Board of Directors

The Board of Directors and Advisory Board provide oversight for EBZEF’s strategic direction and ensure that its programs are well-managed and consistent with the organization’s mission. The Board is organized by committees on which non-directors may serve. Committees include: Executive, Finance, Education, Grant, Fundraising, Library, Technology, and Intercultural Advisory Committee. Directors serve as volunteers without compensation.

EBZEF is fortunate to have numerous volunteers who contribute to the organizations’ success. In addition to THE PROTEA Editor and Webmaster, many additional volunteers contribute their time, talent and energy to the organization in a variety of ways, including organizing fundraising events.

Linda Bowers, Executive Director Linda Bowers, Executive Director

Linda is a retired Associate Professor of English from Willamette University where she taught Shakespeare, poetry, the literature of the Holy Grail, and courses in Japanese culture for over 20 years. As Executive Director of EBZEF she sees herself as a steward of her daughter Beth's vision of world peace and understanding. She is "mama" to over 300 Zambian daughters. Linda and Gerry live on a 25-acre farm south of Salem with Beth's flying Zambian cat Blake's successor, Keats, a young German shepherd named Sir Lancelot, a flock of peafowl, discus aquaria, and many wild birds, fish, and other woodland creatures.

Karen Chittick, Secretary, Library/Grant-writing Committees Karen Chittick, Secretary, Executive/Library/Advisory-Fundraising Committees

Karen Chittick has served as Secretary of the EBZEF Board since 2007.  She knew Beth and has supported EBZEF since its inception.  Karen retired in December 2017 after working in the American Studies Program at Tokyo International University of America (TIUA) for 25 years.  The best part of her job was getting to know the students.  Karen has two grown children and two adorable grandsons.  Her hobbies include gardening, sewing, and home projects.

Gerard Bowers, Executive Committee Gerard Bowers, Board of Directors

Gerard Bowers is a retired Professor of English from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he taught writing and literature for over 35 years. His academic focus is on modern and contemporary English and American poetry. Born and educated on the east coast, he earned his degrees from the City College of New York and Harvard University. In 1971 he married Linda, moved to Oregon, and raised two daughters--Jennifer and Elizabeth. Aside from his abiding commitment to EBZEF, Gerry's interests include fly fishing, running, gardening and landscaping, as well as studying tai chi, yoga, and Japanese/Chinese culture.

Kathy Ellis-Kelemen, TreasurerKathy Ellis-Kelemen, Treasurer

Board member and EBZEF Treasurer Kathy Ellis-Kelemen is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Malaysia 1978-80), is multi-lingual, and has traveled globally to Austria, Germany, India, and Nepal. As CFO of Kelemen Advisory Associates LLC, Kathy also served as Assistance League's National Director of Finance and National Director of Technology. The Chamber of Commerce honored Kathy and her husband Ron as Salem Distinguished Citizens in 2011.

Fordson Kafweku, Intercultural Advisory CommitteeMr. Fordson Kafweku

Fordson Kafweku is from Zambia with two decades of experience in development and humanitarian program management. He has worked with Plan International, World Vison International, ECHO, USAID, DFID, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, FAO Global Fund in Zambia, Malawi and South Sudan. Fordson has an MA in Organizational Leadership (Eastern University, USA), a BS in Tropical Agriculture (Larenstein International Agricultural College, Netherlands), and a University Diploma in Agricultural Engineering (University of Zambia/Natural Resources Development College). He holds post graduate qualification in Development Studies from University of South Africa, is a certified Grants Manager for USAID Government grants, and is a Certified Project Manager for Development (PMDPro). He has received Senior Leadership Development Program (SLDP) training for executive leaders as well as Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT). He is married to Prisca. They have three daughters: Womba, Nkisu and Lubuto.

Dan Irvine, Intercultural Advisory CommitteeDan Irvine, Intercultural Advisory Committee

Dan Irvine currently works as the Operations Director for World Vision International's Global Health Centre. His responsibilities include strategy development, operational management and capacity building for WV's health sector programming in over 65 countries. He also teaches a graduate course in Development and Peace Operation for the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. With 20 years of international development experience, most of which was spent in Africa, Dan brings a multi-sector, community-development emphasis to his work. Dan was employed by Peace Corps and worked with Beth while she was a volunteer. He was instrumental in working with Linda and Gerry to define the EBZEF program to honor Beth's memory in a way to promote her vision for world peace and help those in the Lumwana West village that she loved.

