Our Board of Directors

Katie Balk - President

Katie Balk is Founder of Luminary Consultants, an organizational development consulting firm which helps organizations become more resilient and dynamic through strengthening individuals, relationships and organizational processes. She has worked in China, Costa Rica and France, as well as in the U.S. and her work has included, for-profit, non-profit and governmental sectors. Katie came to the Baobab Home as a volunteer in 2010 and fell in love with the kids and with Tanzania.  She has since returned four more times and continues to work on accounting, marketing, and organizational change projects within the organization. 

Tony Luongo 

Anthony Luongo is the Sr. Vice President of Engineering at Optimus EMR, Inc. a Health Care software company specializing in Long Term Care electronic medical records.  He currently lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.  Most of his career was spent designing medical equipment including Fetal Heart Monitors, Transcutaneous CO2 monitors, Ventilators and other medical monitoring equipment.  He started his own medical software company named Diversified Systems Group in 1997 which was purchased by Optimus EMR, Incorporated in 2000.  Anthony is a new Board member at Baobab.  His main interest at Baobab is education and the Steven Tito Academy.  He has visited Baobab in Bagamoyo and plans on returning many times in the future.

James Dailey

Jim has over 20 years of professional experience holding various leadership roles in Global Marketing, Product Marketing, Sales Management, and Direct Sales roles primarily in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and technology industries. In 1993 he graduated from Auburn University with Bachelors of Science in Marketing and in 2009 earned an MBA concentrating in International Business from the University of Colorado, Denver. He currently resides in Denver, CO with his wife Ellen where they enjoy the outdoors, international travel and community involvement.

Michael Place

For 20 years Michael Place has helped build breakthrough enterprise software management programs for multi-billion dollar organizations spanning the public and private sectors and three continents. Now he is disrupting the status quo in global food production. The creation of EntoHack7G, merges his approach to building thriving learning cultures in rapidly advancing technical realms with his longstanding passion for emerging circular economic business models. In 2016, EntoHack7G launched a pilot project on The Baobab Home shamba.  

Shane Hofeldt

Shane is a freelance filmmaker working mostly in documentary and non-fiction. Shane teaches film making workshops several times a year. He is based in Maine, but works globally. He has earned degrees in Supply Chain Management and Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University. Shane created The Baobab Home's first video in 2006.

Lauren George

Lauren is a primary school teacher with experience teaching in Australia, Tanzania, and Scotland. Lauren first volunteered for The Baobab Home in 2006, returning in 2009 and then again in 2013 (for 5 years) to help set up Steven Tito Academy (STA). She has worked in a variety of different roles at STA, primarily teaching and training teachers, as well as marketing and fundraising, financial management, and other administrative duties.

Matt Cook 

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