Faraja Primary School
for Children with Physical Disabilities TanzaniaSupported by
The Faraja Fund Foundation
 
 

The Faraja Fund Foundation


The Faraja Fund Foundation is a U.S. based foundation which accepts and administers charitable donations in support of the Faraja Primary School for Children with Physical Disabilities. Members of our Board of Directors travel to Tanzania regularly to monitor and evaluate the progress of the school and the students. We provide guidance and financial support for the Faraja Primary School and its mission.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a tax exempt, private foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.



Board of Directors

David Tolmie is Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation. He first visited Tanzania in 2000 and has supported the Faraja School and other projects in Tanzania ever since. In his capacity as Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation, Dave has made numerous visits to Tanzania and frequently consults with the Faraja School staff and leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

Dave's professional career is in business management and private equity investing. Since 2001, he has been a partner with The Edgewater Funds, a private equity firm based in Chicago with $1.4 billion in committed capital. Previously, Dave was CEO of Yesmail, Inc., a direct marketing company. Prior to Yesmail, Dave held positions with Bally Total Fitness, General Mills, Inc, and McKinsey & Co He serves on the boards of numerous Edgewater portfolio companies,  and is active on non-profit boards including Opportunity International (US Board Chair), the Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center. Dave received his BA from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Dave and his wife Tracy live in Lake Forest, IL and have three grown children who have all visited the Faraja School.

David Vermylen is Vice Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation. He has visited the Faraja School multiple times and has a special interest in the students’ medical care and long term physical independence. David has firsthand experience dealing with the physical challenges faced by many of Faraja’s students, and that experience led to his involvement and commitment to the Faraja School.

David is co-founder and former President of TreeHouse Foods, one of the largest private label food manufacturers in the U.S. with $3 billion in revenue. Prior to co-founding TreeHouse, David was the President and CEO of the Keebler Company after its acquisition by Kellogg in 2001. Prior to the acquisition, he was the President of Keebler Brands for five years. He is currently on the Boards of TreeHouse and Aéropostale, a mall-based retailer of teen apparel. He is also on the Board of Advisors of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. David earned a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from New York University. David and his wife Stacy live in Lake Forest, IL and Naples, FL and are the parents of three grown children. 

John Tolmie is Vice President of the Faraja Fund Foundation. John has worked with Faraja and other health ministries in Tanzania since 2001. He has assisted Tanzanian organizations with animal projects, water projects, capacity building, HIV/AIDS treatment, healthcare dispensary support, famine relief, hospital support, scholarships, and the distribution of 65,000 free mosquito nets to 19 villages.

John is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience, including 15 years as a hospital CEO. John serves as CEO of VEDU, an education technology company.  John previously served as President of TTG Healthcare Solutions, a healthcare consulting company. John had 15 years experience as CEO and senior management of hospitals in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. John received a BS from Virginia Tech and an MBA and an MHA from Georgia State University. He is currently serves on the Notre Dame of Maryland University Board of Trustees and works with a number of non-profit organizations. John and his wife Lynn live in Baltimore, MD and have three grown sons who have all visited the Faraja School.

Donald Tolmie is a co-founder of the Faraja School and Secretary/Treasurer of the Faraja Fund Foundation. In Don’s capacity as Treasurer, he is actively involved in financial controls and budgeting and works closely with the Faraja School’s Executive Director and Treasurer.

Don and his wife Joann first visited Tanzania in 1999 with a desire to provide educational opportunities for needy children with physical disabilities. In partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, they built the Faraja School for Children with Physical Disabilities and the Tolmie family funded its operation.  Don and Joann have taken more than 30 trips to Tanzania to visit Faraja School and other humanitarian projects. . Joann credits Don with providing the vision, discipline and the brains for the Faraja mission.

Don is an attorney specializing in transportation and regulation. He retired in 1989 as Vice President and General Counsel for Norfolk Southern Railroad. He is a graduate of Augustana College and the University of Illinois, where is earned his law degree. Don and Joann live in Charlotte, NC. They have three sons and eight grandchildren.

