Give Us Wings Board of Directors

Give Us Wings board members are stewards of our mission and resources. They play an active role in defining and reviewing our mission. Board members set policy and ensure that the organization has adequate resources to carry out its mission. The Board oversees and directs the Executive Director and the organization. It also consults and collaborates with the Give Us Wings Uganda National Advisory Team.

Click here if you are interested in applying to be on the Give Us Wings Board of Directors.

Kari Antin photo - cropped

Kari Antin

Kari has been involved with Give Us Wings through friends and family for 20+ years. She is a finance professional from the Twin Cities area with an MBA in Accounting from St Thomas. She has worked at General Mills, Delta Dental and is now at Target Corp. she has worked primarily in Supply Chain Operations, innovation and Sustainability, and is excited to bring her experience to Give Us Wings to help advance the great work that is happening and continue to help grow the organization and its impact.

In her free time you will find her with her husband Chris and 1 year old golden doodle Sami on their sailboat on Lake Superior. She is an avid sailor and loves to both cruise and race their boat on the Great Lakes. She also enjoys golfing, traveling and cross country skiing.

Ali Britton head shot

Ali Britton

Ali, along with her family, has been involved in Give Us Wings for the past 10+ years. After traveling abroad with the organization in 2016, she saw firsthand how much help was needed and has been passionate about the cause ever since.

With a background in design and an entrepreneur at heart, Ali has started and operated multiple successful businesses including a residential design/build company with her husband and most recently a consulting company centered around business development and lab design. Last year she stepped out of her professional shoes as she welcomed her daughter Olivia into the world. The journey she walked in growing her own family has profoundly impacted her desire to educate and improve women’s health all over the world. She has a passion to help others and to leave the world a better place than when she came into it. She is excited to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

Emanga E-Professional Photo 09-22

Emanga Ekinde

Emanga Ekinde brings a unique blend of healthcare expertise and cultural perspective to her role as the newest board member for Give Us Wings. As a first generation Cameroonian American, Emanga understands the importance of community and global outreach. With her background as a pharmacist, she has dedicated her career to improving patient outcomes with evidence-based medicine. As a Senior Medical Outcomes & Values Liaison at Indivior, she currently serves patients with mental health and substance use disorders.

Her professional experience in pharmaceuticals has provided her with a deep understanding of healthcare systems and the challenges faced by underserved populations. Emanga hopes to leverage her expertise to drive meaningful change and support sustainable development initiatives in Uganda through Give Us Wings.

Gabriel Katie Final DSC_3346 copy cropped
Senior Business Development Director, Salo, a Korn Ferry Company

Katie Gabriel

Katie is in business development at Salo, a Korn Ferry Company where she helps companies achieve their goals by finding the best accounting and finance consultants for their needs. She is passionate about building relationships and finding meaningful work for the consultants she represents and delivers high-quality solutions for complex and time-sensitive projects.  She is a leader in her profession, serving as the past Board Chair of the Minnesota Society of CPAs and a member of AICPA Council.
 
She also is a benefit auctioneer with Fladeboe Advancement and got connected to Give Us Wings through serving as their auctioneer in 2019. She fell in love with the mission and immediately joined as a sponsor in the family-to-family program. 
 

With a passion for pairing travel and volunteering; Katie has been on multiple service trips to India, in addition to Guatemala and Haiti. She lives in St Louis Park with her husband and two young children.

