Our Team: Board and Advisors

VillageReach employs staff with diverse professional backgrounds, covering public health, law, business development/marketing, finance, and software development. The majority of our team is located in the communities we serve.

Board of Directors

Margaret Griffiths - VillageReach Board Chair

Margaret Griffiths has over 30 years of experience in the field of financial management and previously served for twelve years as Chief Financial Officer for PhenoPath Laboratories, a national medical diagnostic laboratory and contract research firm specializing in cancer diagnostics.  Margaret also operated her own accounting consultancy, providing financial management services to start-ups and publicly listed companies across the Puget Sound region.

Margaret previously held positions with Great Northern Annuity Corporation and PriceWaterhouse Coopers, and is a past lecturer in Accounting and Finance at the University of Washington Extension College, Pacific Lutheran University and Seattle University.

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Mari Anderson - Chief Operating Officer, Seattle Academy

Mari has significant business, operational and community experience through her current role as Chief Operating Officer at Seattle Academy as well as her time as Vice President of People, Customer & Facility Services at PEMCO Insurance and serving 19 years at McKinstry Co. as their VP of Corporate Development.   In 2012, Mari spent two+ years in rural Kenya as the Country Director for Med25 International in their “One Community at a Time” project.  She worked in partnership with the MoH, community leaders and local stakeholders to identify and implement sustainable social enterprises to provide locally-funded, quality, affordable health care.  She served as Board Chair on the Med25 Board of Directors from 2009 until Med25 joined VillageReach in 2017.

She has served on a variety of boards and advisory committees including WGHA Pioneering Women of Global Health, Country Doctor Community Health Centers, Seattle Community College Foundation Board, Facing the Future, WSU Architectural and Engineering Leadership Board and worked as Deputy to the CEO on the WA CEO Roundtable and WA STEM Boards. Mari is a 2010 honors graduate of the Leadership Executive MBA program at Seattle University.

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Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, M.D., MPH - Deputy Director, Emergency Response, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Nkamgang Bemo has been an integral member within the Global Development division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the past 10 years. Within the BMGF, Dr. Nkamgang Bemo pioneered and executed the Emergency Strategy to respond to all major world disasters, including the Haiti Earthquake in 2010, the Ebola Breakout in 2014, and the Nepal Earthquake in 2015. Additionally, Dr. Nkamgang Bemo designed and implemented a critical strategy for Agriculture Development in West Africa, with a focus on Nigeria. She holds over 20 years of direct experience in the field worldwide and is passionate about building local capacity within communities and national institutions, fostering innovative solutions and sustainable growth that results in lasting change.

Before joining the BMGF, Dr. Nkamgang-Bemo held various roles at the International Rescue Committee, most recently serving as Senior Technical Advisor for health in the Democratic Republic of Congo and West Africa. She has experience with a wide variety of NGOs internationally with extensive experience in Emergency Relief, as well as Clinical and Public health. Regarding education, Dr. Nkamgang Bemo received her MD from the University of Cote d’Ivoire, an Epidemiology Diploma at the University of Paris, and her MPH from Madrid Autonoma University.

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John Dew - Director of Global Ocean Service Provider Management, Expeditors International

John Dew has over 30 years in international transportation and logistics business.  He has a diverse working career with ocean carriers, technology/ consulting and NVOCC/ forwarding companies.   He has held positions at American President Lines, Sea-Land, Log-Net and is currently with Expeditors International.   John has been admitted to practice before the Federal Maritime Commission, is an affiliate instructor & advisory board member of the University of Washington Master of Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Program and is Certified in Transportation & Logistics (CTL) by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL).

Richard (Rick) Fant - Vice President, Nexco, Inc.

Richard (Rick) Fant is an accomplished product development executive with a background in software engineering, product management, and international deployment. He currently works at Nexco, Inc as Vice President of Product Management. Rick was formerly a Vice-President at AVG Technologies leading a cross-functional team building next generation smartphone protection and management products entering growth markets. Over his career he has driven successful product development at Microsoft, Vodafone and Mozilla; launching MSN Mobile, Vodafone 360 and Firefox OS into international markets. In addition to VillageReach, Richard also sits on the Board of Directors for Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) – an industry association focused on expanding the overall mobile ecosystem.