Joann Tolmie is a co-founder of the Faraja School. When she and her husband Don first visited Tanzania in 1999, representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) showed them the great need for a residential primary school for physically disabled children. Joann’s mother had taught physically disabled children in Illinois, so she already had a high level of interest in the issue of education for the physically disabled. Don credits Joann with being the “heart and soul of the Faraja mission” and she maintains a uniquely close relationship with the Faraja students and staff.

Joann’s life has been a continued commitment to service and social activism. Through Christian mission leadership roles, local programs to help the disadvantaged and quiet compassion for individuals in need, Joann has set an example for her family and community. Joann graduated from Augustana College with a degree in speech therapy (a new field in 1952). She taught in Elgin, IL for one year, married Don in 1953, and taught in Winnetka, IL. She and Don have three sons, David, John and Paul. All three sons serve on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board of Directors. Joann and Don have eight grandchildren who have all visited the Faraja School and helped raise money with the help of their friends and classmates.

Paul Tolmie is a dentist who specializes in periodontics and surgical implantology. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. Paul’s honors and distinctions also include Fellowship in both the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists, societies which recognize professional leadership and humanitarian service.  Paul is a graduate of the University of Richmond and Emory University School of Dentistry, and he completed his specialty residency training at Boston University.

Paul and his family--wife Melissa and daughters Caroline and Margaret--have been personally involved in the mission and operation of Faraja School since its inception. Paul has served on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board of Directors since 2008. Along with the welfare of Faraja School students, Paul’s interests include church ministry and civic service. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Southminster Retirement Community.  Paul and Melissa live in Charlotte, NC and are members of Christ Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Corey Nelson serves as Associate Pastor for Mission at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, IL. He also provides regional and national leadership for the denomination in the areas of mission and worship. A former Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Ghana, West Africa, Corey's first career was teaching high school music outside of Seattle, Washington. His love of music and of education have continued to be an important part of his ministry. In addition to his service on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board, Corey serves on the Board of Directors of the Erie Elementary Charter School in Chicago.

Corey earned his BA from Whitworth University, his MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary, and his DMin at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He also earned a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Kellogg School of Business. Corey and his wife Miriam, a high school teacher, live in Lake Forest, IL.  

Jeffrey Howard recently took early retirement after a long career as an executive at United Stationers, Inc. He served as Senior Vice President of National Accounts & Channel Management, with responsibility for $1.5 billion in revenues and leadership of a team of 300 people. Jeff established long term strategic partnerships with key customers including Staples, Office Depot, and Office Max.

Jeff began his career in the office products industry in 1973 and joined United Stationers Inc. in 1990. He is active in non-profits and volunteer leadership. Jeff has served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County Illinois for seven years and served as the Board President is 2014. He has been an Elder at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest and also served as co-chair of the church’s extensive Mission Committee. Jeff has visited the Faraja School with his grown children, Lindsay and Tyler. He lives with his wife Sarah in Lake Forest, Illinois and Carlsbad, CA.

Patricia A. Bosse is Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Marketing at Notre Dame of Maryland University. Pat has led the college through a successful $34 million Legacy of Leadership campaign and provides leadership for development, alumnae relations, marketing communications, and media relations efforts.

Pat previously served as Vice President for Mission and Institutional Advancement at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD and Vice President of St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation. At St. Joseph, Pat was chief development officer and led a $20 million campaign effort. She was responsible for the medical center’s marketing program, as well as local and international ministries. Earlier in her career, Pat served in leadership positions at Associated Catholic Charities, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and Mercy Medical Center. She holds a BA in English from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Pat and her husband Frank live in suburban Baltimore, MD.

Andrew Critchell is a member of the Faraja Fund Foundation Board and Chairman of the Faraja Youth Board. The Youth Board engages young people interested in Faraja to become involved in student communications, fund raising and building of awareness for the Faraja Mission. Andrew is an Account Manager with Twitter in Chicago. Previously he was a digital marketing associate with Walgreens Co. Andrew also spent two years teaching high school in Hammond, IN through the LEAPS program which is dedicated to education in underserved communities in the Chicago and NW Indiana region. 