Janet Johanson head shot board 2018
President & COO - BevSource

Janet Johanson, Board Chair

I am an entrepreneur who started BevSource (formally PSI) in 2002.  Our company supports beverage entrepreneurs by mastering their operations – primarily we work with our clients to take their product from concept to delivery with services including formulation, compliance, contract manufacturer selection, supply chain management, and bookkeeping services.  In 2015, we were $48 million in sales and 28 employees.  In addition to helping beverage dreams come true, my husband and I are real estate investors and currently own 3 retail centers and several single family homes.  We live in White Bear Lake and have two young daughters.  In addition to my passion for Give Us Wings, I have a strong passion for teaching children financial literacy and dedicate time to Junior Achievement.

george kinkead head shot cropped
President - Turfco Manufacturing

George Kinkead, Board Vice Chair

I run a manufacturing company in Blaine Minnesota. We are an integrated manufacturer that designs and builds products for the lawncare and golf course maintenance industries. We specialize in renovation equipment with provides unique solutions to solve our customers problems that frees up time for them to do the task they want to do.

I have been involved with Give Us Wings for the past 13 years. Along with my family we have sponsored several children and now participate in the family-to-family program. I am looking forward to helping the Give Us Wings community be more successful in our mission of helping those in Africa.

Jen Kinkead
Owner, JELLA World Artist Collections

Jennifer Kinkead

I have been involved with Give Us Wings for the past 13 years.  Initially my involvement focused on my sponsorship of a child, Joseph.  Through this sponsorship my understanding of life in Africa grew and I saw the opportunity to bring about positive change through the methods that Give Us Wings employs.  I joined the Steering Committee 11 years ago and have traveled to Africa 3 times over the past 5 years.  With each visit I have been astounded by the improvements in the lives of our partners in Kenya and Uganda.  I am also inspired by the willingness of our African partners to embrace new ideas and their desire for knowledge.  I started my business, JELLA World Artist Collections, in 2012 after traveling to Africa twice. I have found that learning about people through their artwork is very interesting and informative.  I now travel to Asia, Africa and Europe seeking art that reflects the culture of its origin.  I bring those pieces back to the US where they are sold in galleries and shops.  I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Give Us Wings Board and look forward to every opportunity to invite others to be involved in this amazing organization.

AnitaNamanya
Senior Director, Customer Strategy - Best Buy

Anita Namanya

Anita Namanya works at Best Buy as the Sr. Director of Customer Strategy leading a team of strategists to partner and influence the integration of customer and employee needs and expectations at the forefront of business strategies. 

Prior to Best Buy, she worked at the  Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in the Minneapolis office in several regional and global roles. She completed her MBA at the Wharton School with a focus on Operations and Strategic Management. She was born and raised in Uganda where she completed a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering before working as a Customer Solutions Manager for Ericsson International.

Give Us Wings focuses on finding sustainable, self-driven, self-sufficient solutions to recurring problems, which is what attracted Anita to join the board. Additionally, because of her own background, she believes that lives can be radically transformed in a matter of one or two generations. She is a great believer in the Give Us Wings' Family to Family program as a viable vehicle for this transformation.

Vaishali_Patel_GUW_BoD

Vaishali Patel

For over two decades, Vaishali has been at the forefront of numerous initiatives at the University of California San Francisco, utilizing her expertise in program management, strategic planning, and community engagement. Driven by her conviction that everyone should have the opportunity to lead a healthy life—covering physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being, rather than just the absence of disease—she founded Tantvaya, a nonprofit consultancy focused on addressing the social determinants of health to improve health outcomes. Vaishali's commitment to eliminating health disparities and catalyzing transformative community change is evident in her role as a Board Director with Give Us Wings. In this capacity, she guides strategic initiatives aimed at bolstering health equity in Uganda. Outside of her professional commitments, you'll find her spending time with family, traveling, or pursuing a variety of hobbies. Her holistic approach to life resonates with her commitment to both individual and community well-being, perfectly aligning with the ethos of Give Us Wings.

Dominiqueu Pierre-Toussaint
Director of Community Relations -- ICA

Dominique Pierre-Toussaint

The ICA Director of Community Relations (formerly the ICA Food Shelf). My role involves creating opportunities that serve individuals in need and nurturing relationships with key community stakeholders. I consult with Hennepin County, Hopkins public schools, the city of Hopkins/Minnetonka, local businesses, nonprofits, and community groups/leaders on projects and issues that benefit our Minnesota West Metro communities. I truly take pride in being a connector and collaborator.

