Bonnie Ellison – Ama Ghar Children’s Home, Kathmandu, Nepal (Country Director)
Bonnie took an early retirement to follow in her father’s footsteps of giving back to the people of Nepal by working with groups that make a difference. Her father, O.T. Ellison, was one of the first Americans to arrive in Nepal in 1956. She is planning on spending the rest of her life there. As Managing Director of a house of 48 children, she is always busy! In addition to her supervisory duties, she works on the development of a strategic plan for the future, reports to the Government of Nepal, and manages the transition of the Ama Ghar children from elementary school to higher education or vocational training to a self-supporting career.
Suyesh Karki – Ernst & Young, Salt Lake City, UT (Chairman)
Suyesh Karki is a Manager in Ernst & Young’s Advisory/Consulting Services in Salt Lake City, Utah. This role includes managing engagements relating to compliance with technology, security, and privacy standards. In 2006, Suyesh graduated with a B.S. in Information Systems from Brigham Young University in Utah and in 2008, Suyesh earned an M.S. in Accounting from University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is a Certified Information Security and Information Privacy professional. Suyesh is passionate about giving back to his community, especially contributing to the growth of the underprivileged children in his home country of Nepal. He hopes to build relationships with the Ama Ghar children at a personal level and strives to create a positive impact on the lives of these children by supporting their intellectual and physical growth. He believes that an educated society holds the keys to any kind of sustainable development in Nepal and is excited to have an opportunity to contribute towards achieving it.
Sarah Pinkin – Sonoma, CA (Secretary)
Sarah is uniquely qualified to serve on the Ama Foundation Board, as she lived overseas from ages 13-20 and has a very clear picture of what the Ama Ghar childrens’ lives are like and how critical it is to raise funds for them. She lived in Macau for 3 years, Taiwan for 6 months, then traveled around the world for a year. She visited Nepal with her family when she was 14 and grew up learning about Nepal, going to Nepalese family gatherings and even had a Nepalese nanny for a year. Ms. Pinkin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and French from Colorado State University as well as an Associates degree in Culinary Arts from the California Culinary Academy. She lived and cooked in San Francisco for five years, then worked at restaurants in Sonoma for five more years. Currently she is focused on her new business, called Frenchie, and wrangling her two kids, Sawyer and Olivia.
Yasmijn Adhikari – Former Global Securities Lending Group, BlackRock, Inc. – San Francisco, CA (Treasurer)
Yasmijn Adhikari resides in San Francisco with her husband and two sons. She first traveled to Nepal in 2004 for her wedding (her husband is Nepali) and immediately fell in love with the people and culture. Since then, Yasmijn has traveled to Nepal numerous times. In 2012 she spend three months in Nepal taking Nepali Language classes and volunteering at a local pre-school her son was attending. Yasmijn has over eight years of experience in the hedge fund services and alternative investment management industry and worked for BlackRock, one of the largest asset managers in the world, in their Global Securities Lending group, until the birth of her second son. Yasmijn has a degree in Finance and International Business from Florida State University. She has lived in the Netherlands, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and is an avid traveler. She believes that her global upbringing, passion for kids and education and financial background puts her in a unique position to help the Ama Foundation.
Rob Sanders – Digital Marketer, Adjunct Professor and Global Citizen – San Francisco, CA/Cartagena, Spain
Former Ama Foundation board chair Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with 20+ years of experience. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob works with a diverse group of companies across multiple verticals providing creative and technical solutions for online growth. Rob also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco and IESEG School of Management in Lille, France. In addition, he conducts digital marketing and web analytics training for corporations in the United States and abroad. Rob is a managing partner for The Perfect Golf Grip and Dream Casas and spends half the year in Cartagena, Spain. A veteran of the US military, Rob volunteers for a number of other organizations, including GiveLight and Junior Achievement and enjoys his annual visits to Ama Ghar.
