Our Founder & Executive Director: J.P. Dahdah
Juan Pablo (J.P.) Dahdah is a Guatemalan native whose family immigrated to the U.S. when he was 8 years old. Leaving their homeland, relatives and loved ones behind wasn’t an easy decision for his parents, but not an uncommon sacrifice for Guatemalan’s aspiring to build better life for their family. This early childhood life experience is what would serve as the genesis and foundational element of J.P.’s philanthropic vision.
Upon graduating from The University of Arizona, where he earned dual degrees in Finance and Marketing, J.P. began his professional career as a Financial Advisor with the Fortune 100 company, American Express Financial Advisors. His entrepreneurial journey begun at the age of 23, when he started an independent registered advisory firm, Dahdah Global Wealth Management, which specialized in working with business owners. Upon learning that alternative investments were permissible within Self-Directed IRAs, he felt a huge disconnect with the misinformation being perpetuated by Wall Street firms. In an effort to be part of the solution instead of the problem, he founded Vantage in June 2004.
J.P. Dahdah is the Founder and CEO of Vantage Self-Directed Retirement Plans, which currently administers over $1.2 billion in retirement assets. Throughout his over 20 year financial career, Mr. Dahdah has received a multitude of recognitions, which include being awarded the prominent “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and being honored by the Phoenix Business Journal and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with the “Forty Under 40 Award” for being one of the Arizona’s most influential leaders in the community.
In 2019, he was also one of Arizona’s twenty-five honorees of the prestigious “Most Admired Leaders Award” presented by the Phoenix Business Journal. J.P. is the former President and proud member of the Arizona Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and is actively involved philanthropically in the community via many charitable organizations beyond his work with Advance Guatemala.
Mr. Dahdah’s philanthropic philosophy is grounded by his personal belief that one must “Give ‘till it hurts!”
Our Board Members
Keith R. Galbut leads Galbut Beabeau’s corporate, construction, real estate, and outside general counsel practices. Keith has extensive experience in corporate and real estate transactions, including matters of corporate formation and governance and the negotiation of commercial contracts, employment agreements, license agreements, leases, and mergers, acquisitions, and sales of businesses. He often protects his clients’ rights and advances their interests in business, construction, and real estate disputes, whether through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. Keith devotes a significant portion of his practice to supporting clients expanding into Arizona and beyond Arizona into domestic and foreign markets.
Mark Walker’s deep understanding of poverty issues comes from over forty years of laboring side-by-side with needy people in the developing world, managing programs in Guatemala, Colombia, and Sierra Leone with Plan International in Director Positions.
Mark’s passion for Guatemala goes back to his time as a Peace Corps volunteer. Mark’s first job out of the Peace Corps was as a consultant with CARE International whose staff asked him to identify the basic technologies for an agro-forestry program. In response to a major earthquake in Guatemala, Mark co-founded FUNDACED, a Christian Guatemalan development agency. His work included mentoring Guatemalan staff on how to raise funds in the US and Europe.
A globally active humanitarian, Jeanne Lewis is passionately committed to numerous philanthropic causes. A short list of the organizations she is involved with include: Board of Governors with Opportunity International; Board of Chicumbuso in Lusaka, Zambia offering AIDS programs and a children’s orphanage; Community Board Member with Project C.U.R.E. providing medical relief to needy people in more than 120 countries; Fundraiser for Mercy Child orphanage in Kenya; Scholarship creator for Refugee Women in Phoenix, AZ; Engaged with COAR, an Arizona State University organization that provides scholarships for refugee students graduating from Phoenix area High Schools.
Carmen Margie has been serving others her entire career. Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Carmen spent her professional time supporting various vice presidents and executives at numerous financial institutions.
Carmen relocated to Phoenix, Arizona in 2010 and began her career at Vantage Retirement Plans, LLC as the Executive Assistant to the Founder and CEO, J.P. Dahdah. Over the years, her role evolved, and she now serves as a member of the leadership team as the Chief of Staff. During her tenure, one of her primary responsibilities were coordinating the volunteer opportunities for the team at Vantage. Through her coordination, Vantage partnered with organizations such as St. Mary’s Food Bank, Feed My Starving Children, Arizona Helping Hands, and Child Crisis Arizona to give back to the local community.