BOARD OF DIRECTORS                                                 

Mark Ruble – Founder/President

Mary Sanford – Administrator

Tabitha Franks – Treasurer

Rob Bacon

Janet Castro

Shelley Malicek

David Ruble

Scott Ruble

Mumeka Wright

Chrystal Wynn


Robert Guthrie

Scott Hansen

Dr. Peter Mark Hughes



Mark Ruble, Founder/President

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Dr. Mary Sanford, U.S. Administrator and Grants Writer

Dr. Mary Sanford, is a Professor of Education at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. An award-winning professor, she holds a Ph.D. in Adult Education from Syracuse University in New York. A former special education teacher of the handicapped, Mary has extensive teaching experience with K-12 children, and undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, both via online and land-based formats. She has had over 30 years of experience  working with marginalized students in the areas of literacy education and teacher education.

An experienced grants writer, Mary has been awarded multiple grants at the federal and state level including two United States Department of Education grants, linking college students with K-12 struggling readers, as well as multiple student outcomes grants at Olympic College. Mary is passionate about volunteering, writing, travel, and the arts. She is also the owner of Clarity Writing and Editing Services. She is passionate about developing programs at the grassroots level and empowering the marginalized, something she’s pursued throughout her career. Mary is  thrilled to be working with I Want To Help Africa.

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Tabitha Franks, Treasurer

Tabitha Franks has spent 28 years in multiple aspects of the banking industry, including marketing, public relations, commercial banking, and product management, in various U.S. banks. In her present position she is responsible for the design, development, marketing, and implementation of all phases of treasury cash products and all the associated collateral. A native of Pacific Grove, California on the Monterey Peninsula, Tabitha makes her home today in southern California. She holds an Associate of Science degree in marketing management from Mount San Antonio College.

In addition to her joyful spirit, Tabitha is the consummate problem-solver, with outstanding organizational, communication, and logistics skills.  She enjoys nurturing people so that they may, in turn, help themselves.  She clearly understands the challenges of people in crisis and the empowering things that can happen when help is given.  She is passionate about her three children and her three adorable rescue dogs. Tabitha brings a wealth of financial and organizational skills to her role as Treasurer of I Want To Help Africa.

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Rob Bacon, Canada Coordinator

Rob Bacon, a native of southern California, holds dual citizenship with Canada and the United States. He presently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.  An advisor  involved in the finance industry, Rob brings a wealth of skills to the I Want To Help Africa organization.

A graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Communication, Rob is responsible for the incorporation of I Want To help Africa as a Canadian nonprofit entity. In addition to serving as a Board Officer, Rob is a devoted father of two great kids, a licensed pilot  and a certified scuba diver. In his spare time, Rob supports various nonprofit organizations including a community based family resource centre and Amnesty International, known for its work on behalf of political and religious prisoners. Rob is eager to support the activities related to helping those less fortunate along with expressing a strong desire to make a positive difference in the lives of the world’s people.  He is honored to work with I Want to Help Africa.

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Janet Castro, Artistic Director

Janet Castro has been an artist since Crayolas could be organized by color groups. In fact she still has her set of 96 colors in its original box!  After earning her art credentials at Pasadena Art Center College of Design and her teaching credentials and Master’s degree in Secondary Education from California State University, she devoted herself to the next 30 years in developing a unique comprehensive arts program, including fine arts and fiber arts, at Bonita High School in La Verne, California. In additions to teaching, she has been an illustrator for the past 26 years. Her illustrations have ranged from brochure designs, package designs, wine labels, car fresheners, logos, to name a few.

As a new retiree, Janet is determined to express what she feels and what she sees artistically through print, paint, and fibers. Influenced by an amazing array of international artists, artistic movements, and cultures,she is dedicated to helping others who are less privileged in the world to maximize their potential through artistic means. Serving on the board of I Want To Help Africa as Artistic Director is one avenue through which she will be able to do just that.

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Shelley Malicek, Special Projects Director

Shelley Malicek, Senior Escrow officer with Design Escrow in Arcadia, California, has had a highly successful 38-year career in the real estate transaction and closure business. Shelley grew up on the Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove and has lived in southern California for many years. While she has thrived throughout the fast-paced and changing real estate industry, her passion has always been on the people.

It is this love of people and a desire to help those in need that shines among the many talents that Shelley brings to I Want To Help Africa, Inc.  Involved since the inception of our foundation, Shelley sees the preservation and enhancement of basic human dignity as the heart and soul of any humanitarian work. This desire to bring dignity and hope to the peoples of Africa is what motivates Shelley to serve on our Board. To her, all people are deserving of love, care, dignity, and respect, regardless of their present daily living challenges. In addition to her exceptional organizational skills and quick wit, Shelley brings her compassionate spirit to her role as Director of Special Projects with I Want To help Africa.

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David Ruble, Webmaster/IT

David Ruble is a native of southern California and a new graduate of Chaffey Community College where he held a 3.89 grade point average.  During his time as a student he has had the distinction of achieving Dean’s List status, an academic honor, for every semester. He is also a member of the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. This summer he will work at NASA where he will be involved in implementing an inventory management system involving an ERP database system with RFID- based inventory management hardware. This Fall he will transfer to the University of California, San Diego, where he will major in Computer Science.

