Winnie Barron – Founder and previous director of Makindu Children’s Centre (MCC). Winnie is a Physician’s Assistant and Paramedic, specializing in emergency medicine. She currently serves on the Executive Committee as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors. She has a special role as a consultant to MCC, providing guidance and technical assistance. Winnie conducts field evaluations and monitoring several times annually. She has played a central role since the inception of MCC in 1998, and helped to establish Makindu Children’s Program (MCP) as a 501(c)(3) in 2001.
Michael Farley – Michael is our current Committee Chair and is the Chief Executive Officer of a nonprofit advocating for mental and behavioral health for children and teens. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Makindu Kenya in the late 1970s, an experience that had a significant, positive impact on his life. He has served on the MCP Board since 2004 as is part of his on-going efforts to give back to that community.
Cheri Villa – Cheri is our Vice-Chair and currently has her own business as a Leadership and Life Coach with Pegasus Horse Wisdom Consulting. She is an avid child and animal rights activist and has spent over 20 years in mission-focused and human centered nonprofits serving in executive management positions. Before starting her own company, Cheri was the Chief Operating Officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Cheri has taught courses at the University level on Nonprofit Management and the Principles on Nonprofit Fundraising. She has 3 graduate degrees in Public Administration, Political Science and Nonprofit Management. Cheri has been on the Proper Safari in 2016 and 2017 and 2019. Her passion for being part of our board is to help Makindu Children’s Center thrive!
Steve Randolph – Joined the board in January of 2005. He currently serves on the Executive Committee as Treasurer. Steve has been on Proper Walks in ’04, ’06 and ’12. Educated at Oregon State University and Cornell, he recently retired from Oregon Food Bank after 28 years in the field. Steve also served in the Peace Corps in Kenya (’77-80) with Michael Farley.
Nancy Woolfson – Nancy has served as MCP Board member since 2011, and currently serves as Board Secretary. Nancy is a retired teacher with a PhD in Education, specializing in special education research. She has played a vital role in planning and organizing the MCP annual fundraiser and organizes smaller fundraising efforts throughout the year, by using her extraordinary cooking abilities to raise funds for MCP.
Lois Day – Rejoined the board in April 2016. Lois was an early volunteer in Makindu, spending three months there in 1999. After returning to life in the United States, Lois served on the board for a number of years, including serving one year as Chair of the Board. Lois retired in 2016 from a 27 year career in Child Welfare.
Dennis Wininger – Dennis joined the board in 2008 after participating in two Proper Walks (‘06 and ’08). He published a book, “Proper Walk- My Journey to Help the Children of Makindu,” which continues for raise funds for MCP. Dennis helped to develop the websites for MCP, MCC and the Proper Walk. He presents information about MCP to many service organizations and has organized additional fundraising events, including a domestic fundraiser called the “Golden Gate Bridge Proper Walk.”
Marcia Moore – Marcia is a long time supporter of MCP. As a retired Dental Hygienist she volunteers in Africa and Asia in the field of dental health. Marcia has been a Proper Walk participant and has served on the Board of Directors since 2014. She currently serves on the grant writing committee and promotes MCP by presenting information in many venues. Her vision is that all children deserve an opportunity for hope.
Joshua Dowell – Joshua joined the board in 2017. He currently works as a counselor at a private school in Goochland VA. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University and received a degree in Psychology. Joshua is also the frontman and band leader of the multi-award winning reggae band, Mighty Joshua & The Zion #5. He has helped raise funds for Makindu Children’s Program for many years and has been on Proper Walks 2010 and 2016.
John Morley – John joined the Board in November 2017. He is a retired business-person with a background in cooperative work structures. Initially trained as a behavioral economist, he ended up helping with his in-laws business and then was a stay-at-home dad to his three children. He participated in the 2017 Proper Safari.
Taylor Simmons – Taylor Simmons first experienced Makindu on Proper Safari 2016. She returned for Proper Safari 2018 and has been committed to the kids of Makindu ever since. Stateside, she is a Pilates Instructor, personal trainer and nutrition coach. Tay recently started her own business after working as a physical therapy assistant for 5 years and is enjoying every moment. Tay lives in Seattle with her two dogs and in her free time enjoys travel, cooking, reading, hiking and supporting the kids of Makindu.
Kristina Grabbe – Kristina Grabbe was a volunteer at the Makindu Children’s Center for 6 months in 1999, and returned to Makindu in 2003 to start MCC’s HIV testing and youth program. Her time in Makindu shaped her public health career, leading her to pursue her Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Emory University(2007). Ms. Grabbe is currently an epidemiologist and Senior Technical Advisor for HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment with Jhpiego, an affiliate of JohnsHopkins University, supporting their global programs for HIV testing services(HTS) and linkage to antiretroviral treatment (ART). She has worked on HTS and linkage both globally and in the U.S. for more than 20 years, formerly with theU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis from 2007-2012, and then with CDC’s Division of (U.S.)HIV/AIDS Prevention from 2012-2016, She served as a Senior Technical Advisor for Program Quality in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the U.S. GlobalAIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy in 2016 before joining Jhpiego. Kristina last returned to Makindu in 2019 to visit friends, former colleagues, and children, and was impressed with the growth of Makindu, including MCC.