Our US Board of Directors
JoAn Monplaisir served as a health education Peace Corps Volunteer in Kasama, Zambia. Through her work, she developed a passion for collaborating with women in the community to help foster a sense of strength, resilience, and empowerment. She has a Master’s in Clinical Social Work and currently resides in Maryland working as a hospice social worker. JoAn is also the founder of Luna Doula and serves as a birth and postpartum doula who supports families through the birth, delivery, and care of their babies. JoAn is honored to join the Board and to contribute to the inspiring work Bakashana is doing with the future leading women of this world.
Barbara worked for two years on health initiatives in Northern Zambia and stayed in Zambia an additional 18 months working with funding from the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) to “Stomp Out Malaria” in all of Zambia’s provinces. Her experience in working in rural Northern Zambia with health and education campaigns makes her an invaluable advisor and board member for Bakashana. She lived from 2011-2103 in Mpika district near Kasama and has now returned to the US, where she works with the Peace Corps as a recruiter. Barbara has developed a close personal relationship with all of the young women on scholarship and serves as an important moral and emotional support for them.
Andrew Jo is currently the Manager of Retired Player Programs at the National Football League. In this role, Andrew manages incoming player cases for the NFL Player Care Foundation and provides support to retired NFL players in the areas of financial assistance, health and wellness, and NFL benefits. Andrew had previously worked with the NFL’s Community Affairs department coordinating community outreach events and youth football grants for the NFL Foundation. Prior to his work at the NFL, Andrew was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Zambia where he worked alongside the Zambian Ministry of Education on strengthening its radio education and open & distance learning initiatives.
Sue serves as program advisor as well as a member of the board of directors. Sue has six years of experience working with women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa. Starting with her work directing HIV programs in Tanzania in 2006, her interest in education in Africa, especially that of educating young women has been a passion she has actively pursued while working as well as a Principal for three different schools in her home in Hawaii. She now owns a consulting firm based in Hawaii which champions the charter school movement and works with policy-makers, administrators, parents and teachers to improve the quality of schools throughout the US. Sue has extensive experience in program design, curriculum development, training and fundraising, and holds a Masters Degree in Education.
Jenna graduated from University of Texas San Antonio with a BA in Sociology. She served as a health education volunteer with Peace Corps Zambia from 2011-2013 in the village of Munkonge, about 65km north of Kasama. During her service, Jenna focused on HIV/AIDS education, fundraising for the construction of a secondary school, and formation of community groups for women and girls, like GLOW (Girls Leading Our World). Jenna has over ten years experience in non profit development and currently works as the Individual Giving and Campaign Coordinator for the Pikes Peak Library District. Jenna lives in Colorado with her husband, also a Zambia RPCV, and daughter.
Sherry has been a dynamic and successful leader in marketing, business strategy, merger/acquisitions and customer negotiations for the energy and education industries. She held top management positions within two major energy companies – Constellation Energy and Rochester Gas and Electric. Her commitment to community service includes Lioness Club of Central Square, NY, former President for the Board of Directors for YWCA of Monroe County and Chairperson for Monroe County Airport Authority. Sherry was the 1984 recipient for the Presidential Volunteer Award from President Ronald Regan for her community work with youth and the Alzeheimers Association. Recently retired, Sherry currently serves on the Board of Directors for HB Smith Company and is a member of Sweet Adelines International. She holds a BS in Education and a Master’s in Business Administration.
Kathryn Van Marter
Kathryn served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Northern Zambia from 2014-2016 working on health projects in her host community. During her service she led Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) clubs as well as a GLOW camp. Kathryn grew up in Portland, Oregon and then moved to Wisconsin for undergrad. There she majored in biology, history, and chemistry with an interdisciplinary concentration in International Studies. Then she received a Master’s Degree in Public Health with a focus on Health Behavior. This academic background gives her a solid foundation for understanding NGO style communication materials, research methods, and behavior change theory. More importantly, she has recent, on the ground experience in Zambia that gives her a perspective on how logistics there work, realistic expectations, and handy problem solving skills. Katheryn looks forward to learning more about the US logistical side of the project and contributing to this excellent organization however she can.
Cathy is currently enjoying being a wife, mother and grandmother. She retired from church resourcing that took her to the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Her work has been with nonprofit groups for over 25 years, including development work for a coalition of camps. Bakashana is a perfect match for her passion for assisting others and peace and justice issues. Currently Cathy is volunteering for a food pantry and a children’s ministry program at her church, Cathy and her husband of 49 years love to travel and have had the privilege of recently visiting Ireland, France, and Hawaii. Cathy says “I am so very proud of Claire and Justin and their work and I am happy to be a part of that.”
During the past 35 years, Sven has enjoyed careers in journalism, public relations and philanthropy. He most recently served as director of philanthropy for The Nature Conservancy of Hawai’i, a leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact in more than 72 countries. For 10 years, he was responsible for all aspects of fundraising and development work for the Hawai’i Chapter. Prior to that, he served as director of development for The San Juan Preservation Trust, a land trust serving the San Juan Islands of Washington state. Before launching his fundraising career, Sven worked in marketing communications for technology companies, including Mentor Graphics, a leading Portland, Oregon-based electronic design automation company. As a journalist, Sven worked in Portland, Oregon as a television magazine program producer and at CNN in Atlanta as a writer, reporter, producer, and international assignment editor. Sven lives in Hawai`i.
A communications and development professional, Barbara Power is currently working at the College of Brockport in NY to strengthen college donor contributions and has established a foundation for the College for the campaign contributions. Barbara is also active in her community and is President-elect for the Penfield Rotary, and a trustee for the Penfield Library. A gifted writer, the bulk of Barbara’s career has been spent working with colleges including a stint at the University of Chicago where she was responsible for alumnae relationships, and writing and editing magazine articles on the school, alumnae and managing the web content. Her expertise and love for fund raising and championing education makes her an excellent fit for the US Bakashana board.