Lea Pellett is the founding mother of MAO Kenya, the roots of which stretch back to 1999 when Lea accompanied her husband to the Masai Mara on vacation. She struck up a conversation with a Maasai woman named Tiito Mpetti, who persuaded Lea to return to her village the following year to start a women's beading cooperative.
Lea is a retired Christopher Newport University sociology professor turned peripatetic world traveler and change agent, with education projects in Nepal and Guatemala, in addition to those in Kenya with MAO.
Ann Kaiseyie is a former preschool teacher at the Siana Boarding Primary School in Megwarra. She is currently the Preschool Supervisor for the Siana Sub-location of Narok County. She recently supervised the successful construction of three new preschool classrooms financed by MAO.
Her home is the unofficial MAO Kenya headquarters in Kenya. She plays the role of gracious hostess for the American board members while they are in Kenya.
Debra Hill retired from the College of William and Mary after 32 years as the women's volleyball coach. She has documented the history of MAO projects through her photography. The community members love her warm demeanor and they seek her out to take family portraits for them. On her next visit, she always brings copies of the photos for all who appeared in them. She has never met a baby that she did not want to hold and these times provide rare opportunities when she will allow herslef to be photographed.
Camilla Buchanan is a retired obstetrician gynecologist who now teaches public health classes at the College of William and Mary. After three years working on MAO projects in Kenya, she returned to Eastern VA Medical School to earn a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree. She is proud to promote education, especially of young girls, and to provide hygeine, sanitation, and clean water through MAO programs. She hopes to continue MAO's work of improving health and preventing illness in Kenyan communities.
LAURA PHILLIPS DOLLIESLAGER
Laura Dollieslager is a counselor, supervisor, and forensic program planner at Eastern State Hospital, the state psychiatric hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia. She developed an interest in altruism, community connection and global awareness as modalities for psychiatric recovery, especially in the lives of those acquitted of criminal offenses by reason of mental illness (Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.) She co-created The Dream Shop with her patients, who operate it as the hospital gift shop, selling Fair Trade items there and at community events. Retail profits from The Dream Shop support the Maasai American Organization. She finds her own life to be greatly enriched by these endeavors, as well as travel to Kenya and Guatemala, sharing in the work of the MAO.