Volunteer Staff and Advisors

 

Asad Rahman, Co-founder and International Project Manager
19776_288471131345_3770348_nAsad has spent over twenty-five years involved in many facets of Wildland Fire Management. His passion is education, facilitative learning and Fire-line Leadership Instruction. Shortly after high school, he embarked upon his first overseas adventure, fell in love with International travel and has become a student of global knowledge and values. Through the years he has balanced his two great loves through seasonal changes: Wildland Fire Management during dry season in the States, and International travel in the winter months. In 2004, Asad met and fell in love with Olivia, another Wildland Firefighter and worldly traveler. Asad had just returned from a life-changing trip to Southeast Asia and with great energy and passion shared with her his travel stories and photographs. It was after their first trip together to Southeast Asia in 2005 that they decided to create Project Enlighten to promote education opportunities for underprivileged youth across the globe. Asad is Project Enlighten’s International Project Manager, attending to the many complexities of the organization and its programs worldwide.
Olivia Rahman, Co-founder and Secretary
Olivia RahmanOlivia became involved in humanitarianism at a young age; one of her first experiences in volunteerism was with the local Special Olympics in which she assisted special needs and disabled athletes who were competing for gold! The experience was so moving and amazing, that she felt compelled to get involved in community service. In 1995, after Olivia’s family survived a devastating flood that left their community, home and personal belongings damaged by destructive floodwaters, the face of humanity shined light through a special group of volunteers – AmeriCorps, helped Olivia, her family and neighborhood in the aftermath. Inspired by those volunteers, and with the persistence of her Mother, Olivia applied for the AmeriCorps program, The National Civilian Community Corps (A*NCCC). She interviewed and accepted a Corpsmember position later that year. It was during her voluntary two-year commitment to that AmeriCorps program that Olivia got involved in wildland firefighting. After spending some time in college, Olivia returned to wildland firefighting in 2001. In 2004 she met her future husband and co-founder Asad Rahman. They discovered they shared a common ethos – that all human kind shall have the right to a life of respect and dignity; this is ultimately what brought Asad and Olivia together. Today, Olivia has a successful career as a Wildland Firefighter and Fire Prevention Officer, balancing her career with her work at Project Enlighten where she takes on varying roles within the organization.
Riva Duncan, Board of Directors

Riva PERiva is an avid traveler, wildland fire manager, outdoorswoman, and humanitarian. She grew up in the Midwest, raised by a single mother with her three siblings, and even though money was always tight, Riva never forgot her mom reaching out to others who had even less. She was raised with an emphasis on education, tolerance and kindness, and is only the second child in her family to graduate with a four year degree. Riva began her career with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in 1989 and has enjoyed working and fighting fire across the U.S. Her career has also taken her on international assignments to Belize and Ethiopia, instructing and teaching prescribed fire planning and implementation. In 1998, Riva met her husband, Matt Keyes, in Florida where they both worked for the USFS. Matt and Riva shared a passion for international travel, and when they met Asad and Olivia Rahman in 2006, were immediately moved by their stories and experiences in Cambodia, and inspired by their dream for Project Enlighten. Riva believes strongly in education as the key to empowering individuals – especially women – to improve their own lives, improve their communities, and thereby promote peace. Riva is honored to be a part of Project Enlighten and is committed to helping Asad and Olivia make their dream a reality.

Matt Keyes, Board of Directors

100_0076Matt is a forester and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts. His parents both enjoyed long, highly respected careers in public education and continue to teach as volunteer English Second-Language tutors to this day. Matt’s parents have been the primary role models in his life and they instilled in him the importance of education, as well as a love of travel and an interest in other cultures. Matt met his wife, Riva Duncan, in 1998 in Florida where they both worked for the U.S. Forest Service, and they have been perfect travel partners ever since. Matt and Riva met Asad and Olivia Rahman in 2006 in California, and Matt was drawn to their stories of Cambodia and awed by their desire to help empower the under-privileged who had no means to pursue an education. Matt was honored to be invited to join the Project Enlighten team and continues to find it a tremendously rewarding experience.

Mike Carroll, Board of Directors

Mike-Carroll Mike is a Minnesota native who now calls Colorado home. Raised in a loving family of four children, Mike’s parents instilled in him a compassion for others, a love of the outdoors, and the wonder of discovery. Pursuing his desire to serve others and challenge himself, after high school, Mike joined the Army where he spent eight years on assignments both in the U.S. and abroad. His love of travel and adventure has taken him far and wide. Whether in the service, working aboard a commercial fishing boat in Alaska, or climbing in South America or the Cascades, Mike’s journeys have provided him a great appreciation for the similarities of all people, the unique challenges we all face, and the extraordinary power of friendship. Mike is the Head of Business Development for Mission-Centered Solutions, Inc., working with organizations to develop operational cultures of optimal efficiency and efficacy. Mike began his career with MCS as a Trainer/Consultant in 2002, and met Asad while supporting leadership development within the U.S. Forest Service. Their friendship grew, and Mike was honored when Asad asked him to join Project Enlighten and embraces the opportunity to help the team realize its vision of success. In 2010, Mike introduced his wife, Marci Faye, to Asad and Olivia, and soon after, she joined the Project Enlighten team.