When it comes to passion, my fire is fueled by serving individuals in need and curating eclectic platforms and events. My circle is all about empowering youth, young adults, and entrepreneurs to share their passions and make a difference right here in Minnesota.

My favorite quote, which captures my drive and determination: “I don’t just want to make a difference, I want to be a difference in this world!”

Chicago-corporate-headshots
Healthcare Strategy Consultant - Sg2

Casi Roethler, Board Treasurer

Casi is a healthcare strategy consultant with Sg2, a Vizient company. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a masters of health administration and masters of business administration (corporate finance) from the University of Iowa. When she is not forecasting the future of healthcare, Casi enjoys volunteering on issues close to her heart, exploring new places and getting outdoors. Her base of operations is ever changing—ask her where her current home base is when you meet her. 

Natalie Stoer

Natalie Stoer, Board Secretary

Natalie recently retired from a career in Research and Development leading global teams specializing in innovation and product design. She brings skills and experience in building strategic partnerships and driving transformative change. She is a respected leader in her field, serving on the board of the Society of Sensory Professionals for 12 years in various roles, including Board Chair. Her leadership style, characterized by flexibility, resilience, and optimism, fosters a culture of collaboration and experimentation within organizations.

Natalie is driven by a passion for the education and empowerment of women and universal access to healthcare. She is energized by the opportunity to collaborate with the dedicated staff, fellow board members, and volunteers to advance Give Us Wings' mission, ensuring that people in our partner communities have the opportunity to thrive, learn, and access essential healthcare services.

David Thompson head shot 2022 cropped

David Thompson

David is a retired Child Welfare professional with an over 40-year career in public service at both Ramsey County and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. As a long-term supporter of Give Us Wings he has been actively engaged as a volunteer, donor and sponsor of multiple children through the Give Us Wings Family to Family Program. David is returning to the Give Us Wings Board in 2022 after a one-year break that was preceded by nine years as a Board member including seven years as the Board Chair. Multiple visits to service communities in Kenya and Uganda by David validated for him the positive impact Give Us Wings has on the lives of our partners. Families are healthier, with both in-patient and out-patient services available from the Give Us Wings health center.  Almost a hundred children are getting quality education at private boarding schools thanks to sponsors in Minnesota. These children are the likely community leaders of the future. And many families have benefited from financial training and business development loans provided by Give Us Wings.

Most significantly, David has learned that parents in these communities share the same aspirations for a safe and healthy life for their children as we do in Minnesota. With few of the privileges we take for granted these families seize on any opportunity to improve the lives of their children. David is grateful to be able to be part of an organization that is providing some of these opportunities.

Give Us Wings Staff

Give Us Wings International - Saint Paul, MN, USA

Peter Carlson, Executive Director
Executive Director

Peter Carlson

A native Minnesotan, Peter worked as a Lutheran church musician for 17 years before turning to a career in nonprofit management. He served as the General Manager of The Rose Ensemble in St. Paul and Managing Director of Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo. Peter has a B.A. in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, a Master of Sacred Music degree from Luther Seminary and St. Olaf College, and has completed the “Mini MBA” in Nonprofit Management at St. Thomas University. A frequent volunteer, he has served as a Board Member for multiple nonprofits in the Twin Cities area.

Peter loves to travel and has always had special interest in international service programs. He has been to Africa several times, both as a tourist and with community development organizations.  He is passionate about how travel opens one’s eyes to the human experience around the world, and is honored to be part of the important work that Give Us Wings does in Uganda and beyond.