Advisory Board

Michal Wert, Executive/Finance/Technology CommitteesMichal Wert, Executive/Finance/Technology Committees

Michal Wert is the sister of Linda Bowers and Beth's auntie. She has been a strong supporter of EBZEF from the beginning, helping to organize EBZEF as a non-profit business and providing on-going strategy and support for the program. Her son Eric is a realist artist and painted the EBZEF protea in honor of his cousin Beth. Michal has over 35 years' experience in environmental and public policy management. She is retired from her firm, MW Consulting, where she worked on Oregon public policy and transportation planning issues for over ten years.

Angela Wanak, Education CommitteeAngela Wanak, Education Committee

Angela Wanak earned her JD and MBA at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, in May 2009. Angela joined EBZEF because she believes everyone should have the right to an education and a chance to pursue their dreams. Angela seeks to be an advocate for women and children and a leader in the abolitionist movement fighting against modern-day forms of slavery: trafficking in persons and the exploitation of human beings. She is an enthusiastic gardner, creative plant-based cook, and passionate about preserving our planet for future generations. Angela is married to Jeremy and together they are raising two little girls who they hope will someday become women of courage and compassion.

Sally Daly, Fundraising and Library Advisary CommitteesSally Daly, Fundraising and Library Advisory Committees

A long-time supporter of EBZEF and mother of Megan, one of Beth's close friends from high school, Sally Daly works with the EBZEF Advisory/Fund-raising and Library Committees. A graduate of Rice University in Math and Anthropology, she recently retired after 25 years as Billing Specialist for her husband Ed's mental health clinic. The Dalys are widely traveled and hope to visit Africa soon.

Bob Kister, Fundraising Committee, Advisory Board Member

Bob has served EBZEF since 2009 as an ad hoc advisor, a research intern, Master of Ceremonies at Zambia Night events, and a Fundraising Committee member. His work background is in higher education administration and computer database management. He holds a degree from Marylhurst University in Organizational Communications, with concentrations in Public Relations and Professional Writing. He has a deep-seated interest in helping non-profits communicate more effectively, and brings expertise in research, website development, social media and strategic planning. Bob lives with his wife, Liesa, another long-time EBZEF volunteer, in a century-old farmhouse in Mt. Angel, Oregon.


Cassandra Farrin, NewsletterCassandra Farrin, THE PROTEA Editor

Cassandra has collaborated with Linda Bowers to design and edit THE PROTEA since 2008. An adoptive parent and US-UK Fulbright scholar, she values strengthening intercultural and interfaith relationships locally and globally, especially by sharing stories that change the way we see one another. She currently serves as the Associate Publisher and Director of Marketing for Westar Institute and Polebridge Press.

Web Design, Social Media

JLB ConsultingJennifer L. Bowers, Web Design, Social Media

Jennifer is passionate about helping to express her sister's (Elizabeth Bowers) dream to "give back." She is currently studying Computer Science at Oregon State University and has a growing business JLBConsulting. She has a B.S. in Psychology from PSU and a minor in Business Administration. Jennifer intends to cultivate the variety of ways computer technology today enhances social work and the well-being of society as a whole.  

Social Media Volunteer

Valerie Watson, VolunteerAngie Grohn, Social Media Volunteer

A graduate of Willamette University, Angie Grohn believes that "not unto ourselves alone are we born." Having taken favorite courses from both Linda and Gerry Bowers, and learning of Beth's vision and EBZEF's inception, Angie is inspired by the EBZEF spirit. Angie posts educational and inspirational articles on LinkedIn, including the EBZEF LinkedIn Group. She works in accounting and volunteers at a local Boys and Girls Club, most recently as a STEM mentor. Angie publishes poetry and short fiction online. She hopes to help girls emerge with stronger visions and voices.

Volunteer Office Assistant

Valerie Watson, VolunteerValerie Watson, Administrative Assistant

Valerie Watson has three grown children and two beautiful grand daughters ages 2 1/2 and 2 weeks. She has worked at Willamette University for 16 years and currently works for the Graduate School of Management. She enjoys the outdoors, hanging out on her daughter's farm loving on the horses and various other critters, and loves to bake pies!