T. Paul Thomas
Paul joined KOMAZA as President in early 2012 to provide senior management and fund raising experience and to lead the organization through massive growth in Kenya and beyond. Paul is a seasoned leader and executive with decades of experience, leading both start-ups and large public companies. Prior to KOMAZA, Paul was CEO and President of numerous technology companies including Intrinsic Graphics, Inc and Turbolinux, Inc. and early in his career held senior marketing positions at Apple Computer and Compaq. Paul has a BS in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University.
Kennedy has been with KOMAZA since its founding in 2006, and is currently serving as supervising Field Manager for plant operations. In this role, his responsibilities include coordination of social marketing and recruitment and oversight of new community plantings with KOMAZA field staff. He has previously worked as a supervisor on Kenya's National Youth Service Farm and managed his own successful independent farm business. Kennedy also has experience in engineering and has received training in business management.
Gibson is one of the original KOMAZA field staff and now supervises maintenance activities of all existing KOMAZA farms. In addition to managing field staff and consulting with farmers, Gibson's leadership and skills in community relations are an invaluable resource to smooth running of field operations. As a certified agriculturalist, Gibson brings years of farming experience and his bright green thumb to our team.
Alfred Mwatsuma Kiti
Alfred joined KOMAZA in early 2010 and currently works as a Field Manager on our Crop Production team. Prior to KOMAZA, he was a field extension officer for Mace Foods, where he was responsible for recruiting and managing a large network of outgrowers and supervising the production of food crops. Alfred also has significant experience working with international development organizations, including Plan Kenya, Heifer International and TechnoServe. Alfred holds a Certificate in Agriculture from the Kilifi Institute of Agriculture.
Administrative & PR Manager
Janet is one of KOMAZA's very first employees and has played a vital role in the growth and establishment of the organization. From establishing KOMAZA as a registered organization in Kenya, to conducting the first social marketing campaign for farmers in Ganze, Janet's role has evolved to encompass overall administrative management of KOMAZA offices and properties, as well as the building of relationships in the community, with governmental bodies, District Officers and Chiefs, and NGO coalitions. Janet brings with her over 28 years of experience working in community development. She is a trained secretary by profession, and spent 21 years working as a secretary and credit officer for a large Christian NGO in Kenya, first in Nairobi and then on the coast. She was an entrepreneur in Mombasa, where she started her own company dealing with supplying food to hotels, schools, and government institutions in the city. Janet also has government experience as a clerk for Kenyan government elections over the course of 8 years, rising from the rank of registration officer to supervising all election administration in one area. Janet's knowledge of local infrastructure and resources is invaluable, and her ability to navigate the local cultures and institutions is impressive.
Juliet Awour Odhiambo
Procurement & Logisitics Manager
Juliet joined KOMAZA full time in early 2008 after earning a certificate in Pharmacy and a diploma in Community Development and Counseling from Mombasa Polytechnic. Juliet was actively involved in the school's Community Development Club and had significant experience working with community organizations in Kilifi, including the Kilifi District Hospital. She quickly earned several promotions to become KOMAZA's Procurement and Logistics Manager, and now runs procurement and supply systems for all of KOMAZA's field operations, managing field input purchases totaling of over $200,000 annually. She is also responsible for tracking KOMAZA assets and inventory. Juliet is continuing her education at Pwani University, where she will earn a BSc in environmental studies and community development in 2013. At Pwani University, she is an active member of Pwani University Environmental Club (PUEC) where she is involved in the initiation of an environmental students tree planting project for the promotion of forestry and economic development within the University. Read more about her work at KOMAZA here.
John Paul Oduor Odhiambo
John Paul joined the KOMAZA team as a Data Analyst in May 2010. He works primarily for the Finance and Accounting team, recording and tracking all financial transactions in the organization. He also supports the Operations team in data related projects, recording GPS data for KOMAZA farms and ensuring that we have accurate information on all KOMAZA farmers and trees in our databases.
Prior to working for KOMAZA, John Paul worked as a field officer for Homegrown (K) Ltd. and as a data entry clerk for Longonot Horticulture. He earned an Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS) certified diploma in Information Technology from the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. He is currently pursuing a degree in Business Information Technology at the Mt. Kenya University
Human Resources Manager
Solomon joined KOMAZA in mid-2010 after spending two years helping to set up and revamp the human resource management operations at SIFA International and China Petroleum Pipeline Company. He has over five years of experience coordinating micro-finance programs at small enterprises programs. An economics graduate from the University of Nairobi, Solomon is currently pursuing an MBA in strategic management at the same university and has a post-graduate diploma in human resource management. He is also a member of the Institute of Human Resource Management. At KOMAZA, Solomon is helping to enhance overall operations in the HR function and streamline local and regional external relations.
Arthurnas Ngalah Barawa
Arthurnas Ngalah Barawa joined KOMAZA in July 2010 and currently serves as a Field Manager, leading tree planting operations in rural communities in Ganze District. Prior to joining KOMAZA, Arthurnas worked as a primary and secondary school teacher and also served as a Demographic Surveillance Field Supervisor for the Kenya Medical Research Institute. He has professional knowledge and experience in agriculture from the Kilifi Institute of Agriculture and studied Project Planning and Management at the Kenya Institute of Social Work and Community Development. He also has completed coursework at the AMREF International Training Centre.
