Executive Vice President – Worldwide Health, Brand and New Business Development, General Mills
In my current role with General Mills, I am responsible for global market functions and lead the company’s strategic health and wellness initiatives. In addition to my work with OneVillage Partners, I serve on the board of directors for U.S. Bancorp and the Salvation Army. After growing up in West Hempstead, New York, I studied economics at Dartmouth College and then marketing and finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. I have a wonderful wife Alicia and two children. We live in Minneapolis. My work with OneVillage Partners has been an amazing opportunity to engage with subsistence agriculture at a village level, in contrast to the global food market in which I work. I traveled to the villages in 2006 and was moved by the work and the character, grace and spirit of the Sierra Leonean people. I contribute because I have seen firsthand the need and impact this work is having.
Senior Vice President, Excelsior Group
I moved to the Twin Cities in 1988 upon graduating from the Business School at the University of Wisconsin Madison. For the past 20+ years I have been working as a developer, investor and manager of commercial real estate and built and led both private and public regional and national real estate organizations. I have been so impressed with the dramatic impact that OneVillage is making on so many lives and that is why I have been an ardent supporter. The vision, mission and deeply rooted philosophy of partnering and engaging with people to help them move themselves out of poverty is a powerful model. In addition to working with One Village Partners, I also lend my time and experience to Hope For The City, Bridging and Catalyst.
Former Director of Finance, Wellshare International
After many years in public and non-profit service, I recently retired but wanted to help an organization where I could contribute my experience. I am honored to join the OVP Board as their Treasurer. My most recent experience was as Finance Director for Minneapolis-based WellShare International. There I managed all finance functions for programs in East Africa and in the Minnesota Somali community, provided in-country and on-call training, oversight, and assistance for national staff in Uganda and Tanzania, and worked closely with the board and senior staff to meet the organization’s financial goals. In addition, I have worked for more than 20 years as development director for two non-profit organizations and also managed the marketing functions for those agencies. My passion is to find practical development solutions for communities in need. With my experience working with organizations dedicated to energy conservation, environment, at-risk youth, seniors, and public health, I hope to contribute to OVP’s comprehensive, community- driven approach to development.
Ed.D Candidate, Higher Education Administration, St. Cloud State University
A native Sierra Leonean, I earned my bachelors and masters degrees in Sierra Leone. I worked as the Assistant to the Country Director at ActionAid – Sierra Leone, where I also served as the officer in charge of fundraising and a member representative of several national committees. I also worked as the Protocol Assistant to the Ambassador, U.S. Embassy in Freetown and taught business dynamics and entrepreneurship at the university level in Sierra Leone. Currently I serve as the Graduate Assistant in charge of racial issues and am writing my dissertation, which is focused on understanding the role of women of color as leaders in higher education. I am very passionate about my country. Being a board member with OVP means I can be a part of rebuilding our lost legacy and placing my country on the map once again.
After graduating from Amherst College in 1987, I served for two years in the Peace Corps in Jokibu, Sierra Leone. During my time, the villagers became my best friends and family. Their perseverance through tremendous suffering and hardship, and their hard work and commitment to improve the future for their children inspires me each day. After the Peace Corps, I attended Harvard Business School and worked at General Mills, before becoming President of Real Estate Recycling, a brownfield real estate developer. I started OneVillage Partners because extreme poverty is unnecessary. Working with the villagers in partnership, they are a success story every day.
OVP Founder and Board Chair
Senior Office and Administrative Specialist, State of Minnesota Council on Black Minnesotans
I was born in Segbwema, Kailahun District, in the eastern part of Sierra Leone, near the villages where OVP works. I attended schools in Sierra Leone and immigrated to the United States in September 1980. Since then, I have graduated from Hamline University, married a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and had three sons. For the last ten years, I have served as the Senior Office and Administrative Specialist — Community Relations for the State of Minnesota Council on Black Minnesotans. I am also an active participant in the Sierra Leonean Community in Minnesota, and hold various positions at Tegloma Organization, Rural Health Care Initiative, and the West African Collaborative. What OneVillage Partners is doing in Sierra Leone is incredible. Partnering with communities to rebuild their lives is something I have always dreamed of doing. What makes it even more special to me is that these people are my people, and to know that they are actively involved in rebuilding their lives after a brutal war that left my country paralyzed. I am honored to serve as a board member of OneVillage Partners.
Franklin Fellow, Office of Trade and Regulatory Reform, U.S. Agency for International Development
My current duties at USAID include monitoring and evaluating the impact of projects, approaches and pilots in the areas of trade facilitation and promotion, as well as assisting in the design and formulation of new projects. My background includes economic development, international trade, international finance, renewable energy, and business development. Between 2009 and 2010, I worked in Tanzania and Ghana providing technical assistance on several renewable energy and economic development projects. In addition to my technical background, I am also an experienced project manager. I also hold a Master’s Degree in International Business, Economics, and Development from the Center for Global Affairs at New York University. My field experience impressed upon me the importance of creating and cultivating a sense of self-determination and accountability among project beneficiaries. International development initiatives that do so offer the best chance at sustainable development. I am excited to join OneVillage Partners and work to help them achieve their goals of bringing holistic development solutions to Sierra Leone.
Former Executive Director, Pillsbury Foundation
Throughout my professional career of over 30 years, I have served in management roles in diverse nonprofit organizations, both public and private, at local, state and national levels. Highlights include: (1) helping to found three nonprofit organizations: two as Executive Director–one for women and one for youth; and a third as a founding board member focused on affordable housing; (2) developing a business/school partnership program for the Minneapolis Public Schools to help students develop marketable skills; and (3) managing the corporate foundation for The Pillsbury Company with focus areas on hunger and at-risk youth. Over the last seven years, I’ve become committed to the work of OneVillage Partners and hope to share my nonprofit background and fundraising skills with the staff and board to help us achieve our goals.
Alexander H. Ware
Executive Vice President – Strategic Development, Pohlad Companies
I was trained as an economist and prior to my recent appointment as Executive VP of Strategic Development at the Pohlad Companies, I most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PepsiAmericas, a $5 billion public bottler with operations in the central U.S., Central and Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. In addition, I have served in a variety of corporate strategic planning, M&A, and field financial roles within Pepsi. Prior to joining PepsiCo, I was a management consultant with Booz, Allen and Hamilton in the energy and environmental practice. With this experience, I am eager to identify ways to build income in our partner villages, exploring applications of income generation at a micro, village level. I am involved with several start-up, church and community organizations. My wife, Amy, and I have three daughters, who give me plenty of direction.