These Principal Volunteers share a deep commitment to restoring mobility and independence to people in the developing world. They dedicate considerable time and energy to helping the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation achieve its mission.
Board of Directors
Directors govern the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, and additionally fulfill all of the responsibilities of Ambassadors.
Robert Veith, M.D., Board President & Medical Director, is an orthopedic surgeon with Valley Orthopedic Associates in Renton, Washington. Dr. Veith has both led and participated in the joint POF-AOFAS surgical missions to Vietnam. He has also participated in surgical missions to Bangladesh.
Ruth Verhoff, Vice President, is a Principal in a small Seattle based real estate management business. She has spent the last three years as a board and mentor volunteer for Washington Community for Self Reliance (“CASH”). She retired as President of Columbia Pacific Management, Inc. in June 2007, where she spent 15 years developing a career in real estate and related healthcare. She received a bachelor degree in accounting and finance from Central Washington University and her Executive Masters of Business Administration from Seattle University. She also is a Washington State certified public accountant.
Ernest A. Burgess, Treasurer, was a Senior Vice-President of Investments at the Seattle office of Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Burgess is also overseer emeritus of Whitman College.
Heidi de Laubenfels, Secretary, joined McKinstry as Director of Communications and External Relations in 2012, after more than 20 years in journalism. She served most recently at The Seattle Times as Deputy Managing Editor for Strategy and Product Development. In that capacity, Heidi led interdisciplinary teams to drive change and develop strategic business initiatives, new products, and marketing and communications projects. In addition to The Times, Heidi has worked in numerous capacities at The Denver Post, The Phoenix (Ariz.) Gazette and The Bellingham Herald. She has an Executive MBA degree from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Western Washington University.
Mary Gladhart is a retired consultant with over 30 years of experience in the investment industry. Ms Gladhart holds degrees in International Studies and Anthropology with an emphasis in worldwide medical and cultural studies. As a past board president and active board member, Mary is an advocate for the inclusion of local cultural norms, beliefs, and mores as a means of creating sustainability and effectiveness in international programs. She has traveled and worked extensively in the areas of Africa and Asia served by the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation
Gladys Kenfack, is a Marketing Manager at Microsoft in a group whose mission is to bring technology to the developing world. She has a passion for technology and a strong desire to have an impact on the world. Ms Kenfack holds a B.S. in Computer Science from BYU, an MBA from Seattle University, and is active in non-profit organizations and in her community. She was V.P. of Outreach and Community for Africans at Microsoft and is an accomplished public speaker. Ms. Kenfack is an advocate for education among youth, wellness among orphans, and sustainability and capacity building programs in Africa and worldwide.
Gail Lasprogata is a professor of business and international law at Seattle University where she is tenured in the Albers School of Business and Economics. In addition to teaching, Dr. Lasprogata recently completed her tenure as the Executive Director of Seattle University’s Center for the Study of Justice in Society (CSJS) which supports faculty justice scholarship. Under her leadership, the CSJS expanded its support for justice scholarship to include documentary film and other forms of creative expression that bring public awareness and expert strategic problem solving to critical issues of social, economic and environmental justice. Dr. Lasprogata’s research interests include social entrepreneurship, corporate citizenship and leadership. Her most recent article, “Corporate Citizenship & Creative Collaboration: Best Practices for Cross-Sector Partnerships,” is published in the Journal of Law, Business and Ethics. Her current research focuses on corporate and nonprofit leadership development and its role in inspiring compassionate business practices, corporate citizenship and social business.
Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, M.D., MPH Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Within the Global Development division, Dr. Bemo is the Senior Program Officer responsible for the Emergency Response portfolio, and the Senior Regional Advisor for West Africa within the Agricultural Development portfolio. Dr. Bemo has 10 years experience in Clinical and Public health worldwide. Before joining the foundation, she held various roles at the International Rescue Committee, most recently serving as Senior Technical Advisor for health in the Democratic Republic of Congo and West Africa. Dr. Bemo also worked with various NGOs and had extensive involvement in Aceh, Indonesia, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Kenya and Chad. She is a board member of the Global Health Council and the Fetzer Institute Advisory Council for Health Professionals. Dr. Bemo received her MD from the University of Cote d’Ivoire, her Epidemiology diploma at the University of Paris, and her MPH from Madrid Autonome University.
Ambassadors reach out to the community as spokespersons for the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, raise funds to support POF’s work around the word, and mobilize other volunteers.
Donna Burgess, has her own educational consulting business in northern California.
Colleen Haggerty, is a writer of personal non-fiction and a program director for a local non-profit. She lives in Bellingham, Washington.
Maria Hatcher, is a Registered Nurse in Perianesthesia Care and is currently working as an RN Clinical Liaison in Spokane Washington. She has experience in surgical care, marketing, clinical team program development and research.
Lawrence Kofi Amoako is an electrical engineer with Nike, Inc. based in Portland, Oregon. Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Lawrence has a natural interest in “helping the developing world walk.” As an ambassador he has been responsible for Nike’s generous in-kind sponsorships which supports POF beneficiaries.
Advisors provide their expertise to assist the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation with mission-related projects.
Jan Thompson, LCPO, received her degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics from the University of Washington School of Rehab Medicine in 1982. She is a past president of both the Northwest Chapter of the Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists and the Washington Orthotic and Prosthetic Association. Jan established and ran her own practice in Eastern Washington for 15 years and currently consults and works as a clinical orthotist/prosthetist throughout the Northwest.