Bobby Asplund graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese and a Certificate in Business. His education led him to his former positions as an Associate at position at Carrick Capital Partners, and an Analyst at William Blair.
Travel is a deep passion of Bobby’s — 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. Now, he has been traveling through South America, studying Spanish, touring on his motorcycle, and surfing. Currently, he lives in Indonesia.
Bobby’s adventurous lifestyle has shown him first hand the impact that higher education can have on a student and their community. 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.
Board Member, Finance Advisor
Elan Kapadia is currently an Energy Efficiency Program Manager for Slipstream, and has been involved in the sales cycle and implementation of energy solutions for the entirety of his career.
He earned a degree in Environmental Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduating, he spent a considerable amount of time in Central and South America as a student and volunteer at a self-sustaining eco-resort. He currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
When Elan is not traveling, he can be found on his snowboard in the winter or tending to his rooftop greenhouse in the summer.
Board Member, Website Design
Hank Bonney is a graduate of Tufts University and has been doing web development since the late 1990s. He now lives in Massachusetts with his partner, Glorian.
His career in publishing and technology led him to his position as Principal at Keystroke Studios, a web and graphic design company. 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.
Here at Kapadia Education Foundation, Hank helps with information technology projects.
Board Member, Accounting Advisor
Born in the Ivory Coast, Hortense’s family taught 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.
Hortense moved to the US in 2000 and put herself through school at the University of Massachusetts, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and concentration in Accounting.
She is now the owner of GP&H Financial Services, a company dedicated to helping other business owners achieve their dreams and succeed. As a former Staff Accountant, Senior Accountant, and Revenue Manager, she holds over a decade of accounting experience. She has also 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. Additionally, she is currently on the management team of a well-known small business network group, NGBC.
Jess Kapadia is a food, drink, and travel writer, editor, and multimedia journalist. She develops and styles recipes, writes catchy copy for brands, and hosts live and scripted video content. In addition to her expertise in multimedia journalism, Jess also specializes in content management, social media strategy, SEO optimization, editorial planning, and financial strategy.
Jess received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California in 2008, where she studied print and digital journalism at the Annenberg School for Journalism. She also studied French language, literature, and politics at the Université Paris-Sorbonne, and took culinary courses in her spare time.
Board Member, Marketing and Communications Advisor
With a decade of strategic integrated communications experience across a broad range of industries, Mary brings an essential lens to KEF's operational efforts. Currently a co-owner of her family owned-business, Hawk Vans, Mary formerly led marketing communications efforts at Sente Mortgage. In the NGO sector, she has led teams for the beloved animal advocacy nonprofit, Austin Pets Alive!, as well as the national youth preventive health organization, Marathon Kids. Prior to working in social impact, she supported clients like the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation at a global PR agency and served as a high school social studies and special education teacher with Teach for America.
Mary graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in political science and Spanish. After moving every couple of years throughout her childhood, she now lives in Austin, TX with her husband, toddler, and pup. She's an avid traveler (her favorites have been Namibia, Slovenia, and Patagonia, Argentina) who deeply believes in the power of global citizenship. Fun fact: Mary was KEF's first intern, way back when.
Board Member, Logistics Advisor
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 is thrilled to be on the KEF Board and where he can further contribute to this important mission.
Board Member, Legal Advisor
Ross Povenmire earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Tufts University, a Master of Forestry from Yale University, and a Juris Doctorate from The University of Maine. He is now a retired attorney and landscape architect, currently working as the Director of Conservation and Planning for the Town of Boxford, Massachusetts.
Born in Hawaii in 1956, and having to adapt to significant hearing loss from a young age, 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.
He contributes legal expertise and training to the KEF Board, along with his enthusiastic support for the worthy goals of KEF.
Board Member, Fundraising Advisor
Sloane has been passionate about human rights and social justice issues and has felt that it is an innate part of her being since she can remember.
She earned a degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and recently graduated with her Master's degree of Philanthropic Leadership at the University of Denver.
Additionally, she has studied at the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, and the University of Hyderabad, in Andrah Pradesh, India. Sloane has experience in the areas of combatting human trafficking, international development, and education. She developed her love for traveling at a young age but made the decision to dedicate her life's work to human rights and social justice nonprofits when she studied abroad in India for 6 months.
Since then she has done extensive projects in Haiti, Cambodia, and Peru, and has also traveled to Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Greece, France, Germany, Israel, Nepal, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, and South Korea.
Sloane is the former Executive Director of Kapadia Education Foundation.
Board Member, Student Outreach
Tom has more than 35 years of experience in the sales and marketing of environment-friendly products and technologies, including energy-efficient lighting, hotel and building energy management systems, biotechnology cleaners, and potable water sanitizers. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Raised in Hershey, PA, Tom spent many of his adult years in the New York Metropolitan area. In the 80s and 90s, Tom was involved in community organizing and was a staff member of the All Stars Talent Show Network that supported young people in the Black and Latino communities of NYC.
A position in international sales for a small Connecticut company manufacturing energy conservation systems allowed Tom to travel the world. In 2013, he moved to Bangkok, Thailand, to expand his life and engage in work experiences outside of the USA. There, he opened and operated a small business for eight years, importing and selling green technology products to the hospitality industry in Thailand and SE Asia.
Tom is now semi-retired, continuing to provide business development services in the Southeast Asia region for several green technology manufacturers. He enjoys travel, skiing with Pradeep, and yoga. As a long-time political progressive, Tom has always been supportive of those who are disadvantaged by the white, male-dominated political systems we live under. He is thrilled to be a part of KEF and support the valuable work it does.