Christian Education, a Masters degree in social work, and is currently working on a second Masters degree in Public Administration and Community Development.

Upon finishing school in 1995, Cornelia was a missionary to a city in southern Romania from November of ’95 until September of 1996.  She then worked as a kindergarten teacher at a Christian school from 1996-1999.  Cornelia then came to the Casa Grace Foundation in ’99 and has been here ever since.

In her free time Cornelia enjoys working with children and teaching the kids in the Sunday school class at her church.

Ovidiu Ungur (pronounced O-vid-eu Oon-gor) is the accountant for the Casa Grace Foundation.  He is the financial director for the ministry, and is responsible for handling all of Casa Grace’s monetary transactions.  Ovidiu registers all the money that comes in to Casa Grace, and also writes all the financial reports and keeps the books.

Ovidiu has a Bachelors degree in information technology, and is currently working on a second Bachelors degree in accounting, though he is already a licensed, authorized accountant here in Romania.

Among Ovidiu’s many previous jobs, he worked as a computer programmer and accountant for a private firm from 1990-2005.  He began as a volunteer with Casa Grace in 2001, and officially became an employee in 2005.

Among Ovidiu’s hobbies are spending time with his family, playing the piano, playing sports, and computers.

Leontin Florin Ciuciui (pronounced Lay-own-teen Floor-dean Choo-chui) is a computer expert who wears many hats at the Casa Grace Foundation.  Leontin’s primary responsibility is in teaching computer courses as part of the Vocational Training Center Program of Casa Grace.  But teaching the computer classes is only a small portion of what Leontin does.  He is responsible for anything and everything having to do with computers.  This includes upkeep, updating the computer systems of Casa Grace, computer repairs, technical support, etc.  Leontin is a specialist in information technology.

Leontin has a 5-year Bachelors degree in computers, a Masters degree in multimedia, and a Masters degree in management and business engineering. He also has a 2-year Bachelors degree in Bible from a Christian seminary.  Leontin also has an accreditation from the government of Romania to teach ECDL classes (European Computer Driving License).

Leontin has worked as an insurance salesman at an insurance company called Alliance since 2000, and continues that to this day.  He came to Casa Grace in 2003 and has been working both jobs since that time.

In his free time Leontin enjoys working on computers, listening to classical instrumental music, bicycling, and Bible study.

Mihai Suta (pronounced Me-hi Shoota) is the inventory/donation coordinator for the Casa Grace Foundation.  His responsibilities include maintaining all the storehouses where Casa Grace places donated material items, and distributing those gifts to the beneficiaries at the appropriate times. Mihai organizes and handles all donated items.  He is also the Casa Grace cashier, which means he distributes all monetary donations coming in to Casa Grace to the proper beneficiary.  He also is responsible for distributing all salaries at Casa Grace.

Mihai has a 5-year Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and information technology.

Before coming to Casa Grace, Mihai worked his way through school by working as a nighttime security guard at the Trust Foundation.  He worked there from July of 2000 until March of 2005.  He has been at Casa Grace since March, 2005.

Mihai is passionate about sports.  His favorite is football (or soccer), and he enjoys both watching and playing it frequently.  He also enjoys playing ping pong (or table tennis).

Stefan Szabo (pronounced Sh-tefon Sobbo) is a tailoring instructor as part of the Vocational Training Center Program of the Casa Grace Foundation.  Stefan works part-time for Casa Grace in the evenings, teaching both beginner and advanced tailoring and sewing classes.

Stefan has a 2-year tailoring degree from a vocational college here in Oradea, Romania.

Before coming to Casa Grace, Stefan worked for the national Romanian railway company, CFR, as their tailor, making the uniforms for all the engineers.  He worked there from 1985 until 1997.  Beginning in 1997, Stefan began working as a tailor for the State Theater here in Oradea, making the uniforms for all the plays, and he continues that to this day.  Stefan came to Casa Grace in 1999.

In his free time, Stefan loves riding bicycles with his wife.