Michael J. Free, OBE, PhD - Consultant, Global Health Technologies

Michael Free, a citizen of Great Britain, has spent the past four decades in the service of creating and introducing appropriate and affordable technologies that address the health care needs of resource-poor populations in developing countries. Starting in 1977, Dr. Free helped to build a new nonprofit organization, now known as PATH, committed to building partnerships with the private for-profit sector to solve special health care needs in the developing world. Through that unique organization, he has overseen the development of specialized engineering and biotechnology facilities, human resources networks and strategies that have led to the advancement and wide-scale use of more than 30 technologies, and the generation of a current product development portfolio involving more than 40 additional products that address problems of health care in low-infrastructure and underserved communities around the world. Until January 1, 2013 he held the position of vice president and senior advisor for technologies at PATH. He was the global program leader for Technology Solutions, the leadership role in PATH health technology programs.

Also, for 26 years’ Dr. Free was the leader of the Technologies for Health (HealthTech) project, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded, multi-million dollar program to develop appropriate health technologies to improve maternal and child health. He currently hold the postiion of Senior Advisor Emeritus. Currently, Dr Free is an independent advisor and consultant. Since 2013 he has acted a s technical expert and advisor to VentureWell, coaching and mentoring Grand Challenge awardees. He serves as Senior Advisor for Health to the CAPRIA/UNITUS Seed Fund (India), and advisor to several other non-profit organizations. Dr, Free currently serves on WHO’s Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (IPAC) and on the steering committee for the GAVI Vaccine Innovation Prioritization Strategy (VIPS)

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Karen E. Glover (Kari) practiced law for over 30 years as a corporate and health care regulatory lawyer, and was Firm Managing Partner of Preston Gates & Ellis LLP, a Seattle-based firm of 430 lawyers with eleven offices in Washington, D.C., the West Coast and Greater China. As such, she presided over its merger to form K&L Gates, an international law firm comprising about 1,700 lawyers on three continents, including Europe and the United Kingdom. Ms. Glover served as Global Integration Partner of K&L Gates, traveling constantly until she withdrew from the partnership and the active practice of law in 2008.

Ms. Glover has long experience in civic leadership, including as Chair of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Chair of United Way of King County; President of the King County Library System; and Chair of the Board of Whitman College. Ms. Glover holds degrees with honors from Whitman College (A.B., Philosophy, 1972) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1975). She is married and has two daughters.

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Laura Herman - Essilor, VP of Strategy, Advocacy and Innovation

Laura recently joined Essilor’s Mission team in Singapore as the VP of Strategy, Advocacy and Innovation to help drive the company’s goal of serving the 2.5 billion people who don’t have access to eye glasses. Laura’s team engages in long term partnerships that are critical to achieving the Essilor Group’s mission. Prior to joining Essilor, Laura was a Managing Director at FSG, a boutique social sector consulting firm. Her clients included leading non-profit organizations, private foundations, and corporations focused on strategy, evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and collective impact. Her work included in-country research in dozens of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

She is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an advisor to AshokaU and is an expert reviewer for global health innovators at the CAMTech Innovation Platform at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Global Health. Laura also sits on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Operations Committee for US Pharmacopaeia.

Laura started her career at Deloitte Consulting, focused on large scale organizational change initiatives. She holds an MBA with a certificate in Public Management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. She also holds a MA in International Policy from Stanford University and a BBA in International Business from the University of Michigan.

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Sena Kwawu - Managing Director, Thamesford Associates, LLC

Sena is an experienced strategic and operationally executive of publicly-traded Fortune 200 consumer products and financial services companies, including Starbucks, State Street and GE. He has 25+ years of experience in results driven finance and operational roles, most recently serving as svp, Finance & Shared Services and svp, Global Supply Chain Finance at Starbucks Coffee. In June 2019, Sena formed Thamesford Associates, LLC to coach, mentor and advise organizations deliver against their strategic priorities by better extracting productivity from their business operations. He is also focused on helping organizations better leverage the diversity of their human capital for high performance and success Sena serves on the board of the Executive Leadership Council, in addition to serving on the VillageReach Board. He is was born in Ghana and spent his formative years in Kenya.

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Will Poole - Social Technologist

Will Poole is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor. He is co-founder and managing partner of Capria Ventures, a global financial services firm that partners with and invests in impact fund managers in developing markets of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Will also co-founded Unitus Ventures, India’s leading impact fund that invests in early-stage businesses innovating for the masses, specializing in the areas of ed-tech, health-tech, and financial inclusion. Focused on local innovation as well, Will is a managing director of W Fund, a Seattle-based tech and life-sciences investor affiliated with the University of Washington. Will serves on boards of Village Reach, Global Washington and blended-finance pioneer Convergence Blended Finance.

