KEF Board Of Directors
Ross Povenmire is a retired attorney and landscape architect, and currently works as the Director of Conservation and Planning for the Town of Boxford, Massachusetts.
He is a graduate of Tufts University (Bachelor's of Science in Biology), Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Science (Master of Forestry) and The University of Maine School of Law (Juris Doctor).
Born in Hawaii in 1956, Ross remains physically active as a black belt in Kyokushin Karate and skipper of a 38' Sabre sailboat. As a child of American Diplomats, Ross has lived in and experienced many different cultures including Tanzania, Paraguay, Chile, Venezuela, and Portugal. From a young age, Ross has had to adapt to a fairly significant hearing loss.
He contributes legal expertise and training to the KEF Board, along with his enthusiastic support for the worthy goals of KEF.
Marti Mattia's background is Journalism, Oral History, and Public Relations. In addition to the Kapadia Education Foundation Board of Directors, she serves on the board of Meds for Africa and founded that organization's Girls Education Mission to support disadvantaged young women at the high school level.
Marti has written both fiction and non-fiction, and recently completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Pacific University. She works as a literary consultant and editor, and in 2018 completed a new novel.
She has lived on five continents, but she and her husband now make their home in Austin, Texas. They love theater, hiking, traveling, reading, cooking, and sharing a table with friends and their three grown children.
Robert is a mechanical engineer whose career is committed to sustainable design and energy efficient business practices. Giving back through education has been a passion of Robert's since teaching elementary school in Kenya during a college semester abroad.
He has mentored NYC high school students, coached numerous youth teams, and currently chairs the scholarship committee for the Association of Energy Engineers, where he also serves on the Board of Directors. Robert's background includes international development projects such as solar energy for rural electrification in the international development projects such as solar energy for rural electrification in the Caribbean and building low income housing for Habitat for Humanity in East Africa.
Robert has sponsored KEF students since 2008 and has learned firsthand what an incredible difference college education can make in a young person's life. He is thrilled to be on the KEF Board and enjoys contributing to this important mission.
Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes moved to Jamaica in 1971 and spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. He is a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and plays. Fifteen of his plays have been produced, and he has acted in, directed or produced several of these productions himself, most recently One Love at the Lyric Hammersmith in London.
Often called the busiest name in literature, Dawes famously wrote “Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius,” which remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley.
He has published two novels: Bivouac (2009) and She’s Gone (2007), winner of the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Best First Novel. In 2009, Dawes won an Emmy for LiveHopeLove.com, an interactive site based on Kwame Dawes’s Pulitzer Center project, HOPE: Living and loving with AIDS in Jamaica. In 2011, Dawes reported on HIV AIDS after the earthquake in Haiti (https://kwamedawes.com/about/).
Ted is a retired educator with 40 plus years of experience (kindergarten through university). He grew up on Lake Erie in Ashtabula, Ohio and received his Bachelor's of Arts in 1967 from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. From 1967 to 1969, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines teaching English as a Second Language and developing youth recreation programs.
Upon returning to the U.S., he taught high school English for several years while earning a Master's of Education in Counseling from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and then a Master's of Arts in International Affairs from Ohio University. In 1975 he moved to Boston where he served three years as Assistant Director for Student Services at Boston University's Center for English Language and Orientation Programs, and five years as Director of the Boston University International Student Office.
For the next 30 years, he accompanied his wife, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, for her postings to Brazil (twice), Costa Rica, Portugal, Thailand, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and Mozambique. During those years abroad (on average three years in each post), he worked in a variety of positions as a teacher, counselor, school administrator, educational consultant, school trustee, and editor.
Ted has conversational fluency in Portuguese and survival fluency in Spanish. He is a member of Rotary International (serving as Youth Coordinator in Papua New Guinea), and recently joined the chapter in Coral Gables, Florida. In Miami he volunteers as a mentor with Empowered Youth (helping adolescent boys convicted of crime) and Take Stock in Children (serving high school students from families with low income and no previous college experience). He is also an active member of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida whose mission is the third goal of Peace Corps: to promote a better understanding of other countries among Americans.
His leisure activities include golf, bicycling, writing group, reading group, and travel. Ted is married to Leslie Rowe, and they have three adult children.
Hortense Oros is an accountant and owner of GP&H Financial Services dedicated to helping other business owners achieve their dreams and succeed. As a former Staff Accountant, Senior Accountant, and Revenue Manager, she holds 12+ years of accounting experience and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She has served on the board and as the social and events coordinator of UFIG, a nonprofit organization that helps the Ivorien community navigate in the U.S. She is currently on the management team of a well-known small business network group, NGBC.
Hortense moved to the US in 2000 with the help of her friends Alisa Povernmire and Dot Gulardo with the dedication to better her life. She was able to quickly learn English and put herself through school from 2002 to 2007 in Massachusetts. She is now a graduate of The University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, concentration in Accounting. She continues to build on the education in her field through accounting workshops, extensive study on small business success and is actively pursuing her CPA certification.
Born in the Ivory Coast, she comes from a family that instilled in her the importance of hard work, self-improvement, and dedication. She has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, starting her first business when she was 8 years old with her grandpa, selling beverages made from her grandfather’s palm farm.
Hank Bonney, Computer Technician
Hank Bonney is a graduate of Tufts University, and has been doing web development since the late 1990s. With a career in publishing, technology, and the interface between the two, he is the Principal at Keystroke Studios, a web and graphic design company. At Kapadia Education Foundation, Hank helps with the information technology.
Formerly he was the production manager for a number of publications, including Sky & Telescope Magazine. Travel is an ongoing passion of his, and he has spent time in dozens of foreign countries, mainly in developing areas of the world. Also, he is an enthusiast of photography, astronomy, and art.
He now lives in Massachusetts with his partner, Glorian.
Bobby Asplund was formerly an Associate at Carrick Capital Partners, a San Francisco based private equity fund focused on technology companies. Prior to Carrick, he was an Analyst at William Blair, a Chicago based investment bank. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese with a Certificate in Business.
Bobby has been traveling around the world through South America, studying Spanish, touring on his motorcycle and surfing. Currently he is living in Indonesia. Travel is a deep passion of his — he lived and traveled in China for a year while in university and traveled extensively through Southeast Asia, during which he spent time with KEF graduate, Khoa, in Vietnam.
Throughout his time and travel in developing countries, he has seen first hand the importance and significant impact that a higher education can have for both the people receiving the education, and the broader community at large. He hopes to be an "on the ground ambassador" for KEF, visiting communities where KEF has sponsored students, and visiting students that he has mentored and sponsored.