M.O.R.E. Board of Trustees
(as of April 2018)
|Jim Miller, III*||Founder & President|
|Nancy Holland*||Vice President|
|Dr. Sam Parsia*||Secretary|
|Dr. Ashley Meredith*|
|Dr. Leelie Selassie*|
|Dr. Asqual Getaneh|
|*Executive Committee Members|
Board Member Biographies
Jim Miller, President and Founder, is currently a vice president at the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Art (NYFA). At NYFA, Jim manages strategic initiatives that include domestic and international programs in partnership with public and private entities. Jim began his career in higher education administration at the Institute of International Education (IIE), where he served in various leadership capacities. He was the Executive Director of the Scholar Rescue Fund© (IIE-SRF), a program of IIE, which since its founding in 2002, has saved the lives and careers of over 700 threatened and persecuted scholars from 51 countries by providing academic fellowships and other vital support. Simultaneously, Jim was the Director of the IIE-SRF Iraq Scholar Rescue Project, a public/private partnership of more than $22M. Activated in 2006 in response to the academic emergency that beset Iraq post-2003, the Iraq Scholar Rescue has assisted over 350 of Iraq’s senior scholars and scientists and has provided professional development benefits for scholars and administrators, including numerous higher education capacity building trainings and conferences held in Iraq. While at IIE, Jim was a main architect of numerous innovative programs including: Camps to Campuses — an initiative that provides higher education for Syrian students in refugee camps in Jordan; the Artists Protection Fund(APF) — a program that supports at-risk artists; the Women’s International Network (WIN) — a collaboration with a major U.S. university that provides exiled women scholars with an extensive global academic network; and the Iraq Distance Education Program — a significant distance education project that successfully provided much-needed curriculum to Iraqi students and faculty. Prior to IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, for a decade Jim was the Senior Executive of Studio Art Centers International (SACI), a US university-accredited school of visual arts, art history, and archaeology in Florence, Italy. Jim has been a keynote presenter at several international academic conferences around the world (e.g. Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Thailand, and the U.S.) and has organized numerous others. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and has interviewed extensively with the media. Before entering the international education field, Miller was President & CEO of three global trading firms that designed, manufactured and imported high-end textiles. In addition to the MORE Board, Jim serves on a number of non-profit boards including the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA), an association established by various organizations (UNESCO, Save the Children, UNHCR, HRW, UNICEF, etc.) concerned about on-going attacks on education. He was a founding trustee of the Palazzo dei Cartelloni Onlus, an Italian non-profit foundation dedicated to creating and installing art projects for the public good.
Nancy Holland, Vice President, resides in Chicago, IL, and has been a member of the M.O.R.E. Board since 2009. Nancy received her B.S. degree from the University of Maryland in Early Childhood Education. She is married to Bob Holland who is also a board member and together they have three children. She has visited the Medhen Center three times to see first hand the significant improvement in the education of the children participating in the programs supported by M.O.R.E. While in Ethiopia, she has helped educate the preschool teachers in a variety of projects focusing on arts and crafts as well as language arts. Besides helping with many of the fundraising efforts supporting M.O.R.E., Nancy operates an Etsy shop selling handmade greeting cards; donating all the proceeds to M.O.R.E.
In addition to her efforts for M.O.R.E., Nancy currently coordinates church volunteers for the Greater Chicago Food Depository monthly, is a member of the St. Andrews Social Concerns Committee and serves on her Condominium board.
Dr. Sam Parsia, Secretary, is a physician specializing in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and practices in the Washington, D.C. area. He previously was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York University where he specialized in the treatment of patients exposed to toxic materials generated by the attacks of 9/11. He is currently involved in a long-term project to train Ethiopian physicians in Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Addis Ababa through a program sponsored by the World Lung Foundation. He lives in Bethesda, MD with his wife Barbara and two children Dominic and Zachary.
Bob Holland, Treasurer, has worked in the hotel and resort industry for more than 40 years, and is currently Associate Partner – Operations, with SSP,a Hospitality Solutions Consulting Firm. He has been on the M.O.R.E. Board since 2011, visiting Medhen on 3 occasions, assisting Sister Senkenesh and her staff with administrative and technology related support. Among other community organizations, over the years Bob has been actively involved with Food & Friends, a Washington DC-based charity that prepares, packages and delivers meals and groceries to more than 2,800 people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area; as well as volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, an orgaization working with more than 700 partners across Cook County to ensure that nutritious food is available all year to our neighbors in need.
He and his wife Nancy love traveling, exploring new cultures, and are avid bicyclists. They have been married since 1976 and are extremely proud of their 3 wonderful children and families.
Dr. Ashley Meredith, PharmD, BCACP, BCPS, CDE, is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy in West Lafayette, Indiana. She provides primary care chronic disease management services at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis. Ashley is also actively pursuing her Master’s of Public Health (MPH) degree.