Marci Faye Carroll, Communications Consultant

295730_2177944922156_1861028793_nMarci Faye hails from a small town on the North Shore of Boston where history, lore and local artisans thrive and where her appreciation for cultural diversity, storytelling, and fresh, local food took seed. One of three daughters, Marci Faye has a deep connection to her roots and a great respect for the adventurous spirits, traditions and artistry that came before her. Earning her Bachelors in Creative Writing with a minor in Humanities from the University of Arizona, Marci Faye has lived and traveled throughout the U.S. working as a freelance writer, editor and photographer, and in various roles including casting, fundraising, production, and management within the Entertainment and Hospitality industries, Education and Non-Profits. Inspired by real people passionately pursuing their dreams and taking a stand for what they believe in, Marci Faye enjoys people, and her compassion for humanity thrives on compelling conversations. With their shared interests in the power of human connection, community, education and travel, Marci Faye and husband Mike regularly find themselves engaged in conversations about how to make a real and tangible difference together in the world. In 2010, Mike introduced Marci Faye to Asad and Olivia via Skype video and after several moving video conferences, she joined the Project Enlighten team focusing on public relations, marketing and content. Marci Faye draws daily inspiration from the boundless energy and dedication of the Project Enlighten family and the communities, projects and people it serves.

Chann Noun, Advisor
ChannChann was born and spent his early years growing up in Cambodia. He is one of the fortunate survivors of the Khmer Rouge’s genocide in the Killing Fields. He attended Cambodian School of Nursing in Phnom Penh from 1980-1984. Chann struggled for sometime as a refugee, spending nearly 4 years (Aug 1984-Apr 1988) in various refugee camps along Thai-Cambodian borders, and 8 months in Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Bataan, Philippines before he immigrated to Saint Paul, Minnesota on December 7, 1988. Chann came to the United States – no family and no friends. With only hope and a great spirit to survive, Chann Noun has become an accomplished professional, family man, and community member. He married a Cambodian orphan and emigrant of the Khmer Rouge’s Killing Fields, and together they are raising a daughter. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, holding a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Accounting. He is employed as a Lead Accountant for Exchange of Portland – a maritime related corporation. Chann’s compassion extends beyond an everyday existence in life; he has been volunteering for both non-profit and for-profit companies in various industries within the accounting field. Chann is passionately involved with various humanitarian projects in Cambodia and his local community, holding a volunteer position as treasurer of Cambodian-American Community of Oregon and is an advisory board member for Asian Family Center.

Mark Smith, Advisor
Mark-SmithMark Smith is a partner in Mission-Centered Solutions, Inc., a company working with organizations to develop operational cultures of optimal efficiency and efficacy by developing leaders within organizations including many high-risk, high-consequence environments. He is also involved in the 9 Ether Clothing Company, LLC, whose clothing line is dedicated to helping people achieve the 9 levels of superior consciousness.

Mark’s parents introduced the core values of gratitude, duty, honor, love, courage and hope as the foundation for his worldview. During his 22-year military career, he struggled and strived to embody these values on operations throughout the Americas, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific and the Balkans. He is well seasoned in the best and the worst of the human experience, and is thoroughly convinced that even the humblest positive action can break down a wall of fear and hopelessness.

Mark and his family have a home in Northeast Thailand and he belongs to the Erawan (Thailand) Chapter of the Special Forces Association. He also has family in Laos and Cambodia. In addition to Project Enlighten, Mark also works to support the Free Burma Rangers, who alleviate the suffering and empower ethnic peoples persecuted by the Myanmar government.

Mark’s vision is that his family’s work has enriched their lives, the lives of those they serve, and has created a legacy of successful chain reactions with far reaching positive effects beyond their time on earth.

Mark is married, has two daughters, two beautiful granddaughters and lives in Denver, Colorado.

Bill Morse, Advisor
billmorseBill Morse graduated from Kemper Military College in 1968 and Texas Christian University in 1970 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and majors in education, history and economics. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army, Military Police Corps and served on active duty in 1971. For a number of years, Bill taught high school in Augusta, Georgia, before he left the teaching profession and entered business.

Bill Morse’s career has been primarily involved with the evolution and growth of small manufacturing companies. Each of his sales positions involved finding and establishing stocking distributors, as well as hiring and managing a group of manufacturer’s representatives and/or direct salespersons. His responsibilities included the development of new products; the integration of products from acquired companies, a comprehensive marketing program, the hiring and training of both a direct field sales force and a network of manufacturers’ reps to handle specific markets, as well as profit and loss responsibilities. In addition to this, Bill Morse has held positions as president and CEO of several companies since, and now works as a consultant.

In 2003, Bill was introduced, through a friend, to Aki Ra, an ex-Khmer Rouge soldier taking on the daunting task of clearing all the landmines left in Cambodia. Bill traveled to Siem Reap to meet Aki Ra and on his return began the Landmine Relief Fund (www.landmine-relief-fund.com) to support the work of the Cambodian Landmine Museum and its Managing Director, Mr. Aki Ra. To date, Aki Ra has cleared in excess of 60,000 active landmines and IEDs while adopting 25 maimed, needy and orphaned children.

The Landmine Relief Fund charter is to support the work of the Cambodian Landmine Museum NGO. The LMRF became a 501c3 charity in 2004. All funds received are forwarded to the Cambodian Landmine Museum. With the establishment of the ‘new’ museum in April of 2007, work moved under the umbrella of the Museum Operations and now supports the ongoing work of Cambodian Self Help Demining, the Cambodia Landmine Museum and other projects sponsored by Aki Ra.