Other interests include theater, reading, and spending time at the cabin with family, friends, and dogs.

betsy close up - head shot from March 2024 maama jr
Program Coordinator

Betsy Davies

Betsy Davies has been part of Give Us Wings since its inception in 1999. She first volunteered on the Steering Committee, then on the Board of Directors, and in 2015 she was hired as the Program Coordinator. Betsy focuses on development and project management, overseeing the Family to Family Sponsorship Program, fundraising, and communication with donors via the newsletter, website and social media. Betsy has a degree in psychology, with a focus on child development; she has worked in the early childhood field, and in sales and marketing for publishing companies. She traveled with Give Us Wings to Uganda and Kenya in 2011, and again to Uganda in 2017 and 2024. She has seen firsthand the difference that Give Us Wings is making in the lives of people who are living in deep poverty. She remains focused on improving the social, emotional and physical health and safety of children and their families.

Give Us Wings Uganda  -  Tororo, Uganda

IMG_7174 (1)
Family to Family Education Program Manager

Alweny Grace Mary

Grace joined Give Us Wings in August 2022 as the Education Program Officer. Her previous work experience includes various leadership roles at MIFUMI, a women's rights agency in Uganda. Grace received her Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education from Rock High. She has a BA in Urban Planning and a Certificate in Administrative Law from Makerere University. She also has a post graduate diploma in Project Planning and Management from the Uganda Management Institute.

"I am so passionate about working with young active people in schools because I feel education is a great investment that provides the young people with courage to believe in themselves and go after their dreams. I feel my job is fulfilling because it offers me an opportunity to interact with young people, listen to their stories and have an input towards their professional development through mentorships, career guidance and collaborations with other key stakeholders."

Winnie 2024
Entrepreneurship & Livelihoods Program Manager

Mukimba Winnie

Winnie started working at Give Us Wings Uganda in April 2018. She has a Bachelor Degree of Development Studies from Islamic University, and certificates in Financial Management and M & E from the Uganda Management Institute. She also has a post graduate diploma in Project Planning and Management.

"I find my job so fulfilling because of the small changes I have created in the lives of women. Every time I see a poor woman able to put money in her pocket I smile, because know when a woman gets money the whole family benefits, and therefore livelihoods for all are improved."

Anthony Munene 2024
Health Program Manager

Anthony Munene

Anthony started at Give Us Wings Uganda as a volunteer in 2012, and is now the Health Program Manager. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management from Islamic University in Uganda, and a Certificate in Project Planning and Management from the Uganda Management Institute.

"It's such an honor and privilege to be in a humbling position of service to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Lifting people out of poverty and all its forms is a dedication Give Us Wings Uganda has and I can't find a greater fulfillment other than this in my work."

Paul Odiit March 2024
Finance and Administration Manager

Paul Odiit

Paul joined Give Us Wings Uganda in January 2021 as an Accountant. He currently holds a Certified Public Accountant - Level II from the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), a Bachelor's Degree in Business, Information and Office Management from Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and several trainings in accounting like QuickBooks, Tally System, and Procurement Management with previous working experiences in Karamoja at Caritas Kotido, the Catholic Church's Charity Organization.

"What motivates me to work with Give Us Wings is the fact that we have shared principles of accountability, integrity and transparency with the available resources that have transformed the lives of so many Ugandans positively."

James March 2024
Clinical Officer, St. John's Kayoro Health Center II

Ijaa James

Ijaa James is qualified with a Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Community Health from Kampala School of Health Sciences.

“I feel Give Us Wings Uganda has offered me an opportunity to passionately carry out medical practice to save lives in this community and beyond."

Edinasi March 2024
Nursing Officer - Nursing, St. John's Kayoro Health Center II

Edinasi Tumusime

Esther Namobozo March 2024
Nursing Officer - Midwifery, St. John's Kayoro Health Center II

Esther Nambozo

Nambozo Esther works with Give Us Wings Uganda as a Nursing Officer - Midwifery.