Paul Suzman - Founder and President, OfficeLease, USA

Paul Suzman is the founder of OfficeLease, a five-person real estate firm founded in 1981 that specializes in commercial building tenant and buyer representation. He advises and represents numerous Seattle area companies in their strategic real estate planning, alternative facility evaluations, lease vs. purchase decisions and transaction negotiations.

Mr. Suzman attended Hilton College and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and immigrated to Seattle in 1979. He has served on the boards of several local companies such as The Learning Garden (now Bright Horizons) and Torrefazione Italia Coffee acquired by Starbucks, and has served as trustee of non-profit organizations including, Pacific Science Center, University of Washington Presidents Club, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Henry Art Gallery. He was a founding board member of the Washington Technology Industry Alliance, served as chair of Seattle’s Community Development Roundtable and is active in Seattle Rotary Club. Mr. Suzman is also on the advisory board of University of Washington’s Autism Center, is a member of the Seattle Tennis Club, is an avid cyclist and has served as faculty for numerous real estate seminars and has also authored numerous papers and articles on the subject of real estate negotiations.

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Allen Wilcox

Allen Wilcox - Board Member, VillageReach

Allen is an experienced leader of positive change within complex systems across all three sectors – private, public, and social. He has had a long association with VillageReach, first as a part-time volunteer and then as president, a position in which he served as a full-time volunteer from May 2008 until July 2016. At VillageReach, he created a new strategic model for scaling and sustaining proven system solutions through large public and private sector institutions. During Allen’s eight-year tenure as president, he sourced and managed 50% year-over-year average revenue growth transforming VillageReach from a six-employee, one country operation into a 120+ employee organization operating across sub-Saharan Africa and Pakistan.

He also serves on the board of directors of Amplio, a nonprofit organization committed to sharing knowledge with the world’s hardest-to-reach communities, so that people in low-income countries have the power to transform their lives. Allen served as an Associate General Counsel for Microsoft Corporation, where he supported the company’s international commercial activities and numerous product development groups from 1991-2002

Allen earned an LL.M. in international business legal studies from University of Exeter (England), a J.D. from Southern Methodist University and a B.A. from the University of Texas. He has received recognition as a Rotary Foundation Scholar, Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and Microsoft Alumni Integral Fellow.

Allen is a Schwab Foundation Entrepreneur of the Year

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Iyabo Tinubu-Karch, MD

Iyabo Tinubu-Karch, MD - Post Acute Medical Provider, Swedish Medical Center

Iyabo was raised in Lagos, Nigeria and London, England, and has lived in Seattle with her family for more than 15 years. She has more than two decades as a hospitalist and has special interest in post-acute and long term care, minority geriatric populations, complex care management and innovative solutions in transitions of care.  Along with her current role as a Post Acute Medical Provider at Swedish, Iyabo also has started a company – Zabico Global – to meet the comprehensive needs of home-bound patients.


Iyabo received her undergraduate degree from Warnborough College, Oxford, and did her medical school at St. Georges University School of Medicine in Grenada. She completed her residency at Lenox Hill hospital in NYC. Along with this Iyabo received her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of Washington. She has been a staff member at Swedish Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and Auburn Regional Medical Center.

Iyabo has been a member of the Boards of the Washington Women’s Foundation and Childhaven. Iyabo’s and her husband, Brynn Karch (Chief Medical Officer for Remote Medical International), have two daughters.

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Honorary Board Chair

Graça Machel - Honorary Board Chair - Founder and President of the Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique

Graça Machel is internationally recognized for her achievements as a global advocate for women’s and children’s rights.  Graca is the former first lady and first Education Minister of Mozambique and is current President of the Foundation for Community Development and Chairperson for the National Organization of Children of Mozambique.  Learn more about Graça Machel’s connection to VillageReach here.


Alexandra Brookshire, Esq. - Retired Partner, Perkins Coie, USA

Alexandra Brookshire, Esq is a Director Emeritus at VillageReach, having served on the Board of Advisors and Board of Directors since VillageReach’s inception.  She attended the University of Texas and Stanford University’s law schools, graduating with honors from the University of Texas in 1981. She began her professional career in New York City at the firm of Dewey Ballentine. After New York, she moved to Seattle and was a partner at Seattle’s largest corporate and securities law firm, Perkins Coie. There, she specialized for 10 years in corporate finance, mergers and acquisition, and intellectual property for technology companies.

