Board of Directors

headshot of Michael Banobi

President

Michael Banobi

Michael grew up in the village of Bushasha, Tanzania, and taught high school English in Tanzania for several years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington Business School and has worked in international shipping logistics for close to 25 years. He is driven by the conviction that education is the key to raising the quality of life in rural Tanzania.

headshot of Lisa Ondrejcek

Vice President

Lisa Ondrejcek

Lisa is President and Co-founder of DF/Net Research, a local firm specializing in clinical trial data management and data analysis for non-profit, academic, and biotech companies locally and worldwide. In 2014, DF/Net acquired a software development company in Canada to further its research projects. DF/Net now has 65 employees in its Seattle and Canadian offices.

Lisa grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Virginia, studied in Paris, moved to California, then eventually settled in Seattle in 1994. She is married to Darryl Pahl, and they have two daughters, Camille and Eleanor. Lisa has served on the PTA Board of her daughters’ school as well as on the governing council of her church. She holds a B.A. in French and Psychology from James Madison University, and an M.A. in French Language and Civilization from New York University.

headshot of Karla Armstrong

Treasurer

Karla Armstrong

Karla Armstrong is the Controller at Plymouth Housing Group, a nonprofit agency providing permanent low-income housing in Seattle. She has expertise in real estate development, and in grant and donation accounting. During her eleven years at Plymouth, Karla has been responsible for the accounting for six major apartment construction projects. Prior to Plymouth, Karla served as Treasurer of the Board for The Compass Center (Compass Housing Alliance) and later spent four years on staff where she was responsible for the finances of the nonprofit agency, including multiple construction projects. Karla has a BA in accounting from Minnesota State University. She is a CPA and a member of the Washington Society of CPAs.

Secretary

Jeannette Banobi

Jeannette’s career in education began as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching high school science and math in Fiji. She later taught English and math at a high school in Tanzania run by the Lutheran Church, where she and Michael met. After returning to the US, Jeannette taught ESL to adult immigrants and refugees at Shoreline Community College for many years, and also worked for several years in administration at Seattle Central College. She currently works part-time for the Seattle Fire Department, leaving half of her day open to devote to her duties as a board member and volunteer for CORE Tanzania.
Jeannette has a B.S. in physics from Penn State University and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

headshot of Steve Burdick

Board Member

Steve Burdick

Board member Steve Burdick has had extensive experience as an elementary school teacher in the Seattle area. He also served as a volunteer teacher and mentor of Vietnamese refugees for many years, and has been on the board of several local nonprofit organizations. Steve has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.S. in Adult Education with an emphasis on English as a Second Language.

headshot of Chris Lindberg

Board Member

Chris Lindberg

Chris Lindberg has been a part-time faculty member at several Colleges in the Seattle area for the past ten years. He currently works as an I-BEST instructor in the CNC machining program at Shoreline Community College in addition to teaching a 3D printing class. Chris also assists participants in the Seattle Joint Machinist Apprenticeship program at South Seattle College and teaches ESL at Highline College, where in the past he has taught Business Technology classes as well.

Chris spent ten years Africa, the first three in Burkina Faso as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a village woodlot program and promoting efficient woodstoves. Later he spent two years as a USAID Forestry advisor in The Gambia. He subsequently spent time training Peace Corps Volunteers in Agroforestry, analyzing Peace Corps Forestry programs and training in-country training facilitators across Africa.

Chris has a B.S. in Forestry, and an M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages.

headshot of Paul Candella

Board Member

Paul Candella

Paul grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Seattle with his wife and children in 1993. He took international trade courses at McGill University, with a heavy focus in logistics. He has worked in the international logistics business—customs brokerage and freight forwarding—for more than 30 years, in both management and sales. Paul is also on the board of directors for a major home building supply firm, Peak Products USA Corporation.