Advisory Board

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 Sam Kimemia Deb DeArmon
Quality Control Simon Wasike Jen Bayles
Artisan Well-Being/Personal Growth
Justus Mwaka Musia 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. 

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.

Sam Kimemia  a renown artist in Kenya, each Saturday, Sam runs the Art Program at Nyumbani Children’s Home. Additionally, he teaches other children Art Classes in a variety of schools..  His works can be found at the Nairobi National Museum Gift Shop and are sold at Banana Box at The Hub, a mall in Karen, Kenya.  His talent and creativity are a wonderful gift to the Tuko Pamoja women.

Justus Mwaka Musia–  as the Director Of Tuko Pamoja Kenya, Justus oversees all of the workings, from the production side of Tuko Pamoja, with the six different self-help groups.  His greatest gift to the board may be his language skills.  His translations are absolutely essential for Tuko Pamoja to thrive.  Justus is also trained in meditation, mindfulness and yoga- teaching stress busting techniques to the Tuko Pamoja women. Namaste!

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.