Andrew is a graduate of Valparaiso University where he received a BA degree and a Master’s degree in Education and was an all-conference football player. He also received his Master’s in Business Administration from Loyola University in Chicago. Andrew and his wife Kelsey live in Chicago.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a U.S. based foundation which accepts and administers charitable donations in support of the Faraja Primary School for Children with Physical Disabilities. Members of our Board of Directors travel to Tanzania regularly to monitor and evaluate theprogress of the school and the students. We provide guidance and financial support for the Faraja Primary School and its mission.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a tax exempt, private foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a U.S. based foundation which accepts and administers charitable donations in support of the Faraja Primary School for Children with Physical Disabilities. Members of our Board of Directors travel to Tanzania regularly to monitor and evaluate the progress of the school and the students. We provide guidance and financial support for the Faraja Primary School and its mission.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a tax exempt, private foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a U.S. based foundation which accepts and administers charitable donations in support of the Faraja Primary School for Children with Physical Disabilities. Members of our Board of Directors travel to Tanzania regularly to monitor and evaluate the progress of the school and the students. We provide guidance and financial support for the Faraja Primary School and its mission.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a tax exempt, private foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a U.S. based foundation which accepts and administers charitable donations in support of the Faraja Primary School for Children with Physical Disabilities. Members of our Board of Directors travel to Tanzania regularly to monitor and evaluate the progress of the school and the students. We provide guidance and financial support for the Faraja Primary School and its mission.

The Faraja Fund Foundation is a tax exempt, private foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

Our Board of Directors

David M. Tolmie is Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation. He first visited Tanzania in 2000 and has enthusiastically supported the Faraja School and other projects in Tanzania ever since. In his capacity as Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation, Dave has made numerous visits to Tanzania and frequently consults with the Faraja School staff and leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

Dave's professional career is in business management and private equity investing. Since 2001, he has been a partner in a private equity firm based in Chicago with $1.4 billion in committed capital. Previously, Dave was CEO of Yesmail, Inc., a direct marketing firm he led through a period of rapid growth, an initial public offering, and ultimately the successful sale of the company in 2000. Prior to Yesmail, Dave held positions with Bally Total Fitness, General Mills, Inc, and McKinsey & Co. Dave received his BA from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves on the Boards of numerous Edgewater portfolio companies, the Field Museum, Opportunity International, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, and the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center.

Dave and his wife Tracy live in Lake Forest, IL and have three grown children. They actively support non-profit organizations that advance Christian mission, education, global microfinance, and local social services. Dave and Tracy are also involved members of First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest.

John Tolmie is Vice President of the Faraja Fund Foundation. John has worked with Faraja and other health ministries in Tanzania since 2001. He has assisted Tanzanian organizations with animal projects, water projects, capacity building, HIV/AIDS treatment, healthcare dispensary support, famine relief, hospital support, scholarships, and the distribution of 65,000 free mosquito nets to 19 villages.

John is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience, including 15 years as a hospital CEO. John serves as an Operating Partner with Buckhead Investment Partners, a private equity firm based in Atlanta, GA. John previously served as President of TTG Healthcare Solutions, a healthcare consulting company offering strategic planning, operational and financial turnaround, strategic partnering, physician alignment, networking, and market positioning to healthcare organizations.

John received a BS from Virginia Tech and an MBA and an MHA from Georgia State University. He is currently serves on the Notre Dame of Maryland University Board of Trustees and works with a number of non-profit organizations. John and his wife Lynn live in Baltimore, MD and have three grown sons.  

Donald Tolmie is a co-founder of the Faraja School and Secretary/Treasurer of the Faraja Fund Foundation. In Don’s capacity as Treasurer, he is actively involved in financial controls and budgeting and works closely with the Faraja School’s Executive Director and Treasurer.

Don and his wife Joann first visited Tanzania in 1999 with a desire to provide educational opportunities for needy children with physical disabilities. In partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, they built the Faraja School for Children with Physical Disabilities and funded its operation. Don and Joann have seen the school grow from its opening with 15 students in 2001 to a fully accredited primary school with 90 students in 2015. Don and Joann have taken more than 25 trips to Tanzania to visit Faraja School and other humanitarian projects.

Don is an attorney specializing in transportation and regulation. He retired in 1989 as Vice President and General Counsel for Norfolk Southern Railroad. He is a graduate of Augustana College and the University of Illinois, where is earned his law degree. Don and Joann live in Charlotte, NC. They have three sons and eight grandchildren.

