Give Us Wings International 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 provides direct oversight and direction to the Executive Director and to the organization. It also oversees and collaborates with the Board of Directors of Give Us Wings Uganda which manages our programs in Uganda.
Jeremy graduated from the University of Minnesota with a MPH in Epidemiology. He is a healthcare professional who has worked in the fields of clinical quality measures and risk adjustment of healthcare metrics for the MN Community measurement. He is now completing a fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center.
A native of the small African country of Gabon, Jeremy firmly believes that no population can prosper without good health and education. GUW’s focus on these two key areas is what brought him to this organization. He hopes to contribute his analytic skills and cultural background to GUW’s effort of improving health and education in the communities GUW serves in Kenya and Uganda.
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.
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.
I am a long-term Finance Executive. I have worked in the corporate world for several years in various capacities. I hold a professional designation in accounting (CPA, CGA – Ontario, Canada) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA – Wilfred Laurier University, Canada). I am also a Certified Network Administrator. I have worked in North America (Toronto, Canada and Minnesota, USA) for more than 25 years.
I am planning to spend a good portion of my time giving back to the community, utilizing my experience and skill sets. I was fascinated to learn about Give Us Wings and the tangible improvements that this organization is making on people’s lives. I am particularly attracted to this organization because of my affinity towards East Africa, since I lived and worked in Tanzania for some time. Having lived in 4 different countries and 3 different continents, I have come to appreciate humanity and admire its values. I am honored to serve on the Board of Give Us Wings and I look forward to contributing for its growth.
I started working at General Mills in 2008 and am currently involved in designing technical training programs. I first traveled to Uganda and Kenya as a Give Us Wings volunteer in 2008. That trip opened my eyes to the hardships and triumphs of those living in the communities served by Give Us Wings and I have been an advocate for their model of deep listening and community empowerment ever since. For the past 6 years, I helped plan events like the Silent Auction and other fundraisers as a member of the Steering Committee. It is an honor to now serve on the Give Us Wings Board. I am passionate about working to equalize opportunity differences around the world, and look forward to supporting the continued expansion of Give Us Wings’ work in the years to come.
Anita Namanya works for the Boston Consulting Group on their Regional Diversity and Inclusion team. She joined BCG as a Consultant in the Minneapolis office and then transitioned into her regional role. Prior to joining the firm, 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 Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering before working as a Customer Solutions Manager for Ericsson International.
Anita spent the Summer between business school and BCG working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) traveling across rural Ugandan villages to determine the correlation between HIV care, initiation to Anti Retro Viral Therapy (ART) and patient drop off from care. It is this experience that opened her eyes to the disparities across all sectors for people in rural areas.
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 Give Us Wings’ Family to Family program as a viable vehicle for this transformation.
I am retired from working many years as the accountant for the Biostatistics Department at the University of Minnesota. I currently volunteer three mornings a week as a tutor for 4th grade students that need help with math and English. My first experience with Give Us Wings was in 2016, when my wife Emilie and I, along with our adult children traveled to Uganda to see firsthand what Give Us Wings is accomplishing and to offer our help and support. We were all impressed with the myriad of successful programs and the philosophy of self-sufficiency felt empowering to us all. I was asked to join the Board that fall and have enjoyed being a part of this program to help the people of Uganda lift themselves up to live more comfortable and fulfilling lives.
During his career as a child welfare professional, David Thompson worked in Minnesota county and state government and as an educator and consultant. He lead efforts to move child welfare practice toward the respectful engagement of families in strength-based and safety-focused partnerships. He has worked as a child protection worker, supervisor and manager at the county level and as a child protection manager at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. David taught social work practice at the College of St Catherine’s and consulted with other states on the development of differential responses in child protection. He retired from state service in 2014. David has been on the Board of Give Us Wings for the past seven years and Board Chair for the past four years.
I have more than 15 years of experience in the fields of Data Management, Analytics, and Data Warehousing. I work with enterprise systems in Student, Human Resources, Finance, and Research areas to provide data and information to decision makers across the University. I first traveled to Kenya and Uganda with Give Us Wings in 2006. My experience prompted me to return in 2008 and 2011. Each trip provided a deeper level of experience with the wonderful communities we partner with in Kenya and Uganda and the devastating impacts of poverty on women and children. Traveling has led me to sponsoring 2 young girls in their educational pursuits. I’ve been involved with grant writing for the organization, with focus on water distribution and in 2011 started a pilot project bringing 2 grain grinders to women’s groups in both Uganda and Kenya. My experience with Give Us Wings is life changing, and since that time I have been involved with Give Us Wings through volunteer activities, Steering Committee (2006 – 2011) and Executive Board (2012 – present) I served as board secretary in 2012 and co-chair in 2013, and am currently an active member of the board.
I began my life career as an elementary, preschool and parent educator in inner cities and rural areas. I established two child care centers. I was an administrator in school-age child care program. I started and still operate my own business, a-ha Communications, through which I do public speaking, training, seminars, writing nationally and internationally on issues of international development, child development, climate change, education, women and justice. I was acquisitions and managing editor for an educational publishing company. I published two books for educators and one of women’s stories. In 1999, I co-founded Give Us Wings and served as USA and African director from 1999 – 2012 and later as a consultant. I have been fortunate enough to study, research and live with many teachers who taught me the importance of inclusiveness, justice, and of being other centered. I have received national and state awards which I believe belong to those teachers. I have been and am an advocate and activist for peace and justice issues.
Moses has a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture plus a number of post graduate qualifications in Local Economic Development, Project Planning and Management, and Communication. He has 11 years of working experience. He has work with a number of international organizations including Mercy Corps. He is self-driven with a strong desire to make a difference.
Winne has a degree in Development Studies. She has has other qualifications in Local Economic Development, Agribusiness Development, Project Planning and Management. She has a rich experience working with community groups. She is a team player and an organized person.
Eunice has been involved with GUWU for several years. She splits her time between the GUWU office and SJKHCII.
Beatrice has a diploma in Secretarial Studies and has five years of working experience. She splits her time between the GUWU office and SJKHCII. She is a very welcoming person and enjoys learning new things.
Olive holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a Diploma in Business Studies. She has one year of working experience and is rich in knowledge of business development. She is a very energetic and ambitious person. She will be instrumental in the development of the business arm of GUWU.
View interviews with some of the Ugandan staff.
Give Us Wings Steering Committee members play a very important and active role in the success of the organization. They help to generate creative ideas and plan, and often participate in, fundraising events. They also help with community outreach and help to promote of the organization. Members of the Steering Committee are creative, active, committed volunteers who meet monthly (1st Thursday of every month from 6-8pm at the Give Us Wings office in Saint Paul). Each meeting starts with detailed updates from Give Us Wings Uganda.
We always welcome new Steering Committee members. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!