Charlotte’s in-depth understanding of the environmental, economic, health, and social values that underlie human use of land fuels her passion for environmental protection in international development. She has over 20 years of experience managing environmental and public health programs and projects, including many years at Industrial Economics, Incorporated. Currently, Charlotte serves as Executive Director of BasicNeeds US, a nonprofit organization focused on global mental health and development, of which she is also the Co-founder.
Extra credit: Inspired by the beauty, mystery and power of natural landscape, Charlotte is learning to paint.
Stephen Richards, Vice Chair
Steve serves on our board because he believes that our solution is a “win-win-win on multiple levels.” Having worked in the nonprofit field for over 40 years, including senior leadership positions at the American Red Cross, International Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Road Scholars, Maine Planned Giving Council, YMCA Alliance of Maine, the Mount Desert Nursing Association, Steve has seen the positive benefits that NGOs can have in developing countries. Currently, Steve serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Mount Desert Island YMCA and as Trustee of the United Church of Christ of Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor. Steve enjoys hiking, kayaking, and canoeing in Acadia National Park and spending time with his grandchildren.
Extra credit: In 1990, Steve flew to Baghdad with 20 large turkeys to provide Thanksgiving dinners for the 131 US hostages who were captured when Iraq invaded Kuwait.
Gyan Kanal, Treasurer
Gyan began working with us as a volunteer member of the finance committee, supporting the mission through his professional skills and background. Gyan has over 15 years of professional experience in accounting, finance, and business management. A resident of Bethesda, MD, Gyan is a Senior Accountant at L.S. Caldwell & Associates, Inc. in Washington, DC. His interests include economic and social justice, environmental protection and restoration, organization administration and management, as well as urban organic gardening, music, and the outdoors. An avid reader of history, politics, and current events, he loves to travel.
Extra credit: As a young student, Gyan was active in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa.
Lisa Forbush-Umholtz, Secretary
Lisa first learned about us while volunteering on a trip to Belize. The mission strongly resonated with her and she believes that “being on the board feels like the best possible way to help fulfill the mission.” Lisa has twelve years of experience working on various boards and committees for the River Valley Charter School, a public Montessori school. Residents of West Newbury, MA, Lisa and her family enjoy hiking and kayaking. Lisa has a deep appreciation of the natural world and enjoys exposing her children to its wonders.
Extra credit: Lisa used to be a cowgirl (wrangler) in Wyoming.
Callie Curtis, Member
Our novel approach to sustainability, dedicated and innovative staff, and the desire to help our organization grow and flourish are what drew Callie to serve on the board. Callie served in the Peace Corps in Swaziland in the 1970s, worked with USAID-funded programs in public health, and as Executive Director of a small family foundation. She enjoys traveling, working in and studying international development, reading, and summering in Maine.
Extra credit: Thanks to her Peace Corps service, Callie speaks siSwati.
Jamie Dickinson, Member
Jamie came to serve on the board via the Peace Corps Panama connection—while Florence Reed (our Founder and President) was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the late 1990s, Jamie was the Assistant Program Director. With him, Jamie brings ten years of experience in international development in hillside agriculture and agroforestry, and fourteen years of fundraising experience with the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. Jamie enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, yoga, meditation, gardening, and writing.
Extra credit: Jamie is a certified family and community herbalist.
Ivor Freeman, Member
Ivor has been involved in charitable matters since the age of 11 and is not hesitant to encourage others to give as generously as he does. Having traveled the world extensively, he is keenly aware of the importance of environmental conservation. A Chartered Accountant, Ivor specializes in handling international investments for a few select clients. Born in London, England, Ivor now lives with his wife Barbara in Newbury, NH. He enjoys traveling and working.
Extra credit: Ivor cooks quite well.
Charlie French, Member
Our mission resonates with Charlie’s passion, which is to empower people with knowledge, skills, and confidence to improve their livelihoods. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama, Charlie first discovered his passion for sustainable agriculture. He went on to focus on strengthening local food systems through his professional role with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension’s Community and Economic Development Program, where he also teaches. Charlie loves being outdoors and learning about how people live.
Extra credit: As children, Charlie and his sister traveled through Mexico in an old pickup truck with their father, a geography and anthropology professor.
Matt Hamada, Member
Matt is inspired by Sustainable Harvest International’s commitment to improving lives in rural communities and the evolving outlook and independence he sees in families who partner with us. He first witnessed the positive impact of community-based outreach when he worked on forestry and agriculture issues as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama. Matt has extensive experience in marketing and management, and contributed to global initiatives to address the HIV epidemic. An avid traveler and White Sox fan, Matt and his wife live in Chicago with their three daughters and return annually to his wife’s village in the mountains of Central Panama.
Extra Credit: At Matt’s wedding reception, guests polished off over seventy-five gallons of chicha fuerte, a traditional Panamanian corn beer!
Bill Laramee, Member
Bill appreciates that we attend to people's needs while also conserving biodiversity. He served as a college officer for close to forty years, and recently retired from Berea College. Currently, he is a fundraising consultant and serves on a college board. Bill enjoys the outdoors, working with wood, thoughtful conversations, and playing the fiddle (badly—his opinion, not ours!). He and his wife split their time between Kentucky and Vermont and have four children and five grandchildren they enjoy spending time with.
Extra credit: Bill loves to paint houses and walls. He can whistle to the point of maybe being somewhat annoying, especially when whistling Christmas music in July.
Kathleen Roberton, Member
Kathleen’s personal travel experiences and time spent living and working in Latin America has further instilled a strong interest and desire to support and protect the people, land, and biodiversity within the region. Most recently, Kathleen worked with the People to People Leadership Program’s operations team. Serving on our board gives Kathleen a platform to combine her professional experience in the travel industry with her personal connection and interest in empowering the people of Latin America through sustainability. Kathleen lives in Mexico City, and enjoys gardening, yoga, tango, cooking, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Extra credit: Kathleen is a DPR Certified Urban Gardener.
Hande Tuney, Member
Hande’s interest in supporting farmers in far corners of the world stems from her family’s olive grove in Turkey, where farmers are threatened by climate change, governmental attitudes toward agriculture, and limited outreach and education. Hande holds degrees in finance and management systems and has extensive experience with both publicly traded companies and private funds. She brings nearly twenty years of nonprofit volunteerism to the board as a teacher, fundraiser, and advisor. Hande lives in New York City, where she writes poems and love letters and enjoys ballet and listening to classical music.
Extra Credit: Hande has twice donated her hair to aid people undergoing cancer treatment, and plans to continue doing so.