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Our Board


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Our Board


  Lori Markowitz, Board Chair   Lori is the Board Chair of The Abari Collective, and its sister non-profit, Richard’s Rwanda. Lori holds 18 years of NGO experience including designing and implementing international cross-cultural exchange programs with students from the Middle East and Africa. She has worked to strengthen economic and educational opportunities for the Richard’s Rwanda girls since 2006. She looks forward to empowering these young women to be business savvy, creative artists and role models to the younger girls in the Bugesera District. Lori says, “If you educate a girl, you educate the community”.

Lori Markowitz, Board Chair

Lori is the Board Chair of The Abari Collective, and its sister non-profit, Richard’s Rwanda. Lori holds 18 years of NGO experience including designing and implementing international cross-cultural exchange programs with students from the Middle East and Africa. She has worked to strengthen economic and educational opportunities for the Richard’s Rwanda girls since 2006. She looks forward to empowering these young women to be business savvy, creative artists and role models to the younger girls in the Bugesera District. Lori says, “If you educate a girl, you educate the community”.

  Emily Neilson   Emily has been an active volunteer through teaching and social service organizations for 18 years, ten of which she has advised Richard’s Rwanda’s youth board. Currently, Emily is the secretary of The Abari Collective Advisory Board, and works to facilitate service trips to Rwanda. Emily’s passion for participating in The Abari Collective is aligned with and invigorated by the enthusiasm of long time friend Lori, and Emily's daughter Ellie. Together since 2006, they have supported girls who have suffered as a result of the Rwandan genocide.

Emily Neilson

Emily has been an active volunteer through teaching and social service organizations for 18 years, ten of which she has advised Richard’s Rwanda’s youth board. Currently, Emily is the secretary of The Abari Collective Advisory Board, and works to facilitate service trips to Rwanda. Emily’s passion for participating in The Abari Collective is aligned with and invigorated by the enthusiasm of long time friend Lori, and Emily's daughter Ellie. Together since 2006, they have supported girls who have suffered as a result of the Rwandan genocide.

  Christina Dawson   Christina has been an active supporter of several local community non-profits while also having a keen interest in global development efforts for many years. She believes that educating and empowering young women is critical to improving the economic prospects of a society. Her involvement in The Abari Collective stems from these beliefs, together with a 2016 trip to Rwanda, and her 20-year friendship with Lori. She hopes to contribute by helping in the strategic planning process, the funding effort, and also in the design/aesthetic aspect of the jewelry project.  

Christina Dawson

Christina has been an active supporter of several local community non-profits while also having a keen interest in global development efforts for many years. She believes that educating and empowering young women is critical to improving the economic prospects of a society. Her involvement in The Abari Collective stems from these beliefs, together with a 2016 trip to Rwanda, and her 20-year friendship with Lori. She hopes to contribute by helping in the strategic planning process, the funding effort, and also in the design/aesthetic aspect of the jewelry project.  

  Lisa Kartiganer   Lisa Kartiganer has worked in social services for the past 23 years, focusing on healthcare for underserved populations.  Lisa received a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and is a Licensed Social Worker. She is interested in addressing the underutilized potential of women around the world and supporting their ability to find sustainable work. Originally introduced to Abari and their work in Rwanda by her daughter, Lisa became interested in continuing the work of empowering young women through education and meaningful work.

Lisa Kartiganer

Lisa Kartiganer has worked in social services for the past 23 years, focusing on healthcare for underserved populations.  Lisa received a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and is a Licensed Social Worker. She is interested in addressing the underutilized potential of women around the world and supporting their ability to find sustainable work. Originally introduced to Abari and their work in Rwanda by her daughter, Lisa became interested in continuing the work of empowering young women through education and meaningful work.

 
  Molly Hallahan   Molly is a recent graduate from Indiana University, where she studied marketing and corporate innovation. She now resides in Seattle, WA as a Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft. Molly is a part of The Abari Collective because she has a passion for using her business skills to enable sustainable economic growth to populations who have a lack of resources and infrastructure. She is inspired by the opportunity to enable young Rwandan women to become independent and creative female entrepreneurs to improve their lives.

