Tuko Pamoja is fortunate to have a team of experts to advise, guide and support the company’s short-term activities and long-term plans. As one cooperative unit, the Tuko Pamoja Advisory Board will lead business development seminars annually in Kenya to ensure that groups are reaching their goals of self-sustainability. It is the intention that the US members and the Kenyan members meet separately once per year, and all together in Kenya every January.
The five US members have all traveled to Kenya at least three times and have committed to annual visits beginning in January 2012. Together, the US team has creative insight, business development skills, and an American perspective for trends and styles.
The five Kenyan members of the Advisory Board bring critical expertise to Tuko Pamoja activities and meetings with the artisan groups. The members identified are long-time friends and business partners of the Tuko Pamoja CEO, and match respectively with a US board member counterpart.
Tuko Pamoja Board Member Roles:
|Talent||Kenyan Board Members||US Board Members|
|Finance/Banking/Savings/Budgets||Susan Maina||Karen Geiling|
|Marketing||Maggie Ndary||Lloydie Zaiser|
|Product Design||Evalyne Shangalla||Deb DeArmon|
|Quality Control||Simon Wasike||Jen Bayles|
|Artisan Well-Being/Personal Growth||Lilian Muthui||Lynn Ouellette|
U.S. Board Members
Jennifer Bayles – Former KEST Assistant Director, Program Development; background in program management and international development.
Deb DeArmon -Deb DeArmon Designs, Owner; jewelry and card designer; works with the grandmothers at Nyumbani Village on the Memory Book project, and partners in an artist exchange program with women from Kibera Paper.
Karen Geiling – KLG Financial Solutions, Founder; woman entrepreneur, and educator; serves as a role model for business development and sound financial management for artisan groups. Offers special educational workshops addressing specific needs of individual groups. P. Lynn
Ouellette – Board Certified: Psychiatry and Neurology; artist and photographer; works closely with the Nyumbani Village Counselors and partners in an artist exchange program with women from Kibera Paper; mentors in the “self-help” aspect of groups.
Lloydie Zaiser – KEST, Founder and CEO; established the partnership with the six Tuko Pamoja women’s groups through KEST trip experiences; familiar with Nyumbani programs, Maasai culture and Kenyan society, and demonstrates appropriate cross-cultural interactions.
Kenyan Board Members
Susan Maina – Co-owner of Spurwing Travel and Tours; female entrepreneur, mother of two, and role model for Tuko Pamoja artisans. Successfully navigates the financial obligations of Spurwing. Has been a KEST partner in business for over eight years.
Maggie Ndary – Retail Sales, Amani ya Juu (Nairobi). Amani ya Juu is a sewing-marketing-training project for marginalized women in Africa. Ms. Ndary advises on successful sales tactics in Kenya to ensure that the six Tuko Pamoja groups will be self-sustaining, not relying solely on overseas sales.
Evalyne Shangalla – Power Women Self Help Group, Secretary, Lea Toto Kibera Program. The Power Women Group operates the most successful artisan shop of any Lea Toto self-help group, in the middle of the largest slum in Kibera, Kenya. The Power Women’s Group is at the pinnacle to which all six Tuko Pamoja groups aspire- running an independent store and providing sustainable income for all group members.
Lilian Muthui – A counselor at Nyumbani Village, serving over 1,000 children, 100 grandparents, Village staff, and numerous members of the surrounding community. Ms. Smith has her finger on the pulse of the Village, especially with the grandparents and is a valued translator!
Simon Wasike – Lea Toto Self Help Group, Director. The Director’s job is to oversee the progress of existing self-help groups within Lea Toto programs, and to help start new groups when there is a measured interest. Simon’s in-depth knowledge of communities, marketing, and banking is of great value to the six Tuko Pamoja groups.