Graeme Aegerter (Seattle, WA)
Secretary, Sumbandila, U.S.
Graeme is a documentary filmmaker, community educator, and fundraiser from Seattle, WA. He has worked on films in Alaska, Utah, South Africa and Kenya and his documentaries have shown at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the Durango Independent Film Festival, the Peace on Earth Festival and more. Through his films, Graeme seeks to highlight issues of identity, inequality, culture, and social change through intimate storytelling. Community engagement and inclusion are the foundations of his work as both a filmmaker and an educator. Whether designing an outreach plan for a film, a youth development workshop, or a crowdfunding campaign, Graeme strives to ensure his work is shaped by the voices and ideas of the communities he collaborates with. He is passionate about using art and development to creatively work towards equity, justice, and education.
Leigh Bristow (Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, South Africa)
Executive Director, Sumbandila Scholarship Trust, S.A.
Chair, Sumbandila, U.S.
Leigh is a founder of Ridgeway College and the Sumbandila Scholarship Trust in Louis Trichardt, South Africa. She is currently and has been since 2008 the Executive Director of the Sumbandila Scholarship Trust. Leigh was the founding Head of Ridgeway College and in total headed the school for a period of 8 years. In addition to the operational management of Ridgeway and Sumbandila, Leigh was the sole fundraiser for both organizations, raising more than 15 million rand or $1.1 million over the last 10 years.
Prior to starting Ridgeway/Sumbandila Leigh taught Math and Biology in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, and the UK over a period of 33 years.
Brian T. Brown (Scarsdale, NY)
Fifteen-time Emmy winner Brian T. Brown is a writer, director, show runner and executive producer. Brown’s latest project is a book on the Cold War for Hachette imprint Twelve Books. He is the co-writer and director of The Last Gold (2016), his first feature-length documentary. With his work on the Olympics and Super Bowls, Brown has been attached to many of the most-watched shows in American TV history. He is also the author of two books, a children’s novel, Ring Force (Rodale, 2012), and TV: A Novel (Crown, 2001).
Jennifer Lauren Chu (NY, NY)
Chair, Think Tank, Sumbandila, U.S.
Jennifer has a dual-degree in Economics and Classics from Cornell University. She has been immersed in the digital media space at Conde Nast facilitating the organization’s most critical strategic priority, transforming the organization from it’s traditional print heritage to a digital publishing powerhouse. She led Brand Strategy and Marketing for multiple titles at Conde Nast including Vanity Fair, Vogue and Wired. Prior to Conde Nast, she was working in the Financial Services Office at Ernst and Young and the Business Planning group at MetLife International. Her passion for sustainability through education has been exercised with her investments in organizations such as StreetSquash and Prisoner’s Express.
Sandy Donaldson (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandy is retired from teaching, both in secondary schools in the U.S. and overseas in Kenya, Argentina, and Mexico, where she taught ESL to adult professionals. She also had a career in broadcasting and television news; upon earning her Master’s degree from American University in 1974 in Film and Public Affairs, she was a TV news film/videotape editor and freelance producer in Washington, D.C. for two decades. While living overseas, in addition to teaching ESL, she was hired to write feature stories for magazines, compile reports for government agencies, and work as a radio reporter for Voice of America. Upon returning to the United States in 1999, she began teaching AP and IB English in El Paso Texas, and retired in 2011. She and her husband Sam moved to Albuquerque in 2013, where she is President of the Albuquerque Opera Guild and a docent at the Santa Fe Opera.
Marney Hupper (Albuquerque, NM and Tenants Harbor, ME for July & August)
Executive Director of Sumbandila, U.S. and Treasurer
Marney is a professional fundraiser with 20+ years of experience working in nonprofit advancement in independent schools and colleges. Throughout her career, Marney has driven numerous fundraising campaigns, raising money for capital improvements, endowments, planned giving initiatives, financial aid, faculty salaries, and professional development. In addition to frontline fundraising, Marney has expertise guiding efforts in strategic planning, accreditation processes, alumni engagement, volunteer development, database optimization, annual fund process improvement, and advancement recruitment and training.
Alan Marks (Albuquerque, NM)
Alan Marks grew up in El Paso, Texas. He attended college at Stanford University and after two years living in Chile returned to the US to study law and economics. Along the way, he became credentialed as a secondary English teacher. From 1978-1992 he worked as a teacher at Rio Grande HS in Albuquerque’s south valley. In 1989, he was chosen as New Mexico’s and US West’s national Teacher of the Year.
In addition to board work and a year in Stanford’s MBA program, Alan spent the middle 90’s doing projects in the Bay Area, working in NM on school reform and accountability, and continuing to work on college access with students of color. In 2000, along with a former student he founded a charter high school, South Valley Academy, which serves primarily immigrant children. He directed and oversaw the build-out of that facility through 2008 and his former students have directed it since then.
Alan started a non-profit to serve the school called Center for Educational Initiatives which has since become a private foundation. Alan serves as President. He is also President of Center for Southwest Culture, Vice President of the Simon Charitable Foundation, Sec/Treasurer of the JB Blaugrund Foundation, Treasurer of the Governing Council of Cien Aguas International School, Board member of the Friends of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, and works with neighborhood organizations and on neighborhood issues.
He and partner Josie Lopez have two wonderful girls, Anila and Sydney. They live on a four-acre farm in Albuquerque.
Jake Weissbourd (Cambridge, MA)
Jake is a Boston native, who caught the travel bug during his GAP year, living in Belize and Spain. It was during his GAP year that he recognized what a crucial juncture this time was for young adults – as he observed the trajectories of those friends without good opportunities for higher education, gap years, travel, etc., diverge from those with these privileges – and has since been very intentional about working in capacities which reform and innovate in this space.
He is currently a student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where he is learning how to create opportunities for project based/experiential learning and study abroad for diverse groups of students. Personally, his favorite things to do are travel, read, play basketball, and bbq. He also adopted an amazing Pitbull while in college in New Orleans, and loves to just be outside with him!