Fred Doar – Artist, Planet Freddo, Mill Valley, CA
Fred has maintained a studio in Sausalito, California, for the past 12 years. His work has been displayed at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. In addition, he has started a company called Planet Freddo, which offers quality silk ties that display his art work – a percentage of the profits from Planet Freddo go to Ama Ghar. Prior to his art career, Mr. Doar was the CEO of Grace Baking Company, a highly regarded bread bakery in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Doar joined the company in 1992 and spearheaded the growth of the business locally and nationally. Grace Baking won numerous awards during this time including best bakery, best break and best small business. The business was sold to a Canadian company in 2002 and Mr. Doar left in 2003 to pursue his art career. He is a graduate of Princeton University, a member of the Marin County High School Hall of Fame, a recipient of the George Sugarman Award for Heroism, served on the Mill Valley Business Task Force, (1989) and on the Marin Catholic Board of Regents from 2007-2010.
Jane Ellison- Interior Designer, San Rafael, CA
With over 20 years of experience, Jane has built a loyal following of clients with her exclusive network of artisanal resources, eye for quality and total professionalism. A graduate of Academy of Art University, she is a certified Feng Shui consultant, a Green Design specialist and an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers. A former nurse and mother of four children, Jane found her first visit to Ama Ghar with her children was life changing and eye opening. She feels fortunate and wants to give back by helping these underprivileged children, working with an organization that truly makes a difference. Jane also volunteers for the Pristine Mind Foundation, a San Francisco Bay Area Buddhist meditation group.
Poonam Mudvari – Bethesda, MD
Poonam was born and raised in Kathmandu. She left for the US to pursue higher eduction and is settled in DC metro area. She has a background in management and marketing. After having left Nepal at young age, she wants to give back to Nepal by empowering children. Poonam believes children are the hope for future. In addition each child deserves a loving home and a chance for a better future.
Sarah Nikles – Geneva, Switzerland
Sarah Nikles lives in Geneva, Switzerland with her husband, Alain and her small daughter. She is an accountant for a US company, working with Greece, France and Germany, and she’s in charge of all the billing activities around the globe. Sarah first heard about the Ama Foundation in 2008 from her friend Serap Jamgbu Sherpa. One of her wishes was to come to Nepal to spend time with children, and one year later, in October 2009, she pushed open the door of Ama Ghar for the first time, and fell in love – Ama Ghar is now one of the most important things in Sarah’s life. In January 2013, she and Alain, along with six friends who came to Ama Ghar, created Ama Ghar Suisse in order to be closer to the Swiss people who donate each year. According to Sarah, “Switzerland is a very small country, but Swiss people are very generous. We hope that we will give more money to Ama Ghar every year.”
Leslie Brown – Seattle, Washington
Leslie is an international project manager and technical consultant with multi-sector experience in five countries. She excels at developing and managing programs that reduce exploitation of women and children and promote equality and human rights. Her expertise includes human trafficking investigation, prevention and capacity development; child protection, children’s homes and orphanage issues; and gender based violence and sexual assault advocacy and investigations. Leslie’s International development experience includes projects in El Salvador, the Philippines, Kenya and Nepal.
Mary Averill – Western Massachusetts
Mary is a currently the Senior Manager of Integrated Behavioral Health at Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) . CCA is a health plan serving dual eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) citizens of Massachusetts ages 21+. In her role, Mary has managed the building and implementation of a team of 30 Clinical Social Workers and Community Health Outreach Workers into CCA’s medical model of care. Prior to CCA, Mary has worked in Higher Education Finance Policy, state government, private practice and as a public school teacher. For over 10 years, Mary’s private clinical work has focused on trauma work and interventions with children and families.
In addition, Mary is a mother, photographer and social worker whose life’s journey has been informed by her passion to comprehend the complexity of human nature. From the corners of the world to the streets of the inner city, she has explored the many faces of people, either through the lens of her camera or through the compassion of her heart. Mary’s photo work has been shown internationally.