 

Joann Tolmie is a co-founder of the Faraja School. When she and her husband Don first visited Tanzania in 1999, representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) showed them the great need for a residential primary school for physically disabled children. Joann’s mother had taught physically disabled children in Illinois, so her interest in the issue was already keen.

The ELCT invited Don and Joann to build the school, and the groundbreaking took place shortly thereafter in 2000. After the initial phase of construction was completed in 2001, Faraja School was dedicated and a class of 15 students began their education. Now there are 90 students and a long waiting list. Don and Joann visit Faraja School regularly, and their deep involvement with the staff and students continues.

Joann graduated from Augustana College with a degree in speech therapy (a new field in 1952). She taught in Elgin, IL for one year, married Don, and taught in Winnetka, IL schools for two more years before son David was born. Motherhood added two more sons, John and Paul. All three sons serve on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board of Directors. Joann and Don have eight grandchildren who have all visited the Faraja School and helped raise money with the help of their friends and classmates.

Joann and Don have been active volunteers throughout the years. They have sponsored refugees from Vietnam and Laos and participated in shelter programs for homeless families. Joann and Don have also volunteered as children’s hospital helpers, served neighbors in need through a Lunch Ministry, and made regular visits to shut-ins.   

Paul Tolmie is a dentist who specializes in periodontics and surgical implantology. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. Paul’s honors and distinctions also include Fellowship in both the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists, societies which recognize professional leadership and humanitarian service.  Paul is a graduate of the University of Richmond and Emory University School of Dentistry, and he completed his specialty residency training at Boston University.

Paul and his family--wife Melissa and daughters Caroline and Margaret--have been personally involved in the mission and operation of Faraja School since its inception. Paul has served on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board of Directors since 2008.

Along with the welfare of Faraja School students, Paul’s interests include church ministry and civic service. Paul and Melissa live in Charlotte, NC and are members of Christ Episcopal Church.

Greg Jones is a partner with the Edgewater Funds, a private equity firm in Chicago. Prior to joining Edgewater, Greg co-founded and was CEO of uBid.com, a leading online auction marketplace. Greg's earlier career included positions as president of Reliable Corporation of Chicago and senior vice president of APAC Teleservices, Inc.

Greg serves on the boards of several Edgewater portfolio companies and is active in non-profit and civic leadership. He is the Chairman of the Board of NorthShore University Health System, former Chairman of The Illinois Math and Science Academy Foundation, and serves on the Boards of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake Forest Academy, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is also a Past Chicago Chapter Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Greg received his BS from Miami University of Ohio, and his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He lives in Lake Forest, IL with his wife Anne and their three children. 

Corey Nelson serves as Associate Pastor for Mission at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, IL. He also provides regional and national leadership for the denomination in the areas of mission and worship. A former Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Ghana, West Africa, Corey's first career was teaching high school music outside of Seattle, Washington. His love of music and of education have continued to be an important part of his ministry. In addition to his service on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board, Corey serves on the Board of Directors of the Erie Elementary Charter School in Chicago.

Corey earned his BA from Whitworth University, his MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary, and his DMin at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He also earned a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Kellogg School of Business. In his leisure time, Corey enjoys fishing, playing the African djembe and the piano (though rarely at the same time), tries to keep his dog, Mandy, out of the chocolate, and drinks way too much fair-trade coffee.

Curt Viebranz is the President and CEO of George Washington's Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is the country's oldest preservation foundation and strives to preserve George Washington's place in history as "First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of his Countrymen."

Prior to assuming this position, Curt was the Founder & Chairman of Korrelate, Inc., an early stage Internet company. Previously, Curt was an Executive Vice President of AOL and president of Platform-A, its ad network division.  He had responsibility for advertising sales and strategy for all of AOL’s owned-and operated sites as well as for its network offerings. He joined AOL following its acquisition of TACODA, where he was CEO. Curt has had operating and business development experience in both the U.S. and abroad. He spent seventeen years at Time Warner. Curt is also on the Board of LifeCamp, an organization that offers summer enrichment programs for urban youth from Newark, NJ. He is a former Board member and President of Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark. Curt also serves on the Board of the Meserve Kunhardt Foundation. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Curt holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Harvard University.  He and his wife Cissy have grown children and actively support numerous humanitarian causes in the U.S. and abroad.

