BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Bobby Smith - Founder
Good fortune and perhaps divine providence allowed Bobby Smith to leave Sierra Leone in 1989, just before the start of an 11 year brutal civil war. His return in January 2011, after a 22 year absence to attend the funeral of his father and two other family members (who all died in the same week) was met with some anxiety and a rude awakening to what had become of his home country. The grief of the funeral was soon eclipsed by the conditions Sierra Leoneans had to endure on a day to day basis. Childhood friends he connected with in Sierra Leone asked desperately for help.
In the weeks following his return, Bobby was encouraged by friends and colleagues to start an organization, which he called Hope for Lives in Sierra Leone. What has occurred in the last five years is a testament to what can be accomplished by one guy's determination and commitment with the help of a few friends.
Just before Bobby departed for Sierra Leone for the first time in more than 20 years, he called Bill. He told him about the trip and asked Bill if he would take care of his family if anything happened to him. Their friendship is very important to Bobby. The early commitment by Bill Coleman to secure funding for the fishing boats was the first action in what would eventually become Hope for Lives in Sierra Leone.
There was no Hope for Lives before him and it would not likely have been created without his help and encouragement. The fishing boats are the primary effort for our organization in 2011 and beyond. We will never forget where and how this effort started and how proud we are to have him on our Board of Directors.
Rebecca E. Reeves
Not by design, but by good fortune, Becky has always focused on helping people. She previously worked in administrative and management positions in hospitals and banks, then worked as a Broker Owner in a Real Estate business and finally, as a Federal Government employee. She is currently part of a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) ‘On Call’ cadre that responds to national disasters.
Her involvement with this effort to fight hunger, improve health care and provide educational and employment opportunity in Sierra Leone is based on a single belief. ‘Kindness Matters’ and she believes that we each have it in us to make a difference in another’s life.
Andrey Gidaspov, Ph.D.
Andrey has over 25 years of experience in international trade and development, strategic partnership building, global fundraising and non-profit management. For the past 10 years, Andrey led numerous successful strategic development and fundraising initiatives for large mission-driven non-profits in the US and internationally. Prior to that, Andrey managed his own boutique consulting business in Hong Kong, developing successful solutions for multiple U.S. and international clients in IT outsourcing, mobile application and mobile content development areas in China, Japan, and South East Asia.