Our Board

JOHN ROWE, PRESIDENT

John Rowe is a native to Southern California. After attending the University of Southern California (USC) he became the Executive Vice President of SNK Electronics, a Japanese videogame software company. He later established Tradewest Entertainment, which became Midway Games. He served as Vice Chairman and Director of Development for Midway Games for six years.

Since 1994, John has pursued to his passion for photography by exploring the world and finding beauty and humanity in various places and cultures. His work has been published by: National Geographic; NBC News; CNN; Al Jazeera; The Guardian; The Explorer’s Journal, and Surfer’s Journal. In 2016 a fine art photography book, Omo Valley by John Rowe, will be published.

In 2004, John visited Africa for the first time. He has returned on countless trips since then for photography and philanthropic work. In 2010 he established The Omo Child Foundation to serve the children of Southwest Ethiopia. In 2015, he directed and produced the film, Omo Child: The River and the Bush, a full-length documentary about the children of the Omo Valley. In one short year, the film was invited to 39 film festivals and received 24 awards.

 
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RICK OLAFSSON, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Rick Olafsson has a wealth of experience in financial management, working at leading companies operating in industries ranging from high-tech to entertainment. Currently, Rick is CFO of Appy Entertainment. Before that, he was CFO of High Moon Studios and prior to that, he served as vice president of finance, accounting and administration/treasurer for the TheBrain Technologies Corporation, a developer and marketer of enterprise-level knowledge management software. Rick holds an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his BS in Business Administration from San Diego State University.

 

DANIEL PETREE, DIRECTOR & SECRETARY

Daniel Petree has an extensive background in finance and business management. Dan is a founder and member of P2 Partners, LLC, which he co‐founded in 2000 and Four Oaks Partners, which he co-founded in 2011. Both are boutique investment banks specializing in life sciences companies. He also currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lpath, Inc., a publicly‐traded biotechnology company in San Diego, California and Sutro BioPharma, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

From 1998 to 1999, Dan was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Axys Pharmaceuticals, a publicly held biotechnology company. Before that, he held successive positions at Axys and its predecessor, Arris Pharmaceuticals. From 1992 to 1993, Dan was Vice President of Business Development at TSI Corporation, a clinical research organization. His operating management experience was preceded by five years in investment banking at Montgomery Securities. He also practiced as a corporate and securities lawyer with Heller, Erhman, White & McAuliffe in Palo Alto, CA.

Dan’s father was an American foreign service officer while he was growing up. Dan lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for three years with his family.

 

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FRED PORT, DIRECTOR

Fred Port describes himself as a “… transition manager, sometimes in situations of extreme challenge and other of unlimited opportunity”. Over the years this included start-ups and mature enterprises, public and private. He worked with Booz. Allen & Hamilton, the Palmieri company, Korn Ferry and served as a Director and member of the Executive Committee while President of Callaway Golf International. He was also involved in several entrepreneurial ventures.

His business career is enhanced by 40+ years of involvement in public service, most recently: mentoring severely abused children – 30+ years with CASA; and, creating Centers of Health Excellence in Africa – 11+ years with the Accordia Global Health Foundation. He rounds out life as an “extreme amateur” computer artist, singer/songwriter, author — 3 One Page Books, occasional public speaker, golfer and Grandpa “Poppi” to 5. After growing up in Glendale, CA Fred attended UCLA on a football scholarship and followed up with an MBA – Finance with honors.

 

 

 

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ERICA USHER, DIRECTOR

Erica Usher has been a member of Canada’s Foreign Service for over thirty years, representing Canada in Haiti, the Philippines, Turkey and Geneva, Switzerland.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Erica devoted four years to voluntary service in Nigeria and in Malawi.

Erica lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for three years while her husband was working at the Canadian Embassy.  During this period, Erica served on the Executive Committee of the Diplomatic Spouses Group Ethiopia, and chaired the Project Matrix Sub-group.  It is through her work with this group, and its support to Omo Child, that Erica came to know Omo Child and Lale Labuko.

A choral singer, Erica has served on numerous Boards in the arts sector.  She is an honours graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism, and over the years has published a number of articles on migration and development.

 

 

 

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KEELY SELLERS, DIRECTOR

Keely and her husband Scot have five children ages 18 to 27, and have spent considerable time as a couple and with their children, traveling to developing countries to assist with needs in the areas of medical services, housing, water and sanitation and education.  Keely Sellers received her Bachelors’ Degree in Social Science with an emphasis on elementary education from University of Northern Colorado. She subsequently received her Bachelor’s of Nursing Degree from Regis University with the goal of using this further education to help serve those in need in developing countries.  Keely serves on the Board of Valor Christian High School and the Esther Foundation and has made five trips in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity to rural Cambodia.  Keely has a passion for travel and service to others and has visited over 60 countries, including many remote areas.  She and Scot first visited the Omo Valley in the fall of 2014 and she is very excited to be helping the people of this beautiful and remote region of Ethiopia.