David B. Vermylen is a Senior Advisor to TreeHouse Foods and a member of its Board of Directors. He co-founded TreeHouse in 2005; today, with $2 billion in revenue, it is one of the largest private label food manufacturers in the U.S. Prior to co-founding TreeHouse, David was the President and CEO of the Keebler Company after its acquisition by Kellogg in 2001. Prior to the acquisition, he was the President of Keebler Brands for five years.

David began his career in 1974 with General Foods and progressed through the marketing ranks before leaving in 1988 to spend three years in consulting. He then held CEO positions with Mother’s Cookies and Brother’s Gourmet Coffee. He is currently on the Boards of TreeHouse and Aéropostale, a mall-based retailer of teen apparel. He is also on the Board of Advisors of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. David earned a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from New York University.

David has firsthand experience dealing with the physical challenges faced by many of Faraja’s students, and that experience led to his involvement and commitment to the Faraja School. He and his wife Stacy live in Lake Forest, IL and are the parents of three grown children. 

Jeffrey G. Howard recently took early retirement after a long career as an executive at United Stationers, Inc. He served as Senior Vice President of National Accounts & Channel Management, with responsibility for $1.5 billion in revenues and leadership of a team of 300 people. Jeff established long term strategic partnerships with key customers including Staples, Office Depot, and Office Max.

Jeff began his career in the office products industry in 1973 and joined United Stationers Inc. in 1990. He is active in non-profits and volunteer leadership. Jeff has served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County Illinois for seven years and served as the Board President is 2014. He has been an Elder at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest and also served as co-chair of the church’s extensive Mission Committee.

Jeff has visited the Faraja School with his grown children, Lindsay and Tyler. He lives with his wife Sarah in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

Patricia A. Bosse is Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Marketing at Notre Dame of Maryland University, a position she originally held from 1998 – 2005. During that time, she led the college through a successful $34 million Legacy of Leadership campaign. Pat returned to Notre Dame in 2009 and provides leadership for development, alumnae relations, marketing communications, and media relations efforts.

Pat also served as Vice President for Mission and Institutional Advancement at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD and Vice President of St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation. At St. Joseph, Pat was chief development officer and led a $20 million campaign effort. She was responsible for the medical center’s marketing program, as well as local and international ministries. Earlier in her career, Pat served in leadership positions at Associated Catholic Charities, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and Mercy Medical Center. She holds a BA in English from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Our Board of Directors

David M. Tolmie is Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation. He first visited Tanzania in 2000 and has enthusiastically supported the Faraja School and other projects in Tanzania ever since. In his capacity as Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation, Dave has made numerous visits to Tanzania and frequently consults with the Faraja School staff and leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

Dave's professional career is in business management and private equity investing. Since 2001, he has been a partner in a private equity firm based in Chicago with $1.4 billion in committed capital. Previously, Dave was CEO of Yesmail, Inc., a direct marketing firm he led through a period of rapid growth, an initial public offering, and ultimately the successful sale of the company in 2000. Prior to Yesmail, Dave held positions with Bally Total Fitness, General Mills, Inc, and McKinsey & Co. Dave received his BA from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves on the Boards of numerous Edgewater portfolio companies, the Field Museum, Opportunity International, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, and the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center.

Dave and his wife Tracy live in Lake Forest, IL and have three grown children. They actively support non-profit organizations that advance Christian mission, education, global microfinance, and local social services. Dave and Tracy are also involved members of First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest.

John Tolmie is Vice President of the Faraja Fund Foundation. John has worked with Faraja and other health ministries in Tanzania since 2001. He has assisted Tanzanian organizations with animal projects, water projects, capacity building, HIV/AIDS treatment, healthcare dispensary support, famine relief, hospital support, scholarships, and the distribution of 65,000 free mosquito nets to 19 villages.

John is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience, including 15 years as a hospital CEO. John serves as an Operating Partner with Buckhead Investment Partners, a private equity firm based in Atlanta, GA. John previously served as President of TTG Healthcare Solutions, a healthcare consulting company offering strategic planning, operational and financial turnaround, strategic partnering, physician alignment, networking, and market positioning to healthcare organizations.