Philistine Anzazi Chigiri
Philistine has worked in KOMAZA's accounting department since the organization's inception in 2006. She is from Kilifi and attended Mombasa Technical Training Institute, where she received Kenyan Accountant Technical Certification (KATC) in 2003 and also completed courses counting towards a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate. Prior to joining KOMAZA, Philistine worked as one member of a 3-person accounting team at Galaxy Distributors, an industrial paint distribution company in Kenya. There, she was responsible for overseeing over KES 2 million+ in transactions monthly (~$20,000), maintaining the organization's books, bank reconciliation, petty cash management, and invoice and debtor reconciliation. At KOMAZA, Philistine was responsible for transitioning all of the organization’s accounting functions from paper- to computer-based systems. She now oversees all Kenyan payroll, petty cash and bank transactions, legal reporting, and financial record-keeping. Philistine is planning to complete her CPA certificate next year.
Margaret Mulongo Ndaikwa
Margaret joined KOMAZA in October 2010, and is currently involved in both planting and crop maintenance. Her responsibilities include farmer recruitment, oversight of new community plantings, and supervising the maintenance of short-term crops in some of our newest locations. Prior to KOMAZA, Margaret worked for three years for World Vision Kenya as a community motivator. There she was responsible for capacity building within local communities, and her projects included HIV/AIDS programs, educational programs, child sponsorship, and tree planting. Margaret also worked for six years as a field officer for SOMBEZA, which falls under the umbrella of the Aga Khan Foundation. Margaret holds a diploma in Community Development from Kenya Institute of Social Work and Community Development.
As KOMAZA’s Projects Manager, Erin plans and executes cross-functional and department-specific projects for the organization. She collaborates with key KOMAZA staff to develop individual project management skills and implement standardized procedures. Erin is establishing KOMAZA’s first Project Management Office through systematizing project planning and implementation, as well as creating processes, procedures and policies that will increase the organization’s efficiency. She joined KOMAZA as an Operations Associate in May 2011, after two years as a Small Enterprise Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Makindu, Kenya. Erin has four years’ experience working with farmers under the difficult environmental and socio-economic conditions presented by living in arid and semi-arid lands of East Africa. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Business Administration, and is currently studying for her Certified Associate in Project Management credential.
Finance and Administration Director
Ellie Taylor joined KOMAZA in November 2011. She shares in the overall responsibility for the direction and coordination of the Kenya Country Office and is specifically responsible for the development and implementation of sound financial and administrative policies in line with its strategic direction. Prior to joining KOMAZA, Ellie spent four years working for a boutique corporate finance advisory firm in London, where her role was focused on strategic business planning, financial modelling and company valuations for clients across a range of sectors. Her previous development experience includes a year with the UN/IUCN SEED Initiative and an internship with the Africa Corporate Sustainability Forum in Johannesburg and Lilongwe. Her focus with both of these organisations was promoting entrepreneurial partnerships between the private sector and civil society. Ellie graduated from the University of Oxford in 2004 with a first class Honours degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She also received a Masters degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University in 2006.
Director of Operations
Patricia serves as KOMAZA's Director of Operations & Continuous Improvement. Her responsibilities include managing field operations, monitoring processes for efficacy, efficiency & scale, improving these systems, and leading her team in achieving extraordinary results with the help of those systems. With a BSE in Industrial & Operations Engineering, Patricia brings to KOMAZA ten years of experience in analyzing and improving operations as diverse as automotive manufacturing at Ford Motor Company and hospital administration in Uganda. In 2010 she earned an MBA from the University of Michigan focusing on leadership in operations. Afterward she felt called to East Africa, where her skillset is rare & valuable, to improve the wellbeing of those less privileged. She is honored to be contributing to such important work and looks forward to the day KOMAZA achieves its vision.
George Jilavoya joined KOMAZA as a Technology Manager in June 2012. He is responsible for leading KOMAZA's overall technology strategy in the areas of operations, data collection, monitoring & evaluation, mobile tools, GIS and web strategy systems. George is a member of the Institute for the Management of Information Systems-UK, professional member of the Computer Society of Kenya and is a certified enterprise security, AFIS, ERP, data storage and virtualization engineer. He brings to KOMAZA eleven years of experience in management and implementation of public and private sector ICT projects. Prior to joining KOMAZA he worked in India, Germany, South Sudan and in the West East and Central Africa region. George is an Engineering graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and received a Higher Diploma in Management of Information Systems from Strathmore University.
James Karaba joined KOMAZA as a field officer in 2008. He has worked in Palakumi, managing a team of 10 facilitators. Prior to joining KOMAZA he worked with Umoja Rubber Company as a plastic intruder machine operator and with the then Electoral Commission of Kenya as support staff, registration clerk and presiding officer. James joined the management team in May 2012 after having been promoted from a field officer. His duties include the overall performance of Kauma/Jaribuni locations, managing a team of 12 field extension staff and more than 500 farmers.
Charles Gitahi joined KOMAZA as a Nursery Manager in September 2012. He is responsible for ensuring that the organization is fully self reliant on its seedling supply needs and is leading a team that is revamping the nursery capacity to produce 5 million seedlings annually. He brings to KOMAZA wealth of experience in nursery design/planning, construction, management and evaluation. Prior to joining KOMAZA he was running a landscape design firm and had previously held different positions at Tree Biotechnology Program Trust (TBPT). He holds a Bachelor Degree in Landscape Architecture from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). .