Botswana, Cameroon, China, Ecuador, Samoa, Togo, Tunisia
By Jonathan Pearson on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Richard Simonton Sr. (Botswana 1976-78) has been named the new President and CEO of the AOD Federal Credit Union in Bynum, Alabama. Simonton has more than thirty years of experience in the credit union industry. He recently worked for 17 years at the Insight Credit Union in Orlando, Florida, and was active in the community, supporting Toys for Tots, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Coalition for the Homeless and the Russell Home for Atypical Children.
December, 10, 2012 – Human Rights Day – also marked the launch of the online shop for Cherie Amie, a fair trade intimate apparel company co-founded by Tara Smith (Cameroon 2007-09). The Sacramento Bee reports the company “fights poverty with a three-tiered business model. The company produces its original apparel in Cameroon, where it employs a team of artisans with fair wages in a safe and secure environment. Under the Good Returns model, the company uses 100 percent of its profits to finance small loans for women entrepreneurs. It goes one step further by donating ten percent of its net income to Peace Tree Africa, the non-profit Smith founded to finance development projects across sub-Saharan Africa.”
The St. Lawrence County Arts Council has named Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton, as its new Executive Director. Wilkins-Pepiton worked for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Southwest China. She began working at the Arts Council, based in Potsdam New York, during December and will assume her duties as Executive Director in January 2013.
Betsy Bechtel (Ecuador 1964-66) of Palo Alto, California has been named President of the Board of Trustees of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. Residents of the district re-elected Bechtel to the Board of Trustees in November. Bechtel, a former Palo Alto Mayor and City Council member, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2003.
Samoa RPCV Sarah Nichols has relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska, after being named earlier this year as the new Director of the Fairbanks Boys and Girls Club. A native of Texas, her background includes teaching and the performing arts.
Emily Lagasse (Togo 2008-10) is closing out the inaugural year of Sukuvi, a Massachusetts based non-profit organization which seeks to help students in Togo attain a university education by providing community supported low-interest microloans. Sufficient funding in the first year of the program allowed thirteen students to pursue higher education. Early supporters of the program include the Boston Area RPCVs.
Sheryle J. Bolton (Tunisia 1968-69) returned to her alma mater, Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia, to be the guest speaker at the fall commencement on December 15th. A member of the college Board of Trustees, Bolton is the new CEO of Sally Ride Science. The San Diego based company brings science to life through pioneering professional development, instructional solutions, and real-science investigations for students in 4th-8th grades. Bolton was named CEO in August, succeeding Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space.
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