John received a BS from Virginia Tech and an MBA and an MHA from Georgia State University. He is currently serves on the Notre Dame of Maryland University Board of Trustees and works with a number of non-profit organizations. John and his wife Lynn live in Baltimore, MD and have three grown sons.  

Donald Tolmie is a co-founder of the Faraja School and Secretary/Treasurer of the Faraja Fund Foundation. In Don’s capacity as Treasurer, he is actively involved in financial controls and budgeting and works closely with the Faraja School’s Executive Director and Treasurer.

Don and his wife Joann first visited Tanzania in 1999 with a desire to provide educational opportunities for needy children with physical disabilities. In partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, they built the Faraja School for Children with Physical Disabilities and funded its operation. Don and Joann have seen the school grow from its opening with 15 students in 2001 to a fully accredited primary school with 90 students in 2015. Don and Joann have taken more than 25 trips to Tanzania to visit Faraja School and other humanitarian projects.

Don is an attorney specializing in transportation and regulation. He retired in 1989 as Vice President and General Counsel for Norfolk Southern Railroad. He is a graduate of Augustana College and the University of Illinois, where is earned his law degree. Don and Joann live in Charlotte, NC. They have three sons and eight grandchildren.

 

Joann Tolmie is a co-founder of the Faraja School. When she and her husband Don first visited Tanzania in 1999, representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) showed them the great need for a residential primary school for physically disabled children. Joann’s mother had taught physically disabled children in Illinois, so her interest in the issue was already keen.

The ELCT invited Don and Joann to build the school, and the groundbreaking took place shortly thereafter in 2000. After the initial phase of construction was completed in 2001, Faraja School was dedicated and a class of 15 students began their education. Now there are 90 students and a long waiting list. Don and Joann visit Faraja School regularly, and their deep involvement with the staff and students continues.

Joann graduated from Augustana College with a degree in speech therapy (a new field in 1952). She taught in Elgin, IL for one year, married Don, and taught in Winnetka, IL schools for two more years before son David was born. Motherhood added two more sons, John and Paul. All three sons serve on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board of Directors. Joann and Don have eight grandchildren who have all visited the Faraja School and helped raise money with the help of their friends and classmates.

Joann and Don have been active volunteers throughout the years. They have sponsored refugees from Vietnam and Laos and participated in shelter programs for homeless families. Joann and Don have also volunteered as children’s hospital helpers, served neighbors in need through a Lunch Ministry, and made regular visits to shut-ins.   

Paul Tolmie is a dentist who specializes in periodontics and surgical implantology. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. Paul’s honors and distinctions also include Fellowship in both the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists, societies which recognize professional leadership and humanitarian service.  Paul is a graduate of the University of Richmond and Emory University School of Dentistry, and he completed his specialty residency training at Boston University.

Paul and his family--wife Melissa and daughters Caroline and Margaret--have been personally involved in the mission and operation of Faraja School since its inception. Paul has served on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board of Directors since 2008.

Along with the welfare of Faraja School students, Paul’s interests include church ministry and civic service. Paul and Melissa live in Charlotte, NC and are members of Christ Episcopal Church.

Greg Jones is a partner with the Edgewater Funds, a private equity firm in Chicago. Prior to joining Edgewater, Greg co-founded and was CEO of uBid.com, a leading online auction marketplace. Greg's earlier career included positions as president of Reliable Corporation of Chicago and senior vice president of APAC Teleservices, Inc.

Greg serves on the boards of several Edgewater portfolio companies and is active in non-profit and civic leadership. He is the Chairman of the Board of NorthShore University Health System, former Chairman of The Illinois Math and Science Academy Foundation, and serves on the Boards of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake Forest Academy, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is also a Past Chicago Chapter Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Greg received his BS from Miami University of Ohio, and his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He lives in Lake Forest, IL with his wife Anne and their three children. 

Corey Nelson serves as Associate Pastor for Mission at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, IL. He also provides regional and national leadership for the denomination in the areas of mission and worship. A former Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Ghana, West Africa, Corey's first career was teaching high school music outside of Seattle, Washington. His love of music and of education have continued to be an important part of his ministry. In addition to his service on the Faraja Fund Foundation Board, Corey serves on the Board of Directors of the Erie Elementary Charter School in Chicago.

