WHO WE ARE
Andrea is a director of Friends of VIN, Canada. She is a CFA charterholder with a background in the Financial industry. Andrea has been involved with VIN since 2009, when she volunteered with women’s small businesses and their savings collective, through the women’s empowerment program.
Janelle Janelle holds an undergraduate degree in speech from Northwestern University and a Master’s Degree in teaching from Harvard University, and has spent the last three decades blending practicality and passion working as an actor, teacher, human resources director, office manager, and volunteer. She calls Chicago home and is currently teaching at Northwestern, DePaul University, and the Chicago College of the Performing Arts.
I am Wendy McElvain and I live in Westlake Village, California. I had the pleasure of volunteering at VIN for 2 months in 2019, working in the Women Empowerment group. I worked with 4 groups of women in the village of Kavresthali, trying to help them establish their small businesses of either jewelry making, and purse making. Upon my return, I joined the USA FVIN board.
The co-owner of a successful small business Ursula Schmelcher brings many years of organizational expertise to the board of Friends of VIN Canada. Now retired, travelling, dreaming about travelling, and planning travels count among her favourite pastimes.
Terry had a successful project management career in the UK Civil Service where in 2002 she was awarded an OBE for her work lifting pensioners out of poverty and coaching women.
She is an acknowledged expert on social enterprise, setting up Chapter 3 Enterprise a not- for-profit company and a digital training academy. She appears regularly on TV and radio discussing current issues including mature enterprise, mature unemployment and age discrimination.
Her passion for enterprise extends to supporting the Jitpurphedi Women’s Agricultural Cooperative in Nepal where she raised £70,000 to support the construction of a women’s Business centre near Kathmandu. In 2017 she founded Friends of VIN UK to continue to support the people of Nepal.
Cassie is a graduate student from Vietnam, currently pursuing a Joint M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg, Canada. She has a B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Augsburg University, Minnesota, USA and has worked with higher education institutions, nonprofits, and regional government in marketing, communication, continuous improvement, and research. Cassie enjoys working with people from diverse cultures and has been volunteering with organizations in Canada, USA, Kenya, Nepal, and Vietnam.
Mr. Smith has a strong background in executive management and environmental work. Mr. Smith graduated with his Masters in Geography from the University of Waterloo in 1990 and has since held various posts within the federal government and in the private sector. He currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario Canada with his wife and has two children, working as an executive within the federal government.
Ann’s love for Nepal goes back to 1995 when she visited for the first time. Since then she has visited many times and after setting up FoVIN, NL focuses on Women’s Empowerment in Okhaldhunga, Nepal. She has worked for over 10 years in Supply Chain Management for international companies while being involved in nonprofit activities. She currently works for a nonprofit in Switzerland.
Sadie is a nonprofit development and fundraising professional and has been volunteering with FoVIN USA since 2011. Living between Nepal and the US – first as a graduate student, and later working with Himalayan Children’s Charities - she’s been fortunate to witness firsthand many of VIN’s projects in Nepal. For this reason, Sadie remains enthusiastic about the impactful work of this network of organizations and in her role at FoVIN USA.
Sadie enjoys spending her free time outdoors in nature, amidst music and dance, surrounded by flavorful foods, and with kindhearted people.
Her lifetime commitment is to serve humanity and to work toward a more just and equitable world, with a focus on women and children, as well as the environment.
Maddison served as a Women's Empowerment volunteer with VIN in 2012, contributing her skills in domestic violence awareness workshops and nonprofit project monitoring and evaluation. Her experience with VIN inspired her to pursue a Master's in International Development and she now works as an independent consultant providing grant writing, fundraising, and resource development services to nonprofits and community-based organizations. She has collaborated with teams in Nepal, Kenya, Myanmar, Israel, and the UK to create community-supported solutions for local problems.