Our Team



Terri Place Mwandu and Caito Mwandu - Executive Team

Terri and Caito started The Baobab Home in 2004. Together they have worked with children and families throughout Bagamoyo and have overseen the purchase and construction of the farm. Their family has continued to grow with Baobab and they now oversee operations between their two homes on the farm and Arusha, where they raise their two children, Justis and Nadya.


Glory, Helena, Grace - House Mamas

The house mamas are the unsung heroes of Baobab. They are all incredibly patient, caring, and have the endurance of a Triathalon athlete. Glory and Grace went to school for childcare and Mama Helena trained on the job as mother to her own boys. The Baobab kids love their moms dearly. Mama Glory has been the lead house mom at Baobab since we took our first child in 2008. She is trained as a baby/toddler caregiver. She also oversees the medical care of the children.

Cleaning Team

Mama Pili, Mama Pili, Mama Mayasa - Cleaning Staff

They cook, they clean, they help take care of the kids. They fight the never ending battle against dirt and chaos on the farm.


Baba Daudi - Cook

Baba Daudi is a father of three and a trained chef with many years of experience. Every school day we cook for no less than 100 people, but Baba Daudi always has a smile on his face and even manages to cook special meals for people with dietary restrictions. His daughter Nazarena attends STA.

shukuru.jpg Baba Shukuru - Assistant Cook

Yasini - Purchasing and Finance Manager

Yasini has been a part of the Baobab family since 2005. In 2013, he earned a diploma in Business Management and Administration. In 2015, he began working for us as our Purchasing and Finance Manager. Yasini is instrumental in handling all of the day to day financial duties for Baobab. It is his job to manage and facilitate all expenditures for the farm and school. From keeping the lights on to feeding the kids, Yasini ensures we have the resources necessary to keep everyone happy. 


Bibi Halima - HIV/AIDS Adviser  

Halima was the first employee hired by Baobab years ago and has been with us ever since. She fosters two children for us whose mother is mentally ill. She is a leader and adviser of our HIV+ support group for children, Stronger Together. She has HIV and diabetes but is unstoppable, and so is her smile.  

adamu.jpg Adamu - HIV/AIDS Adviser

For several years, Adamu has been leading our breakfast program at the hospital 4 days per week. He makes sure that 1600 people have a hot breakfast each month. He also took over as Advisor to the children in our HIV+ support group, Stronger Together. The group meets two to three times a week. Adamu leads the ‘feelings session.’ This is a weekly discussion group when the kids talk about normal problems they face and also problems unique to being HIV+.

Upendo.jpg Pendo - Farmer

Shabani - Farmer

Shabani has been a part of the Baobab farm for most of his life. His parents worked here before we bought the farm. We helped Shabani get vocational training in auto mechanics, which he likes very much, but for the time being, he is ‘home’ helping get our farm in great working order.

Baobab 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. 
Ken Russo - Vice President


Laura Burns - Secretary

Laura was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.  In 2007, she moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University where she attained a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Master’s in Energy Finance and Trading.  In 2013, she moved to Dallas and currently works in the Accounting Department of TXU Energy.  She made her first trip to Bagamoyo, Tanzania in 2008, and returned to work with Baobab in 2009.  She's been addicted to The Baobab Home and Bagamoyo ever since!  Laura's favorite part of being in Baobab has been watching the babies grow up into beautiful, happy, interesting individuals. She also enjoys watching the Baobab family expand and the organization develop in order to consistently serve the community in new ways. 


Jo Place - Treasurer

Jo has been the treasurer of Baobab since it began in 2004. Through thick and thin, she's managed a lot for us. A graduate of Berkeley Business school, Jo 'retired' a few years back but still manages to keep herself very busy! It is her 25th year as co-director of weekly church bingo game. She's also a member of the Senior club and local women's club annual yearbook. In her spare time she plays Bridge and provides companionship and transport to an elderly widow.


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.


Matt Cook 

Do you like this page?
Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.