Molly Hallahan

Molly is a recent graduate from Indiana University, where she studied marketing and corporate innovation. She now resides in Seattle, WA as a Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft. Molly is a part of The Abari Collective because she has a passion for using her business skills to enable sustainable economic growth to populations who have a lack of resources and infrastructure. She is inspired by the opportunity to enable young Rwandan women to become independent and creative female entrepreneurs to improve their lives.

  Terri Danielson    Terri originally became engaged with Richard’s Rwanda through her daughter’s involvement in 2011.  She was moved by the impact of the organization and how her daughter's experience with the Rwandan girls shaped her daughter’s mindset and desire to help others.  Terri believes that education and skills development are critical to providing hope and opportunities to girls less fortunate, allowing them to become successful in Rwanda.  She hopes to use her professional skills to help raise funds and participate in strategic planning for the Abari Collective.

Terri Danielson

 Terri originally became engaged with Richard’s Rwanda through her daughter’s involvement in 2011.  She was moved by the impact of the organization and how her daughter's experience with the Rwandan girls shaped her daughter’s mindset and desire to help others.  Terri believes that education and skills development are critical to providing hope and opportunities to girls less fortunate, allowing them to become successful in Rwanda.  She hopes to use her professional skills to help raise funds and participate in strategic planning for the Abari Collective.

  Jamie Rawding   Jamie contributes to The Abari Collective as a jewelry consultant. Her experience as a metalsmith began at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia in 1986. She was very fortunate to work as an apprentice with three different artists in New York City from 1988 to 1991 before launching her own line of jewelry. Jamie sees the ability to help others as a privilege and recognizes that we all as individuals have so much to learn from each other.

Jamie Rawding

Jamie contributes to The Abari Collective as a jewelry consultant. Her experience as a metalsmith began at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia in 1986. She was very fortunate to work as an apprentice with three different artists in New York City from 1988 to 1991 before launching her own line of jewelry. Jamie sees the ability to help others as a privilege and recognizes that we all as individuals have so much to learn from each other.

  Kelsey Stanton   Kelsey is a recent graduate from the University of Virginia where studied Economics and is now a financial analyst at Microsoft. She joined The Abari Collective because she is passionate about improving the social and economic mobility of women everywhere. She hopes to bring her financial and professional skills to The Abari Collective Advisory Board to empower the women in the Bugesera District to be financially stable and independent.

Kelsey Stanton

Kelsey is a recent graduate from the University of Virginia where studied Economics and is now a financial analyst at Microsoft. She joined The Abari Collective because she is passionate about improving the social and economic mobility of women everywhere. She hopes to bring her financial and professional skills to The Abari Collective Advisory Board to empower the women in the Bugesera District to be financially stable and independent.

 
  Abra Gibbons   Abra is passionate about helping women and children in developing countries have access to good education, healthcare and clean water. Abra offers extensive experience in sales, marketing, and management in the technology industry, and holds an MBA from the University of Iowa and a BA in International Relations from the University of Michigan. Abra currently contributes to Abari by offering financial and business strategy advice.

Abra Gibbons

Abra is passionate about helping women and children in developing countries have access to good education, healthcare and clean water. Abra offers extensive experience in sales, marketing, and management in the technology industry, and holds an MBA from the University of Iowa and a BA in International Relations from the University of Michigan. Abra currently contributes to Abari by offering financial and business strategy advice.

 
  Jessica Markowitz   Jessica is in her last year as a student at the New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Studies where she has concentrated in Race, Inequality, and the Law. Jessica founded Richard’s Rwanda when she was 11 years old to support educational and entrepreneurship opportunities for girls in the Bugesera District. She has been advocating for women’s empowerment for over ten years and committed for a life time. With the recent launch of The Abari Collective Jessica is excited to continue the work of RRI by establishing an initiative that promotes economic sustainability and empowerment for the young women in Rwanda.

Jessica Markowitz

Jessica is in her last year as a student at the New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Studies where she has concentrated in Race, Inequality, and the Law. Jessica founded Richard’s Rwanda when she was 11 years old to support educational and entrepreneurship opportunities for girls in the Bugesera District. She has been advocating for women’s empowerment for over ten years and committed for a life time. With the recent launch of The Abari Collective Jessica is excited to continue the work of RRI by establishing an initiative that promotes economic sustainability and empowerment for the young women in Rwanda.

