Our leadership Team

Our Founder, Lamech Mbise

Lamech is the President of Funzeleo, Inc. He has over twenty years in education and nonprofit management. He served fifteen years at Junior Achievement (JA) where he led fundraising initiatives, leadership-development and JA expansion in Africa. 

Born and raised in Tanzania, Lamech has an acute knowledge of education programs at college and pre-college levels. He has a keen interest in higher education, K-12 schooling, and strategies for strengthening the capacity of the nonprofits working in education and development. After graduating from high school in Tanzania, Lamech came to the U.S. to attend college.

He holds a master’s degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and baccalaureate degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Also, he completed coursework toward a doctorate at the University of Denver where he also worked as director of development for IAALS. 

Scot Anderson

Scot is a partner at Hogan Lovells, a 2,500-lawyer global legal practice with offices in 45 countries. His areas of practice cover a wide range of issues in the mining, environmental, and energy industries.

Erin Bieker

Erin is a Community Outreach representative at Halliburton Energy Services, based in Denver, CO. At Halliburton, Erin is responsible for local government affairs, strategic community outreach and employee advocacy.

Catherine “Cassie” J. Boggs

Catherine is Vice President and General Counsel of Resource Capital Funds (RCF), a private equity group based in Denver that invests only in the mining sector.

Jennifer L. Hellier

Jennifer is an assistant professor in the departments of Family Medicine and Cell & Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Dave Luke

Dave serves as Merrick’s Chief Operations Officer and is on their Board of Directors. He’s a licensed Professional Engineer in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi and a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction.

Charles Musiba

Charles is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado, where he pairs anthropology students with their counterparts in Tanzania to conduct research on the origins of mankind.

Dr. Von Samedi

Dr. Samedi is Associate Professor in the department of Pathology at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus. He is the medical director of the Head and Neck pathology service and the director of the Pathology Residency Training program.  

Catherine Skokan

Catherine is an associate and research professor of engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. She is a curriculum-development expert around science, engineering, and technology applications, and a leader in humanitarian engineering – an application of earth science and engineering skills to help underserved populations.

Jill Tietjen

Jill is President/CEO of Technically Speaking, Inc. An electrical engineer, Jill has spent 40 years in the electric utility industry providing consulting services to electric utilities and organizations serving the utility industry. 

Nora Odwesso

Nora is the Senior Director, Social Impact for The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, GA. In this role, she leads the Company’s global women’s economic empowerment initiatives around the world. Over the last 20 years, Norah has led Corporate Strategy, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability roles in blue-chip multinationals, with strong presence in Africa. 

Cindy Patman

Cindy is Orica USA’s Vice President of Human Resources based in Denver, Colorado, where she is responsible for the strategic direction of the Human Resources function which includes, payroll, training, diversity & inclusion and communications. 

Bobby Schnabel

Bobby is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, external chair of computer science, College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty director for entrepreneurship, and campus thought-leader on computing. 

Brett Wilhelm

Brett is an experienced executive, entrepreneur, and start-up mentor. His most recent company, Renaissance Broadband, LLC, sold its assets for a return of fifty times the original investment.

Join our mission

We welcome partners like you for your financial support and time commitment to invest in Africa’s present and future as a mentor and benefactor.