Who We Are

Africa Exchange Project is 100% volunteer organization. This mean your donations make a huge impact for the people we help!

Meet our Board of Directors

Rob Schadt

Chairperson

Rob is retired from a 40 year career in higher education. He received his Ed.D. from Boston University and M.A. in Sociology and M.Ed in Instructional Media from Boston College. He has worked as an educational consultant internationally helping establish public health training programs in India and Tanzania. He joined the AEP after his first trip to Tanzania with his son in 2007. Since then he has returned more than 20 times. Rob is also a member of the Development & Finance Teams.

Todd Witherow

Vice Chairperson

Todd has spent last 20 years teaching high school physics. Earned BS in Aerospace Eng from Boston University and MEd from Boston College. In business for 10 years prior to teaching, during this time, he managed a wind tunnel, installed and developed noise monitoring systems for airports, and provided account management for companies in the wireless phone industry. Actively involved in AEP since 2008. Todd is also a member of the Communications Team.

Jim Ahern

Treasury

Jim is the Principal of Ahern Financial Management, a firm focused on providing financial support to entrepreneurial companies.  Early in his career, he served as CFO for an adventure travel company where he had an opportunity to travel to and work with people from developing countries and gained an appreciation for other cultures and an awareness of the needs of communities in less developed areas.  He is a CPA and has earned graduate degrees from Bentley College and CAL Berkeley.  Jim has been involved in AEP since 2018 and serves as its Treasurer.

Dorothy Russo

Secretary

Dorothy is COO and Vice President at Custom Learning Designs in Belmont, MA. Ms. Russo has a B.S. from Boston University (Biomedical Engineering) and M.S., Lesley University (Training and Development). Ms. Russo has been involved in the Africa Exchange Project since 2007. She has traveled to Tanzania with her family and hosted members from Pomerini several times at her home. She is moved to serve by the significant impact that AEP can make in the lives of her friends in Tanzania. Ms. Russo is the Secretary for the Board of Directors and also serves on the Communication Team.

Gregory Morisse

The Reverend Gregory Morisse currently serves as the Senior Pastor of The Plymouth Church in Framingham. Greg attended Vassar College and Harvard Divinity School. Greg joined the Africa Exchange Project in 2004 first as the Associate Minister. He visited Tanzania in 2015 and 2018. Greg is on the Communications Team.

Martin Jones

Martin is the co-founder and CEO of March Communications, a Boston-based public relations agency focused on innovation in the technology sector. Originally from the UK, Martin earned a BA in Geography from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, which included studying Development at London’s SOAS. Martin has a passion for travel and cultural diversity, and a concern about global poverty, social justice and the environment. Having grown up in South Africa and visited Tanzania in 2016, the Africa Exchange Project provides a unique opportunity to indulge his areas of interest and concern, while helping to change people’s lives for the better.

Michael Lancaster

Michael is a First Vice President with Merrill Lynch in the Westborough MA office. He has been in the Financial Services industry for 23 years. Prior to his career as a Financial Advisor, Michael was a Chief Financial Officer in the nonprofit industry for 10 years. In addition, he has served on several nonprofit Board of Trustees in various roles. Michael joined the Africa Exchange Project in 2018 and serves on the Finance Committee. He holds a BBA from the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University in Baltimore MD.

Sydney Turner

Sydney has been an independent marketing professional for 19 years, focusing on the non-profit sector.  Previously, she spent 16 years as a marketing professional at Lotus Development.  She holds an MBA from Boston College and a BA in English from the College of Wooster.  Sydney has been involved in the Africa Exchange Project since 2008 and is on the Communications Team.

Timothy Allen

Timothy is a retired International Development Advisor. Tim brings 35 years of leadership in international development, strategic and operational planning, and donor relations. He founded an indigenous non-profit health organization in Peru and sits on the board of Medical Care Development International. While at Management Sciences for Health, Tim directed the strategic drive toward greater country ownership, and developed and managed two multi-million-dollar USAID agreements on leadership in health. At Harvard University, he established programs for emerging women leaders and cultivated new donor relations. Across a twenty-year career Plan International, Tim served in the field and at the headquarters culminating as the VP of donor relations. He holds a Masters of International Administration and a BS in International Affairs.

Meet Our Local Partners

When you are more than 2,000 mile away, it takes local leaders that you can trust to make our shared vision into a reality.  We have recently established an advisory board comprised of local leaders and local subject matter experts to help provide us guidance and to ensure that your donation are being used in the most effective, efficient way.  Below are some of people that help these dreams come true.

Shadrack Nyaulingo

Shadrack is the headmaster at the Pomerini Secondary School.  He oversees most of the project planning and implementation. Shadrack has a knack for getting boots on the ground and beginning work within a day of receiving funds.  Shadrack visited the US in 2017. Shadrack is also a member of advisory board.

Haran Ndege

Haran is our community liaison. In addition to serving as the assistant headmaster at the Pomerini Secondary School until he retired, Haran is an important member of village who ensures our projects are chosen wisely to maximize their positive impact on the community.

Maria Mgova

Maria runs Upendo Mmoja which is a residential school for orphaned children.  Although Upendo is sponsored by a different non-profit, Maria is also on our local advisory board and provides us with valuable insight into the needs of the community.

Dr. Atu Sanga

Dr. Atu Sanga has been recently appointed as chief doctor at the healthcare clinic in Pomerini.

Barnabas Chavala

We celebrate the life of our friend and colleague, Barnabas Chavala who left us much too soon in December 2019.  For more than 20 years Barnabas helped guide the work of the Africa Exchange Project. If one person could epitomize the Africa Exchange Project, it would be Barnabas. He was a gifted educator and beloved community leader. His energy, enthusiasm, and deep love for people, especially children, was infectious. There was not one thing we did, one tangible impact that we made, that did not benefit from his input, wise counsel and his commitment. He literally connected our MetroWest community to his community of Pomerini.

Barnabas – Your stay with us, though too short, was truly a very blessed one. You have left your footprints which remain a legacy to us all. Rest in peace, friend… you have served us well.

The Barnabas Chavala Girls Scholarship fund is named in honor of our esteemed friends and colleague.