Global Advisory Board

Meet Elimu’s Global Advisory Board

The Elimu Advisory Board is made up of volunteers from Canada, USA, England, Mexico and Kenya who willingly provide their particular expertise to support our projects in Kenya. Advisors are non-voting board members who act in a consulting capacity to the local Boards of Directors.

Past Elimu Chairperson
Jan Wood
(Marketing and Communications Specialist)

Currently resides in Calgary, Alberta where she is the Vice President of the Calgary Marketing Association and owns her own marketing company. 2011 to 2014 she lived in Denver Colorado where she worked with OpenWorld Learning, a non-profit organization that supported after school learning using computer programming. From 2009 to 2011, Jan travelled extensively teaching English at two private international schools in Thailand and volunteering for Elimu in Kenya, tutoring the children of Nyumbani Kwetu Home, as well as offering planning and development consulting for the establishment of Elimu as a charitable organization. Jan has over 20 years in the marketing profession with ten of those at Canada Post Corporation where she specialized in International Product Development and was in various management and leadership roles. She also worked as National Marketing Manager of Travel CUTS (Canadian Universities Travel Services). Jan is a founding member of the Elimu board of directors and was instrumental in designing the strategy for taking Elimu from our founders’ project to a formal charitable entity. She led Elimu as Chairperson from 2018 – 2021.

Past Elimu Chairperson
George Brown
(Lawyer, Urbanist and Integral Associate Coach)

He is Principal of Integral North. Prior to this, George spent nine years as President of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, (OCLF) as well as 9 years as a City and Regional Councillor in Ottawa. As a Councillor, he served as Chair of the City’s Economic Affairs Committee and the Region’s Environmental Services Committee. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire College’s Graduate School of Business (now Southern New Hampshire University) and an LL.B. degree from the University of Ottawa Law School. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in September, 2003. He is Chair of United Way Ottawa’s Community Impact Cabinet and a Member of it’s Board of Directors. George is a founding member of the Elimu board of directors and our first chairperson, serving from 2011 – 2017.

Suzanne Stoltz (Strategic Communications Advisor)

Lives in Ottawa, Canada. Currently an Advisor with Environment and Climate Change Canada, she is a PR and outreach professional with 20+ years of experience. Suzanne brings extensive knowledge in developing and implementing effective communication strategies. With expertise in event planning and media relations, she is passionate in helping to tell Elimu’s evolving story. She provides guidance on social media strategies and communications opportunities. She headed fundraising activities for Upendo School from 2010 – 2013, and visited Kenya in 2012 to attend the colourful thanksgiving celebration for the school opening in the Sabaki village.

Michael Henry (Lawyer)

A founding partner of Toronto law firm Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP, Michael practises personal injury law and is committed to helping accident victims and their families through difficult times to achieving a fair result to compensate them for their losses. Michael’s commitment to support victims of personal injury is extended to his charitable activities. He has served as a Trustee for several local community organizations which focus on support for brain injury victims. He is also founder of the “Personal Injury Bar Charity Hockey Challenge,” an annual tournament that has raised almost $1-million for the Canadian Spinal Research Organization’s “Shoot for a Cure” campaign for the prevention and cure of spinal cord injuries. Michael has been personally involved with Elimu for many years. He shares his community engagement skills and networks to raise funds to support young people who face significant challenges in completing their education. Amongst the those who have benefitted are a young woman who was the first girl in her village to finish high school and a young man who is now pursuing medical studies!

Guy Giguère (Organization Development Advisor)

Lives in Québec and works as coach, lecturer and guide to the enterprise community. Trained in NLP, Management, Education, Psychology, he has spent the past 35 years roaming the work market, internationally, in both public and private sectors. He specializes in helping people to better perform in their own realities in terms of organizational culture, market and numbers. He’s also an entrepreneur who understands the need to change and evolve within the frame of a business. As a guide, his hobby, he has guide-coached small groups through personal and geographical transitions in remote areas such as the Sahara Desert in Tunisia, the Savannah in Kenya and some Holy Places in India. Guy’s expertise is invaluable in guiding Elimu through the changes and challenges of organization growth and development.

Paul Turpin (Strategic Planning and Organizational Strategy Advisor)

Paul works as a consultant where his skills power individuals and groups for innovating and developing themselves. Passionate and curious by nature, he leads others to question, to change perspectives, and to systematize in order to discover new avenues to the future. His approach embraces transformation-producing activities. His support is guiding Elimu to understand the ever-changing business environment, explore possibilities, imagine the potential that lies within our organization's assets and team-members, be more agile in decision-making and translate shift into sound and impactful actions. In his own words: "I'm incredibly proud of the impactful projects Elimu has undertaken in the past five years I have worked with them. Everyday, ELIMU transforms the lives of kids and adults alike in Malindi. And one day, all of Kenya will be truly thankful for Nina's vision and for the concrete actions ELIMU's partners, volunteers and employees have undertaken with perseverance and heart".

Tom Craven (Education Advisor)

Originally from England, Tom now lives in Nanyuki, Kenya, and is Head of School at Braeburn Nanyuki International School. He worked with Elimu Founder, Nina Chung, as a volunteer with VSO in Kenya between 2003-2005 and was present at the early meetings between Elimu and Upendo School management committee, where he was able to provide valuable advice from an educational perspective. He continues to provide support and educational consulting to Elimu for all of our projects.

Leanna Verrucci (Marketing Advisor)

Holds a Masters in Child Psychology. Since graduating, Leanna has worked in a number of industries – education, publishing, travel and tourism, television and hospitality and consumer packaged goods – in a variety of positions – marketing manager, director of communications, senior brand manager, reporter, publisher, owner and operator. She recently worked as the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Algonquin College and is currently the Director of Marketing and Membership at the Canadian Psychological Association. Leanna is passionate about education and mental health and helping empower youth to be all they can, and want to, be.

Jane Bennett (Special Advisor)

Lives in Kent, England where she is a, Motivational Coach and Mentor, after an earlier career in international marketing. She provides advice and direction to Elimu Founder, Nina Chung on issues of program development, relationship management and life skills consulting both with respect to the development of Elimu as an organization and with regards to internal issues relating to Elimu project partners and clients. Jane also assists with fundraising in the UK.

Santiago Maza (Film and Video Production Advisor)

Lives in Mexico City where he is an independent film director. He spent two months in Kenya in 2011 where he produced videos to document Elimu project developments and created a photographic library of images from all Elimu projects. He continues to assist Elimu’s communication media manager with advice and support. He has also organized fundraising activities in Mexico to promote and support the work of Elimu in Kenya.

Valerie Benetar (Project Administration Advisor)

Lives in Mexico City where she works with a local non- profit organization involved in capacity building and skills training amongst traditional communities in the impoverished region of Chiapas. Valerie volunteered with Elimu for two months in 2011, assisting with monitoring and evaluation tools for Elimu projects. She also helped to produce formats for Elimu agreements with local project partners. In Mexico, she continues to support Elimu projects through fundraising activities.