In 1995, she became Vice President and General Counsel for Wall Data Incorporated, a public company specializing in enterprise network connectivity software. She is now serving on various for-profit and not-for profit boards and is a consultant to several medical device and technology companies.

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Seth Berkley, M.D. - CEO, GAVI Alliance

Seth Berkley, MD has served as CEO of the GAVI Alliance since 2011. Before joining GAVI, he founded and was president and chief executive officer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). Dr. Berkley is a medical doctor specializing in infectious disease epidemiology and international health. A member of several
international steering committees and boards, Dr. Berkley has consulted or worked in over 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He is the author of 85 publications and has written
extensively on infectious diseases, participating as a core team member in writing the World Bank’s 1993 World Development Report on Health.

Prior to IAVI, Dr. Berkley was Associate Director of the Health Sciences Division at the Rockefeller Foundation. He has also worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Carter Center.  Dr. Berkley served on the VillageReach board from 2003 to 2010.

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Alan Van Boven - Principal for Supply Chain Visions

Alan Van Boven is an innovator in conceptual architecture and design of technology solutions for freight transport. He coaches enterprises in strategy creation and execution for the Supply Chain Management marketplace. He is an experienced executive in business and product strategy, business development, technology innovation, organization development and mergers and aquisitions.

Vishal Balchandani - Sr. Product Manager, Amazon

Vishal is relentlessly passionate about conceptualizing and delivering solutions that drive efficiency and effectiveness in fortune 500 companies. He is currently a Product Manager at a start-up team within Amazon that is rethinking the way deliveries are done. As a Product Manager,  Vishal is responsible for innovating and executing ideas that assist the delivery operations team improve delivery experience for customers.

In the past, Vishal has worked at Dell as a project manager and has been instrumental in delivering savings of over 5 million dollars. He has also led projects to improve effectiveness of the supply chain organization by implementing an end to end supply chain forecasting and planning solution. Along with that, Vishal has been a key member of a team to develop the Reverse Logistics strategy for Dell.

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Mark Kane - Immunization Policy Consultant

Mark Kane, M.D. is currently retired and acts as a consultant on Immunization Policy. He is the former Director of the Children’s Vaccine Program at PATH. Previous to his experience at PATH, Dr. Kane had a 20 year career with the US Centers for Disease Control. For the last 10 years of this career he was assigned to the Expanded Programme on Immunization at The World Health Organization in Geneva, where he was responsible for the introduction of Hepatitis B and other new vaccines.

Dr. Kane was on the founding Board of GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), and was the founding President of the Global Fund for Children’s Vaccines (now called the GAVI Fund). Dr. Kane completed VillageReach’s recent program evaluation by conducting an independent review of survey data and a five-year project report.

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John Lloyd - Deputy Director, PATH Children's Vaccine Program (PATH/CVP), France

John Lloyd is the Technical Adviser of Immunization Solutions at PATH Children’s Vaccine Program (PATH/CVP) in France. He is responsible for having initiated the ‘Share’ reward system for Immunization Services, the ‘Data Quality Audit’ for verification of reported immunizations, and the ‘Access’ approach to raise immunization coverage. Mr. Lloyd has over 30 years of experience designing and evaluating appropriate health technology, primarily in the developing world.

Prior to working at PATH/CVP, he served over 20 years as a technical officer for the Expanded Program for Immunizations at the World Health Organization (WHO/EPI) where he was responsible for Cold Chain and Logistic support. He received diplomas in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Architectural Association, London in 1970, and in 1976 completed a fellowship at the Center for Environmental Studies, London. Mr. Lloyd is the author of over 13 publications on immunizations and injection safety in developing nations.

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Dave Richards - Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Unitus Seed Fund

Dave Richards is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Unitus Seed Fund – a seed-stage venture fund investing in India, and is a partner with Social Venture Partners. Dave has a passion for discovering scalable and sustainable approaches to breaking the scourge of extreme poverty which he writes about on his blog, DefeatPoverty.com. Dave is an experienced entrepreneur and executive in high-growth software, digital media and Internet services sectors. He has led businesses at RealNetworks, Sybase and Symantec from start-up to multiple hundred million dollar global enterprises.

He co-founded Bodega Ventures, an Internet technology business incubator and co-founded Busy Investor, a social business which matches investors with credit-challenged home buyers to provide bridge financing for home ownership. Dave has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia with a major in finance and minor in computer science. Dave and his wife Sharon are the proud parents of three children and reside in Seattle.

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