  Tara Sullivan   Tara is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who joined The Abari Collective Board after moving to Seattle in the summer of 2017. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Tara taught and led educational projects in a rural village of Rwanda for two years.  She is passionate about women's empowerment and local community development.  Tara is excited to be supporting young women in Rwanda to gain hard skills that will continue to serve them and their entire community.

Tara Sullivan

Tara is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who joined The Abari Collective Board after moving to Seattle in the summer of 2017. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Tara taught and led educational projects in a rural village of Rwanda for two years.  She is passionate about women's empowerment and local community development.  Tara is excited to be supporting young women in Rwanda to gain hard skills that will continue to serve them and their entire community.

 
  Ellie Neilson    Ellie is a recent graduate with a wide range of experiences as a committed human rights advocate and working professional. She is a founding member of the international non-profit, Richard’s Rwanda/IMPUHWE, that seeks to provide African women with academic opportunities. Ellie currently works as the Impact Measurement and Operations Associate for the international anti-trafficking organization, Not For Sale. Ellie brings a unique mix of expertise within social impact and economic opportunity to The Abari Collective. Her vision is to challenge the traditional models of business through the creation of successful, sustainable businesses.

Ellie Neilson

Ellie is a recent graduate with a wide range of experiences as a committed human rights advocate and working professional. She is a founding member of the international non-profit, Richard’s Rwanda/IMPUHWE, that seeks to provide African women with academic opportunities. Ellie currently works as the Impact Measurement and Operations Associate for the international anti-trafficking organization, Not For Sale. Ellie brings a unique mix of expertise within social impact and economic opportunity to The Abari Collective. Her vision is to challenge the traditional models of business through the creation of successful, sustainable businesses.

  Chantal Umutoni   Chantal Umutoni is originally from Rwanda and is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Management and Leadership in Seattle, Washington. She is excited to be a part of The Abari Collective and among women that make a difference in the lives of Rwandan women and women around the world. Chantal wants to fight for young women’s lives and is excited for the opportunity to help bring a positive change through beauty and style.

Chantal Umutoni

Chantal Umutoni is originally from Rwanda and is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Management and Leadership in Seattle, Washington. She is excited to be a part of The Abari Collective and among women that make a difference in the lives of Rwandan women and women around the world. Chantal wants to fight for young women’s lives and is excited for the opportunity to help bring a positive change through beauty and style.

  Jeannine Sheinberg   Jeannine is graduating from NYU's Stern School of Business with concentrations in Marketing and Finance. While Jeannine will be working in Deloitte's Strategy & Operations consulting practice, she hopes to contribute to The Abari Collective efforts by using her past consulting and luxury experience from Accenture and Hermès. Meeting Jessica in college, Jeannine was inspired by Jessica's long-term commitment to female empowerment in Rwanda and hopes to bring her business background to create a truly sustainable social enterprise. 

Jeannine Sheinberg

Jeannine is graduating from NYU's Stern School of Business with concentrations in Marketing and Finance. While Jeannine will be working in Deloitte's Strategy & Operations consulting practice, she hopes to contribute to The Abari Collective efforts by using her past consulting and luxury experience from Accenture and Hermès. Meeting Jessica in college, Jeannine was inspired by Jessica's long-term commitment to female empowerment in Rwanda and hopes to bring her business background to create a truly sustainable social enterprise. 

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Our Partners


Our Partners


The Imbuto Foundation contributes to national efforts within the fields of health, education and economic empowerment. This program was created as a result of children failing to pursue their secondary education due to lack of funding. The scholarship fund provides for tuition, uniform, transportation and other school requirements for the entire secondary school cycle of six years. The students are enrolled into the program based on predetermined criteria that includes:

  • Vulnerability
  • High disciplinary record
  • High performance grades
  • Enrollment in a public school

Seattle Girls’ School combats the trend of girls losing confidence before competence, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, with a transformative experience for girls in grades 5-8. At SGS, girls are challenged to discover who they are and who they want to become.