While enrolled at Chaffey Community College he was selected to create and staff the school’s first Programming Tutorial position, tutoring in various computer-oriented subjects as C++, Java, HTML/CSS, general computer usage, and Microsoft Office. He is also the Lead Programmer and Co-Founder of the video game company Wulff Pack Games. In addition to his extensive technology background, David has volunteered as a tutor at the Lilfordia Boarding School in Zimbabwe as well as in grassroots efforts related to the organization and procurement of household goods for shipment with I Want To help Africa. David’s extensive technology skill set, coupled with his cheerful outlook and can-do attitude, are valuable assets he brings to supporting the actions and activities of I Want To Help Africa.

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Scott Ruble, College Liaison

Scott Ruble is a native of southern California and a full-time student at Principia College where he is pursuing a double major in Business Administration and Philosophy. A talented Rugby player, and member of the winning team of the D2 Open Division 7’s National Championship in 2014, Scott is also the team’s Clubhouse Manager. Scott holds a 3.6 grade point average and has been selected for the Dean’s List at his school, an academic honor.

Scott has traveled through Europe and southern Africa. He’s volunteered as a tutor in the Lilfordia Boarding School in Zimbabwe. Locally, he has supported I Want To Help Africa’s efforts related to the collection, recording, preparing, packing, and shipping of two 20-foot containers full of humanitarian goods that were shipped to Zimbabwe and Zambia. As a member of today’s college student generation, Scott brings a wealth of knowledge regarding the role of social media to the Board of I Want To help Africa including proficiency with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Scott’s obvious compassion, coupled with his friendly, anything’s possible, outlook, are valuable assets that he brings to his role with I Want to Help Africa.

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Mumeka Wright, Zambia Coordinator

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Chrystal Wynn, Zimbabwe Coordinator

Chrystal is a native of Harare, Zimbabwe, and has spent almost her entire life in this beautiful country. Chrystal is a full-time artist specializing in the mediums of watercolor and  mixed media.  Chrystal also enjoys walking in the African bush, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

Chrystal loves doing charity work, which is so greatly needed in Zimbabwe due to the challenging economic conditions there for the last many years. She is also involved in animal rescue fundraising and belongs to the charities Veterinarians’ Animal Welfare of Zimbabwe (VAWZ) and the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Both charities rescued many animals during the hectic farm invasions that began in 2000 and do amazing animal welfare work. As the Coordinator of Zimbabwe Projects, Chrystal brings her vast knowledge of current needs, coupled with her extensive network of contacts, to I Want To Help Africa.

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Rob Guthrie, Advisor

Rob Guthrie is a Business Initiatives Specialist for the Office of Renewable Energy & Environmental Exports of the United States Government. Based in Long Beach, California, Rob serves as the West Coast representative for the Office. Rob began his career with Export-Import Bank of the United States 13 years ago as a Business Development Officer at the Bank’s West Regional Office in Irvine, CA. He was responsible for export transactions originating in Central California, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and north Los Angeles Counties, as well as the states of Montana and Utah. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rob holds a Bachelor’s degree in history from Principia College in Illinois, and a Master’s degree in Latin American studies, emphasizing economics, from San Diego State University. Rob is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Portuguese.

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Scott Hansen, Legal Counsel 

Scott W. Hansen is with the law firm, Lewis Hansen Waldo Pleshe & Flanders. His practice focuses on tax, estate and business planning, probate and charitable giving, and charitable organizations. Scott was our guiding star and legal expert in all our initial steps of incorporation, helping us create our Articles of Corporation and Bylaws, apply for our incorporation and 501(c)(3) status, and meet all of our legal obligations. He then became one of the three founding members of our Board of Directors and participated in weekly conference calls that guided all our formative steps.

Scott is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fund Raising Counsel, Inc., a regional fund raising and nonprofit management consulting firm. He is an expert on charitable organizations and speaks frequently on tax and estate planning issues as they relate to charitable giving, exempt organizations and tax planning. He has been recognized by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives and has conducted planned giving seminars throughout America. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Utah, his law degree from Pepperdine University, and is licensed to practice law in Utah, Idaho and Texas, and before the United States Supreme Court.

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Dr. Peter Mark Hughes,

Dr. Peter Hughes is a 2008 graduate of the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management’s Corporate Board of Directors Oversight Program. He possesses a Ph.D. from Oregon State University, an MBA in Statistics from the University of California, Riverside, and a BA in Ethics and Moral Philosophy from Pomona College in Claremont, California. Additionally, he is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Corporate Compliance and Ethics Professional, and AICPA Chartered Global Management Accountant, an Institute of Internal Auditors’ Accredited Peer Reviewer, and a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Dr. Hughes has served as the Director of Internal Audit for three world-class organizations including the California Institute of Technology, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Oregon University System of Higher Education. In 2012, Dr. Hughes became the President of the California Counties Chief Auditors Association, the largest in the country. He serves as an ambassador/member on the AICPA Government Performance and Accountability Committee and on the Editorial Board of Advisors for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

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