“I am a hardworking and self-motivated person who is not afraid to face challenges and I am passionate about my work. I am an open and honest person who does not believe in misleading other people. I try to be fair and just in everything I do. I am motivated to work with Give Us Wings because the working place is a fast-paced environment; this has provided me with the opportunity to exploit all my professional skills."

Esther
Nursing Assistant, St. John's Kayoro Health Center II (SJKHCII)

Esther Akiror

Akiror Esther joined Give Us Wings Uganda as a Nursing Assistant in 2014.

“I am passionate about my career because I desire to save lives! I am proud to be a staff of GUWU because it doesn’t segregate.  I am a widow and because of GUWU my life has greatly changed. I have four children who I have been able to educate because of GUWU. Thank you GUWU."

Amos Lab asst March 2024
Laboratory Assistant, St. John's Kayoro Health Center II

Amos Odongtho

Okello Amos Odongtho, has been working with Give Us Wings Uganda as a Laboratory Assistant at St John’s Kayoro Health Centre II since 2014.

“I thank Give Us Wings for providing a Health Centre in a rural place where pregnant mothers get access to the Health Centre easily without having difficulty with transportation. Give Us Wings also gives salary in time, even in the Covid-19 pandemic they never stopped."

Fred March 2024
Maintenance Officer

Fred Ayet

Ayet Fred joined Give Us Wings Uganda in 2019.

“I am a professional who loves working with patients and colleagues about their health, both in patients and out patients. Working with Give Us Wings is highly motivating because the organization provides a working atmosphere that promotes inclusiveness and social equity for all its employees."

Everline March 2024
Administrative Officer - Give Us Wings Uganda office (Secretariat)

Everlyne Tibwaga

Eunice has been involved with GUWU for several years.

Salume March 2024
Administrative Assistant - St. John's Kayoro Health Center II

Salume Akello

Akello Salume holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and Management. She started working for Give Us Wings in June 2022 as the Administrative Assistant at St John’s Kayoro Health Centre II.

“I am so grateful for this position because I feel empowered to take charge of the welfare of the staff, community and clients at St Johns’ Kayoro Health Centre II and it is a great opportunity to learn more about the health program. All in all, I am happy to exercise my professional life."

Betty Akello - Staff Welfare SJKHCII
Staff Welfare Officer, John's Kayoro Health Center II (SJKHCII)

Betty Akello

Ruth March 2024
Staff Welfare Officer, Give Us Wings Uganda office (Secretariat)

Ruth Awor

Ferdinand March 2024
Driver

Ochulu Ferdinard

National Advisory Team

The National Advisory Team is a group of Ugandan community leaders who give of their time and expertise to advise Give Us Wings on matters related to Ugandan law, human resources, culture, fundraising and much more. They are dedicated to the mission of Give Us Wings and help us to make the most of resources in our partner communities.

  • Sr. Connie Bwire -   Asst District Health Office-Maternal/Child Health, Tororo District Health Office
  • Ecidu Joseph  -        Programmes Manager, WorldVision
  • Etiang Benjamin -  Inspector of Schools, retired
  • Isaraza Jimmy  -     Regional Marketing Manager, MTN
  • Namono Betty -     Principle Human Resource Officer, Manafwa District Government Office
  • Onawe Geoffrey  - Youth and People with Disabilities Representative, Tororo District Government Office

   Give Us Wings Volunteer Team

Give Us Wings volunteers play a very important and active role in the success of the organization! Members of the Volunteer Team:

  • Meet in person twice a year before our annual spring and fall events
  • Meet occasionally at other times as opportunities come up
  • Receive requests from the office for help with various projects as needed
  • Receive quarterly reports with results from events and updates on programs in Uganda.

We always welcome new Volunteer Team members. Please email director@giveuswings.org for more information!

  • Mary Klauda
  • Kim Kokett
  • Jill Krasuski
  • Megan Kyle
  • Rachelle Kyle
  • Barbara Mahr
  • Ruth Pallow
  • Char Pehoski
  • Merrily Pehoski