Corey earned his BA from Whitworth University, his MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary, and his DMin at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He also earned a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Kellogg School of Business. In his leisure time, Corey enjoys fishing, playing the African djembe and the piano (though rarely at the same time), tries to keep his dog, Mandy, out of the chocolate, and drinks way too much fair-trade coffee.

Curt Viebranz is the President and CEO of George Washington's Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is the country's oldest preservation foundation and strives to preserve George Washington's place in history as "First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of his Countrymen."

Prior to assuming this position, Curt was the Founder & Chairman of Korrelate, Inc., an early stage Internet company. Previously, Curt was an Executive Vice President of AOL and president of Platform-A, its ad network division.  He had responsibility for advertising sales and strategy for all of AOL’s owned-and operated sites as well as for its network offerings. He joined AOL following its acquisition of TACODA, where he was CEO. Curt has had operating and business development experience in both the U.S. and abroad. He spent seventeen years at Time Warner. Curt is also on the Board of LifeCamp, an organization that offers summer enrichment programs for urban youth from Newark, NJ. He is a former Board member and President of Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark. Curt also serves on the Board of the Meserve Kunhardt Foundation. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Curt holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Harvard University.  He and his wife Cissy have grown children and actively support numerous humanitarian causes in the U.S. and abroad.

David B. Vermylen is a Senior Advisor to TreeHouse Foods and a member of its Board of Directors. He co-founded TreeHouse in 2005; today, with $2 billion in revenue, it is one of the largest private label food manufacturers in the U.S. Prior to co-founding TreeHouse, David was the President and CEO of the Keebler Company after its acquisition by Kellogg in 2001. Prior to the acquisition, he was the President of Keebler Brands for five years.

David began his career in 1974 with General Foods and progressed through the marketing ranks before leaving in 1988 to spend three years in consulting. He then held CEO positions with Mother’s Cookies and Brother’s Gourmet Coffee. He is currently on the Boards of TreeHouse and Aéropostale, a mall-based retailer of teen apparel. He is also on the Board of Advisors of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. David earned a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from New York University.

David has firsthand experience dealing with the physical challenges faced by many of Faraja’s students, and that experience led to his involvement and commitment to the Faraja School. He and his wife Stacy live in Lake Forest, IL and are the parents of three grown children. 

Jeffrey G. Howard recently took early retirement after a long career as an executive at United Stationers, Inc. He served as Senior Vice President of National Accounts & Channel Management, with responsibility for $1.5 billion in revenues and leadership of a team of 300 people. Jeff established long term strategic partnerships with key customers including Staples, Office Depot, and Office Max.

Jeff began his career in the office products industry in 1973 and joined United Stationers Inc. in 1990. He is active in non-profits and volunteer leadership. Jeff has served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County Illinois for seven years and served as the Board President is 2014. He has been an Elder at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest and also served as co-chair of the church’s extensive Mission Committee.

Jeff has visited the Faraja School with his grown children, Lindsay and Tyler. He lives with his wife Sarah in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

Patricia A. Bosse is Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Marketing at Notre Dame of Maryland University, a position she originally held from 1998 – 2005. During that time, she led the college through a successful $34 million Legacy of Leadership campaign. Pat returned to Notre Dame in 2009 and provides leadership for development, alumnae relations, marketing communications, and media relations efforts.

Pat also served as Vice President for Mission and Institutional Advancement at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD and Vice President of St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation. At St. Joseph, Pat was chief development officer and led a $20 million campaign effort. She was responsible for the medical center’s marketing program, as well as local and international ministries. Earlier in her career, Pat served in leadership positions at Associated Catholic Charities, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and Mercy Medical Center. She holds a BA in English from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

David M. Tolmie is Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation. He first visited Tanzania in 2000 and has enthusiastically supported the Faraja School and other projects in Tanzania ever since. In his capacity as Chairman of the Faraja Fund Foundation, Dave has made numerous visits to Tanzania and frequently consults with the Faraja School staff and leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.



Please feel free to contact us for more information.

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This website is maintained by the Faraja Fund Foundation, 8919 Park Rd, Ste 249, Charlotte, NC  28210 USA

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