Ashley has been involved with various volunteer activities since childhood. As an adult she has gone on multiple medical mission trips to Haiti, volunteers monthly at the Gennesaret Free Clinic in Indianapolis, and has been involved with MORE for at least the last 5 years, including one trip to Ethiopia to experience the impact MORE has on the community. Ashley is mom to two beautiful daughters – Charlotte and Kylie. In what little spare time she has, Ashley enjoys running, live music, and wine tasting. She has completed 2 full marathons and more than 15 half marathons in the past 10 years, including two that were run as fundraising efforts for MORE.
Jennifer Baxter lives in Randolph, NJ with her children Emma and Harry and her husband Jack. She holds a BA from Le Moyne College and an MBA from Fordham University. Jen was introduced to MORE in 2007 and has stayed connected to the organization ever since. She visited Addis Ababa and the Medhen facility for the first time with her family in 2016.
Jen currently serves as Southern Morris County Chairperson for the Fresh Air Fund, an NYC based program that provides a summer escape for inner-city children. Jen and her family have been hosting children in their home for more than a decade. Since 2011, Jen has also volunteered with Homeless Solutions, a Morristown, NJ-based agency that provides a “hand up, not a handout” to the homeless population of Morris County. she is also the co-leader of hte youth group at her church, Resurrection Parish in Randolph. She was a Girl Scout leader for twelve years and a Board member for seven years for the Choir / Theater Booster Clubs at Randolph Schools.
Dr. Asqual Getaneh, MPH, is an Academic Physician in the Division of General Internal Medicine at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Getaneh was a Researcher at MedStar Health Research Institute (2013-2015), an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and an Attending Physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City (1999 and 2013). In her research position, Dr. Getaneh conducted epidemiological research and clinical trials primarily in diabetes and has published her findings in peer-reviewed journals. She has also worked as an Associate Program Director at the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Program, Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, where she was responsible for AIDS treatment programs in Ethiopia and Nigeria. As a volunteer, she has contributed to the creation of medical specialty training programs in Ethiopia, serves as a trustee on the board of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and the Foundation for International Medical Education and Research, and as an Advisor to faculty at international medical and dental schools. She lives in Washington, DC and enjoys traveling.
Diane Padula has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and was the owner and Director of The Learning Nest School in Randolph, NJ for 25 years. Diane, married to Board Member Thomas Padula is the proud mother of Joanna and grandmother of twins, KaylieRae and Madeline. She is an equally proud mother of a son, Tommy, and daughter-in-law, Jessica, both Board Members of M.O.R.E. Diane was a member of the original Bonkos group, who began supporting the Medhen Social Center years ago. She has traveled twice to Ethiopia, Africa to visit Sister Senkenesh and the children of Medhen in 2008 and 2012.
Thomas Padula is the Director of Regulatory Compliance for an NJ Consulting Firm servicing the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industry. He has over 33 years of managerial experience in the food and pharmaceutical manufacturing disciplines. Tom’s hobbies include playing golf and watching New York sports teams. He also enjoys helping others and making people smile.
Charles Strenk, resides in Randolph, New Jersey. He has been married to his wife, Maureen Strenk, since 1975. They have three daughters, Sara, Megan, and Amy. Charles is and has been a practicing attorney in New Jersey since 1979 and is a partner in the firm of Kiernan & Strenk located in Morristown, New Jersey.
Maureen Strenk is a founding member of the M.O.R.E. Board of Directors and served as Secretary for three years and as President of M.O.R.E. for the last eight years. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education and she and her husband Charles Strenk, also a founding and current M.O.R.E. Board Member, have three daughters Sara, Megan and Amy and three grandchildren. After teaching for several years, Maureen stayed home to raise her children and has been working at her husband Charles’ law firm as a Legal Assistant for over 23 years. She has visited the Medhen Social Center twice, in 2008 and 2012 and was honored and delighted to meet Sister Senkenesh, her staff and, especially, the children of Medhen. Maureen is very thankful that they have all become a very real part of her life.
Anthony Zecca is a CPA and the National Director of the CohnResnick Advisory Group at a large accounting firm, CohnResnick. He has been involved in numerous boards and community organizations, most recently serving on the Randolph, NJ Board of Education for 12 years (8 years as President). Tony is the father of two daughters.
Barbara Zecca, has been involved in charitable organizations such as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); Big Brothers/Sisters; and activity programs for learning disabled children and adults. Barbara spent her work career in human resources as a manager in a major pharmaceutical company. Barbara has been married to Board member Tony Zecca for 44 years. They have two daughters, Amy and Casie and one granddaughter, Ava.~
~ Giving hope…..to M.O.R.E. children