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For people in developing countries or in low socio-economic status an unexpected opportunity for development and growth can speak wonders for their morale. The uplifting and ever changing impact in ones life is one of Giving the Unexpected's ultimate goal. All members of the GTU team share the same mission and vision.

Board of Directors - Florida

Shannon S. Jean

President and Secretary


2012, to say the least, was remarkably a life changing year in Shannon's life; the reunion between her, her sister, Kerry and their biological family in the Dominican Republic, after being adopted 27 years prior.


With the start of this new chapter came their inspiration to establish the non-profit organization, Giving the Unexpected.  She has always had a passion for helping others and found it extremely rewarding to have the opportunity in making a difference in people's lives. She would say, it's her "calling".


Shannon is family oriented and has 2 children. She's an aspiring baker and Owner of Sandra's Sweets and hopes to have her own shop someday. She brings to the board an extensive background in the legal field, as a paralegal for over 12+ years.

Kerry Kneissel

Vice President and Treasurer


Since Kerry and her birth sister, Shannon, reunited with their family in 2012 in the Dominican Republic, she has had the pleasure of getting to know their birth family, their culture and their roots! The reunion expanded Kerry's passion to help others to another level. Kerry has always had a giving heart, which led to her profession as a teacher. She has tried changing careers, but nothing beats the gratification of making an everyday difference. Kerry sincerely feels that her purpose in life is to make a positive impact on families and children. Before, through teaching, she impacted a few children each year. Now Kerry has the privilege of providing hope for many more children every year.


Courtney K. Lorini

Director of Marketing


Courtney Lorini was adopted from Honduras and came to the United States in 1991. She graduated from North East High School in 2004 and went on to do marketing for Moms Like Me™, a Gannett Company™ magazine and website, and for various real estate companies. She currently works for the  Alaka’ina Foundation Family of Companies (FOCs) in Proposals and Business Development. 
Courtney brings enthusiasm and commitment to the cause of social responsibility. She brings an associates degree in business management, eight years of marketing experience, and three years of HR experience to Giving the Unexpected. She has also participated in, and contributed to, various charity events in Central Florida. She has assisted the following local and national nonprofit organizations:


• You Caring™
• National MS Society™

• Wounded Warrior Project™
World Vision™



Advisory Board - Dominican Republic

Manuel “Tony” Castillo


Tony Castillo was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. He is a hard-working and devoted husband and father. He works diligently for his expanded family, making sure everyone is safe and stable. Tony is a well-known and involved member of his community in Bani, and looks forward to taking the leadership and representation of our organization in a prosperous direction.

Ramon “Jimmy” Guzman


Ramon Guzman was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. He is currently studying marketing and works as a customer service agent. His passion is working with people and helping them as much as he is able. He loves all sports, but his absolute favorite is baseball.


He states the reason why he loves being a part of this organization is “because we are trying to change people’s way of life by focusing on stabilizing them for the long term, not just simply giving to people who don’t have anything.” He also states, “If we work hard and stay positive, we can make things happen.”

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